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Lead Rotator Added to PowerPack

James Sullivan on 01 February 2017

Jan 31, 2017

Lead Rotator added to PowerPack

Cloudanswers is proud to announce the addition of our latest exciting feature to our PowerPack. Lead Rotator is here!

Lead rotator makes managing your leads easier than ever by automatically rotating lead assignments between each member of your lead queues.

Lead Rotator

Cloudanswers PowerPack

Cloudanswers PowerPack is available for free on the Salesforce AppExchange and has an integrated suite of products that you and your team will wish you’ve had all along, including apps that can be very expensive from other vendors.

Contact Us today to learn how the Cloudanswers PowerPack can help you succeed on the Salesforce platform. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Case Merge Added to PowerPack

Morgan Henris on 25 January 2017

Jan 25, 2017


Case Merge added to PowerPack

Did you know that Salesforce users have been asking for a native case-merge solution for over 6 years but Salesforce still doesn’t provide this functionality? Even worse, users who need to merge cases are directed to an AppExchange product which sells per-user licenses and can be very costly for large teams. How rude!

Cloudanswers is proud to announce the addition of our latest exciting feature to our PowerPack. Case Merge is here!

Enhanced with a powerful user interface that makes finding and merging cases easier than ever before, the Cloudanswers PowerPack gives you the tools you need to combine cases quickly so you and your team can focus on what really matters; your customers!

We all have clients who create lots of cases, and if you are using email-to-case, the numbers can grow quickly! PowerPack lets you select cases directly from related lists on account and contact detail pages, and merge them with the click of a button.

Case Merge Account

But what if you have duplicate cases across different accounts or contacts? PowerPack provides robust search functionality so that you can find and merge cases based on any criteria!

Case Merge Find Duplicates

When you merge cases, all the child records from the duplicate case are moved to the master case, so all your activities, attachments, and email messages are automatically preserved on your master case!

Also, case descriptions are combined from each merged case into the master, so that your team never loses track of important details.

Cloudanswers PowerPack

Cloudanswers PowerPack is available for free on the Salesforce AppExchange and has an integrated suite of products that you and your team will wish you’ve had all along, including apps that can be very expensive from other vendors.

Contact Us today to learn how the Cloudanswers PowerPack can help you succeed on the Salesforce platform. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Trailhead: Reporting

Patrick Sullivan on 24 January 2017

Jan 24, 2017

Salesforce is a lot of things. You can store contacts, track products, manage automation, create complex reports, and then-some.

When you are just getting started, the set up can feel overwhelming and expensive. Even if you are teaching yourself after hours, you are spending a lot of time looking at features that you have survived without.

There is one feature you need to master before any other. It is not automated emailing, its not validation rules of making a site. What you need now are accurate Reports. Insightful and timely, a report on team data gives you insight into your coworker’s actions and your own. You can see who is covering which bases and who needs help.

Some companies need up-to-date pipeline reports for stockholders, other’s need metrics to help coach their sales people. There are many cases where summarizing your data will offer extra insight.

In Trailhead: Reporting you get a deep dive into the most prominent features. From reporting on related records to building dashboards, you practice using these tools to solve complicated problems.

Lightning and JavaScript Buttons

test author on 24 January 2017

Jan 24, 2017

Lightning is coming. You have played around with the new User interface, made some reports, and tested out your customizations. When Lightning was released a year ago, it was slow and it was missing things. A year later they have addressed a lot of the issues, sped things up, and now its looking pretty good!

##Trailhead Luckily for us, with all of the updates, we can stay current with Trailhead. Salesforce has been diligently crafting content that not only tells the User what is coming, it also walks you through use cases so you can really absorb it.

Today I was trying to find the best way to replace JavaScript Buttons. Salesforce has clearly signaled they are on their way out, which is rough for anyone who populated pages with data for their users. It won’t work in Lightning, it won’t work in Console. Now we have Quick Actions and Lightning Components. They work and they are easy.

##Lightning Components To get your bearings, you can go to Trailhead: JavaScript Button Migration to see how the migration works and an awesome example of the new functionality in Lightning.

Trailhead walks you through the example of using a modal to update a related record. This might not seem amazing, there are little edit modals for everything, but what this example shows you is that you can stay on the same page to update common fields on a related record. Time and again I talk to Users who want to update the Account from a Contact after a call. Now, with a Quick Action, you an edit the Account directly from the Contact avoiding the reload time and confusion of switching between records.

Spring '17 Developer Preview

test author on 17 January 2017

Jan 17, 2017

Salesforce’s Spring ‘17 release is coming soon, and with it comes a lot of great new features designed to make developers’ lives easier. Of course, at Cloudanswers we’re stoked and excited to share what’s new in Lightning, Visualforce, and Apex.

Lightning

Lightning experience in Salesforce continues to improve, with new features and and increased parity with Visualforce coming in every release. Here’s what’s new:

Lightning container components

In Spring ‘17, Salesforce introduces a preview of Lightning Container Components which are natively hosted javascript apps that can be dragged into your Lightning apps using Lightning App Builder, just like you would build an app with any other lightning component.

This will allow developers to create Lightning components using their preferred javascript libraries, and make them available in lightning experience, hosted in an iframe.

Lightning container components will be hosted on Salesforce as a static resource, and become available in Lightning app builder once uploaded. Although in an iframe, these special components are API session enabled, and have access to a messaging service which allows your container components to interact with other custom components on the same page despite the iframe limitation!

New Standard Components

Spring ‘17 comes with a few exciting new standard components for use in your lightning apps!

  1. Search Input A new lightning component that will let you search for and select related records using SOSL or even Apex!

  2. File Upload Input A new standard file input will become available for developers in Spring ‘17

  3. Rich Text Editor A standard rich text editor for lightning components. Finally! Simply add your first one using the <lightning:inputRichText> tag!

Better error reporting in lightning experience

By popular developer demand! Now you’ll be able to see a meaningful error message, complete with line numbers and stack trace when an error is encountered in one of the components on the page. Here’s a blurry screen shot I took from the webinar!

Error Message

Locker service

Locker service has changes which are available as a critical update in Spring ‘17 Sandbox and Developer orgs. The update will tighten Content Security Policy (CSP) to eliminate the possibility of XSS attacks. You can turn the update on and off so that you can test your components and apps before locker service becomes the law of the land in Summer ‘17

Lightning Console Apps

Many of you are already familiar with the Service Console and console apps. They’re awesome! Even more awesome is that coming in Spring ‘17 admins and developers will be able to create lightning-ready console apps with custom functionality, for use by other teams in your business.

Console apps are configurable so that the tabs and objects you use most are right at your team’s fingertips.

Lightning Console Apps will also have a configurable utility bar, which is essentially a set of lightning components that stays docked and always visible as you navigate the different tabs of the console app!

Custom record detail pages in Lightning App Builder

This one is sweet and ties in with console apps. Customize your record detail pages in lightning app builder, and even add new tabs beyond the standard “Feed” and “Detail” tabs, and assign any tab as the default. New lightning detail pages can be assigned to your console apps, with business unit-specific components added to each one!

Apex Stub API goes GA

The Apex Stub API, which provides developers with a suite of classes and methods used for stubbing and mocking for their unit tests, was available as a pilot in Winter ‘17. With the introduction of Spring ‘17, this functionality will become available to all orgs. More info on the Apex Stub API can be found at https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.apexcode.meta/apexcode/apex_testing_stub_api.htm

Salesforce DX

This is the one that dropped every jaw in the room when it was announced at Dreamforce ‘16. Salesforce DX is an integrated suite of tools designed to make development easier for teams of developers, and individual developers alike. Salesforce DX is going to be delivered as a “plugin” to the Force.com IDE (Eclipse), and also come with a command line interface. The plugin uses the CLI to do its work, which means anything it does can be scripted!

There are so many awesome things coming with DX (Developer Experience) that I could spend all day talking about them! But since you probably have better things to do than read my blog, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet :-)

Move source of truth from Sandboxes to Source Control

As many Salesforce developers are well aware, managing salesforce metadata with version control is a necessary but not always easy task. The folks at Salesforce are finally listening and delivering a tool that will change the paradigm so that the source code, not a sandbox, is the system of record for managing and delivering (yes, delivering… more on that below!) your salesforce configurations and code.

Pilot CLI for DX

This is where things get really exciting. Salesforce DX is introducting a CLI which can do nifty things like spin up orgs, populate data, apply configurations, assign permissions, run tests, etc. all from the command line. The CI/CD implications here are monumental! Imagine a world where you can spin up a salesforce org using a JSON config file stored in your repository. How about doing those things automatically through your CI tool like Jenkins? Neat stuff.

Asynchronous server updates

Currently when developing Salesforce code and config, we need to save files to the server, and each time we do that, our IDE makes us wait before we can do the next thing. Sometimes we spend lots of time looking at the screen while our code awaits judgment from the server-side gods. With DX, each save operation is its own thread and executes asynchronously which should speed development times tremendously. Don’t worry though, we won’t tell anybody if you still decide to stare at the screen once in a while :-)

DX is extensible

In addition to all the cool things it can do out of the box, DX and the CLI are extensible by simply writing some NodeJS. Sweet!

How to get DX

DX is a “closed” pilot for Spring ‘17, but we’ve been led to believe that those who sign up are likely to get a taste. Here’s how:

  1. Go to http://developer.salesforce.com
  2. Click on “Products” on the menu and choose Salesforce DX
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page that comes up
  4. Click the button to be the first to learn more about it
  5. Provide your info in the form and submit

We expect that you’ll receive an email about how to participate in the Pilot sometime in February.

Salesforce DX

Conclusions

As always, Salesforce is positioned to deliver another set of awesome features in their upcoming release that will make the platform more robust. This article only touches on some of them, but there are a lot more things coming in Spring. Check out the full release notes here

Talk to us today about how Cloudanswers can help your business succeed on Salesforce!

PowerPack Release Announcement

test author on 11 November 2016

When you have worked in over 100 orgs you get a lot of the same requests from different companies. Instead of developing the same code for each client, starting today, we are centralizing these redundant development efforts into a new salesforce AppExchange App: The CloudAnswers PowerPack

AppExchange Screenshot

This package combines over 10 years of learning about real-life salesforce implementations. It comes with baked in best-practices that you may not know you needed, or knew were possible. This package’s goal is to satisfy our clients’ most common requests so that a client never again has to ask us to code the same thing we’ve coded 10 times before, and let us get down to making new ways to accelerate your business.

PowerPack Products (Today):

  1. CalendarEverything: Easily create a marketing calendar, an Opportunitiy calendar, or a calendar based on a custom object. This app allows drag and drop of events and obeys all built in salesforce security systems, so you can build team or company-wide calendars quickly.
  2. Case Merge: Merge cases together with a point-and-click interface that will feel familiar right away. Don’t let stale cases slip through the cracks! Merge them together with the Cloudanswers Powerpack.
  3. Opportunity Team Inherit: If you use Account Teams and Opportunity Teams, don’t you wish a new Opportunity would inherit the Account Team automatically? Enable this feature to make it happen automatically whenever a new Opportunity is created.
  4. Account Find Duplicates Button: A button for the account screen to start a search and de-dupe cycle. It’s an easy enhancement to add to your system to improve data quality.

Coming Soon:

  1. Credit card processing
  2. Click-to-dial
  3. Custom integrations
  4. Weather Integration
  5. Enhanced scheduled reports (send in any format)
  6. And much, much, more…

PowerPack is:

  1. Best practices baked-in
  2. The most common development requests
  3. Focused on addressing the needs of growing companies
  4. Always getting better, with planned frequent releases for the next year

The current price of the PowerPack is only $100 per company per month (yes, for unlimited users).

Interested? A free trial is availble for 14 days and you can install it from the AppExchange:
https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000000pvspEAA

The four technical supplements that will help your email open rates reach peak performance

test author on 06 October 2016

Email: The easiest way to either a high marketing ROI or the easiest way to ruin someone’s day. According to a survey ran by Crain BtoB Magazine, 59% of marketers say that email is the highest revenue generation channel in their company. However, over 50% of people who receive subscription based emails unsubscribe because they never expected communication from the company.

Even if you have a loyal subscriber list to your content, there may be other factors in the way of your email marketing. These other factors can be summarized into one general issue: technical optimization. Emails are much more than sending awesome copy and a great content offer, they have several other properties that affect how they are sent, where they will get sent, and even the first impression people make of them in their inbox!

Luckily, we have a prescription if you think you’re suffering from the ailments of poor technical email practices:

Your Email Technical Prescription:

  1. One verified sender to email from —
    If you’re using a CRM or marketing automation software for email campaigns, that’s great! BUT… you have to make sure you have a verified sender in that software. Using the default sender tools in CRMs will insert a @company.[CRMsoftware].com at the end of your sender line! Your recipients will immediately know that you’re sending an automated email, which can lead to unsubscribes and unopened emails. There is a cure though! Just make sure you have a dedicated email address, and verify it through your CRM! Not only will you agree to be compliant with CAN-SPAM law, but your subscribers will feel as if a person is sending over the content they love!

  2. KISS: Keep it Sweet and Simple (for subject lines and preview text) —
    So you’ve made a killer subject line, your preview text does a great job describing your content, but when you send the email it cuts off. Generally, you want to aim for 50 or so characters when writing subject lines! Hopefully you tweet a lot because 140 characters is tough enough, but 50 is less than half of that! Meeting this challenge creates a simple but effective outcome: your subject lines and preview texts can be fully read without needing another click. This also ties into our next item…

  3. Optimize for mobile devices always! —
    Did you know that almost 80% of email recipients open email on their mobile device! Yes, you’re reading that correctly! Over the last five years, email opens have greatly shifted from desktop to mobile! Hence why we say optimize your emails for mobile always! Those short but sweet subjects? Already optimized for mobile and desktop! CTAs? Make your CTA a square button to perfectly accommodate mobile screens! Always test your templates and see what they look like on phone screens. Apple Mail dominates mobile opens (over 55%!) because they integrate with every client. Now another nice transition (two for two) as clients are hugely important in technical optimization…

  4. Make sure your emails are viewable in any email client! —
    There is an ongoing argument about HTML vs. plain text and which one is better. While most subscribers (people who have already dedicated their time to see your content) wish to see HTML emails from companies, colder leads are generally more inviting to plain-text. However, there are even people who still use basic clients that can ONLY VIEW PLAIN TEXT! So what do you do? Make an HTML and plain-text version of course! This increases not only how many emails you are able to send, but also allows “client-challenged” email users to view your content!

If you use CRM software or similar tools, you should be in great shape to use technical features of email marketing to your advantage! And as always, make sure to double up on CloudAid prescriptions to supercharge your CRM/marketing automation!

Out of aspirin? Reduce headaches with these 5 CRM software Best Practices

test author on 05 October 2016

We’re not recommending that you can replace aspirin with CRM software (Customer Relationship Management), that would be nonsensical. When it does come with organizing your Sales and Marketing on an automation system, there are other headaches that come with those activities.

Leads without a lifecycle or status plague your database. Non-existent Campaign IDs and labels still collect dust within your SalesForce, because no one has had time to clean it out. Features and workflow functions don’t have the functionality that you desire, or require a highly technical configuration. Whatever the case may be, there will be congestion between what you’re trying to do and your CRM.

Sometimes you think: “Why don’t I just get rid of this altogether?” The answer to that is CRMs are the standard for businesses both big and small when it comes to optimizing lead generation. Here are some stats to help convince why you’ll fall behind without a CRM:

Symptoms and Risks of letting go of a CRM:

Everyone is using CRMs and with more mobility than traditional sales/marketing software. So let’s get you a prescription for your CRM headaches, so you can also start maximizing Sales and Marketing activity.

Your Prescription for a Headache-Free CRM Experience:

  1. Establish your Lifecycle and Lead Statuses before running campaigns — When prospects and leads interact with your products, make sure that they are accurately marked as they do. If they subscribe to your blog, establish a workflow that says they are a “Subscriber.” If you have customers, make sure they’re marked as “Customers.” You don’t want people who already bought your services to get content or emails meant for prospects who just went into the pipeline.
  2. Label your campaigns and confirm the leads in those campaigns — Receiving a commercial email that you didn’t expect isn’t the best experience. Don’t have the same happen to the leads within your CRM. This is easily avoidable. By labeling your campaigns, and setting rules and qualifications for your campaigns, you can make sure the leads you want to engage with aligned with the appropriate experience. Your blog subscribers should be associated with campaigns related to your blog. Leads who expressed interest in an event you’re hosting should be associated with invitation campaigns. Make your labels simple and clear to avoid campaign overlap.
  3. Clean up your leads and campaigns regularly with lists — You’re going to have leads and prospects that, unfortunately, unsubscribe or opt of of communication with your company altogether. They aren’t ready to engage with your company at this time, so you need to make sure you’re not pestering them. Building lists that show the unsubscribes, opt outs, and other company disengagements is almost as important as identifying your most qualified leads. Doing this can avoid serious issues such as skewed results/data as well legal trouble!
  4. Have your whole team onboard! — Even the smallest businesses utilizing CRMs should have more than more person managing their software. It promotes an aligned Sales and Marketing system, and holds people accountable on their responsibilities. Also you have a sense of teamwork when it comes to organizing and compiling your databases with an aligned team all working on the same CRM.
  5. Have someone who has mastered CRM software look at your system — There are instances where you have no time nor people to really get the most out of your CRM software. Hire an expert to see what is going on! While most CRMs are easy to learn, they are very hard to master, especially from a technical standpoint. There are professionals that can fully optimize your CRMs, and are worth giving a call.

The Lead Nurturing Checklist that will greatly boost your Pipeline’s Immune System

test author on 04 October 2016

You operate or work within a medium-sized business. Over the last few months, you and the team have created some great marketing content. You’ve been sharing it and seeing conversions like crazy… at first. But now you notice that all these great inbound leads have started to disengage from your business. The content is still great. The pathways are still open, but it’s as if customers are “window shopping.”

Don’t fret! All this means is that your business is now ready for a shiny new Lead Management program.

Lead Management, or “Lead Nurturing,” is the process of qualifying inbound leads by educating them with resources, and building trust with them until they’re ready to buy. A lot of salespeople and marketers think that once a lead subscribes to a blog, or downloads a piece of content, they’re ready to buy. Not the case. In fact according to SiriusDecisions, 98% of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) don’t result in a closed deal or business. This is where Lead Management/Nurturing comes in. Let your consumers and prospects teach themselves and get more comfortable with what you’re selling.

Reported Symptoms of Effective Lead Management:

Before you break into a cold sweat thinking that Lead Management is unattainable, don’t worry. Have comfort in knowing that anyone can build an effective Lead Management Program. Here is your CloudAid Prescription to get started:

Your Lead Management Program Prescription:

Lead Nurturing begins with making sure you have a clear objective in mind. Are you looking to engage with new inbound leads through generally useful resources, or are you providing educational awareness about why your solution helps them? Make sure you define lead engagement and lead education. For example: if your business resonates with the story at the beginning, you’ll now start to educate your inbound leads.

You’ve decided on your strategy, awesome! Now it’s time to build content around that goal. Keep your content simple and easy to read. Especially if your leads are just learning about your brand and products. Keep content relevant and useful to whatever stage they’re at in the buying process. If you’re doing an engagement strategy, make sure you’re resonating with the same ideas and interests as your leads.

You know what you’re trying to attain with your lead nurturing, you have the proper content, now you just need the tools to catalogue your leads and measure your inbound activity. The market has a massive amount of CRMs such as SalesForce, HubSpot, and Marketo just to name a few. These help automate your marketing campaigns and identify behavioral trends of your inbound leads.

Once you’re read to launch your Lead Management operation, get your team on the same page. Make absolute sure that Sales and Marketing are aligned. This is critical in identifying leads that ready to consider purchasing decisions. Have an expert take a look at your CRM. Have said expert properly organize leads, and fully optimize marketing activities.

Implement Lead Nurturing to turn your Pipeline from a sickly to sprightly. You’ll thank yourself later once you do it.