Skills for Success

Skills for Success

Skills for Success is a new 14-part blog series. It ‘aims to help Salesforce Admins better understand and develop the skills needed to be successful in their role.’ One of the people behind it is our very own Mark Jones. He has worked with Juliette Warren, and hand-picked 14 awesome admins to contribute.

 

Skills for Success: #AwesomeAdmins

Launched at the end of April, Skills for Success will be spread over 12 weeks. It’s written by admins, for admins, who have real-world experience and knowledge.

Over the next 12 weeks, they will cover these 14 skills:

    1. Communication
    2. Problem Solving
    3. Attention to Detail
    4. Learner’s Mindset
    5. User Management
    6. Security Management
    7. Business Analysis
    8. Data Analysis
    9. Data Management
    10. Designer’s Mindset
    11. Change Management
    12. Process Automation
    13. Product Management
    14. Project Management

 

Story Behind Skills for Success

Mark came up with the idea for the Skills for Success blog series whilst watching an Admin Keynote at Dreamforce ’21. It was Rebecca Saar’s session on ‘The Future of Admin Success‘ that set the ball rolling.

“This discussion around skills really piqued my interest… I decided to reach out to different members of the Salesforce community.  [I invited] them to collaborate with me on a blog series that outlines what each skill is, why it’s important to the admin role, and how admins can learn and develop it.

It was through this process that I was fortunate enough to connect with Juliette Warren on the Admin Relations team at Salesforce who agreed to help bring the series to life on admin.salesforce.com.”

 

Blog Series

So every Tuesday for the next 12 weeks, they will releasing a new blog post that covers each of the 14 skills.

The first four are already available: Communication, Problem Solving, Attention to Detail, and Learner’s Mindset.

We really hope that you enjoy this series, and we would love to hear your plans for skill development throughout the next few months. Please share these posts on social media and get involved in the conversation using #AwesomeAdmin.

Ideally, we want to see this series reach every Salesforce Admin and help them continue their growth and development.

Get more info here.

 

About Cloud Galacticos 

Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce consultancy with an all-star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. Our company has people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, and London.

So if you are looking for a Salesforce partner with experience to help you make the most of your org, why not get in contact?

 

Digital City Awards, Best Small Digital Company Finalist 2022

London’s Calling Platinum Sponsor 2022

 

 

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Five reasons why UX is important for Salesforce customers

User experience (UX) in conjunction with related topics of design and design strategy, are extensive disciplines in their own right. Recently the benefits of effective user experience design are becoming apparent to multidisciplinary audiences in a Salesforce context. You may ask why is this important?

Here are five key reasons why we believe UX is important for Salesforce customers.

 

1. Your user’s are your biggest asset; you must consider their experience

Your system’s users are your biggest asset. Their experience matters. They are your internal customers. If you proactively engage with them, understand their needs, and co-design with them you will gain buy-in, motivation and trust. You can then work together to ensure that your system evolves as your organisation changes. 

 

2. Your user’s experience needs to be relevant

In an age where users encounter multiple systems throughout their working day the question of relevance is key.

Is your user’s system experience tailored to their functional or persona driven needs?

Can your users execute tasks that they need to complete and engage with the system in a logical and effective way?

If not, you may find that users become disengaged and that adoption, trust, and data integrity all suffer from an experience that is not focused and designed around their needs. 

It may feel efficient to operate a ‘one-size fits all’ approach but does this really reflect the depth and spectrum of your user’s needs? We would advise you to consider the different types of users working with your system, understand their needs, design for and with them. This will allow you to target improvements in a collaborative, relevant and structured way. 

 

3. User adoption matters

A system with poor user adoption will cause you problems. They might take a while to surface, but they will catch up with you eventually. It could mean that you are wasting money or do not see a valid return on investment for the cost of running the system. It could also mean that you have poor data integrity, resulting from the difficulty of inputting, managing, and governing your data. This will in turn mean that you have limited trust in the data and analytics output of the system.

If you have any customer facing elements of your system with low adoption you could suffer reputational damage from a poor experience. These hypothetical scenarios could all result from poor user adoption. So if you ignore poor system adoption, the resulting investment required in change management to improve this will significantly increase. You could find yourself facing an uphill battle.

The more that you understand and consider the different experiences of users working with your system, the better you will be able to design functionality, experiences and interfaces that will drive adoption.

A system that is well adopted leads to user engagement, provoking suggestions for improvement and discussion. It allows you to discuss these requests and to form a roadmap for development. Systems builds trust with your users as you design and deliver improvements that benefit them as individuals, as well as the organisation as a whole. It is mutually beneficial and it means that your system evolves and doesn’t become static. 

 

4. Salesforce could be an extension of your brand

Does your Salesforce system feel like a seamless extension of your brand or is it an example of a system with little consideration given to navigation, accessibility, branding and interface? You have an opportunity to make Salesforce a consistent and well thought out experience that shows users that you have carefully considered uniformity, professionalism and their experience.

What does the combination of your landing page, custom domain, themes, branding and in-app guidance say about you? Does it reflect the impression that you’re aiming for?

 

5. Focusing on User experience and Design Thinking enables you to innovate

In recognising the importance of your users and engaging in human-centred design you can create a platform to innovate and add value together. Though this requires not only thought and consideration, but action! Design Thinking provides a framework for this exploratory and iterative design process built on these core stages:

  • Empathise: Research your users’ needs
  • Define: State your user’s needs and problems
  • Ideate: Challenge assumptions and create ideas
  • Prototype: Start to create solutions
  • Test: Try your solutions out

This framework is grounded in understanding your customer’s needs, rapid prototyping and generating creative ideas that can transform how you develop products, services, processes and your organisation. Adopting and investing in this process with your users can add value to your organisation. For further information on this topic click here.

 

Why UX is important: Conclusion

UX is a key consideration for those looking to get the best out of their Salesforce experience. Here’s a recap of five key reasons why for the next time that you engage in a conversation on the topic:

  1. Your users are your biggest asset; you must consider their experience
  2. Your user’s experience needs to be relevant 
  3. User adoption matters
  4. Salesforce could be an extension of your brand
  5. Focusing on User Experience and Design Thinking enables you to innovate

 

About Cloud Galacticos 

Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce Consulting Partner with an all-star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. Our Salesforce consultancy has people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, and London.

So if you are looking for a Salesforce Gold partner with experience to help you make the most of your org, why not get in contact?

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

Salesforce Meetings & Maintenance Exams – Phil’s Salesforce Tip of the Week #445

Tip 1 – Salesforce Meetings

The Founder and CEO of Slack this week tweeted how much he enjoyed the “Salesforce updates includes sales info overlay for Zoom meetings!”. This is all a part of the new ‘Salesforce Meetings’ functionality which is now available. TechCrunch states that, amongst other things “Salesforce Meetings gives an overlay of information, whether it’s advice to slow down the pace of your speech or information about the person speaking. It also can compile action items and present a To Do list to participants at the end of each meeting to make sure that tasks don’t fall through the cracks.”

Credit here to TechCrunch – https://techcrunch.com/2021/03/24/salesforce-updates-includes-sales-info-overlay-for-zoom-meetings/

Tip 2 – Maintenance time

Don’t blame the messenger…but if you have not done this already you will want to make sure you complete your Spring ’20 maintenance modules. Deadline is April 9th, 2021. See here for the full breakdown. If in doubt, make sure you are signed into Trailhead, click each relevant Cert on the list and check they show as ‘Completed’. Better safe than sorry.

Final Tip – Sign up

Remember if you have enjoyed this week’s tip then sign up for the weekly email, direct to your inbox here!

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

Data Recovery, Trailmix, New Community Event – Phil’s Salesforce Tip of the Week #444

Tip 1 – Data Recovery Returns

Phew, we can all relax and delete our live data now!! Well not quite, but having have to use this safety net once in my lifetime is enough to appreciate that it is back! Read more about it here.

The post says “Last year, we announced plans to end our Data Recovery Service. We arrived at this decision through several factors — most notably, the small number of customers actively using the service and availability of numerous third-party solutions.

However, you, the Salesforce community, correctly pointed out that Data Recovery Service’s value lies in its very existence and knowing that it’s there in the event of an emergency.”

There are great backup services available on the Appexchange, but if you dont have one of those and an emergency happens, this is your lifeline!

Note also a hint of a new/upgraded feature to come…

“…based on customer feedback, we are pleased to announce that we will pilot Salesforce backup and restore services built natively on the Platform this summer. We’ve co-designed these services with customers and we expect to deliver the performance, speed, and scale that you’ve come to expect from the Salesforce Platform while continuing to provide additional ways to innovate and extend these capabilities through our vibrant ecosystem.”

Tip 2 – New Trailmix

Complete this Spring ’21 Trailmix for Developers by March 31, to earn a special community badge, and enter to win prizes…and learn more about the release contents of course.

Tip 3 – Consultancy Dreamin’

This is a new Community run event, planned for June 2021, and the call for speakers is now open. The website explains “Consultancy Dreamin’ was created for anyone who already is or wants to be a Salesforce Consultant.” Count me in.

Tip 4 – New Video

We launched this at London’s Calling last week, hope you like it 🙂

 

Tip 5 – Sign up

Remember if you have enjoyed this week’s tip then sign up for the weekly email, direct to your inbox here!

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Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant Certification Tips

Over the past few years I have worked numerous times with Salesforce Einstein Analytics (now Tableau CRM) and always wanted to get pass the Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant Certification but never had the time. I found myself with a a couple of days free before the Christmas holidays with nowhere to go, so I set about getting myself certified. As a slight spoiler, I passed, here are a few things I found helped me to achieve the certification. Note I will use the old name “Einstein” throughout this post to match the exam.

Don’t forget to check out the Cloud Galacticos Salesforce Certification Help page for info on other certs!

 

Before We Start – What Even is Einstein?

 

Einstein

Firstly, I want to just clearly define what is being discussed here. In this blog I am referring to Salesforce Einstein Analytics (now known as Tableau CRM) and the related Discovery tools. Einstein is a fairly catch all term with Salesforce now and so it can be confusing. This exam and certification focusses on these products specifically and not any of the following:

  • Next Best Action
  • Bots
  • Language
  • Vision
  • Prediction Builder

 

Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant Exam Format

There are 60 multiple choice questions that are scored with 5 non-scored questions, with 90 minutes to complete. The passing score is 68% or 41 marks. The key areas covered in the exam are:

  • Data Layer – 24%
  • Security – 11%
  • Admin – 9%
  • Analytics Dashboard Design – 19%
  • Analytics Dashboard Implementation – 18%
  • Einstein Discovery Story Design – 19%

Of all the Salesforce exams I have taken this is one of the more evenly distributed in terms of material so make sure you cover off all of the areas thoroughly. The exam also covers a lot. Einstein Analytics and Discovery/Tableau CRM is a full platform rather than just an individual product and it shows.

 

Study Resources

If you really want to get really detailed information on everything to do with Einstein then the best place to go is the Salesforce Blogger site where Rikke Hovgaard and others share an absolute ton of tips, tricks and information. A few of the Galacticos team enjoy the blog and even if you have passed the exam I would highly recommend reading through it.

Trailhead has got lots of great trails and resources for you including two very detailed superbadges. I haven’t done the superbadges all the way through. However, they are extremely detailed and completing them will surely ensure you are ready.

Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant superbadges

I also took one of the Trailhead Academy courses for Tableau CRM, namely the ANC301 course as a refresher as I was familiar with the tool. The course was a really good 3 day deep dive into building out dashboards and managing data. If you have the chance, I would highly recommend attending a course to help prepare you as they contain a lot of detailed info and allow you to ask questions of an expert. As a disclaimer, I do teach some of the developer courses for the Trailhead Academy, but love attending them regardless.

 

Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant Certified!

 

Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant Certification

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

Happy New Year – Phil’s Salesforce Tip of the Week #432

Happy New Year!

Hopefully 2021 will be memorable for different reasons than 2020!

Tip 1 – Polymorphic Fields

A new year and time to learn a new term…did you know…in a ‘polymorphic relationship‘, the referenced object of the relationship can be one of several different types of object? Probably something you didn’t know that you already knew? We will have come across Polymorphic fields such as the Who and What on Tasks and Events (e.g. Who.Id could be a Contact or a Lead record).

 

 

Career Playbook

A special mention for Martin Gessner, the brains behind the Focus on Force site that many of us at Cloud Galacticos have used to help prepare us for Salesforce exams. He has published a really useful book with guidance and advice on the different Salesforce career paths, job roles and descriptions, and career paths. You can pick it up from Amazon here.

See you soon?

Fingers crossed we can meet in person for a coffee/beer/protein shake at some point this year!

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Earning the Salesforce Certified JavaScript Developer I Credential

At TrailheaDX 2020, the new Salesforce Certified JavaScript Developer I credential was announced. With the move to Lightning Web Components, vanilla JavaScript has become a core programming language on Salesforce, and this certification emphasizes this. I was invited to take the beta exam earlier this year but was unable to do so due to COVID-19. So when the full certification was released, I booked the exam as soon as possible to work on obtaining this new certification. It is composed of two parts; an exam and a superbadge.

Firstly, some background – I have worked extensively with JavaScript outside of Salesforce for a few years writing apps using Node.js and frameworks like React. I was therefore pretty confident in my ability to pass the exam. I am also a Salesforce Certified Instructor and am accredited to teach the Lightning Web Components training for Salesforce, and have used the framework a lot as well so was comfortable I should be able to handle the superbadge. For anyone looking to obtain this credential, I would recommend that they ensure they have spent a good amount of time working with modern vanilla JavaScript. You should have also used Lightning Web Components for more than just reviewing some of the sample apps.

Salesforce JavaScript Developer I Certification Path

The Exam

The exam portion follows the same tried and tested multiple-choice format via Webassessor that we all know and love. You are given 60 questions with a 65% pass mark so need to get at least 39 questions right. This exam also includes 5 unscored questions that I assume will show up in the future on the exam. The exam cover the following areas:

  • Variables, Types, and Collections: 23%
  • Objects, Functions, and Classes: 25%
  • Browser and Events: 17%
  • Debugging and Error Handling: 7%
  • Asynchronous Programming: 13%
  • Server Side JavaScript: 8%
  • Testing: 7%

These top 3 sections between them, if answered correctly, will earn you enough marks to pass the exam. As ever, it is smart to review these sections to decide on focus areas. The exam is code heavy, with lots of JavaScript snippets designed to make you think through what the code is doing and potentially catch you out. It’s no secret that JavaScript has some behaviours that seem strange, so make sure you are comfortable with these behaviours.

Salesforce provide a great set of resources on the Trailhead pages, including some modules to help you understand the newer language features. I would also highly recommend for anyone serious about learning JavaScript the You Don’t Know JS series of books. I have read and re-read them and still always learn something new. The Mozilla Developer Network documentation on JavaScript is also second to none and worth reviewing if you have any weaker areas.

I found the exam challenging but not too onerous, the questions were trying to make you think about the code but were not trying to trick you. As ever, keep calm, read through things thoroughly and you should have no issues.

The Superbadge

The second step to becoming Salesforce JavaScript Developer I certified is to complete the Lightning Web Components Specialist Superbadge. This superbadge has 4 pre-requisite badges that cover the basics of the Lightning Web Components framework to prepare you for the superbadge. This superbadge is tough. It took me a lot longer than I expected, and chatting with others it seems that it is a common experience. You need to read the details of this superbadge really carefully. Some of the requirements are mentioned as only a single word rather than being listed more clearly/explicitly and so can easily be missed. The superbadge involves building out an application to allow you to view boats for rental and leave reviews. All areas of the Lightning Web Component framework are covered, so you will definitely learn how to cover most scenarios.

Lightning Web Components Superbadge App

From my experience, I would encourage you to read and work through the contents before looking at the challenges. The contents of the superbadge wording do not correlate to the order of the challenges and so you can spend a lot of time jumping around the page which gets frustrating and leads to you missing requirements. When checking the challenges expect to receive some errors. Pay particular attention to naming of variables, using the correct case in your code, and even the order of statements. If you can set aside a couple of days to work through this, I would highly recommend it. I was doing this bit by bit in evenings and weekends and it was difficult to remember where things were.

If you get truly stuck, you can get help from the Trailhead support team. Be aware that they do not work weekends so try and raise issues during the week for a prompt response.

Salesforce JavaScript Developer I Certified!

And that is it! Once you have completed both, your certification will be sent over for you. Hopefully this guide has given you some good pointers and helped you on your journey. We look forward to seeing more people sharing their success on this on social media.


Paul Battisson Salesforce JavaScript Developer I Certified

ABOUT CLOUD GALACTICOS

Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce Consulting Partner with an all-star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. We have people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, York, Sheffield, and London. If you are looking for a Salesforce partner with experience who can help you make the most of your org, why not give us a call?

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

#382 Field Service Lightning, IdeaExchange, and the Barcelona Way

Field Service Lightning

Tip 1 – Field Service

I finally got around to passing this exam this week…if anyone wants some tips and pointers for Field Service Lightning study I wrote a longer blog post here. One thing I noticed for Salesforce Webassessor exams is that if English is not your first language you can request an extra 30 mins. I have always thought the wording of exam questions are open to interpretation, and have many ‘Americanisms’, so this could help a little.

Ideaexchange

Tip 2 – IdeaExchange

You may have noticed the updates to the way the IdeaExchange works? The next voting cycle starts on Jan 20th, so once Salesforce have shortlisted Ideas that they could start working on, we can vote with our virtual coins for which are important to us. In the meantime you can still add any of your new ideas, or up/down vote for the full list of existing ideas. Click here for more details.

Barcelona Way

Tip 3 – Galacticos v Barcelona 

If anyone followed up my reading recommendation of ‘The Barcelona Way‘ they may be interested to see how the current side have chosen a new manager…swapping the old one while they were top of the league and after the best performance of the season. I think it is a pretty interesting insight.

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

#361 Salesforce Communities

Certified Salesforce Community Cloud Consultant Phil Walton

Tip 1 – Lets be honest!

I failed this exam 3 times! Ok I feel better now for admitting that in public. It’s annoying when you don’t pass, it’s frustrating, but it makes it all the better when you do pass because you know you worked for it and deserved it. But the lesson learnt is…maybe I should study in advance next time!!

Salesforce Communities User Licences

Tip 2 – You’ll need this

If you want to know more about Communities, then licences plays a big part. Which licences do you need to do which things. I will tell you now it is not simple!

Salesforce Communities Components and Templates

Tip 3 – And this

And let’s assume you have your licence and are ready to choose your template, here is the info on which Components work with which template? Ok so this is not as much fun as doing the Trailhead Trailmix but if you want the Certification you will need this! Good luck.

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

#352 Salesforce Graphics Pack, Developer Course and Chrome Extension

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Yeur Dreamin event in Amsterdam where I got to attend some great sessions and catch up with a number of members of the community who shared some great tips and content I wanted to share with you all this week.
Salesforce Graphics Pack

Tip 1 – Free App

Thanks to Christine Marshall for highlighting the Salesforce Graphics Pack free App in her session at Yeur Dreamin last week. Take a look and brighten up your Org, your formula images, your tabs and everything else. The pack contains a collection of a number of free graphics and icon sets all bundled together in an easy to install set that you can use at both 16×16 and 32×32 pixels sizes.

Free Developer Course

Tip 2 – SF99

I also caught up with David Liu in Amsterdam last week, and he has this amazing (and FREE) Salesforce Development Course. I’ve heard great things about all his courses from others in the community and so would highly recommend that any aspiring developers take a look. You can check it out here.

Dark Mode!

Tip 3 – Dark Mode! 

Dark Mode is becoming a desired choice for many people across their apps and websites. Here is a great Chrome Extension built by the Lightning Product Team at Salesforce, I am going to check it out before I sign off today, what do you think about it?