The shift to SaaS and cloud comes with many monitoring challenges. Complex systems and hybrid cloud environments, full of first and third-party components, require robust monitoring solutions.

Salesforce is the epitome of a modern, complex application. It’s a web of cloud, third-party, and self-owned systems. Plus, it’s a business-critical application

Salespeople and marketers aren’t the only teams relying on Salesforce. Finance, customer success, accounting, and other departments rely on the software to get their jobs done every day.

Another issue with Salesforce is that, like many other SaaS applications, it’s customizable. So customizable that developers have built businesses with Salesforce through Appexchange. So, it’s even more important to monitor both your own infrastructure as well as Salesforce so you can pinpoint problems that may or may not be related to your own integrations.

Why you need to monitor Salesforce

Companies spend millions of dollars on sales enablement, optimizing outreach materials and sales pitches, and recruiting top sales talent.

It’s a common turn of phrase amongst sales folk to “always be selling.” And companies know that’s the truth – a salesperson’s time is most valuable when it’s spent selling.

Good sales teams are revenue-generating machines. Each pitch deck, each call script, each step of the sales cycle is optimized to help reps close deals like a well-oiled machine spitting gold nuggets onto a conveyor belt.

And so, when Salesforce is down, your company’s revenue machine is down. Your expensive, well-oiled machine is rusting in the corner.

In addition to monitoring to improve the productivity of your sales team and other teams within your business, you need to monitor to keep custom code errors from slowing Salesforce down. If you monitor your custom code, you’ll be able to identify issues, report them to Salesforce or your own team, and get quicker resolutions.

If Salesforce Marketing Cloud goes down, your marketing team can’t send drip campaigns (sequenced emails sent to prospects). Or, if your sales enablement or marketing team upload thousands of contacts, you might experience performance lags or downtime while Salesforce is loading large batches of information.

Salesforce affects the productivity of not only sales teams, but the productivity of an entire organization. So, it’s vital that you monitor appropriately.

SLA enforcement

The first step in monitoring Salesforce is to understand your service level agreement (SLA). The SLA is a set of objectives that Salesforce promises they’ll meet. It’s a legal contract. Although Salesforce is highly customizable, you aren’t fully in control of the code, and so, it’s best to monitor the service levels you’re getting from Salesforce. To monitor SLAs:

  • Make sure you designate a colleague to manage the relationship with the vendor. This is the go-to person should something go wrong.
  • Review your SLA (get a copy from whomever has it) and make sure the KPIs, service level objectives (SLOs), etc. are relevant to your company’s goals.
  • Monitor your SLOs from as many vantage points as possible. For example, at Catchpoint, we measure Salesforce latency from our Boston office, NY, LA, and Bangalore since employees in all these locations rely on Salesforce.

Fix issues when they’re yours

Salesforce is a third party, so you’ll need to monitor performance to determine if the problem is theirs or yours. You need to monitor your entire infrastructure. Otherwise, you can’t be sure of a problem’s source.

  • Monitor CDNs from multiple locations, especially from the locations where you’re also monitoring Salesforce and other third parties.
  • Monitor your DNS(s) from multiple vantage points across backbone, broadband, cloud, last mile, and wireless. This will give you the most accurate picture of DNS resolution.
  • Monitor Salesforce APIs. You’ll know whether the issue is within Salesforce’s API, or another part of your infrastructure. You can also make sure any transactions involving Salesforce are functioning without issues.
  • Monitor your integrations.

Salesforce monitoring best-practices

Now that you know which pieces of your own infrastructure you must monitor to make sure you’re a step ahead of your own problems—let’s cover some best practices for getting a step ahead of vendor issues.

Replicate your users

To prevent issues before they arise, you need synthetic monitoring for Salesforce. This way, you can get ahead of any uptime or latency issues, before they impact your sales team—hurting sales productivity, and impacting the company’s revenue.

Monitor all your locations

First and foremost, you need to monitor Salesforce from as many locations possible. This will give you the most accurate view of what users are experiencing.

If you have offices in New York, Boston, and Bangalore (like we do here at Catchpoint), then you need to monitor from each of those locations to spot Salesforce errors accurately.

Notify yourself and your team immediately

If you want to improve your sleep, you need to set up noise-free alerts. This way, you’ll know about errors when they arise, and you can notify your own team or departments as needed.

Alerts are also helpful in upholding SLAs. You’re immediately aware of problems, and you can reach out directly to the vendor should you notice the problem is on their end.

Takeaways

Salesforce is complex infrastructure that’s critical to your team’s success. You need to monitor the application from as many vantage points as possible.

  • Know your SLAs and monitor them from many perspectives so you can enforce them should you need to.
  • Monitor from key geographic locations (like offices and data centers) to stay on top of Salesforce SLAs and performance issues.
  • Make sure you have alerts set up so that you can pinpoint issues quickly.

 

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