In honor of this weekend’s upcoming Hallmark-induced lovefest, we thought we’d turn our attention to a more non-traditional Valentine: your love-hate relationship with your Salesforce data.
Salesforce can create the prettiest charts and graphs that plot your progress to goal, forecast your sales, organize your help desk team, or send invoices on the right day … but only if the data for the pretty charts and graphs is already in place. Otherwise they are just pretty charts and graphs that don’t mean a thing.
When we undertake Salesforce “rescue” projects, one of the first things we inevitably hear is, “Our data is a mess.” What’s more interesting, though, is that for the most part nobody attempts to do anything about it. They just work around it. It’s like getting used to the fact that the Christmas tree is still in the living room come Valentine’s Day. We’ve adjusted to it, and it’s a hassle to clear. In the same way, people get used to having duplicate contacts, missing addresses, and bad dates, and they compensate with clever Last Names like “USE THIS CONTACT” instead of deleting the bad and cleaning the good.
I’m not throwing any stones here. Our data could use some work too. Some days I take the short cut of yelling across the office, “Hey, Phillip, do you have the security token for … ?” and he’ll skype it to me. Neither of us actually ENTER the data into Salesforce where it should be in the first place. Bad Salesforce Admins.
There are all kinds of tools out there that purport to keep your data shiny white shiny bright. But here’s the best one: a person. A person within your organization who has a love affair with your data. Who takes pride in and is compensated for the completeness and accuracy of every record. This data lover is personally offended when records is missing or incorrect, and he or she will have no issue with publicly berating the users who take shortcuts.
If your budget allows for such a person, I cannot recommend anything more. In many cases, though, it’s just not feasible. There are other ways to give your data the attention it needs. Maybe once a month bring in lunch and everybody sits around the conference table doing nothing but cleaning up their own records. You can enable some of the tools that block duplicate creation, or you can create validation rules that make sure you can’t put phone numbers in text fields. It’s easy to get creative.
This weekend a lot of love is going to be thrown around. Make sure your data gets a little too.
President & Chief CRM Strategist
Spring Is in the Air!
Salesforce.com will roll out the Spring ’15 Release to all remaining instances this weekend. For many of our users, years go by before they even realize the cute little Salesforce icon on the top left corner has changed from an Eskimo to a little birdie. Because in many releases, little that is upfront and meaningful to the average Salesforce user actually happens. But Spring ’15 is different.
At least in part as a response to the burgeoning community of Salesforce users, this release contains at least 250 new and improved features, more than 100 of which are in direct response to IdeaExchange posts in the Salesforce user community.
While there is still the valuable behind the scenes work that makes the Salesforce engine go, there are two key features of this release that should be immediately valuable for all users: enhancements to Process Builder (beta) and the addition of Data.com Duplicate Management.
Process Builder is a powerful tool in Salesforce that enhances the features available with workflows while adding new features of creating records, updating related records, and calling apex methods. Prior to Process Builder, these new features were only possible through triggers. Wait … sorry, what? Remember when you wanted to create a new record when some magical point in your sales / marketing / service process was reached, and your friendly Salesforce consultant would say those expensive words, “I can do that with a trigger”? Well, no more. Process Builder has enabled native point-and-click features that ease the burden of complex triggers that become quickly outdated with more nimble, flexible functionality. Process Builder is available to orgs with Enterprise and above licenses.
But wait … there’s more! If we had a dollar for every time someone asked, “What’s the best duplicate checker for Salesforce?” and we responded, “A person!” For the first time, Salesforce has added native functionality (Data.com Duplicate Management) to help prevent and alert of duplication in your Salesforce org. With these new features, Salesforce will be able to “block” a user from duplicating records based off pre-determined logic or alert of a possible duplication with reporting tools. Duplicate Management is available to orgs with Professional and above licenses – and it does not require a Data.com license.
Click here for more details about the Spring ’15 Release and a list of all the new functionality and features in Salesforce.
Lead Salesforce Engineer