Orchid Connect

The Best Practices for Integrating Higher Education and Salesforce

In the dynamic landscape of higher education, the integration of cutting-edge technologies is pivotal to fostering efficiency, collaboration, and a seamless experience for students, faculty, and alumni. Salesforce, renowned for its versatility, emerges as a powerful ally for academic institutions. Here are the best practices to consider when integrating higher education and Salesforce:

Define Clear Objectives

Clearly define the objectives and goals of the Salesforce integration. Identify specific areas such as recruitment, student success, alumni relations, or facility management that need improvement or streamlining. Having well-defined objectives will guide the customization and configuration process.

Engage Stakeholders

Involve key stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, IT staff, and end-users, early in the integration process. Their input is invaluable for understanding specific needs, workflows, and desired outcomes. Collaboration ensures that the implemented solution aligns with the institution’s overall strategy.

Customize for Unique Needs

Customize Salesforce to meet the unique needs and processes of the institution. Whether it’s adapting admission processes, building student success workflows, or incorporating alumni engagement features, tailor Salesforce to align with the institution’s specific requirements.

Data Quality and Migration

Ensure data accuracy and quality before migrating data to Salesforce. Cleanse and organize existing data to prevent inaccuracies and duplicates. Create a comprehensive data migration plan to smoothly transition data from legacy systems to Salesforce, minimizing disruptions.

User Training and Adoption

Provide thorough training to users at all levels to ensure effective adoption of Salesforce. Training programs should cover basic functionalities, best practices, and any custom features relevant to each user’s role. Foster a culture of continuous learning to maximize the benefits of Salesforce.

Mobile Accessibility


Leverage Salesforce’s mobile capabilities to ensure accessibility for users on the go. Higher education professionals, including recruiters and faculty, can benefit from accessing critical information and performing key tasks using mobile devices, enhancing overall efficiency.

Scalability and Future Planning:

Design the integration with scalability in mind to accommodate future growth and evolving needs. Regularly assess the institution’s changing requirements and Salesforce updates to plan for necessary adjustments and enhancements.

Security and Compliance

Prioritize data security and compliance with regulations such as GDPR or FERPA. Implement role-based access controls, encryption, and secure authentication mechanisms. Regularly review and update security measures to protect sensitive information.

Continuous Monitoring and Improvement

Implement monitoring tools to track system performance, user engagement, and data quality. Regularly analyze the data to identify areas for improvement, user feedback, and emerging needs. Proactively address issues and continuously optimize Salesforce based on feedback and evolving requirements.

Utilize AppExchange Solutions

Explore Salesforce AppExchange for pre-built solutions and integrations that cater specifically to higher education needs. This can save time and resources, providing access to proven tools designed to enhance the Salesforce experience for educational institutions.

These are the best practices for integrating higher education and salesforce. By following this guide, higher education institutions can maximize the benefits of Salesforce integration, improving operational efficiency, enhancing user experiences, and ultimately advancing their core missions.


Orchid Connect is a woman-owned Salesforce implementation firm with 30 years of experience serving associations, non-profits and small/medium businesses. We specialize in strategic and implementation services, go-to-market support, and ongoing support. To learn more, reach us at reachout@orchidconnect.com.