Salesforce Basics – How To Manage Company Settings in Salesforce

The Company Settings in a Salesforce Org contain several vital information. This includes information about default settings, licenses, data and file space, and more. All of this pretty much builds the skeleton of your Salesforce Org on which everything else is built. In this tutorial, we’ll discuss why the Company Settings are so important and how it impacts other business processes you are planning to set up.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

How Does The Company Profile Fit In

Before we dive into the details of the Company Settings, let’s take a look at the bigger picture first. Why? Because this will help you make more sense of the impact it can have in case you set them up incorrectly.

In general, we differentiate between three different levels of impact on your Salesforce users’ productivity:

  1. The first level is the Company Profile which determines your organization’s default settings and will impact all users across the entire platform.
  2. The second level is the User Profile which will impact only specific groups of users and defines their permissions and access to certain data sets.
  3. The third level is the individual User Record which you will be using to manage an individual User’s specific requirements.

This means, that whatever you set up in the Company Profile and other Company Settings will apply across the entire Salesforce org, a.k.a. will impact all Salesforce users.

What The Company Profile Is Made Of

The Company Profile is a collection of details about your organization and comprises of three elements:

  1. The first one is the Company Information which contains your Company’s Name and Address, your Default Locale, Default Currency or Corporate Currency, Data and File Storage available, as well as Licenses you have in use.
  2. The second one is the Financial Information defining the Fiscal or Financial Year and the Currencies required. This will be relevant for display and reporting purposes.
  3. And the third one is the Support Information which specifies Business Hours and Holiday periods, that are relevant for automated processes such as managing cases and escalations.

Why The Default Locale Can Become a Brain Twister

The Company Information contains one specific item, the Default Locale, which can cause some brain-twisting. It drives the display of formatting, language, and time zone. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at it.

Let’s start with the Formatting part. This is relevant for date/time & number formats, first and last name order, and address formats. Let’s take Date and Number formatting as an example.

In the US the date is displayed with the month first, followed by the day, and then the year. In Europe however it’s day first, then month, then year. This can be quite confusing so you want to get this right for your users depending on where they are based. Just imagine what happens to customer appointments with users based in various locations across the globe.

When it comes to numbers, in the US 10,000.00 Dollars would be displayed with a comma and a dot. In Europe, it would be the exact opposite, like EUR 10.000,00. Imagine what happens to sales numbers if you get this one mixed up. 😱

Next up, let’s talk about Language and Time Zone settings. Language settings are relevant when reading text on records or viewing the online help pages. Time Zone settings will impact calendar entries and recording of data entries like your created dates or modified dates.

Since you have three levels of impact as mentioned at the start (Company Profile, User Profile, User Record), let’s understand how you need to manage the Default Locale, Language and Time Zone:

You’ll start on the Company Profile to set a default baseline, for example, you’ll choose the US. This will now apply to all users no matter their geographical location.

This default baseline is now automatically applied to all User Records. Great! But, what happens to Users that are based in a different country, or same country but different time zone (think of the US or Australia), or same country but different language (think of Switzerland or Canada)?

While the User Record will inherit the default settings, you can simply change the locale, language and/or time zone on the individual user record level, for example to the UK.

Best practice tip: In order to avoid having to change every single User Record, consider where most Users are based and make that the default setting.

In this video tutorial, I will walk you through the Company Settings. We’ll explore a few more elements you need to keep in mind when setting up your business processes. You can follow along from your own Trailhead Playground or Developer Org. Simply click the gear icon ⚙️ in the upper right corner to jump into the Setup.

VIDEO TUTORIAL WALK-THROUGH SCRIPT

  1. Go to Setup/Company Settings
  2. Select Company Information
  3. Find information on leftdefault settings on right
  4. Show storage and View links
  5. To make changes, click Edit, then Save
  6. Scroll down to see list of licences
  7. Go back to menu / select Business Hours
  8. Click Default
  9. Click Edit
  10. Select Business Hours from menu again 
  11. Show New button
  12. Go back to menu / select Holidays – use to suspend business hours, e.g. Easter or Christmas, it’s like putting a pause on automated notifications or escalations
  13. Go back to menu / select Fiscal year – You can choose between Standard or Custom Fiscal Year. The Standard Fiscal Year is the most common and follows the Gregorian calendar, meaning your classic 12 months 365 day calendar, and always starts on the first of the month. You would select the starting month and whether the year is based on the starting or ending month. If you’re not sure, think about what it means when you talk about the Fiscal Year with your colleagues, for example the fiscal year 2019. Does it mean that it started in 2019 and ends in 2020 or does it mean it started in 2018 and finishes in 2019. The Custom Fiscal Year is relevant in case your company requires 13 months instead of 12 or 13-week fiscal quarters or your fiscal year doesn’t start on the first of the month. If this is relevant for the company you work for, be aware of this warning which says that you can’t turn this back off. So you notice that all Company wide settings are managed through this section.
  14. Go back to menu / click Company Information – some default settings do not apply to a user
  15. Go to User/Users
  16. Open Margaret Wiseman
  17. Scroll down to Locale settings

Play around with the Company Settings yourself. If you are familiar with logging in as another User, see how these settings apply to their user interface. Do let me know how this is working out for you.

WHAT ELSE…

This video tutorial is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorialsdownloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, I’d recommend to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Salesforce Basics – What Is The Salesforce AppExchange?

It’s Salesforce’s app store. But wait! Why would you even care about the Salesforce AppExchange? The Salesforce platform can already do everything you need it to do, right? How about we find out! In this tutorial, we’ll discuss use cases, and at what point you should consider adding an AppExchange App to your Salesforce Org.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Let’s Talk About Declarative Development First. It’s Your Best Practice Approach, Isn’t It?

Even Salesforce says so! Salesforce Administrators should always consider declarative development whenever possible. Salesforce already provides a huge range of tools and features out-of-the-box to make most common business scenarios work. So YES, this is your Best Practice Approach!

Declarative development tools include the Lightning App Builder, Object Manager, Validation Rules, Approval Processes, just to name very few. These tools are incredibly powerful already if you know all their capabilities. Always start there first!

The Salesforce AppExchange Exists For A Reason

Now there must be a reason why the AppExchange has become so big! Actually, there is more than one reason. The main reason though is that all declarative tools have their limits. While they can usually cover common business processes, some organizations don’t follow common practices. Not because they don’t want to, but because of the way their business is set up.

The apps on the Salesforce AppExchange are an extension to a Salesforce org to support specific business needs. These include industry-specific requirements, for example, the finance industry or the health industry. These also include specific requirements for more complex business processes like large data management.

Use An AppExchange App As Your Next Best Practice

Salesforce Developers are not too happy to hear this, but before you even consider getting a developer involved to write code for you, make sure to have a look at the AppExchange first!

Why? Because the Salesforce AppExchange hosts a large range of Salesforce Applications that have been developed either by Salesforce themselves or by Salesforce’s community of AppExchange Partners. This means you get access to pre-built solutions, referred to as Managed Packages or Unmanaged Packages.

Source: https://blog.welearnsalesforce.com/2021/04/28/how-do-salesforce-administrators-choose-the-right-customization-tool/

How Do You Find A Suitable AppExchange App?

That depends! Here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself first:

Don’t Forget To Run A Test Drive Of The AppExchange Listing

Don’t take the AppExchange Offers for granted. They often require adjustments and proper installation. In most cases you can sign up for a free trial version to verify whether the solution works for your specific Salesforce Org. And that’s where your Sandbox comes in. It allows you to run a test drive of the app in a safe environment. Never install a new app straight into your Salesforce production org. You have been warned! 🤓

You will find the downloaded app in the Setup menu under “Installed Apps” where you can view all of it’s components.  As part of the test drive, you will be able to determine whether there are any potential interferences with other apps, any feature gaps, or unwanted functionalities. Also, get some of the impacted users try it out too.

Finally, once you’ve completed the test drive and you’re happy with it, you can deploy the app into your production environment.

AND ONLY in case both the declarative tools, as well as the AppExchange offers, can’t solve your business problem, ONLY THEN should you consider a programmatic solution.

In this video tutorial, I will also walk you through the AppExchange and how to verify potential solutions.

VIDEO TUTORIAL WALK-THROUGH SCRIPT: (AppExchange demo starts at 2:14)

  1. Open a new browser window
  2. Type in the URL “appexchange.salesforce.com”
  3. Here you go. Right at the top, you have a search bar where you can search by keyword or for a specific app you may already have heard about
  4. In the menu below, you can browse for apps by type or collections. You can even search for consultants or developers
  5. On the top right hand side, you can log in with your Salesforce account and you will get personalized listings according to your role, industry, expertise and other information provided on your user profile.
  6. Let’s select Solutions by Type, then Apps. From here you will find additional filter options, such as pricing, editions, ratings and more
  7. And to view more details about an app that sparked your interest, just click the app – let’s use the Conga Composer as an example 
  8. You can view a preview, see the pricing on the top right, read more details under the Overview tab, read through reviews 
  9. When you scroll down you can see a few action items like save, watch demo, get it now to install. The action items vary by app.

Additional Information You Should Know About The Salesforce AppExchange

Did you know that the Salesforce AppExchange can do much more than apps? Initially, the AppExchange was born as a marketplace for Salesforce Partner Apps. As Salesforce is evolving not only their amazing products but also their entire ecosystem, so is the AppExchange.

You will essentially find three main sections on the AppExchange:

1 – Solutions to extend Salesforce to your business’ needs

2 – Experts to work with, including a Job Marketplace

3 – Community to learn from and support each other

Take a look around the AppExchange. Do let me know if you’ve already installed an app from there and how it worked out. I’d really love to hear about it!

WHAT ELSE…

This video tutorial is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, I’d recommend to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Salesforce Basics – Understanding the Salesforce Architecture

Isn’t the Salesforce Architecture the most boring of all Salesforce topics? Not quite! It’s actually pretty fascinating…

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Salesforce as a Cloud-based Software as a service (SaaS) Platform

Salesforce is a SaaS platform that provides its customers and partners with everything they need, all in one place. And we’re not just talking about customer data management. We’re talking about creating custom applications, automating business processes, and integrating additional functionality, seamlessly.

The Salesforce Multitenant Cloud – Like Living In An Apartment Building

Salesforce brings all their products, like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and so on, together onto the same platform. The Salesforce platform is built on a multitenant architecture, which allows customers to share resources and data. Salesforce also calls the platform the Multitenant Cloud. Because it’s like an apartment building where the tenants in all the apartments benefit from the network of power supply, storage facilities, facility management tools and so much more. This saves development and maintenance costs.

Source: trailhead.salesforce.com

The Core Architecture of Salesforce And Its Robust Framework

The Salesforce architecture offers a lot more than that. Salesforce Objects and Applications are all coming together on the one and same Lightning Platform. This ensures a seamless integration across all the Salesforce applications as well as applications from other providers that are built on the Lightning platform. All declarative and programmatic tools are shared across the entire platform and make it easy to add new apps or even develop completely new applications.

The Salesforce platform offers a robust framework for data services, artificial intelligence like Einstein, and API integrations. Plus you automatically get release updates three times per year. And since it’s all happening in the cloud, you don’t need to install a thing.

Can You Trust the Salesforce Platform?

And with all of that, one very critical component is most certainly…trust. Salesforce takes data security within its platform very seriously. And not only that, but Salesforce also cares a lot about the customizations you are building into your Salesforce org for all your vital business functions and ensures they run reliably.

Have a look at the Salesforce dedicated trust site trust.salesforce.com. You will find information about compliance, service availability and performance, how data is secured, and more.

Source: trust.salesforce.com

The Concept of Metadata Elements

Everything you are building and all the data you are storing on the Salesforce platform is driven by Metadata. Metadata is the data about your data. 🤯 It defines the structure of your fields, page layouts, user profiles, reports, dashboards, etc. 

In the example below, the Account Name field represents the metadata, a.k.a. the type of field. This is where the data about the name of the company this contact works for, is stored in.

Metadata is used for different purposes. For example when changes are made in a Sandbox environment and then moved into the Production environment or when data is integrated through external resources. It identifies existing items like fields, page layouts etc. by its metadata.

In our example, the Account Name is actually just the label that appears to the user. The metadata itself is the Field Name or API name. If you changed the label to ‘Company Name’ for example, the metadata or API name would remain unchanged so it can still be identified.

Understanding the Salesforce Architecture isn’t too hard or too boring, right? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

WHAT ELSE…

This video tutorial is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, I’d recommend to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Customizing With The Salesforce Object Manager

You don’t want to work with unhappy Salesforce Users! Let me explain…Everything that Salesforce Users, like Sales Reps or Customer Service Teams, see right in front of them is what we call the user interface. Salesforce Users are very sensitive to changes to their daily tasks, in particular to the way they complete them through Salesforce’s user interface. This means you want to make it as easy as possible for them. And if you don’t, they won’t be happy.

Therefore, let’s find out how the Object Manager will become your secret weapon. It even has its own tab appearance in the Setup menu because you’ll be using it A LOT.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

You don’t want to work with unhappy Salesforce Users! Let me explain…Everything that Salesforce Users, like Sales Reps or Customer Service Teams, see right in front of them is what we call the user interface. Salesforce Users are very sensitive to changes to their daily tasks, in particular to the way they complete them through Salesforce’s user interface. This means you want to make it as easy as possible for them. And if you don’t, they won’t be happy.

Therefore, let’s find out how the Object Manager will become your secret weapon. It even has its own tab appearance in the Setup menu because you’ll be using it A LOT.

No-Code Declarative Salesforce Development

The Object Manager is the place where Salesforce System Administrators spend a lot of time tweaking the user interface. The Object Manager is part of the so-called no-code declarative toolset. Throughout our Salesforce Certification Courses, you will learn all about the essential declarative development tools every Salesforce Administrator should be familiar with.

The Power of the Object Manager Page

Let’s explore the Object Manager to give you a flavor of how easy and effective declarative development can be. The Object Manager is your go-to page in order to manage the appearance of any of the Salesforce Objects, such as Standard and Custom Objects, including External Objects.

Here’s an example of the Standard Account Object. From the Object Manager’s Page like this one you can:

  • Edit Standard Fields & add new Custom Fields for a large range of data types
  • Tweak existing Page Layouts & create new Page Layouts
  • Create Record Types and assign the various Page Layouts to manage different business processes
  • Manage access to quick Buttons, Links and Actions
  • Set up Lightning Record Pages as an extension to Page Layouts and Record Types
  • Design Compact Layouts to provide quick record summaries
  • Set up sophisticated Lookup Filters and Search Layouts
  • Add automation with Rules and Triggers

Purpose of Business Specific Customization

Let’s look at an example of what declarative development with the Object Manager can look like:

We’ll use the Contact Standard Object. It’s there to capture data like an individual’s name, email address, mobile number and so on. These are all part of the Standard Fields provided by Salesforce out-of-the-box (OOTB). However, what if you want to save additional information like hobbies or preferred method of contact. This type of information is not provided OOTB. Therefore, you need to create a new Custom Field in order to capture these business-specific details.

And why would you care? Details like these can help get to know customers better, and build stronger relationships to turn into more successful sales opportunities.

Now it’s time to get hands-on. Because that’s what matters most. Therefore, let’s customize the user interface of the Contact’s Object together. Just open your Trailhead Playground or Developer Org and follow-along:

VIDEO TUTORIAL WALK-THROUGH SCRIPT:

  1. In the Setup, select the Object Manager
  2. Go to the Contacts object
  3. Let’s look into Fields & Relationships to start with – we’ll go through most of the other menu items throughout module 4
  4. Here you will find a list of all the standard and custom fields that are already available – some of these fields will be visible to the user through the record pages, others may be hidden and stored for history tracking or data analysis purposes
  5. In order to add a new field to capture business specific data, we’ll go to the top right and click New
  6. We’ll now select the Data Type to specify what type of information we want to capture. Let’s go with the example of capturing the Hobby. We’ll create a Text Field, so let’s select Text Area which gives you 255 characters and Click Next
  7. We’ll label it “Hobby” and leave everything else as is, click Next
  8. The field-level-security will specify which user require access to this field. You will learn a lot more about this in section 4, click Next
  9. We’ll add to the page layout so the users can see it right away
  10. Click Save
  11. Let’s go to a Contact to check whether the field now displays
  12. Go the Sales App, select the Contacts tab and the All Contacts list view
  13. Let’s find Sean Forbes, open and select the Details tab
  14. And there you go, you can now start adding Hobby details

What Else Should You Know About the Object Manager

Through the Object Manager, you can create an entirely new Custom Object manually or you can upload Custom Object details from an Excel spreadsheet. And since most Salesforce Objects are related to one another, you can use the Schema Builder to see how these Objects have been linked.

Tip: Don’t forget to give Salesforce Users access to Custom Objects through a Custom Tab or a Related List. A Custom Tab is created through the Custom Tab Wizard. Related Lists are managed through Page Layout settings or Lightning Record Page design.

Here’s where to find the Tab Wizard:

One more element I’d like to point out is tracking changes in Salesforce. This is a very important aspect of improving data integrity as well as user adoption. However, this does not happen automatically. While the tools to track changes are available, you still have to either turn them on or set them up. One of these tools is used to track field history. You have to enable History Tracking for each Salesforce Object.

As you can see the Object Manager and corresponding features are very powerful. How well you make use of all their capabilities will determine the ease-of-use of the user interface. And the easier it is, the happier Salesforce Users will be. Because…it’s all about user adoption. And user adoption plays a huge role in business success.

What type of customization through the Object Manager would you like to learn more about? Leave me a comment below.

WHAT ELSE…

This video tutorial is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, I’d recommend to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Exploring Salesforce Business Use Cases To Save Many Headaches

Salesforce showed me how much more productive (and stress-less) life can be when you simply get organized. This should be a no-brainer. Yet it’s not! We have arrived well into the 21st century, and still so many companies use manual time-consuming processes for repetitive task that rob them of so much valuable time. And not only that. Losing time with admin tasks, means losing time you’d rather spend with getting to know your customers and making sales. In this article, we discuss common use cases where using the Salesforce platform has helped organizations make huge improvements. And it’s not always about making more sales, but having the time to focus on what matters most: Making an impact!

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

This article is not only for potential Salesforce customers out there. It’s for Salesforce Administrators, Business Analysts, Consultants and others too. It helps you understand the importance of getting Salesforce set up for any business department, in the right way. Therefore, let’s find out how Salesforce can help businesses and different business functions.

Typical Business Challenges

Have you come across long winded convoluted email trails, outdated Excel spreadsheets, inconsistencies across documents, tedious and repetitive manual steps? Then we’re onto something to fix.

These are not only problems of sales reps or marketers. It may appear Salesforce only offers solutions for sales processes or marketing strategies or customer service.

Even though Salesforce’s key products are named after these (Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud), the Salesforce platform can be extended to pretty much any other business function.

Depending on the complexity of the requirements, you can already integrate other business needs into the Salesforce edition you or the company you work for have already signed up for. If the integration however becomes too complex, you may want to look at Salesforce’s product range or explore solutions on the AppExchange instead.

“Always explore the capabilities of what you can do with what you are already paying for.”

Unknown

Therefore, let’s see what you can already do with the Salesforce org you got in front of you.

Explore Salesforce Business Use Cases

The challenges I mentioned earlier are the same across any business function. Salesforce’s core products already have solutions for these common business processes built into the platform out-of-the-box (e.g. Tasks, Chatter, List Views, just to name a few). You just need to make use of them and apply them across your Standard and Custom Objects and Apps.

Let’s look at some examples other than sales, service or marketing:

IT – can use Salesforce to track and analyze requests, automate email confirmations on status updates or track hardware used by employees.

HR  – can use Salesforce to capture and monitor performance reviews. Or manage on-boarding and other training plans as well as holidays and other leave.

Finance – can use Salesforce to manage pricing, budget and contracts.

Other – Throughout our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course you will get a good idea of the essential tools and other use cases to build in additional functionalities.

For more complex business requirements, make sure to check out Salesforce’s product range, like Salesforce Financial Service Cloud, Salesforce Health Cloud, Salesforce Education Cloud, and many others. And as always, make sure to have a look at the Salesforce AppExchange too.

Which business function would you like to see integrated into Salesforce? Leave me a comment below.

WHAT ELSE…

This video tutorial is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, I’d recommend to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Build a Salesforce Custom App for your next Salesforce Job Interview

Being new in the Salesforce job market can make you feel tiny in this vast Salesforce ecosystem. Many job ads seem to be looking for applicants with 2-3 or more years Salesforce experience. And you may not have any of that at all and you may feel like you will never find that Salesforce dream job. In this article we discuss how you can still stand out from the crowd and showcase your Salesforce talent… in your unique way!

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Showcase Your Salesforce Experience – Even if you don’t have any

Being new in the Salesforce job market can make you feel tiny in this vast Salesforce ecosystem. When you see a job posting, in most cases they seem to be looking for applicants with 2-3 or more years of Salesforce experience. And you may not have any of that at all and you may feel like you will never get a job in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Now, keep in mind that all those experienced Salesforce Admins or Salesforce Consultants have started just like you. Hence, they must be coming from somewhere. And with the Salesforce job market growing constantly, the Salesforce ecosystem is in need of building out more Salesforce professionals, just like YOU.

However, this also means there are a lot of newcomers competing with you. How can you still stand out from the crowd and showcase your Salesforce talent?

Prove your Salesforce Talent in your next Salesforce Job Interview

It’s about the big picture. It’s about understanding the Salesforce platform, how it can improve business processes and how you can contribute with your skills to your future employer’s success. Recruiters and Hiring Managers are looking for a well-rounded skill profile. They are not just looking for your Salesforce Admin Certification or other certifications. They want to see how you can apply your technical knowledge in combination with your soft skills. There are three key aspects employers are looking for:

Creative Thinking

This means, thinking outside the box. Can you identify what a business needs and what a potential solution may be? This can include setting up Custom Apps and Custom Objects to manage business-specific processes with all corresponding details in one place.

Problem Solving

What do you do when you don’t seem to find a declarative solution? This is a common scenario. Do you have to take it to the next level with more complex automations or should you look for a solution on the AppExchange?

Forward Thinking

This means helping a business look into the future. How can they get business insights and identify potential improvements for future business success and growth, for example with Reports and Dashboards. Maybe consider the integration of Salesforce external data with tools like Tableau.

This doesn’t mean you have to know the apps on the AppExchange or tools like Tableau inside out. That’s impossible. However, having an understanding of the potential capabilities will go a long way. So just step outside your Trailhead zone and take a browse through Salesforce’s product range as well as the AppExchange. Maybe get a free trial for Tableau (or other Salesforce products) or watch some demo videos.

Just like Albert Einstein used to say:

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

Albert Einstein

This means you don’t need to know everything but you need to know when and where to look for answers.

The next question is how you can build up these qualities to prepare for your job interview meaning for your Salesforce dream job.

Build Your Own Salesforce Experience

Even if you don’t have on-the-job experience with Salesforce, you can start building your very own technical experience and soft skills. It all starts with your hands-on practice, a.k.a. experience on Trailhead ▶️ (Video Guide included). And then … taking all that Salesforce knowledge and converting it into a tailored build completely done by yourself. 

Does this feel unachievable? No need to pull your hair out! Let’s take it step by step:

Gaining Salesforce Hands-on Experience starts by Learning Salesforce

As mentioned earlier, your Salesforce learning and experience journey starts with Trailhead. Get a Trailhead Account and start learning.

A good starting point is the Salesforce Administrator Certification Trailmix, even if you’re not sure yet whether or not you want to get certified. It covers all fundamental knowledge and hands-on practice every Salesforce professional needs to have, even those that choose not to get certified.

What I’ve done with the official Trailmix though, I’ve tweaked it a little to add a bit more logic and additional learning units, that I know will serve you better grasp the contents. This will give a more comprehensive learning experience:

WeLearnSalesforce: Salesforce Administrator Credential (NOTE: You must be logged in to your Trailhead Account.)

Other WeLearnSalesforce Trailmixes:

If self-guided learning feels to overwhelming, how about taking a Salesforce Course. Have a look at our guided video tutorials and study workbooks to complement your learning success.

Once you’ve got your fundamentals covered, you are ready to take it to the next level. This means, start completing more advanced Trailhead Modules and Projects. This will not only help you prepare better for your Salesforce Certification Exam but it will help you deepen your expertise.

Here are some recommended Trailhead Modules and Projects:

Build a Battle Station App

Build a Data Model for a Recruiting App

You can also choose to complete one or more Superbadges. They are provided by Trailhead to give you real-life business use cases of the type of challenges you’ll be confronted with in a real Salesforce Admin job role or similar.

Here’s a great example:

Lightning Experience Reports & Dashboards Specialist Superbadge

While Superbadges won’t take forever they still do require some time and patience to be completed. You may as well skip them for now (but not forever) and see how far you get with what you’ve already learned. Why not give it a go and build your very own business use case.

🌶 Because…eventually, this part is what will set you apart from the competition.

Build your own Salesforce Custom App based on your own Real World Experience

And this is where you can truly prove that you can think outside the box and come up with customized solutions. Now how does this work?

By building your very own app in Salesforce. You are essentially replicating a real-life business process in Salesforce. Simply look around you. What types of shops are in your area? Are you a member of a sports club? Think about how these shops or clubs would manage their day-to-day to-dos. Think about how they would manage their customer details, their memberships, their sales, donations, equipment, and so on? 

Take one example and write out the details and then create it in Salesforce. You can use a Trailhead Playground ▶️ (How-to Video), or better, your own Developer Org ▶️ (How-to Video).

🌶 KNOW THIS: It doesn’t have to be perfect, a potential employer just wants to see how you can approach solving a business problem.

Let me give you a couple of examples you can use to create a Custom App on your own:

Salesforce Custom App Example 1 – Manage your job applications:

  • Track best job portals (a.k.a. Custom Object)
  • Identify suitable positions and corresponding job applications (a.k.a. Custom Objects)
  • Use a dedicated workspace for job applications (a.k.a. Custom App)
  • Store Recruiter contact details (a.k.a. Account and Contact Standard Objects)
  • Manage different types of jobs you may be interested in such as Volunteer, Full-Time, Part-Time etc. (a.k.a. Record Types, Page Layouts)
  • Track your application progress (a.k.a. Paths Settings)
  • Set up automated follow-up reminders (a.k.a. Flow Builder)
  • Monitor time and effort (a.k.a. Reports and Dashboards)

Salesforce Custom App Example 2 – Manage your running club:

  • Set up club departments, sponsors (a.k.a. Account Types = Record Types)
  • Set up club members (a.k.a. Contacts)
  • Manage equipment (a.k.a. Custom Object)
  • Track donations (a.k.a. Opportunities)
  • Use dedicated workspaces for club internal details versus sponsorship details (a.k.a. Custom Apps)
  • Set up automated sponsorship renewals (a.k.a. Flow Builder)
  • Monitor sponsorships and donations over time (a.k.a. Reports and Dashboards)

🌶 Struggling to find ideas? Then check out the Salesforce Customer Success Stories. They range from small businesses to larger organizations that have decided to solve their business issues with Salesforce. You can read about the types of challenges and which Salesforce products they chose to overcome these challenges:

Customer Success Stories

Source: https://www.salesforce.com/customer-success-stories/#!page=1
 

Once you’ve created your personal business use case, a.k.a Salesforce Experience, it’s time to tell the world about it!

Share Your Salesforce Experience

Don’t be shy to share your work with Recruiters and Hiring Managers, even if it’s not the typical on-the-job type of experience. It still shows that you’ve developed your Salesforce skills plus soft skills to match the criteria employers are looking for.

Therefore, add your Salesforce experience to your resume. And even better, add it to your LinkedIn profile, because that’s a common place where Recruiters and Hiring Managers are looking for talent. And you want to make sure you can be found.

And don’t forget to add your Salesforce Certification as well as your Trailblazer.ID.

Closing Remarks

Gaining Salesforce experience has different faces. They include practicing hands-on with Trailhead, completing Superbadges or building your own Salesforce App. Other ways to gain experience is through volunteer opportunities and of course real-life Salesforce jobs. As I always like to say: Take it step-by-step, and you will get there!

Let me know in the comments if you managed to create your very own Salesforce app. What did you set up? I’d love to hear about it. 👏🏻

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

What You Need To Know About The Salesforce Setup Menu

Salesforce is a powerful platform with many configuration features and setup tools. In order to get the most out of Salesforce, it’s important to understand the options available to you. In this video tutorial, I will walk you through the three main Setup categories and explain what each one is for. Let’s go!

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Salesforce is a powerful platform with many configuration features and setup tools. In order to get the most out of Salesforce, it’s important to understand the options available to you. The Setup menu contains every single tool you need to configure a Salesforce instance to meet specific business needs.

Where Salesforce Admins Spend Their Day

The Setup is pretty much the engine room to enable the Salesforce user interface settings for optimal performance and usability. Whatever Salesforce Users see in the front end is managed through the backend, the Setup of the platform. It’s the Salesforce Admins go-to place to customize, configure and support a Salesforce instance and its Users.

Become Confident Using the Salesforce Setup Menu

In this video tutorial, I will walk you through the different options in the Setup menu and explain what each one does. You can follow-along from your own Trailhead Playground or Developer Org. Simply click the gear icon ⚙️ in the upper right corner.

VIDEO TUTORIAL WALK-THROUGH SCRIPT:

  1. Go to the gear icon on the top right
  2. You will see the main Setup item
  3. You may see more options such as the Service Setup. This depends on the Salesforce products you have acquired 
  4. When you hover over the main Setup item you’ll notice a little expand icon. This will open the Setup menu in a new browser window. So let’s click on it. It will be handy for you to keep the Setup page open separately.
  5. On the Setup Home page you will find some handy quick links at the top
  6. Click arrow to the right
  7. And below you will find recent pages you have been working on once you get started
  8. On the left is your main Setup menu which comprises of three main categories
  9. The ADMINISTRATION category
  10. This is where you manage your User [USERS >] and their data access [PROFILES]
  11. From here you will do things like adding new users [USERS]
  12. Viewing user details [user “WeLearnSalesforce”], changing passwords and monitor login history
  13. Under Data [DATA>] you will do data exports or set up duplicate management 
  14. Under Email you will be creating email templates and a lot more
  15. Under PLATFORM TOOLS this is where most of your customization will happen
  16. You can modify the user interface [OBJECTS & FIELDS] and 
  17. Deploy new features [ENVIRONMENTS/DEPLOY]
  18. You can manage your entire data model and create new apps 
  19. And if something needs to be coded with programmatic tools [CUSTOM CODE], this is done here too
  20. The third category is the SETTINGS where you will manage your company settings [COMPANY SETTINGS>] such as business hours and fiscal year 
  21. You can also view your org’s history [SECURITY>/Setup Audit Trail] and manage your entire security model
  22. You’ll notice that there are a lot of menu and sub-menu items and it might be a bit tricky to quickly find a specific section. That’s where the Quick Find box at the top will come in handy
  23. To the right of the Home tab, you will find the Object Manager tab. You will use the Object Manager to manage page layouts, add fields, create new Custom Objects and so on
  24. The Object Manager [Platform Tools/Objects and Fields/Object Manager] is also available from the main menu. However, since this is a very prominent section, Salesforce has made it easier for you to access it by adding its own tab

Key Setup Pages To Get More Familiar With

Once you start configuring a Salesforce org you will get more and more familiar and confident using the various setup items. There are a few Setup pages you will find yourself going back to regularly:

Company Information: This page gives you an overview of your Salesforce Org and includes the unique org ID, list of licenses, data and file storage.

Users: This is where you will find all User accounts and their details. Popular action items for Salesforce Admins include password resets, creating new Users as well as freezing and deactivating User accounts.

Login History: You will find this section on each User record. It will help you troubleshoot login issues such as incorrect passwords, login IP address, login date, time and more.

Profiles and Permission Sets: These pages are highly relevant to data security and what Users can see and do in a Salesforce org.

Setup Audit Trail: Troubleshooting Setup issues will also become a key element of Salesforce Administration. The Setup Audit Trail provides information about changes in the Setup, including what type, when and by whom the changes were done.

I hope you feel more comfortable with the Setup menu now. Don’t worry you will get a lot of practice throughout our Salesforce Certification course. 

Is there any particular Setup area you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments!

WHAT ELSE…

This video tutorial is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, I’d recommend to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

How Do I Navigate in Salesforce Lightning?

While the Salesforce user interface is very intuitive, there are a few not-so-obvious navigation features you do want to be familiar with. Salesforce contains a lot of data in a lot of different places, a.k.a. Salesforce records. Therefore, the more effective you can navigate through the system, the faster you will find the information you are looking for or you want to update. Imagine the smile on your co-workers face when you can show them at least one trick you learned about in this video tutorial. Sounds good? Let’s go then.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

While the Salesforce user interface is very intuitive, there are a few not-so-obvious navigation features you do want to be familiar with. Salesforce contains a lot of data in a lot of different places, a.k.a. Salesforce records. Therefore, the more effective you can navigate through the system, the faster you will find the information you are looking for or you want to update. Imagine the smile on your co-workers face when you can show them at least one trick you learned about in this video tutorial. Sounds good? Let’s go then.

The Difference Between Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience

Did you know that Salesforce has two different user interfaces? An old one and a new one. The old one is called Salesforce Classic and the new one is called Lightning Experience, though it’s not so new anymore. End of 2016 Salesforce had been making significant changes to the way you work to be even more efficient and productive. That’s why they introduced the new modern user interface that is much more dynamic and interactive.

Why do we even need to talk about this when the new interface has been around for so long? Isn’t everyone using Lightning Experience? Yes and No.

Yes, in most cases, you will find and use the Lightning Experience user interface. This includes your Trailhead Playgrounds, Developer Orgs, Production Orgs, and others. And No, in real life, there are still some organizations using Salesforce Classic. Moving from an existing Salesforce Classic Org to Lightning Experience can require more extensive configurations which can take longer to undergo for some.

This means you will need to be familiar with both user interfaces. The good news is that many features you will be learning about work very similarly in both interfaces. However, there are a few differences you should be aware of.

Below is an example of the Accounts and Contacts Pages. You’ll notice quickly that the Lightning Experience user interface can do a lot more. Therefore, make sure to review the full comparison list too!

Source: help.salesforce.com

Due to these differences, it is sometimes necessary to switch between the two user interfaces. There is a so-called switcher which is easy to access. In Lightning, you’ll access the switcher from your profile menu, and in Classic, you’ll find it at the top of your screen.

Navigate Lightning Experience With Ease

Since Lightning Experience is the one everyone should be using, you will learn the most essential navigation paths and best practices around this user interface. And whenever there is a need to switch to Classic, I will tell you so. 🤓

In this preview video tutorial, we will dive right into the tabs along the navigation bar. You can follow along in your own Trailhead Playground, so you can practice your hands-on skills already.

VIDEO TUTORIAL WALK-THROUGH SCRIPT

  1. Now let’s have a look at one of the tabs. Let’s start with the Accounts tab.
  2. By default you will be taken to the Recently Viewed Accounts which may however be empty if you haven’t used it before. 
  3. When you click the little drop down arrow to the right of the heading, you will find more options to view your list of records. This is what we call List Views. You can choose from All Accounts or My Accounts or other filter options. Some of them are provided to you out-of-the-box, and others can be added as needed, such as this one Platinum and Gold SLA Customers which is a custom list view.
  4. Let’s select All Accounts for now. Notice the pin icon to the right? You can pin the selected list view instead of the Recently Viewed one.
  5. The list view can be sorted by clicking on the column heading. For example clicking on the Account Name column heading. You’ll notice a tiny arrow which indicates how the list is sorted and in which direction. You can click the arrow to switch the direction, like so.
  6. Now let’s select one of the Accounts, for example Edge Communications. This will take you to the full Account record. This record contains a number of information which are broken down into tabs. At the top, you’ll find a Highlights Panel to view key details about this Account. 
  7. Underneath you will have a Details tab which contains the key details plus other important information about the Account.
  8. You will also have an Activities tab where you will see to dos that are coming up as Next Steps or Activities from the past. 
  9. Under the Chatter tab you will see updates and questions related to this Account. 
  10. And under the Related tab you will find the related Contacts, Opportunities, Cases and more. 
  11. Remember the relationships between objects we talked about in the previous unit. This is what they look like.
  12. To view the details of one of these related records, for example Sean Forbes, you have two options: You can either click on the hyperlink which will overwrite your current page, or use the right mouse click to open the record in a new window. 
  13. Either way will take you to Sean’s contact record where you can see all his details. You notice the way the page is set up is quite similar to the Account page we have just gone through. Now, to view the Account details from Sean’s record, you can either switch windows depending on how you opened it or use the Account Name hyperlink to look up the page. 
  14. And this is how the Related lists and Lookups work that we discussed in the previous unit.
  15. Let’s jump to the Opportunities tab. From the dropdown at the top let’s select All Opportunities.
  16. The list views you have seen so far, look like a table. However you can change the view. Go to the top right corner and click on this little table icon and select Kanban
  17. This is now giving you a really nice summary type of view which is great to monitor and manage multiple opportunities from one page.  You can drag and drop, you can view subtotals and you make changes
  18. The Kanban view is available for other tabs as well. For now, let’s change the view back to Table.
  19. At the very top of your screen you will find the Global Search bar. It works quite like a Google search. Simply type in a name or phone number or other search term of a record you are looking for. 
  20. Once you click into the search you may see recent records. If nothing comes up or they don’t contain what you are looking for, start typing your search term, for example “Sean“. You may see suggestions coming up. If they don’t show what you are looking for, run a full search and click on the magnifying glass
  21. You will see a page with all search results containing this keyword
  22. You can use the dropdown arrow to the left of the global search bar or the menu items on the left to filter your search results for specific record types, for example Contacts
  23. When you do this, you can add even more filter options
  24. And to go back to the full search results, you can click Expand List .
  25. In case you can’t remember the spelling when you search, you can use the asterisk as a wildcard. However, you need at least two characters. 
  26. For example you want to look for John but you’re not sure if it’s John or Johnathan or Jonny. You can type in “jo” and then add the asterisk and then run the full search.

This is how you navigate through the front end user interface and find the records you or your co-workers are working on.

What trick did you learn in this video tutorial that you can’t wait to show your colleague or friend? Let me know in the comments.

WHAT ELSE…

The full video is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, I’d recommend to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Meet the #1 Customer Relationship Management Cloud Application, Salesforce!

Salesforce is used by thousands of customers across many countries and growing massively. For good reason. It brings customers and their partners together to manage their daily business challenges in the smartest way possible. It’s called Customer Relationship Management, in short CRM. In this article, we look at the basic elements of the Salesforce CRM Platform and how it brings business data to life.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Salesforce is used by thousands of customers across many countries and growing massively. For good reason. It brings customers and their partners together to manage their daily business challenges in the smartest way possible. It’s called Customer Relationship Management, in short CRM. In this article, we look at the basic elements of the Salesforce CRM Platform and how it brings business data to life.

Welcome to The World of Salesforce

Let’s get you started with understanding the basic elements of the Salesforce Platform and how it will be beneficial for managing day-to-day business processes.

Salesforce is a cloud-based application. This means, that all the data is stored in the cloud. Customers will be able to manage all their contacts and potential customers, organize and prioritize their daily customer activity, close the company’s sales and share key insights … in the most effective way. 

All of this happens from the one central location, through the cloud, in real-time, from any device that has an internet connection, from anywhere and at any time. The sky is the limit. No more Excel spreadsheets or post-it notes which are disconnected and can be hard to find. With Salesforce customers will save time and become much more organized, meaning a lot faster and more efficient. This makes customers happy and therefore increase sales.

Salesforce provides you with a constantly growing suite of products, referred to as “Clouds”. This range of products allows customers to manage all their different processes such as Sales or Marketing or Customer Service and many others. Have a look at their website for an overview of all their products so you don’t miss out.

In this article, we’ll focus on the Sales Cloud. This is Salesforce’s core product from which the rest of the platform has evolved. It’s the perfect place to start and understand the core principles and architecture of the platform. The Sales Cloud hosts a specific bundle of features and functionalities dedicated to managing sales-related data and business processes.

How Is Data Organized in Salesforce

Let’s look at how the data is set up and structured in a Salesforce Org. The data generated is organized in so-called Objects. Each Object contains a set of very specific type of data. Just like your kitchen: one drawer contains your cutlery, the next holds your dinner plates, the next one stores your placemats. When dinner time arrives, you open each and grab all the pieces that nicely fit together and make the dinner table look nice.

Salesforce pretty much does the same. One Object contains the data about the companies (= Account Object) an organization works with, another Object contains the data about the individuals (= Contact Object) from these companies they deal with, and so on.

An Object is like a table of data, like an Excel spreadsheet. Let’s take the Account Object as an example. It contains the details about the Accounts, such as the name of the company, the address, the annual revenue and a lot more. The rows represent the account record of each company and the columns represent the details of each of these.

The Concept of Standard Objects

To give you a head start, Salesforce provides several Standard Objects for customers to start saving important customer data right away.  Standard Objects contain a set of Standard Fields which you can customize or extend with Custom Fields, as required. Before we dive into customization though, let’s understand first what the Standard Objects are:

The Account Object contains general information about the organizations you work with, such as name, address or website. An Account can be a customer, a supplier, a partner or even a competitor. Any type of organization requires a different set of data stored in an Account Record. 

The Contact Object contains details about the individual person of an Account, such as their mobile number or email address. A Contact can however be a private individual instead. This is referred to as a Person Account which we’ll cover in another article.

The Opportunity Object is there to store information about the potential product or service a customer is interested in such as the amount or the name of the product.

The Lead Object contains information about potential customers. It’s similar to a Contact Record but not fully qualified yet. Once a Lead has been verified to turn into a likely sale, that’s when it is being converted. The conversion process divides the Lead information into three parts, an Account Record, a Contact Record, and an Opportunity Record.

I know this may be a little confusing. Just think about a Lead as a business card. Once you have caught up with the person you met or who has been referred to you, and you have determined the chances are good, you set them up as a customer, meaning a new Account Record with a corresponding Contact Record and a Sales Opportunity.

The Campaign Object manages your marketing activities to generate Leads or retain Contacts and stores information around dates, location, budget and more. 

The Case Object is typically used to captures enquiries from customers such as questions or issues with products or services. Cases can also be used to manage general enquiries or even internal change requests. You can connect Case Records to the other associated Objects they are related to, in this example to the corresponding Opportunity. This extends each record to provide additional customer information.

Finally, the User Object holds the details about the people (= Users) in your organization that have access to all that data in Salesforce. Through the User Object, you’ll not only manage their details but also the type and level of access each User will have. This includes read, edit, create or delete access. This is all part of the data security model we’ll have you covered with too.

Note: These are the most relevant Standard Objects you need to know about for now. You’ll notice that there are quite a few more. We’ll take it step-by-step and explore the other ones as we go.

Relationships to Other Objects

Salesforce is a relational database where relevant Salesforce data is connected to provide the insights each business requires. Each Salesforce Product, like the Sales Cloud, comes with Standard Objects which are already linked to one another. This means the relationships between these Objects have already been set up.

Based on the type of data, the Objects are organized by business function. In Sales Cloud, this includes Sales, Service and Marketing functions. In the system, they are referred to as Apps which are selected through the so-called App Launcher. This is similar to an app on your mobile device which has a very specific purpose, like managing your shopping list. The Apps in Salesforce do just the same.

An App in Salesforce contains a default bundle of Salesforce Objects. The Sales App contains Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities. The Marketing App contains Campaigns and Leads, and Service App contains Cases. Some Objects, like Accounts and Contacts are cross-functional and will therefore be displayed within each of the apps. These Apps can be tailored based on business needs. This includes re-arranging the default Objects, adding or removing Objects and so on.

The way how the Objects within these Apps are linked is through so-called Related Lists and Lookup hyperlinks. Let’s look at Related Lists first. For example, on an Account, you will see a list of related Contacts or related Opportunities. This means, the Account is the main record (=Master Object), and the Contacts, Opportunities, or other records such as Cases, are attached underneath it (=Detail Objects or Child Objects). It’s like you are looking down.

With Lookup hyperlinks however it’s the other way around. For example, you are on a Contact record, and you want to see the Account details, you will find a hyperlink instead. It’s like you are looking up to the Master Object.

Organize Data Through Collaboration

There are vast amounts of data coming together in a single Salesforce Database. Salesforce Users will most certainly have questions or updates around these.

And this is where Chatter comes in. Chatter is Salesforce’s built-in collaboration platform. Salesforce offers it for Users to share information and ask questions in context to records they are working on. Users may need to involve subject matter experts from their teams or create chat groups to discuss specific topics. Or they may want to know what other people are saying and follow them to get notified. It’s similar to social media platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn. With Chatter, Salesforce Users can create an online and searchable content source.

Now you have learned some of the essential features and functionalities of the Salesforce Platform, in particular Sales Cloud. There is so much more to learn about Salesforce, such as its architecture and infrastructure, customization, change management and so on and on.

Watch this space!

Please let me know in the comments what else you are looking forward to learning about Salesforce. These articles are created for YOU! So go ahead and share your thoughts. 👏🏻

WHAT ELSE…

Our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Build Your Own Salesforce Custom Report Types

Salesforce Reports analyze data that is stored on Salesforce Records that belong to Salesforce Objects that are related to one another, or not. That’s a mouthful. And so are Salesforce Reports. Depending on how the data has been set up and structured in your Salesforce org, you’ll need to craft your reports in a corresponding fashion. Salesforce doesn’t leave you alone. They give you ready-to-use Standard Report Types. And if you can’t find what you need you simply build your own, meaning Custom Report Types. Let’s discuss the differences and when to use what type.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

What are Salesforce Standard Report Types?

Standard Report Types are provided by Salesforce out-of-the-box. They come with Salesforce’s Standard Objects such as Accounts, Opportunities, Cases, Leads and so on. You will find the corresponding categories from which you can choose the available Report Types from.

Plus, when you create a Custom Object and tick the “Allow Reports” checkbox, Salesforce will also create a Report Type for you automatically. You’ll find it under “Other Reports”.

Which Standard Report Type Should You Use?

Let’s use the “Opportunities” Category as an example. This is where you find Reports related to the Opportunities Object and their associated Objects such as Products or Contact Roles etc.

The Standard Report Type “Opportunities” will include fields from the Details tab of these records.

A Report Type like the “Opportunities with Products” will include fields from the Details tab as well as fields from the related Object, in this case the Product details.

TIP: Report Types that include details from related records like Products, will only give you a subset of the records (=AND condition). In our example only Opportunities that do have Products attached. You will not be able to include Opportunities without Products.

That’s where Custom Report Types come in.

What are Salesforce Custom Report Types?

Whenever you can’t find a suitable Standard Report Type or need something more complex, that’s when you need to build your own Custom Report Type.

For example: Opportunities with our without Products (=OR condition)

How To Build Custom Report Types

Custom Report Types (CRTs) are created from the Setup menu. You need to select the Primary Object, choose a meaningful Report Type Name and Description. And, you can choose a Category, though you can’t create new categories.

These steps are pretty straight forward. BUT, what the heck is a Primary Object? The question should rather be: What is the main focus of the Report? The Primary Object will determine your Filter Options in the Report.

For example: CRT on Accounts with or without Opportunities. The main focus is on Accounts for which you want to see related Opportunities details. Users will be able to filter by Account to identify those that do or do not have Opportunities.

CRTs typically contain information from multiple related Salesforce Objects, such as “Accounts with Opportunities with Products with Schedules”. Or: “Accounts with or without Opportunities with or without Products with or without Schedules”. The latter would be the most comprehensive.

This means, you can add up to four related Objects, the Primary Object being your first one. You can choose between AND or OR conditions.

AND example: Accounts with Opportunities

OR example: Accounts with our without Opportunities

Awesome Custom Report Types Features

CRTs have another huge advantage over Standard Report Types: They allow you to tailor what will be available in the Report Builder.

You can organize the fields from each Object and group them into logical sections. You can even rename field labels, especially when you have duplicate field names like the “Created By” field. AND: You can add fields from related parent records, meaning Lookup fields. For example: On Account records, you’d have Lookup fields to the Account Owner (= User Object).

You can also specify default columns which will auto-populate when Users create a new Report of this Report Type.

Benefits of Salesforce Custom Report Types

CRTs have many benefits. You can even use them to improve Standard Report Types, though you’ll have to re-create them first as a CRT.

CRTs help you to:

  • Remove clutter from Reports that Users don’t need to see or should not be using
  • Make building Reports easier for Users
  • Standardize the Report building process across teams and departments

Did You Know?

You can hide Standard or Custom Report Types which are redundant. Instead of deleting a Report Type (CRTs only) which would delete all associated Reports, you can simply hide the Report Type.

NOTE: This is currently only possible through the Salesforce Classic UI. However, Salesforce is planning to make this available to Lightning in Spring’23. (Refer to Release Notes!)

If you want to learn more about creating Standard and Custom Report creation, it’s included in our all of our Salesforce Certification Courses. Understanding the data setup and structure is a critical component. That’s why we recommend learning about Reports in context of the bigger picture. This will make you the better Salesforce Admin or Business Analyst.

Plus, all study materials, such as Video Tutorials and Study Workbooks contain awesome checklists, flow charts, diagrams and best practices. You can even download and pin them to your office wall. 🤓

Let me know in the comments what types of Custom Report Types you have created or which ones you would like to try out.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.