Salesforce Data Extensions

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Data Extensions

In the marketing technology landscape, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is one of the most powerful tools for marketing optimization. A critical component within this platform is the Salesforce data extension, a feature that helps manage and leverage your organization’s data. In this blog post, we’ll unravel the concept of data extensions and provide practical tips on harnessing its full potential.

Understanding Data Extensions

What is a Data Extension?

At its core, a data extension is a customizable table within Salesforce Marketing Cloud that stores your data. It allows you to organize information for the individuals you want to connect with in a way that aligns with your particular business needs. It provides the foundation for everything from a simple email distribution to a responsive customer journey.

Why are Data Extensions Crucial?

Data Extensions serve as the backbone of personalized marketing efforts. By housing and organizing customer data, businesses can customize campaigns, segment audiences, and deliver more relevant content. In basic terms, data extensions hold the information for your marketing audience. We have a few tips about using data extensions to help you enhance customer engagement and drive revenue.

1. Data Structure

Lay the Foundation: Before you start with Data Extensions, collaborate on a clear data plan. A data plan represents your strategic and well-thought-out approach to managing and utilizing data within the platform. So, first, you’ll start by identifying the types of data you need and then work with stakeholders to coordinate the data to support your marketing goals. 

Simple Naming: Maintain a simple and consistent naming convention for your data extensions. The more you use Marketing Cloud, the more data extensions you’ll need. It’s helpful if you have an easy way to highlight where the data is coming from so you can quickly distinguish the details from each other. Otherwise, you’ll spend precious time searching for the data and hoping you send it to the proper data set.

2. Efficient Field Management

Prioritize Essential Fields: Data extensions allow you to bring in important data that helps define an individual prospect. The fields could be anything from a phone number to the contact’s business role. But be careful not to overdo it. Keep your data extensions streamlined by including only essential fields to optimize system performance. A clean navigation and manageable data set improve the user experience as well.

3. Automation for Data Maintenance

Scheduled Imports: Set up automated processes to regularly update the data extensions you use for recurring projects. Take advantage of the automation and filtering tools to make the process seamless. Automation ensures that your campaigns are always running with the most current and relevant information, thereby reducing manual effort, keeping the data extension folder clean, and minimizing the risk of outdated data. 

Explore Data Extensions

Salesforce Data extensions hold the keys to unlocking the power of personalization within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform. Using data extensions starts with strategically planning your data structure, optimizing field management, and leveraging automation. By addressing these building blocks, you’ll be one step closer to propelling your business toward marketing success. 

Revenue Ops LLC is an experienced team of sales, marketing, and customer success professionals committed to helping clients maximize their revenue. We apply our deep knowledge of CRM systems like Salesforce to optimize sales potential by stimulating and tracking customer interactions.

If you’d like to hear more or have general questions about Salesforce data extensions, schedule some time to talk with one of our experienced Revenue Operations specialists.

Salesforce Flow Builder

Overview of Salesforce Flow Builder

Automation is all the rage, and for good reason. It can save you time and money, unlocking new avenues for growth. With that in mind, Salesforce designed a powerful tool to harness automation. Flow Builder is its name, and it’s a one-stop shop for designing, building, testing, and deploying flows that streamline processes and enhance operational efficiency. So mastering Flow Builder is essential, whether you’re an operations professional optimizing workflows, a technology enthusiast diving into automation, or a business owner seeking improved efficiency. Don’t stress if this sounds overwhelming; we’ve outlined five steps that will put you on the path to being a Salesforce Flow Builder pro!

1. Streamline Your Business Processes

Flow Builder can either make your life easier or much more complicated. When designed and implemented strategically, it will increase operational productivity and overall team bandwidth. However, a careless approach to handling this automation tool can create a level of complexity in your Salesforce system that weighs down efficiency and negatively impacts user experience. To combat this pitfall, start by thoroughly understanding your organization’s existing business processes. Identifying bottlenecks, pain points, and areas where automation can bring the most value is helpful. Also, think about how automation will affect different objects. Your team might even discover ways to combine processes. Clearly defining your objectives and documenting the intricacies of your automation needs will guide you in creating adequate flows that align with your business goals. 

2. Dynamic Record Choices Make Your Life Better

Do you want a system that is flexible and adaptable to changes or a rigid one that demands constant attention and maintenance? If you’re committed to continuous improvement and efficiency, you want to design a robust system that accommodates the changes that each new business process brings. One of the ways Flow Builder offers adaptable automation is through the power of dynamic record choices. Instead of hardcoding record choices, you can use dynamic choices that populate based on specific criteria. This function is convenient when working with scenarios where the data varies based on particular criteria, such as assigning leads according to region, industry, etc. By taking advantage of dynamic record choices, you can free up time to focus on growth!

3. Get Comfortable with Record-Triggered and Screen Flows 

If we think of a Salesforce instance as a movie, the main characters would be the record-triggered and screen flows. They have the power to automate your team’s manual processes and can play an integral part in improving both user and customer experience. 

Record-triggered flows help automate manual tasks. These flows are triggered when a record is created or updated, so this dynamic automation saves users precious hours each week. For example, a record-triggered flow could automatically update related records, send notifications, or initiate follow-up tasks when a lead status changes. Understanding and strategically utilizing record-triggered flows ensures that your automation remains responsive and aligned with real-world scenarios. It is a powerful tool for enhancing business processes.

Well-designed user interaction is crucial to a healthy business process. Users should have a tailored experience built into their current system, with low friction and seamless integration between different technologies. Personalization is a significant endeavor if you’re not using something native to your CRM, but luckily, Salesforce has your back. Screen flows allow your team to easily create and implement interactive, user-friendly experiences. Whether capturing information, making decisions, or displaying relevant data, screen flows enable you to design intuitive interfaces without extensive coding. This practical approach to process optimization will improve productivity while making your team’s responsibilities much more manageable.

4. Master Variables for Dynamic Flow Control

One of the biggest hurdles when learning the Flow Builder tool is the vocabulary. There are a bunch of revenue operations terms that you’re forced to understand before even executing a simple flow. The first term to start with is variable, a container for a single piece of data that can be a number, text, date, or other type. It may sound like a peripheral component, but it plays a pivotal role in storing and manipulating the data any particular flow encounters. Teams can leverage variables to store and reference data throughout the flow and extend it with conditional logic to perform tasks based on varying record values. The flexible nature of variables opens a wealth of automation possibilities.

5. Start Small

When starting with Flow Builder, you might be tempted to tackle complex processes immediately. You’ve heard about how the tool will change your life and are excited to see it in action. While that mentality is admirable, it’s advisable to start small. Begin with a pilot project or a less critical process to familiarize yourself with Flow Builder’s intricacies. This approach allows you to learn and adapt as you refine your flows using real-world activity. An incremental approach ensures that automated flows deliver tangible results without overwhelming the organization, so your team will surely appreciate that.

Make the Most of Salesforce Flow Builder

Salesforce’s Flow Builder is a game-changer, offering a versatile platform to automate and optimize business processes. It can save teams countless hours while improving the user experience. To accomplish this, you need to lay a strong foundation. So, you should:

  • Thoroughly understand your business processes
  • Leverage dynamic record choices
  • Utilize record-triggered and screen flows
  • Master variables
  • Start small

These practical tips will ensure that your automation is built for today and ready for what tomorrow has in store.

Boost Your Business: A Mid-Year CRM Check

Boost Your Business: A Mid-Year CRM Check

Hey there, fellow business trailblazers! Can you believe summer is almost over, and pumpkin spice lattes are just around the corner? Now it’s time to boost your business and ensure your Salesforce system is ready to tackle the rest of the year. As a revenue operations team, we developed a simple guide to help you perform a CRM check that will put your business on the path to success! 

Data: Clean and Green

Clean data needs to be the foundation of your tech stack. You have to trust what your reports are saying, and data within your systems should correlate and pass seamlessly from one system to another. Duplicate and incomplete data can find its way into your instance in many ways. Yet, no matter how it gets there, you must do something about it. A system that identifies and eliminates these pesky duplicates, like duplicate management rules in your CRM, creates reliable data for effective reporting and forecasting across systems.

Customizations: Tailor-Made Solutions

Customize your CRM to fit your unique business needs. A CRM is generally a pricy part of your tech stack, so it should be set up in a way that works best for your team’s processes. For example, picture yourself running a subscription-based service. Your mid-year analysis reveals a chance to automate the subscription renewal process with custom workflows. This time-saving enhancement ensures that nothing falls through the cracks while your team enjoys the benefit of reduced manual efforts.

User Adoption: Engage and Thrive

Encourage your team to embrace Salesforce to its full potential. Consider, for example, a growing marketing agency that uses (SFDC) to streamline lead management, among other things. In a recent systems check, they found sales members hesitant to embrace the new CRM because they had lingering questions about the lead qualification process. 

Organizing interactive training and feedback sessions and showcasing the benefits of your CRM to the sales team can spark enthusiasm for how efficient the sales process can be within the CRM. A few advantages of a well-organized CRM system are automation, lead qualification, and activity capture. Incorporating the team’s ideas and input will make them feel like they’ve contributed to a meaningful part of the prospect journey. 

Metrics: Power Your Growth

The very fact that your CRM collects and organizes customer information means it’s holding robust data your business needs to take advantage of. As mentioned previously, the first step is ensuring the numbers tell an accurate story. From there, you should harness the power of data-driven insights. For example, you might use the native CRM reporting feature to focus on closed lost deals and their lead source or create custom forecasts that allow your sales managers to understand when and where they will realize revenue. The possibilities are endless, so be creative and use your data.

Security: Protect Your Fortunes

Safeguard your data as if it were treasure because it is. Security means that not all your data must be accessible to your entire company. It would be best if you established boundaries and unique permission sets. 

Consider a financial services company using Salesforce to manage client portfolios. During a recent security review, they unearthed a potential vulnerability – some users had unnecessary access to sensitive financial data and personally identifiable information (PII). By tightening access controls, improving the profile and role settings, and implementing two-factor authentication, they can shield their clients’ interests and protect their data against potential threats.

We’re Here to Help

Your CRM system holds the keys to how efficiently your team can operate. It sits at the center of your organization and demands careful planning and execution. We encourage you to go through the CRM check tactics in this guide and take the necessary steps to apply them to improve your sales operations. 

Navigating the Salesforce landscape might be overwhelming, but you can do it with some professional help. You have a trusted partner with years of experience with Revenue Ops LLC. If you have questions or want to talk, contact our consultants today.


Salesforce Best Practices

Salesforce Best Practices from Revenue Operations Professionals

Having worked with Salesforce for several years, our team of revenue operations specialists has compiled a list of Salesforce best practices. We hope these simple but essential nuggets of wisdom will spare you unnecessary aggravation and set you up for automation and sales success.

Test and Retest

You may think that the simple “flow” you created is only going to affect an associated record, but are you sure? Salesforce instances are complex systems that weave together elements and applications. A well-thought-out change to the way something fires cannot only cause an unintended consequence but could cause delays in business activities or even trigger errant emails to customers. To avoid confusion, be sure to test your updates in a sandbox and within the current production environment upon launch. 

Keep It Simple

Ideally, automation will take work off your plate, but if not implemented correctly, it can complicate workflows. Unfortunately, it’s more common than you’d think for teams desperately looking for efficiency to automate every step of a process and end up with a tangled web of error messages and internal questions. Instead of streamlining operations, you can end up in a messier place. Therefore, knowing the reason for the implementation and understanding how it will play out with other processes is helpful to consider before moving forward with a specific automation. By taking the time to map it out, you will be able to avoid business delays and likely have tangible insight into potential updates in the future.

Don’t Forget Data Quality

What are you doing about duplicates? How is data coming in and out of your platform? These fundamental questions need to be visited throughout the Salesforce ride. Having clean data means the reports you rely on are accurate and reliable. It lets your team pick up on trends and make accurate forecasts. So instead of blindly making decisions or depending on a feeling about your company’s health, you can be confident. That all starts with your data, so make sure everything adds up. 

Designate a Salesforce Guru

Your Salesforce instance is not expected to be a set-it-and-forget-it application. Your system will undoubtedly require updates, user activation, and minor tweaks here and there. In addition, ongoing training and support for your internal team will go a long way in ensuring user adoption and acceptance. Therefore, we strongly recommend that an individual is selected to be responsible for all things Salesforce. This person should be able to maneuver throughout your implementation comfortably. They should also be aware of the bottlenecks in your operations. Ideally, your guru is familiar with flows, a valuable tool for automating elaborate workflows. If you plan to have more than fifty users and/or expect to integrate with other applications, consider working with a certified Salesforce administrator. The manager can be an internal or external resource, like Revenue Ops LLC

Know Your Emergency Contact

Who are you going to call if your Salesforce implementation experiences functional issues? What happens when everything stops working? Not to be overly dramatic, but it’s valuable to know who to call when everything hits the fan. This contact is usually beyond the Salesforce admin. They likely have an extensive technical background and are intimately familiar with your specific instance. It may be the team that first implemented everything or a Salesforce developer you trust. Having someone available in a time of need is beneficial for your business. 

Adopting these Salesforce best practices may seem overboard, but it can mean the difference between success and failure. Salesforce is an excellent growth tool, but we must use it correctly. 

Revenue Ops LLC offers a variety of services, from full-scale Salesforce implementations to on-call support in times of trouble. Let’s schedule some time to talk if you have questions or want to learn more about what we do.