With Dreamforce starting this week it is a good reminder that Salesforce is constantly evolving and growing, be that through the triannual releases, the purchase of new products or the exponential growth of the AppExchange.
As such, keeping up with everything that is possible and the intricacies of how it works is not humanly possible and as Einstein said, “Never memorise something that you can look up”.
So how do you find help? That depends to a degree on how you absorb information and what the problem is.
At Nebula Consulting we use a multitude of different methods and here are 10 of our favourite:
1. Success Community
The sheer breadth of the success community and its interactive nature is something which truly distinguishes Salesforce from its competitors. If you google a problem you are likely to come up with links to the Success Community. This means that you can learn from the problems other people have had (you are rarely the first) or ask questions. The army of people who will race to come to your aid are both knowledgeable and friendly. This truly is amazing, especially for a free resource.
This is not just a plug, partnering with a consultancy who understand your business, what you are trying to do and the complexities of your system can be invaluable when you get stuck. A lot of consultancies, like ourselves, offer support arrangements so that you don’t have delays in getting help, as well as having support and advice when building/altering in your system.
3. Other Online Communities
This area is growing a lot and can be extremely helpful in finding answers quickly. They each have their own feel and medium but are basically unofficial versions of the Success Community. Make sure to take a look at Slack/Reddit/YouTube.
If you want to know how the system works and you learn best through doing then Trailhead is incredible. This online learning tool is fully gamified and will question you to ensure you know what you’re doing as well as getting you to complete exercises in practise orgs. There is also now Trailhead Go which is a mobile app so you can login on the go. You can also create personalised versions of Trailhead through My Trailhead so that you can include your customisations. This is often used for onboarding new Users or when rolling out large changes.
5. Help Docs
The online Help documentation provided by Salesforce is superb, it will explain the thought behind the field or process. This can be helpful for understanding how the system thinks so that you can make sure you are using the correct field.
6. Release Notes
Three times a year Salesforce bring out a release with new features, alterations and upgrades to the current system. This is pushed into the Sandboxes before it moves into Production and the release notes come out at the same time. This way you can make sure you know what is being altered and it will possibly explain why your testing in Sandbox now works when it didn’t the week before.
As you are currently reading a blog I will presume you already know the power of the blog, but if not check out our other posts here.
8. Salesforce Success Plans
Having a Success Plan with Salesforce gives you the ability to ask the people who created the system exactly how it should work or where the problem lies. This can also give you access to their Office Hour facility and Learning Paths.
It may seem old fashioned but sometimes talking to those around you or who you met at a User Group can be the fastest way to get the answer you want. I am blessed with a lot of very knowledgeable people within easy reach at Nebula as well as the Ohana at large and I use it all the time.
10. Ideas/Known Issues
Sometimes it can feel that you have run into a brick wall and that you simply can’t find a solution. If this is the case then don’t forget to check the Ideas Exchange and lists of Known Issues. I have saved hours in the past by checking these and upvoted many an Idea. As I said, the system is massive and business requirements are constantly growing so suggesting ways that the system could work better will help everyone. This is one of the best elements of being on a multi-tenant infrastructure.
Hopefully you find these links useful and get the answers you are looking for. If you would like to find out more about our Advanced Support package or if you simply have a question then don’t hesitate to get in touch, we are always happy to help.