Tip #1- Identify Objects & Fields No Longer Used
Two Thirds of Fields are Used Less than 5% of the Time
Many organizations that utilize Salesforce find a proliferation of objects and fields over time into which users are not entering any data. There are many tools are available to scan your Salesforce Instance to identify which fields and objects are, or are not being utilized.
In a recent analysis of multiple client Orgs, we identified that less than 33% of fields were being populated on more than 5% of the total number of available records and also found on average, another 33% of fields were never populated - no data in them whatsoever - on even a single record.
Determine Why Objects and Fields Fell Out of Use
We identified several reasons for a lack of field/object use; they may refer to obsolete products, or could be duplicated somewhere else - common for fields such as ‘Competitor’ which can often be found on each of the Lead, Account and Opportunity objects, requiring a user to fill it in three times.
Some fields existed because a disconnected legacy system required them at one time, but the most common reason for fields becoming irrelevant and unused was simply because they asked for collection of non-critical (and sometimes even ridiculous) information.
Tip #2- Reduce Data Security Risk
Rein in Out of Control Roles, Profiles and Permission Sets
Many companies create roles and profiles for Salesforce users that mirror job titles; it is not uncommon to have a separate profile for Marketing VP, Marketing Director, Direct Mail Manager, etc. all which have the same permissions. Create Profiles based on the level of access required such as, Marketing User-Full Access, Marketing User-Limited Access, etc.
The fewer the number of Roles and Profiles in use, the easier it is to ensure that data that should be off-limits is not visible.
Reduce Number of Record Types and Page Layouts
In conjunction with a runaway number of Roles or Profiles, we frequently see Record Types and Page Layouts which have been created for individual users, but which have few differences in what is being presented.
Best practices dictate that visibility into fields and objects should be controlled at the Profile level or via Permission Sets, not by creating numerous Record Types or Page Layouts.
Tip #3- Free Up Your Data Storage by Deleting Old Items
Remove Old Records
Salesforce has storage limits. If you exceed your allotted storage, you could be facing additional costs that could be in the five-figures. Run reports on Accounts, Leads, Contacts, Cases, Opportunities which include the created date and the date the record was last modified to identify old records which can be removed and archived elsewhere.
Campaign records use up a massive volume of available storage capacity as each campaign effectively duplicates the Contact record for storage purposes. Export Campaign information for historical purposes and delete the actual Campaign itself.
Delete Old Reports
Salesforce makes it easy to create reports frequently leading to a proliferation of reports created by various users.
Create folders to house a certain type of report and set clear parameters such as limiting the number of reports in a folder (to 10 or 12) before requiring a new folder be created. This type of approach to report creation and maintenance keeps your reports up to date and easy to find, among what can sometimes be thousands of available reports.
Also establish periodic dates to review all reports to identify which ones are obsolete and can be deleted. Legacy reports also present a data security risk as unauthorized users can access fields and information that should be off-limits to them.
Tip #4- Re-Configure to Reflect the Business Today
Identify Field Owners & Users
We found the most common reason for field non-usage was due to it referring unimportant information. We also noticed that individuals inside a business would mandate a field be created to collect data – but nobody had been identified as the key user of that field and held accountable for its subsequent data updates.
Identify Object Captains for Input on Changes
Users provide many great ideas for enhancing objects. For example, many departments (other than customer support) may interact with the Case Object and request modifications or provide ideas about new fields to add.
While system governance is a collaborative exercise, identifying an Object Captain provides ownership and allocates responsibility for maintaining fields, pick lists and even the volume of records historically retained for that object.
Avoid Custom Development Where Possible
Over the last few years, the standard functionality inside Salesforce has evolved tremendously. In addition, there are thousands of custom third-party Apps available for enhanced functionality.
Initiate custom development only after you thoroughly determine that standard functionality or an available App will not provide the solution you need. Custom code is always problematic as time evolves; the code creator departs or changes are made to the base Salesforce system that may no longer support the custom code, etc.
Tip #5- Understand User Behavior Today
Today’s Users are Mobile
Since users commonly access Salesforce through mobile devices such as tablets and cellphones today, smaller screen space limits the number of fields that are visible without extensive scrolling. Also, mobile users cannot type as they would on a keyboard, and therefore require increased use of value lists and check boxes to enter data.
Less is More
Employees have more systems and apps today to interact with than ever before. Your Salesforce system is likely not the only system they interact with daily. Condensing and simplifying information helps to organize your user, makes the data collection more concise and provides a training template for their Salesforce use
Think Globally Where Possible
Even small companies conduct business globally today. If they don’t have an international sales force directly, they may have a distributor or agent channel in other countries. Salesforce Partner, Portal and Community Licenses allow use of your Salesforce system by various third party organizations.
Global users should be considered whenever fields, objects and other system components are being designed and deployed, even if there are no global users at the current moment.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. Examples cited in this article are only examples. Salesforce®, Salesforce1 Mobile App™, AppExchange® are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.
© 2017 Snowforce, LLC. All Rights Reserved - October 2017