Tag: salesforce

Dreamin…In Texas

If you were unaware, Texas if finally getting its own Dreamin’ event. As with recent trend Dreamin’ events have been starting up at a rapid pace over the last few years. With new events starting in Paris, Spain, and now Texas,  the trend is making these events get bigger and better. So Texas seemed fitting.

If you are local to the hub of big Texas cities such as Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or Austin, be sure to head to downtown Austin this weekend to check out the very first Texas Dreamin’ event.

Located at the Driskill, which is a long standing hotel that has been in Austin for quite some time, a great venue with a lot of character. The event will run May 11th – May 12th and is run by a host of local community leaders.

There will be something there for everyone, whether you are an admin, developer, partner, or consultant.

Sponsorship is spearheaded by companies Shellblack & Distribution Engine by NC. You will also find sponsors like Adobe Design, Skuid, and more.

The first event’s keynote speaker is Erica Kuhl. You can find more information about her here.

Whether you are trying to delve yourself deeper into the salesforce ecosystem, or take advantage of the wide array of seminars, this Texas sized event should have everything you need.

Find the complete detail at http://www.texasdreamin.org

5 Free Highly Rated AppExchange Products For Admins


If you are an admin, you are most likely in charge of running the day to day at your office, taking care of your users, keeping your org clean, and making sure it runs like a well oiled machine. It is also most likely true that you are being pulled into too many directions and it makes your time to get things done limited.

That’s why we’ve created a short list of free app exchange products that shouldn’t make a heavy impact on your org, and should free some of your time with minimal effort. Check our list below and see if any of these free appexchange products can help you with your day to day.

Clone This User
With Clone This User (CTU), the administrator can look up the existing user that serves as the basis for the new one, enter name and email, and generate the username & password immediately. Clone Users from the desktop or Salesforce1 Mobile.

Ensure your users enter consistent Country & State names with an auto-complete pick-list & additional validation features. No need to clean your existing data before implementing, clean as you go knowing all new data is validated. Formerly CountryComplete

The Permissioner
The Permissioner dramatically reduces the time involved with assigning and revoking permission sets assignments to multiple users. Using a simple interface, administrators can select one or more permission sets to assign to one or more users at a time.

Mass Update And Delete Records
Mass update and mass edit selected records from any filter view or related list. You get two easy to use tools designed for both admins and standard users. Please note for lightning experience UI, it works better with Winter 17 release.

Dataloader IO
Use the most popular data loader for Salesforce to quickly and securely import, export and delete unlimited amounts of data for your enterprise. Get started quickly with our simple, 100% cloud solution.


Salesforce 2016 Acquisitions Breakdown

Salesforce made A LOT of moves in 2016.  As a company with 19,000 plus employees and a valuation around 49 Million, you wouldn’t expect less. A big part of 2016 for Salesforce was acquisitions. Let’s take a look at 10 companies that Salesforce bought out and breakdown what they do.

February 2016
PredictionIO is an open source machine learning server. It lets you quickly build and deploy web service engines, respond to dynamic queries in real time, unify data from multiple platforms in batch or in real time for comprehensive predictive analytics, and more.

Key word: machine learning
Salesforce unveiled Einstein in late 2016 so a move like this makes sense.

April 2016

MetaMind was a machine learning startup that was backed by none other than Marc Benioff. When MetaMind was started in 2014 it made a buzz with its image recognition capabilities that outperformed other companies in the same space. 2 years later and MetaMind has officially become part of Einstein.

Key word (Again): Machine Learning

Its no surprise here that Salesforce is swallowing up any company that proves its worth in the machine learning market. Especially one that was originally backed by Benioff in the first place.

May 2016

Implisit, which was an Israeli startup, leverages predictive analytics to boost sales organizations’ performance and revenue. … Implisit’s technology captures and analyzes prospect and client communication, automatically matches it with CRM records to provide clear, updated and actionable insights

Key word: Predictive Analytics

This goes hand in hand with the big push toward machine learning. Salesforce is trying to make Einstein learn to do the work on its own, and anything with the word predictive in it seems enticing.

June 2016

Everyone should be aware of this one. The 2.8 billion acquisition brought in the global cloud leader in digital commerce marketing. Salesforce quickly took the service and turned it into their new commerce cloud. Read the official announcement about the purchase here

Keyword: 2.8 Billion

Salesforce is growing and this was a HUGE move. Demandware was a huge piece in their ecosystem and now it belongs to Salesforce.

July 2016

Coolan, a small boutique sized startup, is bringing crowdsourced, predictive analytics to the data center. Using automated, real-time information aggregated from the data center environments of a community of operators, Coolan’s platform leverages machine learning to provide peer benchmarking and historical data that predicts failure trends, prevents outages, and informs purchasing decisions.

Key word: Data Center

This startup was small but had a big impression, they really know what they are doing when it comes to the nitty gritty of monitoring the components in data centers.

August 2016

This one is a bit more lowkey, but nonetheless it was an interesting pickup. Quip is a living document platform that combines docs, spreadsheets, and communication all in one to help teams get work done faster and smarter. Enabling a frictionless workflow for creating and iterating on living documents, Quip was built for the way people work today — across a variety of devices and locations.

Key word: Low Key

Not every acquisition has to make a big splash. Small moves that might grow into something later are smart moves also. Quip is going to revolutionize productivity so Salesforce grabbed them to make it happen under their flagship.

August 2016

BeyondCore, a 110 million purchase, provides SaaS data analytics software that puts the power of insightful, accurate, intuitive and actionable analytics in the hands of every business user. Its leading-edge Smart Data Discovery technology gives users a full range of descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive bias-free analytics. Beyondcore has basically become Salesforces’ wave analytics platform.

Key Word: Analytics

Wave analytics is another huge push salesforce has made recently. Wave is pushing the boundaries the boundaries of business intelligence.

September 2016

Now called Salesforce LiveMessage, HeyWire was the first mobile messaging cloud provider launching 6 years ago, and now they are reinvigorating a new communications channel for Salesforce. Read the announcement about it here

Key word: First

Salesforce has always been innovative, and pulling it companies that break the limits is something they seem to like doing.

October 2016

Krux, a data management platform, was bought to help extend the tools of the salesforce marketing cloud. An interesting note about this one is directly from Kruxes release statement

“Krux will extend the Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s audience segmentation and targeting capabilities to power consumer marketing with even more precision, at scale. In addition, Krux will feed Salesforce Einstein with billions of new signals, enabling companies to be even smarter about their customers. Krux and Salesforce together will empower every company to deliver more relevant and valuable consumer experiences across every touchpoint.”

Key word: See bolded text, I think you know where this one is going.

December 2016
Twin Prime

Salesforce rounded off the year with their final acquisition in startup Twin Prime,   company that aims to help improve the mobile app experience. When the company was purchased, it was valued around 25 million, so it wasn’t a huge buy, but significant either way. The company claimed to increase app usage by 50%.

Key word: Mobile

In my speculation, acquiring Twin Prime may be a signal that Salesforce is planning on investing more into their mobile app, or improving on mobile apps that they are associated with, who knows?

A List Of Trailhead Modules To Get You Ready For The App Builder Exam

Flashcards are great, and there a host of them out there specifically for studying for salesforce exams. But sometimes memorizing questions and answers doesn’t get the job done. Here is a list of modules that have word for word questions on the the app builder exam. Now, not every question on the exam can be found in Trailhead, but about 65-70% of the possible questions can be found in these modules.

  1. Process Automation – Figure Out Which Tool To Use
  2. Data Security – Overview of Data Security
  3. User Management – Control What Your Users Can AccessData Security – Overview Of Data Security
  4. Chatter Basics – Create Publisher Actions
  5. Lightning App Builder – Get Started With The Lightning App Builder
  6. Salesforce Connect – Introduction To Salesforce Connect
  7. Salesforce1 Mobile Basics – Getting Started With The Salesforce1 Mobile App
  8. Reports & Dashboards – Introduction To Reports And Dashboards
  9. Data Modeling – Work With Schema Builder
  10. Quick Start: Salesforce Connect – Create An External Lookup Relationship
  11. Data Modeling – Understand Custom & Standard Objects
  12. Change Management – Develop And Test With Sandbox
  13. Salesforce Connect – Integrate External Data
  14. Data Management – Import Data
  15. Data Management – Export Data
  16. Change Management – Deploy Changes Safely
  17. Application Lifecycle Management – Plan Your Production Deployment
  18. Application Lifecycle Management – Lean More About Sandboxes
  19. Application Lifecycle Management – Introduction To Application Lifecycle Management

Using Flows to Update a Lead Status

Using Flows to Update a Lead Status

In our last tutorial, we learn how to start a flow, and create a custom button on the lead for easy access. Today we are going to build on what we’ve’ started and expand our flow process.

Flows are a multi faceted tool that you can utilize in Salesforce to achieve many different goals. The flow builder is capable of many things, whether it be directly altering records or performing actions based on subsequent actions.

Today we are going to start with a very basic task using flows, that can come in handy in many different situations. We are going to walk through updating a lead to a certain status based on how you go through a flow.

First, navigate to “Flows” which can be found under “Workflow & Approvals” in Setup. What we want to do now is start a new flow, so that we may start with a blank slate.

To the left, navigate to the menu to the left, and under Pallette, you will be able to scroll through the options, until you eventually see “Record Update”, among the various other tools we have at our disposal.

But before we actually implement the use of a record update, we need to build a flow first that we can build our record update logic off of.

To keep it simple, we will make a small questionnaire that will be used by your company’s intakers to  essentially determine whether a leader is qualified or disqualified.

Let’s begin by adding a “Screen” which is the main building block that allows you to interact with flows. You can find “Screen” under “User Interface” in your Pallette.

For our first screen, let’s just create a generic welcome screen to let our intakers know what flow they have accessed and give them a basic message before continuing through the process. We can achieve this by adding a “Display Text” that essentially make a custom text that you can modify and style, but cannot be interacted with.

I’ve gone ahead and added a basic message that will segway our intakers into the flow.

Now it’s time to add our second screen. Drag a 2nd screen near your welcome screen. Remember we are essentially building a flow chart, so it’s important to keep it as organized as possible.

Let’s go ahead and call this screen “Intake Step 1”. It’s important to keep your names as short and detailed as you can make them, as your flows get bigger, naming organization is paramount to keeping your sanity so you don’t have to sift through your flow aimlessly when trying to track down a specific item.

So the purpose of this flow is to help our intakers determine whether volunteers qualify to join the space cadet program and defend earth against invaders. In order to do that we need to be able to interact with a few questions to determine whether they are qualified to do so or not.

Let’s add a radio button field onto our screen, we are going to utilize this to ask a yes or no question. Let’s go ahead and label our field with our first question, “Are You Capable Of Using A Blaster Rifle?”. We want to make sure our volunteers are capable of using futuristic weaponry.

Now that we have the field, we need to add some answers, we do this by using “Choice Fields”. Since we haven’t created a bank yet in the dropdown, click “CREATE NEW”, and choose “Choice”.

Make sure your label is “Yes” and for the sake of this exercise our Unique Name and Stored Value will be the same. Repeat the process to also make a “No” option.

Now you can see on the right under our fields that our first question now has a yes or no option.

Let’s go ahead and ask our second question. Let’s ask if our volunteer knows how to fly a spaceship. Remember, what you use as your label is what you will see in the actual flow.

Now since we are asking another Yes or No question, let’s go ahead and make this another radio button. Now since we have already created a bank of “Yes” and “No” for our previous question, they are now stored in our bank and we can reuse these throughout the flow. Instead of clicking “CREATE NEW”, under the “CHOICES” dropdown, you will already see the yes and no we created earlier. Go ahead and recreate the two answer options like we did for the previous question.

Now that we have our first screen complete, we need to connect it to our welcome screen. Do so by dragging the small square on the welcome screen box and connect it to the qualifications screen box. This will now “connect” the screens with an arrow that shows in which way the flow is directed


Now before we add any logic to our completed screen, let’s think ahead to what we want it to interact with.

Let’s add not one, but two end screens,  since we have two outcomes. We will have a qualified end screen, and a disqualified end screen. I went ahead and called mine “Disqualified End” and “Qualified End”

Go ahead and drag 2 more screens into the flow, remember keep it visually organized.

Before we can determine what goes on our end screens, we need to first think about our flow process and what the qualification questions are meant to determine.

Let’s say our business process is to determine if a cadet is qualified is that they must be both proficient with a blaster rifle and an ace pilot. That would mean that BOTH questions must be answered yes for a cadet to be qualified. Any other combination wouldn’t make the cut and therefore, they would be disqualified.

So how do we implement this logic? First, we need to put in a place a mechanism that determines which end screen you end up on. We will use a decision to do this. A decision is a building block where you can use logic to determine which way you go through your flow and determine what actions are taken.

Let’s drag our decision in between our qualification screen and our end screens. We want to give our decision a descriptive name that relates to what it is interacting with. So let’s call it “Qualification Screen Decision”.

A decision can harbor multiple “Outcomes” which you can see on the left. You can use outcomes to have the decision prepare for when you have different combinations of answers that may lead to different actions. You are also supplied with a default outcome that triggers if none of your custom outcomes are true.

For this situation we will only need one outcome, and then we will leverage the default outcome. In order to be in line with our business process of requiring cadets to be good with a blaster and fly, both questions need to be answered “Yes”. Name your outcome something descriptively, such as “Cadet Is Qualified Outcome”. You will find the questions you made on the previous screen under Screen Choice Fields. Make sure both answer values are “Yes”.

Now since we only have one outcome, and are going to use the default outcome for anything other answer combination that isn’t Yes & Yes, let’s go ahead and rename it “Cadet Is Disqualified Outcome”.

So now that we have a functioning decision, we need to properly connect it within our flow. Drag the arrow from qualification screen to the decision, and then drag your decision to both end screens. When you have more than 1 if will give you a choice when you connect the points.

Now that we understand what each end screen is meant for, let’s go ahead and add some display text to each end screen. On our qualified screen let’s leave a message that let’s our intaker know the cadet has been qualified, and vice versa for our disqualified volunteers.

“Please inform and congratulate our volunteer and let them know that they will be joining our forces. “

“Please apologize and inform our volunteer that they didn’t quite make the cut. Please encourage them to return once they have hardened their skills.”

Now that all of our screens are completed, we have a functioning decision, it’s time to add in our record update logic, because that’s the whole point of this flow intake right? Now there are several ways to do this, we could utilize another decision, we could leverage the assignment tools, but for the sake of keeping this simple we will be adding a record update after each end screen.

Now in order for us to interact with the record we want to update, we need to add in a sObject Variable that allows us to interact with the lead object.

So let’s name it “LeadSObject”

We want to Update the “Lead” object

Now this is where the sObject comes in. We want to give our record update criteria on what lead we want to update. Now to update the specific record we launched from, we can use a filter, and to do this we will leverage the Id field.

Go ahead and drag a “Record Update” screen , and let’s name it “Lead Status Qualified Update”

Under field choose “Id”, and under value use “{!varLeadId}” which is our variable we created in our last tutorial to reference the record we launched from instead of a piece of static data. This associates our filter criteria to match the Id of the lead we launched the flow from, and will essentially update the original lead we are working with.

Under the actual field we want to update, choose “Status” and make the value say “Qualified”.

Be careful, if you do not have the value “Qualified” & “Disqualified” already in your picklist values for Lead Status, it will trigger an error during the flow. You ALWAYS need to have matching values in your flow/object if you are going to have them interact with each other in the flow.

Now you can repeat this process for our other end result. A quick way to do this is to copy and paste the Qualified record update and change the status value to “Disqualified”. It’s an easy way to save time.

Now to finish our flow nicely, let’s add a thank you screen regardless of decision. Add another display screen, with display text

“Thank you for taking the time to apply with us. We hope our survey was to your liking.”.

Make sure that both record updates point to our new thank you screen.

This is a very simple flow, that highlights the possibilities of what you can do. Stay tuned for more flow tutorials. Our academy is bound to grow and our business needs are bound to change!


Let Your Voice Be Heard…And Analyzed Into Data?

If I were to be talking to a business owner 15 years ago, hell even 10 years ago, and told them that every phone conversation their salesman was having with customers could be stored and analyzed, they would’ve thought I was a time traveler from the distant future. Well the distant future has arrived, and the idea isn’t so crazy anymore.

While tools to convert audio to text have been around for quite awhile now, it hasn’t been until just recently that someone has taken it to the next level. With the huge progress of machine learning engines in the last year or so, there has been a huge trend in intuitive data analytics.

Founded in 2010, VoiceBase has quickly become the thought leader in speech analytics. With tools like VoiceBase, companies are available to even more data to help them make better business decisions with the data obtained through means that were previously unheard of.

“We are passionate about surfacing the insights from spoken information so that people and businesses can make better decisions.”

You would think that it would be such a gargantuan task to integrate something that processes so much data, but as an API platform, scale-ability is entirely possible, and since VoiceBase uses parallel processing, you can transcribe within minutes whether its a 3 minutes sales call or an 8 hour training webinar, as well as being a REST style API it makes the platform easily integrated since it is not natively built on a particular platform.

VoiceBase enables you to aggregate and quantify what keywords and phrases are being recorded. With a tool like that you can easily discover what your salesmen are doing right, or even doing wrong, and discover what trends are created based on their interactions.

For more information on speech analytics and to get more in depth with VoiceBase check out our interview with them at Dreamforce 2016

New Year, New Salesforce Events

2016 was a big year for Salesforce, and while 2017 should bring opportunity for new advances and fresh starts, the momentum from 2016’s giant push hasn’t stopped. Thinkaholics is heading to our first event of the year and you should too. See the picture to the side? That is beautiful Lake Tahoe, and that is where the first major “Dreamin” community event is being held on January 20-21st. Dreamin’ events are a good blend between a local user group event with all the upsides of what a big event brings, like Dreamforce. That means quality demos, captivating keynotes from important members of the community, and a great opportunity to meet and network with others in the ecosystem.

Lake Tahoe during Winter

With the fresh reveal of Salesforces’ new computer learning genius Einstein, Tahoe Dreamin’ will be ripe with information on the new platform and all of its features. With over 15 sessions spread between admin, developer, and even non profit, there will be someone in it for everyone.

This years keynote speaker will be by Sarah Franklin who is the SVP Developer Relations & GM Trailhead at Salesforce. Since trailhead has been implemented the number of modules has grown exponentially with no sign of stopping.

If for some reason you can’t make it out to this event, be sure to keep track of the other Dreamin’ events that will be going on this year,such as Midwest, Snowforce, French Touch, London’s Calling, & more.

Creating A Custom Flow Button

     In today’s tutorial we are going to focus on something simple, yet practical regarding flows. Currently salesforce doesn’t inherently give you an easy option to access your flows out of the box. So to get around this we can easily create a custom button to put right on our page layouts to launch flows directly.

     If you have never created a flow before, let’s do so now. You can search “flow” in your setup toolbar search, or you can navigate to Create – > Workflow & Approvals -> Flows. From here click “new flow”. You can name it whatever you like for the sake of this tutorial. For my org, the lead object is used to keep track of possible new recruits applying to the space cadet program, so I am going to create a button that takes my employees to our intake process.

     Once you start your new flow, navigate to the “Resources” pallette on your toolbar to the left, and double click “Variable” to open up a new variable creation screen. Now if you don’t know what a variable is used for, think of it as a bank of data that our flow can pull from to reference specific datas within our org so that we can build logic based on the data that is pulled.

     Via Salesforce You can use flow variables to store data that can be used throughout the flow and referenced as values for updating record fields.”

     Essentially, we want to create a variable that will reference the “LeadId” so that when we launch our button, it will bring us to the lead that we launch from. The referenced data is fluid and not static because we used a variable with our flow. Let’s go ahead and fill out our variable.

     It’s best practice to keep our default value as an empty string so if nothing is triggered, it stays blank. Next, we need a few screens to our flow so that we launch, we have something to look at to make sure our button is working. Under “Palette”, go ahead and drag a screen into your work area. Let’s just make this a basic welcome screen with a “Display Text” field with a simple introduction so we know what this flow is for. When you have filled out the screen, click “OK”.

     Let’s go ahead and add in a second screen, in my case, i’ll name it “Intake Step One”. We are going to leave the screen blank for later use. Go ahead and drag an arrow from the Welcome Screen to our second screen, making the Welcome Screen our starting flow point (which is signified by the green arrow on the box).

     In a new tab, go ahead and “Run” the flow, which can be found next to the save options. We want to keep this open to we can refer to the URL for our custom button.

     Now it’s time to create our button. Go To Leads -> Buttons, Links, and Actions under Setup, and create a new custom button. Your label is what your button will be named on your page layout. So for my button, I am naming it “Space Cadet Intake”. We want this to be a “Detail Page Button”, and the behavior is up to you, but I want mine to display in a new window. For content source we will be referring to our flow’s URL.

     So currently our flow URL is “https://na35.salesforce.com/flow/Space_Cadet_Intake/301410000000ycWAAQ”. This is currently static data, and we want to put in play the variable we created earlier so that our data referral can be fluid and be based on the LeadId. In order to do this we need to update the URL to use our variable. To do this we need to redirect our URL to our variable “varLeadId”, and have it reference a merge field of the “Lead Id”. To do this, take out the record identifier and replace it as such:


     Once we save, we now have a custom button that will bring us to the flow based on the LeadId. Let’s go ahead and add this to our page layout so we can use the button on our leads. Go to Leads -> Page Layout, and click “Edit” to the layout you wish to add to button to. For me I will be using the default Lead Layout.

     Navigate to “Buttons”, and drag your new custom button onto your page layout, and save. Now when you go to a lead, your custom button will be there and give you an easy way to launch your flow directly from the lead.

     Using buttons on your objects to navigate directly to flows will make it much easier for your users to access the tools they need to access, now at the click of a button thanks to you!

France – The Quiet Seed Salesforce Has Planted To Make The Country Grow Into A Tech Juggernaut

In 2014 Salesforce cemented their feet in the European market when they opened their first data center in the U.K, to help sustain their market in the region. However, this data center was just the first of three. A year later, another data center opened in Paris, France, the 5th highest GDP grossing city in the world , right behind Seoul, Los Angeles, New York, & Tokyo, leaving behind London at 8th.

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