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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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Sales and marketing lessons we can learn from horror movies

I have a few passions in life; one of them is writing helpful articles for sales and marketing folks, and another is horror movies. So, to honour the spookiest day of the year, I’m going to combine (absolutely shoehorn) the two. Let’s see how this turns out…

Read moreSales and marketing lessons we can learn from horror movies

Best Chrome Extensions for Salesforce Admins and Developers

If you’re a frequent Salesforce user, you’ve probably noticed that there are loads of Chrome extensions that can be installed to make your day-to-day life easier. But which are really worth your time?

This blog is going to focus more so on Admins and Developers more than end-users, but I’ll specify if any of these are also good for end-users. So, let’s dive in.

Salesforce Advanced Code Searcher

For Developers

This helps you get your code a few clicks shorter, as well as being able to search any string in your code.

You can also search your code components in your salesforce instances:

  • Apex Classes
  • Apex Triggers
  • Visualforce Pages
  • Visualforce Components

Salesforce Lightning Inspector

For Developers

The Salesforce Lightning Inspector opens up and improves your Lightning Component development, giving you access to a wealth of data about your running applications and components.

ORGanizer for Salesforce

For Admins & Developers

ORGanizer for Salesforce is a tool that allows you to recognise Salesforce tabs on your browser.

Salesforce Coloured Favicons

For Admins & Developers

Similar to ORGanizer for Salesforce, this can allow you to change the Salesforce favicon to different colours to be able to easily identify different salesforce orgs, which can also work for different sandbox instances.

Salesforce DevTools

For Developers

A powerful toolkit for Salesforce Developers, which includes Object references, ERD’s, Apex code generator, Query Editor, with others.

Enhanced Salesforce Dashboard

For Admins & Developers

The main feature of this is it allows you to auto-refresh dashboards of up to 7 columns, which gives you real-time information as Salesforce only allows you to refresh daily, weekly or monthly.

LastPass

For Admins & Developers & Users

LastPass is a great way to store usernames and passwords. We use this at oe:gen and when we are having to log into lots of different orgs and sandboxes throughout the day, this is a great way to quickly populate the login form with the orgs username and password.

Salesforce Change Set Helper

For Admins & Developers

Change-set with sort, view all, and additional information, such as last modified date, which allows comparison with all orgs.

Salesforce Workbench Tools for Google Chrome

For Admins & Developers

This is a Google Chrome extension for logging into Salesforce Workbench from an active Salesforce Session.

Salesforce ID Clipper

For Admins & Developers

This helps you get Salesforce IDs from records and links to your clipboard, which works in Lightning and in Communities.

Salesforce Community Page Optimizer

For Developers

Analyse, debug and improve the performance of your Lightning application. It analyses your lightning base community/apps and identifies performance optimization opportunities.

Cisco Webex

For Admins & Developers & Users

As a Salesforce Admin and Consultant, I have to take a lot of online meetings to confer with clients to scope out what they want and be able to check in with them to make sure what we’re building on Salesforce meets their expectations. The most useful bit about Webex is being able to screen-share — this really helps when we are trying to explain something.

Salesforce Chrome Extensions

For Admins & Developers & Users

This allows you to integrate your Gmail account with Salesforce, so you can access Salesforce records inside Gmail.

Grammarly

For Admins & Developers & Users

Grammarly is a great way to check and correct spelling errors. When I’m writing an email or comment on some form of Kanban board, it’s great to have spelling errors highlighted before I press the send button to stop myself looking silly!

Fuze

For Admins & Developers & Users

Fuze is a VoIP integration with Salesforce that lets you call people straight from a Salesforce record. This doesn’t only work for Salesforce records, but any website with a phone number field on it.

Winter ’20 Release highlights

Salesforce Winter '20

Here are some cool new features from the Salesforce Winter ’20 release that we’re pretty excited for!

1. High-velocity sales

You can now customize your Sales Cadences to reflect different call scenarios with branching for call disposition categories. Whether you speak with your prospect or leave a voicemail, your Cadence moves on to the best next step!

2. Account Teams and Opportunity Contact Role enhancements

You can now customize account teams and opportunity contact roles. Improve collaboration on accounts by adding custom fields, triggers, and business processes that reflect the roles that account team members play in your company.

3. Sales Cloud Einstein has some new Forecasting Enhancements

This helps you predict outcomes more frequently and accurately. Now, you can forecast sales organization performance on a quarterly basis with Einstein Forecasting.

4. Start a flow on a schedule

You can now schedule an auto-launched flow to start on a particular date and time, setting the frequency to once, daily, or weekly. You can also specify and objects and filter if you want to specify certain records. This can be found in scheduled jobs in setup.

5. Enhanced Mobile Security

You can now limit operating system versions, app versions and device and network security through the salesforce app. This will help keep Salesforce app data safe and users’ personal data personal. You can also specify the severity of a violation.

6. Recycling bin in lightning

Most people know that if you want to fish anything out of the recycling bin once you’ve deleted it, you need to be on Classic. Now, after more than 50k points for this idea, you can do this through Lightning.

7. New Salesforce mobile App

Salesforce have launched a brand new mobile app that lets you use the Apps and Lightning Pages that you use on desktop, but on mobile. It’s a game-changer and definitely worth mentioning, as we can now create a customised variation of each page our customers need, just for mobile.

8. Field references

You can now look where a field is being used with the “Where is this used?” button.

9. Add signatures to Email Templates

With the new {{Sender.Signature}} merge field, when creating an email template, you can include a sender’s existing signature. The field is available wherever the merge field picker exists, including in emails, list emails and enhanced letterheads. The signature can be set up in My Email Settings.

10. Lightning Experience

For a while now, users have had the choice of giving their users access to Lightning Experience, but now Salesforce is rolling out Lightning to all orgs. This means your users will have access to Lightning, which is the new interface of Salesforce, and the majority who have already made the switch will tell you it’s so much better.

What are you most excited for from these new release notes? Let us know in the comments below!

Salesforce Women in Tech: Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Salesforce’s UK & Ireland CEO

It might be because it’s October so I’ve started my annual binge-watching of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or it could be because our quarterly Salesforce Women in Tech event is just around the corner. But this week, we’re all about inspiring, awesome women. And that’s why we’re putting a spotlight on Salesforce’s new Chief Executive of UK and Ireland, Jayne-Anne Gadhia.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Founder of the start-up, Snoop, has been chosen to lead Salesforce’s UK and Ireland business, which is the largest market for Salesforce outside of the US!

I did a bit of research on Gadhia, and it turns out she was one of the founders of Virgin Direct in 1995 before spending five years at RBS. She became Chief Executive of Virgin Money in 2007, stepping down in 2018 following its takeover by CYBG. And she’s considered one of the financial services industry’s ‘most senior and best-known women’.

In 2015, the Government asked Gadhia to lead a review into the representation of women in senior managerial roles in financial services. In response to her recommendations in the review, HM Treasury launched the Women in Finance Charter. And now, there are over 330 firms of all shapes and sizes across financial services that are signed up to the commitments of the Charter – from global banks to credit unions, the largest insurance companies to the smallest fintech start-ups – with headquarters in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia.

As you can tell, Gadhia is a huge advocate for gender diversity in business. And in November 2016, she was appointed as the UK Government’s Women in Finance Champion, becoming a founder member of its Business Diversity and Inclusion Group in July 2017.

According to her Wikipedia page, she’s also been open about her experiences of depression and believes that better work-life balance can improve work performance. This is something which we’ve always been passionate about here at oe:gen.

Plus, if you follow her on Twitter, you’ll see how active she is about fighting climate change, advocating for equal pay, and other important causes close to our hearts.

It also mentions that in 2018, Gadhia was named Leader of the Year at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was even awarded a CBE in the 2014 New Year Honours and made a Dame in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list!

Marc Benioff and Keith Block said in a joint statement: “Jayne-Anne is one of the most respected CEOs in the UK and we are thrilled to welcome her to Salesforce. With Jayne-Anne’s leadership, we are well-positioned to move into the next stage of growth and success for Salesforce, our customers, partners and communities.”

We’re always pumped to be a part of the Salesforce community, and seeing an important role model like Jayne-Anne lead the UK and Ireland business has made us even prouder to shout about Salesforce. I wonder if she’ll be up for speaking at our next Salesforce Women in Tech event?

Integrating Creditsafe with Salesforce

Creditsafe is a software that lets you check potential customers and suppliers’ credit in seconds. And as a business, it’s important which prospects to peruse while maintaining a balanced portfolio. By being able to understand the credit risk associated with each customer, you can help shield your business from the risk of prolonged debt.

Thankfully, as you might’ve guessed by the title, Creditsafe integrates with Salesforce, which creates a lethal weapon when it comes to onboarding leads! You can put the Creditsafe Visualforce Page on a Lead Lightning Page and be able to check and store a company’s credit score (I do love a good rhyme).

Creditsafe has around 8000 sources where it gets its data, and these are all updated as frequently as daily, so you will be getting real-time data.

Once Creditsafe is all set up, it’s as simple as the press of a button. As your Account/Lead record will already be created, all you have to do is go to the section where you have set up Creditsafe on the page, then press the ‘Find Company’ button. It will use the information already in the record to search for the company and return related results. Select the correct company, and with the fields you mapped, it will populate fields on the record. So simple.

One of my favourite things about Creditsafe for Salesforce is the field mapping. You can have custom fields as well as all the fields that come with the Creditsafe package, and map them to whatever Creditsafe stores about the company, which helps you gain more information about a lead. This is vital to be able to get a better understanding of a client and choose the right customers for you.

If you’re interested in Creditsafe, this is where it gets a bit more technical as we go into the capabilities of what it can do. Just like a lot of managed packages, you can add it to the Lightning Page or the Page Layout, depending on what your preference is. I prefer it on the Page Layout, so then the Visualforce Page is right next to all the related fields, all in one section. There are a number of fields that come with the package, and here at oe:gen, we use:

  • Creditsafe Rating
  • Creditsafe Limit
  • Last Refreshed
  • Creditsafe Number
  • Company Status
  • Creditsafe Company Type
  • Employees
  • Pre-tax profit
  • Shareholder Funds.

But this isn’t all they offer. There are lots of other fields that can be put onto a record to get a better insight into a customer. Some others include:

  • Registered company address Company telephone number
  • International score
  • SIC code
  • Director details
  • Ultimate holding company
  • Company website
  • Event history.

Creditsafe works on a pay-per-search basis. You purchase the number of searches you want, and that’s what you get until you run out. I believe it’s subscription-based so you can say I want 5000 searches a year, and it renews, but if it runs out, you can buy more.

These are the four things that Creditsafe says are the capabilities of integrating with Salesforce:

  • Append credit scores & limits to company records
  • Automate your credit & lending decisions
  • Enhance customer records and prospect data
  • Monitor important company changes in your customer base.

Creditsafe have an amazing customer support and setting it up inside your Salesforce org is really simple. Here at oe:gen we struggled with the difference between the Canvas App and the Visualforce Page (I would strongly recommend using the Visualforce Page), as the Canvas App can only go across one column, which makes it a bit squished, compared to the Visualforce Page which can go across both columns on a Page Layout.

To sum up, Creditsafe is a credit checking software which can be installed from Salesforces AppExchange and put onto your lead and account records. They also have a free trial on their website with limited capabilities where you can try it out and see if it fits your business! So why not give it a go?

Top 10 things you need to know about integrating LinkedIn with Salesforce

LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps sales reps target the right buyers, understand key insights, and engage with customers with personalised outreach. And best of all, this can be integrated with Salesforce to add that extra level to your data.

The LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be surfaced on the account, contact, and lead objects in Salesforce either through a lightning component that you can add to a lightning page, or a visual force page onto a page layout.

Here are some of the things you need to be aware of when using the LinkedIn Sales Navigator:

  1. Licensing
  2. Is Sales Navigator right for you?
  3. Setting it up
  4. Adding to Page Layouts
  5. Adding to Lightning Record Pages
  6. Sync to salesforce
  7. Usage Reports
  8. Creating Lists
  9. Icebreakers/Introductions
  10. Related Leads

1. Licensing

Licenses for sales navigator is not a one-off purchase, it’s a subscription done per-user. This means you’ll pay monthly or annually for the number of users you have.

There are also different packages you can buy from the website, which have different features and prices. I won’t go into the details of these, but there are three packages, which are quite self-explanatory about who they’re aimed at:

  • Professional
  • Team
  • Enterprise

I suggest ringing LinkedIn up to find out what package is best for you and what the Sales Navigator can do for you specifically, which leads nicely into the next point.

2. Is Sales Navigator right for you?

There are a lot of possibilities when using the Sales Navigator by LinkedIn, but making sure it’s right for you will be key.

I suggest doing a gap analysis, looking at where you are now, then comparing against where you could be with the LinkedIn integration with your Salesforce Org. This will help you see if it’ll benefit your business, looking at all the downsides of it as a contrast.

3. Setting it up

There are a few settings in Salesforce and LinkedIn that you need and some others that you should consider setting up.

If you’re going to be using the Sales Navigator, you need to install it from the AppExchange. It’s called ‘LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Salesforce’, and I suggest installing it for all users, as each user will need to sign into their Sales Navigator account anyway. Only users with this account will be able to view any LinkedIn data that doesn’t sit in Salesforce yet (as it’s still in Sales Navigator).

Field mapping

In Salesforce, there are field mappings that you can set-up. So if there’s any data sitting in LinkedIn that you want to pull across to Salesforce, you can select where the data in Sales Navigator will sit in Salesforce. These can be Standard and Custom fields.

Linking Accounts & SSO (Single Sign-On)

You’ll be prompted to sign in to LinkedIn when you’ve successfully installed the package from the AppExchange. This will include SSO (Single Sign-On), which means when a user signs into Sales Navigator once in their Salesforce, they will stay signed in.

4. Adding to Page Layouts

There are two ways to surface the LinkedIn Sales Navigator so it’s visible on records, and one of those ways is by utilising Page Layouts. If you’re not quite Salesforce savvy yet, these are where you decide what fields, related lists and buttons you see on a record.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator uses a Visualforce Page which can be surfaced on certain object types. For example, on Account, you can add the AccountLinkedInSalesPage, which will bring up Account information in LinkedIn. But say we go to the Lead object – here, we can surface the AccountLinkedInSalesPage as Leads can belong to an Account, but we can also pull in the LeadLinkedInMemberPage which will show Lead information, for the individual who sits in LinkedIn.

You can choose where on the Page Layout to put this, and most clients I’ve worked with who use Page Layouts choose to put it at the bottom of the page, so you don’t have to scroll past a chunky Visualforce Page when trying to view some fields. If you do choose to put it at the top, I suggest using the Highlights Panel so you can view important fields quickly, without having to scroll through them all.

5. Adding to Lightning Pages

This is probably the better option of the two, as it looks a lot tidier and can be put into its own section (tab). When you download the package, it will automatically install two different types of Lightning Components, dependant on the Object you are changing the Lightning Page to. If you go to edit the Lead Object Page Layout and look at the Lightning Components, you’ll see:

  • Sales Navigator: Member Profile
  • Sales Navigator: Company Profile

These can be placed on the page layout to give information about the Lead and the Lead’s Account. The same goes for contacts. But for Accounts, there isn’t the Member Profile Lightning Component, only the Company Profile.

6. Sync to Salesforce

Once you’ve surfaced either the Member Profile or Company Profile, you can start to put LinkedIn data into Salesforce.

For example, say you just created a Lead from a Campaign you did yesterday, and now you want to get a bit more information about this person. All you have is their email and name. But you’re looking to find out what industry they’re in, their job title and their interests.

If you go on the record for this Lead and locate the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Member Profile that we added earlier, you should see a Lead that LinkedIn has matched from their database. You can click on this person to get more information. If it is them, you have the option to press a button labelled ‘Match’, where for any fields you have matched which aren’t filled in (in Salesforce), the Sales Navigator will populate them with data stored in LinkedIn.

7. Usage Reports

Usage reports help you to see how well everybody in your company is doing. Its measurements go off something called SSI (Social Selling Index), which measures how well your team is doing against the four elements of social selling on LinkedIn. These four elements are:

  • Establishing your professional brand
  • Finding the right people
  • Engaging with insights
  • Building relationships.

These are broken down into a pie chart where you can see how well your company is doing each element.

Usage reports aren’t available to see in Salesforce – you need to go into the Sales Navigator to be able to see it. You can do this by doing to https://www.linkedin.com/sales, where there are more capabilities than what sits inside Salesforce.

8. Creating lists

Inside the Sales Navigator, there are lists for members and companies. This is good if you want to categorise Leads/Accounts. For example, if you had different sectors where leads come from, you could have an Automobile list, where you save all the Leads in the Automobile industry. This can also be done for accounts.

9. Icebreakers/Introductions

On a record, you can see Icebreakers and get an introduction inside the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This can be done from Salesforce by going to a record (for example a Lead) and going to the Member Profile of Sales Navigator, then pressing the More tab, and then ‘IceBreakers’. Here, you’ll see some of their interests to make that first message a little more personalised and engaging.

You also have the option to get an introduction. The system will look for any connections that you both share so you can message the shared connection and ask for an introduction to the Lead. This is a really great way to add trust to your message, as you’ll have been referred.

10. Related Leads

There is also an option to find related leads. In a record on the Sales Navigator, you can press more and press the tab ‘Related Leads’. This will show leads that are related to the lead you are currently looking at, they might share interests, work for the same company, be in the same industry, I’m not too sure what this is based off, but it is a good way to find more potential leads.

Is Salesforce right for your nonprofit?

Rallying donors, engaging with your community and hitting your fundraising targets isn’t easy when you’ve got hardly any time, resources or IT budget. And even if you were to install new technologies to help you overcome your everyday challenges, the chances are they won’t be tailored enough to suit your specific organisation’s needs. The struggle is most certainly real for nonprofits doing demanding, important work with limited resources. Could Salesforce be the answer?

Read moreIs Salesforce right for your nonprofit?

The benefits of integrating Salesforce with Sage

Salesforce is obviously a powerful tool for your sales team to manage contacts and orders, but you’re probably using a couple of other systems or applications to manage your business. Perhaps you’re using dedicated ERP system, such as Sage 200 / 300, or an accounting package, such as Sage 50.

The challenge that arises from this scenario is the disconnection between the systems and lack of data sharing. It can deprive Salesforce users of critical information required to drive sales and revenues, and can cause a significant amount of repetitive, bi-directional data entry.

Read moreThe benefits of integrating Salesforce with Sage