We’ve all been there: You try accessing Salesforce, but it's barely chugging along. You refresh the page and there’s no improvement. So you step out for a cup of kombucha, then try again. Same result. You wonder if you’re the only one experiencing this, so you ask a colleague if they’re as frustrated as you are. You groan together and shake your fists at the Salesforce gods.

It’s unlikely that Salesforce itself is actually the issue. More often, culprits lurking in the background are causing the world’s most popular CRM platform to feel like it’s running on molasses.

Technical debt

The #1 suspect for reduced Salesforce performance? Too much technical debt for its infrastructure to function at regular speeds — the system is strained by surges in user demand. We minimize technical debt for the same reason we don’t transport cargo in sports cars: They move a lot faster when they’re not weighed down. The problem is exacerbated by things like inefficient workflows, unnecessary data that eats up space, and redundancies in the coding of business processes. Every task you program your CRM to do increases the demand on the platform.

Reducing your technical debt — whether through implementing hardware improvements or assessing and improving existing processes, or both — should lead to a substantial increase in performance.

Insufficient bandwidth

Several things can place added demands on your company’s network bandwidth, such as application updates, social media, and web browsing, but the most common is mobile devices connected to the network and streaming media. (To the frustration of managers everywhere, Succession is just as good during work hours.*)

Add those to routine bandwidth-taxing work activities like video conferencing and file sharing through the cloud, and you’ve got a massive amount of bandwidth being consumed. When your network is stretched that thin, vital applications like Salesforce aren’t able to perform nearly as fast as they’re capable of.

An easy solution is setting up a dedicated, separate network for recreational and miscellaneous activities. That way, your primary network keeps its resources reserved for critical functions.

Plug-in overload

One of the major strengths of Salesforce is its modularity, meaning the near-infinite amount of plug-ins you can add to customize your Salesforce platform. That modularity, along with the ease of developing apps for Salesforce, equips the platform with a vast arsenal of specialized functions. But this impressive inventory of helpful apps can tempt you to overstock your CRM with plug-ins that drain resources (and yep, contribute to technical debt).

How to improve Salesforce performance

Knowing why your Salesforce platform is experiencing slowdown is half the battle . . . the other half is fixing it.

Assess and prepare

Preventing the problem is your first line of defense. Allocate time and attention to routinely assess Salesforce performance, workflows, plugins, bandwidth usage, and data storage to identify how well the platform performs, how much (if any) technical debt you’re accruing, what’s causing it, and what you can improve before a problem even arises.

Implement Salesforce best practices

You can save yourself time by making sure your operations reflect the official Salesforce coding practices. Not only do these guidelines help you fast-track your system optimization, but they can also help you make more informed decisions should you want to customize your Salesforce cloud solution down the road.

Look to the future

Creating an optimal platform configuration for your business can be a learning experience; use those lessons to prepare for the future. Keep tabs on your data usage and note the processes or plugins you add and then judge whether the value of these additions is worth the strain they put on your system. The more you know about your system today, the better positioned you’ll be to optimize it in the future.

Salesforce performance tools

Salesforce offers a suite of tools that make assessing and eliminating performance issues quick and easy.

Salesforce Optimizer

The Salesforce Optimizer app is perfect to use for spot assessments and as part of routine maintenance which can be automated. Identify and prioritize issues through an easy-to-use UI and a sortable list feature. Plus, get a headstart on planning next steps with recommendations from veteran Salesforce experts.

Performance Assistant

When you want to improve performance, there’s no better choice than the aptly named Performance Assistant. As the name implies, it’s an excellent tool for Salesforce performance testing, and it provides scalability and performance improvement resources specialized for Salesforce.

Up and running

When you’ve identified the overloads on your system and taken the proper steps to fix them, you’ll find yourself with a Salesforce platform that delivers on its promises with all the speed and smoothness you’d expect from the world leader in CRM solutions.

*Yep, the show has lots of fans on the iTechArt content team, and we’re waiting for Season 4 with bated breath. Will Shiv give Tom an extra push toward the slammer? Will Willa suck it up and marry Connor? Are we going to see more of Adrien Brody as the Patagonia-clad billionaire Josh Aaronson? Spring 2023 can not come soon enough.