Salesforce For Dummies book cover

Salesforce For Dummies

By: Liz Kao and Jon Paz Published: 12-12-2019

Get up to lightning speed with this fully updated, bestselling guide to using Salesforce.com!

Salesforce.com For Dummies, 7th Edition gives you an edge in building relationships and managing your company's sales, marketing, customer service, and support operations. You’ll learn how to maximize the new user interface to organize contacts, schedule business appointments, use forecasting tools to predict upcoming sales, make accurate projects based on past performance, and more. 

Written by Salesforce.com insiders with years of expertise in CRM services, this new edition covers the latest enhancements to Salesforce.com, the world's most popular customer relationship management software. You’ll find out how to determine the right configuration to suit your business needs, and how to use apps, widgets, and tools to personalize your system. Then, you’ll explore prospecting leads, managing accounts and partners, developing contacts, tracking products, calculating forecasts, and utilizing service and support.

  • Customize the new user interface with apps, widgets, and tools
  • Prospect leads, drive sales, and provide outstanding customer service
  • Manage contacts, identify opportunities, and analyze your results
  • Collaborate with colleagues using Chatter

More than 150,000 companies worldwide use Salesforce.com as their CRM solution—if you’re a new or existing user looking to maximize the potential of the new UI, this book has everything you need.

Articles From Salesforce For Dummies

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6 results
Salesforce For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 05-13-2021

Unlike traditional software, Salesforce is software-as-a-service (SaaS). You sign up for a subscription and log in through a browser, and the software is immediately available. You may need to make some adjustments to make all aspects apply to the details of your business. There’s no purchase, installation, or hardware setup required! With Salesforce, you have a full suite of services to manage the customer life cycle.

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10 Ways to Drive More Productivity with Salesforce

Article / Updated 02-04-2020

Salesforce.com drives much of its feature updates based on its existing road map and requests from customers just like you. A few times a year, Salesforce.com comes out with a new release of its award-winning service. That’s the benefit of these cloud-based business applications, because the infrastructure isn’t maintained by you. Unlike traditional software upgrades, these releases are immediately available to all customers, and most features can be activated or deactivated when you’re ready to make the change. Keeping track of all the cool new updates that Salesforce.com releases can get a little overwhelming. The speed with which it’s able to roll out releases is often faster than our ability to write all about it! On the flip side, perhaps you do keep track of the newest features but you’ve been struggling with an apparent feature limitation or you’d like more advice on how to best implement a particular feature. Fortunately for us, both Salesforce.com and its community of users strongly believe in helping each other out to make every customer successful. Through a variety of channels, the Salesforce.com community shares best practices and offers suggestions and workarounds for even the toughest head-scratcher questions. Here, ouy learn about ten resources and tools that will help you get the most out of Salesforce. Salesforce Trailhead If you haven’t already, bookmark Salesforce Trailhead now. Whether you’re an administrator or end-user, here you’ll find entire interactive training modules with real scenarios that help you learn various aspects of Salesforce. As you complete modules in various tracks, you’ll earn badges that you can proudly share online. Salesforce has also moved its certification maintenance to this site, so you will have to get familiar with Trailhead if you plan on becoming Salesforce certified. Dreamforce Conference Dreamforce is Salesforce.com’s annual product conference that brings together developers, system administrators, and end-user business folks to learn from, network with, and party alongside product experts from Salesforce.com, as well as the ecosystem at large. Make the trek to San Francisco, and get inspired with all the great things Salesforce can do for your company. Salesforce Trailblazer Community Online within the Salesforce Trailblazer Community, you can post or vote for new product ideas, see what other users are requesting, and ask and answer questions related to configuration or code. Not only do you get to see what the masses are clamoring for, but you also get to see Salesforce.com employees, partners, and customers joining together to provide feedback and assistance. Salesforce.com Local User Groups One of the best ways to regularly find out about upcoming features, hear about third-party vendor integrations, network with your peers, and provide product feedback is to join a local user group. You’ll get to learn from and share tips with fellow customers in your vicinity. Search for your city in Trailblazer Community Groups. You can also go to success.salesforce.com and click the Community Groups by Region category in the left sidebar. If you don’t see your city, think about starting your own group. Salesforce Trailhead Academy One of the best ways to become an expert and have an opportunity to ask an expert about your company’s particular use of Salesforce is to be trained by Salesforce.com. Then you can be your company’s expert and spearhead further ideas of using Salesforce to make your business processes run smoother. You find classes for every user role, and for every budget. If you’ll be configuring and customizing Salesforce, you can find a series of certifications so that you can tell others just how special you are, and can choose to do so virtually or in person. Visit Salesforce’s Trailhead Academy and look for options that meet your budget and learning style, then register! Salesforce Colored Favicons This browser extension is a small one but the impact is huge. If you are an admin, developer, or even a Salesforce power user, you know what it’s like to work in multiple orgs and keep track of multiple tabs. Salesforce Colored Favicons overrides the standard Salesforce favicon (or cloud icon on your browser tab) with a different color, based on the org. Additionally, if you have a sandbox open, it will display an ‘S’ so that you save time and don’t get confused or make updates in the wrong place. Field Trip Fields in Salesforce could be thought of as barnacles on a boat. Over time, custom fields get created, some get abandoned, and they grow and grow over time. On a regular basis, you should slough off those unused fields, just like barnacles are scraped off a boat. Abandoned fields can clutter up your instance with redundant-sounding fields that also clog up the report-building experience, and make onboarding new hires tedious when people can’t remember when a field is used or not. Field Trip (available on the AppExchange) is an oldie but a goodie. It is a free app that does some analysis on fields in an object, and lets you know what percentage of those object records have data in that field. Of course, you need a sense as to what percentage an often-used field might have, so you can compare that to a less-used field. This tool gives you an initial start when it comes to cleaning up abandoned fields. ORGanizer ORGanizer is another nifty little browser extension that lets users forget about their usernames and passwords to the multiple orgs and instances of Salesforce they have to access on a regular basis. You can even use ORGanizer in incognito mode if you are an admin who needs to login as other users in a different tab! This little feature will save loads of time if you are an admin or developer with hands on the keyboard. Perm Comparator If you work with sales teams, and multiple teams in general, you’ll inevitably have different profiles and permissions for your disparate groups. Especially if you work for a large multinational company, these permissions can get massive and unwieldy. Perm Comparator is built on Heroku and has an easy to use interface that allows you to select different users and see exactly which permissions are not shared between them. Comparing permissions among different users is a huge timesaver in many sticky situations and allows you to get rid of the guesswork and long menial hours of work at the click of a button. Gmail sidebar in Salesforce Another browser extension is called Salesforce and allows you to add a Salesforce sidebar directly within your Gmail application. Using this you can search and view records in Salesforce without switching tabs or browser windows. You can also create emails using Salesforce templates, log emails in Salesforce, and even create new records all from within the sidebar widget. Salesforce wants to make life easier for you. Take the time to choose your favorite productivity tools and you'll see a rise in productivity.

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Salesforce Cloud Apps: An Intro to Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud

Article / Updated 01-19-2020

Salesforce comes packed full of great tools to help you win more deals, get more leads, and provide better customer service. This brief guide will help you understand how Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud help make you more productive and efficient. How to use Sales Cloud to win more deals Sales Cloud helps companies increase their sales success in a number of ways. But first, it’s important to note that any system you use is only as good as the data entered in it. This is an important point that cannot be emphasized enough. If your data is stale and outdated or just plain incorrect, the entire infrastructure built around it is essentially worthless. And that’s why user adoption is so important. With Salesforce, it’s easy to put in place a number of guardrails to ensure that the integrity of your data isn’t compromised. Assuming that data is up to date and accurate, Salesforce is a powerful sales machine that gives organizations all around the world insight into their businesses. Making sales groups more effective with Sales Cloud So, how does Salesforce do it? Let’s look at a few ways Sales Cloud makes sales teams more efficient at their jobs. Account management and contact management are the focal point of sales teams and the foundation of Salesforce.com’s products. What would a CRM tool be if you couldn’t use it to track your customers and the organizations they’re a part of? Accounts are those organizations or businesses. Contacts are the individuals that belong to those Accounts. Salesforce lets you establish and differentiate between your customers, partners, competitors, and distributors effortlessly. It also shows you valuable information about these people and organizations in one place (again, assuming someone is inputting that data). This allows any company using Salesforce to view customer details quickly and easily. It is also built with the user in mind, providing an attractive and intuitive user interface so that inputting this crucial information isn’t too cumbersome. The user interface has gotten a facelift recently, and has come with some fundamental changes under the covers. It’s called the Lightning Experience (LEX or Lightning, for short), but we’ll get much more into that later. Of course, regardless of how simple the interface is, a system can’t read your mind and data entry is ultimately necessary. Entering this data can get laborious over time if you aren’t careful. But Salesforce gives administrators what they need to make entering or updating accounts and contacts easy. Another way Salesforce boosts sales efficiency is by minimizing time spent trying to communicate across and within teams. Salesforce provides multiple tools for on-demand work collaboration, as well as quick communication. Many companies see a dramatic decline in emails after using Chatter. Tasks and events that are automatically created and synced to the digital calendars of sales teams also increase efficiency, forecasting, and opportunity management. Improving sales productivity with Sales Cloud Sales Cloud can be used to dramatically increase sales productivity for many organizations. Sales Cloud can increase forecasting accuracy, which has many obvious benefits. Tracking and managing leads, following up with them, and converting them with a single click of a button can help sales teams focus more on selling and less on entering data into a cumbersome Excel spreadsheet. Organizing massive amounts of data and presenting these results in a way that makes sense to users in real time is one of the most powerful weapons of Sales Cloud. In essence, there really is no secret formula to how Salesforce boosts productivity and efficiency for sales teams. You can manage and view all customer information in one place, while updating contacts or following up with them (again, from the same single place), and track all this using powerful reporting to see trends over time and act accordingly. You can organize your tasks by priority, forecast more accurately, and respond to customers more quickly, thereby helping your business become a “customer company.” Generating better leads with Marketing Cloud Marketing Cloud is really a suite of multiple product offerings, but here you’ll see a focus on email campaigns, marketing automation, and lead management, and how Marketing Cloud can improve your organization’s ability to execute on all of them. Managing email campaigns with Marketing Cloud How can you drive online commerce, as well as sell to and build customer relationships, without email? Email is the engine behind these forces. Marketing Cloud gives companies the tools to quickly create and automate attention-grabbing emails to customers throughout the customer life cycle. It’s essentially a user interface for managing communications and content to a wide customer base. The platform maintains mailing lists and schedules and can modify email messages based on what recipients read, click, and forward. You can easily filter your subscriber base so that you’re sending specific, targeted emails based on criteria or events of your choosing. You don’t want certain customers to be bothered by email campaigns? No problem. All of this can be set up and monitored as you desire. ExactTarget is the name Marketing Cloud used to go by, so if you see ExactTarget in documentation somewhere, don’t get confused. Improving marketing automation How much time have you wasted tracking down customer activity, emailing potential buyers that weren’t even interested, or trying to understand who clicked your links? Marketing automation is a general term for platforms that enable the automation of repetitive tasks, as they relate to marketing on multiple online channels. In other words, automating marketing communication. So, via multiple channels, a company that uses marketing automation is able to manage and automate the targeting, timing, and content of outbound messages. What’s more, it can do this intelligently, using cues from prospective actions and behaviors on the customer side. Think of this like responding to body language. In today’s world, consumers do their homework and visit the websites of multiple competitors before deciding which product they want to buy. Email blasts are no longer acceptable means of capturing a large piece of the consumer pie. More personalized and sensitive communications must be sent out, based on various criteria such as the buyer’s role in his or her organization or the buyer’s purchase readiness. It’s more important than ever to send the right message at the right time. Marketing Cloud includes a host of features that assist in automating these marketing processes. Even better, Marketing Cloud is already part of the Salesforce network, meaning that you can leverage all the information in one database, instead of worrying about complex integration of various systems feeding into one another. Now it’s easier than ever to manage these interactions and deploy online campaigns from a central platform. Identifying qualified leads with Pardot Leads are the lifeblood of your business. The more leads you generate and pursue, the greater the chance that your revenue will grow. You probably already know that with Salesforce, you can plan, manage, measure, and improve lead generation, qualification, and conversion. You can see how much business you or your team generates, the sources of that business, and who in your team is making it happen. What about the step preceding that, though? There’s no use in filling your pipeline with leads that won’t actually follow through. So, how do you make sure your leads are qualified? Pardot, Salesforce’s marketing automation tool, ensures that you fill your pipeline with the highest-quality leads. You can use the tool to create custom landing pages, lead capture forms, and targeted personalized emails. This helps your business shorten the sales cycle and close deals faster. You can set up personalized lead scoring based on criteria that you decide, to evaluate how qualified prospective buyers are. You can control which marketing content and messaging goes out to those leads based on that score criteria. Finally, you can add those leads that aren’t quite ready to buy to your nurture campaigns, so that you can spend more time “nurturing” them into high-scoring leads that will more likely purchase your product. This, in turn, accelerates your pipeline and ensures that team effort is being spent where it will pay off most, all from a central place. Providing excellent customer service with Service Cloud When the sale is closed, good companies don’t say sayonara. An organization should still keep tabs on customers, or have relevant purchase history ready on the off chance that the customer will reach out with questions or issues. This is the foundation of customer support. Salesforce Service Cloud is a tool that helps call centers and customer service agents track customer interactions after point of sale. Managing customer interactions with cases Remember when you used to call a toll-free number about a broken product that you bought? Maybe you emailed a support email address or filled out a web form. Whichever method you chose, chances are, you weren’t at your happiest at that moment. And who can blame you? It’s critical that customers receive world-class customer service from companies. Today, customers demand satisfaction more than ever before. If they aren’t satisfied, they can easily turn to competitors, or even worse, create smear campaigns against a company with bad customer service on social media networks. Have you ever heard a customer service representative say, “One second while I pull up your record”? Those records are what are called cases in Service Cloud. Cases are related to contact records, so when a customer calls in, an agent can quickly pull up her record and see not only her purchase history, but also a record of every issue and interaction that customer has had with your organization. Cases, and the ability to clearly see what’s going on with customers, make both your customer service reps, as well as your customers themselves, much happier. Nobody wants to be transferred to another agent, only to have to repeat the issue for the third time. Service Cloud uses case management to expedite and streamline customer service, creating a much more efficient experience for everyone involved and bringing your service organization into the 21st century. Using Service Cloud to interact with the customer across multiple channels Service Cloud has an added benefit: the ability to interact with customers across multiple channels. Or perhaps it’s better said differently: Service Cloud gives your customers the choice of how they want to connect with your company. Not only can customers choose to contact you anytime, anywhere, and from any device, but they can also choose the medium through which they do so. Some customers are old-fashioned and prefer calling a toll-free number. Other customers dread long hold times and would rather chat with an agent online. Giving your customers the choice to contact you the way they see fit will do wonders for their perception of your company. Service Cloud gives you many different ways to do this, and it will pay off in terms of satisfaction, as well as reduced operational cost.

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Options for Data Migration into Salesforce

Article / Updated 01-19-2020

Salesforce has an easy-to-use wizard that steps you through importing your Campaign Member updates, Leads, Accounts, Contacts, and custom objects. If you’re a system administrator or you have the right profile permissions, you can perform these tasks for your users. For other objects’ legacy data (such as Opportunities, Cases, and Activities) that you want to have in Salesforce, you have to enter information manually or use the Data Loader, which is a data import and export tool that comes with Enterprise and Unlimited editions to automatically migrate data into Salesforce. Using the Salesforce Data Import wizard The Data Import wizard for importing Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Solutions, and custom objects is conveniently located under the Integrations heading in the Lightning Experience Setup. It has a user-friendly interface that walks you through importing or updating records. If you’re an administrator, you also see an Import button in the upper-right section of tab home pages. For example, if you want to import your company’s Leads, click the Leads tab, and then click the Import button, which is to the right of the page’s displayed list view title. Steps and tips for using the import wizard for different objects’ records varies: Import Leads: Only a user with the Import Leads permission can perform this operation. Import Contacts and Accounts: Salesforce uses the same wizard that can take you through importing Contacts and/or Accounts. Individual users also have the ability to import their personal Contacts and Accounts. Import new campaign members or update them when linked to a campaign: Salesforce uses the same Data Import wizard, but this time exposes just the Campaign Member object to update marketing statuses for Leads and Contacts. Investigating the Salesforce Data Loader Data migration is a tricky matter. The Data Loader is a small client application that helps bulk-import or bulk-export data in comma-separated value (.csv) format. You access this tool by choosing Integrations → Data Loader. With this tool, you can move data into and out of any type of record in Salesforce, including Opportunities and custom objects. The Data Loader supports inserting, updating, deleting, and exporting Salesforce records. As someone famous once said, with great power also comes great responsibility. Only use Data Loader if you’re comfortable with understanding how objects, records, and workflows and/or triggers relate to each other. Data Loader is a very powerful tool for nontechnical users. You can export data, import data, accidentally overwrite and delete a lot of data, and set off a domino effect of workflow rules if you’re not careful. Always make sure to make a backup of the data if you’re planning to make an update. You might be problem-free without a backup until that one time a mistake is made and you can’t undo the 1000s of fields you’ve overwritten. Several vendors also provide proven extract, transform, load tools (ETLs) that enable you to migrate records to (or from) Salesforce, automatically scrub and transform the data based on custom logic that you define, and append those records where appropriate. Without getting too technical, experts link data by using the Salesforce application program interface (API) to enable your technical people to access data programmatically. The Salesforce platform is used to customize or integrate Salesforce to do even snazzier things than what you can do with it out of the box. And before you suffer from jargon overload, a platform is basically a collection of rules and commands that programmers can use to tell a program — Salesforce, in this case — to do certain things. To access the Salesforce API, though, you must have Enterprise or Unlimited Edition. Migrating your legacy data into Salesforce During the preparation phase of your implementation, you need a well-thought-out and well-documented plan for your data migration strategy. That plan needs to include details on objectives, resources, contingencies, and timelines based on the different steps in your plan. Here are some of the steps that you should consider. Determining your data sources Most companies typically have some type of existing contact management tool, a variety of spreadsheets with other customer data, and often, contact information living in users’ email inboxes and productivity applications (not to mention Word documents and sticky notes). As you go through your preparation, assess what and how much information needs to be in Salesforce. Here are some tips for this step: Garbage in, garbage out. When you move to a new home, you usually look through your old home’s closets and decide what to haul with you and what to throw away. Moving data requires the same type of evaluation. Make a list. Catalog the different data sources, including what types of records, what range, and how many. Design a storage plan. Work with your customer relationship management (CRM) project team to determine where different information should go — and why. Think about the timing and the sequence of the import. For example, many companies create user records first, then import Accounts and Contacts, and finally, migrate and append Opportunities. Keep it simple, if possible. The more complicated you make the migration, the greater the impact on your timeline. Assess the level of effort versus the potential value of the effort. Preparing your data for migration to Salesforce Clean it now, or clean it later. Some project teams like to “scrub” data before importing it into Salesforce. Identifying and merging duplicates makes finding the right record easier. Fixing inconsistencies in your data, such as ensuring that all State/Province fields hold two-character abbreviations, makes reports more accurate. If your legacy system doesn’t make cleanup easy, you might prefer to bring all the records into Salesforce first and then use the Salesforce data management tools to clean data later. The risk is that people with the best intentions may still succumb to human nature and not want to focus on the cleanup effort once the data is already in the new system. Regardless of when you do it, cleaning data is not glamorous work, but it’s gotta be done, and should be done on a regular basis. Here are a few tips as you prepare your data: Export to a simple format. Oftentimes, it’s easiest to export data to applications like Microsoft Access or Excel, with which you can delete columns, sort rows, and make global changes. Strive to use standard naming conventions. If different data sources refer to Accounts by different names (for example, IBM versus International Business Machines), now is a good time to standardize naming. This can help avoid duplicate record creation. Edit or add fields in Salesforce to support the migration. For example, if your pipeline reports track margin per Opportunity, you need to build a custom Opportunity field to support margin data. If your existing data source has unique record IDs, migrate those IDs to a custom read-only field. You can always delete or hide the field at a later stage. Not only can this help you verify the accuracy of your migration, but those IDs might also come in handy for integration (especially if you don’t plan to shut down the other data source). Map your data columns to field names in Salesforce. For example, the Company field in Microsoft Outlook typically maps to the Account field in Salesforce. Some system administrators even rename the column headers in migration files so that they exactly match field names in Salesforce. Doing this minimizes the migration madness. Conform your data to fit Salesforce standards (or the other way around). Each field in Salesforce has certain properties that may include size limitations, decimal points, date formats, and so on. Add a Data Source column to your import file and map it to a custom field in Salesforce. By doing this, you can defend where data came from. Assign the correct owners to records wherever possible. If you don’t have all records assigned, the owner defaults to whichever administrator is executing the migration. Gain acceptance from stakeholders of the files you’ve prepared. At least if you offer them the chance to review, you avoid surprises. Testing the import into Salesforce Test before you execute the final migration. Often, you discover things that you missed or could improve. For example, fields can be mapped incorrectly, or you may just need to create some extra ones. Here are a couple of tips: Select a small sample of significant records. The higher profile the records, the better — especially when reviewed by a stakeholder. Remember to turn off workflows. You don’t want to annoy other users by unnecessarily alerting them when test data flows through the workflow rules. Some of you may think that it’s helpful to keep certain workflow rules on especially if they were built to prevent bad data from coming in. This is not true. Do the work ahead of time and prepare the data well, before importing. Review page layout. Consider adjusting the page layouts to make validating the data import easier. Put fields in Salesforce in similar screen locations to those of your legacy systems. Analyzing the test data results When your test data is in Salesforce, compare it carefully with your test file to ensure accuracy and completeness. Here are a few tips on how to productively analyze the test data results: Build a custom report that allows you to look at the record data collectively. Open a record, if necessary, and compare it against the import file. Confirm that the record’s fields show what you think they should show. Build a custom view from a relevant tab’s home page to see your imported data laid out in columns on a list page. Users could go to a report, but a view keeps them focused. Validate the data with selected stakeholders to get their feedback and support that the test data results look correct. It’s not enough that you think the test import was accurate. Your end-users are the ultimate test. Adjust your process or make changes to the import file or Salesforce based on the results of the test import. For example, maybe you forgot to map a field or the data didn’t import correctly because of a field’s properties. Migrating your final data After you successfully analyze the test data results, you’re ready to import your file(s). Yes, that’s a simplification of what could be a complicated set of tasks, but the overall process is tried and true. Here are a few suggestions for this step: Communicate expectations with your users. If you’re moving from one system to another, you might have a lapse in which data must be updated prior to going live. Do it during downtime. If you have significant data, consider running the migration during nonworking hours. Especially if the system is live for some groups of users already, this may avoid confusion. Save the log files of records that didn’t successfully import. The error messages are fairly intuitive, and you can usually see common rejection reasons for why certain records didn’t get imported. Make sure to spend time determining whether the rejection is caused by a data-formatting or quality issue as opposed to a pesky workflow rule that you didn’t intend to fire. Build yourself some cushion for error. Don’t try to execute the migration the day before sales training. Something unanticipated could happen that prevents successful completion. Validating and augmenting your data Similar to analyzing results of the test data when the data has been loaded, run reports to validate a cross-sampling of records to ensure accuracy and completeness. If you can, compare screens in Salesforce with those of your legacy system. Make sure that data is stored in the correct fields and that values make sense. If you see an address in a phone field, you need to clean your data or fix your field mapping. Strive for perfectly imported data — but expect less than that, too. Prior to rolling out Salesforce, take the extra step of manually or automatically updating some records to wow users and drive more success. When giving a demonstration or training, show users these fully entered examples and let them know the potential for Salesforce. Once you have everything in Salesforce, the fun begins!

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A Brief Guide to Salesforce AppExchange

Article / Updated 01-16-2020

As customers, employees, and partners began building custom Salesforce applications (or apps), some bright person came up with an idea: Wouldn’t it be great if other customers like you could simply try, download, and install these custom Salesforce apps without having to build them on their own? iTunes uses the web to distribute music, so why shouldn’t enterprise applications work the same way? Enter the AppExchange, the website owned and operated by Salesforce where you can try, download, and quickly install apps that can extend the value of Salesforce to meet your unique needs. You can even use the Salesforce AppExchange to share your custom apps with everyone. Of course, the biggest benefit beyond how much easier your life will be is the impact on your users. The AppExchange isn’t just about easy sharing — it’s about your employees using integrated business apps with all your information in one place. Customers, partners, and Salesforce personnel can all provide AppExchange with applications. Many of them, particularly the ones published by Salesforce employees (a.k.a. Salesforce Labs), are free to install and use. Others, such as the ones provided by partners, may have a fee associated with them. Some apps may be very straightforward to customize and use, other can help address complicated business processes and be fine-tuned to the specific needs of your business, but may need a more formal requirements gathering process. Downloading music and videos from the web is something we take for granted nowadays. But downloading enterprise apps? Wow, that was like a whole ’nother animal back in the day. Salesforce’s innovation here has made this a normal expectation of enterprise cloud applications. When you get down to it, the AppExchange is still about the exchange of a package of goods from one party to another. As with many innovations, getting the most out of a new system usually amounts to understanding some basic terms and knowing your limits before jumping in. Here are a few key terms you should know about Salesforce AppExchange before you get started: Installation: The process by which you download, install, and deploy a custom app from AppExchange. You can control how many profiles can have access to the app upon download. Publishing: The process by which you package a portion of your customizations and make them available, either publicly or privately, on the AppExchange. The users that do this the most are independent software vendor (ISV) partners of Salesforce, who market, sell, and distribute their custom app here. Managed package: An AppExchange package created and maintained by a verified third-party vendor, typically an ISV partner. Unlike unmanaged packages, whose components you can modify and customize, managed package components have limited customization capabilities. This allows vendors to provide you with an offering with some proprietary code that you can’t muck around with, and a subsequent upgrade path that’ll leave you successful instead of stuck in the mud because you changed something that’s not supported by a newer version. And here are a few more things to keep in mind when it comes to AppExchange: Although anyone can visit the AppExchange to view videos, and review marketing collateral and installation guides, to install and share apps, you must have a Salesforce instance and have administrative rights to that instance. (Are you letting out that sigh of relief?) You can publish many types of AppExchange components, not just custom apps, on the AppExchange. You can exchange custom links, dashboards, Lightning components, Visualforce code snippets, and more. Some apps are self-contained — native — in Salesforce. They were built with the Lightning Platform and don’t depend on other external applications. Other custom apps are Such apps may look and feel like Salesforce apps but connect with other services not owned by Salesforce. A large network of ISV partners have created apps that have become “household names” (at least to Sales Operations teams), like DocuSign and Conga. At the same time, newer vendors continue to appear and provide solutions. Apps do go through a security and business plan review, but you should still remember caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Do your research, read the reviews, and make sure to review the package’s components before opting to test this out in a sandbox environment. Familiarize yourself with the AppExchange and then try out some apps before you decide whether you want to use them. If you want to install a custom prebuilt app, you can do it with a few simple clicks. This process amounts to downloading the package, installing the app into your instance of Salesforce, and deploying it to all or a portion of your users. A package refers to all the components that make up the custom app. A package may include custom tabs and objects, code, custom links, custom profiles, reports, dashboards, documents, and more. To install a custom app, follow these steps: Click the Get It Now button on the app’s detail page in AppExchange. Click the Log In button to log in using your Salesforce credentials. This identifies who you are. If you’ve already got Salesforce open in another tab in your browser, you’ll move to the next step. Make sure you enter the information that reflects which org you want to install the app into. Choose whether you want to continue the installation of the app in your production or sandbox. Larger organizations may have customizations that need to be tested with this package. A sandbox that is practically an exact copy of what you have in your live system is a good place to kick the tires without the potential of impacting your business if something goes wrong. If you don’t have access to a sandbox, make sure you have some more information on the vendor and what exactly the app will do. If you trust the vendor and package, install the app in your production environment, but make sure you make it visible just to system administrators first until they’ve thoroughly tested the installation. Review the installation details that appear, which confirms what you’ll be installing and what information will be provided to the publisher. Salesforce makes this as transparent an installation as possible. Check the box to confirm that you’ve read the terms and conditions, and then click the Confirm and Install button to continue. Enter your Salesforce login and password again for the org in which you want to install the app. The Package Installation Details page appears in Salesforce. If you’re experimenting with the AppExchange for the first time, you may want to consider using the Sandbox Edition or a free Developer Edition instance to install, customize, and test the custom app. Examine the details of what’s getting installed by clicking the View Components link. This page pops up to summarize the custom app’s details, including objects, code, fields, tabs, reports, and dashboards. Make sure that you examine the contents of a package thoroughly before proceeding. Understand the package’s API access to various objects, including details of what permissions the package will have on what objects. Select a radio button to choose the audience that you’ll be installing this package for: admins only, all users, or certain profiles. It's a good idea to start with first testing this out to admins only. Then you can think about who has access to edit and view the contents of the app before you’re ready to deploy it live. If you want to install the app for select profiles, the Select Specific Profiles details appear on the same page. Click the Install button. A progress page appears as installation begins. If the installation is taking a while, a notification will appear that Salesforce will notify you when the installation is complete. In the meantime, you’ll be directed to the Installed Packages page to monitor the status of the package. After you install the app, you can use the Lightning Platform to modify its tabs, objects, and other customizations, just as though you had built the custom app yourself. Even though you’ve installed the app as recommended above, it’s not available to non-administrators until it’s deployed. Check out how you can use AppExchange to measure user adoption.

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10 Keys to a Successful Migration to Salesforce Lightning

Article / Updated 01-16-2020

If your company’s instance of Salesforce is just a few years old and the Lightning Experience is enabled by default, congratulations! You have a fairly young instance of Salesforce, and hopefully the guidance we’ve given you in this book can ensure your Salesforce customizations use best practices that will scale for the future. Let’s say that you really want to take advantage of the more modern interface, and the various enhancements that are available only in the Lightning Experience, but you know that your hordes of users have learned how to navigate around your particular instance and the technical resources always seem to be playing catch-up with day-to-day emergencies, let alone helping you with the transition. What’s a Salesforce administrator to do? Here, you find ten steps to help you successfully navigate a transition to the Lightning Experience. With this information, the journey should become less daunting as you get a better idea of what to anticipate, taken from lessons learned from those who have come before you. Why the transition to Salesforce Lightning needs to happen now Yes, the Lightning Experience looks so much cooler and more current than that Classic interface. Yes, all the demos and videos you see about new features always show the world through Lightning Experience lenses. But before you decide to venture on the journey to transition to this new UI, you should really understand what you get (and sometimes, don’t get) with the Lightning Experience. In building out this new UI, Salesforce prioritized key user personas and use cases in a very intentional order. As the majority of its users are in Sales, they focused on transitioning core Sales Cloud features, and over the years have iterated on additional processes within Sales Cloud, while also rolling out the experience for Service Cloud users. Make sure you understand both the new features you get with the Lightning Experience that don’t exist in the Classic world, and the ones that aren’t yet supported. You should keep checking as Salesforce has multiple releases a year that continue to narrow the gap between UIs. The following are page names and related URLs in Salesforce’s own Help documentation that can summarize this for you. These change often so go here for the latest information: New features only in the Lightning Experience Comparing Lighting Experience and Salesforce Classic Note the new Lighting-only features you think could benefit your company, and why. Then explain why this transition matters, now. This helps identify both the importance and urgency of getting this project on the roadmap. Tie it to business outcomes: can it help your sales teams get to creating or closing more Opportunities, faster? Can it reduce a lot of time (and thus, money) and headache shouldered by your IT or Sales Operations team? Also note any missing features and try to categorize this by teams that might be impacted by this, and by how much. That is, maybe Sales can benefit from Lightning, but the Marketing team working in Campaigns all day who also need to look at Opportunities might not have the full feature experience in the former area (for now). Identify your executive sponsor Proposing a transition to the Lighting Experience is a big deal. For some managers and reps, this initiative can cause concerns for a variety of reasons: People get set in their ways, they assume that it’s going to take a lot of their time, and they think there are more urgent business or technical matters to address first, and so on. When other top priorities at work begin creeping in, it’s easy for the importance of the Lightning transition to fall along the wayside. Every initiative needs a champion to help drive the Lighting migration in your company. That person is there to rally support, break logjams, and ensure that your team has the resources to get things done. Identify who that person will be, and how they and their teams will most benefit from the Lightning Experience in such a way that they realize the urgency of the transition. What are some of their current pain points that you think LEX can address? None of the cool LEX features will matter to your company until you can highlight the ones that help address business outcomes, and until you can spell out which groups will benefit (and ideally, by how much). It’s a good idea to identify an executive sponsor once you’ve thought about who would benefit the most. Work with her to get buy-in, so that she can communicate what’s in it for the implementation team and set expectations for what’s needed from all participants. This will go a long way toward calming fears, gaining support and commitment, and nudging the team toward your north star when the team members are at an impasse. Build your Salesforce lightning project team The transition to the Lightning Experience is less about technology and more about people, human processes, and your business. In fancy business-speak, what was just described is “change management”. For your company to get the most out of LEX and the journey to enable it, you need to develop a team made up of critical stakeholders, Salesforce experts, and a cross section of end-users. If your instance is used just by sales and marketing, that might mean that the team includes managers from marketing, sales operations, and IT, some respected sales reps, and hopefully a member of your executive team. This team doesn’t have to be huge, nor should members expect to be involved in this project full-time. But you must have people who can speak for the business teams, and you must have the resources you need to get the job done. Get every stakeholder to understand the team’s objectives and to buy in from the first meeting. Evaluate your current Salesforce customizations Review each business process that is reflected in your Salesforce instance, and understand how it may change in the new UI. The “it” can be anything from the number of clicks, where something is clicked, where someone has to go to initiate and complete the process, and what back-end technical work needs to be done to get the same behavior (if at all). If you’re not sure if you’ve identified all the groups that may be using Salesforce to track something, it’s best that you also check with your project team. Chances are someone may remember a team whose business process you weren’t familiar with. Add that to the list. Once you have a high level list of key stakeholder groups and the business processes they perform in Salesforce, work with your technical team members to compare notes on functionality as they should also be understanding technical improvements and workarounds that may be needed for any potential modifications to custom code. At this point, or in parallel, a Salesforce administrator should go into Salesforce (Classic) and run the Readiness Report from SetupàLightning Experience. This is an automatic report that is generated with specific analysis of your org’s customizations, and permissions given to your user profiles. This is another key step in making the ambiguous daunting unknown of migrating to Lightning less intimidating and more tangible. Review this information with your technical team. If you have an old org, there may be a lot of unused (or, at least, unrecognized) customizations that come up. Make a note of these are you try to reverse engineer what business process this customization supports, which business users it impacts (if any). Try to translate what some customizations do into business-speak and work with your stakeholders to see if anyone has any historical context. Make note of which processes are old and can be deprecated for sure (at least, from a business’s point of view), which ones no one knows about, and which ones are critical to keep. The Lightning Experience readiness report also iterates regularly, so make sure to routinely run this to see if any enhancements have occurred that may change any part of your last assessment. The Lightning Experience readiness report does its best to assess the majority of your org’s customizations and the impact of LEX on your user profiles. Confirm business processes as a key element to your “state of our org” assessment. Understand the level of technical effort needed for each process to live in the new UI. By doing this, you gain further understanding to drive agreement on prioritization of which business processes to replicate and when to roll them out in Lightning (if at all). Ideally you will know enough of Lighting features that you can assess if a new “standard in Lightning” feature can replace a custom less-efficient process in the current org; be sure to call out that as reducing the reliance on custom code (and internal teams that are already stretched thin). Ensure that you’re creating a plan that addresses existing or desired processes of managers and their teams. Plan your change management strategy Once you’ve fine-tuned your value proposition, spelled out the potential ROI that can be gained with the change, have an idea of which features will behave a certain way, confirmed the technical effort level needed, and taken inventory of the business groups that will be impacted, you need to solidify your change management strategy. That’s a fancy way of saying that the more you can manage expectations, remind people of why they’re undergoing this, and ensure them that it’s all worth, the more you can plan for a successful transition. To demonstrate to decision makers that you’ve really thought this out, make your objectives measurable by applying specific success metrics to an objective. (A success metric is a numerical goal that you want to achieve, ideally within a specified time frame.) For example, it’s one thing to say that you want to reduce contract negotiation time, and it’s quite another to define that you want to reduce response time and mouse clicks by 20 percent as a result of the Lightning transition. Salesforce has taken its immense set of learnings and community tips and provided change management templates and guidance so you don’t have to feel like you’re starting from step 0 without a lifeline. These templates will help you articulate the benefits and secure buy-in from various stakeholders to address the “why are we doing this?” and “why are we doing this now?” questions. You can find more in-depth discussion about change management recommendations at Salesforce’s “Change Management for a Successful Transition to Lightning Experience” page. Define your scope and prioritize initiatives for a successful Lightning migration You can do a lot with Salesforce, and if you’re working with an older Salesforce instance, many customizations have probably happened to it; some will be complex, some will be simple-but-convoluted (why did they build so many workflows chained together?), and sometimes the odd process in Salesforce is just reflecting odd inefficiencies in your business process that no one has bothered to optimize because “that’s how we’ve always done it,” or “that’s the only way we could do it in Salesforce X years ago.” As you evaluate these customizations, the more complex ones could increase the time to fully transition to the Lightning Experience, as more teams (often technical ones) have to get involved. As you assess the various business processes, prioritize initiatives and determine what’s in scope and out of scope for the initial implementation. Consider keeping the transition limited by focusing on the major priorities, but only if you can determine a fair and painless workaround for teams and processes not in the first phase. Also evaluate which existing business processes could be dramatically improved and simplified in Lightning (whether that’s counted in mouse clicks, or transitions or notifications to different business teams). This transition could be the kick in the pants that some teams need to improve previously inefficient processes (since, who wants to transition a known crappy process into a new world?). You’ll need to balance the ability to improve broken processes in the new UI, against the time it may take to get all the buy-in and do the standard transition work to make the behavior change. Be prepared to propose potential new behavior to key stakeholders so they understand the benefits. Manage expectations as to the effort level needed for any retraining (you know that old adage about old dogs learning new tricks? You don’t have to be physically old to be established in your ways around how you work in Salesforce . . .) Be ready to socialize this with key approvers who might be managers that may not be in the tactical weeds every day, so you can gain their support of there are behavioral issues where you need their help to unblock stubborn situations. Confirm the Salesforce Lightning experience for your business After you evaluate your company’s business processes, understand which ones are supported and not-yet supported in Salesforce, the effort level needed on the business and technical sides to make this transition, and what sort of rollout approach you’re going to take, you’re going to want to start prototyping the new world to ensure it can still be modeled to reflect your business. There may be times where the location of a Lightning button may change, or the need for an existing button goes away due to standard functionality in Lightning. At this point you should be able to tell if there are any core business processes that “totally won’t work” in the new UI, “will work with retraining”, or “will work as before.” However, it goes without saying that you’re probably new to the Lightning Experience too, or at least a transition, and may have some questions to confirm your assessment. Work closely with your Salesforce Customer Success Manager, and technical team to validate your findings, to ensure questions can be addressed sooner rather than later. If you still have questions, make sure to ask your peers on the community forums as well. Customize Salesforce Lightning for user relevance When designing Lightning records and layouts, keeping it simple isn’t always appropriate. Some businesses do have complex needs. Some may just have a lot of custom field buildup that they haven’t ever prioritized the time to clean up. In the old Classic UI, when a record got too long and bloated with a ton of fields, people would create page layouts to hide fields that no one used but no one wanted to spend the time to determine if they should be deleted or not. Use this transition as yet another housekeeping milestone. If you could scrub your page layouts yet again, what additional fields would you hide? Which are the handful of fields in a record that all users swear by? It’ll be helpful to know this as you build Lightning page layouts, as fields are surfaced in a new look and feel, and can be highlighted in new ways. When folks hover over a lookup field, is the information they’re seeing, sufficient? Use this as a time to make low-effort small adjustments to search result layouts too, to improve relevancy and adoption while people learn a new interface. Regardless of UI adopted, it’s just good practice to focus your customization on relevancy to your users. Standardize information as often as possible, using picklists rather than free text fields, which will help with more accurate reporting. For fields that have to be text fields (such as the Opportunity Name), use this time to determine a simple standard naming convention. As you accomplish major milestones (such as customization of different records or layouts), validate and socialize your work with a representative of your end-users. By doing this, you can make sure at key points that you’re building a solution that works for your internal customer, while also giving them an advance preview of the Lightning Experience, which should make the transition more tangible and less daunting. Build a comprehensive training plan for Salesforce Lightning As early as you can in the transition process, start building a training plan. (A change management plan is different in that training is a part of change management, but also encompasses a lot of other elements around socialization, alignment building, and expectation setting.) Don’t assume that users will know what to do their first day in the Lightning Experience. Just because the look and feel looks more modern, user’s brains still have to undo (sometimes) years of learning how to navigate within Salesforce Classic. Those that think they can just brute force learn this on their own will miss out on a lot of nuances and productivity improvements, even if they do learn a few small processes very well. While Salesforce has a ton of online videos, documentation, and Trailhead self-paced learnings, you should still prepare training materials relevant enough to your customization. Take parts of the online materials and weave it into your own company’s custom training efforts. Make sure you preview materials — there may be some features you’re not implementing, and you may be asked why or why not. Blend prerequisite classes, custom sales training, and reinforcement training in your plan. The key is to make sure that enough relevant training is provided so that people effectively and correctly know how to use Salesforce in the Lightning Experience on the day they transition, or feel they remember enough of the training to unblock themselves if they get stuck. Your new customization may look awesome, but if a user feels helpless (or worse, stupid) in a new UI that they previously thought they were very proficient in, you will have a much harder adoption journey. If you don’t have the time or resources to deliver the training part, consider reaching out to Salesforce for help with some custom training made for your business. Connect with peers during the Lightning migration As you evaluate the transition to the Lightning Experience, and after your teams are up and running in it, you should constantly gather feedback and track how adoption is faring. Also, get out there and meet your peers — others who have rolled out Lightning and have advice and stories to share. Through online community discussion boards, local user group meetings, and Dreamforce (Salesforce’s annual user conference), you have several channels where you can ask questions, seek guidance, and share information that can ensure a smooth transition to the Lightning Experience.

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