With over 3100 apps and 423 components on the Salesforce AppExchange (and growing) a Salesforce Admin can feel overwhelmed very easy. So like any savvy shopper, we need to get prepared for our adventure so we can deliver the most functionality, and most importantly the best app for our buck. But with all of these choices it’s hard to know where to start. Not a problem, let’s dive into this together and I’ll give you my tips for finding what you need, and be happy doing it.
Requirements, Requirements, Requirements!
Now not every trip to the AppExchange starts with a laundry list of requirements, but in general the pain is coming from somewhere- who knows it could be your desk. So starting with a goal in mind is always key because I bet you will find more than one app that solves your problem. Which is why drilling into the details of the app can make all the difference. Be sure to check out our podcast with Kevin Richardson about “Getting to the Why?” for more.
Ratings and Reviews
Let me start by saying that if I download and use an app I make a note on my calendar to review it and rate it. Even if I don’t like it. Reviews help the creators and developers make the app more useful and add features you are interested in most. But don’t just take reviews at face value. So when I am on the AppExchange I look at the reviewers that gave it high ratings and the reviewer that gave it low ratings to see what they say. But the most important part- I click on the reviewer’s name to see if they have given any other reviews. Is this the only app they have reviewed? Have they reviewed other apps similar to it? All of this helps the Salesforce Admin do better research into finding a solution.
Videos and Free Trials
As a developer, I bet you know your app inside and out. But as a Salesforce Admin, I don’t. In fact, I only know what you wrote in the description. So videos for me are very important. What a video tells me is that you have invested in your app and telling the story of how it will solve my problems. Videos are also great because they give me a tool I can use when I demo the app to stakeholders. Remember- the decision about an app can involve many stakeholders.
Not all apps on the Appexchange are free. Some are paid apps, and most often, with a paid app there is a trial period where they allow you to install the app to try it out before a pay period begins. As an Admin who will need to demo or show the app to multiple stakeholders make sure you take into account the length of time you have for the trail period. If necessary contact the provider to see if they can work with you on the trail period.
Details & Provider
Like any purchasing decision, it’s good to know more about the provider and the details of the app. Take the time to read through the provider information, visit their website, and see other apps they have contributed to the AppExchange.
Of course as a best practice always, always, always try the app out in a sandbox or a dev org first to make sure it works with your configuration. And don’t be afraid to try out two or three of the same kind of app, the goal is to get something that solves your problem and makes your users productive.
That’s what I do to shop the AppExchange, what do you do?