Nectar of the (Salesforce) Gods: Top 20 Salesforce Articles of 2016!

Wow, 2016 was one intense year! Tons of new Salesforce features, enabled through Benioff’s many acquisitions (Krux, DemandWare, Quip…) and lots of innovative and exciting new frontiers (The Einstein AI, Commerce Cloud…)  made it to be a busy yet very inspiring year to be a Salesforce blogger. So, to end this interesting year on a high note, I’ve compiled a list of the top 20 articles featured in my “best of the month” posts from 2016, making this the ultimate Salesforce library for reader looking for inspiration, pro tips and generally insightful stories from the top professionals in the Salesforce world.  

1. Thinking Outside the Technology Box with Salesforce Implementations

ApostleTech CEO Kyle Aurelich has seen his fair share of Salesforce implementations and he can teach us a lot about the things that make or break a given Salesforce implementation process.   In this article, he focuses on one of the most common pitfalls of every CRM implementation process: a disproportional focus on technology at the expense of the people and the processes behind it.  A must read. colour-pencils-1803669_1920-1

2. “No Losses, Only Lessons” Salesforce and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A truly inspiring piece by Robert Evans III, who became a Salesforce Admin at the age of 40(!), reviewing the events that led up to his decision to change course at a relatively late age, and how his experience of re-entering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training and the lessons that BJJ taught him affected his motivation to excel at work.   A heartfelt, in- depth look into the mind of an extremely motivated person. It’s a bit long, but truly worth your time.  

3. How to Hire the Jason Bourne of Salesforce Consulting

Short, insightful, funny- this quick read has it all. Matthew Botos’ guide to hiring the ultimate Salesforce consultant- “a bad-ass guy who gets things done”- is totally worth the three minutes it’ll take from your life, and it might even teach you something new. hqdefault_live-1

4. How Salesforce keeps its release mojo by making everyone a product designer

This enlightening piece discusses the change methodology that’s made Salesforce so adaptive to evolving needs and changing business norms.   Joe McKendrick elaborates on the unique notion that everyone within Salesforce plays a part in product design, regardless of their specialty. Product managers can learn a thing or two from this holistic approach to product management.

5. A 60 Minutes Step-By-Step DIY Guide to Salesforce REST API for Non-Developers

Ashish Agarwal is a man worth following. An independent Salesforce Architect, consultant and trainer, Ashish often writes posts that bridge the gaps between developers and admins. As admins, you probably find all that “developer stuff” quite intimidating- but Ashish’s posts are comprehensible and easygoing. Enjoy!


6. Salesforce Hack: Getting Started with Visualforce

Customizing your Salesforce (and your end users’) can help boost productivity and take a sales rep’s performance to a new level.  With that being said, it’s understandable that not all Salesforce Admins are too enthusiastic with the idea of learning ‘how to code’…   Using Visualforce can seem very intimidating at the beginning, but hopefully Soroosh Avazkhani’s great post will help you take your first step into this fascinating world. matrix-1735640_1920-1

7. Dreaming in Concrete and Einstein’s Lunch

When Stephen Cummins, owner of the largest Salesforce LinkedIn group (50K members and counting!) sits down to write an article, he produces essays of unmatched quality.   This time he works his way from tackling the Twitter acquisition ordeal (with some surprising insights) to the new, refreshing new horizon that Salesforce’s new AI, Einstein, offers its users.  

8. A Nightmare on Org Street: How to Scare Your New Salesforce Administrator

Well I had to include at least one Halloween-themed article, right? Christian Belko takes you on a tour through the haunted house that is a mature, undocumented, Salesforce org. Don’t worry though, the guy’s a total Salesforce Ghostbuster!  

9. 5 powerful ways to supercharge any Salesforce project

Kicking off this month’s list is Scott Gassmann, author of blog with a great set of tips to maximize results from any Salesforce project. The article combines theoretical and practical approaches to create a great combination of thought provoking and instantly useful advices. Awesome read!  

10. How to keep just one (or a few) Accounts Private in Salesforce

ChadForce is another recent discovery for me, and I just wish I had found out about his blog earlier! Chad updates his blog frequently with very useful tips. Be sure to check this one out as well as his other great posts. download-5

11. Chatter: The Power of Collaboration Software within Salesforce

Another great LinkedIn find! People have pretty mixed views of Salesforce’s Chatter, many complaints stem from the company’s attempts to integrate it more and more into the users’ work. Comments regarding Salesforce “shoving Chatter down my throat” were pretty common in recent years. (There’s even a Reddit group called “Why I Hate Chatter”…)   On the other hand however, Chatter offers some great features and is generally pretty user-friendly. This next article by Nicolas Lebel reviews Chatter’s unique features and serves us with some serious pro-Chatter arguments.  

12. 6 Things You Must Know Before Creating A Salesforce Training Program

This post might be more interesting for project managers to read, yet I find it pretty insightful for admins as well. The very act of creating a Salesforce training program requires us to dive into the core of our work as Salesforce Admins, and write down our impression on what’s relevant, and what’s less relevant. (Written by Gokul Suresh)  

13. Tracking The Activities of Users with Field History and Chatter:

Jeff Summers AKA SalesForrceGuru writes a great blog that often tackles complex issues like Salesforce implementation, but also delivers killer practical tips that are very easy to use. This post provides multiple ways to track activity history in Salesforce- even through chatter feed.  

14. Using Automation to Manage the Lead Lifecycle:

Brent Downey’s blog AdminHero is one of my new favorite blogs for everything Salesforce- it’s packed with amazing original content and clever tips that add a whole new dimension to the term “Salesforce tricks”. This latest AdminHero post shows you how to harness Salesforce’s automation capabilities to up your lead management game- and can be a real game changer for some.  

15. 5 Tips to Rock Your Next Salesforce Demo!

You don’t necessarily have to be a keynote speaker to have presentations and briefings take a good chunk of your time at work. Granted, not everyone is a skilled public speaker, but boy oh boy have I seen some horrors throughout the years!   The thing is, improving this skill isn’t that hard. It usually revolves around self-awareness and confidence, but there are other tips that can prove very useful.  This article is bound to help you nail that next presentation. concert-1748102_1920-1

16. Upload a File as Large as 2GB in Salesforce Using a Visualforce Page

Did you know that The largest file size users can upload with Visualforce is 10MB? If you were ever required to upload a large file, you probably do, and it probably frustrated the hell out of you…   Well, with the help of Ashish Sharma’s Awesome guide, you can now upload up to 2GB! YAY!  

17. Avoiding the Pitfalls of Salesforce Implementation

Rainforce deals with the topic of Salesforce implementation very often. You might even say that it’s our specialty!   And as a blogger who spends a considerable amount of time trying to describe the most common mistakes and missteps a company might make during the process, sometimes you have to give credit to awesome posts that wrote it spot on. Carlyle Cupid’s post is one example.  

18. A Salesforce Admin’s Life In 9 GIFs

How about a little comic relief? I’ve found that I’m often a bit too serious on this blog, so I’ve been spending time thinking of creative and entertaining posts to keep things lighter. Here’s one of my favorites – an effort to capture the trials of a Salesforce admin’s life in 9 GIFs.  

19. Everything Is Possible, Just Try: An Interview with SharinPix CEO Jean Michel Mougeolle

The next step in the evolution of this blog, our recently launched interview series MVP talk features monthly interviews with Salesforce MVPs from all over the globe.   I was very honored to have SharinPix CEO Jean Michel Mougeolle featured in the series premiere. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more MVP goodness! technology-792180_1920-1

20. 5 Ways To Advance Your Salesforce Career

So you’ve landed your dream job as a Salesforce Admin… now what? Sure, the next couple of years could be blissful ones. But at some point you’ll start thinking about the next step.   There are many paths of promotion for admins, but that being said not everyone is as aware of their options as they should be. Power duo Will Powell and Ben McCarthy will guide you to the beautiful unknown of Salesforce promotion in this great post.
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.