New to Salesforce? 5 Things You Should Know…

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Are you a freshly minted Salesforce.com user?  Do you have questions about the application? I’m going to share 5 things that you should know as you start getting up to speed with the application.

#1 – Know Your Company’s Governance

First and foremost, and this trumps the rest – know who to talk to internally about your questions.  Every company who implements Salesforce should have an internal chain of command and internal governance for the proper use and problem resolution of Salesforce.  Before going rogue, understand and comply with your company’s processes.  You should have a specific person or resource to account for the following situations:

 

  • General Salesforce Questions – If you don’t know how to use something, who do you talk to about it?
  • Bug Reporting – When issues occur, who do you report them to and how?
  • Enhancement Requests – Got that killer idea?  Don’t build it yourself.  Talk to the right person.  Do you know who it is?

 

#2 – Know What’s Custom

Custom

As a new Salesforce user, it’s probably all “Greek to you” what’s going on.  It is very helpful to understand what’s custom in your implementation so that when searching for help or asking for it, you know what types of resources are appropriate.  Custom stuff is great, but generally the rest of the world does not understand the uniqueness and are less able to help you out.  Standard stuff, on the other hand, can often easily be Googled for an answer.

Look at this car.  You probably can’t Google the specificis on the suspension components, while the engine is probably quite standard.  Same goes for your Salesforce.  For the suspension, take the question to the custom shop that built it.  For the engine, standard Help.

#3 – Know How to Use the Sandbox

Sandbox is your playground.  It’s a place that you can go and learn about how to kick butt with Salesforce without worrying about damaging any production data.  It’s a safe zone.  I roll sandboxes out all the time and still see only a portion of users logging into them.  You’ll do yourself a huge favor if you log into the sandbox and role play “a day in the life of me” for a few hours before turning to production.  Think about what you will be doing on a day to day basis, and apply the training you’ve received against your known tasks.  Generate questions and get answers before you HAVE to move to production.

#4 – Know When to Cry Uncle

Don’t waste time getting frustrated.  If you get stuck and your immediate channels for resolution are not helpful, seek out your administrator or other prescribed channel and get help.  NOW.  Don’t wait around and let your frustration grow.

#5 – Know What Success Is

Success

Salesforce is not a black hole that you have to use so big brother can watch you.  Salesforce is a tool, and a darn good one to help you manage your job and get things done.  Use it.  Your company may have defined goals for success.  Know what they are, and even challenge yourself to your own goals of success.  A few ideas are:

 

  • Log 50 emails per week
  • Create 3 months of pipeline
  • Not have any open tasks
  • Be a Chatter influencer

 

Having goals and something to reach toward makes all of your Salesforcing have a purpose.  In addition to kicking butt in the application, you just might find yourself kicking butt at your job too, once you see what Salesforce is doing for you.

What do you think?  Do you have anything else to add?  Do you have some Salesforce questions you’d like answered?  Contact us and we’d be happy to help you out!

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