Cloud Success http://www.cloudsuccess.com Salesforce Consultancy | Force.com Development | Appexchange Apps Fri, 14 Aug 2015 11:15:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Best practices for Salesforce.com administrators http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/best-practices-for-salesforce-administrators/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/best-practices-for-salesforce-administrators/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:00:48 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3465 The job of the Salesforce Administrator is crucial should you wish to operate a smooth system. Below we’ve listed some of the primary duties Salesforce administrators should be carrying out in order to maintain a healthy Salesforce org.

Weekly tasks

The amount of time spent on each of these tasks might vary somewhat from week-to-week but your administrator will no doubt be carrying out these tasks regularly.

  • Run and store the weekly snapshot of system data and attachments
  • Run adoption dashboards and highlight any concerns
  • Deactivate users either due to departure or transfer to a new job that no longer requires Salesforce.com access
  • Reassign user roles and profiles to reflect new responsibilities
  • Transfer record ownership due to changes in job responsibility or territory coverage
  • Modify roles or record-sharing rules
  • Import any leads and contacts outside of automated schedules
  • Modification of price lists, especially if your organisation runs many promotions and time-based offers
  • Run data de-duplication tools such as RingLead or DemandTools if in use (recommended!)

Monthly tasks

These activities will need to be carried out multiple times a year, usually once a month, but only as and when necessary.

  • Modify picklist values and other fields. Beware innocent changes can cause surprising changes in system behaviour
  • Run data quality reports to identify any new sources of bad data
  • Read about high-priority fixes from Salesforce.com
  • Install high-priority updates that may have been pushed into your Salesforce.com instance

Quarterly tasks

These tend to take one to three days each and are best done once a quarter so make sure to set aside time where appropriate. The first two are the most important.

  • Export and download CSV from the user login history
  • Export and download the CSV from the admin setup audit log
  • Run a report to identify reports that haven’t been run in six months. Hide them from users, but don’t delete them
  • Run Roles by Profile Report to identify which roles or profiles have no active users in them and consider removal/consolidation
  • Run Field Trip and EasyDescribe, two free tools that give you an overview of the health of your system’s object model
  • Read the release notes for the upcoming version of Salesforce.com to see if any of your existing features or the APIs you depend on are being changed significantly
  • Archive (or maybe delete) weekly data snapshots over 90 days old

Annual tasks

These tasks will take three to six days per year and are very important to keep your system running smoothly as well as to help you archive data for compliance.

  • Create an archive of all field history tables (typically no more than 18 months) to ensure that you have an audit trail that goes beyond a year
  • Consider archival or purge of documents, emails and tasks to reduce the storage charges in your system or to adhere with your document/email retention standards
  • Archive Chatter histories for audit, compliance or regulatory reasons
  • Update any roadmaps summarising new feature additions that are desired for your organisation

Your Salesforce administrator is vital in keeping your system running smoothly, dealing with end user needs and controlling data for reports and legal compliance.

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This year’s Million Dollar Hackathon is going to be bigger than ever http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-million-dollar-hackathon/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-million-dollar-hackathon/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:34:23 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3457 In recent years Salesforce have challenged developers to come up with new apps based on the Salesforce1 Platform. The incentive, $1 million in cash prices including a $250,000 grand prize.

The Salesforce developer community is at 1.7 million members and the Hackathon is the perfect chance for them to show off their skills and win some money in the process.

This year’s event is going to be huge. Adam Seligman, Vice President of Developer Relations, said

This hackathon is going to be awesome. Last year we saw some crazy cool mobile apps, and developers are going to show us even more amazing innovation this time around. With all the prizes, we expect this year’s event to be twice the size and we can’t wait to see what our community comes up with during the Salesforce $1 Million Hackathon.

Not only is this a great chance for developers to get creative but there’s also a huge benefit to Salesforce too. From this Hackathon, the company will gain some truly unique apps that may go on to help Salesforce users in all sorts of ways.

There are three categories for this innovative competition of skill and creativity, they are: Force.com, Heroku, and Force.com with Heroku.

The hacking will take place between 10th and 12th October with a second round of judging on the 14th. The winners will be announced at Dreamforce on the 16th October.

The Hackathon at Dreamforce

Dreamforce is Salesforce’s industry show and it’s here that the winning apps will be showed off to the world. This is really going to highlight what is possible for all the app developers out there.

At Dreamforce, developers can choose a new technology and sit down and learn it. That might mean staying up all night with fellow developers or it might mean building an app on their own. Salesforce Venture will also be at the show to offer feedback and coaching on what it takes to propel an app from the basic idea to a full blown company.

They are, of course, also on the look out for the next big idea as they have a $100 million Salesforce1 Fund.

It’s completely free to participate in the Hackathon so if you have an idea, there’s still time to register. It might also be worth stocking up on pillows and digging out that sleeping bag because overnight hacking is allowed.

The prizes

10 winning teams in each category will share a cash prize.

  • First place in each category wins $100,000
  • Second place in each category wins $50,000
  • Third place in each category wins $35,000
  • Fourth place in each category wins $20,000
  • Fifth place in each category wins $15,000
  • Sixth-Tenth place in each category wins $10,000

Additionally, the first place winners from each category will compete for an additional Grand Prize of $150,000 which will bring the Grand Prize winning team’s total winnings to $250,000

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Salesforce Tower London rename scrapped http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-tower-london-rename/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-tower-london-rename/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:29:47 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3446 The bold plan to rename London’s Heron Tower to Salesforce Tower has been scrapped following concerns raised by fellow residents of the office block. The Heron Tower is now to be renamed 110 Bishopsgate to reflect the buildings true address, a remarkably straightforward approach.

Concerns were raised shortly after plans were announced to rename the building, especially given the fact Salesforce were to only occupy six of the 46 floors in the building.

Salesforce will retain the right to keep its branding within the building and informually use the term “Salesforce Tower” however tenants do not have to use the name for their own addressing purposes.

It has been suggested that the City of London’s planning and transport committee will now rule that organisations occupying over 50% of a building are entitled to apply for a change of name, however this remains to be seen.

In the mean time work on the Salesforce Tower, San Francisco proceeds as planned.

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Salesforce continues to lead the market as Forbes most innovative company http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-most-innovative-company/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-most-innovative-company/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:05:56 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3428 For the fourth year running Salesforce has been recognised by Forbes as their most innovative company which goes to show just how much the company is continuing to lead the market, even in such a thriving and competitive sector.

The world of cloud computing has grown a lot since Salesforce started and with so many new companies entering the industry, you’d expect them to be under some strain from the competition. That, however, is clearly not the case.

Innovation

Salesforce is consistently making life easier for its clients. From little developments to improve the sales process to big buy outs that bring other innovative companies into the Salesforce umbrella. Despite being 15 years old, Salesforce continues to redefine how brands connect with their customers. The internet of everything is a real and Salesforce understands that behind every device there is a customer with his or her own individual buying habits. Tapping into how customers interact with their devices and spend time on the internet is so valuable for brands. Salesforce offers software that gives brands insight into their customers unlike anything they would’ve seen before.

The internet and all the technology connected to it is growing at a pace that a lot of us are having trouble keeping up with. The team at Salesforce, however, have taken it upon themselves to be one step ahead of the industry at all times. From offering tools for wearable tech development before it all caught on, to developing software for each and every device out there.

How Salesforce continues to stay on top

CEO Marc Benioff, outlined the reasons Salesforce continues to lead the market.

The first reason is the visionary product line, the second is allowing employees to shape the company vision and, finally, it’s all about empowering employees through the V2MOM process.

V2MOM stands for vision, values, methods, obstacles and metrics. It’s all about creating alignment within the company, allowing everyone to set goals and measure their progress. Salesforce employees are able to communicate and collaborate efficiently even while the business is growing at such a rapid pace.

Benioff’s management process allows employees to know exactly what their goals are at all times. There’s no time wasted sitting around wondering what they should be doing. Goal setting, good employee management and visionary products that are ahead of the curve are most certainly the reasons (or at least, some of them) that Salesforce has won this award for the
forth year running.

It’s no wonder that alongside this award Salesforce has been named one of the best companies to work at for a number of years running.

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Cold calling secrets you need to learn today http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/cold-calling-secrets/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/cold-calling-secrets/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:41:49 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3419 Cold calling still has its place as a sales technique but it’s actually getting much easier to make cold calls in this day and age. Not everyone is downloading content and letting us know that they’re interested in a product so we have to do a bit of the leg work for ourselves, meaning sometimes we have to get in touch with people we don’t know, who won’t know our business either.

Do your research

If you know everything you can about the company you are calling and who the decision maker is, you’re going to have a lot more luck selling the benefits of your product/service to them. There’s no point in calling and asking to speak to ‘the person in charge of buying new hardware’ or what ever you intend to sell.

If you can’t find this out online or through old contacts then make a call to the company simply asking for a name and reschedule the call for another time.

Are these calls really cold?

With so much information available online, including on social media, it’s now quite easy to find the exact person you need to speak to and perhaps even introduce them to you brand before you make the call. This makes the life of the salesperson much, much easier.

Be polite

Overaggressive sales tactics will get you nowhere. If someone says no then take that as their final answer and be courteous about it. If you aren’t polite then it’s going to make you and the company you work for look unprofessional, and it’s unnecessary behaviour.

Even if someone is rude to you, just accept it. Thank them for their time and move on. There’s no point in wasting time trying to sell to someone who isn’t receptive.

Recover quickly

If you do end up speaking to someone who is rude to you or just hangs up, move on. It’s all part of the job. Mark them as a no and move onto the next call.

The best sales people do this as if nothing ever happened. There’s no point in dwelling over the few rude people who just hang up without hearing what you’ve got to say.

Sell the benefits

As you would with any sales call, talk about the benefits of a product/service and make it specific to that company where possible. If you simply sell the features of something, the person you’re speaking to will never truly understand what it might do for their business.

Warm leads

While very few cold calls might turn directly into sales, you’re likely to get a lot of good leads from your efforts. This gives you the chance to implement a number of other sales tactics.

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Salesforces launches journey builder to help visualise and manage your customers http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-journey-builder/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-journey-builder/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 18:44:32 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3400 The Salesforce journey builder is a brand new feature of the ExactTarget marketing platform. It’s so important to be able to visualise a customer’s journey through your business; from the point they show some interest to the final sale. Being able to visualise this process means that you can better serve your potential customers and hold onto existing ones. Seeing this journey also makes it easier for a brand to measure and optimise each stage of the sales process.

This new feature helps businesses visualise every point of interaction along the customer journey, which means that customer communications can be better timed for maximum impact.

The new journey builder will feature a drag-and-drop interface allowing businesses to line up all the different customer interactions across all sorts of media and sales channels. Salesforce calls it a ‘canvas’, marketers can use this to map flows, trends, communications and more.

Salesforce Journey Builder

Being able to see the stages that prospects go through across different media (apps, social media, email etc.) will help sales people to ensure their customers are getting exactly what they need, when they need it.

Visual Format

The visual format will also help businesses to establish where there might be any gaps in the customer journey. Perhaps a lot of prospects are getting lost somewhere along the way. The journey builder can help you to establish why this might be happening.

Once the gap is identified, this can be filled with something that will keep the customer on course through their journey. It might be a well-timed email newsletter or maybe the customer needs a phone call to have some of their questions answered.

The journey builder will help you to visualise how successful sales have been made so your business can emulate this for future customers. Not only this but you can work on making the process much simpler in the future the help retain customers.

Real Time Metrics

You’ll be able to see so much more than just web traffic and clicks. You can track and test every element of your campaign, from email open rates to downloads. All in real time, too. This allows you to evaluate which channels are working best for your business.

ExactTarget is more than just this journey builder. It provides marketing automation technology that will help to drive sales, downloads and enquiries. From the system you can send messages to customers, no matter where they are in their sales journey. This could be the difference between a sale and a customer dropping out of the sales process.

This might be used to entice potential customers or it might be used to keep existing customers happy. It’s little details like reminder emails that can build loyalty between your brand and your existing customers.

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Salesforce launches a new app that will help to track prospects in real-time http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-launches-app-track-prospects-real-time/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-launches-app-track-prospects-real-time/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3391 Salesforce is combining its Pardot software, sales automation applications and social communities platform into a new app called Sales Reach. This app will help a sales team to keep a close eye on the behavioural trends of their customers.

Not only will this help sales people to strike while the iron’s hot but it’ll also help them to directly sell to those customers to give them the best service at exactly the right time. This might be based on when a customer access a certain part of the company’s website or when they make a specific enquiry. Based on this, Sales Reach will help the salesperson to create targeted campaigns tailored to that prospect’s point in the buyer’s journey.

Process

The whole process will harness the power of the cloud, which means all this can be done from a smartphone, even when that salesperson is out in the field. This ensures an opportunity will never be missed.

For example, if a prospect downloads a case study from the company website, the salesperson will get a notification through Sales Reach on their mobile device. The salesperson will also know if that person has looked at other information such as pricing and contact details.

This would be the right time to call that prospect. In the past, the salesperson would’ve had to create a task to remind them to follow up with a potential customer. There was never a sure-fire way of ensuring the customer was at the right stage of the buying process to speak to a sales rep.

Linda Crawford, Executive Vice President of Sales Cloud at Salesforce, said:

With Salesforce1 Sales Reach, sales reps can engage with the customer at just the right moment with instant marketing and selling to build better relationships with customers at scale and ultimately accelerate sales.

Relationships

Building relationships and making timely sales is just the tip of the iceberg as Sales Reach can do so much more too. If the prospect doesn’t have the time to talk on the phone – or doesn’t want to – a lead-nurturing campaign can be set up, right from Sales Reach, that will send out email follow ups.

One of these emails could invite the prospect to join an online community of people who are also considering the same products and services. Sales Reach would notify the salesperson when the prospect joins as well as logging all of their posts and questions on their customer record. This can all help to better serve that prospect in the future.

With all this information, the salesperson can best judge when to give the prospect a call and what to discuss when they do talk.

This announcement from Salesforce has come rather early as Sales Reach isn’t going to be launched until the first half of 2015.

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Removing the last character from a string in Apex http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/removing-last-character-from-string-apex/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/removing-last-character-from-string-apex/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:27 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3382 Apex provides a handy string method to replace the first character from a given string “replaceFirst()”, but strangely doesn’t bother to provide the same for the last. Fortunately we can do this using a combination of the substring() method and the string.length() method.

In the example below, we want to remove the trailing comma from the string ‘hello world,’. We’ve included a system debug statement so we can see the output and confirm that our string looks correct!

string thestring = 'hello world,';
thestring = thestring.substring(0,thestring.length()-1);
system.debug(thestring);

Running the above in an anonymous block, you’ll see the output from the debug statement look something like:

16:50:18.036 (36933492)|USER_DEBUG|[3]|DEBUG|hello world

Hope this helps someone, happy coding!

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Salesforce acquires RelateIQ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-acquires-relateiq/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-acquires-relateiq/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:39:19 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3373 Salesforce has agreed to acquire the CRM startup to improve its intelligence automation and data gathering. RelateIQ has been bought for a sum of $390 million (around £228 million), making it the largest acquisition for Salesforce since ExactTarget.

RelateIQ started in 2011 doing something that other CRM companies weren’t. Instead of requiring users to input data for later use, it automated all of this. This allowed sales teams to focus more on sales and less on data entry.

RelateIQ’s Chief Executive, Steve Loughlin, wrote on the company’s blog:

Salesforce.com pioneered the shift to enterprise cloud computing, redefining modern CRM as we know it. As you know, RelateIQ is pioneering the next generation of intelligent computing through data science and machine learning.

Looking ahead, salesforce.com’s acquisition of RelateIQ will extend the value of salesforce.com’s #1 CRM apps and platform with a new level of intelligence across sales, service, and marketing.

Data is pulled from email, smartphones, social media and calendar entries to provide sales teams with all the necessary customer information they might need. This is going to be fantastic for Salesforce users who can become even more productive as they won’t be worrying about inputting data as they get it.

Sales people aren’t keen on data entry, in fact, there probably aren’t many people who are. However, because sales software is only as good as the data it contains, this makes data entry a big part of the job. The RelateIQ acquisition is going to make life much easier for sales people in all sorts of industries.

RelateIQ may not have posed a direct threat to Salesforce and this shows that the acquisition is – at least in part – down to the desire to provide a fantastic end user experience that will keep the company at the top of the market for years to come.

Continued success

Part of Salesforce’s continued success is its willingness to get involved with other businesses in the industry. From acquisitions such as this one to the partnerships with brands like LiveHive and Evernote.

Last year, the CRM market grew by almost 14% according to Gartner Research. Salesforce strengthened its market-leading position with an increase in revenue of 30.3% year-on-year.

The changing market

Because of this acquisition, Salesforce’s competitors are going to have to change their offerings to keep up with the market leader. As RelateIQ’s Chief Executive said, Salesforce has extended the value of its products over competitors who don’t have this kind of automation in place.

Salesforce will have to make some changes in order to design a system around data intelligence but there’s no doubt that it’ll greatly improve the Salesforce system and the productivity of those who use it.

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Salesforce takes on the health market with a new alliance http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-takes-on-health-with-new-alliance/ http://www.cloudsuccess.com/blog/salesforce-takes-on-health-with-new-alliance/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 10:27:54 +0000 http://www.cloudsuccess.com/?p=3369 Salesforce is one of the first cloud computing companies to move into the healthcare market with new apps aimed at hospitals and caregivers. This is all part of a new alliance with Philips.

Together, the two companies plan to launch applications designed to improve healthcare for patients and save money for hospitals. The software will help to monitor chronically ill patients when they are at home between doctor’s visits.

Salesforce said the goal is to make it easier to monitor patients and analyse data using the medical devices they commonly use at home. These might be wellness devices, clinical machines and information systems.

“In the United States, care providers are facing increasing demands and decreasing reimbursement,” said Michael Peachey, a senior director of solutions and product marketing at Salesforce. “We want to improve efficiency for physicians by transmitting patient data in real time.”

The Salesforce software meets security and privacy rules meaning that both patients and doctors can feel comfortable with these tools. The first two apps being developed are the Philips eCare Coordinator and the Philips eCare Companion. Along with Philips, Salesforce intends to create a number of other apps to further improve healthcare and cut costs.

Philips already has a lot of experience in this industry. It estimates that its systems monitored more than 190million people worldwide in 2013. This partnership with Salesforce means that those systems can now become more effective and relay important information back to doctors in real time.

High-risk patients first

Salesforce and Philips have said they are going to start by focussing on the most at-risk patents with their new offerings. These include the elderly and people with long-term health conditions as approximately 75% of the money spent on healthcare in the US goes to treating people in those groups.

Generally, these people can’t care of themselves and this means they rely on the healthcare system, which takes up more resources.

The Philips eCareCompanion will monitor people in these groups to relay any important information back to caregivers. This means fewer resources have to be taken up but the patients in question will always have someone keeping an eye on their wellbeing.

The Philips eCareCoordinator will be used by doctors and nurses to monitor hundreds of at-risk patients.

The idea behind this is to keep patients well while they are at home to help decrease the number of costly hospital readmissions.

All-in-all this is great news for hospitals and patients as it’ll free up more resources while ensuring the health of patients is kept a close eye on, even when those people are at home.

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