March 3, 2017

3 Common Salesforce Problems that are Affecting your Data


Your marketing team has your MA platform dialed in. Your sales team knows Salesforce like the back of their hand (or at least they claim to). But you just can’t seem to get the two to play nice together.

To help your CRM and MA get along, you need to remember an additional “user” — the integration itself. If you fail to account for how your integration functions, it’s likely your data will tell a misguided story about your marketing team’s efforts. Think of your integration as the plumbing for your data to flow through. If the pipes are going to the wrong places, things can get out of hand.

In this post, we’ll cover the three most common Salesforce problems our revenue operations team have seen time and time again. We’ll show you how they’re affecting your data, and of course, how to go about fixing them. Let’s get started.

1. No campaign attribution

Matt Solomon, sales operations extraordinaire here at New Breed, says the biggest problem he sees when auditing clients' Salesforce portals is a lack of attribution. Specifically, sales teams are not associating deals/opportunities with contacts. And by not doing so, they're breaking campaign attribution.

This especially hurts your marketing team as it provides no understanding of where a deal or opportunity was sourced from initially. There is no insight into whether a specific marketing campaign successfully contributed to revenue, and without that, no hope for multi-touch attribution.

So how do we fix this? From a tech perspective, it’s an easy one! Salesforce makes it a simple process to associate deals with contacts. The problem lies in getting your team to buy in and adopt good habits. Set a meeting with both your marketing and sales teams to explain the importance, and encourage one of your more senior marketing members to keep giving your sales team a nudge in the right direction.

2. Related records not so related

Another common problem we see in Salesforce portals is the inability to look at related records. For this one, we have to give a little background.

All contacts and accounts in Salesforce have a master detail relationship, which means that each account can be related to many different contacts, but you can create a contact without adding a new account record. Don't try this at home, but if you were to delete an account (the master) it would also delete all related contacts (the detail).

Now back to the problem (or should we say problems?). This one's twofold.

First, information from fields in your MA platform are not automatically pulled into Salesforce. To fix that, you need a technical setup to map fields between both systems. That'll ensure your data is moving between them properly. 

Second, data on a master record won't automatically appear on a detail. There are a few ways to fix this, but a common solution is to leverage a formula field. This field can look at the master record and populate the same data on the detail record. We won't get into how to do that here, but that should point your operations team in the right direction.

3. Required fields not being integrated

The final integration issue we see is required fields not being integrated between the two platforms. In both your MA platform and Salesforce you can specify required fields for different record types. Your admins need to make sure these rules are mirrored across both platforms, otherwise data quality can be easily ruined.

If you require data on one side, require it on the other! Treat your integration as a user and it'll go a long way toward improving your data from top to bottom.

A final note on process

When making changes inside Salesforce, keep in mind all of the systems (and people) outside of Salesforce that those changes will affect. What works well inside your CRM might cause a host of issues inside your MA platform. 

Even seemingly minor changes to these platforms can cause incredible hangups in the day-to-day activities of both your sales and marketing teams. Give some thought to how your changes will affect the data feeding into and out of Salesforce and you'll save yourself major headaches down the road!

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Adam Kinsella

Adam is a Senior Web Strategist at New Breed with a focus on inbound best practices, conversion rate optimization and web strategy.


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