Succeeding on AppExchange: Pro Tips for Product Managers
“I have enjoyed increasing my potential customers, and I hope to reach more of them.”
The development of an AppExchange app involves a comprehensive understanding of the Salesforce platform and the partner program's unique requirements. Often, businesses encounter issues when they overlook critical stages, misunderstand requirements, or simply don’t adhere to best practices.
These missteps can result in setbacks, inefficiencies, and sometimes even security vulnerabilities. So, in the pursuit of crafting a highly-functional, user-friendly, and secure AppExchange package, being aware of these common mistakes is crucial.
This article will explore some of the most common errors product managers make during the Salesforce AppExchange development process — explaining why these mistakes are problematic, and offering recommendations on how to avoid them.
Ignoring Security Best Practices and the Security Review Process
Non-compliance with security best practices can result in vulnerabilities and delays in passing the security review. Neglecting the Salesforce security review process will lead you to a huge amount of pain, introducing a lot of delays in your planning due to multiple review attempts.
Recommendation: Implement Salesforce's recommended security practices, such as data encryption, secure coding techniques, and user access controls. This will help protect sensitive data and prevent security vulnerabilities.
Furthermore, it’s good to treat the Salesforce security review process as a critical step in the development lifecycle. Program with security requirements in mind from the beginning, use security analysis tools, and address any identified issues promptly.
Forgetting to document installation steps, prerequisites, or the code itself can create confusion for users or future developers.
Recommendation: Document clear and comprehensive installation steps, including any prerequisites or dependencies, to guide users through the installation process smoothly.
Insufficient Marketing Strategy
Neglecting marketing can limit your app's reach and adoption.
Recommendation: Devise a robust marketing strategy to promote the app and increase its adoption. This may include creating compelling marketing materials, conducting targeted outreach, and leveraging Salesforce's AppExchange marketing resources.
Poorly Planned App Launch
An inadequately planned app launch can limit your app's visibility and adoption.
Recommendation: Plan your app launch carefully, considering factors like timing, industry events, and Salesforce-specific events. Identify relevant conferences, webinars, or Salesforce community events where you can showcase your app and connect with potential users. This helps generate visibility and interest in your app.
Not providing proper error handling can disrupt the user experience.
Recommendation: Implement robust error handling mechanisms to provide meaningful error messages and graceful failure scenarios. Proper error handling improves the user experience, helps users troubleshoot issues, and facilitates faster resolution of problems during app usage.
All in all…
Avoiding these common mistakes in the development of a Salesforce AppExchange package is paramount for the success of any business in the Salesforce ecosystem.
These errors — such as ignoring security best practices and utilizing poor marketing strategies — can result in significant setbacks, inefficiencies, and even security vulnerabilities. Additionally, these mistakes can limit an app's reach and adoption.
Therefore, product managers must be aware of these pitfalls, implement the recommended solutions, and strive to create high-quality, user-friendly, and secure AppExchange apps. By doing so, they can help their app reach its full potential and reap the benefits of success within the Salesforce platform.