CRM Managers, you’re overlooking Salesforce data backups

CRM Managers, you’re overlooking Salesforce data backups

Jack McCurdy on

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Salesforce gives you many powerful ways to customize and process your data and metadata. But it’s easy for things to go wrong when there’s so many options. As a result, the likelihood is that you will deal with data loss at some point. Losing company or customer data can be the most catastrophic event you’ll deal with as a CRM Manager — data loss not only wastes the time and effort of your administrators and developers, but can cause irreparable damage to your company image.

Thankfully, you can prevent data loss becoming a disaster. This huge responsibility is often mistakenly given to the generalist IT team, but it’s something that needs to stay closer to the CRM team, and specifically, the CRM managers. In this post we will talk through why data is so important and ways you can take ownership of your company’s backup strategy.

Why is data important?

Data makes the world go round. It’s the lifeblood of your organization and underpins every decision that a business makes. Whether it’s increasing customer acquisition, customer retention, streamlining business processes, or deciding where to spend budget, data will always be the thing that teams come back to to make decisions.

Which data is most important?

Provided your org is configured correctly and your end users are keeping your Salesforce instance updated, there are powerful insights to be gained. Salesforce’s reports and dashboards capabilities are incredibly informative. For example, a CRM Manager in most organizations will rely on data from:


  • Accounts: what’s the value of an account? How much do they spend? What’s their retention rate?

  • Contacts: headcount at accounts, key contacts (champions, exec sponsors, procurement)

  • Opportunities: forecasts, pipelines, days open, close date, notes


  • Cases: days open, frequency of cases by accounts, NPS score

We’re only scratching the surface with these examples, and every org is different. Companies across every industry have different formats of standard and custom objects that are critical to success.

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What causes data loss in Salesforce?

There are many causes of data loss in Salesforce and it’s incredibly hard to stop your orgs being affected — especially when the causes are completely out of your hands. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Salesforce outages: This can be due to system upgrades or technical issues that are unforeseen and sometimes widespread.

  • Human error: You can’t eliminate mistakes entirely and unfortunately anyone in your team can cause a lot of damage with an accidental deletion.

  • Integration issues: It’s great that you can integrate your existing tech stack or third-party add-ons with Salesforce, but this level of customization can leave a lot of room for error with integrations wiping out some data.

  • Malicious attacks: Data is incredibly valuable, and a disgruntled employee or cyber attacker can do a lot of damage in a very short amount of time.

Unfortunately, it only takes a couple of seconds to destroy a lot of data, and it could take hours or even weeks before anyone realizes something is wrong. As a CRM manager, it falls to you to know who to alert and what to do when faced with a data loss situation.

Whose responsibility is it to backup and restore?

According to the State of Salesforce DevOps Report 2024, 36% of Salesforce teams don’t backup their Salesforce orgs. With the real risk of Salesforce data loss, teams know they need to implement backup but are often confused about whose responsibility it is.

As a CRM Manager, users and executives will turn to you when there’s an issue with your company’s data. The whole team will most likely be impacted as you try to pinpoint the extent of the damage and what happened. So, it’s best for you to take responsibility for backups early.

It often falls to the internal IT team to be responsible for many of the interconnected systems around the business. This could include servers, IT infrastructure, internal applications, programs, and hardware. But as CRM Manager you hold the keys to a successful restoration. You have the expertise and deep understanding of how the end users use Salesforce. You know what information is relied upon daily so the wheels of business keep on turning.

There’s also the thought that everyone in the team should be responsible for backups, or at least understanding the process; but as CRM manager, you should take ownership of backup and restore of Salesforce.

CRM managers understand Salesforce

Salesforce isn’t like the other applications your business manages. Metadata and data models are specific, and they both require appropriate tooling to be successfully managed.

As a result, a generic backup and restore solution, or Salesforce’s basic tools like the Recycle Bin, just aren’t going to cut it when you need to be able to respond quickly to data disasters. The State of Salesforce DevOps Report showed that companies with Salesforce-specific tooling experience less downtime and can recover quickly in disaster scenarios.

Compliance considerations

As the CRM manager, you understand all the requirements your org has to comply with as part of your data protection regulations. Things like how your org is configured, data access, and development methodologies all need to comply with regulators like HIPAA, GDPR, or SOX — and each is critical to protecting your business.

Adding backup and security to this list feels natural, and means you can take ownership of the data stored in backups and ensure they all stay compliant too.

Salesforce data backup best practices

Once you have control of your company’s backup process, following a set of backup best practices is the best way to secure your orgs and protect your data. Here are the key ones you should be following:

Perform regular backups

Regularly backing up your data gives you the most up to date version of your org ready to restore from. By leaving too long between backups, you’ll risk losing changes that haven’t been backed up. Daily backups are the ideal cadence.

Automate your backups

No one wants to be the person who forgot to backup the orgs. By choosing a tool that allows you to automate your backups you can be sure that your orgs are safe even when team members are on holiday or forget to perform them manually.

Design a disaster recovery plan — and test it!

Being confident in your restore process, from the moment you spot the incident to the moment you’re back up and running, is invaluable as a CRM manager. Once decided, testing the recovery process is an integral step that’s often overlooked. You don’t want the first time you run through the process to be when you’re under pressure and in crisis mode. Best practice is to set a regular cadence to check and amend any of the recovery plan steps, and train any new members of the team so everyone knows the process.

Use a third-party backup tool

Businesses who are serious about their disaster recovery aren’t using Salesforce’s native backup solutions — because they’re just not good enough. During a Salesforce outage, none of the native tools will be accessible, meaning you won’t be able to access your backups to try and restore your orgs. Keeping backups separate from your Salesforce account in a third-party tool will keep them fully accessible and hidden from any unexpected attack or outage.

Archive unused data

Removing older or less relevant data from your live Salesforce org reduces the amount of data you’re paying for and helps your users avoid sifting through piles of data to access what they need. Adopting an archiving solution saves you permanently deleting data from your orgs or having to buy additional storage from Salesforce itself.

Don’t forget about metadata backup!

Metadata backups are often overlooked, but they’re just as important as data backups. Your orgs’ metadata is constantly changing, with many developers working on the same features and Salesforce records. It’s easy for one of these changes to completely wipe out critical metadata, and causes the production org to be out of action until it’s fixed.

Your restore process is the same as your deployment workflow

Understanding the Salesforce data model, your org configuration, and where the end users interact with the system to store data, is a key part of a CRM manager’s role. You also know how the org is developed, understand the changes that happen, how they happen, and who’s responsible for day-to-day deployment operations.

A Salesforce restoration process is basically the same as deployments of data or metadata. The only difference is that your source org isn’t an org, it’s the backup. This means you and your team are already comfortable with the process and can follow DevOps principles. This familiarity is crucial to restore data quickly and effectively.

Take ownership of your backups now!

If you’re not currently responsible for backup, find out who is. Make the case for taking over that responsibility of your company’s Salesforce backup solution, and ensure you have a robust disaster recovery plan to implement.

Give your team the confidence to restore from any data disaster. If you’d like advice on how to make sure you’re protected in the event of data loss or corruption, and have a recovery solution too, book a consultation with one of our experts. Or if you prefer to do your own reading, learn more with our comprehensive e-book, Backups for Salesforce.

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