Salesforce Native Combined Form Builder & Document Generation Tool [In-Depth Overview]
Formstack is a 100% native Salesforce solution that combines two key functionalities, allowing users to quickly generate complex forms and documents – all without ever leaving the security of the Salesforce platform.
- Conditional Logic for Forms & Documents
- Combined functionality means a single tool and license
- 100% Native Force.com Solution
Collecting and inputting data into your CRM is probably one of the most time consuming tasks your teams have to complete. We’ve automated so many business processes, but somehow, it seems that data collection and entry still manage to fall by the wayside. In some cases, you may have data collected in one tool, but you need to manually move it to another! Not only does this require extra time from your team, but it also allows human error to creep into the process – but there is a solution.
Formstack is an easy-to-use, quick-to-set-up, and versatile tool that can transform the way you collect and utilize your data within Salesforce. Formstack takes even the most complex questionnaire and turns it into something simple and user friendly, leaving a positive impression for your customers, prospects, vendors, patients, students, and more.
The use cases for Formstack are extensive, and we’ll cover just a few later on in the article – so read on to find out how Formstack can revolutionize your business processes!
Intuitive Form Editor
The form editor created by Formstack allows users to quickly and easily create custom forms to send out to customers, partners, suppliers, etc.
Forms can be created on any Salesforce object, standard or custom, and a form can be connected to multiple objects via the primary object selected. For example, if Opportunity is the primary object, you can also connect back to the Account object. This feature is handy if you need to capture data in multiple objects within Salesforce, but only want to send out a single form to the customer.
The form editor offers user-friendly “drag and drop” functionality to assemble the fields within the form. Simply select from the list of fields on the right-hand panel, drag and drop them into the form, and arrange them in sections as required.
Conditionality within Forms
Once you have created the form, you can add rules, also known as conditions. Apply conditions to fields or sections so that the form behaves in a certain way. The form will adapt based on information coming from the primary/secondary objects, or based on answers given by the user as they fill out the form.
For example, if you are an educational institution sending out a form to a prospective student, perhaps the student already filled out a short online form requesting more information. Perhaps on that form they indicated they were interested in a specific subject. In this case, you can tailor the form they receive based on the information you already have in the system about them.
Alternatively, as the student is filling out the form, perhaps there is an optional section for financial aid, which the student only needs to complete if required. Creating a rule to hide this section (unless the student indicates they require financial aid) makes the form more user friendly, and means that you will end up with better quality data.
Below, we can see an example of a rule in a simple Web-to-Lead form. If the Industry selected is “Consulting” then the Company field becomes mandatory for the user to fill in. Of course, this is a very simple rule, but Formstack can cater to far more complex rules using AND/OR logic as required.
Manage Documents with Complex Logic
Similar to the logic available within Forms, documents in Formstack can be generated with conditional sections based on information coming from the record being used to generate the document.
Often companies have multiple templates for a very similar document, simply because there are different versions based on the specific use case. Formstack allows you to manage a single version of a document and use logic to hide or show certain sections of the document based on fields in Salesforce. This makes administrating templates faster and more reliable, as you’re not having to update multiple templates each time, which increases the likelihood of making mistakes.
Automate Processes Based on Events
Formstack makes it easy to automate your processes based on certain events taking place. Let’s say you send out a form to a customer when they submit a support case to get more information about their issue. You don’t want your service agents monitoring cases which lack certain information, so you use Formstack to automatically set the status of the related case to “Pending Information” when the form is sent out. This indicates to the support agents that the case is not ready for review just yet.
Once the form is returned by the customer, Formstack can automatically update the case status to “Information Received”, which can then be used in a filter within a list view or report for your support agents to work through. Of course, these types of automations could be done with Salesforce functionality, but it would require additional effort and maintenance versus using the functionality that comes out of the box with Formstack.
Send Out Documents Based on Conditions
We have discussed the ability to add conditionality to a piece of text within a document. Formstack also gives users the ability to send out a packet of documents, while allowing the system to determine which documents are received by the recipient. This feature is powerful because it means that admins can create a single set of documents, add the conditions to each document, and the recipient will receive the correct documents every time. This is without the admin (or another user) having to make adjustments to which forms need to be sent out.
A good example of this is the collateral documents that are sent out alongside a quote, with the collateral being dependent on the products in the quote. For example, if you sell large machinery, you may wish to include specification sheets and images alongside the quote for each product on the quote. Admins can assemble the documents in advance, group them together as a packet, and add conditions to the documents to determine when they are sent out. This creates a far more scalable process. The admin can simply add new items to the set of documents or amend existing documents, and they only have to do it once rather than multiple times across multiple templates.
Formstack can help you create high-quality custom forms that work for your specific business needs. How many times have you been to a new doctor’s office and filled out the long medical history questionnaire, only to have an administrator input that information into their computer system manually?
With Formstack, healthcare professionals can design a form, add logic to only show questions in certain circumstances, and send out the forms in advance of a new patient joining – they can even ask the patient to fill in the details on a tablet at the office. Salesforce is fully HIPPA compliant, and as Formstack is 100% native to Salesforce, they benefit from the same certification.
In the SaaS world, companies often need to understand a prospective customer’s existing technical landscape in more detail to determine if the two companies can do business together. By creating a questionnaire in Formstack, Sales Reps could send the form to a prospective customer and use the information to determine if the prospect’s needs will be addressed without the vendor needing to devote time and resources to gain the initial information.
This is especially useful in a high-volume, more transactional business model, as it means less resources spent on closing each new customer, ultimately saving you time and money.
New Customer Onboarding
In the world of SaaS, onboarding a new customer can be relatively simple, but in other industries, onboarding a new customer might be a very time consuming process. Let’s take the manufacturing industry as an example – specifically a company that produces robots that work within a factory setting. Just because the customer has purchased a specific robot, it doesn’t mean that’s the end of their communication with the manufacturer.
There is likely a large amount of information required to collect after the Opportunity in Salesforce has been marked Closed-Won. By creating a simple form using Formstack, a Salesforce Admin could set up an automation that creates a post-sales record and then sends out a customer onboarding packet as soon as an opportunity is marked Closed-Won. Once the customer has filled out the required information, the manufacturer has all of that data directly in their post-sales record in Salesforce, ready to use, all without ever having to lift a finger manually.
Surveys are one of the most common use cases for digital forms – you’ve no doubt filled out numerous surveys on any number of topics. Formstack makes it simple to create comprehensive surveys which you can use for countless scenarios. Surveys are a great way to engage with your customer, prospects, and event attendees, etc., and the data received from surveys can be invaluable.
The benefit of using a tool such as Formstack is that the survey data is then captured and fed directly into Salesforce, where it’s available to be used in reports and dashboards in real time; there is no delay between the responses coming back and the information getting into Salesforce. This allows you to utilize the data to help drive decisions across your business more efficiently.
Document generation is a necessity in most organizations; contracts need to go out, quotes need to be generated, and customers need to receive these documents in a timely manner, especially when it comes to competing for business. Formstack allows you to create templates for all your documents, directly within the Salesforce platform, and makes it easy to generate and send those documents with the click of a button.
Quotes are one of the most common documents to send out, but they can sometimes be very complex, depending on the nature of the business and the type of products being sold. Formstack can account for complex conditions in your quote, meaning you can hide and show certain sections or text based on the information coming from Salesforce.
It’s no surprise that using a tool like Formstack can save you time, but how can it actually help your organization? By using a Salesforce-native tool, there is no delay in capturing your information within a form and getting it into Salesforce directly. There is no integration that needs to be set up to maintain a constant flow of data between Salesforce and another system. This means reduced hours setting up an integration, less chance of something going wrong, fewer issues when making updates in either system, and a more reliable service overall.
Automated forms also save organizations countless resource hours by reducing the need for an employee to gather the information captured on a form.
Improved Data Quality
If customers are prompted to keep their information up to date regularly, this will result in better data hygiene across your entire Salesforce org. Customers often have changes to specific pieces of information, such as their legal entity name, billing contacts, and procurement contacts, etc. Simply sending out a pre-filled form and asking the customer to confirm if the information is correct will save your organization a lot of time when working with clients.
This provides a great reason for any organization to touch base with customers and prospects. A touchpoint email that asks recipients to confirm existing details can result in pipeline generation by sparking or renewing interest in your brand. Without sending an advert or asking recipients to attend an event, this is a subtle way to encourage engagement with your organization.
Now that we know what Formstack can do, let’s discuss how to set it up.
Luckily, setting up Formstack is extremely simple! A Salesforce Admin can open the AppExchange Marketplace from within Salesforce, search “Formstack”, locate the listing, and click “Get It Now” to install the package into their sandbox or production environment.
Once the package has been successfully installed, admins can assign the necessary permissions to the users who need it. Please note, Formstack (Native Form Builder) and Formstack Documents are two separate packages that each need to be installed individually.
Once you have the permissions assigned, you can start to create your forms by navigating to the app launcher menu and searching/selecting “Formstack.” The tool comes with a sample Web-to-Lead form upon install as a point of reference.
From here, it’s simple to create a new form. Click “Create New Form” and start adding your fields – it really is that easy!
Pricing for Formstack starts at $225 per user per month for the form builder, and $92 per company per month for 150 document merges – this then increases based on volume.
In summary, Formstack is an easy-to-use solution that’s quick to set up and allows you to automate business processes which would otherwise be very manual. Not only can you create professional forms and documents, but everything is 100% native to Salesforce – you never have to worry about your data being at risk.
Click here to learn more about Formstack and schedule a demo.
Formstack does many things well but it has some major issues that make it difficult to use: 1) there is no version control 2) there is no rollback 3) there is no documentation capability 4) it saves automatically so if you make a change and want to reverse it, there is no way to prevent the save. To overcome this, you have to remember to copy a form before you make any changes 5)it does not automatically use SF picklist changes – when you make a change to a picklist you have to remember to update the form 5) there is no way to save the schema or see the internal structure of the form 6) there is no way to see what changes you have made
Formstack is great! Nice functionality, conditional logic, integration, etc. Same is true for Formstack Documents (formerly Webmerge). The latter is so much easier to use than that other Document Generation tool whose name is a dance.
Do you only license those that need to create forms?
Hi Alyssa, thanks for writing this in-depth overview of the Salesforce Native Combined Form Builder & Document Generation Tool.
I’m looking for a way to create forms within Salesforce and came across your article and the Salesforce form guide (https://arrify.com/salesforce-form-guide/) by Arrify.
I was wondering if the tool you mentioned is available at no cost, or if there are any fees associated with using it. Do you have any information on this or any thoughts on the matter?