Ross Grainger, an Intacct MVP, is the Controller at WebPT, where he leads both the Finance and Salesforce teams. At WebPT, Grainger uses Salesforce and Intacct to reduce the time spent on member subscriptions and processing while improving the overall customer experience through efficient and accurate invoicing. With his extensive experience, Grainger has culled some valuable insights on how to minimize software mix-ups and optimize the use of Salesforce. That’s why Intacct interviewed him to find out his top three Salesforce tips plus some sage advice for giving a business the Dreamforce experience:
1. Plan for the Future
At WebPT, the team originally designed their Salesforce solution in the company’s startup stage—which solved many problems at the time. Now that the company is in an accelerated growth stage, their needs have changed. According to Grainger, “With any software, you need a baseline as a starting point. And especially when you’re in that startup phase, you don’t need the same solution that a growth-stage company needs. So, my advice is to not over-architect it in the beginning. First, solve the needs you have at the time. Then, it’s crucial to have the discipline to put a process in place to review that architecture on a periodic basis.” Ultimately, he has found that the right process is about solving the problems a business has now, while ensuring they are prepared to make changes for the future as well.
2. Only Architect What You Need
When WebPT first started using Salesforce, Grainger explained that the team didn’t bother implementing roles, because the company didn’t need them. So, when it comes to building out a business’s software, Grainger suggests following WebPT’s lead and evaluating the size of the organization before they architect.
3. Configure Before You Customize
As Grainger mentioned, it takes discipline to put a process in place to periodically review your Salesforce structure. But, a business shouldn’t stop there. He also suggests remaining flexible and open to restructuring along the way: “Salesforce is best-in-class. It’s evident in the vendors they work with and the standards they have in place. So, remember, just because your product is unique doesn’t mean your business processes need to be built from the ground up. Salesforce has best practices already in place, and an out-of-the-box solution and workflow probably already exists—no customization required.” The lesson here is that before a business invests time and resources into customizing a solution, configure what Salesforce has to offer.