Everything You Need to Know About Salesforce Queues

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Salesforce Queues prioritize, distribute, and assign records used by teams that share workloads. Use Queues in Salesforce for managing cases, leads, tasks, contact requests, orders, service contracts, knowledge articles, and custom objects.

This guide will cover how Salesforce queues work, and provide step-by-step guidance for setting up your first queue.

What Are Salesforce Queues?

As mentioned above, Salesforce Queues prioritize, distribute, and assign the records used by teams sharing workloads. Queues act like holding areas in your CRM, where records wait for someone to pick them up, and assign the record owner either as themselves or another user.

Queues bring together a group of users. The main benefits:

  • Make managing a shared workload easier, especially where every user’s capacity fluctuates.
  • Create visibility into what needs to be done – in other words, it’s a useful way to notify all queue members. This is especially useful when team members are sick or on vacation.

How Do Queues Work in Salesforce?

Queues in Salesforce act like a user record; instead of a user being the record owner, the queue is the record owner while the record is pending someone to work on it.

There are multiple parts that make up a Salesforce Queue:

  • Queue members
  • Queue email (optional)
  • Record assignment rules
  • Quick actions

Who Can Join a Queue? (Queue Members)

An admin can add users to a Salesforce Queue – these are known as queue members. Members of the queue can accept records owned by the queue (note that users higher in a role hierarchy can also take ownership of records in a queue).

Queue Members can be added in the following ways:

  • Individual users (one by one)
  • Roles, roles and subordinates (multiple users at once),
  • Public groups (multiple users at once).

Note: We will address the optional “queue email” during the tutorial later in this guide.

How Can I Add Records to a Queue? (Record Assignment Rules)

The queue shares the same characteristics as a record owner – therefore, to add records to a queue, you only need to update the record owner! There are two ways this can be done:

  • Automatically: “Assignment rules” add records to a queue when they are created, based on specific record criteria. For example, a lead assignment rule can add leads from France to a “New Leads – France” queue, and leads from Germany to another user/queue.
  • Manually: From the record page, the record owner can be updated to be the queue, e.g. change the “Lead Owner” of a lead to the “New Leads – France” queue.

Queues vs. Groups in Salesforce

What is the difference between queues and groups in Salesforce? As queues are described as a group of users, this can be confused with “groups” – another way to share records in Salesforce.

  • Public groups are the most widely-used type of group in Salesforce (other less common ones are personal groups and manager groups).
  • Public groups (the most common) are created by Salesforce Admins. These can contain individual users, other groups, or users in a particular role or territory. Groups enable record visibility to be extended to multiple users at once. They don’t allow users to change the record owner of those records*, whereas queues do.
  • You can base queue membership on a public group (i.e. all users in the public group will have the ability to view the record and change the record owner.

*If Enterprise Territory Management is enabled.

**Users in groups could have the permission to change record owners with a combination of a profile (or permission set) with the “transfer records” and edit access, granted via the role hierarchy or a sharing rule.

Creating a Salesforce Queue: Lead Queue Example

Lead queues (as well as case queues) are the most common ways to use Salesforce queues. An organization could ask their admin to create a lead queue to distribute to each regional team. We’re going to create a queue for the EMEA Leads.

25 STEPS

1. From Salesforce Setup, search “queues”.

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2. Click Queues

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3. Click New

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4. Enter a Label. We’ll use “EMEA Leads” in this example.

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5. The Queue Name automatically populates. [Optional] add a Queue Email. An email notification will be sent to this email address whenever a new record is added to the queue – ideal for shared team inboxes.

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6. [Optional] Click Send Email to Members. This will mean that all Queue Members will receive email updates (and not only the address entered in the Queue Email box).

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7. Scroll down to the Supported Objects section. Find Lead in the list of available objects.

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8. Click Add to move Lead into the selected objects column.

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9. Scroll down to the Queue Members section. Remember that Queue Members can be individual users (add one by one), Public groups, roles and roles and subordinates (to add multiple members at once).

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10. We’ll Add “Barry BDR” as a queue member.

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11. Switch from the “Users” view to Public Groups

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12. …or Roles.

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13. …or Roles and Subordinates

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14. We’ll add the Role and Subordinates: Director, Direct Sales. This means that any users with the role “Director, Direct Sales” and users lower in the hierarchy will gain visibility into the queue.

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15. Click Save

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16. Search for Lead Assignment Rules

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17. Here are the rules you have created and if they are active. We would like to include the EMEA Leads queue within the Standard rule.

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18. Find the entry you want to change. I have a rule entry that assigns any leads that are not from the US; for the purposes of this demo, I will just use the “when country is not equal” rule entry. Click Edit.

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19. Change the filter from User to Queue.

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20. Type EMEA Leads (or a few characters) in the box.

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21. Click you can use the Assignee Lookup (opens a New Window) to ensure you find the correct queue.

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22. [Optional] Choose an email template that is sent to the record owner when the lead is assigned. Finally, click Save

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23. It’s time to test. Go to the Leads tab, and click on the List View dropdown.

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24. Click EMEA Leads

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25. You will find that the list is empty. Create a test lead with the correct criteria for the assignment rule to fire. Then, check the list again to see if the new lead record has appeared.

That’s it. You’re done!

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Here’s an interactive tutorial

** Best experienced in Full Screen (click the icon in the top right corner before you begin) **

https://www.iorad.com/player/1947276/How-to-Create-a-Salesforce-Queue–Lead-Queue-Example-

Step 1: Create a Queue

From Salesforce Setup, use the Quick Find box to search for Queues → click Queues → click New.

  • Enter a label. We’ll use “EMEA Leads” in this example. The queue name will automatically populate.
  • [Optional] Add a Queue Email. An email notification will be sent to this email address whenever a new record is added to the queue – ideal for shared team inboxes.
  • [Optional] Click Send Email to Members. This means that all queue members will receive email updates (not only the address entered in the Queue Email box).
  • Scroll down to the Supported Objects section. Find Lead in the list of available objects.
  • ​​Click Add to move Lead into the selected objects column.

Scroll down to the Queue Members section. Remember that queue members can be individual users (add one by one), public groups, roles, and roles and subordinates (to add multiple members at once).

  • We’ll Add a user, e.g. “Barry BDR”, as a queue member.
  • Switch from the “Users” view to Public Groups, Roles, or Roles and Subordinates.
  • We’ll add the Role and Subordinates: Director, Direct Sales. This means that any users with the role “Director, Direct Sales” and users lower in the hierarchy will gain visibility into the queue.
  • Then click Save.

Step 2: Create or Edit Assignment Rules

Automatically add records to a queue when they are created, based on specific record criteria using Lead Assignment Rules.

Remember: Queues share the same characteristics as a record owner – therefore, to add records to a queue, you only need to update the record owner!

  • Use the Quick Find box to search for Lead Assignment Rules. You’ll land on a page that lists the rules you have created and whether they are active. We would like to include the EMEA Leads queue within the Standard rule.
  • Note that it’s easy to set up a new Lead Assignment Rule too!
  • Find the entry you want to change. I have a rule entry that assigns any leads that are not from the US. For the purposes of this demo, I will just use the “when country is not equal” rule entry.
  • Click Edit.
  • Change the filter from User to Queue.
  • Type EMEA Leads (or a few characters) in the box. You can use the Assignee Lookup (opens a new window) to ensure you find the correct queue.
  • [Optional] Choose an email template that is sent to the record owner when the lead is assigned.
  • Finally, click Save.

Step 3: Test It Out

It’s time to test.

  • Go to the Leads tab and click on the List View dropdown.
  • Click EMEA Leads (note that all queues automatically create a list view).
  • You will find that the list is empty. Create a test lead with the correct criteria for the assignment rule to fire. Then check the list again to see if the new lead record has appeared.
  • Finally, if you selected the Send Email to Members checkbox (so that all queue members will receive email updates), check that the notification was sent to the recipient’s inbox/es.

More Salesforce Queue Examples

You can use queues in Salesforce for managing cases, leads, tasks, contact requests, orders, service contracts, knowledge articles, and custom objects.

Here are some examples of how you can extend the wonders of queues to more teams in your organization:

  • For Cases: Create a “High Priority Cases” queue for service agents.
  • For any custom objects: For example, “New Projects” that require a specific skill set.
  • For Tasks: A “Webinar Follow-up” queue of call tasks.

How Many Queues Can You Have in Salesforce?

Good news – you can have as many queues as you’d like! Just don’t overload your users – after all, you want this to be one of their ‘go-to’ lists for picking up records to start working on. Speed, efficiency, collaboration… all the good stuff!

Summary

In a nutshell, Salesforce Queues allow users to prioritize, distribute, and assign records – ideal for teams that share workloads. Queues bring together groups of users to help manage shared workloads, while increasing visibility into what needs to be done (even if team members are out sick or on vacation).

Queues are a smart way to work, so consider how you can extend queues to other teams in your organization – after all, you can have as many as you’d like!

29 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About Salesforce Queues

  1. Thanks for the tips! Wondering if queue assignments are only at record creation? Or could it be when a certain criteria is met (ie: status is changed from stage 2 to stage 3)?

    1. You can create a multiple Lead Assignment Rules based on criteria you defined, but only one rule can be active at a time.

      You can create a multiple rule entries and sets the order in which the entry is processed in the rule, for example, 1, 2, 3. Probably, you can choose the stage and assign lead to the queue.

      Learn more about Assignment rule. See below help article.
      https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=creating_assignment_rules.htm&type=5

      You can do it via process builder. See below help article.
      https://automationchampion.com/tag/run-lead-assignment-rules-for-lead-created-from-apex-trigger/

      I hope it helps.

  2. Charles Thompson

    Reply

    Both this and the official help documentation don’t go into any detail on how the email fields work.

    One field is “Queue email”. It’s clear what happens if you put a value here: that email address will receive notifications of new items in the queue (which is why you usually direct these emails to a mailbox that includes all users that have access to the queue, but the instructions don’t mention that you’ll need to set that up in an email system outside of Salesforce and that system will need to be manually synchronised with the members in the queue. )

    The instructions & documentation don’t say what happens when this field is blank. The second email field is a checkbox “Send email to members”. What happens if you tick this box but leave the previous field blank? Does an email go out to each member individually, based on their user settings? Does that work if your members are Public Groups? The documentation doesn’t say!

    And unfortunately this article skips this detail.

    I’d rather not go through the trouble of testing all the different scenarios. Do you know?

  3. Charles Thompson

    Reply

    I found the answer!
    https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=000323036&type=1&mode=1 

    So here are the options. 

    Remember that there are two email fields:

    1) Queue email – this is a text field that lets you insert an email address
    2) Send email to members – this is a checkbox

    Here’s what happens:

    A. If Queue email is blank and the item in the queue comes from a case assignment or escalation rule: an email will go out to each member of the queue based on their user settings, whether the checkbox is ticked or not.

    B. If Queue email has an email address:
    i) if the checkbox is ticked AND the item in the queue was sent via case assignment or escalation rules, then an email will go to that email address (which needs to be manually synced when the queue members change)

    ii) if the checkbox is unticked, no email will go out

    iii) if the item comes to the queue from any other method (such as Process Builder), there will be NO email sent — you need to send one from your process

    1. There is also an ’email’ checkbox against every entry in the (Lead or Case) Assignment Rule! how does this interact with the above options I wonder?

    2. Hi Charles, So does that mean if we Queue email has an email address then it is a must to tick the Send email to members checkbox so that an email is sent out to the Queue inbox only?
      Or is it enough if we just provide the Queue email address without ticking the Send email to members checkbox for the email to be sent to the Queue inbox only?

      1. Hi Cristine, We have a queue on the Custom object. For the email notification when a record is assigned to this queue. Is it enough if we just provide an email address in the Queue email (text field) or do we need to also tick the ‘Send email to members’ checkbox?
        We want the email only to go to the queue inbox when a record is assigned to the queue, we do not want the email to go to all the members of the queue at this point in time.
        Thanks,
        Carrol

  4. This is great! However, in my company we have multiple Business Units, so one lead might need to be owned by multiple Sales Reps. How can I manage this?
    Thanks

    1. A record can have only one Owner. That Owner can be a Queue , or a User. If you want multiple users to have R/W access, but nobody else, and they are in different business units (and so, different places in the Role Hierarchy), you probably need to use Sharing Rules.

    1. Yes , you can do either of those, or, run a record-triggered Flow. The record that kicks off the automation would be a new “Group Member” record. That is a junction object that implements the many-to many relation between User and Group. You probably want to check that the Group’s Type field is “Queue”, else it will process new members of all the other types of Group. .

  5. Hi. Can queues be created from a Chatter Groups or Task/Activity/Event on an Opportunity?

    Current steps our reps currently have to take to submit a request for a quote from our Sales Support team.
    1. Upload a file(s) to the Opportunity,
    2. Send a chatter to a Sales Support Chatter Group with details around their ask to Sale Support
    3. Sales Support receives the Chatter email with details and each individual responds to the chatter for the rep in the region they manage
    4. Sales Support then builds the quote based on the details in the uploaded file and chatter details.

    Thank you!

  6. Hello,
    how can an individual user assign the lead to him to follow-up, i.e. I have John and Kathryn working on the leads of North-America. In your example, a lead with region North-America is assigned to that queue. John and Kathryn, 2 Salesforce Users are following up this queue.
    A first lead comes in. If John now assigns the lead to himself, this is actually not possible because as long as the region is North America, the lead will remain assigned to the queue.

    1. Christine Marshall

      Reply

      Hi Sabrina,

      I’m not sure I understand your issue here? Lead assignment rules run when a Lead is created. An assignment rule can add a Lead to a queue, but a User can then “Accept” the Lead or change the owner. Why would the owner remain as the queue if a User has reassigned the Lead?

    2. Christine is correct. Lead Assignment rules run only once, on a new Lead record (unless one takes extreme measures using Apex), so later changes will not be undone by Lead Assignment rules.

  7. Hi,
    Is there any way to look for ” All Cases that come to my queues and even though I assigned to a different user”?

    For example, my queue name is “ABC” and I have assigned the case to”XYZ”. I still want to see “xyz” cases even though I changed the owner of that record.

    Thanks for the help!

    1. We use automation and a custom field to record the “original queue”. Then one can filter a List View using that custom field. We use the field to re-queue Leads in some situations.

    1. Christine Marshall

      Reply

      In Setup, go to Users > Queues, then select the Queue you need the ID for. Once the Queue is open, you can find the ID in the web browser.

  8. We use the Assignment rule to put the Leads into Regional Queues. But once the Sales Rep picks up the lead they want to change ownership into their User name so that no one else picks it up. But because of our Assignment rule ever time they change the Owner it goes back to the Queue.
    Is there a way to get this to work. I was thinking a Process builder so that when the Status changes to “in progress” the Owner could be updated but i need to assign to a specific user and i don”t know who will pick you the Lead

  9. Hi all,
    very good recap of the queues, one question around that one. If the queue is used in approval process, in classic I was able to see directly the link in the queue, while in lightning it is a pure text so I can not with just a click see who is there. Can somebody confirm if this is the desired solution; if you have the same experience? There is one idea around similar topic – that is where salesforce support pointed me when I asked but not clear if those two things are connected. https://help.salesforce.com/s/articleView?id=000319234&type=1.
    Would be helpful if anyone can answer that. The object where we are using the approval history and the queues is a custom object.
    Thanks a lot
    Jana

    1. Hello Jana,

      Thank you for going through the article and happy to hear you liked the recap.

      While your question is about easily viewing queue members, the article seems to refer to a different topic of queues not being displayed, hence I am not sure they’re related in any way. I can confirm though that in Lightning the Queues are displayed as text on the record, while in Classic is a hyperlink you can click on to view the queue members. I have just quickly tested in a couple orgs for Leads and Cases, and it does seem this is still the expected behavior.

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