Blog

The official Arkus blog provides your weekly dose for all thing Salesforce. Stay on top of the latest, most relevant Salesforce features, applications, and best practices.

Ideas Delivered in Salesforce Releases

The IdeaExchange and it’s importance with every Salesforce releases.
Ideas Delivered in Salesforce Releases

Ideas Delivered in Salesforce Releases

The IdeaExchange is a big part of the Salesforce Success Community.  For those who don’t know what it is, this is a place where customers, partners, and even Salesforce employees can log feature requests for the Salesforce platform. These ideas are then crowd-sourced, voted on, and commented on.  But most importantly, Salesforce is seeking, acknowledging, and responding to the ways in which the community feels Salesforce should evolve as a platform.  The result is an ever growing number of ideas that are delivered with each Salesforce release. As an example, approximately 199 ideas have been delivered in just the last 3 releases.

Let’s take a look at not only the enhancements Salesforce is working on building into the IdeaExchange but also a few great ideas deployed in the latest release; Winter ‘15.

Enhancements coming from Salesforce on the IdeaExchange

  • Point Thresholds and Statuses  - Salesforce built this into the voting points system.  Once an Idea hits a certain point threshold, the idea is sent to the Salesforce product team for review.  The nice things is that they’ve revised and made the status more descriptive and are visually showing the progression of these statuses on the idea.  All Ideas will now have a status which will look like these: 

An Idea under the threshold:

Idea Exchange Under Threshold

 

An Idea above the threshold:

IdeaExchange - Over Threshold

 

  • Link to the Release Notes - For all Ideas that have been delivered in a release, they will be linked to the release notes. For the latest release you can find these in the IdeaExchange under the ‘Just Delivered’ menu option.
  • Fewer Idea Categories - This sounds like it’s still a work in progress, but, they are working on reducing the amount of categories you select when entering a new idea.  These will be more consistent with, say, a case you may enter. 
  • Idea Innovator Badges - Salesforce wants to recognize the great ideas the community creates.  It’s a work in progress but eventually they are going to give this badge to anyone who has created a badge that has been delivered in a release. I imagine this will grow in the future to provide additional accolades to these people.

Ideas Delivered in Winter ‘15

With 69 Ideas delivered just in the Winter ‘15 release, there’s no way I can go through all of them so here’s a few worth mentioning:

The IdeaExchange is not a vast but ignored ‘wish list’ depository as it is for some product companies, it’s a success community feature Salesforce takes very seriously, and, continue to improve upon on a regular basis. Have a great idea on new or enhancing features for Salesforce? Do you want to get an Idea Innovator Badge? I highly recommend you add your ideas to the IdeaExchange.

Do you have other favorite ideas delivered in the last release I didn’t mention? Please feel free to comment below, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @LeiferAshley or in the Success Community.

Stand Excited - Episode #201 of CloudFocus Weekly

Getting users excited about adoption, 3 AppExchange apps every Admin should have, Hubspot launches CRM and a Steve Jobs story.
Stand Excited - Episode #201 of CloudFocus Weekly

Stand Excited - Episode #201

Getting Users Excited About Using Salesforce

You can not underestimate the value and importance of user adoption when implementing and rolling out Salesforce to your organization or to a team.
Getting Users Excited About Using Salesforce

Getting Users Excited About Using Salesforce

Nothing is more frustrating than building an intricate, time saving, efficient system that no one wants to use. Users who are used to doing things a certain way do not necessarily want to change, especially if it seems like more work, has a huge learning curve, and does not personally provide them any incentive for doing the process another way. Change management can be a little tougher than it seems but investing time and energy on adoption strategies early in the process will have a big pay off. Here are a few tips and strategies that I have seen, picked up at Dreamforce in the past, and personally implemented. Any system administrator or manager rolling out Salesforce can use these to get users to be more open and excited about using Salesforce.


Early Buy-in

The earlier you can get users involved and invested, the better. That includes all stakeholders who will be using the platform. Providing a glimpse of what it looks like, how it will be used, and how it will save time, is so important to transitioning users from one system to another. If there are opportunities for users to take a test drive in a sandbox environment, it would be a great way to demystify the system very early on. Of course, emphasizing the efficiencies and time saving that each user will experience (via periodic recorded screen-share or webinar updates, for example) will engage users and possibly get them excited to try out this new system even if it’s different than what they are used to using.


Comprehensive Training

I cannot emphasize enough that all trainings should be hands-on as much as possible. The more users can do during the training, the faster they will learn and transition into using the system. Let them see and try their full process in action from start to finish, ask questions, and most importantly voice concerns. You might not be able to remedy their concerns right away but knowing where the challenges are puts you as the manager or system administrator in a better position to address it on the spot and find a solution. Also, begin to foster collaboration during the training via Chatter (within records directly) or Chatter groups so that users can support each other and really feel comfortable using Salesforce right from the start.


Resources & Support

In the first several months, providing users full support is also key. As users are transitioning, if they don’t have someone to help them remedy concerns or issues immediately and quickly, they will more easily become frustrated with the system and possibly have a negative connotation with it. Having easy to use user guides or quick tutorials specific to a users processes are also super helpful especially if there are steps they may not do as often as others. Sometimes guides can get long and bulky and it can become extremely difficult to find answers to quick questions. The more that you can break out the information and provide links to jump to those sections (something the Salesforce release notes does oh so well), the more likely users will turn to these resources to help them. As users get more comfortable, you can also begin to direct them to the Salesforce’s Help and Training to get more general support on the features themselves.


Showing Effort (via dashboards) & Providing Rewards

Who doesn’t love being acknowledged or praised for their hard work? Make an effort to reward users who are doing great things with their work, with Salesforce, or with supporting other colleagues (the list is endless). You can use great tools and/or platforms like Work.com, which actually allows you to design and give badges for great accomplishments. How cool is that? I still get so happy every time I get one. These are really great ways to publicly let an individual and their colleagues know that he/she performed well. Also, sometimes a little competition becomes fun and exciting too. Use dashboards to show how individuals teams or users are doing in different areas of the work in comparisons to others. Let this be the 1st things users see when they login into Salesforce. Who wants to see that they have the lowest # of sales or activities records?


End-users are some of the most critical stakeholders in the success of launching, scaling, and maintaining a Salesforce initiative. So the more that you can invest in not just teaching them what they have to do but getting them actively involved and seeing the benefits of the new system, the more they will want to use the system.


If there are other user adoption tips that you would like to share, please feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Success Community, on our facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @sylviacabral44.


Double Millennial - Episode #200 of CloudFocus Weekly

We celebrate the 200th episode, talk about things we are thankful for, a checklist for disabling SFDC system admins, NGO Connect and our live David Allen session.
Double Millennial - Episode #200 of CloudFocus Weekly

Double Millennial - Episode #200

Top 10 Reasons to be Grateful for Salesforce in 2014

Here is a look at the top ten reasons to be grateful for Salesforce in 2014.
Top 10 Reasons to be Grateful for Salesforce in 2014

Top 10 Reasons to be Grateful for Salesforce in 2014

Thanksgiving is always that one time of year where we give thanks for what we have.  A time to reflect on the past, what we have in the present and a little of what we have to look forward to.  In the spirit of being grateful, I thought it would be fun to list out some of the cool things Salesforce provided us this year that we should be grateful for.  Here are the top 10 reasons, in no particular order, to be grateful for Salesforce in 2014.

#10 Dreamforce

If you haven’t attended a Dreamforce, you are missing out.  Salesforce continues to deliver an amazing four day experience at their yearly conference and this one might of been it’s best ever.  From new product offerings to Hillary Clinton to Bruno Mars, each day provided new learning and entertainment experiences you will never forget.

#9 Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins was part of Dreamforce but since it touched me personally on how I could be a happier and successful person, I felt it deserved its own spot on the list.  If you have never experienced Tony live, this was a great taste of what he offers at his seminars. It was a fun three hours packed with high energy and message to take with you forever.  Additionally, all Dreamforce attendees got a free copy of his new book that was just released.

#8 Today in Salesforce1

The Today app released in Summer 14’ was a great addition to the newly released Salesforce1 platform.  The app provided some nice features like the ability to log events from Today into your Salesforce calendar (instant integration between device calendar and your Salesforce calendar), view account data, join conference calls and get weather information. Only downside is it is only available on the iPhone and not the iPad. Hopefully it is coming soon?????

#7 Salesforce1 Lightning

I cannot comment too much on this since it was just released at Dreamforce in October but what a concept.  With the new Lightning App Builder, administrators can now create custom user interfaces for their Force.com applications without writing a line of code. Beyond that even, they are “mobile first” interfaces that are designed to work on your desktop and mobile devices. I’m excited to see how this unfolds in the new year.

#6 Analytics Cloud - “Wave”

Another product released at Dreamforce this year was Analytics Cloud or the “Wave” which is  a great representation of Salesforce’s continual focus on innovation.  Wave is a data platform as well as a data-analysis front-end created to analyze not just Salesforce data, but also any third-party application data, desktop data, or public data you care to bring into the mix. Based on some reviews it seems like Salesforce is taking a bet on dominating another market.  Time will tell but it definitely shows the commitment to constantly innovating.

#5 Orders

The new Orders object released in Spring 14’ was a great addition to the Sales Cloud and especially the B2C market.  With Orders, users could create a single transaction, without being part of an opportunity sales cycle, like in a retail store.  It seems Salesforce is spending more time and effort on the B2C market and this is definitely a good step.

#4 Territory Management 2.0

For those “True to the Core” people, it was a nice surprise to see Territory Management get a facelift and new functionality that provides the ability to model much more complex scenarios for assigning accounts to your sales teams.  This is new, so the jury is still out, but it is always great to see Salesforce core functionality get some love.

#3 NGO Connect

The NonProfit Starter Pack (NPSP) offered by the Salesforce Foundation is a great platform for most NonProfits and it has been enhanced recently with the latest 3.0 version with even more functionality.  However, for those with more complex fundraising needs, it lacks some of the punch some other products have.  This is still relatively new but it is exciting to see other options offered to the Foundation clients.

#2 Al Gore

Al Gore was part of Dreamforce but his keynote was another I felt deserved it’s own spot on the list.  His presentation was very eye opening about our climate and our environment.  Simply said, we only have one home!  It definitely gave me things to think about and what I can do better. If you haven’t seen An Inconvenient Truth, I suggest you do.

#1 Giving Back - Feeding the Hungry

Salesforce does a ton of giving back with it’s 1:1:1 model, which is partly the Salesforce Foundation, but that is not all.  This year at Dreamforce a goal was set to collect one million meals to give to the poor and hungry.  Not only was that goal met but Tony Robbins and Marc Benioff each matched the number.  3 Million meals in one week, enough said.

If you think I missed anything please feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Success Community, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @Salvatoriello

Checklist for Disabling a Salesforce System Administrator

It inevitably happens from time to time where your organization’s long-time Salesforce system administrator leaves and you need to deactivate them.
Checklist for Disabling a Salesforce System Administrator

Checklist for Disabling a Salesforce System Administrator

Here is a checklist of items to go through so that you can properly disable them from the system.

There are often times a web of settings and data that doesn’t simply allow you to uncheck the active checkbox on the departing system administrator user, particularly if they are the only system administrator. Use these items listed below to make your life a whole lot easier when disabling a system administrator.

  • Freeze the user first (great feature, thanks for this one Salesforce) 
  • Check Web 2 Lead settings and change Default Lead Creator to a new system administrator or a marketing manager 
  • Check Lead Queue ownership
  • Check Support Settings and change Default Case Owner
  • Check Workflow & Approval Settings and change Default Workflow User
  • Check Scheduled Jobs and change all Report Owners and or Delete Scheduled Jobs
  • Go through every dashboard and make sure they are running as a different user
  • Go through all alerts and make sure user is not copied or emailed
  • Remove from Main Company Contact in the Company Information
  • Deactivate the user
  • Deal with data left behind because often times the system administrator ends up owning random records that aren’t assigned to anyone else

I’m sure there are some holes in this process, particularly for extremely complex orgs. This is meant to be a somewhat generic list of things to do and doesn’t consider any outside of Salesforce jobs that might be running such as integrations. It’s never a good practice to have an integration running as a specific user, they should always run as a generic “integration user” but you should always check for this as well.

Please feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Success Community, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @JustEdelstein.

Fully Connected - Episode #199 of CloudFocus Weekly

Back on a new platform with a catch up blogs, Salesforce1 World Tour NYC and new Salesforce1 Mobile.
Fully Connected - Episode #199 of CloudFocus Weekly

Fully Connected - Episode #199

Salesforce Two-Factor Authentication - A Test Drive

The good, bad and ugly of the Salesforce two-factor feature; higher security but at a price.
Salesforce Two-Factor Authentication - A Test Drive

Salesforce Two-Factor Authentication - A Test Drive

 

In a world of higher and higher security standards one of the best practices to implement is two-factor authentication. This is the method of adding a second factor to the username and password, where the password is the first factor. The second factor is usually done with a random and time based code, generated on an approved mobile device. Other implementations use one time pins sent via SMS at login. For these purposes we are taking a look at the Winter 15 feature that Salesforce launched, which we have been piloting for a few months.

The Setup

Salesforce’s two-factor is based on the traditional mobile application model, random six-digit numbers that expire after 30 or 60 seconds. The set up is as simple as creating a permission set adding the “Two-Factor Authentication for User Interface Logins” permission to it. After assigning that permission set to a user (You are using The Permissioner, right?), the next time they login they will be presented with a QR code which they can scan into one of the many two-factor mobile applications including Authenticator, Salesforce# and Authy. These applications all do the same basic thing, which is to randomly generate the six digit codes needed to login.

The Day-to-Day

For a user whose two-factor authentication is enabled, each time they login to Salesforce, they first put in the traditional username and password, then on the second screen are presented with a place to put in the code. This requires opening up the application on the mobile device and copying the six-digit code into the browser window before the time expires. Most applications show you how much time is left, blinking or turning the code red as it gets closer to expiring. For the most part, this is a simple process although it does require that you have your mobile device on you at all times (better not be charging in the other room, beside your bed, or out of battery). The feature also launched without the fine-grained controls seen in other implementations such as Google, which only require it every 30 days or when logging in from an unknown browser. The Winter 14 feature requires it every time you login, so closing out your browser and coming back 10 minutes later, you need to enter a code again.

Security at a Price

So while the increase in security can’t be denied, the downside is the extra work for the users logging in or that have a mobile device breakdown. Three features would make the current implementation just a bit easier to manage or even more secure. The first is to generate a set of one time backup codes, that would be saved in case of a missing or dead phone (vote on idea here). The second would be to add Touch ID support to Salesforce Authenticator for another level of security. This is something that the pay application Authy has built-in but it would be nice if Salesforce added it to their application. The last needed feature is to add more configuration settings for when the two-factor is needed. For example, require once a month or every time the IP address changes. This was addressed in part by the Winter 15 feature but isn’t a simple set of settings under setup, which is where it should be.

Overall the two-factor feature is much appreciated and with a little help here and there, could be ready for prime time. For those of you on Salesforce1 Mobile, yes you need to use the key code once on first login.

If you have been using Salesforce Two-Factor and have some experiences with it, post below, on our Facebook page, in the Success Community or directly @JasonMAtwood.

 

Launch into Your Salesforce Day

Drill into listviews from dashboard components to work the priority items; for sales teams, call centers, etc.
Launch into Your Salesforce Day

Launch into Your Salesforce Day

Often we want to tell our users how to do it, show them in training, provide cheat sheets and employ all kinds of other tactics to get them to work on the highest priority items. As administrators, we incentivize our sales teams to not leave money on the table. We plead with and preach to our call center team to address the cases in order of priority and not just the loudest or last. Wouldn’t it be great if we could build a better way to organize their day and week into components to get results that leadership really values?

By creating a dashboard that reps can use as a launchpad into their work, an administrator can more effectively drive the behaviors managers want. Our scenario is a sales operations team with representatives that get plenty of sales from in-bound calls. However, leadership knows the reps are missing valuable existing leads and prospects by scattershot outbound emails and calls. Instead, reps could be strategically making outbound communications. But sales operations leadership know that results, even after training, are disappointing. Management wants to drive a portion of the day’s work according to defined priorities, and Sales Operations will design the solution to drive the rep’s time when they aren’t on an inbound call.

Even if your scenario is support, post-sales or any other workflow entirely, this blog post will walk you through the steps to get you there, including some tricks to help you out with this Dashboard-as-Launchpad concept.

Reports First

Since we’re creating a Dashboard, of course you need some summary reports to generate the dashboard data. Reports that come pre-packaged with Salesforce.com like “Stuck Opportunities” can be modified slightly. In this example, open Stuck Opportunities standard report and make modifications to show “My Opportunities” and filter for a greater than “x” days Stage Duration, where x equals 30, 90, or 180 days, depending on the length of your sales cycle. Also, your reps may prefer to view their deals by Account Name or Opportunity Name, so you may have to change the Summarize By filter as well. Then Save As in your Launchpad Dashboard folder. Call it “90 days My Stale Ops” perhaps.

Continue reports build out until you have ten to fifteen summarized reports for the Launchpad based on KPIs, sales metrics, and other business rules.

Dashboard Design & Components

Next, you’re ready to create a Dashboard with several components, each component to fit the business process. For example, one component that shows the sales rep the count of stalled prospects (or call center rep's hottest email replies or next ten project manager’s stale project milestones). Try to organize each column of components according to priority. In terms of prime dashboard real estate, your users will often gravitate toward the top row & left column first. So put the dashboard components and metrics representing the highest business need in those places.

In our example, we want to make our sales reps most responsive to existing Leads or Opportunities so they can make outbound calls to the hottest prospects. Perhaps we have the components for call backs to hot leads from existing customers are in the left column, any potential new business in the middle column, and outreach to cold calls in the far right column. Once you’re satisfied with your launchpad dashboard, it’s time to change the default URL of each component to the appropriate listview.

Redirect to Listviews

After we’ve designed our dashboard, we need to change the default behavior. You’re familiar with clicking on a component and going to the underlying report, since that’s the default. However, in this case, we want the user to click on the component and go to a list view that allows them to work the corresponding Opportunities. In order to make this change, instead of sending the sales rep to view the report, go into the component editor and change the default redirect to the specific listviews that will flow with working the records and driving the process.

Let's break these steps down. Use the wrench on the component in the Edit view of the Launchpad dashboard you’ve designed to get to the Component Editor for that component. On the Component Data tab, change the Drill Down to field to the Other URL option. Now you just need to add the listview’s URL.

At this point, and in case you’ve tried this before, you’ll know there’s a little gotcha about the URL for the listviews. So...say your URL looks like https://na17.salesforce.com/a09?fcf=00Bi00000029erD. That URL doesn’t take you to a specific listview but instead to the one last viewed. It’s a little trick from Salesforce to make it more user-friendly, but is preventing our purpose. Instead you’ll need to just copy that URL down for now. Here’s a screenshot of what you might be looking at and what you need to copy & paste in a notepad:



Then, go to the listview you want to direct to, hit Edit of the listview and copy that URL. Say the listview’s edit URL is https://na17.salesforce.com/ui/list/FilterEditPage?id=00BJ00000012IM9&retURL=%2Fa09%3Ffcf%3D00BJ00000012IM9%26rolodexIndex%3D-1%26page%3D1. You'll find what looks like the ID string (which here is 00BJ00000012IM9) and copy it.



Now, you need to splice the two together. Go back to the original full URL from the listview landing page & replace the old ID with the new record ID you’ve just copied. In this example, the new URL to use in the Dashboard component is https://na17.salesforce.com/a09?fcf=00BJ00000012IM9.



Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have additional points or questions on this Dashboard-as-Launchpad concept, find me on Twitter at @seriouslykyla, comment to Arkus in the Success Community, find our Facebook page or comment below!

Spooky Tech - Episode #198 of CloudFocus Weekly

Round up of Dreamforce 14 and onto news from Amazon and Apple, including firsts and lasts.
Spooky Tech - Episode #198 of CloudFocus Weekly

Spooky Tech - Episode #198

Filed under: