* This blog post was contributed by Provar Chief Revenue Officer, Andy Menzies, as part of Provar’s executive blog series. This series features thoughts from Provar’s executive suite of leaders. For more contributions, please be sure to follow Provar’s blog here and connect on social media.

Vitamin vs. painkiller, the age-old question! Which to take to keep you the most well? I like to use the same analogy when it comes to test automation. The “unhealthy” aspect is the pain that your customer is experiencing – deploying what you’ve produced without testing it. Not only does this make for a bad customer experience, but it also affects your internal organization. Untested development = problems in deployment. Problems in deployment = unhappy, stressed employees. It’s a vicious cycle.

When it comes to a good test automation strategy, think of it as the painkiller. Testing your Salesforce apps needs something more than a holistic, long-term plan of trying to solve with a vitamin. A good test automation strategy is like medicine, or a scientific approach, because it resolves the issue up front rather than letting it run its course while other business aspects crop up and become unwell all over the place. Let’s talk about how we can fix testing with the painkiller approach.

What Have I Learned?

I have been invested in test automation now for the past seven years, so you could say it’s been my life for 61,000 hours! For the past 10,500 hours I have been focused on testing Salesforce applications across multiple industries with Provar. Prior to joining Provar, I had the privilege to work with other big names in the corporate world, including retail banking applications, legacy green screen apps, digital dashboards (Mercedes cars), and spacecraft and F35 fighter jets, not to mention Walmart’s EPOS Inc. petrol pumps. These are fairly diverse organizations and use cases, and, of course, the mainstream ERP and CRM offerings.

Not everyone understands the importance of testing and how it affects an organization’s overall quality, regardless of what success means to them. In fact, some are of the opinion that it’s fine to allow your customers and employees to do the testing, since after all, not everyone will encounter the defect!

What worries me most is that even today, some firms are still of the opinion that it’s okay to put low-quality software into production. It’s very interesting to me that many firms will consider the employee-facing applications less important than customer-facing — WRONG. They’re both important because happy employees = your customers having a better experience. How many times have you heard your sales team moaning about the quality of the Salesforce deployment? If you bought Salesforce with the intent of managing the customer with a 360 view, driving productivity through KYC (Know Your Customer), then ensuring that your internal users are actually getting productivity gains is paramount, not to mention motivating. If your users are dissatisfied with their experience, they will do everything possible to shortcut or not actually use Salesforce in the way in which it was intended. Adoption is key, as is the process to enforce and ensure that adoption.

Positive Business Outcomes

For many years now in my role as CRO (or various other titles denoting sales responsibility), I have truly believed in the fact that the most important part of my job is to understand how the software that we sell drives “Positive Business Outcomes.” The focus of our mission at Provar is to match the features and functions of our software with the way in which these drive the ability to achieve these outcomes in a timely manner for our customers. We start by understanding: what are the desired outcomes?

You would be surprised how many folks don’t actually define these before a purchase. I have to admit to the fact that I have done this many times myself. I can recall purchasing Salesforce five or six times in my career, and never once was I asked to build a business case to justify the purchase! It was just accepted that having Salesforce would drive sales, marketing, and support efficiencies and therefore, we just bought it.

So why is test automation so important when it comes to Salesforce?

Firms now deploy unique work flows, bespoke customer input fields, and a shed load of third-party integrations specific to the firms’ needs. These “customizations” are intended to improve business processes and drive many efficiencies across multiple departments. One could argue that this low-code platform is the key to achieving competitive advantage! So, if your investment in Salesforce, combined with the capturing of your workflows and best practices is the “productivity” enabler that drives better customer service, support, marketing automation and sales excellence … why would you not test this platform and application continuously? Low-code dedicated test automation tools like Provar exist for this purpose. Some firms choose to manually test. Others use Selenium to CODE a test framework. I just can’t get my head around this approach: a low-code platform, in this case, Salesforce, being tested by a CODE-based tool for testing web browsers. It’s illogical. And then, there is the “maintenance” of your scripts (customer journeys). Selenium is as brittle as “set melted sugar”: every time Salesforce changes, your test framework breaks!

Sometimes the painkiller really is the most effective way to get well fast. That’s definitely the case when it comes to test automation. If you don’t take the painkiller (AKA put a strong test automation strategy in place), you’ll dilute sales productivity, which makes the entire pipeline unwell in the long run. Do yourself a favor. Save the vitamins for other aspects of your business.

Stay tuned for more thought leadership from our Provar executive team in future blog posts! Interested in learning more about how Provar can help elevate your team’s quality journey? Schedule a demo today.