5 Salesforce Tips for Dummies

The ‘for dummies’ series may have a comical name and be intended for novices, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t comprehensively cover its subject matter. If anything, the opposite is true: It takes a special intelligence to take a complex task, such as those involved in Salesforce,  and break it down into simple, layman’s terms.

From the get-go you have to gain the reader’s confidence; you have to assure them that they will have no trouble understanding you. It’s hard to write introductory material; only the best writers and best teachers are actually given the task of writing for dummies books. Salesforce for Dummies accomplishes this.

Below are five basic tips for getting the most out of Salesforce. I won’t be getting into any technicalities this time around, just citing some general rules of thumb. (For those new to Salesforce or considering adopting it, this is something you ought to look at before learning any of the actual software processes).

#1 – Beware Duplicate Records
Salesforce has a method for merging and eliminating duplicate records, (which I have written a tutorial about that can be found in our archives). I want to outline why this is so important.
Salesforce is a database, and as such, duplicate accounts can result in conflicting data that don’t reflect an accurate record (of a particular customer or list). To avoid this situation, you need to pick one day a week to go in and check for these duplicates. Eliminate them by merging duplicate data and removing outdated information. Redundant entries should be deleted. This will keep all of your records clean and updated.

#2 – Learn Controls
You don’t have to use Visualforce to design your email templates and submission forms; you can easily learn them on your own. Just play with the various UI components, such as textboxes, combo boxes, drop down menus, tickers, sliders, checkboxes, radio buttons and the like.Before you know it, you’ll be an expert.


#3 – Organize Books
Books in Salesforce  can be thought of as a sort of campaign, where a product or service is itemized and then interlinked with customers, purchases and prices. Be  sure to keep these books organized properly. Avoid duplicate books.

#4 – Don’t Overdo Customization
Salesforce allows for a lot of customization; you can customize forms, letterheads, reports and emails. This flexibility is great because you can personalize their appearance to reflect your company or client. But, don’t overdo it. Customizing internal forms too much will make them difficult to use. It also looks bad if your design is not uniform.

#5 – Stay Up to Date
Salesforce consistently offers new plugins, widgets and updates. Some examples include Google functionalities, Visualforce and Apex plugins  and  interoperability with other software. Take the time to learn which plugins and widgets are useful for your needs.

Keep an eye on Salesforce’s blogs as well as other blogs that cover Salesforce (we’ve written a list of top blogs), so that you always know what’s going on. Stay updated on the newest and most effective ways to get the most out of Salesforce.

These are my top 5 ‘Salesforce for dummies’ tips. It’s a short introduction to the software, but hopefully these salesforce tips will help guide you on your Salesforce journey!


Amanda McDonald
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.
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