Salesforce comes with many default capabilities to help you get started right away. These default capabilities are typically set to industry best practices and are good enough to see you through the first few steps of Salesforce integration.
Unfortunately, any experienced Salesforce professional will tell you that you must customize the platform to address your business’ unique needs fully.
Why? Because the Salesforce CRM is intended for a wide range of businesses of different sizes and in various industries. So, the default settings target no specific business/organization. In fact, many default settings are merely placeholders.
To fine-tune the CRM to address your unique challenges, you need Salesforce customization so only opt for the settings that apply to your industry, business size, and type of business.
Salesforce customization is the process of adapting the Salesforce platform to suit your business processes.
However, it’s important to differentiate between Salesforce configuration and customization as the two are commonly confused. Both configuration and customization refer to the process of adapting Salesforce to suit your unique needs. However, customization is a little more detailed.
Salesforce configuration is limited to point-and-click setup. To configure Salesforce, you simply go to the “Settings” tab and click different tabs to create apps, add or change fields, objects, tabs, and automate workflows.
No code is needed. Thus, one doesn’t need programming skills to configure Salesforce.
On the other hand, Salesforce customization requires programming/coding skills as the process involves making changes at the code level. As a result, customization is traditionally left to Salesforce developers.
Common customization activities include;
Businesses customize Salesforce for two primary reasons, i.e., to increase revenue and boost ROI from Salesforce implementation. So, how exactly does Salesforce customization contribute to these two?
Salesforce isn’t exactly easy to use. Indeed, one of the biggest challenges first-time users report about the CRM is usability.
It’s a struggle finding what you need on the platform. Unfortunately, usability difficulties can eat into employee time, resulting in the loss of time and revenue. For instance, the sales team may need extra steps to close a deal, sometimes resulting in a lost opportunity.
Customization provides an opportunity for the organization to simplify the platform to make Salesforce easy to use for your employees. For instance, your Salesforce developer can customize the user interface with Visualforce and APEX to cut unnecessary steps in various tasks.
Everyone knows that you can only get maximum value from Salesforce if you use it alongside other e-commerce solutions, such as ERPs and DMSs. However, to integrate the best third-party tools and solutions, you must first customize the platform.
Sometimes users integrate with default Salesforce tools like Files Connect for Salesforce and API web services such as REST. But these are only sufficient in Salesforce Enterprise Edition or higher, which are expensive.
Custom apps are even more expensive. So, suppose you want to integrate with third-party apps in Sales/Service Cloud Essentials Edition, where such integrations aren’t available. In that case, you must find a developer to create custom integration that embraces all systems.
You cannot be successful with Salesforce without proper analytics. Similarly, it’s impossible to achieve your Salesforce goals with half-baked analytics.
Ideally, your CRM must track all significant activities of your sales team and provide tools to break down and dig deeper into the data to obtain valuable insight.
For example, your Salesforce should indicate all instances when your sales team engages leads through drip marketing, personal emails, and social media. The CRM must also have tools, third-party or built-in, to analyze the data. Otherwise, you won’t get enough data from the system to improve your business.
A Salesforce customization expert can adapt your platform so that your team receives relevant insight to inform their decision-making.
Still on insight, the best Salesforce implementations include easy-to-use dashboards and detailed reporting that readily impact outcomes.
However, configuring standard reports with default features, such as the Report Builder, isn’t enough. Report Builder only allows you to present data from standard objects and fields. So, what about custom objects? What if you want to reflect data from custom integrations?
That’s where customizations come in handy. Customization gives your reports a view that you can’t achieve with regular Salesforce configuration.
For instance, specific reports require additional fields, columns, and lines to capture critical data beyond the limitations of Report Builder. Only through customization (typically with APEX code) can you create such reports.
Finally, Salesforce customization is also important to realize full automation potential. Configuration allows users to achieve fundamental automation, enabling organizations to create workflow rules and approval processes using the default Workflow and Approvals functionality.
You can also take advantage of Process Builder and Flow Builder to enhance automation within your Salesforce, such as enabling automatic updates after a related field change.
However, many organizations also want to automate complex processes, such as purchase orders and discount approval.
You may also wish to automate revenue calculation and tax processing. Unfortunately, you cannot achieve these with Salesforce configuration. You need to customize your org.
You need to ask yourself whether you’re getting maximum value out of the CRM. Are you hitting your goals? Are you getting the desired ROI? If not, then perhaps you need to reconfigure and better customize your org.
The same applies to those planning to implement Salesforce. Salesforce customization is the only way to get value for your investment.
We recommend two important things. First, make sure to plan for the process. The planning stage allows you to put down on paper your current state and target goals.
This makes it easier to track your progress and fix issues along the way. Secondly, find an experienced team for the process. It is cheaper in the long run. Plumlogix offers Salesforce customization services and has a team of experienced, industry-leaders in everything Salesforce. Talk to us today for more.