No matter what area of Salesforce you use, no matter what your level of expertise, you can utilize Salesforce further than you might think, to make your life easier and reveal statistics that could help you in the future. Even if you have been trained by your Administrator, you should still explore on your own to fully grasp some of the following tips to become a killer Salesforce user. All five tips mentioned are not difficult to learn, and the resources out there are plentiful: YouTube, blogs, Salesforce documentation and more.
These areas below will all be provided to you on some sort of basis by your Salesforce Administrator, such as sales reports/dashboards or list views for opportunities that are closing this week. My point is that they cannot know what is right for you individually, as slight tweaks to some list views or reports may help you work more efficiently and find those hot prospects or cases that can easily be closed off that you may have overlooked before.
Create list views
Whatever you use Salesforce for, you’re probably spending most of your time looking at various list views, whether it’s a list of opportunities closing this week, today’s leads that have come in from your website or a list of your cases that are currently open. Likely, less experienced Salesforce users will be content with standard list views that Salesforce provides or the ones that their administrators give them, but only you, the user, know the most effective way for you to work with your company. Decide between using multiple specific list views that you can switch between to get the information that’s most relevant to you, or using a broader single list view, which is listed in a specific way.
Create email templates
If your company is an active user of Salesforce and has fully integrated it across all business processes, you have likely seen email templates. Similar to list views, you probably have some standard templates with a bit of mail merge functionality mixed in to make your life easier, such as standard lead responses or introduction emails to new accounts. A lot of people don’t know you can easily create personal templates for yourself. If you have a certain personal way you like to address leads and find yourself typing the same message multiple times a day, incorporating account information to personalize the email, then personal email templates are for you.
If you are unfamiliar with Salesforce reports, you must get acquainted with them. If you’re like me and love stats (sigh), there’s no better way to get those statistics out of Salesforce than reports. Similar to list views, you will probably have a few reports your managers or administrators have created for you to show information. Common reports may include: My opportunities closed for this month, cases closed per agent month and quarterly sales across the business. These types of reports can easily be created in a matter of minutes, even with a pretty chart added. Trust me, they are easy and intuitive to use.
Reports have a variety of uses, which really depend on what you are interested in doing. Here are a few ideas: Find out which cases take you the longest to close. Find out your strengths and weaknesses in who (which industries) you are selling to. Compare yourself to others in the company to see where you come in terms of sales or service. All of these can be built in a matter of minutes.
Dashboards are visual representations of reports, and you can have up to 20 charts, tables or lists. Each one of these is called a component and can be arranged how you like, though each component can relate to only one report. Personal dashboards are a great way to look at custom information that only concerns you as an individual to give you the information you need. They are especially useful if you just want to quickly glance at your statistics. Once you’ve mastered reports, dashboards are a drag-and-drop breeze.
Check out the AppExchange
A lot of users I’ve spoken to don’t even know what the AppExchange is. The way I usually explain it is that its like the App Store for iPhones. You can install free and paid apps into your Salesforce organization that can provide extra functionality. When I worked as an administrator, I checked it out weekly to see if there was anything that could make my or the user’s life easier. Apps range from simple free programs that install some pre-built dashboards into your system to seriously clever, huge apps like FinancialForce (cloud accountancy software). As users, you will see the benefit in some of these apps right away, while administrators might not know the ins and outs of your day-to-day job and therefore, might overlook some. It’s always worth checking it out, and if it’s a very simple app that could make your life a lot easier, I’m sure an administrator wouldn’t hesitate to install it for you.
Ben McCarthy, also known as Salesforce Ben, is a certified Salesforce admin and developer. Ben has a wealth of experience in the Salesforce ecosystem as a Business Analyst, Head of CRM and Consultant.