How to Review Activities on Salesforce

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

You can use activities in Salesforce to track all the significant tasks and events involved in acquiring, selling, and servicing customers. Think about all the actions that you and your teams perform to accomplish your job — meetings, calls, e-mails, even the occasional physical letter — and imagine the value of all that information in one place at your fingertips.

You can have such a place in Salesforce, and you can easily link your activities together in an organized fashion.

Salesforce features several types of activities that you can access from the Open Activities and Activity History related lists displayed on many of the major records, including accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, and cases. The following list briefly explains all the various activity records you can track in Salesforce:

  • Task: Essentially a to-do. Use this activity record as your online yellow sticky note. It’s an activity that needs to be completed, but it doesn’t have a specific time or duration associated with it. For example, if you know that you’re supposed to follow up with a contact by sending a written letter, you can create a task such as Send Letter.

  • Event: A calendared activity. An event has a scheduled time, date, and duration associated with it. Examples of common events are Meetings, Conference Calls, and Tradeshows.

  • Log a Call: A task record of a completed call. Use Log a Call during or after a call to make sure that you capture important details. For example, use it when a contact calls you and you want to record comments or outcomes from the discussion.

  • Send an Email: Logs an activity for an e-mail that you send to a contact or a lead. You can send e-mails from Salesforce or a third-party e-mail product like Microsoft Outlook or Gmail for Business, and capture that information directly inside Salesforce.

Salesforce’s online suggestion box feature, also known as Salesforce Ideas, allows you and a community of other Salesforce users to post suggestions on any topic for others to vote on and discuss. Ideas can be used just internally within your company and among your peers, or to gather requests from external constituents like your customer base.

This sharing of ideas is a valuable way for your company to mine feedback that could result in product or service innovations, or process changes. Ideas are ranked based on popularity over time, and you can group Ideas into multiple subject areas.

To see examples of companies getting feedback from their customers, visit My Starbucks Idea, and saleforce.com’s own IdeaExchange.