8 Salesforce Key Maintenance and Support Priorities (and Why a Managed Service Provider is Wise!)

Whether it’s Sales, Service, Experience or Marketing Cloud, it’s essential to keep a healthy, user-friendly system in operation that doesn’t dissuade sales, marketing, and customer service reps to disengage from using such a vital application. A stale Salesforce install can be your Achilles heel, so it’s important to prioritize key maintenance areas.

Every Salesforce admin constantly has to juggle priorities, and every Salesforce owner/stakeholder has to hold themselves accountable for the success of the platform. Oftentimes, the road to success can be at risk if Salesforce maintenance and support objectives are put into question.

  • “Can this function fine as is?”
  • “Is it really necessary to devote full-time resources?”
  • “Can we get by with the workarounds for now?”

Salesforce maintenance and support is a critical investment that should never be a target for cost-cutting measures. Even if you are safe and your organization values a proactive maintenance program, you can easily become distracted by the wrong priorities.

We’ve seen it before. Organizations that rely on core apps like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Experience Cloud, or Marketing Cloud, often lack an essential maintenance strategy to keep their healthy, user-friendly system in check.

Salesforce Maintenance and Support Customer 360

Situations like these can have a major impact on your Salesforce system and ultimately, your business processes. And now, with the new Salesforce Managed Services Program (MSP) in place, partners are a very viable solution to ensuring your priorities remain in check. To celebrate the new MSP program and share what we’ve personally learned here at Smartbridge, we’ve put together a key list of the top 8 risks-turned-opportunities you should be paying attention to when maintaining Salesforce.

salesforce maintenance

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1. Salesforce’s releases can cause function failure

Salesforce delivers new innovative features to users 3 times a year during their seasonal releases: Winter, Summer, and Spring. With each release comes new updates and features. These enhancements empower users with more efficient ways to perform daily tasks. However, they can sometimes cause existing functionality to fail or behave unexpectedly. You should monitor these releases and review their impact on your organization.

Examples of a new release affecting business processes:

  • When the new mobile app was released, its design revolved around the way cell phone navigation was designed, taking cues from other popular apps. It needed admins to enhance Lightning pages to completely take advantage of the new UI. However, this change left tablet app users with an inefficient UI.
  • In the Winter ‘21 release, the Desktop Flow Designer hit the end of the Flows built using this were no longer running and received an error when the user tried to open them.

What Can You Do to Prepare?

  1. Use the Salesforce Trust website to track upcoming releases
  2. Use the Release Readiness Trailblazers Community and other Salesforce sources to understand all the options for preparation
  3. Test upcoming changes in Preview Sandbox. You can verify if your Sandbox has access here
  4. Communicate early and train users on new features

2. Your org changed sales strategies, compliance requirements, etc.

No matter what the circumstance is, a business will always change. Be it periodic operational changes, mandatory changes for compliance, or creative process enhancements, these changes almost always result in system updates and enhancements. Salesforce admins must be prepared to meet the demand for the changing business scene.

For example, if the organization or territory structure changes, the corresponding configuration needs to be updated in Salesforce.

As a sales team’s responsibilities change, users assigned to a territory or account must be updated in the system by an admin.

salesforce maintenance and support for user roles
salesforce maintenance and support for user roles

3. You’ve reached limits for data storage, API calls, etc.

Salesforce has various system limits that require close monitoring. Neglecting these limits could lead to issues and system breakdowns. The number of licenses used, file storage limits, data storage limits, and API call limits are just a few examples out of hundreds that could cause issues if left unmonitored.

There are many more limits to watch out for at the object level. A Salesforce admin can monitor several system limits in the Salesforce System Overview section.

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Smartbridge health assessment service can help you evaluate all the limits in detail. There are 3 levels of health assessments to fit the level of complexity you need.

salesforce maintenance and support system overview

This is a standard System Overview page. To access the System Overview page, from Setup, enter System Overview in the Quick Find box, then select System Overview

4. Bulk data loading is not a task for users

Salesforce users can easily export data out of Salesforce, but you will need an administrator to assist with mass data load into Salesforce. There are many reasons you will need to periodically load and edit data in bulk in Salesforce.

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Salesforce administrators use Data Loader or Salesforce data import process to mass load data into the system from external sources.

  • Mass changes due to sales strategy

    For example: there is a change in the structure of your account targets, so you would like to update all Tier 1 accounts to Tier 2 now.

  • Mass upload of market research data

  • Data quality/cleansing

    For example: fix badly formatted addresses or missing industry type value.

salesforce maintenance and support bulk data load
  • Enhanced data governance procedures

    For example: lead source is now a mandatory field. You will need to update all historical leads with a default lead source value, so the system does not complain every time you edit an old record.

  • Compliance with security standards and regulations. Adhering to laws (such as HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, and others) may require mass data cleansing, purging, and communications with your customers. The laws change quickly and they need to be addressed. Not having someone maintaining Salesforce full-time is no excuse to not comply.

5. Reporting needs are constantly evolving

Salesforce is all about data and is used to give your business the best insights to tackle major or common business hurdles. No organization can foresee all reporting needs upfront. There is a constant need to build and change reports to be able to view and understand the data available in the system. Here are a few examples of why a report may need to be changed or created:

  • Weekly reports on opportunities, case closures, or other critical departmental KPIs that are sent to management can often break automatically without notice. Or, more commonly, management has a change request on what data they see in their emails, how it shows up, or perhaps how frequently.

  • Reports that rely on user data, like which sales reps are out-performing the other this quarter, may have diminished value if they are still showing data from users that left the organization or haven’t been reassigned.

  • Management often requests reports or simple email notifications that are based on particular triggers. How will you assess the feasibility or priority of these needs?

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The Salesforce report builder is very intuitive. Your super users can build simple ad hoc reports on their own using the report builder. However, you will need administrator assistance to create more advanced reports. For example, joining multiple objects or reporting from custom objects with a complex data structure.

salesforce maintenance and support report builder

Salesforce Report Builder

6. The biggest security threats require the quickest response time

User maintenance is an ongoing process as users come and go all the time. When users leave the organization, prompt action is a must.

Adding Users

Assuming your organization is already set up to take advantage of Salesforce’s comprehensive security model using roles, profiles, and permission sets, adding a new user to the system is an easy task. An admin simply needs to determine the user’s role in the organization, which in turn determines their permissions.

Removing Users

During the off-boarding process of an employee, one of the immediate actions to be taken should be disabling the user. Waiting can put your company’s intellectual property in jeopardy. Often in sales, professionals leaving the company may likely not stay for two weeks and leave immediately given their role and the risk of keeping a departing sales rep may bring. Without the two-week warning, someone needs to always be on their toes to manage user access.

When users leave, typically, some records need to be reassigned to other users or risk neglecting relationships. If the user leaving is a superuser/administrator, there may be system processes running with their account. They need to be updated to use a different user account. To mitigate the security risk while researching replacement user accounts, “Freeze” the user account first. This restricts the user from logging in without completely deactivating the account.

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Smartbridge can help you understand how to leverage SSO integration and auto de-provisioning of users when a user account is deactivated in Active Directory.

7. Flow process failure is inevitable

The true power of Salesforce is in its ability to automate business processes. Salesforce Enterprise edition allows 2,000 active processes in an organization. Most organizations have tens of thousands of processes running in the background doing simple to advanced automation tasks. For example:

  • When an opportunity stage is updated, a task is created and a sales rep is assigned
  • A deal is routed through a multi-level approval workflow

These processes can be built using Salesforce Lightning Flow tools; however, nothing is perfect, and they are bound to experience exceptions that result in process failures at times. But have no worries, these errors will trigger emails to admins, so they can review and take corrective action.

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Did your admin recently leave? It is possible all the process exception emails are still going to their email address. Process error emails by default go to the user who last modified the process. Contact Smartbridge if you need help assessing exception handling within your processes.

8. Salesforce is only as good as your user adoption methods and training

The line in the sand between successful and failed user adoption is the act of proactive monitoring and management. By monitoring your user activity, you can identify high performers and use them as a benchmark to help other users enhance their own usage and adoption. Look at time and quality of use to reveal users who need training, or perhaps, don’t need a license at all.

REMEMBER

User training is not just limited to new users. You will also need to train existing users in case of new Salesforce features, process changes, or simply a refresher for inactive users. Relevant training tailored to a specific audience significantly helps with user adoption.

salesforce support for user adoption

Managed Services Has Entered the Chat

In addition to these critical Salesforce maintenance and support focus areas, you still need to enhance, customize, and create value through further platform transformation. In many ways, the 8 areas above simply exist just to “keep the lights on”. So, how do you juggle all these priorities?

In 2022, Salesforce established the Managed Services Provider (MSP) partner program, of which Smartbridge is a part of, focusing on Salesforce maintenance and support services. The priorities discussed here are key components of your agreement with an MSP partner. Finding a strategic advisor and ally will make all the difference when the implementation is over and the daily struggles have just begun.

Reach out to Smartbridge if you would like a discussion as what it means to partner with a Managed Service Provider for Salesforce maintenance and support.

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