8 ways to spice up your relationship with Salesforce

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the digital flurry of gift recommendations, romantic date night ideas, cute stuffed animals and of course, unsolicited relationship advice. 

My relationship with Salesforce began in 2014. Since then, we’ve had our ups and our downs, but the most important lesson I’ve learned is this: 

If you love Salesforce, it will love you back

A good relationship requires effort on both sides—and Salesforce is no exception. So this year, instead of cards and candy, I asked my team of experts to pass out their favorite tips to help you maximize the value of Salesforce and turn your relationship with work into the one you deserve.


1. Schedule a date with Field Service Lightning 

From Leah Coveney, Salesforce Technical Lead and 6x Certified

Field Service Lightning makes scheduling a pleasure for technicians in the field. With the Book Appointment feature, you can find the best time and resource to perform a job in a heartbeat. Your clients can use it to fix a sink, lead a weight loss program, teach staff about new research or perform a physical at a patient’s home (all use cases I’ve worked with firsthand). 

Field Service Lightning is a match made in heaven for nearly every client. Once you set it up, the system automatically runs the rules and objectives defined by the business. The optimization tool lets the automation rearrange the schedule to ensure maximum efficiency. And when automation isn’t the right move, the robust Gantt view of all resources and their appointments includes filtering options that allow you to manually access an optimized calendar.


2. Give Journey Builder testing some TLC

Smitha Praveen, Cross Cloud Consultant and 3x Salesforce Certified

Does your Marketing Cloud Journey Builder include dynamic content, engagement splits or task creation? Its built-in validate and test features occasionally skip the small stuff—you might not even realize it until you’re reporting on results. 

For example, if you’re tracking email opens, any bounced emails automatically move down the “not opened” path. This can skew results. To prevent this, add test users into a live journey to manually interact with each step. Here’s how:

  1. Make a test copy of your journey.
  2. Change the journey entry settings to re-entry anytime.
  3. Build a test data extension that mocks the production data. If you’re using a Salesforce synchronized data extension, create a contact in Salesforce and use a filtered data extension to pull only your test records. If you’re using the Salesforce Data Event, select the campaign object and add test members to the campaign for testing.
  4. Swap out your entry source with the new test data location.
  5. Reduce wait times (For instance, if your wait time between an activity is three days, switch it to 10 minutes to speed up your test scenario).
  6. Create a testing spreadsheet with the test user’s name and their action mentioned—you can email to testers or subscribers.
  7. Activate, monitor and adjust as necessary.


3. How marketers can repair their relationship with Salesforce

Halie Vining, Senior Marketing Manager who’s passionate about the power of a CDP

Ask any marketer how much they love Salesforce and you likely won’t hear the same effusive Trailblazer pride you get from admins, developers and sales reps. But with the rise of Customer Data Platforms (CDP), Business Intelligence (BI) platforms and AI-driven personalization, marketers are officially technologists. And some of those clicks-not-code features your Salesforce friends have been raving about might just be the cure to your data and technology nightmares.

I’ll admit it. I was once a Salesforce doubter. But I had a change of heart after getting burned by other technologies:

  • A BI platform that said no SQL would be needed—which ended up being false.
  • A CDP implementation that turned into an integration nightmare and left me with another complicated tool to manage.
  • An enterprise personalization toolset that packed little punch without the data we needed to fuel it.

Salesforce has never let me down in these ways. Unlike many marketers, my relationship with Salesforce began as a product manager where I looked beyond the CRM and worked on custom AppExchange products. Now that I’m back in a marketing role, I feel extremely lucky.

As a marketer, the best thing you can do to spice up your relationship with Salesforce is to stop thinking of it as a CRM. You need BI, AI, CDP and all the other MarTech acronyms as well. With Salesforce, you get this all in a single, configurable platform. Follow these trails to look beyond the CRM:


4. Turn your subscriber breakup into a breakthrough 

Jackie Mennie, Sr. Consultant and 4x Salesforce Certified

Unsubscribe requests break the hearts of many digital marketers. But I prefer the glass half full approach: unsubscribe = subscriber feedback = improved campaigns. 

Pro tip: Check the unsubscribe experience itself. What did the page look like when the subscriber clicked “unsubscribe?”

After you’ve analyzed the basics—message frequency, content relevance, personalization and design—it’s time to customize your preferences page. I know, that sounds expensive, time consuming and difficult to prioritize. Here are three ways to scale your approach:

  • Got unlimited time, money and IT resources? Create your own custom page embedded into your website and integrate it with Marketing Cloud. 
  • Don’t have any time, budget or resources? Enable BrandBuilder and customize the default page with your logo and brand colors. Learn the difference between Profile Center vs. Subscription Center. Triple check you don’t have public profile attributes or lists with internal labels visible on that page. 
  • Somewhere in the middle? You can use CloudPages to create your own preference page. Warning: it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Not seeing what you need? There’s a new app for that. Check it out here.


5. Salesforce soulmates: Dedicated project teams

Tracy Alger, Senior Lead Consultant and 6x Salesforce Certified

Dedicated teams support our growth as team members and greatly benefit our stakeholders. It’s a win-win! A solid team unlocks creativity, brainstorming and problem solving. When a dedicated team starts a new project, they can jump right in without needing to feel out the hard and soft skills of a team member. 

I’ve had the fortune to work with a dedicated Salesforce team for over three years. They are my work family. My team leads have stayed together through different projects, different clients and even different companies. We speak in shorthand and understand what we’re thinking before we finish our sentences. We trust in each other. We see “us” and not “me.” When someone has a sick father and needs to travel to another country, we have it covered. Life happens—and when trust exists, a team is unstoppable. 


6. Speak the same love language as your sales team 

Kate Higgins, Strategic Account Director and overall A+ quality human

To get sales teams to fall for Salesforce, they need to be able to access data and update records as easily as possible. Account executives live in their email inbox. So if you want better Salesforce data, enable Salesforce through email. 

Luckily, there are a few tools that solve this problem. In my opinion, Salesforce Inbox and SmartCloud Connect are the best. SmartCloud Connect is my current choice—it has everything I need. I can easily update contacts, create new opportunities, track emails and so much more without going into Salesforce.

If you’re frustrated with managing Salesforce from email, I recommend checking out SmartCloud. This app not only services data, it allows you to fully view and manage Account, Contact and Opportunity records from email. You can even add custom fields to Outlook, search all Salesforce objects and access open customer cases. 


7. Introducing that special somebody: Your new hire

Jill Minick, Salesforce Program Manager and Certified Administrator

We’ve all experienced lackluster onboarding processes. You get your computer, a desk, a piece of paper with login info and a quick half-hour meeting with IT and HR. Many companies simply don’t have the time to create robust onboarding training. This is where Salesforce Trailmix and some basic automation in Salesforce comes to the rescue. 

The Salesforce Trailhead platform is every hiring manager’s dream. You can make your team’s Trailmix private and add or adjust as needed. You can easily leverage existing public content and combine it with your own. Check out these tips for using the training platform.

Once you’re up to speed on Trailmix, join forces with HR and IT to create basic onboarding automated flows within Salesforce (HR paperwork, IT onboarding, compliance, etc.). This will provide a seamless onboarding experience for new team members and help you keep track of what’s been completed.


8. Don’t lose your spark with Salesforce 

Alicia Houske, Salesforce Project Manager and Advanced Certified Scrum Master

Whether you’re in the honeymoon phase with Salesforce or know it intimately and can recite every product acquisition from the last 15 years, keeping up with the latest knowledge and hearing from your peers is a beautiful thing. Here’s how I keep the spark alive:


Want to learn more about any of the topics above? Drop us a comment here to talk more!