Thursday, 9 July 2020

[#Blogged] - Make Your Life Easier with Lightning Email Templates & Org Wide Addresses

One of the biggest complaints from Sales reps is that they spend too much time doing unnecessary administrative work. And, a lot of times, they are indeed correct. There are a lot of things we could be doing as Salesforce Admins and Developers to make the end user experience a little easier. This is not intended in any bit to downplay the awesomeness you bring to the table every day, and the incredible functionality your org now has because of your hard work. But helping your end users, whether it be Sales, Services, or any other customer facing role, is the name of the game. And you really do want them to be as self-sufficient as possible. 

If you boil down the type of work your customer facing roles are doing in Salesforce every day, you can bet those individuals send a lot of emails, and log a lot of activities. If you take it one step further and look at the types of communications they are sending, I bet you see a recurring pattern or theme. They probably send a handful of variations of the same information out to clients throughout the day, but are doing a lot of clicks and keystrokes to make it happen. You will, more than likely, see a lot of checking in on proposals, requests for meetings, and additional white papers or use cases being shared. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time. 

Let’s talk about Lightning Email Templates and Organization Wide Addresses. While you can technically use Classic Email Templates to send in your Lightning Org, Lightning Email Templates are housed and created a little differently. By the end of this post, you’ll be a Lightning Email pro! Let’s jump in!

Create a Template from the Salesforce Record

Salesforce is great with allowing flexibility of options for creating what you need. This is one of those times. Let’s say your rep is on their 16th email of the day, and they’ve recognized this is the same email they’ve sent most of the day - checking in on proposals. They go to their activity tab, and select Email, and enter the information as if they were in their own inbox.

Image: Just a regular email.

And at the bottom of the email, they have the option to associate the related to field (i.e. Account, Contact, Opportunity, etc), but it defaults to the record that the email is being sent from. The ability to send attachments, preview, and pop out into a larger screen are all options they can use to their advantage. 

Image: Related To field at the lower part of the Email activity

Before the user Sends the email, the template box can be selected, prompting the user to “Save as a new template”. This can be done after the email is sent, as well, by opening the activity and selecting the template box at that time.

Image: Save your template

There is one suggestion that should be considered - it would make life easier if the Merge field was used, instead of hard coded names. Make sure to use the Merge icon and to insert merge fields before saving as a template.

Once the “Save as New Template” has been selected, a new window will appear, to prompt users for the Template Name, Description, and Folder. Keep in mind, users will have the ability to save their own private email templates. 

Image: Create a template from your email

Once Saved, the templates will be stored in an area outside of Classic Email Templates, however, users can find their template from the icon within the Email Activity when they’re ready to send their next email. Once they select the Template icon, they can select “Insert a template…” and see their Recently Used Templates. Choosing the template will then populate the email message, allowing them to look it over before sending to the customer.

Image: Use a template to save time!

Navigating to Lightning Email Templates

Lightning Email Templates are not as intuitive to find as our old classic templates were. When using Classic Templates, a search can be done in the Home tab of the Setup screen. However, when searching for Lightning Email Templates, you must go to the App Launcher icon, and search for “Email Templates”. 

Image: the App Launcher to find Email Templates

The Email Templates tab will appear on your Navigation bar, and you can see Recent templates, as well as navigate to your Private Folder, if necessary. 

Image: Your List of Lightning Email Templates

System Admins can also choose to create New Email Templates from here, by selecting the button, which will launch a page that looks like this:

Image: New Email Template

Keep in mind that Related Entity Type is the object for which this template can be used upon. This is an easy way for System Admins to address departmental wishes to have more structured templates created for their reps, and to make sure everyone agrees with the tone and verbiage.

When it comes to permissions, you’ll want to make sure your end users do not have “Manage Public Lightning Email Templates”, and that is only locked down to System Admins. You users will, however, need “Lightning Experience User” permissions, as well as access to the folder in which the templates are being stored. 

So there you have it for Lightning Email Templates - wasn’t that easy? Now let’s talk about Organization-Wide Addresses.

Organization-Wide Addresses

Fairly easy to use and set up, Organization-Wide Addresses are a great way to associate an email address to a user profile. This is especially helpful if you have a Services department, and would like a uniformed address for those customer facing roles. That way, customers think they’re responding to “Info@” or “CustomerService@” instead of an individual person. This can help make your company appear more professional, and can add a layer of protection for your employees.

To set this up, in the Setup Home tab, search for Organization-Wide Addresses. Select the “Add” button (not pictured) and you will see the screen below. You can then enter your Display Name, Email Address, and select the profiles you wish to use that address. If you need to select more than one profile, use the Shift key to select multiples.

Image: Setting up Organization-Wide Addresses

Resources & Further Reading:

Email Templates in Lightning Experience

Manage Public and Private Email Templates in Lightning Experience

Considerations for Using Organization-Wide Email Addresses

Access and Sharing for Email Merge Fields, Templates, and Attachments in Lightning Experience

Thursday, 2 July 2020

[#Blogged] - my 5 Most Impressive Takeaways from Trailheadx 2020!

Just last week, we had the privilege of attending the Salesforce Trailheadx 2020 Conference live from our own private workspace. It was just one day, but was filled to the brim with exciting new features and takeaways, bringing more fun energy to the month of June than I could handle! Whether you were a developer, admin, or architect, there was something for everyone. They also had guest speakers (Singer) Jennifer Hudson, (and Comedian) Trevor Noah. You can always count on Salesforce for a good time!

But seriously, they unveiled some really great features that are actual game changers when it comes to getting hands on and making it count. These past few months have been challenging for everyone, and Salesforce really stepped up in producing solutions that change the way we work for the better. They’re making executives more available on a monthly basis, and providing ways for developers like you and I to share ideas and concerns that can really make a difference. They’ve also provided ways to write cleaner, more efficient code that takes less time to implement. And, they are producing documents to help guide you towards better quality solutions when it comes to triggered automation.

I could go on and on about this, but it’s best to just let you read it for yourself! Below are my 5 Most Impressive Takeaways from Trailheadx 2020!

  1. Salesforce Code Builder. When Salesforce partners with a mega champ like Microsoft, you know great things are going to result from two of the biggest beasts in the tech industry. One of those great things is Code Builder. By using Microsoft’s Visual Studio Codespaces, coding just got a lot easier.  It has a web-based IDE, and support for GitHub. All of the tools you need are centrally located, so you can say goodbye to bouncing around from one place to the next, wasting valuable minutes that can add up to hours. And, this isn’t just restricted to Production orgs only -- you can also connect to Sandboxes and scratch orgs. Even better, you can access and write Lightning Web Components from the browser. Code Builder is especially a game changer for those coding beginners, with a friendlier UI that can help produce results without overwhelming confusion, especially with SOQL Queries.  I’m really excited to try this out, and make my (coding) life so much better!
  2. Architect Decision Guide. When it comes to triggered automation, how you devise a solution can leave you paralyzed with analyzing which options to consider to make it just right. How do you know you’re choosing the correct option that gives the most flexibility where it counts when considering the future use of the org? Well, now you have a couple of guides to help you out. Using handy-dandy Quip, Salesforce has released the “Architect’s Guide to Building Forms” and “Architect’s Guide to Building Record-Triggered Automation”. While a bit lengthy, these are really important documents that help to outline your best options when considering solutions. It also goes into detail about the power of Dynamic Forms and the increasing importance of Flow. Check these out today! 
  3. Salesforce Anywhere. If it’s one thing companies learned over the past few months, it’s that to have a chance at being successful, a key factor is enabling your employees to do their jobs anywhere. With Salesforce Customer 360, your teams have never been more efficient! The doors have been opened to functionality that allows your Sales, Services, and Marketing teams to operate from anywhere. Service Cloud Voice and Einstein Call Coaching can help your Customer Service reps become customer assisting rockstars. And, your different teams can connect easier with video conferencing right in Salesforce! Also, employees and new-hires don’t have to wait for the next big gathering to learn more -- they can tackle new skills with Trailhead GO, so they’ll never fall behind. This is a really exciting tool and I’m looking forward to the availability coming up later this year.
  4. Monthly True To The Core (TTTc) Webinars. As the story goes, some years ago, a few developers expressed their exasperation of not feeling heard by Salesforce. That has spawned these interesting talks called True to the Core (#tttc) with high ranking Salesforce drivers like Co-Founder and CTO Parker Harris, along with a team of PM’s to answer questions and to dive into functionality that aims for keeping the platform grounded. It’s for serving those questions that keep you up at night, and really giving a voice to Salesforce developers that have really great ideas for improving functionality. Well now, it’s not just happening around major events -- they’re making this monthly! In my opinion, this is a great way to keep momentum going and goes a long way in keeping people more involved. Win-Win!
  5. Introducing Safe Navigation Operator. This is a major time saver for developers everywhere! We all know the headaches in having to write code formatted to check if IDs are null, and how it can add lines of code to an already long Apex Class. Now, instead of having to write out repeated “IF” statements and checking for null values, we can format with “?” to see if it’s null. Your code is cleaner, and you don’t have to pull out your hair trying to make sure you haven’t missed anything. This is looking to be released in Winter ‘21, but is definitely worth the wait! 

The learning doesn’t stop here! You can still Register for awesome videos and information shared at Trailheadx if you couldn’t make it, and they have put together some great trailheads for Architects, Developers and Admins to continue the journey forward. And, don’t miss out on those hashtags for #tttc! Make sure to register for Circles of Success and Product Demos, while you’re at it. Take advantage of all that Trailheadx 2020 has to offer!

Further Reading and Resources:

Salesforce Introduces New Developer Tools for Building, Scaling, and Shipping Apps

Introducing Salesforce Code Builder

Introducing the Architect Decision Guides

Introducing Salesforce Anywhere

#tttc hashtag on Twitter


Tuesday, 23 June 2020

[#Blogged] - 10 Sessions I'm Excited to see at #TDX20

If you’re anything like me, you were so disappointed when you heard about event cancellations or postponements due to the Coronavirus. Salesforce events are great for networking, feeling the vibes as everyone gears up for expanding their knowledge, and challenging yourself to step outside of your comfort zone to acquire new skills. To have that challenged is a blow, especially as you may be trying to ramp up your career to the next level. But here’s the great thing about Salesforce - they didn’t cancel, and not only are they still having events, but they’ve stepped up the game like Salesforce always does! This week, they’re offering “36 Content episodes, 4 Broadcast Channels, 9 Circles of Success, and Over 45 Product Demos” in a one day, massive, “can’t miss” event called Trailheadx!

In case you haven’t guessed, I am so excited to attend Trailheadx this week! I love Salesforce events, but to make this virtual with all of the Salesforce charm is going to be awesome. Let’s face it - virtual events are easier to manage. You don’t have to map out your day, sprinting from one side of a building to another one block away, while cramming a cold sandwich down your throat. You can wake up, get jazzed, and attend in your pyjamas - while focusing on what really matters, which isn’t how you look or how fast you can run. They’re jam packed with knowledge, from experts that are just as refreshed as you are, sharing digestible chunks of career propelling information. Trailheadx also offers technical sessions, so you can work on that nagging issue you can’t seem to solve, all while leaning on other like minded individuals who may have seen it all before. And, you can tweet to Product Managers with some of those questions or fantastic ideas you’ve been mulling over, all while contributing to the greater good of Salesforce for others to benefit from, as well.


Image: Easy to register, and easy to login. But, did you expect anything else?

While I could go on and on about how amazing it’s gonna be, why don’t I just show you, instead? In no particular order, here are 10 sessions I’m really excited to see this week at Trailheadx!

  • Enhancing your CRM with Einstein AI. We all know how awesome Einstein is, however, sometimes getting others to see that awesomeness is a little more difficult. If user adoption is still an issue for all of the great Einstein features you have enabled, check out this session to help make believers out of anyone. This is targeted towards architects, developers, and admins, so it’s great for a variety of roles.
  • Improving Quality of Life: Apex Updates to Ship Better Code, Faster. Psst...want some insight into a great feature scheduled for Winter ‘21? I won’t read you the Safe Harbor statement, but be sure to learn about the new language operator and upcoming pilot. Got your attention? Great! Pencil this one in on your calendar. 
  • How to Harness Einstein Vision and Language in any App. Salesforce already understands the power of unspoken language, and taps into the power of modeling data using optical character recognition, Einstein Image Classification, Einstein Intent, and Einstein Sentiment. Learn more about your customers and how they’re feeling in this sampling of how to apply this technology to your company org. 
  • Decluttering your Org. Although ranked as a beginner session, I stand to argue this is one that everyone should attend. A cluttered org can make you want to pull out your hair. It’s messy, hard to work with, and adds a significant drain to your time and energy. Learn how to take an honest assessment of the state of things, and figure out how to comb out that mess! Then, make sure you put that knowledge and inspiration to good use! 
  • Building the COVID-19 Data Platform to Power Data-Driven Response. We would be remiss if we didn’t address the elephant in the room - coronavirus, itself. Salesforce has created the COVID-19 Data Platform, and is showing the power this can have on educating the public. This session also covers how Tableau and MuleSoft were utilized to create such a timely platform, and I’m interested to see how this can be used to benefit the masses across different industries.
  • Lightning Component Development Best Practices. Lightning is great, but it’s been around just long enough to possibly develop some shortcuts and bad habits. This is a great option for those looking to dive into creating Lightning Web Components, and how to follow best practices, and make sure they’re efficient, as well. 
  • Architectural Patterns for Data Privacy with Salesforce. Data Privacy is a huge issue now, with customers absolutely demanding to know how their information is stored, protected and used. Legislation, both nationally and internationally, is weighing heavier on companies that cannot abide by these rules and legitimately protect their customers. This is definitely a “must see” to find out more about the Data Privacy Manager and how you can follow the rules around data retention and rights, and customer consent and preferences. 
  • Transform Your Business with Process Automation. This is another great beginner session that helps for those times when you get stuck in the weeds about which tool to use. If you’ve ever caught yourself spending more time analyzing which automation tool to use than you have actually doing the work, you need to pop into this session. Whether it is a trigger, process builder, or flow, this session will cover best practices and developing the right solution. 
  • Bridge the Digital Divide with Hyper-Scale Customer Data Platform. Marketing and data analysts aren’t left out either, with a session on the *NEW* Customer Data Platform. You can learn how to build integrations and applications that house the whole 360° view of customer health.  
  • Fireside Chat with Special Guest. Would it really be a Salesforce event without a Fireside chat and a Special Guest? Although most of these are usually more motivational than technical, I think passion, enthusiasm, and a little excitement make these sessions worth it. You get to see honest conversation about ways Salesforce is changing the game, and at the end of the day, it’s a great way to top off a few hours of time well spent. 

If you haven’t registered yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for! Register today, start adding sessions to your calendar, and get ready for a great day!

Thursday, 18 June 2020

[#Blogged] - Can In-App Guidance Replace Validation Rules?

As new features are released throughout the year, it’s natural to wonder if others will be retired in their place. Most of the time, features are continuing to be improved, however, some features are intended for basic functionality, and really don’t need any more pizza. One common mistake Salesforce users make is seeing similar functionality in two different features, and mistake them for being equal options at resolving a problem. As we all know, the tool you choose to resolve your issue can help contribute to smooth growth in a year’s time as your org matures a little, or it can be stifling due to a tangled mess that needs to be reworked. We’ve all been there!

Consider the issue of data entry for your Sales and Services teams. Many orgs have problems with making sure fields are not missing data, or displaying incorrect data. Data quality is a huge struggle with a lot of Salesforce orgs! How do you resolve this? How can you encourage your teams to fill out the appropriate information so your dashboards and reports, marketing teams, and users all see correct information every time? Many people would say Validation Rules, but with new features being released throughout the year, are there other options we should now consider?

Let’s consider a feature that came out in Winter ‘20 called In-App Guidance, for example. Some may wonder if it’s a replacement for Validation Rules. I’m going to explore that thought a little more in this post.

Example of a prompt created for the Account landing page.

What is In-App Guidance?  This is actually a nifty little tool that many have not had time to explore. In-App Guidance is a feature used to support User Engagement, and can be used to guide your users by displaying prompts at various points on the screen. For example, you can set it up to appear in the bottom right corner as a pop up on the Account page, so the user will be reminded about a new feature, or to follow best practices. 

When Should I use In-App Guidance? Have you ever been using a page somewhere, and due to the amount of pop ups, were ready to throw your phone or laptop out the nearest window? Yeah, let’s keep that in mind. You definitely don’t want to overuse In-App Guidance and have the tool lose its lustre. It’s great for reminding your users of information that could be overlooked, or may not fit in a banner, and anything that you’ve changed recently that they may have missed hearing about in your company wide email. Prompts are not the best for really complex procedures or that would generally take too long to read. Remember, you want them to see it, and act on it, but if they’re overwhelmed, they’re just going to close it out.

Is it easy to Use? Confession - I set up my prompts for this blog post in a matter of minutes. In-App Guidance is easy to use, and has a few options so that it’s not overwhelming you with decision points, but allows you to have some say in how it appears. You can choose a floating prompt, which appears in one of six places on the screen, and is great for very short messages that don’t require much action. You can also include a docked prompt which stays anchored, but contains more text, and can even hold an embedded video for your users to reference. You can also influence how frequently it appears with scheduling, so that if dismissed, it will reappear after the amount of days you set. Also, the real kicker here, is that you can view metrics to see who is interacting with the prompt and how frequently. This can help you improve your process over time, to maximize its impact.

In-App Guidance Setup - You can ensure how frequently the prompt appears for your users.

That’s a pretty cool feature, huh? But let’s not forget about our old pal, the Validation Rule! 

What are Validation Rules?  Validation rules are like a parent, letting you know when you’re not doing what is expected! They’re great guardrails for restricting missing or incorrect information from being saved on a record. Validation rules provide a red error message either by the field, or at the top of the page, letting users know what they need to correct before saving the record. And, the record can’t be saved until they correct the issue. 

Image: A Validation Rule Edit page, where Conditions and the Error Message are required to set up the validation rule.

When Should I use Validation Rules? Validation rules can be fairly easy to use, and a simple rule can be constructed in a matter of a few minutes. If you have a field that is really crucial for users to complete, a validation rule is your “tried and true”. You can use it to indicate required fields, or even to restrict the correct type of data, such as limiting numerical data in text fields.

So, Can In-App Guidance Replace Validation Rules?  This is the million dollar question, here - can it and, better yet, should it? Honestly, it depends on what you’re looking to do. The plus that In-App Guidance has on Validation Rules is that it can appear as the page loads, so the user can see what needs to be done without first entering the data incorrectly. However, validation rules can give a hard stop to the user progressing forward unless the data is corrected, thus ensuring the data is correct before the record is saved. While In-App guidance is considered a part of driving User Engagement, I would say validation rules lean more towards data quality. 


So, can In-App guidance be used instead of validation rules? Well, if all you are looking for is a gentle reminder instead of a hard stop, then yes. However, if you ask me whether it should, my answer would be no. Both of these tools have their own ideal scenario that allows them to shine as they are intended, and using tools to strive for peak performance is the best way to use Salesforce!

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

[#Blogged] - 5 Best Apps on the AppExchange by Salesforce Labs.

Today I wanted to touch on what I think are 5 of the Best Apps on the AppExchange by Salesforce Labs. If you haven’t heard about the AppExchange, well, you’ve been missing out! The AppExchange is a site where apps are available for integration with your Salesforce instance to help with that nagging problem you may be having. The chances are, you’re not the only company having that headache, and why reinvent the wheel? There is a possibility someone has addressed that issue, and made is readily available for you to check out. Have I grabbed your attention yet?

Apps usually have demos, videos and other information, and user reviews. You can sort the reviews and see what kind of feedback they’re getting. Most apps are not free, and may require a subscription of sorts. But this is where Salesforce Labs comes in -- all of their apps are free and customizable to fit your needs. So, not only do you get solutions from the minds behind the awesome tool you’re using, but you know it is compatible and is supported by the brand you trust. And, did I mention you don’t have to pay anything for it? This is really important, as most companies have limited budgets, or are just starting out, and third party solutions aren’t always a perfect fit for various reasons.

So, in no particular order, here are the 5 Best Apps on the AppExchange by Salesforce Labs.

  • Salesforce Adoption Dashboards

One of the biggest issues many of us face as admins or developers on a company team is Salesforce User Adoption. Although we love our coworkers, many of them are stuck in bad habits of using old spreadsheets and sticky notes to capture valuable data that should be in the system. Understanding the current state of things at your company is crucial - whether you’ve just installed Salesforce, or have recognized a need to get more people on board. This is a great app and provides a ton of value. You can view user login history and whether or not they are using the key features that can help with company productivity. And, it’s not lean, either - you get 42 reports and 3 dashboards (amongst other things like fields and dashboard folders) to make this as customized for your company as possible.

Check it out today: Salesforce Adoption Dashboards

  • orgLimits

This is a fairly new app on the AppExchange, but a really interesting one to consider. Unfortunately, a common issue many companies have is realizing latency in their Salesforce org, only to find out it’s been years since cleanup has been done (if it ever has at all), and they’re at 98% storage capacity. They then have to dig through to see what is taking up the most space, and that can be tedious and stressful. A better solution is to have this on hand, so your team can keep an eye on things throughout the year, and make plans in advance to keep your org clean and address how your records should be stored. This can be used on the utility bar (to keep it readily in sight at all times), or on a Lightning Home/App page or component tab. Take my advice - this is something you don’t want sneaking up on you! Use this link to find this on the AppExchange:  orgLimits

  • Round Robin Assigner 

The Round Robin Assigner is an absolute game changer! Besides case assignment rules and lead assignment rules, there isn’t much more in the way of the ability to Round Robin ownership, without a lot of custom development work. That could be a major pain for teams that functioned around needing a group of users assigned chronologically. You can use this for standard objects like cases, leads, and opportunities, and also for custom objects with an owner field or lookup to the User object. This can be setup in a Process Builder or Flow and seems really easy to customize and configure. Also, they have the source code listed on github for those that really want to get a deeper look behind the functionality. You can find it here: Round Robin Assigner

  • Flow Video Player & File Viewer

Releasing new processes for your company can make for an exciting project, but making sure everyone is on board after the release can be tough. When there’s one of you, but thirty of them, how can you make sure that brand new sales process is visible and accessible should they have questions or need a gentle reminder? Well, now you can embed a video or file into your Lightning Flow Screen. You can even adjust the video size, starting position, and auto-play, to make it just right. Not only can this reduce the strain on your question load after a new release, but helps make your reps more self sufficient. You can find it here: Flow Video Player and File Viewer

  • Consent Capture - Flow Template

In this day and age, consumers are demanding accountability from companies regarding their data and how they may be contacted. Not only is this a consumer preference, but there are actually laws around how your company must handle those preferences, and you can land in big legal trouble if you don’t take this seriously. Thankfully, Salesforce Labs realizes the gravity of this situation, and has made it easy for you to address with the Consent Capture app.  After enabling Data Protection & Privacy in setup, you can install this package and create a flow that helps your users capture your customer preferences on how they’re contacted. This allows you to manage consent records for your contacts, leads, and users, and track expiration of consent, as well as opt-outs. The flow can be customized to fit both your local laws and general business practices, providing guidance for your users to obtain this information, all without needing a legal degree. I dare say this is one that needs consideration, if you don’t already have it. You can find it here: Consent Capture - Flow Template.

If you haven’t already bookmarked the AppExchange, now is the time to do it! There are new apps continually being released by Salesforce Labs, inspired by your own needs that have been echoed in the Success Community and IdeaExchange. You never know when the resolution to your woes are just a few clicks away!

Thursday, 4 June 2020

[#Blogged] - Dynamic Forms & Actions

The great thing about Salesforce is how customizable it can be. If you’ve had your Salesforce org for a while, chances are you have a ton of customization, including specific object fields to capture unique data for your business. Fields are quick and easy to set up and add onto a page layout, but that can lead to a problem or two. Once your Sales or Services department realizes how simple it is to add “just one more field”, you can really rack up a lot. Hopefully, not every field ever created is on the page layout, however, it may be safe to bet they are! While fields are used to capture and display data, not all of them are used for data entry, and not required to be visible all of the time.

If you have departments that demand to see these fields constantly, you can run into headaches of never ending page scrolls. Your nice and neat custom page layout can turn into a long laundry list of data that overwhelms your senses. The next thing you know, one department is complaining about seeing fields requested by another, and how difficult the page can be to use. Unfortunately, that can lead to a lack of user adoption, and make it more frustrating to find the data you really need. And, thus, in the end, the fields you’ve created and displayed aren’t getting utilized for their original purpose.  

Where this really becomes a problem is when you have numerous departments, or roles, that each need to see different information, and thus separate page layouts. The next thing you know, you’re sorting through 5 or 6 page layouts, adjusting that custom object for your sales, services, finance, and every other department that needs to see it. Not only is that an extreme waste of time for you, but opens you up for possibly forgetting to make an adjustment on one of the layouts, leaving those that depend on you without the data they need. 

The great news is, it doesn’t have to be this way! What if I told you Salesforce has produced a solution for Lightning App Builder that can help save you time, and reduce some of those headaches? 

Let’s talk about Dynamic Forms and Dynamic Actions!

What Are Dynamic Forms?

Glad you asked! Dynamic Forms are a new feature of the Lightning App Builder for creating Record Pages to be used on Custom Objects (for now). You can now use sections as you always have with components, but now you can choose Fields, as well (see below). Instead of being limited to the page layout editor, you can drag and drop fields, using the design of your choice.  

How Can Dynamic Forms Help Me?  

Dynamic Forms have a lot to offer in a small package. Not only do they allow more versatility than adjusting layouts before, but they actually allow for better page performance. As you may have noticed, those page layouts with a hundred or so fields can load somewhat slowly. Tabs and Accordion components allow for a more efficient space and load time, since sections can be compressed and expanded. You also have Field Visibility Rules, which provide filters to help control which data is visible based on certain criteria. This is similar to Component Visibility Rules, which reduces the number of page layouts you need, since that can also be controlled by criteria that limits what can be seen. Although the page layout editor typically used to adjust page layouts also allows drag and drop, the size of the Lightning App Builder allows the page to come together as a whole, instead of one long page. The layout management here is just much easier to use. 

Are Dynamic Forms Easy to Use?  

Speaking of easy to use, it’s absolutely a breeze. Once you navigate to the Lightning App Builder for your custom Record Page, instead of just being limited to Components, you now have Fields. 

First, simply grab the Field Section and drag it into the desired component box, on the layout of your choice.

You then grab your desired fields and place them into the section you just created.

You can then set Field Visibility, to meet your specific needs.

You can also use the Advanced Function to use lookup fields as filters.

In just a few minutes, you can have your dynamic forms setup with a conducive design for your needs, with filters in place to make sure the appropriate information is visible. That is a lot faster than numerous page layouts, right?!

Wait, what about Dynamic Actions?

Although this is currently in Beta, I’m still really excited to share! On the Highlights component, you can now have specific actions that also can be limited with filters, to make sure the right users can see it. These Dynamic Actions are listed out, with an orange eye icon to indicate which ones have visibility filters, so you don’t have to spend your time guessing and clicking through the list. Of course, this has to be enabled, but start to finish, now you can fly through adding the necessary actions in a short amount of time.

As someone who has been there in the “different page layout per role” org, I can promise you this feature is going to make your life so much easier. Even beginner admins can navigate through the setup of Dynamic Forms and Dynamic Actions, which is really how it should be! And, honestly, it’s just fun to use. This will be so much more efficient to update, and I can keep my users more satisfied, reducing time spent in the list of fields. I’ll be honest, it kinda makes me want to give my org a little bit of Lightning love right now! Hopefully, you’ll agree, and can see the value in what this offers.

Further Reading:

New Low-Code Innovations For Building the Apps You Need, Fast

Release Notes - Dynamic Forms

Release Notes - Dynamic Actions

Break Up Your Record Details with Dynamic Forms



Thursday, 28 May 2020

[#Blogged] - Salesforce Summer’20 Release Notes Breakdown

Great News! The Summer ‘20 Release Notes are here! I don’t know about you, but I get really excited to see what’s been updated in each release cycle. There are so many great features this season, and I couldn’t just list a few. Not many people have time to sit down and comb through 537 pages (wow!) so I did it for you. Below, you will find a long list of features, segmented by general topic.
Keep in mind, this is intended for you to read through in the short amount of time you may have, so you can get a glimpse of what’s included, and take note of features you’d like to investigate further, as you have time.  The bullet points and images included are courtesy of the Salesforce Summer '20 Release Notes
General Lightning Changes, Lightning Flow & Lightning App Builder
There were a lot of general lightning changes, as well as some interesting Lightning flow and Lightning App Builder changes as well. The Split View for Lists is a big one, as it allows you to navigate much easier without losing your place. Also, Flow Builder had some great improvements, as well as being able to add dynamic actions in the app builder. Don’t forget to check out the Search features as well!
  • Work Through Lists with Ease Using Split View for Standard Navigation (pictured above)
  • Lightning Experience Engagement: Walkthroughs, In-App Guidance Builder, Prompts
  • Salesforce Surveys: Deeper Org Integration and More Tools for the Builder
  • Lightning Scheduler: Automatic Resource Assignment, Anonymous Scheduling, Enhanced Scheduling Experience for Global Users, and More
  • Search: Find Information Faster and Get the Most Relevant Results
  • Flow Builder: Platform Event-Triggered Flows, Record-Triggered Flows That Run After Save, More Debug Options, and System Context for Running Flows
  • Lightning Flow Management: Prebuilt Report for Screen Flows, Resource Consumption in Debug Logs, and Flow Error Emails for Platform Events
  • Lightning App Builder: Add Dynamic Actions to the Highlights Panel for Custom Objects (Beta)
  • General Setup: Record Page Full View Is Generally Available, a New User Profile, and Lightning Page Tab Translation
Sales Cloud
Summer ‘20 did not disappoint regarding sales features, either.  There are more Einstein features to assist your sales team by knocking it out of the park, with Einstein Call Coaching, and Lead Scoring with Activity Data. They’ve also included better functionality with Enterprise Territory Management, and improvements with Google and Microsoft integrations.
  • High-Velocity Sales: Einstein Call Coaching (pictured above), Engagement Details, and More Sales Cadence Customization
  • Get a Cleaner View of Sales Cadence Tasks in the Activity Timeline
  • Sales Cloud Einstein: Opportunity Scoring Includes Consistent Labels and Field-Level Security and Lead Scoring Includes Activity Data
  • Use a Higher Split Limit to Make Opportunity Splits More Effective
  • Set Up Alerts for Big Deals in Lightning Experience
  • Enjoy Consistent Field Labels for Opportunity Scores 
  • Orders: Enable Orders Without Price Books
  • Enterprise Territory Management: More Options for Record Access and Object Labels
  • Productivity Features: Email Threading, Tasks to Queues, New Email Insight, and Improved Kanban Views
  • Integration with Google: Track Email Setup Changes, Text Shortcut Improvements, and Lightning Sync Setup Available to More Admins
  • Integration with Microsoft®: Track Email Setup Changes, Text Shortcut Improvements, Changes for Lightning Sync and Retirement for Salesforce for Outlook
Service Cloud
I have to admit - I get really excited about Service Cloud changes. It’s very easy to see a path that Salesforce is paving towards more self-sufficient support reps and more efficiency in general.  They included a host of Field Service Lightning Changes this time, as well as making the customer experience more pleasurable, with a Dynamic Channel menu and improved chat headers. Also, Voice is something we heard about at Dreamforce last year and is starting to appear in this release. That is an awesome feature to keep an eye on!
  • Field Service: Enhanced Shift Management, Optimization Insights, Asset Availability, and Confetti
  • Voice: Intelligent Telephony Inside the Service Console
  • See a Live Channel Menu Preview
  • Respond with a Dynamic Channel Menu (pictured above)
  • Enhance Conversations with an Improved Chat Header
  • Transform Chat Sessions from Start to End
  • Add Post-Chat Surveys for Five-Star Service
  • Use Salesforce Sharing with Lightning Knowledge (Beta)
  • Routing: Status-Based Capacity and Prioritized Additional Skills
  • Show Extended Record and Polymorphic Relationships with the Related Record Component
Community Cloud
Summer ‘20 has continued to expound upon the Community Cloud, focusing on better organization and security in this release. More personalization, page management and sitemaps are key in helping to make it a better experience. They’ve also made some changes to Guest User security, which is definitely worth checking out. 
  • Override Standard Actions in Lightning Communities
  • Take Personalization Further with Navigation Menus, Tile Menus, and CMS Collections
  • Reset Mission Activity Counts
  • Better Manage Your Community Pages (pictured above)
  • Generate Sitemaps for Your Community Pages
  • Add Dynamic SEO Properties to Content Detail Pages
  • Super Customize Your Community with the Revamped Tile Menu
  • Get Flexible with the New User Profile Menu Component
  • Get More Options for Multi-Level Navigation in Your Community 
  • Guest User: Security Policies Enforced
  • Security and Sharing: Two-Factor Authentication for External Users, Embedded Login
Just when you think it doesn’t get any better, it does! The development they’re putting into Einstein is really a game-changer, across multiple clouds. Each of these points spans the course of pages in the release notes, but as you can see below, the functionality included is really changing how we do business. I can’t pick a favourite here - they’re all pretty awesome!
  • Use Einstein Voice Assistant on Mobile to Ask Einstein for Record Info, Update Records, and Give Feedback (Beta)
  • Einstein Search: Clearer Setup Process, Natural Language Search Examples, and Better Recommended Results on the Salesforce Mobile App (Beta) 
  • Salesforce Einstein: Better Results in Einstein Search, Detect Text in Images with Einstein OCR, and Better Predictions with More Algorithms and Data in Einstein Discovery
  • Einstein for Service: Reply Recommendations (pictured above), Multi-Language Article Recommendations, Enhanced Bot Event Logs, and Facebook Messenger for Bots
  • Einstein Discovery: Tree-Based Modeling Types, Random Forest Models (Pilot), and Increased Row Limits 
  • Einstein Voice Assistant: Pre-Built Skill Sets, Voice Skill Enhancements, and In-App Feedback (Beta)
  • Einstein Prediction Builder: Define Your Prediction Set, Run Reports, and Enable Predictions from the Scorecard 
  • Einstein Platform Services: Image Recognition and Natural Language Processing
Salesforce also included some small - but mighty - changes for analytics in general, as well. Although in Beta, you can now (or will be able to soon) attach .csv files to report subscriptions, which is a big help if you pass reports through different departments for tasks like data cleansing, for example. And, you can now build reports on Price Book Entries and use unique fields in row-level formulas.
  • Filter Knowledge Reports by Category 
  • Attach .csv Files to Report Subscriptions (Beta) (pictured above)
  • Enable Enhanced Folder Sharing (Update)
  • Work with up to 5 Unique Fields in Report Row-Level Formulas
  • Build Reports Based on Price Book Entries
As we saw in late 2019, they did a huge revamp of the Mobile app, which was very much needed and appreciated! The Summer ‘20 release continues to expound upon that with tying in some of the Einstein Voice functionality we’ve discussed above, and generally better organization with reordering navigation menu items. It is also worth mentioning the Mobile Activity Reminders (Pilot), as well. 
  • Salesforce Mobile App Requirements Have Changed 
  • Retiring Salesforce Mobile Web Browser Experience
  • Access All Lists on Android Object Home Pages
  • Clear Your Cache Anytime on Android 
  • Reorder Navigation Menu Items for Lightning Apps
  • Keep Your Reps on Time and on Task with Mobile Activity Reminders (Pilot)
  • Protect Your Data with Enhanced Mobile Security Updates
  • Einstein Voice Assistant: Pre-Built Skill Sets, Voice Skill Enhancements (pictured above), and In-App Feedback (Beta)
  • Notifications: Notification Builder Platform and More Push Notifications
  • Switch Between Testing Modes with the Publisher Playground App (Beta)
Critical/Security Updates & Security-Related Features
Salesforce continues to take Security very seriously and has added a host of ways to increase security measures in Summer ‘20. Although not as much of a security issue, I did tie in a great feature in Beta for reviewing org changes with release updates. I can say from experience, that admins and developers are cheering out loud for this one. They’ve also enhanced two-factor authentication and increased security with salesforce sites. Safety is the name of the game - check out how to keep your org safe with some of these features below. 
  • Review Important Org Changes with Release Updates (Beta) (pictured above)
  • Authentication and Identity: Enhanced Two-Factor Authentication, Federation IDs, and Delegated Authentication Enablement
  • Domains: OCSP Stapling, Salesforce Edge, and Shorter URLs
  • Platform Encryption: Scratch Org Features for Testing, and Goodbye to Blocked Events 
  • Event Monitoring: General Availability of Threat Detection Real-Time Events, Transaction Security Support for Threat Detection Events, Legacy Transaction Security Retiring
  • Store a New Contact Point and Customer Consent Information
  • Customize and Store-More Customer Consent Channels
  • Improve the Accuracy of Consent API Calls
  • Other Security Changes: Private Connect (Generally Available), Stricter Security with Salesforce Sites, and Stronger Algorithms with Apex Crypto Class 
Whew! That was a lot! Clearly, this is not every listed feature in the release notes, and I encourage you to explore chunks of the notes in the official release as you feel they may pertain to you. Also, a reminder we’re all familiar with - nothing is official until it is actually released, so it’s best to not base purchasing decisions on what you read here. But, I still encourage you to get excited! I know I’m looking forward to implementing some of these changes soon, and can’t wait until a few weeks from now for the official release!

Thursday, 21 May 2020

[#Blogged]- 5 Cool Pardot Features for Lightning

Salesforce acquisitions are something we are all used to by now.  Part of what makes Salesforce the powerhouse that it is in the CRM world is the constant innovation.  That sometimes means knowing when to purchase already established solutions and making them applicable to the platform. Pardot was a purchase from 2012, but it has continued to improve since that time, in true Salesforce fashion.  So what exactly is Pardot? Isn’t it just a marketing tool? It’s actually more than that. Pardot takes marketing up a notch by its consideration of the sales cycle and is geared towards B2B marketing, as opposed to B2C. This is more than just an email marketing tool, which helps with email sends, tracking responses and reporting. Pardot is actually a marketing automation solution, which makes more of what you do count, and provides metrics for analytics that really stand out in order to help you target your next move. Pardot allows you to generate higher quality leads, interact more meaningfully, and really analyze your return on investment when it comes to campaigns. I could sit here and gab about it all day, but I’d rather just share with you my 5 Cool Pardot Features for Lightning!
  • Reuse Content Across Campaign Emails with Snippets - This feature is fairly recent, and was part of the Winter ‘20 release, but is really a time saver worth mentioning. If you’ve been involved in marketing, you know repeating yourself over and over in promotional emails can get really old, really quickly.  Salesforce heard your cries and delivered a solution to save a lot of time. Now, snippets allow your marketing admins to reuse portions of content that really doesn’t need to be reproduced every time they want to set up an email.  Not only is it quick, but easy to use, as well.  Once the snippet is created on an existing campaign, it is stored on a record in the Snippets tab and can be edited as you see fit.  Then, when you’re ready to use it, select it from your list and it’s pulled into the email or email template. Check your watch - you just did that in record time.
  • Pardot Sandboxes - I like to follow best practices, especially when it deals with customer accounts. One of those best practices is to implement changes in a sandbox (or, ideally, two sandboxes) before pushing those changes to production. Bypassing that step can be really risky, especially when it comes to tinkering with your marketing tools. Not only do you endanger the live data, but can set yourself up for a lot of headaches if you make changes that aren’t backed up somewhere. So, you can imagine my sigh of relief when I saw the Spring ‘20 Release Notes included Pardot Sandboxes! This is still in Beta and currently only available for those with the Pardot Advanced Edition, but I’m very much looking forward to this being generally available, and hopefully soon.  This would allow you to test those changes you wish to make without the gamble of affecting your current setup in production.  
  • Power Engagement Studio and Automation Tools with Einstein Behavior Scores -  Also earlier this year, Salesforce joined the power of Einstein Behavior Scoring with Pardot. This change is for the Pardot Advanced Edition but is still a great feature. For those of you that don’t know, Einstein Behavior Scoring is a great tool that scores prospects in regards to their behaviour. It looks at positive interactions, such as email opens, and form clicks, but also negative interactions, such as if they’ve marked your materials as spam. Also when they interacted with materials is pertinent, as a more recent interaction can provide a higher score than something months ago. You can then feed this information into reports and dashboards to analyze your next steps, and really go after those leads that you know are engaged and more open to what your sales team has to offer. Your sales team also knows the materials they seem to better respond to and can tailor their delivery with materials the prospect prefers. This makes each move more efficient for both your sales and marketing teams.  
  • Pardot Connected Campaigns -  This is a great feature that combines the natural strengths of Pardot and Salesforce together.  Pardot Connected Campaigns are a great way for your company to see how campaigns compare against one another, which ones are more successful, and can guide you to make better choices in the future based on those wins. There’s a feature called the Engagement Metrics Component that is embedded on the campaign record page layout and is visible for all to see. You can also have sales teams use Engagement History List Views to see how a lead or contact has interacted with Pardot. I would say “connected” is the right word to describe this feature!
  • Complex Rule Logic -  As much great information as Pardot and Salesforce can parse together, sometimes there is still a lot of work on the backend to make those analytics lasers focused. It’s common to find multiple rules geared towards grabbing one piece of information that’s really valuable to your decision-makers. Creating multiple rules takes up a good chunk of time. Now, complex rules let you bake multiple rules into one step in Engagement Studio! Akin to Process Builder, the neat layout and “Add Condition” button let you build out your step in an organized and efficient manner that’s easy to understand and put together. You can then see on the editor layout a nodule that identifies your “complex rule” and tells you how many conditions are baked in. What’s not to love about a more streamlined, time-saving process?
Excited about what we’ve shared, but still learning about Pardot basics and how you can use it? I’d suggest starting with the Pardot Lightning App Basics module on Trailhead to whet your appetite. You’ll soon see why there’s so much to love about Pardot! They’ve really increased the impact of marketing responsibilities and decisions while providing metrics that really matter when it comes to sharpening the responses of your sales teams. Sales and Marketing together can be a powerhouse when it comes to propelling your company forward.
Further Reading:

Thursday, 14 May 2020

[#Blogged]- 5 Ways Lightning Dialer Can Help Your Business!

Over the past decade, businesses have seen a drastic shift in how communications with customers are taking place.  Door to door visits and in-person meetings were rapidly replaced with phone calls and still continues to shift into other “remote” forms of contact.  A few years ago, the whole sub-departments of sales cropped up to fill this need, as companies realized business could be continued without the expense of travel and face to face visits. As the drive to become more flexible increased, so did a new crop of issues. Sales management began to realize how much time was spent dialling and recording notes, and how much time would need to be spent on data entry from these calls. It became noticeable how overwhelming it could be for sales representatives to spend hours entering data, and unfortunately, how that task could fall by the wayside, leaving gaps in information that could be very valuable to the company. 
Salesforce took note and released a great solution to these problems with Lightning Dialer. This is a feature of Salesforce that allows reps to make calls without leaving the system, but has a host of other features, as well. They listened to the headaches sales reps experienced and built-in many solutions to help make their job more efficient. There are features, as well, that provide great insight for Sales Management that can help analyze how business is being conducted and allow them to improve training where necessary.  At the end of the day, having a tool that not only improves data retention but also makes Sales jobs more efficient is a win! 
Here are my 5 Ways Lightning Dialer Can Help Your Business!
  • Forwarding Number - One of the great things about Dialer is that it can be desktop driven with a headset, and you don’t have to worry about constant neck cramps from holding a phone to your ear all day.  However, we all know you can’t stay strapped to your desk constantly. Trips to the water cooler are a must, and caffeine is a necessary pick-me-up throughout your shift! Lightning Dialer allows you to forward calls to the main business line or cell phone so you never have to miss a call again. It’s also one of the easiest features to use and can be set up in less time than it takes to grab that cup of coffee. 
  • Voicemail Drop - We’ve all been there: you read over the details of who you’re calling, nervously anticipate whether or not they will answer, and rehearse what you might say to their voicemail if they do not. Doing that over and over again throughout the day can really wear down your mind, and lead to gaffes, such as that awkward pause when you’ve forgotten someone’s name. Or worse yet, why you’re calling. Thanks to voicemail drop, you no longer have to face those stressful moments! You can pre-record voice messages to leave regarding a certain feature you’re upselling, details of a sales pitch,  or a general inquiry of specific customers. Then, with a click of your mouse, you can select that recording to take the place of you repeating yourself 20 times within the hour. Your cubicle neighbours will thank you!
  • Local Presence - It is becoming more and more known that businesses and individuals will pick up the phone for numbers that identify as local, based on area or country codes. Out of state or out of area numbers are a bright red flag that you may not know who is calling, and most people like to ignore that. Speaking to a person will increase the chances of continued communications and closing a sale. The local presence feature can be a game-changer in the way your sales do business and are pretty easy to set up, as well.
  • Fewer Clicks for your Reps - In general, a sales rep has the following experience: they dial the number of the contact or lead manually on their phone, have conversations which are hopefully recorded in some way, end the call, log a task in Salesforce, type up the notes that they remembered, create a reminder task for a follow-up, and navigate to a different contact on a different account and repeat the process for their next call. That sounds like a lot! And, you really hope they don’t get interrupted or have to rush off to a meeting, relying on memory to go back later in the day for their data entry. This scenario is all too real. One of the best selling features of Lightning Dialer is how much easier their job becomes when making sales calls. Features like: a single click on the phone number to place their call, a headset that allows their hands to type notes while they’re focused on the conversation, and an Auto Log checkbox that files those notes immediately to an automatically created task. Not only that, but no bouncing around Salesforce looking for contacts -- they can create a predetermined list that lines up their calls for them. Just like that, they can get through their day focused on selling, all with a lot fewer clicks.
  • Tools for Managers - As a sales manager, with a large team, there’s a lot to keep up with.  Part of your responsibility is making sure your team is doing a great job, but that can be pretty difficult without ways to monitor sales calls. This is especially true when there is a group of new hires.  With Call Monitoring, you can now listen in to live conversations your reps are having, and provide valuable coaching afterwards to help them improve.  This isn’t the only feature for managers - there are also custom reports that give more insight to usage metrics as well, to better understand user adoption and hold sales reps accountable for using Lightning Dialer. 

Lightning Dialer offers an outbound calling product with the option to add inbound calling functionality. You can pay for just the total number of minutes your entire org uses (in blocks of 1,000 minutes).
Lightning Dialer Pricing
Wanna see more? Be sure to check out this video demo for a quick peek into Lightning Dialer capabilities, and learn more in the Lightning Dialer module on Trailhead.