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It’s no secret that Salesforce is dominating the space to stream all business functions as the #1 CRM platform with 150,000 customers worldwide. As an ever-evolving cloud platform, Salesforce provides organizations with powerful opportunities to improve customer experiences and drive positive results. With such dynamic possibilities comes complexity. 

Salesforce research shows that the average company uses 1,061 different applications, a 10% increase from the 976 identified in 2022. However, only 29% of these tools are integrated.

As a RevOps leader, you know that integrating tools with Salesforce will give you a big picture view of your operations and pipeline. But integrating 1000+ tools with Salesforce can get complex– especially when the unthinkable happens… breaks. 

Not only does this require your admins to reverse engineer where the break came from across your tech stack, but before they can identify and fix the issue, there’s a multitude of negative downstream impacts that can occur. Hello headaches and sleepless nights! 

When integrating your broader tech stack to your CRM, Salesforce changes shouldn’t be made on a whim. That’s why we’re advising you of the headaches that might stem from careless Salesforce changes and sharing the secret to preventing them! 

How Salesforce Changes Can Impact Your Tech Stack 

Change is inevitable for high-growth companies. Change management is the methodical approach to planning and implementing any sort of transition in an organization. 93% of organizations with excellent change management progress say their projects meet or exceed objectives, while only 15% of those with poor change management programs report success. 

Salesforce is powerful and complex– not to mention endlessly customizable, making it ripe for errors. Constantly adapting to change is a cornerstone of success for RevOps professionals. Salesforce is the center of the tech stack, driving automations and empowering GTM teams to better connect with prospects, leads, and customers. However, each alteration brings with it the potential risk of lost data, broken automations and an inability to drive user adoption – all ultimately threatening revenues at stake. 

With studies showing that over 70% of change management fails, businesses need to ensure that their Salesforce Org is well equipped for any changes ahead. Investing in a strong and streamlined process can help your organization be ready and nimble across the board. 

Poorly managed changes in Salesforce can lead to massive downstream consequences to integrated systems:

1. Sync errors 

Data formatting errors or changes to field settings can cause data to stop flowing between integrated systems. Most softwares have a place for admins to view these errors but rarely are there automatic alerts set up. This results in most end users being unaware of breaks.

2. Workflows triggered unintentionally  

A small change in Salesforce can accidentally trigger workflows in integrated platforms. For example, these could trigger automated emails to be sent from your marketing automation platform, hot prospects to be automatically removed from your sales engagement platforms, and can even inadvertently cause breaks to backend databases that disable service for your customers.

3. Missed SLAs

When breaks occur on the customer experience side, it can result in missed service level agreements. When these levels aren’t met, there can be financial consequences to the company. 

4. Inaccurate reporting 

Business leaders counting on once accurate reporting from integrated platforms can find themselves completely unaware that their reports have become corrupt as a result of integration issues.

7 Best Practices for Managing Salesforce Changes 

To combat these potential negative outcomes, we’ve compiled six ways RevOps teams can implement organizational change effectively. The following strategies will reduce risk and ensure operational changes are successful. 

1. Have a change management strategy 

A change management plan is a detailed overview of the people, processes and tools involved in your change project. It acts as a compass for the entire project and should include the following: 

  • Who is involved in the project 
  • The scope and timing of the project
  • Which users will be affected by the change
  • Why you plan to make the change 
  • Your plan for communicating the change 
  • How you plan to measure the effectiveness of your project 

Sonar provides a living blueprint of your techstack by showing every relationship between fields, automations and reports. Every dependency within your system becomes very clear, and scoping out changes and documenting them allows everyone within the org to make changes with confidence. 

2. Create a sandbox environment

Sandboxes provide a safe, protected space for trying out new programs and code without risking your data or system. They serve as a secure testing ground that lets you experiment with limited exposure while still enjoying the freedom to create what you want.

3. Identify possible errors before they happen

The key to success is operating in a proactive fashion rather than reactive. Use Salesforce’s monitoring tools, like the Debug Logs, System Overview, and Health Check, to keep an eye on your environment.

For an extra layer of protection, Sonar’s potential issues provide automatic alerts any time a change creates Salesforce errors that may negatively impact your business, giving teams the opportunity to fix issues in real-time. This tool checks for unintended ripple effects and gives your org the visibility needed to avoid fires for your teams following a change.

4. Institute proactive threat detection

Deploy system monitoring & observability across your integrated tech stack. Create a process for establishing baseline metrics, regularly reviewing system performance, enabling alerts where possible, and documenting your process for incident reporting.

It’s also important to set up an incident recovery plan, should something break. Your plan should have measurable goals, including:

  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO): represents the target duration your organization establishes for the maximum time allowed to recover normal operations after encountering an outage or data loss.
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO):  refers to the target limit for the maximum volume of data an organization can afford to lose. This metric is time-based, spanning from the instant a failure arises to the most recent valid data backup. For instance, if a failure occurs now and the last complete data backup was 24 hours prior, the RPO is 24 hours.

5. Keep track of your Salesforce’s release schedule 

Admins have a lot of work going on at any given time. From incoming support tickets, data cleanup projects and keeping up with Salesforce’s regularly scheduled releases, it’s easy to develop a reactive workflow. To ensure your admins are clear on timelines and priorities, it’s advised to manage your release schedule through some kind of project management system.

Sonar’s initiative feature is an organization tool for teams to divide work clearly across teams. The initiative tool helps ensure that you won’t break something within the system someone else is responsible for, gives high level scope, and gets everyone on the same page with documentation throughout the project.

6. Communicate changes to your team 

Keeping up with Salesforce changes or current changes being made by admins across your org is no small feat. But tracking changes is key for ensuring your process flows remain uninterrupted as well as grasping an understanding of any recent revisions. 

Sonar takes the guesswork out of communicating by allowing teams to see every change to systems along with access to every change, who made it, and when. You can even get a daily report to your inbox for changes made within your system. 

In addition, Sonar’s slack integration provides teams with a daily snapshot of what changed across Salesforce. Reporting on the number of changes and whether there were additions, removals, or modifications, Slack provides automatic updates with just one click. 

7. Document all changes

Poor documentation is often the cause of failed change initiatives. Whether the communication failure occurs between members of the team leading the project or with leadership or users, documentation mistakes often lead to mistakes, confusion, and ultimately poor execution. 

Maintaining an up-to-date dictionary for Salesforce doesn’t have to be so complicated. Sonar’s data dictionary automatically captures and updates you when change occurs – saving admin the headache of doing it manually, while also equipping them to solve problems faster and easier. 

Conclusion: Know How Your Salesforce Changes Will Impact Your Broader Tech Stack Before Hitting Publish with Sonar

The impact of Salesforce changes can be far-reaching, with effects going beyond just downtime. Customer experience is put at risk due to interrupted service, agility is lost as teams scramble to find workarounds, data may be corrupted, and revenue is inevitably lost when a change goes awry. 

Fortunately with Sonar, teams can gain visibility into where potential issues lie before making changes to their platform. With unmatched monitoring capabilities, any Salesforce break can be overcome quickly and effectively. Try Sonar free today.