There’s nothing worse than deciding to invest time and money into a new Salesforce database, only to have it become a messy, complicated, nearly unusable system that your employees just use because they have to.
You most likely bought Salesforce to streamline your processes, help your employees save time and keep all your info in one place. Not to mention, have the ability to manage meaningful, long term relationships with your customers.
Here are some tips to help keep your Salesforce clean:
1. Install a duplicate prevention app like DupeCatcher or Cloudingo:
Duplicates are dangerous and will come back to bite you in the butt. You need one record per individual or company or your info will be scattered everywhere, never to be utilised properly again.
2. Install Salesforce Adoption Dashboards:
These let you know who is and isn’t logging in to utilise Salesforce. If an employee is not in Salesforce, that means that their customer relationships aren’t being documented. Among other features, these apps all track if certain key fields are being populated in Account, Contact, Lead and Opportunity records. So you can know whether your users are capturing the right information.
3. Use Validation Rules and Workflows:
When I first worked with Salesforce, before I knew much about these, I created a document outlining all “rules” or “standards” users needed to follow. These covered how to put in the Mailing City, what format the Opportunity Name field should be in… then I would pull that document out in a training session and explain each one. I would then pull reports on a regular basis to make sure my users were actually following those standards.
What a waste of time! I’m so glad I understood early on the importance of good data quality, but had I known about Validation Rules and Workflows, my time would have been much better spent.
Use these tools make sure fields like First Name, or Country begin with a capital letter, or that the post code is only 4 digits. Workflows let you do brilliant tricks like changing the Mailing City a user entered in to all CAPS so that when you do your mail out, the Post Office gives you a discount.
4. Invest in proper user training:
Whether it be hiring a contractor to do this for you, or making enough time to offer quality training yourself, it is so important to teach your users why it is important to add proper and complete information into Salesforce.
Setting all this up initially will take extra time and thought. But a smart Salesforce Administrator will make the short term sacrifice in order to save data quality, and a lot of time in the future.