The Spring '17 Release empowers everyone to be their best with amazing new innovation for Einstein and Lightning built right into the Customer Success Platform. We want to make sure you're prepared to take full advantage of all the new features. Join our AMER Success Team for release highlights, use cases and best practices that will help you drive business value for your end users.
A Single Merge to Rule Them All
It’s often a thankless task, but sending out Thank You letters is an important part of the development process. These letters give nonprofits yet another way to engage supporters so it’s important to personalize their message whenever practical.
Enter Apsona and Apsona Document and Email Merge. Nonprofits can leverage these powerful, but inexpensive utilities to produce custom acknowledgment letters for print or email and do so with only single generation of merged letters.
Let’s use a real-life example to demonstrate what we mean.
Let’s say a nonprofit receives 200 donations one week and they break down as such:
- 100 received with no indication of what campaign generated the donation
- 50 received at a dinner gala to support a specific program
- 25 received because of an end of year campaign
- 25 received in advance of a summer fun run
In the above situation a nonprofit has a couple options:
- Send 200 acknowledgments with a generic thank you and no mention of what prompted the gift
- Send custom acknowledgments with a message specific to the encounter that generated the donation.
The first option above is typically the fastest, but also the least satisfying. The second option is best, but often requires generating multiple document merges, one for each campaign, and that can become time-consuming for staff. Utilizing a little trick we developed, a nonprofit can get the best of both options: efficiency and greater customization.
An Overview of the Solution
The solution relies upon each active Campaign having an Acknowledgement Letter field containing the main body of an acknowledgment letter. In addition, each Donation record should identify the relevant Campaign above via the Primary Campaign Source field. If the relevant Campaign isn’t known then utilize a default or placeholder Campaign.
Utilizing an Apsona report and merge action, these fields link each Donation to the appropriate acknowledgment Campaign for purposes of merging the relevant text into an Acknowledgement letter.
Configuring the Acknowledgement Solution
The configuration isn’t horribly difficult; however, it requires a familiarity with creating and editing Salesforce fields, updating page layouts, creating Apsona reports and merge actions, and creating a MS Word document with appropriate merge fields. Below is a high-level overview of the configuration.
Step 1 - Fields
There are four Salesforce fields required:
- Acknowledgment Letter - Create a long text field on the Campaign object and set the number of lines to at least 20. The field should be added to all relevant Campaign page layouts.
For each active Campaign that may generate donations, be sure to populate this field with the body of a corresponding Acknowledgement letter. The body should consist of all text beginning after “Dear …” and should include a sign-off such as “Sincerely, Executive Director.”
- Primary Campaign Source - This is a standard Salesforce Donation field that already exists although it should be made required to ensure all future donations have a Campaign value. This field will identify what Campaign for the proper acknowledgment letter. Alternatively, if there is concern about using this standard field, then consider a custom Donation field that looks up to a Campaign record.
- Acknowledgment Status - The Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) includes this field. Creating the following picklist values if they do not already exists and ensure the field has been added to all relevant Donation page layouts:
- To Be Acknowledged (set this as the default value for the picklist)
- Do Not Acknowledge
- Acknowledgment Date - The NPSP also includes this field so ensure it is visible on all relevant Donation page layouts.
Step 2 - Merge File
There are two key elements to remember.
First, you’ll need to create an Apsona-friendly MS Word template. For more about how to create a merge template.
Second, you’ll need to upload the template to Salesforce Documents so that it is available to Apsona. This document should include a merge field that will be a placeholder for the Acknowledgement Letter text. To see a simplified merge document.
Step 3 - Apsona Single-Step Report
Create an Apsona Donation report. This report should include any relevant Donation, Account, and Contact fields, as well as the fields indicated above. This ensures the text of the Acknowledgement letter is available for merging and for updating of the Acknowledgement Status and Date fields. For more about creating Apsona reports.
Step 4 - Apsona Merge Action
Finally, you’ll want to create an Apsona Merge Action to complement the report above. For more about creating Apsona Merge Actions. This action should do each of the following:
- Identify the Salesforce Document above for merging
- Map the merge fields, including the Acknowledgement Letter field
- Set the Acknowledgement Status to Acknowledged
- Set the Acknowledgement Date
- Generate a single MS Word document for printing
- If desired, create an Activity entry for each Donation acknowledged
The approach outlined above is simply one approach. There are a number of ways it can be adjusted to meet your nonprofit's needs. For example, some nonprofits will prefer to email these acknowledgments while others might prefer a different set of actions upon creation of a merge document.
We Can Help
Of course, every Salesforce instance and every nonprofit’s needs will vary and that’s why Now IT Matter’s is here to help. In addition to configuring solutions such as this, we also help clients think about how to streamline and enhance current processes so they aren’t stuck with a one-size-fits-all solution. If you think this solution might be for you then give us a call so we can talk more about your nonprofit’s needs.
Reflections from Tahoe Dreamin’
There is something special about community-run regional Salesforce events like Tahoe Dreamin’. They’re more intimate events that allow for more meaningful conversations. And there’s something special about a conference run entirely by Salesforce users who want to dedicate their time to learning more about Salesforce
Last week, 200 Salesforce users gathered in South Lake Tahoe to network, learn, and get inspired.
Sarah Joyce Franklin, SVP of Developer Relations and GM or Trailhead at Salesforce, gave a keynote speech that set the tone for the conference. In it, she made three key points that provided a new perspective on how you work with your Salesforce instance:
1. Change the story from “Can I change the world?” to “Will I change the world?”.
At Now IT Matters, our clients are in the business of changing the world, and that can be a daunting task. From connecting with constituents to monitoring program outcomes, leveraging Salesforce to fit your organization’s needs can be equally intimidating. But instead of asking yourself if you can do it, as yourself how you will do it. Just changing the story puts you on a path and is the first step in planning your success.
2. Do not be ruled by fear.
As I attended the sessions at Tahoe Dreamin’, I amended this to “Do not be afraid of Lightning.” Many nonprofits have been reluctant to switch over to the new platform because it’s different, it’s unknown. And if we’re being honest, that’s a little scary.
But Lightning isn’t something to be intimidated or worried about, it’s something to explore and be excited about! Turn it on in one of your sandboxes and play around. Collect use cases from your Salesforce users and see how you can solve them in Lightning. If you fail, it’s just a sandbox. And if you succeed, your users will thank you.
3. Be the change.
This comes from the famous Gandhi quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And it holds true when managing a Salesforce instance. Be an example to your users. Inspire them to learn Salesforce by earning some Trailhead badges, or get a certification. Want them to get excited about the platform? Get excited about the new features coming out in the Spring ‘17 release and share them with your users.
Whether skiing down a snowy mountain or taking the leap to convert your org to Lightning, the point is to take the chance. Could you end up with a failed project (or a face full of snow)? Absolutely. But try anyway.
Less is More: 3 Simple Ways to Clean-up Salesforce
Everyone (well most everyone) appreciates a nice, neat workspace. It helps one focus on what’s most important and promotes calm in a sea of endless distractions.
It’s no different for Salesforce. Eliminating system bloat can go a long way toward improving the user experience.
Here are three relatively simple ways to begin cleaning up your Salesforce instance.
The granddaddy of bloat is too many fields. It’s starts innocently enough with a single user request, but over time those user requests for fields begin to take a toll on end-users and administrators
The problem with too many fields
- Increases data entry time as users search through increasingly long page layouts
- The most important fields get lost among trivial fields
Do you really need a field?
- Is the field required to capture information for key reports such as those for reporting on a grant?
- Are staff even bothering to complete a given field?
Cleaning Up the Bloat A great first step is installing the FREE application Field Trip. This utility scans your Salesforce data so it can report on how frequently a field is being used. If no one is bothering to complete a given field, then it probably isn’t important enough to keep around. To make a case for eliminating extraneous fields run a few Feld Trip reports, summarize your findings, and discuss with your power users and management team.
Get Field Trip - https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000003HSXEEA4
List Views can get out of hand FAST, especially if all users have access to create new List Views!
The great thing about List Views is that you can quickly get to key records without running a report; however, if everyone is making their own List Vies and sharing them with everyone else then it all blurs together.
Questions to Ask?
- Is a List View being used regularly? – Maybe it was created for a special purpose 5 years ago and has since been forgotten. If so, delete it.
- Does everyone need access to see a particular List View? – Maybe some List Views are only needed by development staff while others support programming staff, if so restrict visibility as needed.
Does everyone need access to create new List Views? – Get ahead of the problem by limiting who can create new List Views.
Cleaning up Chatter groups is as easy as 1-2-3
First, review all active Chatter groups and Archive those that are not actively used. You can do this by opening up a group’s settings and clicking the Archive button.
Second, updated the settings for each group so that they automatically archive after 90 days of inactivity.
- Archiving does not delete a group and its content
- An archived group can be reactivated
What is My Domain and why will Salesforce require it?
Starting with the Spring ‘17 release, Salesforce is going to require that all current and new Salesforce orgs have My Domain enabled.
This new requirement will help avoid any surprises when Salesforce performs routine maintenance on its servers. My Domain is also required to create a branded login or use Single Sign-On with Salesforce and to use Lightning Components.
How do I know if I have My Domain enabled?
The easiest way to see if you have My Domain enabled is to log into your Salesforce org and look at the URL.
If it looks like this:
with something like your company’s name followed by “.my.salesforce.com”, then congratulations! You’ve already enabled My Domain in your org. Way to be ahead of the game!
If it looks like this:
with a letter/number combination like na29 preceeding “.salesforce.com”, then you do not have My Domain enabled for your org and should enable it before the Spring ‘17 release.
How do I enable My Domain?
Surprise! There’s a Trailhead trail for that. The trail takes about an hour, and will walk through all the steps and considerations for creating a subdomain in Salesforce.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while turning on My Domain:
- The subdomain cannot be changed once created, so choose wisely!
- Any hard-coded references to URLs in your Visualforce pages, Email templates, etc. will need to be updated with your new orl URL. We recommend having an advanced Administrator or Developer make these updates. This article provides information on how to find and update hard-coded references in Salesforce.
- Once My Domain is enabled, users will be able to log in to your Salesforce org by going to http://[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][subdomain].my.salesforce.com instead of to the Salesforce login website.
My Domain creates a more branded experience for your users and will ensure fewer headaches in the future as Salesforce continues to update and maintain its systems.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
Are you ready to #LevelUp your Career?
Three years ago, my family and I made the decision to relocate from Houston, Texas to northern New Hampshire for my husband’s job. For those of you who have never been to New Hampshire, let’s just say there aren’t a ton of job opportunities available; especially when you live in the middle of the mountains and the cell service isn’t so great!
As luck would have it, a friend of mine mentioned her “Salesforce consulting firm” (Now It Matters) was looking for a part-time team member who could assist with training and development initiatives.
After applying and going through a short interview process, Now It Matters offered to facilitate my education of Salesforce, and extended a virtual job offer to me. The best part was I could do all of this from my home office!
Now, it’s two years later. I’ve survived a fierce winter (if you are contemplating two weeks in negative 30 degree weather, let’s just say “I don’t recommend it!”) and receiving my Salesforce Administrator certification (on my second attempt, but don’t tell anyone), my family and I moved back to Austin, TX. There, we decided it was time for me to return to work full time.
Little did I know that doors of opportunity would open up for me as a newly certified Salesforce Administrator! As I searched for a full time training and development position I realized the interview requests I received weren’t only a result of my 10+ years of work experience, but could also be attributed to Salesforce experience. With only two years of Salesforce experience under my belt I was a hot commodity!
As you may know, Salesforce is far-reaching and applicable for any industry. Plus, its support tools (Power of Us Hub, Success Community, Trailhead) are outstanding. The moral of my story is: If you have the opportunity to learn Salesforce, then take it! Who knows?! You may love Salesforce so much that you find yourself going down a completely different career path than intended. At the very least, Salesforce will help you #LevelUp and gain a competitive edge along your existing career path.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"] Often nonprofits become frustrated and overwhelmed when using a CRM system as sophisticated and complex as Salesforce. How do I get help? Where do I find resources to train our staff? Where are the answers to my questions?
Here are some best practices for nonprofits using Salesforce. Help is just a click away!
1. Become involved in a Salesforce Community online or in person. There are a number of communities online that offer free help and support for nonprofits utilizing Salesforce. Some of my most utilized are:
Salesforce Success Community (https://success.salesforce.com)
The Success Community has several components, among the most helpful:
- Answers: This tab has answers to commonly asked questions around Salesforce functionality and how to do various things. Hint: If you google a Salesforce question, you almost without fail return an answer that is helpful. Those results are generally in the Salesforce Success Community Answers.
- Help and Training: This is where you can contact support, find out about new releases, and take online training videos (many free!) surrounding Salesforce functions and best uses!
- Ideas: If Salesforce doesn’t do it yet, you can bet there’s an idea submitted about that function! If you find your suggestion for improvement in the Ideas section, make sure to vote it up so Salesforce makes the change!
- User Groups (under “More”): User Groups are a great resource for getting your questions answered and finding solutions to your problems. I highly recommend that everyone become part of the User Group in your area. They have nonprofit user groups as well as developer UGs and Admin UGs
Power of Us Hub (powerofus.salesforcefoundation.org/publogin)
Using your regular Salesforce login, you can get into the Power of US Hub. This community is much like the Salesforce Success Community, except that it is specific to nonprofit Salesforce users. It has questions and groups like the other community, as well as helpful resources specific to NPOs.
2. Train your staff to use the things they need. If your staff member is running reports, they should watch a report building training video, or join one of the many free Salesforce webinars covering common uses of Salesforce produced for the community. If they are needing to primarily use Campaigns, check out a video or read best practices white papers in the Success Community about campaign usage. If the information is being kept in Salesforce, staff should not be permitted to keep it elsewhere – ie, keeping their contacts separately on an excel spreadsheet.
3. Map your processes and come up with standardized practices surrounding the entry of information. Where is information being duplicated? How many people are touching the same data and putting it into different places? How does a member’s life cycle at your organization look on paper? Reduce the number of touches each person’s data has – i.e., Contact information should be entered directly on the Contact record, rather than in Outlook address books and/or excel and/or paper and/or Access. If the constituent NEEDS to live in 2 places, (ie – accounting for payroll information AND Salesforce for membership information) that can be acceptable, but it’s in your best interest to reduce the number of places to as few as possible.
4. Address User Adoption. Why aren’t people using Salesforce? There are a number of ways to get people logged into Salesforce and using the system. One good way is through the use of Chatter, a collaborative tool that will allow you to communicate electronically with all of the staff in your organization, and have organic conversations around donors, members, constituents, opportunities, or any other items you’re tracking in Salesforce. There are user adoption dashboards available for download in the AppExchange as well. Once people are working in the system, it comes alive. People begin to trust the data, and people begin to find that they have built a 360 degree view of your constituents by collaboration and smart processes.
Dive in Deeper:
- Beyond Login Rates: Three Key Areas for Measuring Adoption
- 10 Steps for a Successful Training Plan
- Video: Best Practices for Importing Data
- Training: Videos for Salesforce Administrators
- 6 Tips for Using Nonprofit CRM Software Effectively
- Whitepaper: Insights into CRMs for Nonprofits
Salesforce mobile approvals
Approvals are not available in Salesforce1 natively. Enter Approval Central for Salesforce1, a free app simply that adds a tab to the Salesforce1 sidebar as its own tab. For developer types, this package adds a single custom tab so it has no effect on code requirements. It currently has a 5 star rating and is a product of Salesforce Labs, yet another way that Salesforce gives more value to its customers.
Note that in the future this may become standard functionality for Salesforce1, in which case it very simple to uninstall.
Great for managers on the go, Approval Central puts all your pending approvals in one place inside the Salesforce1 mobile app, making business decisions a snap. All of the relevant information you need to make an approval decision is now one tap away.
Instant Visibility: Consolidated view of all pending approvals inside Salesforce1
Save Time: No more searching for approvals, they are all in one place
One Click Action: Make approval decisions on the go
Approval Central is perfect for executives with little time and managers on the go. By seeing all pending approvals in the left nav (aka Navigation Menu) of the Salesforce1 mobile app, business decisions are easy to prioritize and make on the go. Whether a big deal needs approval or a member of your team needs to schedule their time off, Approval Central consolidates all of your pending approvals into one place. And this works seamlessly across all Salesforce1 compatible devices including iOS and Android.
Don't forget to help the Salesforce community by taking a moment to review apps. It just takes a second and helps the developer by showing that it's an app that is still relevant and helps the community by setting expectations about the app.