Growing up in the midwest my Saturday nights were often filled with dirt track action and the sound of screaming engines. I love racing! I love racecars and everything about them- they have one purpose in mind: go as fast as possible. Every nut and bolt has a single purpose- make the car go faster. If that wasn’t the case, it wouldn’t be there. Nothing is added to the car if it will slow it down. Everything is kept organized and clean to optimize how fast it can be serviced.
This concept got me thinking- is your salesforce org a race car? Or is your Salesforce instance like the first car you had in High School- a teen car? You know what a teen car is, it’s the car that had racing stripes, a booming radio, fuzzy dice, and who knows what else. It had everything and anything to impress your friends- except for speed. Interestingly enough, these cars are now referred to as ‘poser cars’ according to google.
So what am I going for here? Well, I want you to think about your Salesforce instance- is it built for speed or does it have a bunch of fuzzy dice and shiny alloy wheels for no reason? To help you optimize your salesforce instance I’ve put together a list of five points to make sure every nut and bolt of your Salesforce instance is optimized for speed.
1. Optimized Page Layouts for Data Entry
Race cars only have the gauges they need. No radios, no power-seats, nothing superfluous to get in the way. I want you to think of your page layouts in the same manner. When was the last time you sat with the end user and watch them enter data? Is there a better way to layout the fields on the page? What about fields that get in the way- can we remove them or group them into a section to optimize data entry?
2. An AppExchange Strategy- no apps more than you need
You Salesforce Sandbox is the place for testing, period. So only the Salesforce AppExchange Apps that your company needs should make it to production- that’s a given. But let’s say some departments have transitioned or you have apps that you no longer use. Let’s make sure that the right users have access to the right apps. I’ve written in the past how I’ve worked with users who had trouble switching apps, so if your users make use of multiple apps make sure they have access to the right apps and can quickly switch from one to another. This means optimizing the order that your apps are presented (I like alphabetical). If there are apps you no longer use, make a plan to archive the data and remove the app.
3. Few unused fields
Much like making sure that Page Layouts are optimized for data entry, making sure that users have access to the right fields will decrease frustration when it comes to reporting. And of course one app for checking how populated your fields are is Field Trip. Remember that in addition to reducing fields, it’s always good to check to see which fields need to be mandatory. Setting up regular check ins with departments to make sure key data is being entered is always helpful.
Good data is all about making sure the right fields are available and required at the right time (Tweet this).
4. A plan for on-going user training
Race car drivers routinely have test sessions for their car. It’s their chance to hone their skills and try different settings on the race car. Admins and users need regular testing as well. So make sure as a Salesforce Admin that you work with your HR or Training teams to develop regular and ongoing training for your users. If you are an Admin on a budget you can do this training by setting up regular sessions with users to cover application functionality. And since we are heading into a new release setting up these sessions to review new functionality will be key to adoption. For Admins in large organizations regularly checking in with users to make sure they are utilizing premier training is a great way to ensure users keep their skills up. Now, the same can be said for you- the Admin- as well. Regularly going to Salesforce training courses and watching premier training (if you have access) is a great way to stay on top of current functionality and new features. Here are some links to help you and your users out.
5. Create a Data Dictionary
For the race teams I’ve helped out one of the jobs I’ve had is to help with documentation. And I mean, we kept track of everything. We had notebooks for the setup of the car, lap times, notes about the track, and things we could improve. We left nothing to question, nothing to interpretation. A lot of race teams have people come and go to help out so good documentation ensures you get done what needs to be done on a limited budget.
Admins can take a page from this practice as well. First, leave nothing to chance and by creating a data dictionary. A data dictionary helps you remember why you created a field, integration, etc. Here is one app by S.P. Keasey Trading Co. that can help you with that.
In addition to a data dictionary, ensuring that your Description Field is populated when you create fields, record types, etc. Remember- Salesforce is easy to customize, but that doesn’t mean you get to be sloppy. Document, document, document, to make sure everyone on your
race team salesforce team can stay up to speed!