An Expert Guide to Salesforce Integration: 22 Salesforce Experts Share The Biggest Mistakes Companies Make During A Salesforce Integration

Regardless of the size of a business, one of the most crucial elements of a successful business structure is a strong sales department.

And in order to maintain a high level of customer relationship management (CRM) productivity in their sales teams, the vast majority of growing and enterprise companies of today base their sales processes around the Salesforce software platform, one of the leading CRM tools for business.

LEARN HOW TO ACCELERATE YOUR SALESFORCE ROI WITH OUR GUIDE

Since our work here at Docurated provides cohesive content solutions that directly help our clients’ sales departments, we wanted to learn more about Salesforce software integration. More specifically, we wanted to find some expert tips on the most common (and avoidable) mistakes companies face when utilizing the Salesforce platform in their sales processes. To do this, we asked 22 Salesforce software experts to answer this question:

“What is the biggest mistake organizations make when it comes to Salesforce integration (and what’s the correct approach)?”

We’ve collected and compiled their expert advice into this comprehensive guide to a executing a successful Salesforce integration. See what our experts said below:

Meet Our Panel of Salesforce Experts:

Joel Nylund

Joel NylundJoel Nylund is the Managing Partner of Solution Street and has over 20 years’ experience building business systems of all kinds. He has been a partner at Solution Street, an information technology consultancy, since 2008. Before joining Solution Street, he founded 2 start ups DemandMart, a small business marketing tool and KeepUp, an online reminder service where he developed a passion for Ruby on Rails. Before that, he was an Architect and Engineering Director at VeriSign. Joel loves all aspects of software development, including management, design, coding, debugging and testing. Joel has his B.S. & M.S. in Information Systems from George Mason University. During the last 5 years, Joel & his team have performed numerous custom integrations with Salesforce.

When it comes to Salesforce integration, the biggest mistake most organizations make is…

They assume the data passed between the two systems is present and consistent.

Lets take for example, a custom System A which has account objects. We want to synchronize the account objects in Salesforce with the account objects in System A. To make sure we can synchronize these two accounts, we need a consistent identifier between the two systems. Typically, developers will add the identifier from system A as a custom field in Salesforce, lets call this field external identifier. System A can now look in Salesforce for accounts with the matching external identifier and synchronize the key account data. Salesforce can also look to the external system using this custom field to map in the reverse direction.

A problem arises when someone comes and adds a new account in Salesforce, but does not fill out the external identifier field. Another issue that can occur is when someone doesn’t fill out the corresponding identifier field in System A. Either of these can cause synchronization failures between the 2 systems. Also, the identifier in one system could allow some special characters or size restrictions that the other system doesn’t and this too could also cause problems.

The correct approach is to write defensive code that looks for any possible scenario and looks for ways in which it can handle the situation. In addition, it will send alerts if there is a failure. In the scenario described, we can also add validation to Salesforce and System and this will allow it to force the external identifier field to always be filled out with the same restrictions as the custom system. We can also add checks to the other system for proper mapping in real time.


Beth Saunders

Beth SaundersBeth Saunders is a Certified Salesforce.com Sales Cloud Consultant and Administrator. She holds an MBA in finance from Temple University and is a veteran commercial banker turned non-profit professional via a mid-career AmeriCorps VISTA experience. From there she spent several years working in microfinance and the social services sectors. As a consultant, Beth has chosen to focus on business strategy, project management and Salesforce.com implementations. She enjoys using her education and accumulated
experiences to help non-profit organizations do what they do more efficiently and effectively. Learn more about Beth and her work at www.bethsaundersconsulting.com.

When it comes to Salesforce integration, a common mistake companies make is…

Implementing Salesforce.com as a database or contact management solution or some other single channel solution.

Salesforce is a culture – it is a collaboration platform that epitomizes the definition of relationship management. Successful implementations start with senior leadership and sponsorship and continue with organizational culture change to ensure user adoption horizontally and vertically. To use Salesforce.com is to adopt a new way of doing business.

It is important to start internally, to know your processes and map them out with a cross-functional team not department by department. Salesforce is about workflow and collaboration. If used in a transactional nature it is just a database. If used in a collaborative manner internally and with customers it is a powerful and robust engagement platform. An organization also needs to have internal champions who participate in the Salesforce.com community in order to learn and share experience.

This is how Salesforce.com can best support an organization’s growth – when there is a culture shift toward sharing information and working collaboratively, when there is a mindset of being part of a larger community not a technology customer, when there is a sincere desire to keep innovating and using innovative tools. That is when transactions turn to relationships and one-off interactions turn to engaging customers. Otherwise, you will have another contact database that nobody uses.


David Ciccarelli

David CiccarelliDavid Ciccarelli is Founder and CEO of Voices.com, the industry leading website that connects businesses with professional voice talents. David was finalist for the 2013 E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. With a strong background in business development, marketing, and finance, he has incorporated his personal and professional ethics to provide his clients with a superior project management service and access to professional voice over talents, meeting their needs on a daily basis.

Here is my advice for companies undertaking a Saleforce integration…,

Take the time to clean up your data before importing it into Salesforce.

Avoid duplicate accounts and contacts by merging accounts whenever possible. As the saying goes, ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ When you have your data organized into a spreadsheet, import a small test of say 5-10 records.

Then, login to Salesforce and double check that all the fields mapped to the correct location. If the import didn’t go as planned, at least you’re only deleting a handful of records instead of potentially thousands or even millions.


Matt Cheung

Matt CheungMatt Cheung is a Director at Clarasys, a fast-growing global consultancy based in London. He has over 14 years’ experience of delivering complex and challenging business change programmes, with particular expertise in CRM, sales, marketing and order management best practice.

The biggest mistake when implementing Salesforce in an organisation is…

Neglecting to adequately define and prioritize the transformation from current state to future state.

Understanding existing processes, pain points, key metrics and working to define future state vision, processes and metrics, resulting in a prioritized list of key capabilities, is critical to ensuring that organizations achieve a good ROI on the implementation. Failing to take the opportunity to simplify and optimize process can result in overly-complex implementations with high ownership costs. Simplifying may also mean businesses can take advantage of standard functionality, eliminating the need for costly code.

Two examples of this spring immediately to mind. An SME business with a Salesforce system that had been heavily customized found that it was failing to support their key renewals process. A review revealed that due to changes elsewhere in the application, the code was obsolete. A process review revealed a major simplification and the resulting fix and process change has halved the time it takes to process a sale. The automated renewal process has increased renewal by 15% and resulted in a 35% increase in user-initiated renewals and contacts.

The second example involves a major wealth manager, who had implemented Salesforce in different business units without reviewing process. They found that they couldn’t provide global reporting or forecasting, meaning that sales people couldn’t collaborate and business leaders couldn’t direct the sales team to execute on their objectives of selling the right things to the right people at the best margin. Implementing a standard activity-tracking process moved them forward, but it was a slow and painful process due to the legacy customization. They weren’t able to take advantage of market-leading capability in the product.


Cameron Council

Cameron CouncilCameron Council is a Technology Advisor for TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company that researches and analyzes business technology software to help companies find the IT solutions that best fit their needs.

When considering the reasons why a Salesforce implementation may go sour, IT professionals may be inclined to say that a poor application infrastructure integration would be to blame. If you asked a sales team the same question, they might mention a lack of planning around their specific sales pipeline. While both of these answers are correct, they both contribute to a greater issue:

Lack of adoption.

“My company tried Salesforce before, but no one really used it.”

This comment is made more often than one would expect; this is especially true for a business implementing their first CRM platform. No matter what measures are taken by IT or management to ensure a smooth transition, user adoption will ultimately make or break the success of Salesforce within the organization.

To overcome the challenges of implementing Salesforce, the first thing to do is make sure that everyone is on board. After making the decision to purchase Salesforce, take time to work with each department to determine their specific needs. By involving every department in the process and gathering their feedback, they will be more willing to put an effort into adapting the system to their specific role.

No matter what other challenges might occur when rolling out Salesforce, an active and engaged user-base will ensure that necessary features are implemented, bugs/issues are reported, and money has been well spent.


Megan Langley

Megan LangleyMegan Langley, Director of Marketing at OutMarket, has 10 years of experience in Marketing Intelligence and Data Management and leverages that background to lead the OutMarket team in making data driven marketing decisions. Megan and team launched OutMarket, marketing automation software, only weeks ago after it spun off of Vocus. In addition to launching a new company, the team also successfully integrated a new Salesforce instance with its OutMarket software.

The biggest mistake organizations make when it comes to Salesforce integration is…

Too much, too fast.

Organizations are drawn to Salesforce because of its bells and whistles and it can resemble a kid in a candy store. Although all of the extra tools are exciting, it can be a bit overwhelming figuring out where to start. Stay clear of the shiny objects: the cool tools will come but a successful integration needs to start on a strong foundation with a focus on data integrity and process. In short, keep it simple in the early stages to avoid errors and confusion later on.

Successful integrations include spending the time up front to fully define what the organizational goals are and which tools are needed to accomplish them. Involving stakeholders in the process will create ownership and ensures that they keep their teams accountable. If your organization is large enough to have multiple departments using Salesforce (Sales, Marketing, Services), appoint a Salesforce lead for each and have regular governance meetings where members can ask questions and share ideas.

Making an investment into the planning phase will pay off in the long run and a guarantee a healthy, trustworthy database. If you can do a few things really well in the beginning, you can grow your Salesforce platform from there.


Hussein Yahfoufi

Hussein YahfoufiHussein Yahfoufi is an Entrepreneur and the current VP of Technology & Corporate Services at OneRoof Energy, where he leads software products innovation, development, support and delivery for employees, affiliates, partners, and customers. His team develops the technology to streamline operational processes (reduce costs), support rapidly growing business (scalability) and redefine the solar industry (innovation). He is also the founder of DiamPrice and Appsplit. Learn more about Hussein and his work at his personal website, www.husseinyahfoufi.com.

I think the biggest mistake organizations make when it comes to Salesforce integration is…

The lack of planning and documentation about the company’s lead gen and sales process before starting the integration.

Ideally the company should create a document that explains what information they want to track about a lead and when it should move into an opportunity and clearly define the differences between the two and the trigger for converting from lead to opportunity. This document should contain information about how leads are managed and what the sales process for the company is so workflows and reports can be created. Its really all about being prepared.


Michael Lazar

Michael LazarMichael Lazar is a Senior Growth Hacker at TrueShip, a multi-carrier shipping software.

The biggest problem I have encountered with SalesForce – which is a very powerful tool – is…

If loosely organized, you have all of these people in different places setting up different work flows.

As opposed to having one person assigned as the admin – who understands and deploys the software and organizes the entire pipeline, including setting up user privileges and so forth – if organization is lacking, you could end up with all sorts of random reports and activities coming in that make it less useful and more confusing. However, if you are able to assign these privilege levels and assure that there is synergy and oversight with project management, SalesForce can be a very effective lead nurturing tool.


Wes Alkin

Wes AlkinWes Alkin is currently the Manager of Marketing at Athena Software, a global leader in case management software for health and social service organizations. Wes has experience on both sides of the Salesforce integration process. In 2009, Wes helped implement the use of Salesforce at Athena and also worked for two years as a Account Executive at Salesforce’s in Toronto.

In my experience, a Customer Relationship Management application should never be purchased based on price but on the value it will bring to your organization. One of the biggest mistakes individuals run into when integrating Salesforce into an organization is…

Not having C-Level (e.g. CEO) input at the right stage of the evaluation process. This can result in the project either being underfunded or, even worse, not getting the go-ahead at all.

Knowing that C-Level time is valuable, many are reluctant to bring them in early on in the process. However, to get a CRM up and running it will take C-Level influence to ensure success. C-Level executives are the ones who know the vision and direction for the entire organization, so aligning with them early on will help ensure the project gets off to the right start.

Unfortunately, individuals often don’t know when to bring the C-Level into the process and as a result they leave it too late, by which stage the project has a high chance of failure. The reason for failure is that the C-Level will not see enough value to allocate the appropriate resources to get it off the ground.

My recommendation is to bring C-Level into the initial fact-finding meetings, then have a checkpoint meeting midway through the process and then a final presentation.

In the initial meeting, the C-Level can share the organizational goals and vision. In the checkpoint meeting, the C-Level can let everyone know how things are aligning to those goals and vision. For the final meeting, the C-Level will be able to confirm everything is aligning and then agree if the cost justifies the value.

By taking these steps, the chances for success in integrating Salesforce will increase.


Benjamin L. Luftman

Benjamin L. LuftmanBenjamin L. Luftman is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Luftman, Heck & Associates, a law firm headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The firm uses Salesforce every day to manage leads, opportunities, and clients.

One of the biggest mistakes people make with Salesforce integration is…

Thinking that everything needs to be a custom build.

We like AppExchange for its many options, and usually we can find a solution there that can be adapted for our needs. Instead of building a custom forms app within Salesforce to integrate with our workflow, we found the Conga Composer app to create fillable packets of forms for our clients. This helps reduce the amount of manual paperwork that our paralegals and attorneys need to deal with on a regular basis. With a custom app, we likely would have run into issues. With Conga Composer, we can go to their support team to save us time and energy that we need to devote to our clients.


David Engel

David EngelDavid Engel is the Co-Founder of Review Concierge, an online review management company that helps doctors protect their reputations online. He is also a speaker at Dreamforce 2014 at the Top 10 Adoption Tips for Small & Medium Sized Business Success.

The biggest mistake that organizations make when performing cloud integrations with Salesforce is…

Not properly matching external IDs. As a result, pesky duplicate data may appear.

At Review Concierge. we map all the reviews that doctors receive online with their contact records in Salesforce. We use an Informatica to accomplish this. One year after setting up our first Informatica sync, we had duplicate and sometimes triplicate reviews in the doctor’s Salesforce records.

Duplicate data occurred because we didn’t match external IDs in Salesforce with the appropriate IDs in our internal systems. After a lengthy de-duplication process (we used DemandTools), we finally got the duplicates fixed.

This problem could have been avoided had I, our Salesforce Admin, asked our lead engineer how unique IDs are assigned in our review monitoring system. When you’re integrating with other systems, be sure to take the time to understand how their foreign keys, external IDs and unique IDs work so that you can properly match them to objects in Salesforce without creating duplicates.


Sharon Harry

Sharon HarrySharon Harry is Director of Marketing and Business Development for Metropolis Technologies, a software development firm that utilizes SalesForce for channel sales management.

The biggest mistake for SalesForce Integration is…

Not evaluating all departments first to assess their needs.

Many companies utilize Salesforce for their sales and marketing teams, and that’s it. However, with case management and customization options, Salesforce can be a powerful CRM for the entire company; from the front end to the support and development team.

Taking time to evaluate how SalesForce information could be used across the entire enterprise and training staff on proper data cleansing the first time around will make adoption so much easier. It is 10x harder to train teams to change their process once they have learned the application (for instance, if sales teams need to start inputting data for a new field, or taking an extra action to convert a lead, etc.).


Amad Ebrahimi

Amad EbrahimiAmad Ebrahimi is the Founder and Writer at Merchant Maverick, a source for unbiased merchant account reviews, ratings, news and information.

The most common mistake that I see companies making with their Salesforce implementation is…

A halfhearted training program, or none at all.

Salesforce offers a lot of resources, both in their Knowledge Base and via in-dashboard tutorials, to help users along with any questions they may have. It’s tempting, therefore, to make the purchase and think you’re doing well to ply your team with links to these resources so that they may train themselves. Let the hiccups sort themselves out, so to speak, with on-the-job training.

But let’s face it. You want to reach the next level in your business. You’re employing Salesforce to kick your professionalism up a notch.. You want high quality, standardized service from your sales and customer support teams. The only way to ensure this is to give your team high quality, standardized training.

It can be difficult to allocate time and resources away from your employee’s regular duties in order to get everyone trained on new software. To get a solid training plan in place, I recommend having a Salesforce rep come out and demo the software for your management team. Have management prepare all the questions they can come up with ahead of time, so the demo is as tailored to your business as it can be. Then give the management team an afternoon (or a whole day, ideally,) to become as expert as they can be with the copious resources mentioned above. Finally, schedule a day, with plenty of advance warning, for your team to come in (possibly a Saturday morning, so as not to interrupt normal productivity) for a training session. Pay them overtime, and cater it to soften the blow. The last thing you need is an expensive tool that you aren’t skilled at using.


Michael Freeman

Michael FreemanMichael Freeman is the Head of Growth and Demand Generation for Highfive, a new video conferencing startup that is transforming the way we work, communicate and collaborate. He has over 15 years of experience in a variety of industries solving business problems, helping companies grow and work smarter.

The biggest mistake that providers make when they design integrations for Salesforce is…

The assumption that there is only one way to use Salesforce.com.

A lot of time, the integrations are built around very rigid or fixed ideas about the use cases. However, SFDC is such a flexible product (almost to a fault) that companies end up implementing SFDC in so many different ways that one set of use cases will not work when you want to deploy your integration to customers or the field.

The correct approach is to interview multiple potential customers/users of the system that represent a diversity of use cases (for example, companies that manage “leads” via the lead object vs. those that purely use the contact object to manage “leads” and “customers” together. Only once you get a sense of the different ways that companies potentially use SFDC will you be able to think about how you should approach your integration strategy.


David Zahn

David ZahnDavid Zahn is a Sales Training Consultant, Entrepreneur, Book Author, Keynote Speaker, Columnist, and Adjunct Professor. Learn more about David and his work at www.zahnconsulting.com.

The biggest mistake organizations make when it comes to Salesforce integration is…

Thinking that the purchase of technology alone (and simply introducing it and mandating that it be used) will lead to a positive outcome without considering the implications of the integration of Salesforce.com.

To do it correctly, the organization needs to:

  • Consider what business opportunity is being met by the implementation of the technology/identify what problem is being solved.
  • Establish both objectives to be met and an evaluative method for determining performance on those objectives.
  • Recognize what new functions and capabilities will now be possible based on the application.
  • Provide training on the skills that will need to be developed in order to maximize the impact of the introduction of Salesforce.com.
  • Identify if the organization has to give consideration to changes in how employees are compensated or incented based on the use of the tool (and the new objectives being sought).
  • Coordinate and collaborate communication requirements between and among work functions (peers) and supervisor/subordinate.
  • Offer encouragement and reinforcement for the use of the tool(s).
  • Ensure supervisors and managers are familiar with how to use the tool and what the tool is capable of providing (so that they can hold their subordinates accountable for using the tool correctly).
  • At least initially; run the existing “system” in parallel until the organization has “field-tested” the application and users feel comfortable using it.


Michael Morgenstern

Michael MorgensternMichael Morgenstern is the Vice President of Online Marketing at The Expert Institute, a technology-driven platform for connecting qualified experts in every field with lawyers, investment firms, and journalists looking for technical expertise and guidance.

The biggest mistake organizations make when it comes to a successful Salesforce integration is…

Not employing an in-house Salesforce administrator.

While Salesforce is marketed as an out-of-the-box CRM solution (especially in comparison to robust enterprise database systems like Oracle), it is still extremely complex. Extracting maximum value out of your Salesforce platform requires on-going customization, which can be come very technical.

A knowledgeable administrator can integrate your auxiliary sales, marketing, and administrative solutions into your Salesforce platform, allowing these various products to communicate with each other and ensure data integrity across a variety of channels. For example we have our CRM system connected to our email marketing tools, web-analytics software and our phone systems allowing the data generated by our Sales and Marketing departments to remained organized and in-sync.


Steve Susina

Steve SusinaSteve Susina is the Marketing Director at Lyons Consulting Group (LYONSCG), a full-service eCommerce digital agency. An electrical engineer by education and marketer by choice, Steve Susina uses data and analytics to help firms generate demand, establish thought leadership and strengthen the company brand. Previously he managed demand generation programs for Crain Communications, and led the marketing team for IT services provider Laurus Technologies. He is a Marketo Certified Expert with more than five years experience using marketing automation.

One big mistake many companies make when it comes to Salesforce integration is…

Failing to map their work processes and data requirements against the Salesforce.com model before loading data and starting to use the application.

The definitions and interplay between leads, contacts, opportunities and accounts can be confusing to first time users, and may not match a firm’s pre-existing understanding. For example, a lead in Salesforce is generally for pre-opportunity individuals, while a contact defines someone post-opportunity. To get the most out of the investment in Salesforce, a firm should build a workflow that defines prospects as leads, and converts them to contacts at the point of formal lead qualification and handoff to a sales or business development representative. With this type of defined workflow, an opportunity (and account) can be created automatically by the act of conversion.


Allan Himmelstein

Allan HimmelsteinAllan Himmelstein is the President of Sales Coach AZ, which he founded in 2007, where he utilizes his more than 30 years of extensive sales and business management experience to bring proven methods and processes to small and mid-size business owners, offering Outsourced Sales Manager responsibilities. Sales Coach AZ implements strategies that relieve the sales burden from the business owner. Allan’s extensive experience includes executive and sales management positions working with international and domestic organizations for start-ups, turn-arounds, and growth modes and grew one internationcal company from start-up to $40M in a short nine years. He has served as VP of Sales for the world acclaimed $50M ConAgra Spice and Seasoning Company.

By far the biggest mistake companies make with Salesforce integration is…

Not having a written documented sales process before they start utilizing any CRM, not just Salesforce.

They should pay for the customization upfront to assure that it will fit their needs. Also, management should have customized reports and a dashboard that fits their needs that they can look at on a daily basis. I find that many managers of small business do not utilize the dashboard reports as tools to help them manage. Without this customization, Salesforce becomes an information / data dump, and is only used when a sales person leaves the company and to make sure they do not lose momentum with prospects.


David Scarola

David ScarolaDavid Scarola is the Vice President of The Alternative Board, the world’s largest provider of executive peer advisory boards servicing over 3,000 business owners worldwide. As a large, global network, TAB is affiliated with an extensive range of business professionals.

The mistake many companies make with Salesforce integration is…

Not to consider the governor limits required in Salesforce.

Salesforce is a multi-tenant system, so a lot of different companies are sharing the same computer processing resources. To ensure no single user takes more than their fair share, Salesforce imposes limits called governor limits. This specifies that a company’s custom code or integrated code can only run so many of a certain type of database call. Once you hit this limit, it raises an error and aborts your code. Lots of developers or integrators develop code not realizing these limits. Or, they integrate multiple different systems with Salesforce not realizing the impact of governor limits. Then, they run it, and it starts throwing all kinds of errors. This can be very frustrating, since there is no way around it – the limits are the limits.

My advice is for developers is to ask the third party about how their code impacts governor limits before integrating it into their system, and then test it in the sandbox.


Matthew Books

Matthew BooksMatthew Books is the Marketing Director of American Car Craft, a design and manufacturing company that manufactures high quality Stainless Steel automotive parts and accessories for a large range of classic to late model cars and trucks.

The greatest mistake a company can make when it comes to Salesforce integration is…

To assume the sales staff will learn “on the fly” especially when they’re more seasoned professional who aren’t tech savvy.

Salesforce is an amazing tool but without the proper know-how it’s going to be treated just like Outlook People is or worse. Salesforce needs to be approached systemically and all parties using it need bottom-up training.


Keith Jensen

Keith JensenKeith Jensen is Marketing Operations Manager at DaVita, one of the largest kidney care companies in the United States. Keith comes from a background in Marketing Automation and CRM administration and has worked for companies as big as Fortune 200 and as small as a Google Venture startup.

The overall portrayal of Salesforce.com implementation is one that can easily blind a business from the core task at hand. While most stakeholders will see the attractive reporting, numerous integration possibilities and process efficiency metrics, many will misinterpret the underlying timeline and planning that must be done to launch effectively. The most common mistake that I have seen is…

Taking input from everyone that has some and implementing it as soon as you can click the mouse. Creating unnecessary data fields, custom objects, notifications, workflows and approvals, and other processes will clutter your instance faster than you can imagine.

All of this leads to data integrity problems, duplicate records and fields, complicated administrative settings, and a lot of moving parts that have no reason to exist in the first place.

Salesforce is one of the best, if not the best CRM system available. With that kind of capability comes just as much complexity – there’s a reason there are five levels of certification and the classes to get those certifications are thousands of dollars. The three biggest things that need to be done before implementing are hiring the right admins, mapping out all processes to be built and coming up with a realistic timeline. Certified Salesforce admins don’t come cheap, but you’ll regret not paying up in the beginning after you realize your intern didn’t cut it.

Salesforce can play a part in all areas of your business and everyone will be full of ideas of how you should build their part. Hold planning meetings and get all pieces together visually before you start developing – it can serve as a blueprint for a long time. Last but not least, Salesforce implementation can’t be done in two weeks, or even two months. Set realistic expectations, and push back when needed.


David Gaines

David GainesDavid Gaines is the Director of Recruitment at eIntern, an online experiential internship program designed to complement your current skills with additional programming skills that the industry actually requires for you to successfully get hired. In his leadership role, David is responsible for campus recruitment strategies, serves as liaison with eIntern’s partner colleges and universities, and works on marketing and PR in bringing an aware to eIntern’s web-based internship platform for STEM-focused students. He travels the country meeting with Deans and Chairpersons discussing strategies to increase students’ interest in pursuing a career in software development.

When we first integrated Salesforce, the decision we made that has caused
the biggest headache was…

Integrating it department by department as opposed to mapping it out slowly and integrating Salesforce company-wide.

Instead of introducing the new processes to everyone simultaneously, we were asking departments who were first using Salesforce to complete tasks both the new way as well as the old way for the sake of the departments not yet integrated into Salesforce. Then when the next department was brought on board, the initial department was still doing it both ways, working with getting the next department up to speed with the new way and still completing tasks the old way for the departments still following the processes being phased out by the other departments.

The logic was to contain any issues introduced by the integration to one department as opposed to shutting down the entire company until we figured out what was not translating accurately during the integration. Instead, the transition time took longer because with each new department being brought into the fold, the new processes still had to be tweaked as new issues would come up and old processes had to hold the line until we figured out how to smooth out the process.

Instead of a three month integration, it became six, putting a bad taste in a lot of peoples’ mouths. Fortunately, once the dust had cleared, not only has all the departments improved efficiency, the features of Salesforce has helped develop new processes and workflows not possible with the old process.

All said, adopting Salesforce has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made and is credited with triple digit annual gains in productivity and revenue.

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