One of the best things about Salesforce is that it’s designed to be flexible, supporting a vast ecosystem of apps in the AppExchange. However, implementing poorly integrated third-party sales software can end up disrupting your business. I know that a lot of sales acceleration vendors claim their products work with Salesforce. But to make a truly informed buying decision, it’s important to understand exactly how each system works with Salesforce. It’s important to be aware of the risks, as poorly integrated tools can:
- Disrupt your team’s workflow during lengthy onboarding processes
- Create a burden for IT and Salesforce administrators
- Clutter your Salesforce org with superfluous custom fields
- Greatly increase API usage levels across the organization
Six Crucial Questions to Ask During Due Dilligence
We thought it would be helpful to share some of the most important questions to ask sales acceleration vendors about Salesforce integration, because it’s vital to understand how a tool will affect your current workflow prior to integration.
What CRM was the solution originally designed for?
Some sales acceleration tools claim to integrate with Salesforce. However, a lot of the time, the tools weren’t designed specifically for Salesforce and a light or flawed integration was bolted on after the fact. If a solution wasn’t designed specifically for Salesforce, then it may require expensive custom development in order for the tool to work harmoniously with your CRM. Likewise, the Salesforce integration could have negative effects, such as slowing down Salesforce, or requiring vast amounts of API calls.
Are there any up-charges associated with Salesforce integration?
If a sales tool is truly designed to work with Salesforce, there should never be an additional charge for that integration. It should just work with Salesforce. Period. You should be wary of companies that charge additional fees to make their solution integrate with Salesforce. It is also wise to be suspicious of vendors charging users a monthly fee to use the tool with Salesforce.
Are pre-made Salesforce dashboards and reports included?
Sales acceleration tools can make your team way more successful and productive. But sales managers should be able to easily see the ROI of their sales acceleration investment. Be cautious of systems that aren’t delivering pre-fabricated Salesforce dashboards and reports in order to map gains. The last thing you should have to do after investing in a sales acceleration tool is build all of your reports from scratch.
Will implementation require your sales team to be “offline” for more than a couple of hours? If so, how many?
Implementing sales acceleration tools should not require sales operations to grind to a halt for extensive periods of time. A lot of vendors might require a time frame of days or weeks to get your team up and running. But what salesperson wants to lose out on valuable sales opportunities while they wait for tools to be implemented? Look for a solution that can get your whole team up and running in a couple hours or less.
How much will the user interface disrupt your sales team’s current workflow?
Make no mistake, implementing sales acceleration tools are likely to change your reps’ workflow. But these changes should be positive. You should be arming your reps with tools that have intuitive interfaces and automate processes, not tools that disrupt your reps’ workflow. If sales acceleration tools have a user interface that is overly disruptive it can hinder adoption or even displace the productivity gains that the tools are designed to provide. It’s helpful to try a product (or at least see a demo) before buying to make sure that the user interface is conducive with your sales teams’ workflow.
Will the solution write to custom fields? If so, which ones?
There’s nothing wrong with adding some custom fields to Salesforce (Salesforce was designed to be customized). However, we’ve heard of sales acceleration tools that write to countless custom fields. This can clutter your Salesforce org faster than you can say, “I closed a deal.” We recommend you invest in tools that capture salient sales data without cluttering your org with superfluous custom fields.
Looking for more technical due diligence questions? Check out Our latest ebook, The Sales Acceleration Buyer’s Guide: How to Assess Your Needs, Compare Features and Crush Quota.