Sharing is caring – release notes

Chatter functionality was one my favorite things in Salesforce for years. And I still love chatter, don’t take me wrong – helps me so much to keep track on communication.

Since we transitioned to Lightning I am more and more excited how much you can personalize your experience. A few clicks and your life is so much easier.

Getting excited with every single release looking what is there for me as admin, end user, what is there for our clients … but reading release notes it’s definitely part I’d like to skip.

I have my favorite bloggers for tips and tricks, also webinars organizes by Salesforce Admins very useful and of course Trailheads, Community Groups

During Summer ’20 release I discovered page with resources easy to access and use. SUMMER’20 RELEASE page with all Latest Innovations and Resources, demos, playbooks has it all. Plus the button DOWNLOAD RELEASE IN BOX – presentation ready to use – perfect.

Perhaps this isn’t life changing thing but it made my day.

Sharing is caring, right?

Pavlina Preissova

Pavlina Preissova – 178/61 – blond – addictive type, running on gym, coffee, 100 % chocolate and SF releases. Often drinks blood and step on corns. But she is really good cook ;))))

Napiš komentář, díky!

NGO Hackathon #2

In the middle of August we did NGO Hackathon #2. We did the first one two years ago and got pretty good feedback, so we decided to repeat and change the format at the same time.

Last time we had three NGOs and multiple teams who compete to deliver the best solution. This time we had just one NGO and bunch of people working together to deliver one solution. Cooperation not competion this time. And in 24 hours we more or less delivered what should be delivered.

Kick off

What are the takeaways for next edition?

Timing

Originally we thought about doing it during Spring, but then Covid came. Autumn looked too far away so we decided to do in during the Summer time, which definitely limit the number of people who could attend, but at the end it wasn’t problem, as we got just the right number of people we needed.

Timing is also about those 24 hours and how to plan it. We started in the afternoon and run till afternoon the second day and I would probably change this next time – I could see how people completely lost energy 1am the latest and as we tried to work the whole night we didn’t really delivered much the second day. Also they had to left their job ealier the first day, so not really win for them. At the same time starting in the morning and finish in the evening would not provide enough time. Tricky decision.

People

Get the right mix of people was our main challenge. Actually it took a while to get the „right“ NGO, as I wanted implementation which will connect developers, consultants and junior admins and that isn’t the typical implementation. Plus they had to be willing to wait till the hackathon.

At one moment it look like we don’t have enough (skilled) developers and then suddently the NGO changed their requirements and we just had enough.

Yeah, we had fun

The feedback we got was also about little promotion of the event and we could definitely do better here, at the same time we had enough people and I’m not really sure we could use any more.

I completely forgot to let them introduce each other, something I do during every user group and somehow completely forgot this time. With 15 people around they were able to do it on their own, but I still don’t understand how that happened. And we don’t have any group photo (but here I can blame the photographer).

Project Management

Plan was great – introduction of the NGO and their needs, split into groups, prepare questions, slots for questions, implementation, first demo and feedback (for each area), finishing, final demo, training and party.

Plans are to be changed, so we broke them right after the introduction. I wanted the first thing to be done to be a list of tasks by each team, so they can all see what needs to be done, learn what other „roles“ need to do on such project and see the progress. For some reason this didn’t materialise (except for one team) and I didn’t push for it.

Discussion about data model

It kind of wasn’t missing (the teams knew what to do), but was really missing from the knowledge transfer perspective.

We didn’t do any demos during the day and slots for questions got mixed, but I didn’t miss these too much. Meaning from the client perspective, but it would be great – again – for the knowledge transfer.

Consultation during the day

Requirements

This is kind of part of project management, but probably worth mentioning extra.

We spent sometime with the organisation before the event to speak about what they need, clarify some questions, tell them what they need to prepare, etc.

Requirements sharing

I didn’t do any summary from it on purpose, I wanted them to present it during the day, just be ready for all the questions and have answers.

It also means that I wasn’t able to catch a few things, which complicated the process later on, the most visible one are email alerts. They prepared emails A – G (when we started the analysis they had just A – D) but I didn’t realise that each of those emails exist at least in two variants (he/she) and some in even more (the maximum is six variants of one email and we are lucky, because in Czech we can have 8 variants of this email). Annoying to configure them, annoying to put all the logic in the system with not that strong benefits from it.

The presentation of needs could be more professional. I wanted to have it the way we did it, but agree that some reharsal with the NGO before and polishing of the presentation would be beneficial.

Plus let the attendees know in advance what we will build, which was something we kept under the cover. This one is with a question – they could prepare some questions/ideas before at the same time they might go completely in wrong direction.

Training

We finished the day with user training, where I sit just with the people from NGO and no one else made it here (I didn’t tell anyone else). Mistake again, they could benefit from it, see what they built over the night, get the feeling of accomplishment.

Knowledge share

My main point for this event was the sharing. Sharing the knowledge, so people know what it takes, how much they (don’t) know, how they should approach different things.

Working and sharing

The second part was sharing about the people, get to know them better.

It could be better. I already wrote how we „failed“ in knowledge transfer, we could share it more. We also didn’t really have breaks for chat, it was incredible, but the people really worked all the time.

Next?

What will be next? I definitely want to repeat it and it looks like the people are happy to help next time as well. Plus we have – thanks to the missing marketing – a lot of other people we might be able to persuade and get onboard.

Who know, maybe autumn will bring some nice NGO who wants Salesforce and have their implementation interesting enough to put there so many people. And then we will need to learn from these mistake and make the event even better. Crossing my fingers!

Napiš komentář, díky!

TrailheaDX ’20 Wrap Up

I’m not good with virtual conferences, somehow I never find a time to attend them, always feeling I might be able to check recordings and always fail doing that as well. That alone made a great reason to organize TDX wrap-up user group. This year Salesforce supported such activity even more by providing speakers and we were matched with Aditya plus Katka did her summary as well.

I always considered TDX as developer conference (does the name mean Trailhead Developer eXperience?), this year it was more business relevant as well and I’m really glad that we had two speakers with totally different focus. Seeing that „short“ summary from them was great to refresh so many things I wanted to check a while ago and never found time for it as well as plenty of things I really should check out.

Developer summary

Aditya shortly covered Salesforce Functions (formerly Evergreen), which looks super promising and at the same time let you think why it is even needed and cannot be supported on the platform right away.

Dynamic Forms and Actions is something I heard about many times, still didn’t find strong reason to use it and am waiting once it will be available on standard objects as well.

Sample gallery and Automation components were the highlights for me. I knew about sample gallery but didn’t check it in a while, automation components look super handy, their only downside is that I feel they are adding some confusion – standard flow features which are being extended, Automation components, Unofficial SF and Salesforce Labs components on AppExchange. Where to look for what you need and which one is better if they overlap? Anyway, worth digging deeper.

Aditya and Data Governance Objects

Data Privacy starts to be huge part of Salesforce with the complex of object supporting this thing. I definitely need to dig deeper plus hope that Salesforce will somehow handle them better. From Spring ’20 you can have multiple contact points, but when you want to send email to campaign member it is always send to the only email address field on contact.

Business summary

Katka found great case studies – US Berkeley which did a portal for Covid test tracking in three weeks time and Sun Basket which used communities to publish recipies in no-time. Looks like Salesforce CMS is really powerful and worth getting know.

Katka loves this photo, any idea why?

Salesforce Anywhere – I heard a lot and it didn’t excite me just yet. I mean we all have Slacks, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and others, why would we want to use Anywhere? But now it clicked – green field implementations (at least in terms of collaboration), the fact that we can chat directly on specific fields, that it might be handy to see that other people look to the same record. Yeah, I start to be excited and want to see it in real life.

Pub

The benefit of having in-person event is the fact that you can go together to the pub and have a chat and I must say I’ve been looking for it. Time fly by and we went to our homes, with some new knowledge and eager to learn more.

All presentations are available for you to check out and you are more than welcome to join our group.

Napiš komentář, díky!

Salesforce and Emails

Salesforce = CRM. CRM = Customer Relationship Management. Relationship Managements means (at least to me) to store information about activities I do with customers, not just the hard data (such as their names and phone numbers). And emails are pretty crucial activities and a lot of companies solve their „sharing“ by forwarding them to people or putting everyone on a copy. Saving the important emails to Salesforce sounds way more functional to me.

The „why“ is probably pretty obvious – when people leaves company I still have the important emails at one place and don’t have to sift through their mailbox; you don’t have to resend emails to others, they can find it on their own; when new person join company they can see all the historical correspondence; etc. And maybe Einstein will use it to predict the likelihood of making the business happen.

So, how can I get emails to Salesforce?

1. Send them from Salesforce

Well, this works only for the outbound emails, but you need to start somewhere. By default you can send emails from any contact/lead/opportunity – on the right hand side you have the action.

You can use templates (the whole email which might include merge fields so you don’t have to think about people names), quick text (which is quite similar to templates, but usually used for shorter texts), insert files (by default files up to 3MB are sent in email, bigger saved in SF and only link is provided, but you can change this behaviour for individual emails, not mass emails).

Each user can change their signature in settings and also choose whether they want to get emails sent from Salesforce in BCC to their email address. And if you struggle how to get logo into your signature here is some way, which isn’t 100 % user friendly.

You can also choose whether the emails will be send directly from Salesforce or via Gmail/Office 365, you can set relay through your email server, bounce management (should user be notified that the email bounced or is showing it in SF enough), you can also set a hard BCC copy for compliance reasons.

2. Special email address

Second way how to get outgoing emails to Salesforce is to use dedicated email address which you put into BCC of every email you want to record when sending from your regular email client.

Admin just need to enable it in Setup (Email to Salesforce) and each user can find in their settings long ugly email address which they will put into BCC and Salesforce will link the email automatically to contact/lead based on their email address. You can specify what should happen if it will not find the contact as well.

It doesn’t solve the incoming emails but as Salesforce says – you confirm them anyway, so no harm has been done.

3. Outlook/Gmail app

For Outlook (connected to Exchange) and Gmail (the one in Google Apps, not the free one and only for Chrome browser) you can install special extension, which will add a right pane into it. When you open email it will show details from Salesforce and you can set which information you want to see, you can also save the email to SF with one click and save emails you send as well.

You can use templates from Salesforce, create tasks in Salesforce or even new records, pretty handy extension provided by free.

4. Einstein Activity Capture

This works automatically, is free for everyone with up to 100 Sales Cloud Licences and users just need to connect their Gmail/Exchange account with SF.

Magic happens – any email you send or receive is automatically linked to records Einstein decides it should be linked to. Which also means they if it decides there is no link it won’t link the email even though you send it from Salesforce – eg. when you send email from Opportunity but it isn’t linked to contact, the email will not be logged to the opportunity. One more argument to correctly link everything together.

Even more crucial might be, that these emails aren’t saved in SF even though it looks like, they are saved in AWS. Meaning you cannot report based on them and they will also disappear after 6 months, which is pretty bad.

5. Salesforce Inbox and 3rd party apps

The legacy Inbox app has been discontinued and is now part of the extension mentioned in #3 plus there are great 3rd party apps you might want to use, such as Ebsta, Cirrus Insight and others.

They are paid extra and provide extra features as well – automatically update contact info, work on mobile phone, allow customer to choose time for a meeting with you (Salesforce has a Lightning Scheduler add-on for this) and a few other things you probably didn’t need at first but when you check them out you’ll find out you really need them.

What do you use?

How do you link emails to Salesforce and do you or feel it isn’t important? Which app is the best and we all should know about it?

Napiš komentář, díky!

Neziskovky a Salesforce

Už niekoľko rokov sa pohybujem v neziskovom sektore, najprv v Českej republike, neskôr na Slovensku. Ľudia v neziskových organizáciách sú často veľmi všeobecne kritizovaní za nedostatočnú profesionalitu. V mojom príspevku by som vám chcela priblížiť každodennú realitu týkajúcu sa CRM systému organizácií, v ktorých som pracovala a ktoré sú vo svojich oblastiach činnosti považované za špičkové.

Nechcem zachádzať do podrobností, preto použijem trochu zovšeobecnenia a za mierne skreslenia sa vopred ospravedlňujem svojim kolegom, ide o môj subjektívny názor. Základom práce v nezisku je, že každá organizácia je finančne aj personálne poddimenzovaná. Nie sú peniaze na vlastné IT oddelenia, ani na výber kvalitných dodávateľov. Väčšinou musíte mať šťastie, že sa nájde konzultant, ktorý je fanúšikom toho, čo robíte, a peniaze rieši až na druhom mieste.

Tak napríklad ja ako fundraiserka (človek, čo sa stará o príjmy od rôznych segmentov darcov – spoločnosti, fyzické osoby, inštitúcie) som v jednej osobe okrem každodennej práce s darcami, často zodpovedala zároveň aj za implemetáciu Salesforce, direct marketingové kampane, zadávala výrobu nového webu… V bežných firmách je na to celý tím. Samozrejme nemala som k dispozícii vlastného IT pracovníka a s dodávateľmi bola bežná prax taká, že si obvykle museli najprv vybaviť atraktívnejšie zákazky, kým sa dostali k vám.

Financie na nákup databáz vyvinutých špeciálne pre potreby neziskových organizácií, ktoré bežne využívajú napr. organizácie v Anglicku alebo Amerike, už neboli vôbec. Vývoj vlastných produktov väčšinou stroskotal – dodávateľa väčšinou prešlo nadšenie, keďže peniaze boli minimálne, a my ako zadávatelia sme sa často stratili vo vlastných nesystémových a nesystematických požiadavkách, keďže naozaj nie sme databázoví špecialisti.

V tejto realite som sa zrazu dostala k ponuke organizácie CRM pre neziskovky, ktorá ponúkala implementáciu Salesforce špičkovými odborníkmi-dobrovoľníkmi za minimálnu sumu spolu s faktom, že Salesforce ponúka 10 licencií pre segment neziskoviek spolu s výraznými zľavami na ďalšie jeho produkty. No nekúpte to 😊

To je jeden z hlavných dôvodov, prečo som stála pri implementáciách Salesforce postupne v štyroch organizáciách, implementáciách často tvrdo vybojovaných so správnymi radami dotknutých organizácií. A tu sú ďalšie dôvody, prečo je Salesforce pre mňa stále optimálnym riešením:

  1. Salesforce je svetová jednotka, takže máte k dispozícii produkt, ktorý využívajú najbohatšie firmy sveta so sofistikovanými procesmi, ktoré je SF schopný pokryť a neustálym vývojom vylepšovať.
  2. Máte podporu pri implementácii a následnom vzdelávaní prostredníctvom organizácie CRM pre neziskovky, prípadne ďalších firiem, ktoré sa na českom a slovenskom trhu pohybujú.
  3. Samotný SF okrem licencií zdarma ponúka taktiež možnosť prepojenia s odborným konzultantom ako jednu zo svojich aktivít v rámci vlastnej spoločenskej zodpovednosti.
  4. Môžete vy a ktokoľvek z vášho tímu využívať zdarma Trailhead – online prepracovaný systém vzdelávacích modulov a získavania odborných certifikácií.
  5. Pomoc, informácie, výmenu skúseností alebo spojenie s ostatnými zákazníkmi, certifikovanými partnermi a zamestnancami využívajúcimi produkty pre neziskovky a vzdelávacie inštitúcie využívajúce produkty Salesforce jednoducho nájdete aj v rámci portálu-hubu Power of Us
  6. Salesforce je robustné riešenie, ale vy sa môžete rozhodnúť, ktoré jeho funkcionality budete využívať. IT neprofesionálom ako som ja dáva systém v spolupráci s konzultantom zároveň možnosti, aby bolo možné neskôr v prípade potreby pripojiť ďalšie elementy systému. V súčasnosti je to napríklad Marketing cloud s automatickými kampaňami.
  7. Salesforce využíva v súčasnosti stále viac organizácii v Čechách aj na Slovensku, čo umožňuje jednoduchú výmenu skúsenosti získané priamo v našich relevantných podmienkach.
  8. So Salesforcom sa vám nemôže stať ako napríklad s produktom Microsoftu Navision, že sa prestane vyvíjať niektorá z jeho starších verzií a vy môžete nákladne viac-menej systém pre seba nanovo upravovať.
  9. Aplikácie tretích strán pre Salesforce, keďže ide o CRM svetového giganta, často ponúkajú API špeciálne vyvinuté na prepojenie práve so Salesforcom.
  10. Najúžasnejšia reportovacia funkcia – nemusíte byť excel profesionálom a viete si vytvoriť prehľadné a ľahko prispôsobiteľné reporty.

Toto je také moje základné desatoro benefitov Salesforce. V čom sa ukázal ohromný prínos pre mňa, bolo, že základnú poučku „že nemôžu existovať žiadne separátne excelové súbory, najlepšie poukladané len v osobných priečinkoch kolegov“ sa mi vďaka Salesforce podarilo uviesť do praxe.

A čo vám umožní Salesforce, pokiaľ vaše excely „dostanete“ do systému? Uvediem len zopár príkladov, ktoré podstatne uľahčia prácu:

  • Umožní vám to jednoduché vyhľadávanie naprieč celou databázou, evidenciu entít rôznych úrovní a jednoduchú prácu s nimi.
  • Pri každom kontakte môžete mať informácie – či je to darca a jeho históriou podpory, alebo len odoberateľ newslettra.
  • Priamo z banky si každý deň sťahujete bankové výpisy, takže môžete jednoducho do ideálnych 24 hodín poďakovať darcom personalizovaným emailom (v SF si môžete nastaviť šablóny emailov s premennými ako meno darcu, výška daru a pod.) a môžete si overiť, či si príjemca email otvoril.
  • Kompletná história darov vám umožní pomocou reportov robiť rôzne druhy segmentácií pre kampane a hneď z reportu priraďovať na pár klikov darcov do vytvorených kampaní.
  • Okrem odosielania jednotlivých alebo hromadných emailoch priamo zo systému, môžete v Salesforce sledovať aj históriu schôdzok alebo telefonátov na všetkých kontaktoch.

Už tieto základné funkcionality, spôsobili skutočnú „centralizáciu a modernizáciu“ oddelení aj organizácie, keď zrazu boli všetky potrebné dáta v jednom systéme, a vy ste s nimi mohli bez komplikácii pracovať. Napríklad som mala k dispozícii rýchlejšie prehľad príjmov z kampaní od podporovateľov ako finančné oddelenie.

Pri implementácii sa zároveň upravili existujúce procesy a zadefinovali nové, takže Salesforce pomáha udržiavať štandardy práce s dátami – moja skúsenosť je, že organizácie pred implementáciou Salesforce nemali historické dáta na porovnávanie, napríklad nevedeli, ako im rastie počet darcov alebo kedy darcovia začali s pravidelným mesačným prispievaním –, ale aj štandardy prepojených pracovných procesov.

Tým sa okrem sledovania zvolených indikátorov zabezpečuje kontinuita vašej práce a organizačná pamäť, ktorá je veľmi potrebná pri súčasnej vysokej fluktuácii zamestnancov nielen v neziskovom sektore.

Hana Mlkvá pracovala ako fundraiserka v českých (Hestia, Domov Sue Ryder) aj slovenských neziskových organizáciách (Červený nos Clowndoctors, Človek v ohrození). Od roku 2019 je výkonnou riaditeľkou Nadácie ADELI.

Napiš komentář, díky!