5 Important Considerations When Implementing Pardot

Implementing Pardot 5 Factors

So you bought Pardot – now what?  

Pardot is a robust marketing automation tool that offers marketers all the customer tracking and communication bells and whistles of their dreams. Before implementing Pardot, read these five important points to keep in mind when first starting to use Pardot.

1. Who will be your Pardot Ninja?

As much as we would love to work with you indefinitely, at some point in time someone internally should own your Pardot instance. That person should be involved with implementing Pardot from the start. I highly recommend this person to be a part of your Marketing Team.  If this isn’t possible, look for someone who is keen on learning new functionality – a self-starter who is creative and has a natural curiosity for technology.

Too many times during a Pardot implementation project, I come across businesses who do not have this person picked out and sometimes do not figure it out until mid-way through the process. This tends to cause some serious lack of productivity during our consulting hours and we want you to get the most bang for your buck!

2. ROI, Analytics, and Reporting

As we all have experienced at some point in our life, nothing is given to us for free – especially when it comes to new business ventures. This is why it’s very important to have a plan on how you are going to report back your return on investment to key stakeholders.

I would ask myself: What is most important to those stakeholders – money brought in via Sales opportunities, or the amount of communication/activity received from the customer?  Is it the amount of net new leads generated via your marketing efforts?

These reporting metrics are possible in Pardot. You just need to plan ahead on how to build and organize your campaigns which will make your reporting reflect the KPIs needed.

This leads me into my next important point during a Pardot Implementation…

3. Pardot Strategy: Implementing Pardot

Too many times a P.O.A. (plan of action) or whiteboard session is forgotten when talking about marketing.  Upon implementing a new Pardot instance, I highly recommend you start with at least two basic scenarios: Net New Leads and Current Customers.  By creating new Pardot forms and generating landing pages you are bound to gain net new leads that are interested in your business.

What is your plan of these net new leads?  Do you plan to nurture them until they reach a certain level of activity that shows interest?  Do you plan to send them immediately over to your sales reps so they may reach out?  How about current customers?  Do you have a plan to keep them engaged in your product and upsell existing products that they would be interested in?

No matter what your P.O.A. is, we can help you build these scenarios out in Pardot as long as you have decided the path that works best for your business process.

4. Content

Now that we have our strategy and plan of action in place, the next step is to build it!  This can be the most exciting part of the process for some.

However, for those who do not have a clear picture in mind of whom will actually build out their content, this step may cause extreme anxiety.  This is why it’s important to know whom will build out those pretty email templates and write up those white-papers ahead of time.  Include them in the overall strategy along with any marketing goals that you wish to report on.  This will help guide them in the process of creating interesting company branded content for your potential or current customers.

5. Organization

Once the building starts taking place, you will begin to see your Pardot instance flooded with email templates, landing pages, forms, lists, etc.  Pardot has an excellent way to keep all of your marketing assets organized via folders and tags.  However, I also highly recommend you come up with a naming structure to help you group the same type of content together for easier access.

As a Pardot registered partner and Salesforce Platinum Partner, Ad Victoriam is fully prepared to team up with your business, leveraging our Salesforce proficiency to put this robust marketing automation tool to work for you. Contact our knowledgeable Pardot consultants to learn more about how we can help.

5 Questions to Answer Before Implementing a Salesforce Community

Are you considering joining the millions of customers who have subscribed to Salesforce? Before you start trying to integrating the world’s #1 CRM, it’s important to stop for a few moments and consider what an ideal Salesforce implementation looks like for your small, medium or large-scale organization.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before starting on the path to Salesforce success:

#1: Do you have a goal for what a successful community implementation would like?

That answer is important to convey to the teams that will be working together to build the Community, as it will ensure your team is heading down the right path. Now that you’ve established your vision for what the Community should look like, let’s go over the of the next decisions you’ll have to make around the project.

#2: Do you choose to use a Community Builder Template? Or, do you go with a custom Visualforce & Tabs Community Template and design the Community yourself?

Features and functionality vary based on the type of Template you choose, so this comes back to knowing the goal of your Community in helping you pick the right route. If you’re able to get away with using the Templated route, you’re opening yourself up to easier Community maintenance and constant improvements by Salesforce with every release.

For instance, just after this blog was posted, Salesforce automatically added in Reports and Dashboard components inside our Community Builder!

#3: What will your Community Members be able to do?

This relates to that first question, but goes deeper. Not only do you need to think about the features and functionality they need to use (Knowledge, Accounts, Contacts and Cases), but also the fields and records available to them. Do certain Community users need more record access than others? Are there any one-off scenarios that need to be accounted for? It is important to setup the Community correctly with the right sharing rules in place so that users only have what they need to have access to.

I’ve seen many Communities setup incorrectly to where users had extra access to fields and data that should have been hidden. It is always easier to add more functionality and access later down the road than to take it away. The type of access and permissions you need to give your Community users determines what type of Licensing you’ll need. There are feature differences between Customer Community and Customer Community Plus that you’ll need to make sure you’re aware of before choosing which Licensing option will work best.

#4: How do you plan on training your Community users?

Is there going to be a tutorial for them? Will you host a webinar? Or, something else? The type and complexity of your Community will have a big impact on how much training is needed, but don’t brush over this important part of your implementation.

#5: What happens Post Go-Live?

Does your company have an internal team that can manage it? Are you going to need to work with a certified Salesforce Partner? Or, will it be a combination of those two options that you’ll use to maintain your Community? Make sure everyone understands their role with the Community and you’ll ensure that your Community continues to run smoothly.

Answers to All Your Salesforce Questions

If you’re considering a Salesforce implementation and have questions or concerns, contact Ad Victoriam Solutions for answers. We are an official Salesforce partner, and the customer experience is highly important to us. Let us can help you maximize the potential of your Salesforce technology.

Automating Salesforce for Your Benefit: Part 1 – Workflows

workflow automation icon: Ad Victoriam Solutions Salesforce blog

 

Where would Salesforce be if it did not perform our desired tasks in the background? Better yet, where would we be?

Webster defines automatic as “largely or wholly involuntary.”

The automation that Salesforce solutions are capable of is the epitome of this definition with its different processes that come in many different shapes and sizes. This functionality of Salesforce can be used to create something as easy as a Workflow that updates a field, or as complex as a Login Flow (see our Login Flow blog) that can send Users to different screens depending on their Profile.

Workflows Overview

Workflows are a great starting location for streamlining your company’s business. If you are looking for automation that is initiated from a record creation or change, this could be what you’re looking for! Be sure to examine your goals for this automation since Workflows are only able to update a field on a record, send a notification email, create a task, and send outbound messages.

In addition to these features, Workflows also allow you to add time triggers and time-dependent actions for those items you need taken care of in the future.

The Fun Stuff

Now that we’ve covered a 50,000 foot overview of Workflows, let’s talk about a use case that you can use to leverage your Salesforce Org.

Workflows with other automation

Do you have Users that don’t like to login to their Salesforce? Do you want to email these Users every day to prompt them to login? We can accomplish this by using a combination of Workflow, Login Flow, and Visual Flow.

By using a Login Flow, we can automatically pass in the User ID to a Visual Flow:

  • Set the Login Flow to fire when a specific User’s Profile is logged in.
  • This Visual Flow will then update a custom date field on that User’s record with the current date; we’ll call that field User Last Login.
    • Be sure not to label this custom field Last Login as this standard field already exists.

So now you may be asking: Why use a custom field if there is already a standard field?

If you recall from earlier, a Workflow must be triggered by either a record creation or update. The standard field Last Login cannot be edited by a User, so we have to create that custom date field so we can edit the User record, which in turn will trigger the Workflow.

Back at it again with those Workflows!

Now that we have everything else for the process built out, we move on to the Workflow:

  • You will need to set your Evaluation Criteria to “created, and any time it’s edited to subsequently meet criteria” because we will be using time triggers and time-dependent actions.
  • The Rule Criteria will need to be set as User Last Login = TODAY.
  • Set up your time triggers and time-dependent actions for as many days after the Last Login to fire.
  • Create your email alert, select the corresponding template, and make sure the Selected Recipients contain at the value “Email Field: Email”.

From now on, everyone with the designated Profile that logs in will trigger the automation and will have at least 1, and up to 10, pending Time Based Workflows. These pending Workflows will be rescheduled every day that the User logs in.

Business automation is great for your company, whether it is for business related dealings or internal Org management. We help businesses make sure their Salesforce solution works for them! Contact us for more information on Workflows and Salesforce automation.

*Note, the above automations are accessible in Orgs that are using Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, or Developer Edition.

How to Visualize Sales Goals by Adding Targets to Salesforce Reports and Dashboards

sample Salesforce report: Ad Victoriam Solutions Salesforce blog

It is no secret that visualization plays a key factor in one’s path to achieving their goals.

Robert Collier, an inspirational writer and author of the bestseller The Secret of the Ages (1926), once said “Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build it.” In order to accomplish any goal that you have for yourself, you must know where it is you are trying to go in order to successfully get there.

Sales representatives, by nature, are some of the most goal-oriented users of Salesforce, since their primary role as an employee is to reach their respective quota. These quota amounts and types can be different for each individual based on their role within the company.

 

So how do you go about tracking and displaying all of these various values as targets in Salesforce?

There are a few ways you can apply these targets to each individual User Record in Salesforce depending on what these targets relate to, and the relationship between the Users that share the same specific target values:

Unique Targets:
No Established Relationship Between the Target Values and the Users They Are Applied To

To add unique targets to reports and dashboards in Salesforce you must first start by creating a custom field with the Currency, Number, or Percent type on the User object. It is best to use the “Number” field type if you plan on adding a target to a report where data is measured by record count. It is also helpful to specify the timeframe for this particular target within the field name of these new custom target fields (i.e. Field Label: # of Activities Completed (Monthly), or # of Activities Completed (Weekly)).

You can then populate these newly added target fields with values for each employee on their User Record page, or through the data loader. Once these fields are populated with their specific target values, you can then reference these targets by creating a formula field on the object which the target is intended to track against. So if a field is intended to track the # of Activities Completed for the month, you would create a Custom Activity Formula Field of Number type which references the value specified for this target from the related Owner (User Object) fields.

Once the field that captures the target (on User Object) and the field that references the target (Object you want to include target in reports for) have been completed, you are ready to add them to any report where applicable. In order to show these values on a chart or dashboard component, you must summarize the report by the record owner and also summarize the target field column with the MAX function. This will then allow you to plot these targets against the actual performance of the User by either using the “Combination Chart” function in the Vertical Bar Chart specific to the report, or the Vertical Bar Chart dashboard component.

Correlated Targets:
Targets Apply to Users Based on Role or Other Segmenting Fields

If this is the case, then we can actually use a custom formula field on the User Object and specify the target values using an IF or CASE function which matches the targets based on their respective Role or other segmenting field value within the User Object.

Aside from this difference in the construction of the target field(s) on the User Object, all other steps are the same as above in order to add your targets to reports and dashboards in Salesforce.

We hope these simple Salesforce tips help you visualize goals and achieve success. For more in-depth sales knowledge, read up on Salesforce Solutions for Businesses 101 and contact our Salesforce consultants today.

Salesforce Shield Receives an Upgrade

panel of virtual locks: Ad Victoriam Solutions Salesforce® Blog

Salesforce Shield was introduced in early 2015 as a simple tool that allows businesses to view their data, encrypt that data if necessary, and archive/review data values from up to ten years ago. These functions are available for all Salesforce apps built on the Salesforce1™ platform, on which Shield was natively built.

Earlier this month, Salesforce announced that Shield would be receiving an upgrade, Transaction Security, to ensure that business’s data is not only be more secure but also more easily accessed and protected should a threat be detected.

In an age where business data can be collected and accessed from a growing range of devices, it has become more important to create apps that allow data to be monitored and protected more closely. Previously, a suspicious login or strange data activity would be detected, but protective measures put into place would not adjust once these threats were realized.

With Transaction Security, Chief Information Security Officers will possess the ability to interact with data in real-time, encrypting data that was subject to suspicious activity or blocking access to the data altogether. The Salesforce blog describes this as “IT [moving] from a reactive to a proactive stance” that allows for a better overall experience with data. Transaction Security also allows businesses to create custom policies to suit their respective needs and still operates across all apps that are native to the Salesforce App Cloud™.

“Transaction Security empowers CISOs with the ability to leverage the entire Salesforce ecosystem and take their compliance and governance to an entirely new level,” wrote Salesforce blogger Brian Goldfarb.

To see how Salesforce solution can help your business succeed in the modern age, chat with a Salesforce certified consultant at Ad Victoriam Solutions. You can start by reading our blog article 4 Strategies for Developing a Strong Cloud Infrastructure to learn more about better managing cloud security or contact one of our experienced consultants today. 

SteelBrick Acquired by Salesforce

SteelBrick Acquired by Salesforce

It has been rumored for some time that Salesforce was considering acquiring SteelBrick, a company specializing in automated quote-to-cash software for businesses. Salesforce made the announcement at the end of 2015 that these rumors were true, and the company agreed to purchase SteelBrick for over $300 million.

SteelBrick is a company dedicated to efficient and automated management of business procedures such as managing invoices, billing, pricing and quoting for potential buyers. Salesforce has been a prominent investor in SteelBrick over the past few years, and SteelBrick’s quote-to-cash software was built on the Salesforce1 platform. The acquisition means that users are no longer required to leave the Sales Cloud to use applications designed to help in the sales department.

In addition, SteelBrick’s software is compatible with Lightening. Lightening is Salesforce’s new interface, which allows users to customize their Salesforce1 apps, build completely new apps and improve overall productivity and decision-making in the business world. This feature works across the spectrum of Salesforce supported apps, software and programs.

Prior to this acquisition, the Salesforce Sales Cloud lacked the internal technology to offer businesses the quote-to-cash area of automation in which SteelBrick specializes. Salesforce has formerly left these actions up to other partners, which has been the reason behind other similar acquisitions made by the cloud-computing giant. Because of this, Forbes states, “It is highly possible that Salesforce may repackage SteelBrick’s services into its Sales Cloud in its quest to becoming a one-stop shop for all things CRM,” thus increasing the Sales Cloud’s ease of use more than ever.

Want to use this new technology for your business’s advantage? Contact us today for more information about how we can make the changing world of technology work for you.

The Salesforce® Login Flow Cheat Sheet

What happens when you’re trying to get Login Flow to work properly for your business, but it keeps failing even after re-checking the in/output value of variables, user security level and everything else? David Litton, our brilliant Solution Architect, recently discussed fixes for the issues that can arise when creating your company’s Login Flow.

Have you run into a roadblock with getting Login Flow to do what you want? Chances are you’ve forgotten that Salesforce® won’t let you use your own naming convention.

Login Flows can be used for the following:

  • Messaging Alerts
  • User Access Authentication
  • Training
  • Cleaning Data

As David talks about in his Salesforce® Sidekick blog, Login Flow has numerous variables that can be used to accomplish these functions. These include:

  • LoginFlow_LoginType – This variable allows you to designate a user type for Flow/Org.
  • LoginFlow_IpAddress – This variable acts as a user’s IP address. Through this variable, you have the power to delegate an IP address for a user, profile and other user-related fields.
  • LoginFlow_UserAgent – This variable stands as the user’s browser string. It also allows you to keep users from using Internet Explorer to log into your Org.
  • LoginFlow_Platform – This variable shows you what kind of system (i.e. Mac OSX) your users are logging in from.
  • LoginFlow_Application – Similar to the above variable; however, it shows what kind of device your users log in from (i.e. iPhone, tablet, desktop, etc.) so that you’ll know what finish location to relocate them to.
  • LoginFlow_Community – This variable shows what Community your user is currently in, if applicable.
  • LoginFlow_SessionLevel – This variable is responsible for security and either works in high or standard assurance.
  • LoginFlow_UserId – This variable functions to display character IDs (up to 18 characters long) and also allows you to Lookup your user(s) and search the system to find similar fields.

Salesforce® can be an important addition to your business, IF you know how to make it work for you.

Contact David Litton and the Salesforce® pros at Ad Victoriam Solutions for assistance. In the meantime, you can also continue browsing our blog.

Major Players in the IoT Space, Pt. 1: Salesforce®

In today’s forever growing Internet expansion, we’re coming across many new players in the Internet of Things (IoT) movement. With all of the new communicating devices that comprise the Internet of Things, these companies are making it easier for businesses and consumers to understand and use the data they are now connected with on a regular basis.

One of these new players is salesforce.com. Salesforce® has made great strides in allowing businesses to better utilize the influential expansion that the Internet has obtained in this day and age, especially with the unveiling of its new Internet of Things Cloud.

Here’s a brief overview of the technologies and advancements that Salesforce has revealed with the IoT Cloud:

The IoT Cloud

  • What is it?

The IoT cloud is described as connecting “the Internet of Things with the Internet of Customers.” It is a processing platform designed to help businesses connect with any device that is able to receive data and harness that connection into increased productivity.

  • What does it do?

Salesforce’s IoT Cloud not only harnesses the massive amounts of data, but allows businesses to make sense of that data in a productive way. Businesses can connect with all IoT devices and, therefore, engage with clients in more ways than one. The Salesforce IoT Cloud also allows businesses to sift through the mountains of data presented to find the pieces that are most useful to them for a specific time or purpose.

  • How does this work with other Salesforce® platforms?

There’s a simple answer: IoT Cloud is able to connect all business data gained from IoT devices with all other Salesforce® platforms and programs. This means that businesses can go from interpreting data to using that data as quickly and easily as possible. Since the IoT Cloud is powered by Salesforce®’s Thunder, it has the real-time capabilities that are going to give businesses an edge when dealing with big data.

Want to learn how Microsoft and Amazon are integrating IoT? 

Stay tuned for Ad Victoriam’s coming blog posts concerning the newest trends and technologies associated with the Internet of Things.

Also, be sure to contact us for all of your Salesforce®, cloud-computing, big data and IoT needs, and make sure your technology is working for you and not the other way around!

Trailhead: Trekking through the Inner Workings of Salesforce®

Trailhead Salesforce

So, you’ve decided that Salesforce® is the most efficient cloud-computing system for your business, and it’s time to start putting that technology into action. Incorporating any new software or technology into an already functioning workplace will always have its problems, and prolonged training can cause decreased productivity among many other headaches.

You need efficiency. You need quality. And this is where Salesforce® Trailhead comes in.

What is it?

Salesforce describes the Trailhead as “an interactive learning path through the basic building blocks of the Salesforce1™ Platform.” Essentially, Trailhead is a gamification of learning Salesforce® that is fun and free.

Trailhead is divided up into smaller sections that help make up the whole:

•  Units – the smallest parts of trailhead, explaining a specific feature of Salesforce® to learning developers.

•  Modules – a group of units that relate to one another or that center around a certain area of Salesforce®.

•  Trails – a set of modules that are organized in a way that promotes optimal, efficient learning.

Individual learning developers may choose different trails based on their prior knowledge and experience with Salesforce®. These trails include anything from Beginner’s Admin to Non-profit Fundraising and Sales Rep. As learning developers work their way along the trails, they find themselves learning different aspects of Salesforce®.

How does it work?

Salesforce® Trailhead contains a “challenges” feature. This is a test at the end of each unit that allows developers to review their knowledge on the feature of Salesforce® they have just learned. If a challenge is completed successfully, the developer will earn points. When an entire module is completed, developers earn badges. These achievements are displayed on the developer’s Salesforce® profile, which provides stimulation and motivation for learning the material.

Since Trailhead allows individual learning developers to choose which trails they take, the program is adjustable and personalized for both novice users starting from scratch and advanced users wanting to brush up on their skills. This way, the developer only learns what he or she needs/wants to learn, without having to trek through skills that have already been mastered. This approach opens the door for a more personalized and efficient learning experience.

Trailhead is also constantly adding new trails, modules, and units that keep up with Salesforce’s growing technology.

To start your free Salesforce® Trailhead profile, click here.

Other Learning Resources

Besides using Salesforce® Trailhead, there are other means that developers may use to learn the inner workings of Salesforce®. These include everything from instructional videos and personal blog posts to checklists and guides for generating the most success out of Salesforce®.

Here’s just a sample of some of the top Salesforce® guides:

If you can’t find what you are looking for, remember that Ad Victoriam Solutions is also available for contact to answer any questions about incorporating Salesforce® and other cloud computing software and technology into your business.

Also, stay tuned to our blog for frequent updates, tips and news about Salesforce®, big data, cloud computing and much more.

How Salesforce® is Winning the Race to Cloud Superiority

Cloud Computing Salesforce

Salesforce.com is kind of a big deal. In fact, the cloud-based enterprise software has been ranked in Bloomberg Businessweek’s number 2 spot on their list of 50 top performing companies in recent years. Salesforce® reached this top spot by outperforming their nearest competitors: Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.

Between 2010 and 2013, Salesforce’s stock prices increased by 170 percent. Additionally, CEO Marc Benioff has even bigger plans for the future, promising to increase the company’s portfolio through enhancing sales of cloud computing technology, breaking into the arena of human resources, increasing mobile app development and improving customer service.

Benioff also feels that Salesforce® is performing better than its competitors because Oracle, SAP and Microsoft aren’t true cloud computing companies; whereas Salesforce® has worked to build a market in the area of cloud computing from the ground up. In addition, Salesforce® has proven to be very successful in their efforts to break into other countries around the world, thus allowing for continued expansion.

Another reason Salesforce® has become such a contender in the race to cloud superiority is because they have expanded their client pool. Previously, Salesforce® was well established as a supplier for smaller companies; however, now they are landing contracts with much larger companies. In fact, Salesforce® now has contracts with most of the large SAP companies, including Philips, Wells Fargo, American Red Cross and others.

Moreover, Benioff takes pleasure in knowing that his company has a wide variety of differently sized clientele. This is because he’s heard too many horror stories of companies who ran into aground when trying to execute big deals that became “lumpy.”

“We’re not a big customer story, we’re not a small customer story,” Benioff says. “We have a full portfolio of customers.”

What’s Next for the Cloud…

For Salesforce®, marketing is a newer frontier, as they’ve just begun to start promoting marketing software. Benioff hopes that Salesforce® will be able to stand out from the crowd by providing a competitive marketing line, which they will build through acquisition. (Speaking of acquisition, last year Salesforce acquired number 1 ranked Buddy Media – the driving force behind companies placing Facebook ads – as a part of their push to venture into the world of marketing.)

Ultimately, the key to Salesforce’s success in recent years is that it works for businesses of all sizes and shapes. To see how this top enterprise solution can work for your business, contact the Salesforce® consultants at Ad Victoriam today.

Additionally, you can find other helpful tips on how to streamline your cloud-based technology by browsing our blog.