Nov 3, 2019

Does your team use too many tools?

Post by 
Michael Muse

f the dozens of companies I’ve interviewed recently, the same gripe keeps coming up: I have too many tools to switch between.

Too many tabs! Too much searching!

People want everything in one system. I’m quick to agree on moving spreadsheets into a CRM, and that you shouldn’t have to ‘go looking’ for information, whether from a search bar or among open browser tabs.

I’ll still swim upstream defending a multi-tool architecture of Salesforce, Asana, and Zendesk. Why? I maintain that you can use multiple tools without living in a sea of tabs. How?

Integrate? Consolidate?

A CRM like Salesforce is, at its core, a tool for winning business. This makes it great at navigating customer data. The more you use it, the more useful it becomes. Eventually, you’ll want to make sure all your data lives in it.

You’ll quickly turn your attention to a non-sales (but customer facing) workflow you’ll want to ‘get into Salesforce’, most commonly:

  1. Project Management in Salesforce (delivering against won business) often proposing moving Asana or Trello into a Custom Object in Salesforce for Projects
  2. Support in Salesforce (retaining won business) often proposing moving Zendesk or the like into Salesforce Cases

With your eyes on scale, you’ll envision having everything in Salesforce. Tread carefully here, this is a core design decision in how your teams work. One you’ll build everything else on top of.

“Should revenue-adjacent teams work out of Salesforce?”

My advice for Support or Project Management teams is don’t have them primarily work out of Salesforce. Not because you can’t (you could use TaskRay, Service Cloud, or custom objects and automation), but because Salesforce’s interface is fundamentally not designed for the work they do. Note: Just trust me. I‘ve deployed all of these tools with many, many teams, both large and small. I could write a whole post on why but you’d never read it :)

Instead, use a tool designed specifically for the job they do every day. You’ll be able to integrate it quickly without a single line of code. And create one-click links from a task in Asana or email in Zendesk to that same object in Salesforce.

“Isn’t it easier to only use Salesforce?”

Easier for whom? Be user-centric and consider your team managing emails and projects. A purpose-built tool makes it “easier to work towards inbox zero”, whereas Salesforce makes it “easier for others to see my work”.

“But then I can’t see everything in one place”

At this point in the decision making process, managers and executives take the spotlight. They want unified reporting in Salesforce. It turns out, there’s a “better tool for the job” for that too. BI tools like Looker or Periscope are purpose-built to show data from many tools in one place. In comparison, Salesforce reports fall short the moment you encounter any complexity.

Moreover, tooling for managers is downstream of the agents they manage. Tools matter most upstream, in high throughput tasks undertaken by many.

How to: Easy Integrations, Fewer Tabs, Less Searching

At this point, you may have looked into integrating your favorite tool and felt it seems much harder than I’ve made it out to be.

For support apps (Zendesk, Drift, Intercom, HelpScout, FrontApp), how-to guides will walk non-technical admins through an SFDC Integration. If you give it a shot, it’ll be easier than it looks. We’re here if you need help, just drop us a chat.

Our favorite Project Management app is Asana. While there’s no official integration for Asana and Salesforce, We’ve built a dream solution, and it is absolutely free - click here for instructions on how to integrate Salesforce and Asana, or also check out:

Get the free tool described in this post