Monday, February 10, 2014

Implementing State/Country Picklists in SalesForce

SalesForce has been focusing on their past few releases in releasing more "true to the core" functionality.  This functionality is crucial for making the lives of everyone easier that uses SalesForce.  One of those features that was recently released was "State/Country Picklists".  This valuable features ensure that administrators can ensure that the right location data is entered every time - without validation rules to support it!

While the State/Country Picklists are an easy to implement feature there are a number of steps I would recommend following.  They are:

  1. Review the guide Implementing State/Country Picklists by SalesForce
  2. Complete the initial steps mentioned in the above guide up until the point of actually turning it on.
  3. Review the validation rules you presently have enabled for Leads/Accounts/Contacts and modify as appropriate
  4. Review the Web to Lead forms you presently have enabled to ensure the State/Country picklists align to the new SalesForce values
  5. Work with anyone who frequently imports leads/contacts to ensure that they know they now need 2 columns for State and 2 columns for Country.  This means if a lead list is being imported, you have to have one column for the State's full name (e.g. California) and one column for the State's Abbreviation (e.g. CA).  The same holds true for countries
  6. Review the "Known Issues" page (under Help & Training) to ensure there are no surprise issues you will run into.
  7. Turn on this new feature (see guide)
  8. Review the leads/contacts you already have in the system and update any that were missing states/countries.  This is a step most administrators miss.
Other than the above steps this is a fairly easy feature to turn on.  That being said, one thing I learned here was to ensure that you check the "Known Issues" page so you can learn of any potential issues that may arise (but that your testing didn't find).  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Importance of User Groups

I just attended the Vancouver User Group meeting, like usual, and learned something new like usual.  While prior to the meetings it is easy to think they are not valuable because of the time they will take, you need to stop that thinking.  At the user group not only do you meet interesting people with the same "product focus" as you, but you learn a ton of new ways to use SalesForce and how to improve your business.  You should always make time for the user groups, but also in contributing to the Success Community for your user group!