Salesforce is a very powerful tool; you can build nearly any type of process to make your business more efficient. However, it is also vital that your setup is as easy to use as possible to encourage adoption and keep your users engaged.
While there are tons of cool features out there that can make your Salesforce setup more efficient, basic things are often the ones that are given less importance to, or even forgotten about. If you are an admin, the following four points are quick wins that will make your Salesforce process much easier for your users. You will also benefit from having to deal with less questions and complaints and your users will get to love Salesforce as much as you do.
1. Make Fields understandable
Salesforce users should clearly understand which type of data they are expected to enter in each field. Field names might not always be self-explanatory, so you should provide an additional explanation into the help text box when necessary. I would recommend you to do this by putting yourself in a new user’s shoes: Which information would you need to remember when starting to work with Salesforce? If a field is read-only and there is a formula or a process builder that updates its values, help text can also be useful to explain users under which criteria they will see the field getting updated with a certain value.
Limiting number fields to the exact length they need to have and setting the format of alphanumeric fields will reduce the chances users will make a mistake ensuring Salesforce data is accurate.
2. Keep Layouts clean
Entering data is tedious enough and Salesforce users rarely enjoy it, so you can help them focus on what is relevant for them by keeping layouts clean and organized.
Showing just the information users really need to see on page layouts will avoid them getting overwhelmed with too many things to look at and click on. You should hide all the fields and buttons that users don’t need to see there. Ex. fields that are only relevant for reports. You should also keep just the necessary related lists on each page. Ex. Activities can be displayed in every single object, but you will ease you user experience if you only display them on the objects that you want activities to be related to. Don’t forget to customize related lists and display the most important fields. You can also set the order in which records are sorted on each related list.
Remember that you can create profile-specific layouts if some profiles need to see different fields than other on the record page but you still want them to see in reports the fields not displayed on the page.
3. Start off the most restrictive version of each Profile
The more actions Salesforce users are allowed to perform, the harder it will be for them to remember which step comes after which, specially if they are new to Salesforce. And if processes are not understood or followed correctly, users will get frustrated and data will get messy. To avoid it, I would recommend you to start off setting up the most restrictive version possible for each profile, i.e. allowing profiles to perform just the right actions they need to take. Creating profiles with a restricted access is a good practice, because you can always grant more permissions later on if necessary. However, if you initially grant users more permissions than they need, the chances that they will mess something up and that you will have data to clean up afterwards are high.
It is also important that you make active use of object-level and field-level security, i.e. hiding the fields and objects that a profile does not need to see anywhere in Salesforce. Ex. a field that you have created just to help trigger an automatic process. You should also hide certain fields from profiles that don’t need to see or must not access certain information. This will avoid your users getting distracted with information that is not relevant to them and will keep your data confidential.
4. Use the power of Automation
One of the coolest things about Salesforce is the possibility to easily automate any type of process allowing companies to gain a lot of efficiency.
My last point might seem an obvious one, but I want to stress the importance to automate every single action that does not need to be taken manually. Your users will love Salesforce if it really helps them do their administrative work much faster. Remember not to allow users to perform those automatic actions also manually, unless it’s very necessary. You will avoid having duplicate records in your Salesforce org and your data will be more accurate.
You can also use automations to display, hide or make read-only certain fields when certain criteria are met. A workflow or the process builder can help you update a record type and its related page layout automatically. Ex. You can automatically update the account record type and display more fields on its related page layout when a prospect becomes a customer. You can also lock all the fields on the opportunity page when it is closed to ensure the record can no longer be updated.
Keeping your Salesforce org user-friendly has many benefits for your users and your data. The easier it is for them to navigate through Salesforce, the more and better they will use it and the more accurate your data will be! By enforcing the previous four points, you can easily increase the ease of use of you Salesforce org.