5 Ways to Improve Your Salesforce Data Collection

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Poor data collection strategies can cause frustration on an individual and organizational level. If your company’s processes involve outdated tools, manual data entry, or poor security practices, you could be putting a lot of time, money, and resources on the line. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to improve your data collection strategies.

In this post, we will give you a tour of 5 methods sourced from Lucy’s role as a Marketing Automation Consultant, having witnessed real-world data collection pains across various tools. The information here will outline the problems caused by inadequate data collection tools and the ideal scenario that organizations should strive towards. This post is an overview of the techniques to get you thinking; you can hear the full details and, more best practices in and on-demand webinar on this same topic.


Method #1: Use Salesforce Dynamic Picklists

The problem:

You receive poor quality and inconsistent data without dropdown form fields. Salesforce picklists function the same way as dropdown fields on forms, by only allowing users to select values from a predefined list. Salesforce Admins can make changes to the values available on picklist fields in the backend of Salesforce at any time, which update across Salesforce wherever the field is being used. Unfortunately, these changes don’t cascade down to forms.

There’s duplicate work for Admins because they are required to update all forms as well – a task that’s easily overlooked!

The ideal scenario:

Form dropdown fields should update automatically by dynamically loading options pulled from your Salesforce picklists.

Method #2: Prefill form data

The problem:

Struggling to increase conversion rates when you request more information from form respondents? High user expectations could be playing a role in low return.

The ideal scenario:

You can tackle this common data frustration by using prefilled fields for a better user experience. If you have the data about a Prospect or customer already, why not leverage that data by surfacing it within the form’s fields? As a result, the amount of time and effort users have to spend when submitting a form is significantly reduced, which could encourage higher response rates and better user experience.

Method #3: Use data validation

The problem:

Validation rules keep Salesforce users on the right track, to ensure they input the right data, in the right format, at the right time when creating or editing records in Salesforce. It’s difficult to control how users submit the data you request when they aren’t given the same guardrails. The worst-case scenario could end in collecting data that Salesforce can’t accept. This creates more opportunities for important data to be missed or lost.

The ideal scenario:

To ensure that every piece of data you collect is both usable and organized, try to implement a few important validation rules within your form fields. This tip can streamline the experience for both you and your users, ensuring that every piece of data is usable.

Method #4: Audit data changes

The problem:

When it’s not clear who has the best data (the form user or the Salesforce user), it may be necessary to set a process for determining the source of truth.

The ideal scenario:

In an ideal scenario, it’s important for users to compare prospect-submitted data with personal record updates. This can lead to better clarity and visibility all around.

Method #5: Find a platform that updates custom objects

The problem:

One of the greatest perks about Salesforce is the ability to expand the data model with custom objects. But what happens when your forms are limited to only update Lead and Contact records? These limitations can truly hinder your ability to collect, analyze, and process the data that your organization relies on.

The ideal scenario:

Ideally, users should have the ability to update all records through forms. In doing so, this process enables self-service. A data collection platform like FormAssembly can ensure that you have access to the objects you need to keep your data model running smoothly.

Watch the webinar on-demand!

If you’d like to hear the full story and learn more about these best practices, we invite you to watch the on-demand webinar version, co-hosted by Lucy Mazalon of Salesforce Ben and Maggie Tharp of FormAssembly. The video includes a full walkthrough of the use cases discussed above, plus a Q&A session.

About FormAssembly

FormAssembly is an all-in-one web form builder and data collection platform that helps Salesforce users in all industries get more out of the data they collect. With robust Salesforce integrations, high standards of security and compliance, and a user-friendly interface, FormAssembly helps organizations save time, resources, and money.


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