Tag Archives: Salesforce Implementation

Working with Salesforce Account Teams

In Salesforce, Account team is a group/team of users working together on an account, making tracking of collaboration on account easier. Suppose there is a team of people working on an Application say ‘ProjectBuilder’. This team contains developers, team lead, project manager, delivery manager, Sales Manager, Executive Sponsor. Now each of the team member has a role to play. Developer is responsible for developing the application, team lead is responsible for managing the developer, project manager is responsible for planning and monitoring of the project., and the delivery manager is responsible for the timely and accurate delivery of the application, sales manager is responsible to reach the established sales target and executive sponsor is responsible to project aligned with organization’s strategy. Now the account is ProjectBuilder and developer, team lead, project manager, delivery manager. Sales Manager and Executive Sponsor are the users. To track the progress of the team of users both the internal and the partner user, Account Team concept is used.

Use of Account Team

Using Account team, we can grant access to account and their related contacts, cases and opportunities. Account team is good to use in private sharing model where users cannot see/edit other accounts. We can include any set of roles in account team and can assign a user to every role who will then be part of the account team and will be responsible for the account. We can use a member of the Account Team to:

  • Identify responsible people on an account and contact them.
  • Assign role-specific tasks on the account.
  • Using account role, send campaigns on an account team member’s behalf

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Posted in Agile, salesforce administrator, salesforce consultant, Salesforce Implementation, Salesforce.com, Team Collaboration. Tagged with , , , , , .

Data Skew in Salesforce

Data is getting generated at an explosive pace nowadays and we are running out of storage solutions in order to manage that data. Researches by multiple magazines and portals suggest that 90 percent of the total data in the world was created in the last two years only. This pace continues to increase day by day and we are slowly approaching a state where we would not be able to deal with this data. Salesforce is no exception in this case where organization instances are having large amount of records related to the business process needs. When this plethora of data is not managed properly, we slowly approach a state which is termed as Data Skew.

What is Data Skew?

Data Skew generally refers to a condition where data is distributed unevenly in a large data set. In Salesforce, data skew occurs when more than 10000 child object records are related to a single parent object record, or more than 10000 records of any object are owned by a single Salesforce user. This skewness leads to major performance hits and long running processes which are something that one should avoid.

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Types of Data Skew in Salesforce

Three types of data skew exist in Salesforce which are as follows:

  1. Account Skew
  2. Ownership Skew
  3. Lookup Skew

 

1. Account Skew

This type of Salesforce data skew comes into existence when you have large number of child records present under a single account record. This is a very common scenario as it is quite tempting to place all your unwanted or unassigned records under an account named ‘Miscellaneous’ or ‘Unassigned’. As easy and correct as it may look, it can cause major issues such as record locking and sharing performances. This is mainly because certain standard objects like Opportunity and Account, have special data relationships which maintain record access under private sharing models. The problems that you will face in a state of Account skew are:

  • Record Locking: When we are performing an update operation on large number of child records in separate threads, the system locks the child being updated as well as the parent record in order to maintain database integrity for each update. Hence, the parent record might be locked by one thread while some other thread is trying to update the same.
  • Sharing Problems: When we have many child associations with a single parent record, a simple change in sharing setting might lead to a chain of time-consuming processes. Even a meagre change like updating the owner of a parent record may lead to all the sharing rules on the child records being recalculated as well as recalculation of the role hierarchy.

Possible Way for Avoiding Account Skew:

There is only one way to avoid Account skew, that is by distribution of such child records across multiple accounts rather than accumulation on a single record. Having an even distribution of child records across parent accounts fool proofs our organization against performance hits due to account skew.

 

2. Ownership Skew
Ownership data skew is another type of date skew which is very common in Salesforce. This issue occurs when more than 10000 records are owned by a single Salesforce user. Since every record inside Salesforce needs to have an owner, it is quite common in organizations to make a default owner or queue, to which all the unassigned or unused records go to. It is a preferred solution for many organizations in such use case, but little do they know that though this might work for small data sets, this will fail when we are dealing with large data. This increases the probability of performance issues whenever some change to the sharing settings or some similar operation occurs. For example, if a user owns large number of records and he/she is moved around in the role hierarchy, then the sharing rules for all the records owned by that user will be reevaluated and that will result in a long running operation.

Possible Ways for Avoiding Ownership Skew:

  • The best way to avoid this kind of skew will be even distribution of such records among multiple users rather than having a single user for all.
  • If you are compelled to stay put with this solution, then the performance impacts can be reduced by not assigning the user (record owner) to a role.
  • If the owner must have a role, then try to keep the user on top of the role hierarchy. This will avoid the user being passed around the role hierarchy.
  • Make sure that the user is not a member of any public group which is acting as the source for a sharing rule.

 

3. Lookup Skew
Lookup skew is similar to Account skew but can affect a broader number of objects. This happens when large number of records are associated to a single record in the lookup object. Since lookup fields can exist on standard as well as custom fields, lookup skew problem can arise on any custom object in the organization. This happens regardless of whether that lookup exists on a single object or across multiple objects.

Possible Ways for Avoiding Lookup Skew:

  • One method is to distribute the skew across multiple lookup fields. The main cause of the problem is that large number of records are lookup to the same record. By providing additional lookup values to distribute the skew, record lock exceptions can be minimized or even eliminated.
  • Remove unnecessary workflow rules or process builders on the objects in order to reduce the record saving time. Also, make sure that the synchronous apex code and triggers are well optimized.
  • In case the number of lookup values are low and definite, you can use picklist values to represent the lookup values rather than using lookup fields.

 

Conclusion

Data plays a crucial role in the business architecture of large organizations and hence these problems are very common. By taking a few steps while designing our architecture, the data skew problems can be avoided. Having a distributed data is still the best bet for getting rid of these skews and their repercussions.

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Predicting Success of your Salesforce Development Project

Can you really predict the success of your Salesforce Development /Integration project with a high degree of confidence at the beginning of your project?

The answer is No!

But you can rate your people, process and tools that are required for success and use that to predict success with a ‘good enough’ confidence level.

Pillars of Salesforce Development Project

Pillars of Salesforce Development Project success.

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Posted in Agile, Apex Development, Salesforce cloud Implementation, salesforce consultant, salesforce customization, salesforce development, Salesforce DevOps, Salesforce Implementation. Tagged with , , , .

Salesforce for Wineries: The Customized Winery and Spirits CRM

Any business trying to grow and increase their client base needs a customer relationship management (CRM) software program. It’s just a simple fact that even the smallest businesses can’t avoid for very long before keeping track of clients starts to consume the entire day. Wineries are no exception. 

The wine industry has a tendency to be reactive with their wine sales after they build a client relationship. The wine industry needs to have a CRM that empowers wineries to take action proactively in their marketing efforts. Salesforce has this ability through the use of marketing automation, data analytics, and AI. Salesforce can use your winery’s historical data of purchases made by clients to predict what products that client may be interested in. This allows wineries to target specific customers with specific content.  

WineryPic

We hear a lot that wineries prefer to use a CRM or a software product that is specific to wineries. That’s a great option if you are just starting out, but you are missing out on a lot of value. It’s no secret that Salesforce’s success comes largely from its ability to be customized to each company’s specific requirements.  

To put it plainly, Salesforce can be made into a customized winery CRM. The advantage that Salesforce brings to wineries is the support received from the business and marketing analytics. So, a winery will have the ability to do what we have come to expect from a CRM plus provide these strong tools that are designed to drive more sales through smarter marketing campaigns. Salesforce will feel like your winery CRM, not just a generic winery CRM. There are even winery specific apps available as add-ons to Salesforce. For example, GreatVines is a winery and beverage distributor sales app that helps sales teams manage client data in a more customized way to the beverage industry. 

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Posted in Salesforce, Salesforce cloud Implementation, salesforce consultant, salesforce customization, Salesforce.com. Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Thinking About Marketing Automation For Higher Ed?

How can we put our name in front of someone right when they are thinking about committing to a brand? This is the question we ask ourselves in marketing. The best marketing campaigns deliver a coordinated high-quality experience across every channel and with every prospect interaction. Marketing automation tools from Salesforce bolster an organization’s ability to deliver this syndicated message. Higher education organizations are thinking more and more about how to attract news students through marketing as the space becomes increasingly competitive. Marketing automation is a dream for any organization. Salesforce has made it possible for higher education institutions, and Mirketa Inc is able to implement that possibility with you.

MarketingAutomation

The Salesforce marketing cloud unlocks incredible recruiting possibilities for the higher education space. At a high level, marketing cloud uses data collected about prospects to then market back to prospects in the way that makes the most sense to each prospect and higher education organization. Salesforce has the ability for organizations to track the activity of prospective students on their website. Let’s say for example that a recruiter has met a bright student at a recruiting event at a local high school and this student agrees to give the recruiter a few pieces of administrative data like their name and email. The recruiter would then go back and enter this student as a prospective student as a prospect in their Salesforce. From that moment forward the recruiter would be able to see what sort of things the student was clicking on while visiting the school website, what they were searching, and how often they came back to visit.

It is obvious how powerful this information would be in targeting students that higher education organizations might view as a potential fit for their university. This same technology within Salesforce will assign this prospect a grade that communicates how good of a fit they would be within a university. So, for example, if the prospect continues to search for programs and look at things that may not be a strength of a higher education institution, then that prospect’s grade would be a little lower. This sort of information-based targeting and grading has enormous implications in ensuring students who start with a university, finish with that university. This is a metric that the Higher Ed domain watches with a close eye. Higher education organizations want to reduce the churn of students as much as possible to uphold their university reputation. After all, reputation in higher education can be some of the best marketing available.

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Posted in Salesforce, Salesforce cloud Implementation, salesforce development, salesforce integration, salesforce Tips & Tricks. Tagged with , , , , , , .

Pardot for Higher Ed Salesforce Implementation

What really is Pardot? We have all undoubtedly heard about how great it could be for sales people, but is that as far as this powerful tool can take Salesforce users? Of course not. Pardot is a perfect tool to include as part of your Higher Ed Salesforce implementation.

Pardot is B2B marketing automation solution that ultimately makes the jobs of sales and recruiting teams much easier. We have seen more and more Higher Ed Salesforce implementations including Pardot for their recruiting teams and it’s obvious why once you begin using it. The features in Pardot provide a seamless connection between your marketing campaigns and how your recruiters can interact with prospects.

Source: http://leviwinglewich.com/ems/salesforce/what-is-pardot/

Pardot allows you to track prospects, conversions, and marketing campaign activity from a single dashboard. It also allows you to create email marketing campaigns to generate leads and then measure the success of those campaigns. These campaigns are highly customizable so when prospects receive the email content, it looks and feels like your brand.

Part of this customization allows the leads to go down a customized marketing content campaign based on their actions when receiving the emails. For example, If the lead opens the first email and doesn’t respond then they will receive a different email for the second stage in the campaign than if they decided to not open it at all.

Perhaps most importantly for your recruiting team is the real-time feedback on actions that leads take. For example, if someone registers for a webinar and fills out one of your forms, you get an alert for that action. Leads and prospects are also assigned a score and organized in order based on their interactions with marketing campaigns. That means that if a client signs up for a webinar and visits the website several times then they are really thinking about your school.

This information about client action enables recruiters to focus on the highest priority recruits right now. Pardot also enables recruiters to put these prioritized prospects into a “Nurturing Program” that gives them a more personalized follow-up campaign from whoever owns the lead. The “Nurturing Programs” within Pardot essentially automate the personal follow-up process for your recruiters. So, if a prospect says they just can’t devote the time for a conversation for about a month, then we can put them on a 30-day Nurturing Program that is going to follow-up for you at pre-determined intervals and with pre-determined messages so you don’t have to think about any prospects that are not needing attention today.

Pardot is the answer to many problems in the recruiting world. It automates a lot of follow-up that lingers in the back of our minds, allows customized marketing based on actions the prospect takes in the marketing campaign, and provides a seamless connection between the marketing team and the recruiting team.

Pardot may be an important consideration when thinking through your Higher Ed Salesforce implementation. If it starts to feel like too much work on top of everything else that needs to be implemented then finding a Salesforce Partner company to assist with implementation may be a great next step.

Posted in Salesforce, Salesforce Challenges, Salesforce cloud Implementation, salesforce consultant, salesforce customization. Tagged with , , .

The Truth About HEDA and Higher Ed Salesforce Implementation

HEDA (Higher Ed Data Architecture) is a cornerstone for enabling Higher Ed Salesforce Implementation for universities and campuses. However, Salesforce.org officials and training webinars have explicitly said that it is a stepping stone for organizations, not an all-encompassing solution. Salesforce.org training materials suggest that if Higher Ed institutions intend to expand the presence of Salesforce in their organization in the future, then they may benefit from consulting with a Salesforce Partner company that specializes in Higher Ed Salesforce Implementation.

HEDA has made Salesforce so much more than just a sales CRM. With that said, it does not solve admission, advising, communication, alumni relations, or fundraising. It does, give you a basic, light-weight, platform that you then can take and build on to create specific solutions to areas that are important to your specific organization.

Some universities need more attention in one area over the other, and HEDA allows for that customization. But with customization comes complexity. We like out of the box solutions because they are easy and simple. HEDA provides an out of the box beginning to what could make you feel like you are boiling the ocean.

Source: http://www.salesforce.org/best-practices-higher-ed-advancement-heda/

Source: http://www.salesforce.org/best-practices-higher-ed-advancement-heda/

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Posted in Salesforce cloud Implementation. Tagged with , , .

Salesforce Implementation Using Agile Scrum Process

 

 

Agile SalesforceWith having being part of 5 Salesforce Sales and Service cloud implementation projects I have realized that customizing the platform to the client’s need is not challenging but the build up to the production release and approach that the integrator adopts to, makes all the difference to have delighted project sponsors and end users. The implementation that I am considering for the scope of this article can range anywhere between 6 to 16 weeks depending on the complexity of Salesforce lightning components, number of external interfaces involved for integration with Salesforce and the number of clouds being rolled out (most common are Sales Cloud, Service Cloud or Community Cloud).

We can have varied school of thoughts on how to plan for such small duration projects; should it be a complete roll out of all features or an Agile Development approach where even a 6-week project is divided into 3 sprints of 2 weeks each. With my experience, I can safely say that breaking into multiple sprints will allow everyone to gain a lot more value out of the project as the lightning components and interface integration will evolve with regular feedback from the client. My team scored an average CSAT rating of 9 for the projects we have delivered in the last 1 year. Now let’s take a closer look at the key processes and scrum ceremonies one needs to follow that make the process truly Agile. Please note that one consultant will play the role of PO, Scrum Master and Project Manager because that helps to have full visibility and control on the timelines for the cloud implementation.

  • Requirement Discovery Sessions – This is the foundation stone and often referred to as sprint 0 for the project and generally ranges anywhere from 3 to 5 days of dedicated meetings and workshop at the client side sitting, discussing and brain storming the needs of the end users. The consultant running the workshop as a pre-requisite should have basic knowledge of the CRM domain, good understanding of the Salesforce Sales cloud, Service cloud or Community cloud and basic idea about the client’s industry will be an added advantage. The sessions are facilitated with flip charts, white boards and process maps. The consultant should constantly ask the question ‘Why’ to the customer team to understand the pain point before advising and concluding any solution to the customer. This will be a good place to define if any REST/SOAP based Salesforce Integration will be needed or not.

 

  • Define Stories in Jira or tool of your choice- Immediately after the workshops are concluded the consultant should start to document the discussed features with peripheral details into any tool like Jira and define the narrative and acceptance criteria on these stories. Even if the name of the feature is only added, more details can be added later.

 

  • Point Sizing and Team Strength – The PO/Project Manager who facilitated the discovery session needs to competent enough on Salesforce platform to provide the points in a Fibonacci series (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21) to each of the story put it into Jira. Based on the total points and agreed upon schedule with client the PO decides on the number of Engineers needed for the whole work. This is typically done by doing a mock/draft release planning with a technical lead and PO making a guess on how many points an engineer can deliver. This part of the project gets better only with practice and experience that you gain in at least two rollouts.

 

  • Backlog Grooming – This is an ongoing ceremony for the Agile team. We typically spend 60-90 minutes/week for a SCRUM team of 5 to 6 members including developer and quality assurance. The PM/BA   puts on the hat of a PO and interacts with the agile team and grooms into each requirement in detail and updates the story with acceptance criteria. The team agrees upon the scope of the stories and call them as ready for development. The grooming sessions are also used to decide on the technical solution to achieve the requirement the decision of configuration versus customization is decided now. It will be beneficial to have an Salesforce architect involved in the session so that the engineers don’t overkill the system with excess of apex coding like triggers, batch classes and rely on configurations as much as possible.

 

  • Sprint Planning – This again is an ongoing ceremony that happens at a cadence. Engineers pick up stories as per their understanding and add to the sprint. The assignment of stories should be done with everyone’s consensus considering the engineer’s experience and story complexity.

 

  • Sprint Demo and Retrospective – This phase utilizes the maximum benefit out of Agile Development for Salesforce clouds. The demo is organized by the PO to the stakeholders like the client’s functional users and project sponsor and get their feedback early and if needed changes can be implemented in the next sprint. This helps the client to have focus throughout the project and hedges the integrator’s risk towards any possible changes coming after all work is done.

 

I would like to summarize by saying that any process can be used to deliver the same set of things but keep in mind that you need to Adopt a process, Customize the process and finally accept and embrace the process so that you believe in it to ensure your client and team stand with you even if there are some challenges thrown your way in the implementation. Finally, don’t forget to have some fun in this journey.

Mirketa has been helping client’s ranging from small to Fortune 500 companies’ rollout Salesforce clouds with high customer satisfaction and user adoption rates. Get in touch with our Agile Salesforce champions to understand how we can help your sales business process achieve more with the powerful Salesforce platform.

Posted in Agile, Salesforce cloud Implementation, salesforce community implementation, salesforce consultant. Tagged with , , , , .

How to succeed with your Salesforce implementation?

Salesforce Implementation and Development

Complexity with Salesforce Implementation starts with different options and terms

 

Earlier this week I sat through a retrospective session for a complex Salesforce Implementation project we just wrapped up. The client gave us the NPS rating of 8.5 out of 10 (which I think is great). However, as we all looked back at the project, the memories of good, bad and ugly were refreshed. And both sides made recommendations on what we as a Salesforce Development Organization and Client teams could do differently next time to avoid some of the pain points.

The retrospective reminded me that there is a common set of learning that apply to any complex Salesforce Implementation project. In this article I am sharing my learning that are based on the projects that we managed and from the learning that our clients have shared with us.  Continue reading

Posted in Salesforce, salesforce administrator, salesforce consultant, salesforce customization, salesforce development, salesforce for small business, salesforce integration, Salesforce Support Packages, Salesforce.com, WEB SERVICES. Tagged with , , , .