Five things ISVs must keep in mind to develop successful Salesforce AppExchange products

Brillio • January 20, 2020
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Key takeaways:

  • The different mindset that product development on Salesforce platform requires
  • Key factors to consider while building AppExchange products
  • Approaches that can help increase the product success rate

I’ve been developing products for the Salesforce platform for the last ten years, and I’ve seen some super successful apps on the AppExchange and some great strategies that ISVs have undertaken to do so. There are several factors in play: from product relevance to marketing to service but, as someone passionate about product development, I think the main reason is their approach to product development. Beyond technology or the product idea, one thing that differentiates successful ISVs is the way they think and manage the product development. AppExchange product development needs ISVs to think beyond the basic principles of product development. Here’s a look at some of the key parameters that can make the difference:

#1 Ecosystem Mindset

Apart from working with the all-important product mindset, ISVs need to think beyond and have a Salesforce ecosystem mindset. They must ask themselves these questions:

  • Does my product integrate well with all Salesforce products, such as Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Finance Cloud?
  • Can my product co-exist with the existing customizations?
  • Can my product scale to various versions of Salesforce when it comes to release management?
  • Is it compatible with various geo-based regulatory requirements?

While most of the basic things get funneled at the AppExchange approval process, the ones mentioned above are more dynamic as they change with each release.

#2 Leveraging the learning from Salesforce AppExchange

It is important to get vital insights from products that worked well, their business models, and success factors, as well as from those that did not. While Salesforce doesn’t allow access to confidential information, it is expected that an ISV draws critical insights from such learning and uses it in the new product development. Many product failures can be averted at this stage. ISVs can leverage the expertise of PDOs to get access to such information.

#3 Thinking beyond technology

Development teams often get lost in the technology itself and focus more on working with the latest features, incorporating best practices and so on. As important as that is, to ensure a successful end product, ISVs must think from the following perspectives as well:

  • Product design for multiple audiences
  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Business models that the product can use for such audiences
  • Deal packaging and pricing models
  • Promotion and campaign recommendations that are available on the AppExchange

#4 Taking the product to the finish line..and beyond

Getting the product across the finish line is a definite milestone. However, a significant amount of customer experience depends on how the product is released and supported. ISVs need to think about support across multiple Orgs, geographies, industries, and use cases. This is where an ISVs knowledge of customers is tested as they are tasked to ensure 100% customer satisfaction.

# 5 Stringent security measures that you’ve never heard of

Salesforce enforces stringent security measures that each App must pass. However, ISVs must be able to visualize multiple use case scenarios of their product, replicate the environment and rigorously test the product for any vulnerabilities. The scenarios can range from technology standards to geography-based compliance requirements to industry driven regulatory requirements.

These five aspects, while not the only ones, are the some of the key things that can make a difference. Next time when you think of developing a product on the Salesforce platform, think hard about how your approach.

How can you start? Brillio is a Master PDO, and if you want to do a quick health check of your product development process, please reach out to our experts at In the next blog, I will touch upon our design sprint process and some of the in-depth best practices in developing products on the Salesforce platform.

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