CPQ Fast Path

Work for large Salesforce partner has some benefits. Such as training based on our needs. This time we were lucky to get Roberta Davenport, who provided us with CPQ Fast Path training.

What is fast path training? This is something prepared specifically for business partners, in this case it was the regular CPQ 211 training compressed from 4 days into 2. We are bunch of super clever folks after all, so we can take it all 🙂 And on top of that we got recording of the regular 211 training so we can check it later on our own.

New things I learnt

I played with CPQ a few years ago, but never went through something structured explaining all the relations between different things. The Trailhead trails are pretty good for preparation as well, so be sure to check them out – Admin Fundamentals and From Lead to Cash with CPQ.

But there was definitely a tons of new information:

  • 2 fields with the same API name and type across different objects sync automatically;
  • overageRate and some other fields are custom fields, which has to be create manually to achieve specific functionality, but they have to have specific name. I was told to rather not ask why we have to create them manually and they aren’t provided by default;
  • no debug functionality, so some of your price rule doesn’t work as expected? Go and check each configuration, probably draw it on paper;
  • price rule aren’t only to drive changes in prices, they can be used to drive changes in other fields as well;
  • quote template – either great fit or terrible fit, they support html. They fit when you need something simple, don’t fit if they have a lot of them, have some calculations on it, specific requirement for images, design. Also get requirements early and start working on it early, so you can decide to go for something else

20 commandments of CPQ

Actually it was maybe 50 tips and hints for CPQ implementation, some of them really surprised me:

  • don’t do fixed price (which I love and prefer :-));
  • don’t skip F2F discovery (it wasn’t suprise);
  • don’t omit non-CPQ resources, because they might forget something Sales Cloud admin knows;
  • challenge the go-live date & scope, define scope clearly and fully;
  • don’t omit to test with representative data/volume;
  • don’t bow down in front of customer;
  • don’t blame the package before considering your unsupported customization;
  • make sure they have premium support;
  • don’t fail to leave enough time for proper testing;
  • don’t execute CPQ meta-data deployment with inappropriate tools (heard that Prodly Moover is the go to solution);
  • engage salesforce services support;
  • don’t make reasonable assumptions (A=B and B=C doesn’t mean A=C);
  • don’t create price rules with more than one calculation event or dependent on other price rules withing the same calculation event;
  • don’t create multiple lookup queries on price rule if they can be combined;
  • don’t leave gaps in quantities for tiers;
  • guided selling experience doesn’t necessarily means they need guided selling – customer might just need to support the process to sell, not the selection of products;
  • do simplify product catalog;
  • have the customer check the math;
  • set performance expectation early and consider performance as a requirement early on, load time for quote editor of up to 30sec is pretty normal;
  • use CPQ functionality first when you manipulate the CPQ objects (don’t use PB, flow, apex);
  • don’t use ‚Apply immediately‘ extensively;
  • don’t add picklist value to SBQQ__Type__c on Quote;
  • expect asynchronous processes to produce real-time results;
  • check renewal forecast and renewal quoted at the same time, ideally check the forecast as early as possible ideally right after activation.

Licences

The licencing topic is always interesting, at the same time I feel it is something Salesforce AEs keep to themselves, which I don’t mind as far as I have a feeling what kind of licences customer might need.

  • CPQ
  • CPQ plus (for community + API)
  • CPQ Community Login if you need to expose it to community

Certification

You probably know that there is CPQ certification and also that it is one of the harder. We have been told that this is the certification you don’t want to do on-line but should rather to in certification center. The reason for that is pretty simple – you will be allowed to use paper, which will come handy when calculating the correct prices in price waterfall, which might be the difference between success and fail.

A few materials you might use:

Why would you do that?

Just the day before I had a call with one business partner about their CPQ solution. When I told them, that SteelBrick Salesforce CPQ is the obvious choice for customer, they asked me why. And I realized I should check other providers on the market as well, so I know what are their strength and weak spots.

On the training we – as a group – was able to mention just one „competitor“ and the definition of them was, that their solution is powerful but really slow. Like expect 2 minutes to draw the screen. Really?

So, who is on the market and I should check them? 132 solutions on AppExchange, Apptus is well knows, FlexPricer is free, Kugamon have quite good reviews, appero nicely looking quote creation.

Who else should I check when want to compare more?

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Jak v pohodě zvládnout certifikaci

Na jednu věc jsem se ptal v podstatě všech lidí, se kterými jsem dělal rozhovor – co oni a certifikace. Mix odpovědí mě v podstatě nepřekvapil – od lidí pracujících pro partnery se to čeká, některým se to nelíbí a vymlouvají se, že to stejně nic neříká (skvělý článek od Keira Bowdena, kterému se rychlokvašky nelíbí), potkal jsem i lidi od zákazníků, kteří o tom přemýšlejí. Hodně lidí si uvědomuje, že odpovědi možná jsou na internetu dostupné (ale pozor z jaké jsou doby, Salesforce se 3x ročně mění), ale certifikace je donutí nastudovat věci, o které by normálně nezavadili. A jak píše David Liu – důležité je porozumět, nikoliv se našprtat (byť u některých otázek je pravdou spíš to memorování).

Paul Ginsberg nedávno napsal článek s pár tipy pro úspěšné absolvování certifikace a na závěr se pousmál, že je to v angličtině a pokud chceme napsat něco ve svém mateřském jazyce, tak jsme vítáni.

Jako člověk, který má certifikace rád (je to úchylka mít jich 19+?), bych měl pár tipů dát dohromady také, takže tady jsou.

Kde studovat?

A vida další úchylka – přeci na Trailheadu. Respektive začíná se na … Trailheadu, kam se to vše přestěhovalo … kde jsou jednotlivé certifikace popsané, u každé odkaz na Exam Guide, ve které jsou detaily o zkoušce, oblasti co nastudovat a jakou mají váhu – což je nejdůležitější informace – ukázkové otázky a ve většině případů odkazy na Trailhead plus doporučení kurzů, které můžete absolvovat, pokud máte peníze.

K tomu existuje ještě Certification Journey ebook, který ale podle všeho není úplně aktuální (chybí třeba Nonprofit Cloud Consultant).

Zkušební otázky byly by?

Byly – pro administrátory za 20$ přímo od Salesforce.

Tady se filosofie Salesforce trochu změnila, protože zkušební otázky nikdy nebyly, takže se šíří podloudně internetem (a měli byste je hlásit Salesforce) a jejich velký problém je, že nevíte, pro jakou verzi platí, takže se ty odpovědi můžete naučit špatně.

Salesforce Ben přišel před dlouhou dobu s jeho verzí zkušebních otázek, které jsou aktuální a v členské sekci, za kterou se platilo 10$ na věčné časy.

Online nebo osobně?

Salesforce certifikace se dělají buď osobně (v Česku v Praze nebo Brně) nebo přes internet vzdáleně.

Já jsem jich většinu udělal vzdáleně. Stačí externí kamera (v podstatě libovolná) s dost dlouhým kabelem, aby zvládla zabrat vás a prostor kolem počítače. Nainstalujete příslušný program, připojíte se, seřídíte kameru a jdete na to. Čas od času vás asi přeruší, pokud nosíte brýle tak je bude operátor skoro určitě chtít vidět v detailu, pokud si mrmláte pod vousy tak bude chtít ať ztichnete, pokud si dáváte ruku před pusu tak ji dejte jinam, pokud se koukáte často okolo tak mu budete muset na kameru ukázat celý pokoj. Můžete mít vodu, můžete si i odskočit na záchod, nesmí mít žádný papír nebo telefon nikde poblíž.

Když to děláte osobně tak se dostavíte v dohodnutý čas do příslušné firmy, prokážete se dvěma průkazy, zavřou vás do místnosti a je to vlastně stejné. Akorát máte k dispozici papír na poznámky. Dost možná se budou ve vedlejší místnosti hlasitě bavit nebo telefonovat, musíte vystačit s jednou sklenkou vody a jinak je to vlastně stejné.

Za mě osobně vítězí možnost dělat test vzdáleně kdykoliv chci a mají volno. Takže klidně od desíti v noci.

Na pořadí (ne)záleží

Některé zkoušky vyžadují, abyste měli už jiné hotové. Kdesi kdysi byl krásný diagram, jak dělat testy za sebou, protože se částečně opakují. Davidovi tipy jsou jenom slabým odvarem tohoto pořadí, ale vyjít se z nich dá. Pro architektonické zpracovala pořadí Gemma, ale přiznám, že jsem se jím neřídil.

Jak poznat kde jsem chyboval

Přibližně dva roky nazad začal Salesforce poskytovat vyhodnocení úspěšnosti po jednotlivých oblastech. John Garvens zpracoval návod, jak to celé vyhodnotit, ale v podstatě vezmete čísla z vašeho testu, dosadíte do rovnice s poměry jednotlivých oblastí v Exam Guide a víte, kde musíte přidat, protože tam jste to nejspíš popletli.

Jak všichni říkají (minimálně Michael Drzewiecki) – You either pass, or you learn.

Trochu zápasím s angličtinou

Testy jsou přirozeně v angličtině a co si budeme nalhávat, občas těm větám vůbec nerozumím a nedávají mi smysl. Jako člověk, který nemá rodilou angličtinu, můžete předem (minimálně tuším týden) zažádat Salesforce o extra čas a dostanete 30 minut navíc. Třeba vám to někdy pomůže, až budete bojovat o minuty.

Maintenance

Třikrát ročně nová verze, takže si Salesforce hlídá, že se pravidelně vzděláváte. Dřív se za to platilo a museli jste update udělat do roka od vydání nové verze, teď se snad vše přesunulo na Trailhead, je to zdarma a máte na to jenom půl roku. Tak pozor. A také pozor na to, abyste měli správně svázaný Trailhead a Webassessor profil.

Sleva by nebyla?

Za každou certifikaci se platí. 200$ za ty „normální“ a 400$ za architektonické. Plus DPH. Pokud neprojdete, tak na opakovací testy máte 50 % slevu bez omezení počtu.

Je to dost peněz, naštěstí je pár cest, jak si to zlevnit:

  • partneři mohou nakoupit certifikace v balících po 10 s příjemnou slevou;
  • zaměstnanci neziskových organizací mají slevu 50 %, s touto slevou mohou udělat tuším 5 certifikací ročně;
  • na Dreamforce máte na certifikaci 50 % slevu, ale je otázkou, zda stojí za to si zkrátit Dreamforce strachy se zkouškou;
  • k TrailheaDX dostanete 3 vouchery zdarma;
  • na CzechDreamin budeme losovat šťastlivce, kteří dostanou voucher zdarma také.

Na závěr ještě pár tipů od Davida, protože prostě platí:

  • čtěte pořádně otázky a odpovědi;
  • snažte se zalíbit Salesforce a odpovídejte v souladu s jejich filozofií (click not code, use 3rd party app, …);
  • používejte Mark this item for later review;
  • když to neuděláte napište si všechny otázky, kde jste si nebyli jisti a najděte si odpovědi.

A na závěr – nebojte se toho, nikdo vás neukousne. A prý jakmile si na LinkedIn napíšete první certifikaci, tak se na vás hned slétnout head hunteři a budou vás moc chtít.

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CzechDreamin: Call for Sponsors

CzechDreamin logo

It took a while – establish the entity, which will cover the whole event, find the right venue (we spoke with 10+ of them, shortlisted 4 and finally chose 1), decide on date (August 16), calculate all the costs (still surprised that the refreshment will be probably the biggest expense), double check everything so we don’t forget anything important. And then decided how many sponsors we can accommodate and how to split the costs between them and attendees.

At the end we worked everything out. We double check with other dreamin event around and can say, that we are a bit cheaper than YeurDreamin and more expensive than dreamOlé.

You might expect about the same perks:

  • rooms full of people (250+) eager to know more about your product or services – we expect attendees from Czech and Slovak Republic as well as the whole Europe and hopefully someone from far away as well;
  • demo jam;
  • logo on website, social media mentions, … you know the drill;
  • photographers and video guys on site, who will produce some nice photos and sessions‘ recording;
  • dinner with speakers.

Also some others, as the event will be in Prague, the Czech Republic capital, and at summer:

  • great beer;
  • ice-cream stand (no promise here, but it would be cool).

Sounds good so far? Check our flyer then and get in touch, we would be happy to have you on board.







Desired Level:



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Salesforce DX experience on real project

Salesforce DX is here for a while and enough has already been said and written about it. Even I spoke at Dreamforce how cool it is for admin. Finally I had an opportunity to use it on real project, with several consultants and developers and really see how it works and what are the challenges you might expect.

There were plenty of them, some of them probably because of our processes, the others most likely due to DX/Git philosophy.

Git

DX is not linked with the need of source code versioning, but it makes sense, especially when linked with CI/CD.

Continuous Integration process

For us, as consultants who are used to the idea „your org is yours source of truth“, it was something completely different. You should create a new branch for each story (what should be story, is creating two fields on the same object one story or two, what about field and list view?), then push it to scratch org, do changes, pull, push to git and merge at the end. Doing it for adding one new field is like a lot of extra work.

I have a feeling that during our first sprint I lost more that 50 % of my work because some other change rewrote it in repository, which was something I didn’t really expect. And we still fight the whole git process, merging changes again and again as more branches are merge into the main one. It isn’t enough to merge changes when you do the pull request as there might come other pull request before yours and create a conflict again.

I spent about 5 % of my time on requested changes and 95 % fighting the Git.

(unnamed colleague)

It is better sprint to sprint, but still sounds like a lot of extra work considering the fact that we hardly roll-back. And I still don’t care
(read don’t know anything) about all those cherry-picking, revert of commits and so on.

Scratch orgs

At the beginning we didn’t care much about the project file from which new scratch orgs are created. But at the back of my head was that strange scratching – everyone said they spent a long time doing this right, why it was so easy to us?

And it hit us later on, as you might imagine. I still hate the fact that you cannot enable all features in this file (looking at you News and Logos), as you need to think about it, so when you push changes to scratch org and pull back you don’t loose something.

At the same time it was great – for a few hours. We needed to add platform licences and related profiles. Thanks to scratch org it was done in a few minutes, pushed to git repo and our build has been broken immediately for later changes as well. Of course it solved itself later when we got the licences, but you need to think about it.

Salesforce DX command line interface

I still hate to touch profile, as we get the EditReports permission from scratch org, but in our production org it is named CreateCustomizeReports. Seriously Salesforce?

Something similar is with ProfilePasswordPolicy and ProfileSessionSettings files, which you get when creating new profile, you can push it to production for the first time but get errors later on. Time to delete them from repo, which probably isn’t the right way.

holly molly kurwa drát

me, when I found out that because some feature isn’t activated in my scratch org the related elements will be deleted from the component when I’ll push to git

AllowUniversalSearch, enableAccountOwnerReport and a few others are still bitting us.

How should we tackle case-to-emails and similar functionality, which refer to existing users, which doesn’t exist in QA or production org?

We also experience the errors that you loose field level security, luckily it has been solved with the Spring ’19 release.

Non metadata changes

Of course not everything can be transferred via metadata. What I like, as I feel I can „decrypt“ the DX file format, is that you have an idea what won’t be transferred and can do changes manually, while with change sets I never was sure what will and won’t be transferred. I’m pretty sure somewhere is a list of all the things which aren’t transferred via metadata, but who should remember where. (not sure this is the right list)

For example the mobile app branding isn’t transferred via metadata, but the logo (as a file) is. But I cannot chose it when doing the branding again in production, so … should I push it to repo or not, when I have to choose it from local drive anyway?

Is it worth it?

That’s the crucial question.

I like that we are able to find out when something has been changed or deleted, that we can „pack“ (commit) the whole pack of related changed and put description why it has been done. I feel this adds some kind of quality to the whole process.

I like that I can do a lot of changes quickly in text files rather than clicking it slowly in the Salesforce interface. That I can see right in the code who changed it, when and why (thanks to the right extension for Visual Code).

I hate that I don’t know about changes other people do at the same time. For example we had one story to change home page and another to add some design element to home page (they weren’t part of the same story as the second was related to other story where it makes more sense). As we worked on it at the same time I wasn’t aware that my colleague did a change to home page and he didn’t know I wanted to be safe and created a new version of it. And the end my story passed tests (because it had all elements which should be there) and his failed (because the element did’t show up on my homepage which was active by then), while would we know about each other’s work my story would fail (because it had extra element not part of the story) and his would pass. The testing is still strange world to me.

I hate that DX is so slow on our machines, which is something we try to solve with our IT department. But every command I run takes 20+ seconds, so it is really annoying and I try to minimize them as much as possible.

It works greatly with Scratch orgs, with normal instances it still feels like a lot of work to get the metadata (you have to have package.xml file or create a package or name elements you want to get, those names are case sensitive and not related to directory they are saved, so it might be hard to find the proper word). Besides all that I have a great feeling and consider it as a great step towards better implementation.

Updates (look like this post might be updated with new findings)

24. 2. 2019

  • one great thing about Salesforce DX – community can extend it. So we solved the problem of wrong permissions (
    AllowUniversalSearch, etc.) with plugin from Nicolas Vuillamy
  • easy way how to install package right when creating Scratch Org is to create a directory installedPackages, where you put one xml file for each package you want to install. The filename is in a format of namespace.installedPackage-meta.xml and its content is following (be careful about versionNumber, that’s the only thing to change)
 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<InstalledPackage xmlns="http://soap.sforce.com/2006/04/metadata" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<activateRSS>false</activateRSS>
<versionNumber>1.59.1</versionNumber>
</InstalledPackage>

5. 3. 2019

  • Before you change a matching rule, you must deactivate it. – I somehow hoped that the CI would solve all this without touching the org at all 🙁

20. 3. 2019

  • looks like it is impossible to push changes to Entitlement processes when they are used (means there is an Entitlement record with link to that Entitlement process, remove the process from the record, not delete the record);
  • renaming record type and downloading metadata doesn’t necessary download all of them – we had to change path, quick actions and some profile manually 🙁

9. 4. 2019

  • only one dynamic dashboard allowed;
  • problems with reports & dashboards sub-folders as they aren’t visible in scratch org, but you can draw the reports/dashboard there manually later on and the dashboard picks up the correct reports;
  • when moving reports & dashboards between folders they stay in the old folder as well on your local drive.

9. 5. 2019

  • looks like dashboard folder security is always reset after deploy, the same goes with roles/group membership (different IDs);
  • every time you download a dashboard and push it to repository you need to think about deleting the running user info, as it is random user who doesn’t exist elsewhere.
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Spring ’19 Release Notes Summary

That time of the year is here again, would you run out of books from Christmas, you can read through release notes. What I found in them and liked a lot?

Top features

In Winter ’20 (October 2019) Salesforce will start switching users to Lightning at all orgs. I mean all, where users have the Lightning Experience User permission which is enabled by default in all standard profiles.

Pinned Lists – we still cannot setup which view will be default by admin, but at least users can pin the most important view for each object at it will be opened when they click on the tab.

Extra data space – this one is big for a few of my customers. The default 1GB of data storage was too low for them, now they can enjoy 10GB by default. Where is that aplaus gif? (will be applied to instances in late March)

New Flow Buider – say good to that old Flash thing and enjoy new, simplified and sexy tool with new features. What about „Additional text input“ on picklists?

Sales Cadence, where you just setup which activities should follow and in which order and Salesforce do all the magic of getting in touch with your contacts. (at extra costs 🙁 )

Field History Data will be deleted after 18 months. The 18 months limit wasn’t enforced till now, but starting with Spring your data field history data (history of changes you made to up to 20 fields per object) will be deleted. You have to buy Shield to get longer history (about 30 % of licence price).

I never really liked Salesforce Essentials, but as it now includes Sales and Service for one price and you can add and remove users, it looks cool. And price is ok compared to others.

New reports screen – the Enhanced Run Page from previous release is now the standard, which allows for drill down, sticky column headers, you can resize columns and have stacked summaries, so you don’t waste precious space on your reports. We also got 12 columns on dashboards as well as compact components, so we can put more info on the same space.

Other features

  • you can customize which links will be under the help menu on top of page;
  • printable view – a few customers asked, how they can print from Salesforce, now they will able to;
  • Lightning Scheduler, which allows you to select times when you can meet with customer and they can choose, looks super cool, paid extra;
  • pop-out items from utility bar. Utility bar can be handy – but I usually have problems to find what should be there as it is really crucial for users – and not you can pop-out these things to another windows and extend your workspace. Just imagine the CTI phone on another screen;
  • add people to groups and queues by territory – finally looks like all the different part clicks together and you don’t have to assign your users at different places;
  • the product list when adding products to opportunities will be more condensed;
  • Enforce Email Privacy setting, which respects when customers opt-out from your emails. Looks like this section in setup is pretty cool and you really should set it up. Plus new Consent Management Object;
  • add attendees to events without setting up Lightning Sync, aka we are finally able to add attendees in Lightning! And other improvements to calendars such as showing more info, using colors;
  • Permission Set Groups – assign more permissions at once and don’t forget any (pilot);
  • switch Lightning Page to other template, no need to start again from scratch (will that be possible for reports anytime?)
  • default home page per Lightning App, not one per org!
  • you can use relative dates in macros;
  • live agent supports offline mode (meaning all your agents are offline and customer can still open the case);
  • Where is it used (beta), so you have an idea where field is used – validation rules, layouts, formula fields, VF pages, … the list is pretty long.
Example page of field references.
  • Login Discovery, so users just enter what they know (phone number, email) and the system redirects them to their identity provider page;
  • authenticate users with certificates for better security and user comfort;
  • asynchronous email verification for new community users, so they can start their use even before clicking the confirmation link in an email;
  • contactless external identity user, so you don’t have to create contact record for each community user. And it also says something about chance to downgrade for another licence (no idea).

Process Builder and Flows

  • you can specify processes and flow in your managed package as templates, so customers can update them;
  • processes can now respond to standard platform events, such as errors = might be easier to handle errors and do some additional actions on them;
  • display images in your flows and capture addresses, which uses the standard country/state picklist values;
  • support for external objects – lookup, create, update. And even launch process, but that has to be done with platform event;
  • Return Null Values in Process and Flow Formulas critical update which makes sure that the returned value is always true – would this solve the ugly need for checking whether all fields in hierarchy are null and just then check the value of the last one?
  • scheduled actions can be tested with APEX as they are processed immediately when calling stopTest();
  • Guided Actions will be setuped in Setup, not on the component anymore. And there is a converter to do that.

Pardot

  • business units in Pardot to segment what users can view;
  • selective sync between Pardot and Salesforce – no more you have to have all contacts in Pardot.

Field Service Lightning

  • FSL can show IoT Data about your product;
  • booking appointments in Field Service Lightning just got a dialog which makes more sense (rather than scrolling through long list of options).

Einstein Analytics

  • Google Analytics connector for Einstein Analytics – now you can get those two together;
  • event based scheduling your dataflows in Einstein Analytics;
  • Smart Dashboard Templates in EA – not only Salesforce provides app templates, the AI is able to generate dashboard and all its components just from data you provide. Scary, especially would it be better looking than my work;
  • Share Einstein Discovery Stories to Quip or R for data scientists.

Communities

  • Translate with Google in Community Chatter Feed;
  • moving feed items between groups, including all replies etc.
  • you can set which options are available on list views in communities – would I be finally able to get rid of those buttons which don’t make sense?
  • Partner Account Relationship and sharing rules sounds interesting and as a way how to simplify the sharing of data with partners. For accounts, contacts, campaigns, cases, leads, opportunities, orders and custom objects.
  • community guests users can now upload files – that was one challenge we experienced during our NGO hackathon, glad it is now supported (don’t remember why we wanted it anyway);
  • links in Chatter posts (why am I so excited from things which looks completely normal?);
  • Next Best Action looks like a standard feature, need to find someone who can benefit from it.

Developers

  • Lightning Web Component is probably the biggest thing – say good bye to Aura components and say hello to LWC, which you cannot develop right in Salesforce environment but have to use some other editor (VS Code for example). They use more of todays browsers‘ native features making them faster and also allowing „regular“ front-end developers to quickly learn them and be productive;
  • unsaved changes component, which might be handy for users (check Keir’s blogpost about it);
  • WITH SECURITY_ENFORCED for SOQL queries if you don’t mind it fails down;
  • using custom metadata for setting up default values of fields;
  • new object AccountRelationship – we can link two accounts together?

Still want more? Check these resources

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