Arm yourself with this information before making your final AMS choice.
Narrowing your association management software (AMS) choices down to those built on Salesforce is a great start. Here’s what you need to know next.
So, you’ve narrowed your search for a new association management software (AMS) solution to those built on Salesforce CRM. Great choice! AMS solutions built on Salesforce provide the functionality associations need to manage their membership plus the benefits of the leading CRM platform.
As you make your final selection, here are five things associations should know about Salesforce-based AMS solutions:
Your AMS solution should use the Salesforce Person Accounts data model.
It’s important to select the data model for your Salesforce-based AMS that truly supports the way an association works.
Here’s why: In the world of professional associations, members are primarily individuals. However, most professional associations also have membership levels for “associate” members, which typically are businesses such as vendors, suppliers, etc. Similarly, trade association memberships are primarily made up of organizations, yet most of their interactions are with individuals. Associations need technology that facilitates business with both individuals and organizations.
That’s why Salesforce developed the Person Accounts data model. It’s an ideal choice for associations because Business Accounts and Individual Person Accounts are treated as “Account” equals.
TECH TIP: From the beginning, Nimble AMS was built on the Salesforce platform and embraced the platform’s most responsive data model, Person Accounts. In doing so, the Nimble AMS team can easily adapt the solution to meet nearly every membership structure.
You need a full Salesforce sandbox.
Some vendors of AMS systems built on Salesforce might give you the option of not purchasing a full Salesforce sandbox, which could sound appealing. A Salesforce sandbox can be expensive. But having one is critically important.
A sandbox is a testing environment where you can test code changes separately from your live production environment. A full sandbox allows you to copy your entire production organization and its data, including standard and custom object records, documents, and attachments. Sandboxes are completely isolated from your Salesforce production environment, so operations you perform in your sandboxes do not affect your Salesforce production environment and vice versa.
TECH TIP: With Nimble AMS, you always get a full Salesforce sandbox at no additional cost. Learn more about why your Salesforce-based AMS needs a full sandbox. Read the blog article, Everyone Should Get to Play in the (Salesforce) Sandbox.
Code coverage is important.
Testing code as it’s developed to make sure it works properly is critically important to a quality software product. The percentage of code lines quality-tested in a software product is known as “code coverage.” Simply put, software with higher code coverage has a lower chance of bugs than one with lower code coverage.
One of the reasons Salesforce is the leader in CRM is its high standards for quality. Salesforce requires 75 percent code coverage for a solution to be listed on the Salesforce AppExchange. In other words, to be listed, anyone developing a software solution based on the Salesforce platform must test at least 75 percent of their Apex (Salesforce programming language) code, and those tests must pass.
TECH TIP: The Nimble AMS team meets (and often exceeds) Salesforce’s current code coverage standards, and proactively submits Nimble AMS for Salesforce security review with every seasonal release. This gives Salesforce the opportunity to evaluate the Nimble AMS code three times per year.
Your AMS should follow the ideal product upgrade model set forth by Salesforce.
Organizations often struggle with the costs and risks involved with upgrading their AMS systems. That’s why many associations are moving to cloud-based AMS systems that include continuous delivery.
Continuous delivery is a method in which software developers keep producing valuable software code in short cycles so it can be reliably released to customers at any time. It’s a painless way for organizations to have the latest features and functionality at no added expense. This approach has been used for many years in the for-profit world but is newer to the nonprofit and association world.
TECH TIP: Nimble AMS is the only enterprise-level AMS to offer continuous delivery. Using this method, the Nimble AMS team provides a continuous stream of upgrades and innovation so customers are always using the same version of the latest AMS and Salesforce technology. The best part? With Nimble AMS, upgrades are always free.
Nimble AMS offers tools you won’t find anywhere else.
Nimble AMS includes additional built-in technology:
- Nimble Create is a visual template builder included with Nimble AMS that allows you to easily build templates for branded, personalized, and information-rich content that will help you deliver a great member experience.
- Nimble Fuse is a point-and-click configurable framework that allows you to connect Nimble AMS with your best-of-breed technology systems.
- Nimble Sync allows you to keep records up-to-date across multiple data stores, ensuring the records in other databases are the same as your Nimble AMS records.