Did Dreamforce just happen in New York City? For those that have never been to Dreamforce you might of thought so. What was once a one day event turned into a three day conference called “Salesforce Connections” which was filled with nonstop learning sessions, events and special guests. The first two days (which I did not attend and will not spend too much time on) focused solely on the Marketing Cloud and was being labeled “The Digital Marketing Event of the Year”. The likes of Coach K and Seth Meyers graced the stage helping drive home Salesforce’s message on how to avoid being "Uberized". Day three and labeled “Salesforce World Tour” brought the focus back to the whole platform. Here is a quick recap of day three of the mini Dreamforce conference or what some people call “Dreamforce East Coast”. (I may have just made that up.)
- Date & Time: June 18th, 2015, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Venue: Jacob Javits Center, New York City
- Attendance: Reported over 20,000 over the 3 days
- Sponsors: Over 100 ranging from industry solutions to consulting partners
As usual with any Salesforce event it started with a keynote led by the President of Salesforce Keith Block. Though it is very disappointing we didn’t get to see Marc Benioff, the guest speakers did not disappoint. To kick-off, Salesforce entertained us with “The Roots” (Jimmy Fallon’s house band) and graced us with the presence of “The Captain” Derek Jeter for a quick Q&A session. As a diehard Yankees fan, this was worth the travel in itself, but I digress. After some Boston/New York rivalry humor, Mr. Block asked Mr. Jeter to provide his insights into how he worked to achieve greatness which set the tone for the rest of the show. “Being prepared slows the game down,” as Mr. Jeter put it, and the same goes for businesses.
In a world where everything and everyone is connected it can take an “Uber” of a second for another business to come in unnoticed and take away your marketshare or worse make your product or service obsolete. Here comes the Salesforce “Customer Success Platform” armed with CRM apps and an open ecosystem to save the day. With the “Customer Success Platform” businesses can increase revenue by 36%, customer satisfaction by 45% and all can be accomplished in a 55% decrease in time to deploy. Pretty powerful message and they used the rest of keynote to help drive it home with quick videos and demos of how giant enterprises like Barclays, Merck and Coca Cola are accomplishing it.
The Best of the Rest
Once everyone could catch their breath from the Derek Jeter sighting, customers and prospects were invited to walk the expo floor and attend breakout sessions. The expo floor was pretty jam packed (maybe a little too packed) with half of the floor dedicated to Salesforce and the other half dedicated to Salesforce partners, which is always great to see the up and coming apps being offered on the AppExchange. Amongst the Salesforce product demos was the Admin Zone which is really a useful place to visit at any Salesforce event if you are an Admin or power user of Salesforce. The Admin Zone is a little different than the other Salesforce booths in that it is staffed by volunteers from the Success Community; this is a real testament to Salesforce’s goal to empower the community. The breakout sessions provided a wealth of knowledge on topics ranging from nonprofit success stories to integration best practices. I did not get to attend any of these but from what I heard they seemed informative and worth the time.
As someone who has attended other World Tour events this year, I have to say this was the best one I have seen and I’m not just saying that because I love Derek Jeter. It would of been even better if Marc Benioff was there (no offense to Mr. Block) but Salesforce did a great job of keeping the energy high and the message was on point. If you cannot attend Dreamforce, I would highly suggest you look to attend a World Tour near you.
The Certified Pardot Consultant exam is designed to test individuals and consultants alike on implementing Pardot solutions for their organization or clients. The exam tests both technical aptitude with respect to Pardot toolsets as well as knowledge of marketing automation in general.
A great place to start is the Certification homepage for the Pardot exam. The outline of what the certification is all about is listed on this page, the steps that you’ll need to take to prepare are listed at a high level, and there are plenty of links to other resources. Most of these resources will be linked to in this post to keep things tidy.
First thing you should know about the resources available to you is that a Pardot instance is not one of them. You’ll have to go about taking this exam without the use of a developer playground or sandbox unless your organization already has made the decision to purchase Pardot or has already implemented it.
There is a handy study guide provided by Salesforce that can be used to gauge areas where the test will be focused. I used this study guide just as it is intended, as a high level guide. What really worked for me as resources were two main things - the online courses that are available in help and training if you search for Pardot and the Pardot knowledge base.
I suggest going through all of the video tutorials in the help and training section and then fill in gaps in knowledge using the knowledge base. When I say fill in gaps I really mean read the entire thing, seriously. The guided tutorials will help you see the tool and feel what it is like to click around but all the answers to the test are within the text in the knowledge base. It is absolutely critical to read through the knowledge base. In case you could not tell, I am stressing the point that the online tutorials are not enough to pass the test alone.
Here is a list of all the video tutorials and how long they are, typically they are a little shorter than the actual length that they are recorded. I suggest paying particular attention to the Salesforce integration, Google integration, and the Technical Setup sections and follow-up on those with reading through the knowledge base.
The Test Itself
The exam is a 60 question multiple choice test. It is true multiple choice as opposed to a lot of Salesforce certification exams which are pick 3 out of 5 or choose the best 2 answers; there is only 1 correct answer to each question. You get 90 minutes to complete the exam which I found was more than enough time and the passing score is 70%. Like all certification exams you don’t know exactly how well you have done, you just get a pass or fail at the end.
Once you pass the test you are required to maintain this certification. Just like Salesforce Administrator and Developer certifications you will need to take a test every release to keep up with the times. Make sure to read over the study materials provided for each release and you should be just fine maintaining your certification.
While Forecasting might still be the long hold out from Salesforce1, Spring 15 brought a new way to easily manage opportunities on the go. Sales Path creates easy to follow, step based opportunity management, highlighting the right fields as the stages progress. Here are some tips and tricks to get the most out of this feature.
Know Your Stages
You can set up a Sales Path for each of your different opportunity record types and each path is locked to the stages of those opportunities. For example, if your stages are Prospecting, Proposal, Verbal Commit, Closed Won/Lost, each of those will get a screen in the path. The user can use the mobile screen to "Mark Stage as Complete" which moves the opportunity to the next stage. It will also allow you to highlight five key fields that are shown at the top of the screen and are easily editable all at once. This is great when each stage might require different fields that could be all over the Opportunity page layout.
To start, make sure you understand the different stages, what is being accomplished at that stage and what the salesperson might be looking for in terms of quick entry. If it has been a while, it might be a good time to sit down with some users and walk them through how they manage opportunities and stages.
Pick The Right Fields
Since you can only pick five fields for each stage to be highlighted, bringing the important fields into view will help win the hearts of the users. The first thing to know is that some fields are already shown on Sales Path so you don't need to add Name, Stage, Close Date and Amount to the quick fields unless these need to be edited during that stage. Stage is a good example of a field that never needs to go in the editable fields, since it is shown at the top and the nature of Sales Path allows for changing stages.
This is also a good time to review all the underlying validation rules and workflows that might be firing during the sales process. While Sales Path makes it easy to move things through the sales process, it doesn't circumvent any previously set up validation rules or workflows. If you have fields that are dependant on each other during a stage change, make sure to include those fields in the Sales Path. Similarly if you have fields that automatically update via workflow rules, no need to include those.
Prepare for Limitations
Like all good features the devil is in the details (or the limitations) so make sure you know them well before pushing this out to users. Sales Path is only available in Salesforce orgs that have Opportunity Record Types and Sales Process. Also, there is no related information such as contact roles available in a Sales Path. Lastly it is suggested that you implement Sales Path on Opportunities with less than 20 stages.
If you’re a developer and have already started working with new features in Summer ‘15, it’s prime time to start deploying these to production as Salesforce upgrades its last instances this weekend; if you haven’t gotten to dive into the release notes yet, here are the features that we’re excited about for Summer ‘15.
Two types of composite resources were added to the REST API, and the SObject Tree is an interesting enhancement that enables developers to create 200 records in a single request. Each request must have the same parent object type (e.g. Account) and can nest child records based on the relationship name (e.g. Contacts, Opportunities, Your Custom Object). This change enables developers to leverage an out-of-the-box feature of the API instead of creating a custom endpoint to handle the logic, or make multiple requests to the REST API.
Salesforce is now offering encryption at rest for all data, not just custom text fields, which enterprise architects and developers often will encounter as part of the vetting process for getting on the platform. This is a paid upgrade, though many CIOs may deem it worth the expense. Organization Sync also has some support for syncing metadata, which can help decrease the dependency on using continuous integration to push any changes to both primary and secondary orgs.
Small Steps for UI
Declarative developers have a few quick wins from the UI side, as Salesforce has decoupled the publisher actions bar, allowing for admins and developers to create a desktop-specific and Salesforce1-specific layout of various actions. This small change has a big impact, as not all actions are mobile-friendly in terms of data entry or displaying to the user within the app.
Troubleshooting development has also gotten easier, allowing admins and developers to login as any user in the organization without requesting Salesforce to enable the permission, and without requesting the end user to do so. This will streamline the iterative feedback process when assisting users with production bugs, or testing functionality in a variety of scenarios during development.
On the Visualforce side, enriching content with maps in our pages has gotten sexier, as we can now customize the map marker used (perhaps a cloud or kitten?) for our waypoints, and include pop-up windows that can appear when a user clicks or hovers over a map marker. This mimics functionality available with other mapping apps, like Google Maps and GeoPointe.
Giant Leaps for ISVs
Salesforce has taken a big step to allow us to delete components from their managed packages, which can assist with cleaning up hefty apps that have evolved over time (both with the platform, and for the app’s architecture). While this feature is only available to select partners, there are some teams out there that can rejoice to not prefix their custom settings with “DEPRECATED: “ or “X_”.
Another great leap is that custom metadata types are now generally available, which allow us to hold app specific configurations in a place that can have its records packaged and deployed. Previously, custom settings or custom objects were used to populate specific settings to get features to work correctly, which presented a challenge for ISVs and deploying with change sets. Metadata types changes this, and allows a metadata type AND its records to get pushed to orgs.
We’re also able to indicate how our apps impact customer org limits based on the number of custom apps, tabs, and objects that we include as part of our package. This helps customers clearly understand how our apps will impact their org, and make informed decisions as part of their installations.
Salesforce continues to deliver with each release on ideas from the IdeaExchange, showing the community they take this medium very seriously. With Spring 15 we started highlighting some ideas and their impact on feature delivery. Summer 15 continues that trend with many great ideas turning into features in Salesforce.
With over 50 ideas delivered there’s no way I can go through all of them. So instead I’ll highlight a few feature enhancements and new tools delivered:
Upgrade to Enhanced Goals - I have to mention this one first since there were so many ideas delivered for this product, all of which are related to enhancing goals. One thing to note is that all organizations currently using Goals will need to upgrade to Enhanced Goals. By doing so you are opening up a lot of new features and functionality. In addition, it now acts similar to other standard objects with the ability to customize fields, page layouts, create list views, and actions. But the real wins with the upgrade comes from many ideas focused on requested features, some of which are;
- Create Goal for a Group (210 pts) - where you can create a goal for an entire team or department.
- Assign Goals (110 pts) - now managers are able to create a goal and push it to their direct reports.
- Unlock Goals (60 pts) - goals that are submitted can now be unlocked for editing by a manager or administrator.
- Ability to Set a Default Visibility When Creating a New Objective (20 pts) - ability to change the default visibility when creating a new goal (objective). That way you can set to private and avoid potentially posting a personal goal to the whole company.
Editing feed posts and comments - This may seem small but is really huge and will alleviate a lot of frustration when you accidentally type something you really wish you could go back and correct. With the delivery of Ability to Edit a Chatter Post After Posting (24,270 pts) users can now edit their own posts, record owners can edit all posts no matter who created it, and administrators can now edit posts and grant editing rights to individual users.
Report on Record Feeds in the Chatter Dashboard Package - Shortly after the release of Summer 15, an updated Chatter Dashboard package will be available on the AppExchange. You can create a custom report type using Object > ObjectFeeds, from there you can report on chatter feed that has feed tracking enabled for all standard and custom objects. A great idea delivered for this was Make Chatter Feeds on Records Reportable (5120 pts).
Compare and Return Values in Formulas - Process Builder - Allow ISNEW function in formula criteria (2180 pts) and Why isn't "formula" an option for the Workflow Field Updates for Picklist fields (8410 pts) are two ideas that delivered the new edition of functions INCLUDES, ISCHANGED, ISNEW, ISPICKVAL, and PRIORVALUE. These allow more flexibility when creating criteria for processes.
Update Fields Using Formulas and Date Functions - This is great when dealing with date criteria. The idea Process Builder: Dynamic Dates When Updating a Date Field (8660 pts) delivered supports the use of dynamic date functions like Today() + 5 Days or <date field> - 2 Days, etc…. In addition you can now use mathematical formulas to calculate values.
Immediately Delete a Process - The Eliminate the 12 hour time constraint on deleting PB and flows (320 pts) idea is great so that if you are needing to make minor tweaks to processes and have several versions created you can immediately clean up and delete rather than waiting 12 hours and having to remember to go back and clean up the next day.
There’s lots of good tools and feature enhancements coming out of the IdeaExchange with every new release. Do you have other favorite ideas delivered in this latest 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.
There are so many exciting features in this Summer 15 release for Service Cloud that narrowing them down actually became a real challenge. So instead, this blog is going to give you a taste of several great features coming our way that will inspire you to want to learn more. Every release brings service features and enhancements that increase efficiency and productivity for agents but this release has taken it to another level.
Push Work to Qualified, Available Support Agents with Omni-Channel (Beta)
It would have been great to have a drum roll for this feature. Omni-Channel is a customer service solution that not only pushes work to agents but routes them to qualified agents within the console. What makes this even better is that any Salesforce object can be changed into a work item and placed within a queue using service channels and then omni-channel will route them to the right agent(s). With this feature, you can prioritize which items get completed first and determine which agents can work on a specific item. Agents will not have to manually pick items from queues anymore. The best part of this is that it all happens in real time. How cool is that?
Omni-Channel is only in beta version for this release but you can enable this feature and provide feedback via IdeaExchange. So be one of the first to try this great feature.
Add In-App Support to Your Mobile App with SOS Video Chat and Screen Sharing (Beta)
This exciting feature allows agents to see the customers they are speaking with at the time of the service. This mobile support service is called SOS and with a simple button, it allows one-way video or two-way video chat. With SOS, information about customers can be easily accessed by agents during calls and customers can share their screens to allow agents to guide them in resolving issues. SOS is also integrated with Omni-Channel and can be routed to the most equipped agents. SOS is in beta version but is definitely a feature worth checking out as well.
Macros Increase Efficiency
Macros, a feature that allows agents to complete repetitive tasks, has some notable enhancements. With macros, agents will now be able to:
Run Bulk Macros on Multiple Records at the Same Time
Search Salesforce Knowledge and Attach Articles to Cases
Automatically Post to Social Networks
Replace Field Values in a Case
These are just touching on a few of the enhancements that are allowing agents and managers to do more to increase efficiency using macros.
Case Feeds & Email to Case
Both of these features had enhancements worth mentioning. Case feed posts and comments can now be edited, which was not a possibility before. Now agents can highlight feed items that are visible externally. So they can easily tell what internal versus external users see. With Email to Case, email feed items can now be displayed in HTML within the compact feed layout. This allows agents to see inline emails within customer emails. Also, agents are now able display user signature prior to the email thread rather than at the bottom, which was the default. These enhancements for both features are giving agents even more control over what they can edit and see.
Live agent is already such a great feature that allows real time support and this release brings enhancements that make this feature even better for agents.
Transfer a Workspace with Chat Transfer or Conference
Conference Multiple Agents Into Chats
Block Unwelcome Chat Visitors (by IP Address)
Automatically Set Agents’ Status to Away When Chat Request Times Out
New Button Lets Customers Cancel a Pending Chat Request
With these enhancements, the agent’s workload becomes that much easier to manage by allowing them to get support as needed (smooth transitioning of a chat from one agent to another or easily conferencing in other agents). Having small changes like blocking unwelcome chats, automatically setting status away and letting customer cancel chats can make such a big difference when managing a lot of customers.
Features to Quickly Highlight
There have been so many great features highlighted but could not end this blog without mentioning just a couple more at a glance.
Social Customer Service - This feature integrates Radian6 with the Service Cloud. This release brings enhancements like easier customization of the Social Customer Service apex class (not requiring code), access to additional social post fields, and ability to delete inbound error posts to maintain Social Hub rules just to name a few.
Service Cloud Cookbook - This is a very useful new feature for developers or system administrators. It provide sample codes for customizing the Service Cloud. This can be anywhere from customizing the console to personalizing a Live Agent chat window.
Hopefully, you can now see why it was so difficult to choose from this list of prominent features. If this has piqued your interest, check out the Summer 15 release notes to get more details on these and other great features not mentioned here.
If there are additional features in this release that are standing out to you, please feel free to comment below, in the Success Community, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @sylviacabral44.
In the Northeast, winter decided to stay with us through Spring but that has not stopped Salesforce from pushing ahead with Summer ‘15. We are treated with 340 plus pages of notes outlining new and enhanced Salesforce features and functions. If you missed the first part of our review series, feel free to check out our rapid reaction blog. In the second part we get a bit more focused and dive into the world of the Sales Cloud. Here are some features every sales team should be excited about and why.
Any good sales manager knows the importance of goal setting and a timely feedback system. As a new user of Work.com and as the head of sales at Arkus, I can understand why Salesforce went down this route to integrate this functionality into its core. There is no better place to manage your goals and feedback than in a system where all the data lives that drives it. It is not perfect but Salesforce continues to add a lot more functionality and flexibility to Work.com and hasn’t stopped with this release. In Summer ‘15 Salesforce introduces more Thanks and Skill features along with Enhanced Feedback (Pilot) and Enhanced Performance Summaries. A few specifics worth mentioning are managers can now create and assign goals for their employees along with having a new view to see all goals set for their team. In Pilot, Enhanced Feedback provides the ability for users to manage feedback offers and requests all in one view. Lastly, it provides more flexibility in that it lets you customize feedback, including creating custom fields and layouts related to feedback requests. There are more worth taking a look at so I would suggest you take a few minutes to read them here to see if any more catch your eye.
Cumulative Forecast Rollups
Salesforce Forecasting has really gotten better over the last year with its flexibility and focus on a more collaborative forecasting experience. For those who aren’t familiar with what it is, instead of a sales rep submitting and adjusting forecasts, it starts with the sales manager reviewing their direct reports and adjusting their forecasts from there. The focus shifts to the opportunity records which adjust the forecast in real time. Salesforce introduces Cumulative Forecast Rollups with this release which rolls up opportunities from more than one forecast category into cumulative forecast amounts. With individual forecast category rollups, each total and subtotal represents opportunities from only one of the individual forecast categories like Commit and Best Case which gives a clearer view of the total monthly or quarterly sales numbers.
Here are a few quick ones that are worth mentioning:
Salesforce Notes has been enhanced to allow for Rich Text, which allows users to add bulleted lists, numbered lists and text formatting. (BETA)
Data.com Prospecting Insights for Accounts is a new feature that combines D&B company details and industry intelligence in a new quick-view snapshot.
Email Connect is a new feature which allows you to sync your users’ contacts and events between Exchange-based email systems and Salesforce, and view them and other sales-related records directly in Microsoft® Outlook Web App (OWA).
There are many other enhancements in Summer ‘15 which might be of interest to you. I would recommend you take a look at our rapid reaction blog as mentioned above as well as skim through the release notes to see if anything else catches your attention.