Top picks from Salesforce’s Spring ’20 release notes

Our Lead Salesforce Consultant, Leon, and Head of Salesforce Development, Mark, have put together their top new feature picks from the Spring ’20 Release notes.

Here’s what they’re getting all excited about this Spring…

Leon’s picks: 

In-App Guidance is a series of hints, instructions, tips, videos, pictures etc that can be launched from within specific Salesforce pages to help users get to grips with things. This is a fairly recent feature, and now Salesforce is improving it — you’ll be able to set it by Profile and it can also be translated through Translation Workbench! Perfect for multi-country orgs.

This will probably be the first thing that end-users notice when they get their Spring ’20 update. Instead of the App Launcher being a huge page of options, you will now get a search bar and a handful of your top Apps. You can still get to the full menu with a click of a button. 

We’re split in the office on this one. Some of us love the change, others are not so sure. This is going to be one of those “it depends on how you use it” kind of things that people will just eventually get used to.

Cloning a record has been possible since approximately the dawn of time, but we’ve never had an out of the box solution for deep cloning – for example, you have an Opportunity you want to clone, you would have previously had to manually clone every individual Opportunity Product and Contact Role, or write a Flow to do the heavy lifting for you. 

Not any more, now you can do this out of the box using the new “Clone with Related Records” feature. Great time saver for end users. 

Yes yes yes yes yes yes YES! Finally!

This one has been requested for so long that I think some of us thought it would never actually happen. To fill in the blanks for those not in the know, Queues act as a holding pot for records that haven’t been given to a specific owner. People can then dip in to those queues and pick stuff out, or it could be automatically distributed by a feature like Omni Channel.

Until now, only Leads and Cases have been queueable. Now we can add Tasks to the list, which is a big step forward. Got a load of jobs that just need doing, doesn’t matter by who as long, as someone picks them up? Tasks in queues are the way to go! 

Salesforce has been very busy with Flows again – every release sees this tool grow in power and capabilities. My personal favourite changes this time around are Run flows in System mode. You can now set a Flow to run as the user or as the system – running it as the system bypasses pesky things like the end-user permissions.

It’s not all gravy, you’ll still have to consider sharing, roles, teams and territories, but object permissions, field-level access and other general running user permissions get ignored.

This is a massive change. Now, before any data comes into contact with the database, flows can run and set specific values on the record – look forward to genuinely lightning speed with your updates, because Before Save updates in a flow are 10 times faster than a Process Builder record change. 

As an Admin or Consultant, there has literally never been a better time to get to grips with Flow.

One of the aggravating things about Flow is having to create lots of variables. For those who haven’t used Flow much, a variable is essentially a bucket that you use to store records, field data and so on, in order to use it later down the line in the flow.

Creating variables is time-consuming and boring, and you had to choose which fields to save and which to ignore, making it all too easy to miss off a critical field and break your Flow. Not any more – now Flow will create those variables for you. Thanks, Flow.

Now generally available, service and support centres can start using WhatsApp through Salesforce to communicate with customers in realtime. They can already do this via SMS or Facebook Message, so this is a very cool addition!

Another Service-specific improvement, I wanted this 5 years ago when I was a Customer Service agent! Duplicate cases are a massive pain in the backside. You have to close them, or get them deleted – and then you have situations where half the information is in one case and half has been added to the duplicate.

Now, you’ll be able to merge up to three duplicate cases into one so that they can focus on the “master” case. Lovely little addition!

Mark’s picks:

  • Use longer SOQL queries 

The maximum length of SOQL statements has been increased from 20,000 to 100,000. 

  • Use more relationships in queries 

The maximum number of child-to-parent relationships in a query has been increased from 35 to 55. 

  • Use longer SOSL queries 

The maximum length of SOSL statements has been increased from 20,000 to 100,000. 

The default daily API request allocation has been raised from 15,000 to 100,000. 

Salesforce Data Mask is a powerful new data security resource for Salesforce admins and developers. Instead of manually securing data and access for sandbox orgs, admins can use Data Mask to automatically mask the data in a sandbox. 

We plan to end support for the deprecated components on May 1, 2021. 

Use the new lightning/pageReferenceUtils module or lightning:pageReferenceUtils Aura component to build navigation links in your components that prepopulate a record’s create page with default field values. 

No more guessing about whether to use @track to make a field reactive. All fields in a Lightning web component class are reactive. If a field’s value changes and the field is used in a template or in a getter of a property that’s used in a template, the component rerenders and displays the new value. 

A Lightning web component’s CSS file can use a custom Aura token created in your org or installed from an unmanaged package. Tokens make it easy to ensure that your design is consistent and even easier to update it as your design evolves. 

Lightning Web Components now offers Local Development so that you can build component modules and view your changes live without publishing your components to an org. 

Use the Lightning Message Service API to communicate across the DOM, between Aura components, Visualforce pages, and Lightning web components. 

Using the new Apple authentication provider, your customers can log in to a Salesforce org or Community with their Apple ID. 

Develop and test your Salesforce Sites and communities within your sandboxes using custom domains. This feature allows you to test new custom domains in a sandbox before deploying them to Salesforce production. 

To help you better reach your customers, you can now specify multiple email addresses or phone numbers for an individual or person account. Previously, our data model only allowed for one phone number or email to be associated with a single customer. Now, using contact point email and contact point phone, you can also add details such as the best time to reach out to a contact or how they prefer to be contacted. 

The components available for a changeset vary by edition. These components are now available for changesets. 

This allows users to make updates to Salesforce all by voice. Einstein Voice Skills lets you build custom skills tailored to your users’ most common tasks, generating more high-quality Salesforce data to inform decision making.

The CMS Home welcome mat greets you at the door with helpful pointers and links to help topics to make your stay more comfortable. A navigation tab and a new entry into CMS Workspaces and Experience Builder help you get where you want to go. 

The ExperienceBundle metadata type, which was previously available as a pilot program, is now generally available. ExperienceBundle provides human-readable, text-based representations of the different Experience Builder settings and site components, such as pages, branding sets, and themes. 

Use the latest Build Your Own (LWC) template to develop communities that load quickly and scale well. Based on Lightning Web Components (LWC), a new programming model that delivers exceptional performance, this lightweight template supports fully customized LWC solutions. 

Turn Lightning Locker on and off for all components in a community, regardless of API version, with a simple switch in Experience Builder. 

Permission set groups are an ideal way to consistently and reliably assign permissions to a group of users. Assign users a single permission set group instead of multiple permission sets. 

What are you most pumped about from this Salesforce release? Let us know in the comments below!

Tips for nailing that Salesforce certification in 2020

2020

Is your new year’s resolution to finally get that Salesforce certification under your belt?

There are lots of study guides out there that’ll help you to prepare for the test, but not many provide tips on what to do whilst sitting the exam to help increase your chances of passing. Because, let’s be honest, we’ve all sat a test before where we’re only just about passing the practice tests and have doubts in our mind that today isn’t the day. So being able to get a few more marks by missing out on silly errors could be the difference you need to pass!

Read every answer

A lot of the time we read a question and confidently think it’s the first or second answer, moving on without reading the rest of the answers. This is a really common error that we all make! It can be very tempting to choose it and move on, even if you are 99% sure, you should always read the rest of the answers.

A lot of Salesforces answers in their certs can be interpreted as the right one, by committing too early, you might miss an answer that seems more logical.

Read every question twice, read every answer twice

There are lots of times where we skim over an answer, we might not have much time left, or just feel the pressure building up as we start to rush.

But by doing this, you could miss reading a word, and a single word in a question can sometimes mean the whole difference. Most of the times its words like Has or Hasn’t, Does or Doesn’t. Look out for words that your eyes might mistake when reading them fast, like the ones I just highlighted. That’s why we should read a question twice to make sure we didn’t mistake anything, because some questions will have answers that seem logical to a misinterpreted question but, upon closer inspection, are wrong.

Eliminate two wrong answers

In most of the questions where you have to select one answer out of four, there will be two that logically could be the right answer, and two that are less likely to be the right answer. Try to work downwards, by identifying the two that don’t seem correct. This will help you decide the right answer, as you’ll have less to compare, making the process easier.

By successfully removing two answers, you are giving yourself a 50% chance of getting the question right, and if you did that on every question, it would equate to a 50% chance of passing. With only needing a 65% to pass, this will get you within 15% of a pass, without even having to consider the right answer!

Big up Salesforce when in doubt

In a lot of Salesforce questions, they like to make themselves look good by highlighting their capabilities.

If something seems like common sense, for example Salesforce having a certain feature that you would expect as standard, then it’s probably right. But only use this technique when you are stuck on a question, as it might not be the right one.

Imagine you were a Salesforce employee writing the exam, would you want to make the company look bad? Salesforce always likes to show off what its capable of.

Once done, go back and read every single question again (including every possible answer)

There will be questions that you just have no idea what the answer is. You don’t know if Salesforce have made up fake names to make them look realistic, or they’re being genuine.

The good news is, along the course of the exam, you learn and gain knowledge from different questions and answers, which might help you with that question.

It’s also best to double-check your answers and iron out any little errors you might have made when reading them the first time. Which leads me on nicely to the next point…

Use the “Mark This Item For Later Review”

If you are ever the slightest bit unsure (I know for me it’s the majority of the questions as I start to flood with self-doubt), use this checkbox. By checking it, you’ll create a subconscious note in your brain to look out for information in later questions that might help you answer that one. Because this checkbox will basically add a level of importance to the question and put it on your radar.

When going back over your questions at the end of the exam, this will add extra precaution as you meet a question with this tick box marked, so you will spend more time reading and thinking about the answers.

Don’t finish the exam early.

You’re given a set amount of time, so use it all. There’s no need to show off to colleagues about how quick you managed to do it, the only thing anybody cares about is if you passed or not!

The more times you check a question, the more times you are diving into your bank of knowledge, and you never know when you might pull out a piece of knowledge that will answer the question. It might be the first time reading the question, or the fourth, but reading it will give you more certainty, and more chance of getting it right.

This being said, I know a lot of people will start to fill with doubt the more they look at a question, which leads onto my next point.

Follow your gut!

There will always be times when we look at a question and pick an answer, feeling quite confident about it, then we look at it a bit more, and think differently about it. And this crossroad frightens us all when we get there.

If you want to look at statistics and probabilities on which one will be right (you first answer or the second one), you should go with your gut. If your gut originally said the first answer, then choose that one. You will, more than likely, read an answer, and a certain word or number will pop up in an answer that will spark your memory back to your revision.

You should be going into the exam feeling fairly comfortable with the amount of revision you’ve done, so don’t be scared to follow what your gut is telling you is the right answer.

Use your time to memorise questions

This is a backup plan. If you fail, you will want to know where your weaknesses were. So, for all the questions that you are unsure of, take a mental note of them so you can search them after to find the answer for next time.

The good thing here is Salesforce will tell you straight away if you failed or not. I know as a kid in school, everybody would come out of an exam and start consulting answers. And there’s nothing worse than hearing somebody say “oh yeah I got 200 for that question” when you got “Abraham Lincoln”…

Because they give you your result straight away, you don’t have to worry about looking up a question to see if you got it wrong while waiting in suspense for your result.

Take your time (there is plenty) and good luck to anybody going for a cert in 2020!

New Admin certification modules on Trailhead

The Salesforce Women in Tech Group

Salesforce is frequently bringing out new modules on Trailhead to keep their knowledge base up to date. Recently, there have been four new Admin certification badges that have caught users’ eyes…

  • Administrator Certification Prep: Setup and Objects
  • Administrator Certification Prep: Security and Data Management
  • Administrator Certification Prep: Applications, Activities and Mobile
  • Administrator Certification Prep: Reporting and Automation

These modules each have between 2-4 units on them and cover (broadly) the contents of the exam. If you’re thinking about sitting the exam, I’d strongly recommend taking these beforehand and remembering the questions at the end of each unit. They’ll get you prepared for the exam.

Now, this doesn’t mean that if you sit these modules, you’ll be ready for the exam. Far from it. The Admin Certification is a tricky exam, with a very broad knowledge required to pass. It talks about what you’ll need to revise, what weightings the exam is made up of for that current section etc.

If you’re interested in revision material to passing the Admin exam, take a look at FocusOnForce or completing the Official Admin Certification Trailmixes on Trailhead!

These modules are stored nicely in a trail, linked right here. Happy trailblazing!

Why can’t I log into the Partner Community?

Why can't i log into the partner portal?

You might have noticed there’s a bug with the Salesforce Partner Community login that’s limiting a lot of users from signing in. Here’s the current Partner Community login problem:

Users are signing in with their existing credentials, which usually work, but are being taken to the ‘join the community’ page instead. Huh, that’s not right?

If you then press the ‘join the community’, you’ll trigger an email to your partner admins, who can verify your account to join the Community. 

But see, the problem is, for a lot of us, our admins cant sign in either! 

via GIPHY

Not good times.

Thankfully Salesforce is aware of the Partner Community login problem and is currently looking to resolve it, so hopefully, this will be resolved soon! Keep an eye out for updates.

Tips for user adoption

We all know that one of the big bugbears of any changes you make as an Admin or Developer is getting users to like it. Here are some of the main tips for making sure you really get across to your users why changes will help them.

Training

Your Admins and Devs have been working hard to produce a platform that’ll make your sales reps and users more efficient to increase sales. Before anybody can get their hands on the system, it’s important that they’re properly trained, so they can understand how to use the changes as well as understand what’s different and exactly why the change was needed.

Within the training of teams, you might want to create some exercises to make it more engaging and less of a “this is what’s happening, tough luck” approach. Make sure these exercises are appropriate for each team you train, as different areas of the business might be using Salesforce in a different way.

When you’re training users, whether this is on a new Salesforce org, or on some changes within a current one, users can get quite tired as there is usually a lot to take in. You need to make sure that breaks are used to allow trainees to get the most of the session.

Train the trainer

You’ll also need to choose who’s going to be training. You might have multiple Admins/Devs or even some super-users who’ll be going away to teach these users. One approach to training is a ‘train the trainer’ approach. This means the admins and people who are very familiar with the system will train some key users of the system.

These users will then go away and train the rest of the team. This can sometimes be a better approach because usually the users will be more comfortable with these key users, so feedback will come more easily.

If you’re just making changes in the system, it might be worth getting some opinions on where training should be given in other areas of the system, which don’t necessarily relate to the change in hand. This can be used as a refresher to the team to help them understand the capabilities of Salesforce and make their job easier.

Rolling out

The rollout can be done in a few different approaches, and one that is recommended is giving access to some key users within the company. These key users can then get their hands on it to see how it handles normal, day to day operational use. This can then be rolled out to other teams in the business.

For example, say you’ve changed the fields on the opportunity object and want to let some key ‘super-users’ test it out and give any initial feedback before rolling it out to different areas of the team.

In the early stages of the rollout, its best to take things slow — allow time for users to get used to the new system. They will more than likely struggle to navigate, and whoever deals with internal cases/questions will be getting a lot of enquiries.

Be aware there might be a lot of errors as well. When users get their hands on things, they usually find things you didn’t when initially testing. There will probably be some permissions errors where users get too much/little access to areas of Salesforce. At this stage, it is up to the implementations team to keep everybody happy and get them all through this learning curve.

Tips for Data Loading, and the best (free!) options

What’s Data Loading?

Entering data for a record in Salesforce is part of the platform’s core functionality. But what if data needs to be added, updated, or deleted for five records? Or 25? Or 8 million?

Depending on the amount of data that we’re talking about, it could be mildly irritating, a major pain in the bum, or simply impossible to make those changes manually. Data Loading is the term we use for making mass updates to our data, and there are a number of tools available to help us do it.

Use cases

The most common use cases for a Data Loading tool are:

  • Exporting data from an org,perhaps to migrate to another system, make a back-up, or create a “sample” of our data that we can then import into a sandbox org.
  • Inserting data, either from another system, another org.
  • Deleting multiple records.
  • Updating multiple records.

The options

Unsurprisingly Salesforce’s AppExchange is a good place to look for Data Loading apps. Most of them are not free, and as we all like free stuff (and there are dozens of apps) I’m only going to talk about a few of the options that are free (but still with great features).

Data Import Wizard

Salesforce has it’s own built-in Data migration tools, called Data Import Wizard (for importing data) and Data Export Wizard (for, well, you know). They’re accessed within your org’s Setup, and are really easy to use because the formatting is similar to the native editing environment in Salesforce.

Data Loader

This is an external application which can be used via the web app at dataloader.io or the desktop app. The web app has free and paid plans so be sure that the free plan meets your needs.

Jitterbit’s Cloud Data Loader

Part of Jitterbit’s Harmony platform, but can be used in isolation at no cost. There’s no web app but installing the desktop app is so easy even I could do it.

So which is numero uno?

The specific use case, as well as personal preference, has a big impact on which tool would be most suitable. Some people I know really like the Data Loader desktop app; I’m more of a fan of Jitterbit’s offering. But they do have some limitations which no amount of fanboyism can ignore, so here’s a summary of the features of the three tools.

Data Loading — Best Practices

No matter which option you use, how you use it is obviously very important. So here are my top 6 best practices for importing and exporting data to your Salesforce org:

  • If you’re updating or deleting data, make a backup of your data first. Always.
  • Test a batch of records first. Five should do the trick. If you’re importing or inserting records, remember not to include those five records when you do the actual import!
  • If something goes wrong you can use the Mass Delete feature to delete up to 250 records at a time without the need of a Data Loading tool.
  • Disable workflow processes, validation rules and Apex triggers. If your Sales Director gets an auto email notification whenever a record is added, and you mass-insert 50,000 of them, he’s not gonna be a happy chap.
  • Ensure that roles, profiles and sharing rules permit the required levels of access before performing the data import, especially if the data is sensitive.
  • Create a data template for each object, typically the field names. If records are already in the database, exporting a record will give you a CSV file with the required fields (i.e. your data template!)

Clean data

We all love a nice, smooth data load, don’t we? There are some things that can be done to help make this a reality. Here are my top 6 tips on cleaning data before it’s inserted or updated to your org:

  • Consolidate values. Have one common value, so instead of “SF”, “San Francisco” and “San Fran” all referring to the same thing, have one true value.
  • Use existing picklist values. Replace values in your data that are not in the object’s picklist value set with values that are.
  • Use the correct parent record IDs, so child records will be related to the correct parent when they are imported.
  • Reduce the possibility of importing dirty data by using Lookup fields, automated field updates (with a Process Builder for example), or formula fields in your org; you can then omit the data values for those fields from the import completely!
  • Replicate the object’s field names in the data import file’s column names. This will help the “automapping” feature of the data loading tool to map the columns to the right fields.
  • Include the Record Owner ID for each record if possible. Otherwise, all imported records will get the user who imported the data as the Record Owner.

Using Excel to help clean your data

Excel can be used in a number of ways to clean your data. Here are my top 6:

  • The Sort function to sort by a column; this then helps to manually see duplicates.
  • Filter helps to see records with similar field values, which can then be consolidated to a single value.
  • If the source data file contains formulas, Save As CSV saves the resulting values, not the formulas.
  • Find and Replace helps to standardise fields by replacing or deleting data (for example removing letters so only numbers remain).
  • Concatenate combines values from more than one column, which is useful for things like combining a phone area code and phone number if they are in separate columns. (And Text to Columns does the opposite).
  • Format Cells helps standardise values. So if you need to ensure every value in a column starts with a 0, this is your guy.

The brand new Trailhead Go app

Salesforce has recently released its new app — Trailhead Go. This is an app for both Android and IOS that puts all your beloved Trailhead trails in your hand to use on the fly!

Image from Salesforce.com

To use the app, you need to either create or already have a Trailhead account. At the bottom of the app is a navigation pane, which contains the following tabs:

  • Today
  • Learn
  • Search
  • Profile
  • More

Today

On the Today tab is a summary of Badges, Trails and Trailmixes in progress, this is a great place to look if you have a spare 20 minutes to finish off a trail and learn something new.

Learn

On the Learn Tab is where you’ll find your recommendations. These consist of Modules, Projects, Trails and Trailmixes. I’d advise going here if you want to start a new badge and learn something new.

Search

On the Search tab, there’s a recommendation on what to search for, as well as a search bar where you can search for Trails, Modules and more! If you have something in mind you want to learn, search it in there. It’ll search for keywords for you.

For example, I’m looking to learn about Process Builder. So I’ll search “Process Builder”, and it’ll show me everything with ‘Process builder’ keywords.

Profile

This is where you can see your Trailblazer profile, including how many badges and points you have with your rank, a doughnut chart of your skills based on completed badges, recently-passed badges, and your info.

More

The more tab is a bit like the settings tab. You can find help, send feedback, go to the Application Settings (which I believe isn’t working at the moment), and then there’s Campfire Mode.

Campfire mode allows you to change the interface of Trailhead Go, as standard its white with all the backgrounds being light. By using this toggle, you’re able to make it black (a dark setting).

One thing that I’ve found that they’ll hopefully fix by the next update, is the fact you’re not able to change the language. So far, the only way I’ve found how to change the language is to uninstall the app and then go to the desired country’s app store. For example, I want the app in English, so I’ll go to the UK app store.

So far, this app has been enthusiastically welcomed by the Trailblazer community. Which isn’t a surprise seeing as it’s been requested for several years!

If you haven’t already, download it and get Trailblazing on the go here!

Trailhead: what it is and Trails to get you started

The Salesforce Women in Tech Group

Whether you’re new to Salesforce or not, Trailhead is your mentor when it comes to learning the platform.

For those of you who’ve never used it before, Trailhead is a learning experience platform that teaches you how to use Salesforce. It pushes bite-sized, engaging content to gain new skills and improve on existing ones, with quizzes and practice tests to make sure you get to grips with each area of the system.

Trailhead works off badges and points. A trailblazer will work through modules and units to collect points. Then, these badges and points will continue to build upon your profile the more you work yourself through the trails.

There is a bit of a structure to it:

Trail

At the top is a Trail, which is a guided learning path that focuses on an area/topic. For example, Salesforce Basics could be a trail, walking you through the basics of the platform.

Module

Each Trail is composed of multiple modules, and these modules cover a specific skill or area of knowledge. For example, within the Salesforce Basics Trail, there might be a Navigating Salesforce module.

Unit

Each module contains units, which is the bulk of what Trailhead is. Each unit begins with a set of learning objectives, and contains videos and text to help you understand that topic.

Assessment

At the end of each unit, there will be a multiple-choice quiz or hands-on challenge, which will test your knowledge on what you’ve just learnt.

Project

In a project, you’ll follow steps while building what you’re learning in a test Salesforce Environment. This means you’ll be able to get hands-on inside a test org. An example of this could be a step-by-step guide on how to create a new Opportunity.

Superbadge

A Superbadge is a large-scale project that gives you a chance to show off your expertise. Each one has prerequisites which need to be completed before unlocking the Superbadge. These prerequisites will be Projects and Modules, which are standalone and not part of a trail. They’re probably the hardest part of Trailhead and will require a fair bit of experience to be able to complete.

Trailmix

A Trailmix is a personalized Trail. You can combine it with modules, projects, Superbadges or other Trails. And these can be published for everybody to access, as well. For example, there are some really good Trailmixes on Trailhead where people have made a learning path of the best modules to learn a certain topic. In the rest of this blog, I’ll be showing off some of these, as well as some of the best Trails/projects/modules.

A quick note before going through the resources when you’re new to Salesforce — on Trailhead, you can find these by going to the search bar and searching for them.

Admin Beginner

One of the first Trails that I suggest is the ‘Admin Beginner’ Trail. Salesforce has a hashtag for admins in Salesforce, this is #AwesomeAdmin, which can be used on multiple social media platforms to see what admins are up to! Salesforce calls this trail the ‘start to your #AwesomeAdmin journey’.

This Trail takes you through various areas of Salesforce, from the platform basics to reports and dashboards.

Learn Admin Essentials in Lightning Experience

This one is a fairly large Trail for admins, but it’s important for starting off on Salesforce. Salesforce has two UI’s, an old and a new, called Classic and Lightning. This trail helps you master the fundamentals of administering a Salesforce org.

Taking you through modules from preparing users, to data management tools.

Salesforce User Basics

If you are going to be the end-user of Salesforce, this is a great course. It will take you through how to work with your admin, to learning the basics of Salesforce and how it works.

Developer Beginner

If you are looking to become a developer of Salesforce (write Apex Code and do customizations for Salesforce), then this Trail is a must! Leverage your existing development skills to build apps fast on the Salesforce Platform.

There are also some really key modules on here around the data structure and modelling of Salesforce, flows, formulas and validations. These are all key areas of Salesforce for both Admins and Developers. However, later on in this course, there will be some apex work which won’t be suited for Admins, so this Trail is best suited for Devs.

Admin Intermediate

Once you have started to get to grips with Salesforce, and have completed the Admin beginner, this trail would be a good place to go to really start to build off of the foundations of your knowledge. ‘Supercharge your skills and apps by using point-and-click tools to solve common business needs’, which as an admin for a company, will be a frequent role of your job.

This app will take you through various parts of Salesforce including setting up the Mobile App, AppExchange Basics, Security etc.

Admin Advanced

‘Reach all-star admin status by tackling more advanced Salesforce features. This trail should be completed once you have done the Admin Intermediate, which will take you through Advanced Formulas, Salesforce Connect, Company-Wide Org Settings. This badge will really start to hone on your Salesforce skills.

Get Started with Sales Cloud

The chances are, your company will be using some feature of Sales Cloud. Sales Cloud is very wide, covering a large area of Salesforce capabilities. It will take you through how to roll out Sales Cloud managing Users and Data, and the basics of configuring Sales Cloud.

Service Cloud Essential Basics

If you’re an Admin who’s new to Service Cloud, this trail will be great for getting you up to speed with the basics. I’d take this trail followed by the ‘Get Started with Service Cloud for Lightning Experience’ trail, as this one is quite short, and talks about key terminology and other various things you will need to know to work in the Service industry.

If you’d like to find some more trails and modules to take on, from Trailhead, go to the ‘learn’ drop-down tab, and select what sort of level of the Salesforce Structure you want to learn from (Trailmix, Trail, Module or Project).

Once selected, you can filter the options down. For example, if you’re a new admin to Salesforce, you could select Beginner as one of the filters, and Admin as another, which would be perfect for you! You can also filter off of products (the different cloud offerings) and tags (Salesforce Topics, e.g. Apex).

Hope this brought some light onto how to start learning how to use Salesforce. Happy Trailblazing!

Say hello to the new Salesforce Content Management System

It’s no secret that these days, companies are striving to create, deliver and personalise content for their customers. And according to Salesforce’s latest ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report, 78% of customers expect consistent experiences across departments. That’s why Salesforce has just announced its hybrid CMS!

Salesforce says the trouble with legacy CMS’ is that they’re designed for a single touch-point, rather than the ‘ever-evolving, omnichannel customer journey‘ of today. Salesforce’s CMS is designed to easily help us create and deliver content to any channel or device, and connect that content to your customer data.

What’s different about Salesforce CMS’ features?

It’s flexible

You can choose a content type, or create custom types and quickly draft the content in the app, without really needing any technical skills at all.

For example, if you want to add content to an experience built with Salesforce, you can choose from two of the CMS’ “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” tools: Experience Builder and Commerce Page Designer.

You can build a great experience by simply dragging content components right onto the website, portal, forum, or commerce storefront you’re using. But both tools are developer-friendly too, which is perfect if your design and development teams want to build the experience with code.

If you want to deliver content into a third-party site, experience, or mobile app, you can also use their headless APIs to do that smoothly. And it also has multi-language and translation features to help you scale.

It’s connected

Instead of blindly creating content, your teams will have access to their customer data to help inform their decisions and personalise their content. Plus, Salesforce CMS lets you actually turn your data into content. No, seriously. They say you can take a CRM record from your CRM and translate the rows and columns into rich, visual content, such as a banner or engaging promotional CTA. Pretty cool, that.

Salesforce CMS is also a shared service, meaning you can collaborate across teams who use:

  • Salesforce Platform
  • Service Cloud
  • Community Cloud
  • Customer 360.

And according to Salesforce, soon Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud will be added to that list, too.

It’s hybrid

Your teams can create a variety of content in one central location and then distribute it to any digital touch-point. You can also create content collections, which are like playlists of content that can be added to different experiences.

And this can be any format — blogs, news, events, social, email and more. You can start new projects with a single click, visualise that content in every format before publishing, build custom content, and drag components right into your site as needed.

Your content will also be dynamic — adapting to wherever it appears, meaning there’s no need to recreate content for different touchpoints. You won’t need to worry as the experience, branding and assets will stay just as you intended across each interaction.

Connecting a CMS to the world’s best CRM instantly sounded like a fab idea to me, especially since at oe:gen, we’re always looking out for ways to give better, more personalised digital experiences. Learn more about Salesforce CMS via this link!

So, you just failed a Salesforce Cert? Me too. Here’s what I learned.

tips after failing your salesfore certifications

We’ve been having a bit of a drive here lately at oe:gen, a Salesforce Certification drive! We’ve all been pushing ourselves in the last few months (with a bit of friendly internal competition) to up our cert game and try to gain credentials in all the different areas we specialise! People have been attaining certs left and right, bells are ringing, and cake is being eaten, but what happens when the unfortunate happens and… you… fail.

Take a guess who this happened to…

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That’s right, I can admit it! I’m Alex, a Salesforce Consultant and just last week I failed a Salesforce Certification. But you know what? It happens, and there’s a few things I learned from the experience that I’d like to share with you.

Be proud of yourself

The first thing most of us do when we fail is begin to question our own ability, which sometimes isn’t even related to the test/exam/inflatable obstacle course we just fell off… we internalise these thoughts and start believing that we’re frauds for daring to try and not succeed (see Imposter syndrome). We forget that the pursuit of knowledge and ability is something we should be hugely proud of and failing is just a small bump in the road. So, go you for trying!

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Certs are hard for a reason

Having attained a few certs previously, I wholly began underestimating and underappreciating how much experience is needed to pass these exams. Failing one has given me a new appreciation for them and realisation:

CERTS. ARE. HARD. AS. NAILS.

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It’s easy to forget this simple fact, but look back at the recommended pre-requisites of one the next time you’re thinking of taking a cert. Most of them have a number of Trailhead Trails you should complete beforehand and at least 6 months to 1 years’ experience hands on using the platform. If these exams were easy, then the accomplishment of attaining them would be far less rewarding.

Get back on that horse and start studying

The immediate gut reaction to failing anything is usually the want to give up and throw in the towel. It might be only a small thought, but I personally get this niggle in my head for a couple of hours… but then I try to get myself reinvigorated with the material.

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Firstly, I try to look back on why I failed, and how the Salesforce Cert gives you a percentage based on each section is really helpful here. Looking at where I was strong and where I completely dropped the ball (I’m looking at you Salesforce Engage section!) gives me great guidance on where I need to go do some extra studying and focus my attention. This leads into my last point…

Get that exam rebooked!

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Yeah! You heard me! Use your scores from each section to figure out how far off you were from passing. There’s even a handy calculator someone made here that will work out your overall percentage score if you want to get specific. Then, set yourself a new target date to get the exam booked again. Think about it, you have the knowledge from before, you’re going to study up on the parts you weren’t so great at and you now know a little more about how the questions are structured; you got this!

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