I had an enquiry from a client this week; one of their staff members wants to learn more about how to use Salesforce. “Cool, let me come up with some project ideas that can help your business and we can make a start.”
I start to work on some ideas… As this client is doing really amazing stuff with the Salesforce platform, none of which is straight “CRM”, there are many interesting projects to work on. But none of these projects are going to help this staff member “learn Salesforce” because at this stage of their systems journey it becomes more about how does everything work together, with Salesforce at the heart of the business processes, and how we can leverage many apps working together to make their business systems work for them.
So, do I strip out all the cool stuff and devise a program for this staff member to learn just about the Salesforce side of things, or do I push them to become more involved in the whole business systems – I think it has to be the latter. Salesforce does not work in isolation – it only works when it is part of a bigger system. Yet, I don’t think learning about everything is what this staff member thinks he is signing up for. This will be a journey.
The first project is moving to the Service Cloud to get the goodness of the service cloud console, integration with Knowledge, Omni-Channel and Chat services, but we have a whole project to rationalise how and where support cases come in and are dealt with.
We have websites, apps, e-commerce platforms, a Public Knowledge Base, and email. Plus we are expanding to a second language and chat support channels. Each one of those currently has a “Contact Us” function at the moment.
Setting up the new support process requires a lot of process and service design, thinking through each channel… How will people interact with that channel? What sort of support are we offering? Should that channel have a support process that has a higher priority than the other channels? How do we ensure that the support questions are answered in a timely manner by the fewer support staff on the second language? What sort of support questions do we expect? What are our SLA’s? Who is entitled to support? How long should support take? How are we going to track our Support cases to ensure nothing slips through the cracks? What is the language that should be used in answering our support cases?
What templates should we have to make support more streamlined and consistent?, etc etc.
Then we get down to the setup. Apart from learning about Salesforce Service Cloud Console, the Chat functionality, the Knowledge integration, Support Processes, Queues, the Macros, the Quick Text and Case Feeds, there is:
- Website Web to Case forms – setting up the web forms and some level of integration to Salesforce.
- Simple Web to Lead does not allow for file uploads for example, so this integration will need to use the API. So do we use Gravity Forms or Ninja Forms on the website, or use Form Assembly.
- If a person asks for support from the App, we already know who they are, so can we pre-fill the forms in Form Assembly so they don’t have to fill in their info again.
- And moving to the Premier version of Form Assembly to do pre-fills then opens up lots of other avenues with other forms, including e-signatures and payment integration.
- Plus when we are opening up our data from Salesforce by querying data to simply pre-fill a form, we have to then think about major security implications – which account is accessing Salesforce, what data is visible through the API, ensuring that someone else’s data can not be exposed accidentally. Thankfully Form Assembly has some great tutorials around securing data through the forms. But even just using the API for form submissions, we need to know about Profiles, API access, and general cloud security concepts.
A simple request to learn Salesforce and help out with a small project has turned into a journey through the world of multiple apps, security considerations, development topics, website setup, service design, and process design. Plus we then have to ensure it is all documented and staff are trained.
My next project for this client is the Marketing and Lead handling process which will delve into not only the web forms but then Mailchimp, the Mailchimp to Salesforce connector, Salesforce Campaigns, Salesforce Leads, Lead conversion and Opportunities, Mailchimp campaign tracking, website tracking, Google Analytics – the list goes on.
The next project after that is the E-Commerce setup which involves almost all of the above plus Websites, Shopping Cart systems, Payment Gateways, Merchant Facilities, Stripe, Paypal, Form Assembly payment integrations, Visualforce Emails, Chatter, Process Builder, Visual Flows, custom Apex REST APIs, External Data Objects and integrations with legacy business systems… before we think about the whole accounting process, Xero Integration and how it flows onto the rest of the business.
Now to put this to my client, and see if they run away in fear or they are ready to delve into the whole world of how their business systems works – because you can not separate out Salesforce from the rest of the business. Salesforce is the platform at the core of the business systems.
So, what about you? Are you ready for your journey into learning about how Salesforce works? Want to be a solution designer, consultant, developer, web developer, service designer, trainer, counsellor and master of office politics? Yes? Great, because I need some help, so please get in touch so we can start this journey together.