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How Salesforce Admins can help App Developers

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With over 1800 (and counting) apps on the Salesforce AppExchange it’s become the go-to market place for Admins and Developers looking to solve problems without having to recreate the wheel. But as consumers of this vast amount of information we have a responsibility to not only the market place to but to the App Developers and companies who put out these great solutions.

So what can you do to affect this fast-growing marketplace? I put together 5 tips for Salesforce Admins to get the most from your AppExchange Experience and help App Developers build the best apps possible.

1. Test in a Sandbox- As Admins we should always test applications in our Sandbox or Developer Environment. Testing in this ‘safe’ place accomplishes many goals for us. To start, we don’t break anything that the business unit depends on- this is key to keeping the ‘fires’ down for the day. Next, it doesn’t have a negative impact on Salesforce adoption. If an app were to just show up in production and users were not fully trained the app- it gives them a feeling of uncertainty, like the product isn’t finished. Finally, and most importantly it lets us test multiple apps to see which one best suits our requirements.

2. Ask Questions- If you are unsure of how part of the application you are testing works or if you have questions about modifying it to fit your business requirements reach out to the app developer. For each application there should be a way to contact the developer. Good developers will be excited to hear from you and how you intend to use their app. They may have additional suggestions, or your ideas could be implemented into a new release of the application.

3. Give Feedback- Feedback, Comments, Stars all help other Admins like yourself. So if you have a positive experience with app take a moment to give them feedback on the AppExchange. Your feedback is read by the app developer and other Admins who might be looking at the app as well. Now, if your experience was a bit less than wonderful take a moment to reach out to the developer first and them know. It could be a bug they can fix or some suggestions they can help you with first. I go with the mantra- praise publicly, criticize privately. That doesnt’ mean you can’t leave negative feedback, but at least let the developer know first.

4. Share, Share, Share!- In the classroom it’s estimated that if one person asks a question another ten people probably have the same question. So like you, there may be other Admins out there who have the same issue. Share the apps you find on Twitter, Facebook, or in the Salesforce Community. Your suggestions help other Admins find great apps in the forest of 1800 other apps.

5. Post and Vote!- For as much as I would like to think that apps come out of thin air- they really don’t. App Developers need to know your pains and your needs. The easiest way to do that is by posting your question to the Salesforce Answers community, or your Idea to the IdeaExchange. But don’t stop there- share your idea to get votes and recognition. And who knows, maybe an App Developer has a solution for you.

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