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Three Reasons It’s Time to Update Salesforce

By: Alison Wandschneider

Very few things in life have a shelf-life of over two years. Consider your home: when you moved in, you probably put careful consideration into how you would use each room, where you would store things, and how you might move between spaces.

But then life kicks in, maybe you have children, and suddenly your beautifully configured zones are supplemented by stacks of papers, toys, and clothes in various rooms around your home.

Technology is the same way. If you started using Salesforce more than two years ago, it’s very likely that you may need a refresh now.


3 reasons you need a Salesforce touch-up

You wouldn’t expect your home to serve you unchanged through multiple life changes, so why is it we expect that of technology?

Let me outline the three main reasons that a continued investment into Salesforce is important for keeping your sanity and productivity.


1. Your team has changed

If you have had any staff changes over the past couple years, chances are good that you may need to consider some of the following enhancements in Salesforce:

  • Additional general and role-specific training

  • Additional user types or updated security considerations if you want to give different levels of access to different people

  • Additional Salesforce reports if your leadership has shifted to a more data-driven approach, chances are good that you will need to update your Salesforce dashboards and reporting considerations (more on this later in this post)

2. Your process and programs have changed

Remember, a CRM is built to be a relationship management tool at its core, so if the way your organization manages relationships changes, your CRM needs to change as well.

Think about how you’re engaging with people:

  • If you work for a nonprofit, consider program management, donor engagement plans/moves management and volunteer/member management.

  • If you work for a business, consider whether you have added any new revenue streams since Salesforce was first configured.

If you’re starting to think more strategically about how to engage more deeply with your customers or donors or if you’re launching new strategies, there are new features in Salesforce as well as a multitude of third-party applications that can help with that.

Regardless of what type of company you work for, think about manual processes and anything that you hear staff gripe about on a regular basis: there is a good chance that Salesforce automation tools could help.


3. Your organization’s priorities have changed

Changing priorities are as common as budget, goals, and role shifts. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have new goals for your team? If you’ve grown, chances are your goals have too.

  • What are your leadership’s expectations for engaging around metrics, outcomes, and impact? If you have had a change in leadership, it is highly likely that they want different things from your data. Figure out how you can best tell your company’s story through the data that you have.

  • What are you tracking or hoping to track in Salesforce? Think about both granular and 360-degree visibility into your constituents. New funding sources or programs could require new measurement.

  • What can you let go of? User adoption and user interface are highly interconnected. If you struggle with user adoption, the first place to look is at how users interact with Salesforce. A skilled consultant can guide you in exercises to look at how you could streamline fields and processes, remove barriers, and build the system so that it works better for your team.

Regardless of your role in the company or how long you have been on Salesforce, it will serve you well to remember that Salesforce is a continual investment, not a “set it and forget it” tool. Embrace an agile project management mentality and expect to iterate, test, and grow.


Remember, you are not alone

You may be skilled at managing cases or one-off requests for improvement within your instance, but typically there is a tipping point where user experience is really hindered, and these requests start to accumulate and build into larger symptoms that can be indicative of the need for larger-scale improvements. This is totally normal!


Ready to see how a Salesforce consultant can help?

If you’re looking to scale and grow, we can help you strategically think bigger through a support contract or a new project. This is part of your investment into a CRM. Yes, it can be frustrating if you’ve already made a big investment, but like a house, technology requires continual maintenance.


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