Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Quick Implementation Tips: Reports and Views

Having helped implement a number of SalesForce systems for customers, I have learned some best practices/tips that can make an implementation go much easier.  This is the second post about this topic.  You can read the first one here about profiles and standard settings.

In this post I will review the report and view changes I usually make.

First, with Dashboards (under DASHBOARDS), I often remove the Company Performance Dashboard as it contains metrics that aren't relevant to the company in question.  Instead I will often create a custom dashboard towards the end of their implementation.  Also, don't forget to update the Home Page Dashboard too.

Second, with reports (under REPORTS), I often set all the default report folders to not be visible if I don't think they will have a use for the client.  This is done by clicking on the report folder and clicking 'Share' and then removing access.  I do this because many of the reports, like dashboards, don't contain the relevant fields or terms (and since they are standard reports you can't save changes).  So i just remove them.  And additional benefit of hiding the folders is that I can make new folders with appropriate permissions and save a "Report Clean-up Project" in a year.

Third, with views (under any OBJECT), I often create views (by clicking 'Create New View') that will be relevant to the customer based on the data they have.  This is because otherwise they have no easy way to access the data they are expecting to see with ease.

Finally, within a page layout, I often will update the related list fields so that they are more appropriately.  For example, most customers don't initially use 'Campaigns', but the 'Campaigns Related List' always shows on Leads and Contacts.  So I will remove that or alter the columns as appropriate.

That's all.  Nothing too fancy but just some configurations to make things easier for the users.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Quick Implementation Tips: Standard Settings

Having helped implement a number of SalesForce systems for customers, I have learned some best practices/tips that can make an implementation go much easier.  This is the second post about this topic.  You can read the first one here about profiles.

In this post I will start the tips I have learned around standard system settings to ensure that are setup.  All of these are in SETUP
  • Setup>Build>Customize>User Interface.  Commonly the "Enable Collapsible Sidebar" is not enabled automatically.  I usually enable this so that you can ensure users can maximize their screen space.
  • Setup>Build>Customize>User Interface.  Commonly the "Enhanced Profile User Interface" is not enabled automatically.  I usually enable this so that the user's have the best experience when editing their profiles
  • Setup>Administer>Security Controls>Password Policies.  Commonly the User Passwords expiring every 90 days is too often for some organizations.  I usually change this to 180 days.  I also usually change the Lockout Effective Period to Forever so that administrators have to unlock a user after 5 wrong passwords
  • Setup>Administer>Security Controls>Login Access Policies.  Commonly the "Administrators Can Log In as Any User" feature is not enabled.  I always enable this so that once the client goes live, I can easily log in as a user if they are having issues and troubleshoot them with ease.
  • Setup>Administer>Company Profile>Company Information.  For most clients, they would benefit from using multiple currencies but don't know this feature exists.  And enabling after they are live has it's own challenges.  So usually I will check the box to "Allow Support to Activate Multiple Currencies" and I will also log a case to get this feature turned on
  • Setup>Administer>Communication Templates>Letterheads.  Commonly there is no letterhead ever created; however, users have the ability to create email templates that use the letterhead (but unfortunately don't have the ability to edit said letterhead).  So I always create a basic letterhead so if a user does go in to create an email template using the letterhead it at least looks presentable.
  • Setup>Administer>Domain Management>My Domain.  Most clients, over time, will require their own domain within SalesForce to enable some features (e.g. sampleclient.my.salesforce.com).  So, rather than waiting for that time to come I get this setup at the start so that users don't need to update bookmarks, etc. in the future.
Those are the common settings I always change.  In the next post I will discuss some of the report and view changes I usually make.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Quick Implementation Tip: Standard Profiles

Having helped implement a number of SalesForce systems for customers, I have learned some best practices/tips that can make an implementation go much easier.  So, over the next few blog posts I will highlight some of those tips in detail.

To start this series, I will start with tips I have learned around profiles.  When a new SalesForce system is turned up, a number of standard SalesForce profiles are enabled.  These are usually named System Administrator, Marketing User, Contract Manager, Solution Manager and Standard User.  While these profiles are great and contain everything needed, there are some gaps I have discovered about them which include:

  • You can't easily edit them around what system settings are available
  • You can't easily edit them around what they show
  • They often contain all the objects/tabs and cause confusion for new users
So, what I personally recommend is cloning upon first setting up the system.  For example, I would clone the 'Standard User' profile and make a new one called 'Client Name Standard User' and I would also clone the 'System Administrator' profile and make a new one called 'Client Name System Administrator'.  Then I would go into these profiles and do the following:
  • For the standard user profile I would update it to only include the objects I want there for go live.  So, often I would hide Ideas, Contracts, Solutions, etc. unless their implementation was actually going to use those features on going live.  I hide these because when doing training with new users, change is scary enough to a new system.  Having to remember that they don't use "this tab" or "that tab" initially makes it even harder.  I might as well hide those tabs until the client is ready to actually do the proper implementation of said feature
  • For the system administrator profile I seldom change anything; however, by having this in place if there client decides in the future they want a "junior administrator" vs a "senior administrator" I have already got the leg work ready here.  This also gives me the ability to remove features from the client's administrator view if needed.
In the next post I will discuss some of the report and view changes I usually make.  

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sales Path....a useful selling tool

With the recent Winter '16 release, all SalesForce users (using the Lightning experience/interface) now have access to a valuable new sales tool - Sales Path!

Sales Path is a tool that sits in the Opportunities view and gives your Sales Team information on what they need to succeed at each stage of the opportunity.

Screenshot of Sales Path

First, to use Sales Path you need to have a thoroughly defined Sales Process.  It is only with that Sales Process well defined that you can really leverage Sales Path.  That's because at each stage of an opportunity Sales Path displays "Key Fields" and "Guidance for Success".  The Key Fields is a list of fields, that you define, that should be completed prior to moving the opportunity to the next stage.  These fields could be anything (including your custom opportunity fields) and ensure that your sales team captures the right information at the right time.  The Guidance for Success are sales tips that come from senior sales members that the whole sales team can use to help them through each stage.

Sales Path is a very easy tool to configure and shouldn't take more than an hour to get up and running once you, as an administrator, has the fields and tips per stage.

Overall it is a great tool to make selling easier in Lightning!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Environment Hub - Navigate Between Multiple Instances with Ease

For many organizations, and especially SalesForce consultants, you can end up with many logins to different SalesForce instances.  As a result of this, you often have a piece of paper or a password tracking app where you store all of your passwords.

Well, in the recent SalesForce release, a new feature was introduced called SalesForce Environment Hub.   The Environment Hub lets you view, connect, create and login to multiple SalesForce instances from one location.

With the Environment Hub, you can actually put all the login information to each of the instances in one master instance.  From there, you simply have to navigate to "Environment Hub" and choose what instance you want to log into.

Sample of Environment Hub

Here is the Help Document on how to set it up: https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=environment_hub_main.htm&language=en

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Service Cloud Tools that aren't always used!

The Service Cloud, as you likely know, is a comprehensive solutions designed to help organisations manage the inflow of cases coming in from customers via the web. The Service Cloud includes the basic case management, email to case and more. 

But a set of features not often used, but readily available in the Service Cloud feature often used are Contracts, Entitlements and Milestones. These tools give you a valuable way to ensure that the customers that are interacting with your service department are getting the service they expect and pay for. 

It all starts with a Service Contracts. Service Contracts let you denote which customers have purchased a contract with you for services. From there you can track how much they paid, what they protected (eg certain assets they have, all assets, etc.) and more. From a Service Contract you relate the Entitlements the customers have. For example, you can track if a customer can open a certain number of cases and what service level they should receive for this entitlement. 

Then, within an entitlement you have Milestone's. The Milestone's let you set countdowns and escalation paths. For example, with a Phone Service entitlement, you can set a milestone for a first call to the customer within 1 hour (of case submission) and that the case has to be closed within 6 hours of being created. Then from the Milestone's you could see what has, or hasn't been done, and set appropriate escalations. 

While all the above work quite well, one missing piece presently is that you can't easily close Milestone's based on activity. So for example if a call is logged on the case, the agent still has to manually mark the milestone as completed. There are ways to facilitate the above with Apex code but that is going the way of clicks not code.

Here are some SalesForce Help Resources to help you turn on this valuable feature (do them in this order):

  1. Milestones
  2. Entitlements
  3. Service Contracts 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Back to the Core....what does that mean?

At DreamForce it was announced that SalesForce to take this year to focus on its products and enhancing them.  In some ways this is a focus on the core again. 

As of late SalesForce has been busy acquiring companies and hastily integrating the various platforms into the SalesForce universe. The problem is that many of these integrations were hastily integrated and don't do everything that the end user expects. For example, the first integration of the Work.com (performance management suite) lacked the ability to really move data from Work.com into SalesForce. It took another two iterations of the tool to get a comprehensive set of tools.  Now you can't really tell where work.com stops and SalesForce CRM really starts, or ends.  Which is what you would expect when you hear that a new acquisition is built into the core system. 

So for the next year SalesForce has stated they are going to fix this with their many other acquisitions. For example, we can expect the Marketing Cloud to become a strong tool where everything integrates with one another and there is no obvious distinction between ExactTarget (email marketing tool) and Radian6 (social media tool). It will also soon integrate with the Sales and Service Clouds which will give endless email marketing opportunities. 

We can also see this focus on the core in the recent Lightning release. Rather than the SalesForce core UI looking dated and noticeably behind the mobile experience, it is beginning to look more modern and what we expect from software available in the cloud.  It will be interesting to see how Lightning continues to evolve as the first release was very Sales Cloud focuses. 

Regardless hopefully SalesForce better integrates their many acquisitions to give us a comprehensive tool that really does everything we need, while also fixing those odd nuisances in the core application that have always driven users crazy. It should be an interesting year in the world of SalesForce.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Junction Objects....what are they the junction between?

With SalesForce, as you have likely learned, it is easy to create new objects. Objects are like database tables in the traditional database sense. They let you store common information in fields structured in whatever way makes sense to your business. 

That being said, information is a silo is of little use to business. You need relationships to your other data in the system to build a complete picture. This is where relationships come into play. When creating a new field in SalesForce you will notice you can create a Master Detail field OR a lookup field. These two fields let you relate the records in your custom object to another a table. We will explain more about them in a moment.  

The challenge with both of the above types is that they only let you relate your data in one way. So, if you had a list of airlines and the classes of travel they offer, you would have to create a lot of records. Basically one per airline and class (eg British Airways - First, British Airways - Business, British Airways - Premium Economy, British Airways - Economy. That's four different records). But what if you wanted to be able to see all the airlines offering a Premium Economy class?  That is where you would use a junction object. With a junction object it lets you create multiple objects. So you could have the following:
- An object called Airlines that lists all the airlines
- An object called Classes that lists the various types of classes
- A junction object that lets you create a record that related both to Airlines and Classes. 

So now rather than having to have four records in the British Airways example above, you could create a record to relate the airline British Airways to each of the classes offered. Then you could relate those classes offered to other airlines and get a picture of how many airlines offer a business class by looking at the Class object and seeing how many airlines are related to the Business Class record. 

While a junction object isn't necessary, it certainly makes data analysis easier. You can see examples of junction objects SalesForce uses themselves by looking at Opportunity Contacts, or Account and Opportunity Teams.  Here is a sample of how you could use a junction object between JOBS and CANDIDATES if you were building an Applicant Tracking System.

The Job Posting to Applicant Link is the Junction Object
Now back to the question earlier about the relationship types. You can have a Master Detail field or a lookup field. Each has their own purpose. For example, with Contacts you would likely want a Master Detail relationship to Accounts so you can force that every contact has to be related to an account. However not every contact might be related to an Opportunity so that is when you would use a Lookup relationship since the relationship isn't required. 

Relationships in SalesForce are a powerful way to structure your data. So you should take the time to learn about them.

Friday, November 13, 2015

What is the Community Cloud?

As you likely notice, SalesForce is really pushing the idea of clouds for their products. For example, the core SalesForce CRM you are likely well versed in comes with the Sales Cloud (opportunities, price books, etc.) and the Service Cloud (cases, entitlements, Milestone's, etc).  But there are also so many other clouds. Two of the other big ones are the Community and Marketing Cloud. 

The Community Cloud is designed to help businesses, using SalesForce, to be able to create audiences/communities of users for a common purpose. For example, for a university using SalesForce, they could create a community of their Alumni or Students. Or a company like Phillips, can create communities for their fans of products they make. 

The whole idea with the SalesForce Community is to make it easier to share, but also deflect small issues from becoming large issues that frustrate customers. For example, in a SalesForce community you can create a Q&A area so users can ask one another questions - like how did you get product x to interact with a Product Y. With the Internet of things, this is important as items no longer live in silos but people expect them to integrate with their world and technology. So by having a Q&A area users can help one another, but also learn from one another. Now, of course, the Community would also have documentation available that the company has published. That way customers have an official source to go to rather than trolling around the bulletin boards. And of course, customers can just submit cases to your support team of none of the other resources have answered their questions. This at least gives them a way to hopefully get support if none of the self service help gave them what they needed. 

With the SalesForce Community product, they give you a basic few templates that you can then customise to your businesses need with Apex, VisualForce and HTML. Then with the help of lightning components, you can then add pre built components to your community with ease and enhance what you offer. 

Setting up a new community is fairly easy and the pricing is based on the number of logins you expect. If you consistently go over that number of logins you may have to pay more, but if you happen to just have one busy month on your community you are not likely to be penalised.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

SalesForce Marketing Cloud - what is it?

As you likely have notice, SalesForce is really pushing the idea of "clouds" for their products. For example, the core SalesForce CRM you are likely well versed in comes with the Sales Cloud (opportunities, price books, etc.) and the Service Cloud (cases, entitlements, Milestone's, etc).  But there are also so many other clouds. Two of the other big ones are the Community and Marketing Cloud. 

The Marketing Cloud is actually a set of third party tools that were recently acquired by SalesForce to round out their Marketing offerings. It includes email marketing (powered by ExactTarget), Social Media Monitoring (powered by Buddy Media and Radian6) and more. 

Each of the tools included within the Marketing Cloud, while branded as Marketing Cloud, are still somewhat separate tools in a UI designed to make them look like a comprehensive solution. For example, the email marketing tool can not send out emails based on the activity seen by Radian6 yet. One day the Marketing Cloud will likely do all this, but joining all these different technology products into a cohesive and comprehensive tool takes time. It is that time that tools like Marketo should fear as SalesForce will have a comprehensive tool that does everything their tool does, but also have the powerful Sales and Service Clouds to power it and make appropriate business decisions. 

That being said, the tools presently available are powerful. ExactTarget, the email marketing tool, has no shortage of ways to send personalized emails to your subscribers and track their activity. The Radian6 tool gives you a be comprehensive view of what your brand is doing on Social Media, but also how people on social media are interacting with it. 

We will do an in depth review of each the Marketing Cloud aspects in the future.  But wanted to give you a quick overview and food for thought about what it does, and how it doesn't all yet interconnect.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Most of you have likely heard about SalesFprce Trailhead. But if you haven't, you are missing out on a great resource in your SalesForce tool belt. 

SalesForce Trailhead is a free to use, self driven, educational tool available to all SalesForce users. Unlike the SalesForce training videos, Trailhead is designed more for those who like to read with some audio visual content.  But where it lacks in audio visual content, it makes us with the self driven exercises to test your knowledge. At the end of each module, which is probably a thousand words or less, you will have a comprehension quiz. Some of these are multiple choice questions, but many force you to actually build out something in your org and then Trailhead validates if you did it correct. This is a great way to learn, especially with software, since it's hands on. 

Even after using SalesForce for ten plus years, I have found the sessions useful. There are about 55 sessions/modules at the time of writing this. They cover basic things that a basic user would want like Accounts & Contacts, to advanced developer concepts like how to use Lightning components. 

And best of all is the gamification of it all. After each quiz/module you get points based on how many attempts it took you to answer the questions correctly. And then from there you get badges as a reward for completing a module. Although they are no replacement for SalesForce certification, these badges given you something to show in your office that you know SalesForce and are a go to resource.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cirrus Insight vs SalesForce for Outlook

A common use case with SalesForce is needing the ability to integrate your email and calendar.  And because of that there is many tools that can help you do it.  Two of the common ones are Cirrus Insight and SalesForce for Outlook.  But, given that, what makes one of them a better choice than the other?

Well, let's look at the pros of Cirrus Insight:

  • It's in the cloud - it automatically updates itself as needed.  With SalesForce for Outlook you have to do this manually
  • It's available for more users - since Cirrus works right in Google Apps, along with Office 365.  Unfortunately SalesForce for Outlook only works with Outlook
  • It provides more in-depth information, from SalesForce, about what is going on.
So, given the above, what is the benefits of SalesForce for Outlook?  Well, compared to Cirrus Insight there isn't much SalesForce for Outlook can do that Cirrus can't.  But SalesForce has other tools in their arsenal.  An example of one is SalesForce IQ.  SalesForce IQ integrates with Google Apps and provides many of the same features as Cirrus.  So it will be interesting to see what else happens in this space.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

SalesForce Lightening Release

Now that SalesForce Lightening is generally available, it's time to think about if you should implement it in your org.

It is an amazing new interface for SalesForce and helps address many of the common complaints about the current SalesForce UI.

SalesForce Lightning UI with Sales Path highlighted on an Opportunity
The above being said, the new UI is still far from being fully ready.  For most orgs, the Lightning UI is not a complete enough solution to yet implement.  That is because many common functions, listed below, aren't yet supported:

  • Forecasting
  • Opportunity Splits
  • Lead Merging/Duplication
  • Cases (specifically Comments and Entitlements)

This all being said, the improvements to Dashboards are great and can outweigh some of the above.  Now you can truly make a customized dashboard that looks professional.  And of course, with the new UI you can turn it on for only certain user groups.

To help you decide, here is a quick video/overview that lets you the pros, and cons of Lightning.  You can see it here.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Using SalesForce Communities

SalesForce has a powerful new feature called Communities.  It allows you to invite users external to your organization (e.g. customers, partners, etc.) into your SalesForce Instance.  This allows you to extend the reach of SalesForce well beyond your traditional CRM system.  This means you could use SalesForce to help make data available for different user groups or have them contribute their own.  This can be useful, especially for partners if you want them to add in details of the opportunities they are working on!

Of course, you have the usual control over what these other users can see in your SalesForce instance.  But, you also have the ability to custom brand your community so it looks nothing like SalesForce (or it can look entirely like SalesForce depending on your use case/preferences).  This means you could create something that looks completely like something you made just for your community users.

You have the ability, depending on the community type (e.g. Customer or Partner) to expose custom objects from your SalesForce instance.  And, if you are using a Partner Community (which costs more), you can expose Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities and Libraries.  With the Customer Community you can expose Cases.  So, depending on what is needed you can find the one that is right for you.

When it comes to licensing this exciting solution SalesForce has two different license models.  One is for a pool of logins (say 10,000 logins per month).  This is useful if you are expecting traffic to your community, but aren’t sure which users specifically will make up that amount.  Alliteratively, you can go with the Named User model which is similar to how SalesForce licenses their CRM itself - every user accessing it needs their own license.

There are many exciting ways you can use communities!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Lightning Experience

SalesForce, as part of their Winter release, is going to be updating the interface within SalesForce.  This is great news as the UI within SalesForce was starting to look dated.  Instead, it will now leverage the Lightning method that was first introduced to support SalesForce1.

Sample of the Opportunity List

As you can see from the above screenshot, a big aspect of the change is getting rid of the tabs along the top of the screen.  Instead, the tab icons (often of which seemed pointless to setup before) now have a purpose.  Additionally, on a list view, you can see a report of details on the list.

Sales Path available in Desktop SalesForce
You will have the ability to enable the new Lightning experience in the Winter '16 release.  Of course, with a change like this, you will want to make sure that your user base is aware of the forthcoming change.

New Setup Menu
Over the subsequent releases you will likely see more and more of the UI move into this new format.  Although the SETUP home page shows in the new UI, most of the other setup screens will still have the old look to them, for now.

Monday, August 24, 2015

SalesForce Sales Consultant Certification

A few weeks ago I decided that I should complete the SalesForce Sales Cloud Consultant exam.  I felt like I needed to complete this certification to round out my SalesForce experience.  This is because the SalesForce Sales Consultant forced me to really understand all the Sales Cloud tools that SalesForce offers.

While the Sales Cloud tools are the some of the longest standing features in SalesForce, they are ones that I wasn't as comfortable I knew as well as I could.  So it was great to do the certification.  From the certification, I learned the following to help you potentially study for the exam:

  • Record Types/Page Layouts - Make sure you understand when you would need to use different record types and page layouts, versus potentially just using two different record types with one page layout.  Basically, if the requirement requires different fields to visible for different processes, then you need multiple record types and page layouts
  • Security - Make sure you understand how OWD (Organizational Wide Defaults) work.  There are a lot of questions about who would have access in this situation.  Make sure you know how the hierarchy also effects OWD. 
  • Quotes - Make sure you understand how quotes work, specifically around synching with opportunities
  • Forecasts - Make sure you can explain how the two different types of forecasts work
  • Understand Sales - Make sure you understand how Sales work.  For example, if an organization is curious why they aren't converting as many leads as they previously did, what report would you use (e.g. Lead Source, etc.)
Overall the exam is a challenging one if you don't know the Sales Cloud and everything it offers.  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Making SalesForce More Welcoming

A major challenge with any SalesForce implementation is how to make it easier for users to use SalesForce!  Often users, when they first log in, can be confused by the SalesForce interface.  Or, even if they familiar the interface, the way that one organization is using SalesForce can be very different from another.

So, often administrators believe that more training is the solution for end users.  Which, is a noble solution.  However, with organizations using SalesForce in so many different ways, with so many different user groups, that can be a challenging solution.

An easy solution that can be customized for different user groups is to have an introduction focused page.   This page can include text, videos and more all in one place, right when the user logs in.  This makes it very obvious for the user where they can find help, but also get a quick overview.  And perhaps even better, is that this solution could be done in an afternoon to get at least get the base framework up.

I have seen these made, and made many myself, for organizations to help with user adoption.  We will also look soon at another tool you can have integrated on any page within SalesForce.

Sample Introduction Focused Page

Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Useful Excel Formulas You Will Need

With SalesForce, ideally you can do everything up in the cloud.  However, there are times you have to prepare data for upload into SalesForce.  When that happens, often it is fairly easy to prepare data for import.  But if you are doing an update (on a record), because of the way SalesForce structures their record IDs, there are two major gotchas!  They are:
  • The Record IDs are case sensitive.  So, 00Od0000004PuiV and 00Od0000004Puiv would take you to different records
  • The Record IDs are sometimes 15 characters and sometimes 18 characters (which means when you update a record, you are updating the wrong record if you are not using the right ID)
So, as a result of this, there are some tricks/formulas you can use in Excel to make things easier.  Here they are:
  • To lookup IDs, case sensitively, you can use this formula:
    For this formula, cells $C$2:$C$7050 would be where you want the results to be put in Excel.  Cells $A$2:$A$7050 would be where your current IDs start.  Then ensure you put it in as an Array (when editing the formula press Shift and Command and Enter at the same time)
  • To look at a 15 character ID and convert it to an 18 character ID, you can use this formula:  =A2&LOOKUP(IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,5),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,5),1))<=90),1,0) & IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,4),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,4),1))<=90),1,0) & IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,3),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,3),1))<=90),1,0)& IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,2),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,2),1))<=90),1,0)& IF(AND(CODE(LEFT($A2,1))>=65,CODE(LEFT($A2,1))<=90),1,0),{"00000","00001","00010","00011","00100","00101","00110","00111","01000","01001","01010","01011","01100","01101","01110","01111","10000","10001","10010","10011","10100","10101","10110","10111","11000","11001","11010","11011","11100","11101","11110","11111"},{"A","B","C","D","E","F","G","H","I","J","K","L","M","N","O","P","Q","R","S","T","U","V","W","X","Y","Z","0","1","2","3","4","5"}) & LOOKUP(IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,10),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,10),1))<=90),1,0) & IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,9),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,9),1))<=90),1,0) & IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,8),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,8),1))<=90),1,0)& IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,7),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,7),1))<=90),1,0)& IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,6),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,6),1))<=90),1,0),{"00000","00001","00010","00011","00100","00101","00110","00111","01000","01001","01010","01011","01100","01101","01110","01111","10000","10001","10010","10011","10100","10101","10110","10111","11000","11001","11010","11011","11100","11101","11110","11111"},{"A","B","C","D","E","F","G","H","I","J","K","L","M","N","O","P","Q","R","S","T","U","V","W","X","Y","Z","0","1","2","3","4","5"})&LOOKUP(IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,15),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,15),1))<=90),1,0) & IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,14),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,14),1))<=90),1,0) & IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,13),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,13),1))<=90),1,0)& IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,12),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,12),1))<=90),1,0)& IF(AND(CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,11),1))>=65,CODE(RIGHT(LEFT($A2,11),1))<=90),1,0),{"00000","00001","00010","00011","00100","00101","00110","00111","01000","01001","01010","01011","01100","01101","01110","01111","10000","10001","10010","10011","10100","10101","10110","10111","11000","11001","11010","11011","11100","11101","11110","11111"},{"A","B","C","D","E","F","G","H","I","J","K","L","M","N","O","P","Q","R","S","T","U","V","W","X","Y","Z","0","1","2","3","4","5"}) 
Sample of the Record ID Conversion Formula in Excel

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Having Partner Community Uses Use Outlook

As many of you have likely discovered, SalesForce's Outlook Plug-ins only work with Full SalesForce Licenses.  They are not available for Community users!

This is an issue if you have Community users that want to save emails.  You want to encourage that behaviour!  So, I recently found a solution that works!  There is a tool called LinkPoint 360.  With this tool, Community Users (for a few dollars a month) can have the ability to use Outlook and have access to saving emails into SalesForce!  This is a nice little solution without having to upgrade your community users to full SalesForce licenses.  I have detailed install instructions if you want them!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Managing Duplicates

A big challenge for a lot of Sales and Marketing team previously was managing duplicates in SalesForce.  That's because, prior to Spring 15, there was no way to handle this issue until the duplicates were already in the system.  Then, at that time you could merge them!  But what if you wanted to stop duplicates from happening?  Previously you had to look at third party solutions!  However that is no longer the case.  Now SalesForce has this functionality built in!

So, how does it work? Well, it requires you to create matching rules.  You can do this under Setup>Administration Setup>Data.com Administration>Duplicate Management>Matching Rules.  Within here you can set what fields should be looked at for matches.  For example, if you were doing leads, you would likely choose First Name, Last Name and Email.

Screenshot: Matching Rules

Now, once you have setup your matching rules, you have to make your "Duplicate Rules".  You can do this under Setup>Administration Setup>Data.com Administration>Duplicate Management.>Duplicate Rules.  Within here, you are specifying when should you matching rule be checked (when records have this value in them) and what should display to the user then they try to create the duplicate.

Screenshot: Duplicate Rules

Like most SalesForce implemented features where third party solutions previously existed, it is fairly well implemented and easy to use.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Workflows and Process Builder - What's the Difference?

Recently SalesForce introduced a new feature called Process Builder (available to Enterprise and Unlimited editions).  The purpose of the Process Builder is to further enhance on the Workflow functionality already available in SalesForce.  

Presently, with Workflows, you can do any of the following with ease:
  • Perform field updates
  • Send automated emails
  • Create tasks
However, as you can see in the list above, you can’t post to Chatter.  Additionally, with a workflow rule, if you want to have three different automations dependant on a field, like Account>Account Type, you have to have three different workflow rules.  However, with Process Builder you can put all your logic in the “same process”.  That is because all your logic is running off the same field.  So, you could create a process that handles all the values for the same field.  

Example of SalesForce Process Builder

Of course, it isn’t as simple as the above.  Additional details on how to choose which automation tool, Workflows or Process Builder, can be found on the SalesForce Help Site here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Troubleshooting Workflow Rules

A common request that come in from clients is around troubleshooting what is causing a field to update or an email to fire.  Often these field updates or emails sending are caused by workflow rules - a native feature in SalesForce.  The workflows feature gives Administrators the ability to easily automate processes within a point and click (also known as declarative) interface.  Unfortunately, with the way SalesForce is presently built, there is no easy way to see what workflow rule was fired, which can be useful for troubleshooting.

However, with some simple changes to the way you use workflows, you can make it easier to track what workflow rule fired.

A few of the key tips we have seen from watching clients use Workflows include:
  • When you have a workflow rule fire, you can easily include a task (that you can mark as complete) as part of your workflow action.  You could put a task called “Workflow Fired: Workflow Name” and then mark that task as complete.  That way you track that a workflow rule was fired.
  • When you have an email go out, you can easily include a field update as part of your workflow action.  You could put in a field called “Email #1 Sent” and then populate the date the email was sent.  Since most emails are usually sent as part of a process, you could put a few fields on the object naming the emails.  Then, through the workflow rule, you populate in the date/time the email was sent
    Example of a field for email tracking
    • When you are using Timed Based Workflow (i.e. send this email 3 hours after “x” action), you can actually report on what actions till have yet to take place.  This is located under “Setup>Administration Setup>Time-Based Workflow”
      Example of the Time Based Workflow Report
      • Use the “Select Existing Action” option when you are doing the same sort of update as you already have in another workflow.  For example, say for three different workflow rules you want to update the field Account>Account Type to be the value of “Customer”.  Rather than creating three different field updates for the same field and value, you could create a new field update for the first workflow rule.  Then, for the other two, you could choose “Select Existing Action” and then find that field update.  This makes it easier to troubleshoot since you can look at the field that was updated, such as Account>Account Type, and look at what rules can update that field under Setup>Create>Workflows & Approvals>Field Updates
        Example of the Select Existing Actions option
      Hopefully the above make using workflows a little easier in SalesForce!

      Tuesday, May 26, 2015

      SalesForce World Tour London

      I recently got the opportunity to attend the SalesForce World Tour at the ExCel Center in London, UK.  Like any SalesForce event, it is big with lots going on.  At the World Tour there was 14,000 registrants, which made the SalesForce World Tour in London the largest software conference in the UK!

      Similar to DreamForce, the focus was on mobile, wearables, SalesForce Wave and how they all work together.  However, prior to getting into the "meat" of the presentation, SalesForce had a number of customer stories.  One of the most interesting was CoderDojo.  The idea behind CoderDojo is to help youths of all ages get into coding.  This is done by mentors (basically people who already code for their life) helping and inspiring youths getting into coding.  SalesForce is so behind this idea that the SalesForce Foundation gave £200,000.

      During the rest of the presentation nothing really new was announced.  However, Keith Block, one of their newest leaders at SalesForce, had a great intro video.  It showed him landing at Heathrow and then slowly, but surely, getting to the event to present.  Tastefully, a number of SalesForce customers offices were shown, including:

      • Vodafone
      • John Lewis
      • RSPCA
      • Barclays
      Overall it was a great event, but was perhaps focused too much on selling and not enough on actually having content for SalesForce customers to learn from.  Until DreamForce...

      Monday, May 25, 2015

      SalesForce Summer 15 Release

      It's that time of the year again when SalesForce does their Summer release!  In the Summer release there are some amazing features coming out.  The ones I am most excited about are:

      • Data Loader for Mac - finally - there will be a Data Loader tool that all the Mac users can use that is officially supported by SalesForce!
      • Continued Enhancements to Communities - As the Communities product is becoming a key part of SalesForce, it has continued to get enhancements like a custom recommendations engine and improved reporting!
      • Improvements to SalesForce for Outlook - this valuable tool is continuing to receive attention and add in features that make it easier to understand
      • Notes - SalesForce is making the Notes window much more friendly and including rich text formatting so you can ensure what is most important in your notes is visible.
      • Omni-Channel Services Support - Now your Service Reps can see everything from all your different customer service channels, including Twitter, Live Agent and Cases all in one screen.

      Of course, there are lots of other features that have also been enhanced.  You can check out the complete release notes here and find the features that may most benefit your organization.

      Monday, May 18, 2015

      SalesForce World Tour coming to London

      The SalesForce World Tour is coming to London again!  The World Tour is like a mini-DreamForce, but with far fewer people, and also fewer speakers.  But, regardless, it's a great way to connect with your fellow SalesForce users across Industries.  This year, the SalesForce World Tour has already been to many cities in the USA and is now on the European leg!

      This year, at the SalesForce World Tour London, there is lots to be excited to see.  Some of the highlights include:

      • The Keynote with Keith Block, Vice Chairman and President of SalesForce - likely he will recap some of the things that were already announced at DreamForce.  
      • The Networking Opportunities in the Cloud Expo
      • The Breakout Sessions.  The ones I recommend are:
        • Habits and Hacks for SalesForce Administrators
        • Transform HR & Employee Engagement with SalesForce
        • Marketing Cloud - The Journey is the reward
      The SalesForce World Tour is well worth going to if you have the opportunity.  You can see the complete agenda for the SalesForce World Tour London here.  Hope to see you there!

      Monday, January 19, 2015

      Pardot and Pardot Certification

      For those of you that don't know, SalesForce has two awesome marketing tools available on top of the SalesForce system.  They are ExactTarget and Pardot.

      However, before going further, we should explain who ExactTarget and Pardot target.  ExactTarget is designed to be an email and more (like SMS, etc.) marketing tool that allows businesses to focus on reaching the general public.  Whereas Pardot is designed to be an email and website tracking tool that allows businesses who sell to other businesses to have a tool to manage their prospects.  Both tools are great and help businesses effective manage large aspects of their marketing!

      Recently I completed the Pardot Certified Consultant test by way of the SalesForce University.  It is one of the more challenging SalesForce certifications.  Part of this could be because most SalesForce certifications ask you questions about where you find "xyz" option.  So, since I have only been using Pardot for a year I still don't have that complete muscle/mouse memory of where the various options are.  That being said, a portion of the exam is still about bigger aspects of marketing such as who can you and can't you email if you buy lists (Hint: Never Buy Lists!) and more.

      If you are thinking about improving your marketing efforts in 2015 either of these tools will be a great addition!