So you’re a Salesforce user? Do you enjoy using it? Does it make you more productive?
I’m sure that if we took a survey of users right here and now, we would get a huge disparity of answers. Your company would have invested in Salesforce to help you perform your job more efficiently, so you can focus on the important tasks. But sometimes without proper training and user adoption, users don’t actually see this benefit. Salesforce has so many out of the box features that you can start using right here and now, and after reading this post you will be able to!
This post will be split into two sections, an overall tips section that will give you 4 features that any user can take advantage of, and 6 from the Lightning Experience. If you haven’t heard of the Lightning Experience, it’s Salesforce’s new layout that has some seriously cool features.
Overall Salesforce User Tips
Let’s get stuck into the first section that will cover tips that any Salesforce user can take advantage of, no matter your layout version.
1. Start Creating List Views
List Views are Salesforce’s way of managing different sets of data within Objects. If “Recently Viewed” “My Open Leads” or “My Cases” mean anything to you, these are your list views.
But did you know you can create your own List Views? You can slice and dice your data whichever way you like in order to best manage your records and your day. For example in my day job at EMPAUA, I managed my leads using 3 List Views that I created myself. I numbered them in the order I would chronologically check them each day, first my New Leads to ensure I respond quickly, then my In Progress leads I’m currently working on, and finally the Leads I’m Nurturing. This can be done for any Object in Salesforce and I hope you would agree, it’s a lot better than managing out of one monster List View with an overwhelming amount of data! Learn how to create List Views here.
2. Use Reports to Analyse Metrics
I’m sure that any Salesforce user reading this has seen a report or two in their life, but have you created one? Reports aren’t just for Admins to generate, they are in fact extremely easy to create and you can gain amazing insights from them.
Your manager or admin will have probably set up some Reports & Dashboards for you that shows you some key KPI’s and statistics (If not then ask them to!), but for any insights you want to gain from your own records, just create a report.
- Where do my biggest deals come from? (Lead Source)
- How long does it take me to close a deal?
- What industry are most of my accounts in?
- What’s the resolution for most of my cases?
These questions can all be answered with a quick Salesforce report. They not only give you insights into yours and others work, they give you insights into your business. Imagine finding out something so important you can change the way your company does business. Is that a promotion I hear coming? Check out our tutorial on creating Salesforce Reports.
3. Use Chatter to Collaborate
Ever heard of Chatter? You might have seen the term around Salesforce but let me explain what it is. Chatter is a social collaboration tool that let’s your business, customers and partners all collaborate.
The first and most immediate way you can use Chatter is on records in Salesforce. Chatter will most likely be available on every record in your Salesforce Org. This can be found here in classic and here in Lightning. Here you can upload files, images, write comments, “@” your manager, your subject matter expert, or a sales engineer to ask them for help. When you and your organisation gets into the habit of using chatter, collaboration on records becomes a hell of a lot easier, and it stays on the record forever.
The second way to use Chatter is through Groups. Groups can be created internally in your Salesforce instance, or externally (Meaning you can invite your customers for free!). You can create groups for a particular product to ask for help, a particularly large account that many are collaborating on, or even an external group for you and your customers to have a workspace! Check out our summary post here.
4. The Fundamentals – Tasks, Activities & Emails
If you’re not utilising tasks, activities and emails, you are missing out on some of the core functionality of a powerful CRM system.
Let me level with you, the three things above do require you to insert a little bit of extra data into Salesforce which some might call “Admin”, but trust me, as a Sales user myself, it’s worth it.
Activities let you log interactions that have happened with your customer, record important meeting notes, or brief comments about why you interacted with that client.
Tasks allow you to create an action for yourself to follow up with. You can set a date, a reminder, and a brief description. Bonus, you can even set tasks for others!
Emails allow you to send emails out to clients directly from Salesforce. You can do this from within the comfort of Salesforce, taking advantage of time saving features like Email Templates. The email will also automatically save to Salesforce so you don’t need to log that activity! Learn how to create email templates here.
Lightning Salesforce User Tips
Now let’s look into 5 productivity features that are enabled with Lightning. If you don’t have it switched on yet, send this article to your Admin or manager to persuade them!
Here’s a quickfire tip. Hiding up in the right-hand corner menu you can control the screen layout with 2 option, Comfortable and Compact. These will change the amount of information shown on the screen at once, fantastic if you want to squeeze as much in as possible.
6. Kanban View
List Views have much greater functionality in Lightning with the likes of pinning, resizing columns, and more. But one of the greatest list features is the ability to view records of different stages grouped together in a great looking Kanban/pipeline.
To turn this on, you simply need to have a List View which displays a few fields and is grouped in a certain way. The best example to use here is Leads or Opportunities, ensure you have the stage or status field on the list view and voila, Kanban enabled for you! Check out this handy guide to do it in seconds.
7. Customise Navigation
The navigation bar in Salesforce Classic has been pretty mundane, you can choose the tabs that display, but that’s about it. Well, prepare to have full power over what is displayed in your navigation bar! There are three main things you can do with the navigation bar, you can rename, you can reorder and you can pin list views & records.
See the pencil icon on the far right of your navigation bar? Well click this and you can reorder items, and rename any custom list views or records you have added to the navigation bar. Learn how to pin custom list views right here. This is one of my favourite tips ever!
Another simple but fantastic productivity feature in Lightning is the addition of favourites. See the little star icon in the above image next to my profile picture? Well click this when you are on any page in Salesforce, and you will favourite it just like in a browser. This means that by clicking the dropdown arrow next to the star, you can access your favourite records whenever you like!
9. Global Actions
Sitting alongside your favourites icon is another handy symbol that can help you create records fast. The plus sign you can see gives you access to global actions, these let you create records fast with a shortcut directly to the correct page. You will see a standard list here with all your favourite standard objects, however, you can always ask your Admin to add custom ones in here too.
10. Customise Home page
I’ve left one of the best tips till last, however, I am very sorry, this is the only tip you will need to ask your Admin to do for you.
So when Lightning is turned on, you have a fantastic new home page to look at which has charts, reminders, and news about your accounts. I’m guessing it looks similar to the below?
Well with Salesforce Lightning, you have the freedom to change the homepage however you like! There are cool things called components that your Admin can drag and drop onto the page. If you want to know more, check out this post that describes the capabilities of components, and some ideas for your new home page!
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it will help you utilise Salesforce more. If you have any hacks or tips, feel free to share them below in the comments.