5 (More) Steps to Setting Up Your Salesforce Org


Back in 2016, Gillian went to you, the community, and gathered your best tips for setting up a New Salesforce Org in 5 Steps. After 5 years and 15 (!!!) releases, it seemed about time for us to return to the community and see if you had any new insight.

Before we dive into our most recent tips for admins, I think it’s worth revisiting this advice from Gillian’s original article:

“Before you log in to your new org, there are a few things you should do to prepare:

  • Define a clear vision for using Salesforce. Why is your company using Salesforce? How does it align with the overall company mission statement?
  • Document all the things! Make sure that any changes you make are documented from Day 1 so that you can easily go back and review, share, or replicate processes with stakeholders.
  • Learn with Trailhead. Get up to speed with everything from CRM Basics to Change Management with the fun way to learn Salesforce.”

Now, let’s take a look at five fresh, new steps for setting up a new org in 2021.

Step 1: Configure My Domain

My Domain in Salesforce Setup

While production orgs that were created in Winter ’21 and later have My Domain by default, you can change it if it hasn’t been configured to your business’s needs. You’ll need to ensure My Domain is set up appropriately if you want to use single sign-on (SSO) or Lightning components.

Use caution if you are turning on My Domain for an existing org or changing the URL for an existing org. You’ll need to ensure all of your hard-coded URLs are updated appropriately. Make sure to use the preview functionality, and only deploy the change at a time that will minimize impact to your users. Having a communication plan in place is useful to ensure that users are aware of any changes.

Step 2: Turn on Login As

Troubleshooting, reproducing errors, and testing are all vital to your success as an admin. Thankfully, you’ve got Login As in your toolkit!

With Login As, you’re able to, well, Login As another user! In production, Login As is fantastic for reproducing errors or better understanding an issue that an end user has raised. You can also use Login As in a sandbox or scratch org to run persona-specific testing.

A helpful tip: All the changes you make while logged in as another user are captured in the setup audit log. This will allow you to clearly see whether a user made a change or if someone was logged in as that user.

It’s worth noting that some organizations may not allow Login As permissions in production. Be sure to check with your business to determine whether or not this is the case.

Step 3: Configure Who Sees What

Configure login access policies in Salesforce setup

Configuring data access and visibility is an important and complex aspect of being an admin. When you’re rolling out a new Salesforce org, you’ll want to spend time reviewing our Who Sees What video series, Essentials Habits: Security video, and Sharing and Visibility trailmix.

Your org’s login hours and IP ranges, organization-wide defaults, role hierarchy and roles, profiles and permission sets, sharing rules, and record types are meaty concepts. You’ll need time, patience, and planning to implement them correctly. Spending the time to talk with your business leaders to uncover specific requirements for your users is key to a successful implementation.

Step 4: Show some sandbox love

Non-production environments are one of my favorite things. If I provision myself a developer sandbox and blow it up, I can simply spin up a new one and begin fresh.

Gillian’s original article does a great job of outlining how to create a sandbox. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to maximize your experience once you have one.

Turn on email deliverability — Sandboxes have email deliverability turned off by default. Turning this setting on, and ensuring your email address is correct, will allow you to receive any email notifications that may be sent as you test.

Update the email addresses you plan on using — Sandbox email addresses are all appended with .invalid. You’ll need to change that if you want to receive any email sent by the system.

Change the theme — Managing multiple environments can get messy, especially if you have a lot of tabs open. If the environments are identical, it can be easy to confuse a sandbox with production. Changing the theme of your sandbox can make it easier to know where you are at a glance.

Change the theme within setup using the example of fictional company Poblano Grill

Step 5: Talk — and listen — to your users often

This isn’t glib advice: We do better work when we talk to our end users on a daily basis. There are a lot of frameworks available for collecting formal requirements, and I’m a huge fan of user stories, but that’s not really what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about shadowing, speaking with, and understanding your users. One of my favorite activities as an admin was to carve out an hour or two during my week and use it for shadowing. I’d ask an end user if I could simply sit with them and watch how they went about their work. I’d take some notes during this time and ask a few questions. Mostly, I’d listen. I was always pleased to see how much my end users had to say. After one of these sessions, I came back with a much better understanding of the system I was configuring.

While many of us work remotely now, shadowing is still a very real possibility! You can easily share screens with the video conferencing software used by your organization.

To find more tips for success, and to ask the very experts who shared these tips questions, join the Trailblazer Community today.

Huge thanks to all who gave Gillian suggestions via Twitter for this post. Keep ’em coming!

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