Salesforce tools


Salesforce Administrators are typically tasked with driving innovation and efficiency to lead transformation at their organizations. On the surface, that may seem easy, especially if it’s a brand new Salesforce implementation, as end users tend to expect big changes when new systems are implemented. The challenge lies in helping those user overcome the natural, human fear of change, and that is sometimes the hardest part of pushing progress forward. If you spend a little time with your end users, you’ll likely find plenty of opportunities to improve efficiency through streamlined or automated processes, or through the creation of new Salesforce tools. Here’s three quick tips to help you drive towards better, faster processes.


The KISS Principle

I asked David Liu, Salesforce MVP and Technical Architect at Google, what’s one quick tip you can offer on how to create efficient Salesforce Tools that people will actually use, and he replied with: “KISS – -Keep It Simple, Stupid.”  I know that’s not a Salesforce tool, rather a concept that can be applied when creating Salesforce tools, and concept that’s been around for 50 years or so. Lockheed design engineer, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson used this approach in designing aircraft, that some people have said, “kept us out of World War III.” Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” If you let that sink in for a moment, you might be able to interpret that as him saying, “Keep is simple,” and in today’s society, I think it’s best to explain the KISS principle as “Keep It Simple, Smart.” Just like Salesforce Admins eliminate the “stupid” from their Salesforce Orgs, we should eliminate the “stupid” from our vocabularies!

I was recently discussing process improvement techniques with Guillermo Pedroni, Director of CRM Applications at Telogis and the Leader of the Orange County Salesforce User group when he said: “If users have to look in too many areas to get the job done, then you’ll lose them fast.”  When looking at business processes, and how to make them more efficient, more effective, remember, KISS – keep it simple, and keep it smart. You don’y want users getting lost in complex, multi-step processes, because if that happens, no one wins.

Tutorial Videos

In a recent conversation I was having with Melinda Smith, Salesforce Solutions Architect at Bluewolf, and co-host of the Two WIT Podcast, she said that in the past she has created short, focused, videos to walk user through exactly how to complete certain tasks. Not only does this show them what to do, but it also creates a reference they can go back to later, should they forget the process.

Walk a Mile In Your Users Shoes

I co-lead a monthly Office Hours Call for Salesforce User Group Leaders with Patrick Solum, Salesforce MVP and Salesforce Consultant at Appirio. It’s one of the ways we give back to the Salesforce Community. Typically, Patrick and I get into conversations prior to, or just after the call related to all sorts of Salesforce topics. We recently discussed ways to get end users engaged and taking ownership around company-wide process improvement initiatives. Patrick suggested that, “Starting by talking with end users about the manual and tedious portions of their jobs usually surfaces the low-hanging fruit of things that automated emails or approvals processes can solve.” Then it’s up to the Salesforce Admin to review the issue from all sides and determine the best solution, and how to prioritize with all other projects.

A Bonus: The AppExchange

Whether you are looking to increase productivity and user adoption, or add new functionality for your company, keep in mind that sometimes there might already be a Salesforce tool already built. Check out the AppExchange for some best in class apps to solve your challenges.


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