Over the years, Salesforce has evolved from a simple customer relationship management (CRM) tool into a comprehensive solution that incorporates all customer-centric functions of business operations, from sales and marketing to retention and evaluation, into a singular, user-friendly platform. However, even with all the useful features Salesforce provides, many businesses struggle with integrating it into their legacy systems as part of their digital transformation initiatives.
As Sense Corp, we’ve learned these challenges often result from a lack of proper planning and guidance on how to architect and deploy the Salesforce solution that works best for the company’s overall business strategy. For many organizations, these issues can be avoided given proper planning and a better understanding of the Salesforce platform.
Here are some key considerations when converting a legacy application over to Salesforce:
- Keep Customizations to a Minimum: While many companies might feel their customer management processes are unique and cannot be addressed by the Salesforce configuration, we recommend companies use customization for only a limited set of items and only where there is a compelling need. Salesforce projects work best when leveraging the platform’s out-of-the-box configuration capabilities and utilizing the least amount of customization. This might result in the organization needing to rethink or change some of their business processes.
- Assess Your Legacy Data Quality Early On: Because data in legacy systems can be messy with several formatting issues, companies must work quickly and efficiently to understand the integrity of their data. This includes assessing data quality, developing a data quality enhancement plan, creating a data load map, and leveraging external tools whenever necessary.
- Actively Drive Organizational Change Management: All system implementations – especially Salesforce implementations – require stakeholder engagement to drive strong user adoption and ensure business continuity. This could involve taking steps to prepare your workforce for integrating Salesforce into their daily work processes, including extensive training, continuous communication, and setting up engagement services to coordinate the required change.
- Handle Data Migration as a Separate Project: Data migration needs to be carefully planned out based on available load windows. Extracting data from legacy systems and loading the data into the Salesforce system can be challenging and time consuming, thus it is recommended to test the process through dry runs whenever possible.
- Leverage the Right Salesforce Deployment Tools: Deployment of Salesforce code into production should be handled through change sets, Force.com IDE (integrated development environment), or the Ant Migration Tool (also known as the Force Migration Tool) to provide the appropriate level of ease and functionality.
Following these best practices can help set you up for success and allow you to get the most out of your Salesforce investment. Whether at the start of your journey with Salesforce or somewhere along the way, we welcome you to reach out and let Sense Corp be your guide.
Learn more about how Sense Corp and Salesforce can transform your organization here.