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Salesforce.com – Global Search on Lookups (Tips 1-3)

By CRM, Salesforce CRM 6 Comments

Normally I’ll do 3 tips a month, but this one is a big one so I’m combining all into one big tip actually.  I don’t want to break up the tip into 3, we’ll just spend time here going through the steps.

So here’s the issue; You are a big user of Salesforce’s parent account field but you’re not able to search it at all.  For instance, if I had a parent company “ABC Company” and I wanted to have all the child accounts come up in the global search when I search for “ABC”, I have an issue as lookup fields are not available for global search.  Beautiful tool, but no access to the lookups like the parent account field (incidentally, what we do below would work for any lookup field).  So what we’ll do is create a searchable field, use the process builder to populate that field, then use another process to manually update that field.

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Salesforce.com – working with custom user fields

By CRM, Salesforce CRM

I’m a huge fan of “My” style views.  However, what do you do if you have multiple user fields on a form.  Maybe a “outside rep, inside rep, engineer” type of situation?  Had a similar case with a client where we had multiple users on an opportunity.  Not just the owner, but OTHER users which we wanted to see these opportunities when on the “My Opportunities” type of view.  So, we created a formula checkbox which turns true when the user is listed in any one of the fields.  Here’s the code for the formula:

    IF(   Owner.Id   = $User.Id ||
     Salesrep__r.Id  = $User.Id ||
     Salesrep_Add_l__r.Id = $User.Id ||
     Sales_Rep_Additional_2__r.Id = $User.Id ||
     Engineer__r.Id = $User.Id ||
     $UserRole.Name = "Sales Manager"
    , TRUE, FALSE)

It’s long IF/THEN formula, but it’s basically evaluating if the current user is in the rep1, rep additional, the rep2 additional field, or engineer field.  I won’t go into how you make the formula field as that’s pretty straight forward.

Once you’ve got this, just change the “My Opportunities” view to be “All opportunities” but where the field is TRUE (in the image below, we just changed the “opportunities” module to “projects”, hence the difference).

Salesforce.com – Adding a Calendar or Activity Tab to the App

By CRM, Salesforce CRM

Got a client that didn’t like the existing calendars and activity lists on the home page.  So, what we did was add in a custom tab (at the top) that actually just loads the calendar page by itself.  It’s pretty easy to do actually – here’s how (we’re doing the “activities list” as the example here).

This one gets a bit above me, but we have to start with a visual force page.  Go to the setup area, search on “visual force” and choose “Visual force pages”.

Then click “New” at the top to create a new one.  Give it a label, a name, etc.  The markup is the kicker and that’s where we need to put this in here:

    <apex:page action="/00U/c">
    Please wait...
    </apex:page>

For calendar, use the code above, for activities, use this:

    <apex:page action="/007">
    Please wait...
    </apex:page>

Save it and we’re about half way there.  Now we need to find “tabs” under “create” in the setup tree.

Scroll to the “visualforce tabs” section near the bottom of the screen.  Click New.

Choose your page (the activity or calendar page), give it a name, etc.

Choose the visability rules on the next page couple of pages and you’re all set.

Salesforce.com – working with rollup fields

By CRM, Salesforce CRM

There are so many times where you need to do a count of child records to provide the sum total or count of those items at the parent record level.  For instance, maybe you want to do a sum total of all opportunities at a particular stage.  Here’s what it important – you can count or add up items based on a criteria or you can have the field count all records.  What it does NOT do is count things based on a date based formula, like “count of opportunities closing this month” for instance.  I’ve struggled a lot with these types of things but there’s a solution – see the end of this tip.

Here’s how to make one:

Go to setup as usual, go to your object and make a new field like normal.  However, in this case you’re going to choose a “roll up summary” and click Next.

Give it a label and name like normal and of course the optional description and click next.

On the next screen, you have to choose which item you want to have as the “summarized” object.  There are some obvious limitations, for instance I can only choose opportunities on the account object.  Where are contacts, custom objects, etc.?  Tell me about it…  (again, more on this later).

In the image above, not only did I choose the revenue to sum up, but I also chose which opportunities we want to sum up (you could do “won opportunities” for instance or multiple stages.

Click Next, address who sees it and what forms, like normal, etc.  That’s about all that is to it.  However, there are some MAJOR limitations like I said.  You’re only allowed 10 per object, you can’t do dates, formulas are hard, and only master-detail objects can be “rolled up” to other objects.  In my case, I do a “number of marketing contacts” on each account (I need to have AT LEAST one for my email blasts to work).  I always make sure that my customers have at least one, which I use a roll up to calculate.

So, there’s a great product called “Roll Up Helper” on the App Exchange.  I swear by it in that there’s a free version which is limited but can really solve most needs, then a pay version which really turns up the gas.  Check it out if you’re not finding what you need with the existing Saleforce.com roll up summary fields.

Salesforce.com – Working with the Stay in Touch Email

By CRM, Salesforce CRM

One of the rarely used features of Salesforce is the stay in touch email, which can be controlled by each user so that it’s a bit more personal (the email template) and they can choose who to send it to.  Essentially you need a filter of records, an email template, and then Salesforce does the rest where it provides a link to the user to update their info (which in turn comes back to me, easily updated into Salesforce.com).

To start, go to the contacts are (the recently viewed page), and at the bottom find the link to the “Mass Stay in Touch” tool.

Here, like the email blast tool, you choose your view or filter of the records you want to touch.  For instance, it might be contacts that haven’t been touched or contacted in a year, 6 months, etc.  You can do that with the last history field of course….  Here I am creating a view called “Test only view” where the contact is a test contact and my son.  No need to test this and blast out to too many folks.

Click Next.  On this page you have your settings and you can choose whether or not to store the activity, if you want to be copied, and review the email.  To change the email, you have to do this for each user in the personal email settings (assuming they have the ability to mass email).

Only thing to do here is to click Send, to which the recipient will receive the email and the link.  It will look like so:

One on the email, when they click the link, they are brought to a Salesforce.com page that will link and update records in your instance.  They also have the option as you can see to say “No Changes”.

I then will receive and email like this, asking me to review and update my data.  Click “Update Now” and I’m all set.

Salesforce.com – Working with formula fields

By CRM, Salesforce CRM

I will get requests all the time to add fields to child objects (i.e., contacts) that belong on the parent account, but because we want to see it at the child record they want it there too.  For instance, you have account type (Customer, Prospect, Competitor) and when looking at a contact you want to see that account type at the person level, giving you the quick snapshot instead of navigating to the contact’s parent account.

I think you can do this (haven’t tried) in the process builder where you would add a field on the contact levels, then create a process to update the contact when changing the account’s type field.  You would also have to create a process to update the parent account’s type as well if changed on the contact (which would fire the first process to update all the contacts).  Confused yet?  I think you may even need a trigger.

So let’s go simpler shall we?  What I ALWAYS do is just try to teach my users that certain data belongs here and certain data belongs there.  For instance, customer type or account type is not something that belongs at the contact level.  It may be nice to see at each contact, but it belongs at the account level since it’s company data.  To DISPLAY the data at the contact, you can use a formula field – very easy to do.

To start, find your object or just search for it in the setup area (click Setup, then start searching – again, don’t hit enter as I always warn, just type).

Once I see what I need, I go to “Fields”, which I’m going to then scroll down and create a new field called “Account Type”.  When in the type of new field area, just choose “formula”.  Click next.

On the next screen, give it a name (label), the API name and choose the type of data that will be displayed.  When in doubt, choose text.

In this case I’ll just build the formula quickly, but I use the formula builder to insert the right field.  When you find it, click “Insert” to see the value.

In this case, because it’s a picklist I get an error when I save it.  So, I have to add the “text” formula function to just grab the value.  Now it looks like this:

Click next to add to the correct layout (and edit who can see it) and you’re all set.  Go ahead and move the field to where you want it on the contact record.

Your users can all now see the right account type at the contact level, however, to change it or modify they still have to navigate to the account record – again, the place where it belongs.

Salesforce.com – How to Define Custom Fields and Objects in Salesforce Lightning

By CRM, Salesforce CRM

If in the lightning experience, customizing Salesforce is a bit different but all the object changes are still there.  To get there, click on set-up home -> Explore Objects

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On the top right corner, you will find a link to create objects and workflows.

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If you want to change some things in existing objects, just click the links to the object on this screen as well.  Here you have the ability to work on all details of that object from a single page.

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If you would like to search the setup area (as I always do), use the search box in the upper left.  This is a very useful piece to jump quickly to what you need (such as “users” shown here).

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Written by Prabha Krishnamurthy and Corey Babka

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