How do you ask Salesforce users for feedback? The topic came up during the most recent #AdminHour, when I mentioned asking for user input could actually be quick and painless. The response: but how?
I also have a few new tech tips to help you conduct your surveys:
So, by popular demand, I'm reprinting this blog post from 2015:
If you’re a busy nonprofit Salesforce administrator, developer, or consultant like me, you may be more comfortable creating new fields and planning what Dreamforce sessions to attend instead of consistently and thoroughly prioritizing user feedback.
But listening to users is at the heart of what we do.
Salesforce is easy to customize to meet the needs of our organizations. In order to do that, we need to know the needs of our colleagues, and actively measure whether we are meeting those needs.
A five question survey that takes less than five minutes to fill out, that you send out about every five months, will give you a great baseline of ‘customer satisfaction’ and allow you to track trends over time.
Here’s my proposal for questions (all are on a 1 to 5 scale, with a 1 being ‘not at all’, 3 being Neutral, and 5 being ‘definitely’):
1. Salesforce makes my job easier.
2. I understand how to use Salesforce to do my job.
3. I log in to Salesforce X times per work week on average to do my job (including accessing contacts). Note: In this case, the 1 to 5 scale is used to indicate how many days per work week the user logs in to Salesforce.
4. I have access to the reports, dashboards, and other data I need in Salesforce to make decisions for my job (or I know how to build my own custom reports).
5. My team uses Salesforce to inform our work and decisions.
BONUS: I know how to access support resources when I have Salesforce questions.
These questions can be asked in a Google Form or your preferred survey format. I have had the most success keeping surveys open for about two weeks (making the deadline clear in all communications) and sending several email reminders to encourage completion.
How do you solicit feedback from staff? How often do you ask for structured or unstructured input? What questions work best for you? Inquiring minds want to know!
First presented as a Lightning Talk (five minutes) at the Bay Area Developers User Group, I hope these resources, tips, technology solutions, and advice will help you prevent and manage any chronic pain you face, particularly RSI (repetitive strain injury) that may be brought upon or increased by computer work, which I have worked with for over 15 years. I welcome your feedback and questions!
Dear Friends who Salesforce,
It's with a heavy heart that I tell you that I'm not going to continue with all 31 days of Lightning Boot Camp with Longshore Consulting... for now (and possibly not ever).
1. Free (and paid) content on migrating from Classic to Lightning doesn't seem to be resonating with people right now.
Why might this be the case?
- Migrating to Lightning from Classic is a big project on top of everything else an admin needs to do. As I really started to grasp watching Francis Pindar's video (see below) featuring Mike Rosenbaum, Salesforce Executive Vice President, Salesforce wants moving to Lightning to be, "an opportunity for people to re-think their organizations and the[ir] configurations..." Mike suggests looking at older extra fields, outdated business processes, and the like to be sure they are aligned with current business strategy. I couldn't agree more!
But here's the challenge: Not all organizations are ready and have the capacity to improve their business processes right now. It's particularly tough for, say, a solo admin to make the case to improve business processes if they're already behind on learning process builder or launching a new Community.
- Lightning can be frustrating for speed and feature reasons. By now many of you have heard about the speed challenges with Lightning (vote it up on the IdeaExchange now) and the usability issues (thank you Brent Downey for this post). Even when there is feature parity, not every aspect of a feature is available yet, which leads to the timing question of when it's right for most people to migrate to Lightning so that it will be less frustrating for users and admins. I have found this article on gaps between Classic and Lightning to be particularly helpful.
Here's an example: related lists. They're not all available yet in Lightning. As the documentation article states, "Related lists for objects that aren’t supported in Lightning Experience don’t appear anywhere in the interface, even if they’re included on an object’s page layout." Salesforce explains that until this feature is available in Lightning, users can easily switch back to Classic with the click of a button.
The challenge: an admin needs to figure out before users get too frustrated whether a feature is:
A. Not coming in Lightning
B. Coming in Lightning (and if so when and will there be any noticeable changes)
C. Already available in Lightning (but looks or functions slightly differently so therefore the admin needs to figure this out and give users a heads up or be prepared to answer support questions)
Figuring this out is not impossible thanks to Trailhead and Salesforce's awesome documentation team, it just takes time and effort, which results in the question of when to move to Lightning not even being on the table for many Salesforce leaders.
- Change is scary and hard. Did you know there's an actual formula for change? It's true. With Lightning Boot Camp, I wanted to offer the F in Dannemiller's equation (C = D * V * F > R) , which is First, concrete steps that can be taken towards the vision. However, there are issues with multiple variables in the equation (including F as I'll explain below). One of the most challenging in regards to the move to Lightning is Dissatisfaction with how things are now. In other words, Salesforce Classic is great and it meets the needs of many (most?) Salesforce customers (especially nonprofits)!
So what needs to happen so that organizations can overcome the Resistance and successfully implement Change in the form of Lightning? I'm not completely sure, but I can tell you that according to math and Kathleen Dannemiller, Dissatisfaction will need to be greater than zero.
2. I need to eat. A 31 day course would take many dozens of hours to put together, and with a significant lack of signups I’m not able to justify turning down client work to finish the boot camp. Shutting down the boot camp is also the result of staying true to the lean entrepreneurship philosophy I think is pretty cool, and will allow me to try more innovative things in the Salesforce space without forcing me to starve. This is my first real glimpse into the hard part of having a minimum viable product, however, and it's not as fun as the articles and conferences make it seem. After all, I do what I do to make social change, to contribute to the Salesforce community in a new way, and to make your life as a Salesforce leader easier.
3. I can and will do better. I realized on May 3rd that I was not meeting my own quality content standards for Lightning Boot Camp. When I put an experience out to the Salesforce community, I want that experience to go above and beyond your expectations. If Lightning Boot Camp comes back in some form, it will still be a step by step action plan to support you in moving to Lightning from Classic, but it will have easier to consume original content to move you towards that goal (feedback on what would help most is welcome!).
So... what does shutting down Lightning Boot Camp mean?
I'm still trying to figure that all out. I'm a finisher, dang it (thanks Kristi Guzman and the Two WIT Podcast for that New Year's Resolution)! I also love teaching and coaching beginner to intermediate Salesforce administrators and leaders how to better use Salesforce.
I also still believe that there has got to be a way that I can help social change organizations and admins at companies who want to learn (see #2 above) while meeting the following goals:
Your willingness to be patient and try new things in the Salesforce space with me as we all learn and grow together means the world to me.
What do you think?
Is it too soon to move to Lightning?
When will the pain of Classic become enough to warrant the switching cost of moving to Lightning?
What's the best way for a Salesforce leader to get support in moving to Lightning?
I really want to hear from you! Let me know in the comments, on twitter @missylongshore, in the Success Community, or in the Power of Us Hub.
Also, don’t worry! #AdminHour, the blog, and products will continue. In the spirit of full disclosure, my plan is to offer a paid product every month this year, to see what works. So far, the planner was great but no one bought it, the coaching crew was successful (go team!), and Boot Camp was a sort-of fail. Your feedback and comments, including on the 2017 Nonprofits who Salesforce Survey, will all help myself and many others who write blogs, create podcasts, and design events for the Salesforce community better understand how we can best serve you! May the force.com be with you!
So you know you need to move to Salesforce Lightning but you are having a hard time getting off your butt and finding the time. Welcome to my world. Before Longshore Consulting's Lightning Boot Camp starts May 1st (be sure to click the subscribe button on the right to stay tuned for the latest details!), Trailhead is the best way to get started learning Lightning.
Still not super motivated? I hear you. Don't worry, #AdminHour has your back! Join super special awesome guest trailblazer Rita Leverett and I on Thursday, April 20, 2017 *live* at 10am PT/1pm ET for #AdminHour: Lightning Trailhead-athon! Together we'll earn a Lightning Trailhead badge, in real time, encouraging and answering each other's questions as we move down the trail together! It will be fun, free, and interactive - join us!
Feeling motivated and want instant gratification that only points and badges can provide? Fantastic! Let's take a tour of what Trailhead has to offer in the Lightning department. When we first arrive at Trailhead, I like to find and filter modules and trails based on Lightning Experience, which you can do just like this:
For today and for #AdminHour, let's focus on the App Customization module. Why is this Trailhead module so awesome? Because it essentially teaches you how to customize the Salesforce Lightning Experience in about an hour. Let's dig in some more...
Trailhead's App Customization module has five sections. The first is Modify Page Layouts, which is great because for those of us coming from Classic, it's almost exactly the same as what we're used to! So this should take less than the allotted 15 minutes, but the screen shots in Lightning are great for orienting you to where basic items like the edit button and related lists are hiding.
Second we get to Customize Compact Layouts, which is the new for Lightning highlights panel at the top of record pages and is SUPER IMPORTANT because without doing this in your instance you will need to click a lot more (and as of this writing, wait longer), which is bad.
Now we get some action with Customize Actions which are amazing productivity boosters, which is great since everyone will lose some time getting used to where everything is in Lightning when you first make the migration over from Classic. So why not ask your users what they want and deliver? Now I'm not sure if you should make a global action to deliver each user a pizza when they click 'Order Pizza,' but I'll leave that up to you.
The fourth module starts to get a bit funky, but hang on, we can do this! Create Custom Objects and Fields is mostly what you know how to do if you know how to create these things in Classic. Great news, right? Yes and no. On this trail, we're going to take our skills up a notch by creating a custom Visualforce help page for your custom object! I know, I know, it sounds really scary. But thanks to Team Trailhead, it's not! There's code you can cut and paste and update for your use case. Surely a raise can't be far behind if you do this, right???
Finally, we conclude our short badge trek with Create and Customize Lightning Apps. This is handy because switching apps looks different in Lightning, and there are a few standard apps that you will probably want to customize or edit right away before you go live with Lightning. Also if you change the name of your standard app from 'Sales' to 'Our Company's Stuff' it might be more clear to people where to go if they accidentally change apps and need to get back to their standard grouping of objects.
So that's it! What's your favorite Lightning Trailhead Badge? Let me know and it could be the star of a future #AdminHour!
Woah! There's so much happening with Lightning Experience for Salesforce it can be hard to keep up! Don't worry, I'm hear to consume everything because a) I'm a major dork, and b) I make it my job to curate the best of the best just for you to save you time! Here are my top picks (in addition to everything in my first blog post, "Lightning Experience Resources for Nonprofits," of course!):
Have you heard about the #LightningNow tour taking place across the country right now? Well, if not, it's a series of free two-day workshops Salesforce is sponsoring in dozens of cities around the world to get organizations ready to move to Lightning. Not sure if it's coming to you? Check out the list. Can't make it, it's already full, or you can't attend for the full time? Well GUESS WHAT?
All of the latest content and hands-on workshop materials from the ⚡️ Lightning Now Tour is available in the Success Community! Check out these handy tools and maybe form a study group in your org to see what it will really take to move you over to Lightning. Here are the links:
Lightning Overview Deck > https://success.salesforce.com/0693A0000061PNo
Lightning Customization Deck > https://success.salesforce.com/0693A0000061PNy
Lightning Implementation Deck > https://success.salesforce.com/0693A0000061PNt
Lightning Now Hands-on Workshop > https://developerforce.github.io/LightningNowWorkshop/
Want more? Of course you do! Join special co-host Rita Leverett and I for #AdminHour on April 20, 2017 at 10am PT/1pm ET for a Lightning Trailhead-athon! That's right, you can virtually join us to boost your lightning skills while earning points and badges with friends!
Still want more? Stay tuned for Longshore Consulting's Lightning Boot Camp, coming in May!
Let's talk about what every nonprofit wants: free tech support! In this video, I'll walk you through the benefits of joining and being active in the Power of Us Hub. If you're not logging in on a regular basis to take advantage of the ability to get your questions answered, you're missing out! Watch the video and check out these links that I mention in the video:
Are you hesitant about moving to the Salesforce Lightning Experience? Me too. I've been using the current Salesforce user interface (UI) for years, and the nonprofit clients I work with here at Longshore Consulting just need a functional, affordable CRM. A lot of the bells and whistles offered by Salesforce Lightning seem great but two questions remain:
1. When will I have the time to make the switch to Lightning?
2. How do I do my job in Lightning?
In other words, I know I need to make the switch to Lightning, and I don't want to fall behind, but my main goal is social change (and fundraising, programs management, civic engagement, etc.), not running the world's greatest database (although of course I love Salesforce). Sound familiar?
To help your journey to Lightning (which, it's true, will basically be inevitable at some point*), I've curated these resources to help you out - please feel free to contribute more in the comments so I can update this post!
*While technically Salesforce will not retire Salesforce Classic (sometimes referred to as the Aloha UI), all webinars and demos you see from Salesforce, for example at Dreamforce, and all documentation, are quickly being moved to Lightning. Even more important is that no new features are being developed for Salesforce Classic (or at least, the bare minimum of features/improvements are being made to classic). Salesforce wants to do as much as possible to entice everyone to make the switch to Lightning.
1. Review this handy list of Lightning vs. Classic Features. It will super quickly allow you to see what's available and what's not in some areas you may have heard conflicting information about, like reports (and of course keep in mind more functionality is added each release). So as you can see, if you're ride or die with pie charts, you may need to wait or just plan on switching into classic to use those (but P.S. you shouldn't be using pie charts anyways - read 'death to pie charts'). While you're on this page, be sure to Preview Your Org in Lightning Experience and run the Lightning Experience Readiness Check - two great tools that take no time at all!
TIME REQUIRED: 5-10 minutes to review the list, 30 minutes to preview your org, 1 minute to run the readiness check (then 5-30 minutes to review the report).
2. The Lightning Roadmap: That's right, Salesforce has actually posted on the Internet when they're doing what with Lightning, so you can know when you really need to make the switch and can plan accordingly. A few that stand out to me as coming in the 'future', meaning beyond Summer '17, that may be important to nonprofits, include:
- Lists - Mass Inline Edit
- Reports - Search within Folders
- Reports - Printable View
- Dashboards - Scheduling
Just remember, you can always switch back to Classic at anytime to access these features!
TIME REQUIRED: ~10 minutes to review the roadmap
3. Understand what changes you would need to make for the NPSP to work. AKA 'known limitations,' some things will function differently in Lightning if you use the Nonprofit Success Pack and it's important you review the link to see what changes you might need to make so you can continue to be awesome (and do things like create Donation records as easily as possible).
TIME REQUIRED: ~15 minutes to review the list; ~2 hours to make the changes depending on your skill level (instructions are provided).
4. Trailhead Don't get overwhelmed that this trail has 7 badges. You can pick and choose individual units as you need them and remember to use Trailhead to train your end users, too!
TIME REQUIRED: I recommend ~15 minutes a day in the two weeks before you go live with Lightning.
TIME SAVED: All the hours you would have spent writing training materials to train your staff on Lightning!
5. Lightning Resource Inception: There's a lot to learn about Lightning, so it's a good idea to benchmark this post and other resources that you find most helpful. Here are some fantastic resources you'll want to come back to again and again:
- The Salesforce.org Webinar: Migrate to the Lightning Experience
- Healthy Org: Migrate to Lightning Experience
Of course, I most want to know what *you* think of Lightning and all of Salesforce. Longshore Consulting's second annual Nonprofits who Salesforce survey is happening right now, and if you take five minutes to fill it out you will be entered to win over $600 in prizes! Thanks!
You are awesome. You like fun things. Perhaps even Salesforce things. And I like making Salesforce things for you. But I can't make awesome Salesforce things for you if we don't get to know each other better. So...
I'd like to introduce you to the Longshore Consulting second annual Nonprofits who Salesforce Survey. It takes 5 minutes to fill out, and I'll hugely appreciate you if you do! Still not convinced? Here's 5 reasons why you should spend the next 5 minutes sharing your knowledge with the community:
1. Visiblity = Power. Your feedback will allow the Salesforce nonprofit community to understand on a large scale what is working well and what could be improved.
2. It will help you. When you check out the results, you'll know how other nonprofits are thinking and feeling about Salesforce. It'll be like you'll be able to read minds!
3. You can win stuff. Seriously. To thank you for your 5 minutes, you can optionally enter to win one of 19 prizes (!) valued at a total of $600 (!!!). Check out all of the prizes here.
4. You'll get more awesome free stuff! When Longshore Consulting offers free training, affordable coaching options, blog posts, and additional resources to the nonprofit Salesforce community, the number one resource I use to determine what topics I should cover is the Nonprofits who Salesforce Survey.
5. Did I mention I would appreciate you? For real for real. Want to take your awesomeness to the next level? Click here to tweet a message to your friends to invite them to take the survey too!
Happy Birthday Salesforce! As Salesforce turns 18 today, it's important to remember that as any adolescent emerges into adulthood, there will be growing pains. And so that's what we're seeing with Salesforce a bit, as the company-wide keynote events need to serve larger and larger audiences... a few of us are bound to get left out. What am I talking about? On March 7, 2017, Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, and other Salesforce executives held a fiscal year 2018 kickoff event that showed the power of Salesforce to 3 million viewers from Salesforce offices and user groups around the world. Here's a full recap and link to the video.
It was inspirational and fun as always, but the two companies featured, Coca-Cola and Amazon Web Services, might be harder for nonprofits and small businesses to relate to. That left me wondering: how much of what is generally available with Salesforce Einstein is now applicable to nonprofits?
My answer: not a lot, if anything.
There's an extra cost for a lot of the (i.e., most exciting) new Einstein features, including:
Most of the features are designed for Sales.
What is ready for nonprofits that takes advantage of Einstein AI?
Special thanks for Adam Olshansky's excellent Spring 16 recap blog article for helping me to understand all there is to know on this topic! Would you like to learn more? Adam and I did a great overview of the Spring '17 Salesforce release and Salesforce Lightning which you can watch right now here:
One of the most popular blog posts in the Longshore Consulting blog archives is this article, "5 Tips on How to Use Salesforce Sandboxes for Nonprofits" (re-posted below). While it's still a great article, a few things have changed since I first wrote it two years ago, so I thought I'd republish it here to make it easier to find on this site and to offer some new tips and resources.
Here are four additional big improvements and tips to help you use sandboxes with ease:
1. Nonprofits now get a free Partial Sandbox! This is an amazing way to include some data in your sandbox so you don't have to type a bunch of test records. Not sure how to do this? Check out this #AdminHour, starting at 23 minutes in, where I walk you through how to set one up (there's also a ton of great tips about how to test whether your nonprofit is ready to switch to Lightning in that webinar recording, by the way).
2. You can now learn more about Sandboxes with Trailhead! Get tons more Sandbox details and earn some awesome points, and be sure to check out the extensive list of resources to learn more, on this unit of the Application Lifecycle Management trail.
3. There's now an Apex class screen that comes up when you're creating a sandbox that's a little confusing: just ignore it and click 'Create.'
4. Sandbox access: if you have a user who can't access the sandbox, you'll typically need to go in and: a. change their email to their actual email address, b. have the user click through on the email getting them to verify the change to their email address (and on the subsequent screen have them log in with their sandbox username, i.e. being sure to append '.sandboxname' to their email address), c. confirm with the user they're now able to log in to the sandbox, and if not send them a password reset (from within the sandbox setup screen), and d. tell the user to set their sandbox password to the same as their production password for ease of use. Ideally, before generating the sandbox, you should make sure all users are created in production to have as few issues as possible with sandbox logins. Also be sure to have people login to the sandbox the day *before* your staff training so you don't have to spend precious group time troubleshooting login issues.
Good luck on your sandbox journey! For ongoing tips and Salesforce support in an interactive format, be sure to sign up for #AdminHour, which is free the first and third Thursday of every month at 10am PT/1pm ET. Hope to see you there!
5 Tips on How to Use Salesforce Sandboxes for Nonprofits
Salesforce Sandboxes are super fun and helpful places to test out changes to your Salesforce system before you put those changes in place in your live production environment. But when and why should you use them? What do you do with them if they’re blank? When should you refresh your sandboxes? Here are five tips to help you use them without fear: 1. Don’t be afraid – they’re meant to be played in! Just click: Setup –> type ‘Sandboxes’ in the Quick Find –> click ‘Sandboxes’ –> click ‘New Sandbox.’ You’ll likely have Developer and Developer Pro sandboxes available (assuming you’re a nonprofit). Type in an easy name to append to your Salesforce user name, like ‘test.’ Remember when you log in to go to https://test.salesforce.com/. To log in, use: firstname.lastname@example.org and your regular password. 2. Discuss before refreshing. When you refresh a sandbox, you push a new copy of your production environment’s metadata into the sandbox, completely writing over everything that’s in the sandbox already. In English, that means if you added a new field in your Salesforce instance called ‘My New Field’, then refreshed the sandbox, you would now see that field in the sandbox (but not the records or values you had entered into that field). If you have more than one Salesforce administrator at your organization (like most nonprofits), be sure to communicate clearly before you refresh the sandbox. Otherwise, if you refresh it without asking, you could erase the workflow rules, applications, or code another team member is testing out in the sandbox. 3. Use one sandbox as a documentation resource – after all, nonprofits get 7 free sandboxes! Just be clear in the sandbox description field. For example, one sandbox could be named ‘backup’ and the Description could read, ‘Backup of our organization’s Salesforce instance as of February 2015, before we upgraded to the Nonprofit Starter Pack v 3.0, in case we want to refer to any of the configuration before upgrade.’ Note it’s a good idea to log in to your backup sandbox at least once to check all your metadata (configuration) is there before you perform any major changes in production. 4. Know what can and can’t be moved into production. Apps from the app exchange, for example, can’t be moved, but it’s still a really great idea to test them in the Sandbox to see if they’re a good choice for your organization. The full list of what can be moved using a change set can be found here. 5. Quickly create test data if your sandbox is empty. Unless you pay for a partial or full sandbox, your sandbox will not have any records, so be sure to quickly enter a few test records when you login for the first time after creating or refreshing your sandbox. Remember to start with Organizations, then add a Contact, and then add a record to the new custom object you just created if needed (e.g. lookup relationships). This part can be frustrating because each time you refresh the sandbox you’ll need to start over and create these test records again. To make it easier, I keep a few test names on hand (think ‘Kermit de Frog’ and ‘Test Testerson’) and only fill in the required fields. Have any other tips or suggestions? Leave them in the comments!
Missy (@missylongshore on Twitter and Periscope) writes this blog just for you!