Top Salesforce Trailhead Trails To Learn Common Salesforce Objects

The Salesforce ecosystem is a huge place that’s overwhelming to try and learn everything all at once. Luckily, Salesforce offers a great resource that breaks down the entire platform into easy to understand interactive learning activities: Salesforce Trailhead. Salesforce Trailhead contains Trails, guided learning paths, which contain Modules, specific topics, containing Units.

There are 111 Trails, 391 Modules, and countless Units, so the next question is where do you even get started with Salesforce Trailhead? The best way is to pick a concept or feature within Salesforce and tackle the Trail(s) related to it. If you’re new to Salesforce, start with the more basic concepts to understand the platform as a whole, and move on to advanced concepts when you’re ready.

To help, we’ve consolidated a list of the best and most helpful Salesforce Trailhead Trails and Modules to learn all about Salesforce Objects. Objects are an important building block to the Salesforce Platform. Once you understand them, you will be on your way to becoming a Salesforce Pro in no time! We’ve also included a couple of our favorite Trails to explore once you have mastered some of the fundamentals of Salesforce.

General Object Intro

Objects are the basis of the Salesforce platform. They hold all of your Salesforce information organized by Records. The following Module and Unit are a great place to start understanding what exactly Objects are and how you use them in Salesforce.

Module: Data Modeling Module

Unit: Understand Custom & Standard Objects Unit

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the perks of using objects on the Salesforce platform.
  • Explain the difference between standard objects and custom objects.
  • List the types of custom fields an object can have.

Leads & Opportunities

Lead and Opportunities are Standard Objects in Salesforce. They are also amongst the most commonly used objects as Leads help you track your prospective customers and Opportunities help you track sales and current deals your sales reps may be working on. The following Module and Unit will give you a  great overview into how you can use Leads and Opportunities in Salesforce today.

Module: Salesforce User Tour Module

Unit: Work With Leads and Opportunities Unit

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Use the Lead Workspace to action your leads and move them toward conversion.
  • Use the Opportunity Workspace to do more in context, with fewer clicks.
  • Gain at-a-glance insights with accounts and contacts.

Accounts & Contacts

Accounts and Contacts are two other commonly used Salesforce Standard objects. Accounts track your current customers and their business, while a Contact tracks any person associated to that business. The Module and Units below will give you a great overview of how you can use Contacts and Accounts in Salesforce and how they relate to one another.

Module: Accounts & Contacts for Salesforce Classic

Unit: Get Started with Accounts and Contacts

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe what business accounts and contacts are, and explain how they’re related.
  • Describe what a personal account is.
  • Add a new business account and associated contact.

Unit: Understand Account and Contact Relationships

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Relate a single contact to multiple accounts.
  • Define a contact’s roles for each account it’s related to.
  • Create a hierarchy among related accounts.

Some of our other favorite Salesforce Trailhead Modules include:

Module: AppExchange Basics

A 45-minute crash course to learn about the AppExchange and how to navigate the sea of Salesforce Apps within it. Apps range from documentation tools like DocuSign to fully integrated Salesforce project management tools like Inspire Planner, and more.

 

Module: Competitor Tracking in Salesforce

This Module teaches you why knowing what your competitors are and aren’t doing matters and how to use custom fields on Opportunities to populate useful competitor tracking reports and dashboards.

Module: Alignment with Your Manager

This Module is not as Salesforce-functionality heavy as some others. Instead, it emphasizes what you can do to build a better working relationship with managers you may report to and how that can lead to future benefits for everyone. Also be sure to check out the most helpful Salesforce Trailhead Trails fit for Salesforce Users of any level!

Inspire Planner - Project Management in Salesforce Simplified

Top 20 Salesforce Influencers to Follow

The world of Salesforce would be incomplete without its millions of community members. Whether people are actively seeking to get better at using Salesforce through the Trailblazer Community, helping fellow community members in Answers, or sharing experiences over #Twitter, the people who love to talk Salesforce are the people you need to follow. We’ve collected a list of awesome Salesforce Influencers who you should start following on Twitter today to learn more about the Salesforce Community and people it makes up.

Daniel Peter

@danieljpeter

Daniel Peter is a dev-focused active member of the Salesforce Community. He started with Salesforce in 2009, a working as both a Salesforce Admin and Dev for Safari Books Online and has been featured as a guest on the Salesforce Admins Podcast and contributed many articles to the SFDC Community. Daniel currently works as an Advisor Salesforce for Startups Accelerate Program.

Tiffani Bova

@Tiffani_Bova

Tiffani Bova is Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. She centers her expertise around 2 objectives – customer success and growth. Prior to joining Salesforce, Tiffani was working at Gartner as a VP, Distinguished Analyst and Research Fellow covering Channel Innovation and Sales Strategies. She is also the host of “What’s Next!” Podcast on iTunes which is recognized as one of the Top 100 Business, Marketing and Management Podcasts. In addition to that, Tiffani is the author of the recently published book “Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices That Will Make or Break Your Business”.

Oliver Hansen

@nesensa

Oliver Hansen has spent his time collecting hundreds of Salesforce blog resources to consolidate on his website, Salesforceblogs.com. Here you will find three categories: Salesforce Blogs, Salesforce Gate, and Salesforce Podcasts all handpicked to help the Salesforce Community as a whole. Oliver works as a Digital Marketing Specialist at Datacolor where he combines his two passions of marketing and Salesforce.

Keir Bowden

@bob_buzzard

Keir Bowden, aka Bob Buzzard, is a five time Salesforce Developer MVP. He is an active SFDC community member and often posts helpful information for Developers. Keir is also the author of Visualforce Development Cookbook to teach developers more advanced VisualForce concepts. Outside of Salesforce, Keir is Chief Technical Officer at BrightGen and enjoys walking his dog and road cycling.

Zachary Jeans

@ZacharyJeans

Zachary Jeans is an independent strategy consultant with a love for the Salesforce ecosystem. In 2014 and 2016 he was named the #1 Salesforce influencer on Twitter based on research from Run Consultants. Zachary is a Constellation Research Orbits member also has a large interest in nonprofits.

Mike Gerholdt

@MikeGerholdt

Mike Gerholdt is the master of everything Admin related! He currently works as the Director of Admin Evangelism at Salesforce and was a past host of the Salesforce Admins podcast. He has spoken multiple times at Dreamforce as the Salesforce Admin Keynote speaker and now leads the Salesforce Admin Track. Mike currently lives in Iowa City, Iowa, and is a big fan of Apple products.

Eric Dreshfield

@ericdresh

Eric Dreshfield is the founder of Midwest Dreamin’, a Salesforce conference that takes place annually in Chicago and is all about SFDC learning and collaboration. Eric is an extremely active leader in the Salesforce community too. Not only has he spoken at Dreamforce, but he has also been named a Salesforce MVP every year since 2013. Eric currently works as Advocacy Manager for Apttus and was able to spend some time with us to give us all of his SFDC insights.

 

Amy Oplinger (Salesforce Amy)

@SalesforceAmy

Amy Oplinger is an awesome Admin and yet another Salesforce MVP. She started as a Sales Rep but soon became a Salesforce Consultant after using and falling in love with the platform. Also a past Dreamforce speaker, she specializes in SFDC Admin for SMBs and enjoys end User training the most. Amy holds 171 Trailhead badges and currently lives in Ohio.

Rebecca Dente

@sfdc_nerd

Rebecca Dente has over thirteen years working in cloud technology and is a frequent Dreamforce speaker. As one of the first 500 people to become a Certified Salesforce Admin, she is a Salesforce Influencer and MVP and was given the Dreamforce Chatterati VIP Award in 2010. Today, Rebecca is a Partner at MTI Solutions & Consulting.

Fabrice Cathala

@fab  c

Fabrice Cathala is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the tech world and more than 10 years working with Salesforce. Starting as a Salesforce project manager for Symantec, Fabrice has since earned 9 Salesforce certifications and spoke at Dreamforce in 2016 and again this year. He gives us his take on Reports and Dashboards and how he cannot live without them today. Fabrice currently works as a technical lead for Appirio, a cloud technologies firm, and lives in the UK with his wife and daughter.

 

Michael Farrington

@michaelforce

Michael Farrington is a Salesforce MVP with his own blog and website filled with both helpful and comical SFDC articles. His lighter take on Salesforce-related matters is entertaining to read while still learning about the platform in general. Michael currently works as a Sr. Salesforce Architect at Domo Inc.

Cheryl Feldman

@CherFeldman

Cheryl Feldman started as a hair stylist until she tore her right rotator cuff and had to pivot careers. From moving to office work to showing an interest in reporting and metrics, Cheryl was put on a Salesforce implementation project, spent hours each night reading about Salesforce and convinced my IT department to give her Admin access. Today, Cheryl works as Assistant Vice President, Salesforce Administration and Strategy for Allianz Global Investors.

Gillian Bruce

@gilliankbruce

Gillian Bruce is a Senior Admin Evangelist for Salesforce after joining the team 2010. She strives to bring people together to ignite change and enjoys building and organizing communities. Gillian now hosts the Salesforce Admins podcast and lives in San Francisco.

Francis Pindar

@radnip

Francis Pindar is 1 of 9 people from around the globe to have been awarded a 6x Salesforce MVP. He’s worked with Salesforce for over 10 years and is a frequent speaker at Salesforce events including Dreamforce. Francis is also Co-Founder to A Force Guru, an e-learning company that aims to provide low cost and high quality Salesforce Certification training.

Jennifer Shier

@crmsalesgem

Jennifer Shier started as a Sales Rep and has since spoken at Dreamforce many times and is a Salesforce Influencer and MVP. She has over 20 years of data and analytics experience and was one of the first 250 people to become a Certified Salesforce Admin. Jennifer did an awesome interview with Brainiate and currently works as Senior Marketing Planning Analyst for Palo Alto Networks.

Steve Molis

@SteveMoForce

If you’ve spent any time on the Salesforce Trailblazer Community website, specifically in Answers, you will have heard of Steve Molis. According to one of his Yelp Reviews, Steve actually hit an app limit for number of questions answered! Also a Salesforce MVP, Steve is a self-described Pseudo-Developer, Husband, Dad, LGBT Ally, Rescue Dog Owner and more.

Ben McCarthy

@SalesforceBen

Ben McCarthy, better known as SalesforceBen, is the founder of one of the most popular Salesforce blogs of all time. You’ve likely visited his blog to find information on how to prepare for getting Salesforce certifications, to catch up on the latest SFDC news, or to learn more about config and development in general. We were lucky enough to get a chance to sit down with Ben and get his thoughts on the Salesforce world as well as some of his insights into the vast platform. Ben lives in London, United Kingdom and currently is the Managing Director of EMPAUA, Europe’s fastest growing Salesforce consulting firm.

 

Brent Downey

@brentdowney

Brent Downey is the mastermind behind Admin Hero, one of the most popular blogs and reliable Salesforce resources in the SFDC community. His Admin Hero series, Zero to Hero is a complete guide to understanding the fundamentals of Salesforce in a language that any new Admin will understand. Brent has spoken at Dreamforce in the past, is a Salesforce MVP, and currently lives in Colorado with his wife.

Tom Blamire

@Salesforce_Tom

Tom Blamire has been a Salesforce Evangelist since 2014. He posts Salesforce information, tips, and tricks on his website and is also a proud co-founder of the Gif Squad. Tom currently works as a CRM Specialist for CME.

Justin Edelstein

@JustEdelstein

Justin Edelstein is another Co-Founder Arkus, Inc. After accidentally starting with Salesforce in 2007, Justin has since become an AwesomeAdmin and has written SFDC content and articles. Justin currently lives in New York City and works as Chief Technology Officer for Arkus, Inc.

Jason Atwood

@JasonMAtwood

Jason Atwood is Co-Founder & Chief Productivity Officer at Arkus, Inc, a Salesforce Consulting Partner. He started using Salesforce in 2000 and is actually one of the first 500 certified administrators. Jason co-hosts the CloudFocus Weekly Podcast covering the cloud computing news and events and has spoken many times at Dreamforce.

Bonus: Marc Benioff

@Benioff

Marc Benioff is the man behind Salesforce. He is the Founder, Chairman, and Co-Ceo of the cloud computing CRM we all know and love today. He started Salesforce in 1999 and it has since grown into a 97 billion dollar global company. Before Salesforce, Marc spent 13 years of his professional life working for Oracle and even continued to become the company’s youngest vice president.

 

By following these Salesforce influencers, you are setting yourself up for continuous learning about Salesforce related activities and events, and are on track to becoming an active member in the Salesforce Community today. At Inspire Planner, we strive to also contribute positively to the Salesforce Community in many ways. Our app is designed to make the lives of Project Managers easier through full integration with Salesforce. We also have a blog where we post articles about Project Management, Salesforce Tips and Tricks, and even have our own AppExchange Stack offering over $10,000 of software deals to become more efficient in Salesforce.

Inspire Planner - Project Management in Salesforce Simplified

Sandbox Secrets: 6 Ways to Use Your Salesforce Sandbox

Salesforce Sandboxes are used for different purposes but oftentimes people do not understand their true value. A Sandbox acts as a replica of your Production Org which means that everything you do in a Sandbox, as long as it has been recently refreshed, mimics what happens if you did the same action in Production. Believe it or not, this is very useful when it comes to using Salesforce overall. Below are 6 ways that you can use your Salesforce Sandbox today!

Practice Practice Practice Building Configurations

Config may seem like a complex and looming, tech-heavy headache, but every Salesforce admin had to start somewhere! There are many types of Sandboxes but you should practice building config in your Developer’s Sandbox. Not only is it best to never build directly in Production, but by practicing building config in your Sandbox, you do not have to worry about making any mistakes that could compromise your data. You are free to play around as much as you’d like to truly get a grasp on what building config is all about.

Now That You’ve Built Your Config, Test It In Your Sandbox

Our second tip for using your Salesforce Sandbox is to test newly built config in it. We recommend testing in your Full Copy Sandbox so that the test environment is as similar to Production as possible. This means conducting a deployment of your newly built config from your Developer Sandbox to your Full Copy Sandbox. This seems straightforward but we cannot emphasize enough the importance of thoroughly testing config before deploying it to Production.

Additionally, sometimes config clashes with Apex code in ways that you would never see in the Salesforce user interface. To help handle this, be sure to run Apex Unit Tests after you’ve created your config. These tests will show you if your new config is clashing with any code, and what the resulting error is. By thoroughly testing in a Sandbox now, you are saving your team from running into problems down the road in Production.

Hint: If you only have one Sandbox, build and test in it. Try to NEVER build in Production!

Plan & Practice Your Deployment

Sandboxes are useful for practicing deployments. Without conducting a practice, actual deployments can take much more time than anticipated. Sometimes certain config needs to be deactivated before you can deploy or else you will hit errors and your deployment will fail. Additionally, when deploying a large amount of config or code, it’s easy to forget a component or piece to your outbound changeset. Salesforce will show a missing component error when this is the case. By practicing your deployment in a Sandbox first, you will save time and have an even smoother deployment to Production.

Practice Data Loads

Just like practicing deployments, you can also do mock data loads in your Salesforce Sandbox. This allows you to catch errors early so that your real data load runs quicker and as expected. For example, when data loading an to update many records, you may hit a Validation Rule error. That means some of the records you are updating violate a Validation Rule created after those records were created. You will have to spend time finding the Validation Rule, deactivating it, and then re-run a data load of these error files. By catching this error early in a Sandbox, you will know to deactivate specific Validation Rules before running the deployment.

Additionally, if you run the data load and make mistakes compromising the data, you are in a Sandbox and not touching real data. Practicing data loads in a Sandbox environment can not only save you time, but can also keep your data safe from accidental changes!

Test Apps From the Appexchange

Some apps from the Salesforce Appexchange, offer free trials or test drives in your Sandbox environment so you can see exactly how the app would run in your Org. Not all apps offer this useful trial but one that does is the project management app Inspire Planner. By using the free trial in your Sandbox, you will understand how Inspire Planner fully integrates with your Salesforce Org and how certain features work. You will see just how your data would look when using some of Inspire Planner’s features like its Time Tracker to compare Task Planned Effort time vs Actual Effort times. Downloading a trial version of an app and running a test drive in your Sandbox is great to get a feel for how an app would realistically run in your Org.

Credit: AppExchange

Train New Users in Your Sandbox

Training new Users in your Sandbox lets them get a feel for using your Salesforce program without pressure. They won’t be afraid to play around with the org and get comfortable with it since all of the data is a replica of Production, but they will be worry-free since their actions cannot truly affect your business. For example, when training new Users in Production, they could accidentally change data, email a customer, or even delete information. Using a Sandbox for new User training is the best way for them to get to know your org without feeling any pressure of making mistakes.

Inspire Planner - Project Management in Salesforce Simplified

6 Easy Ways to Use Salesforce for Project Management

Every project manager should look for ways to become better at what they do. Many project managers also use Salesforce in one way or another to support projects and run their teams. However, Salesforce is so vast that utilizing its capabilities for project management can be tough. To help, we’ve consolidated a list of our favorite 6 easy ways you can start using Salesforce for better project management today!

Manage Your Team: Account & Opportunity Teams

On any project, teamwork is key. People who work well together can complete projects quicker, better, and have more enjoyment doing it. To help teams work together, Salesforce has useful two options; Account Teams and Opportunity Teams. By utilizing these team settings, your Users will be set up to successfully work quickly together, making you a better project manager.

Account teams are Users who all work on an Account together. They are given access to the Account, any Account Contacts, any Account Opportunities, and Account Cases. Using Account teams helps your team know exactly what their role is on each project, saves time by keeping communication in one spot, and helps you see who is doing what for each Account.

Opportunity teams are Users who all work an Opportunity together. Depending on your Security Settings, the Opportunity team will not be able to see Account information like Contacts, Cases, and the Account itself. Use Opportunity teams when you need someone to work on a specific Opportunity but you don’t want them to have access to Account information.

Help Reps Stay on Task with Task Notifications

Task Notifications are a new Salesforce feature from the Winter ‘18 release. They are visual reminders of Tasks that need to be completed by the User. Up to three reminders can pop up on the User’s page at a time, allowing them to stay on top of what they need to do and keep your project timeline running smoothly. This feature is easy to enable but is currently only available in Lightning. If you use Lightning, you should set up Task Notifications to keep your team on track and stay ahead on your project deadlines!

Collaboration: Files & Chatter

Chatter can be used across your entire Salesforce org, so why not use it to help your teams communicate? By creating a “Team Chatter Group” you can easily keep all communication and collaboration with team members in one central location. This way, everyone is updated on project happenings and it’s very easy to find project information.

Files are great for team collaboration too. You can make documents private to a team or public, use Version Control to see how many past versions of a file exist, and ensure files are always up to date. Users can even follow files and set up automatic notifications of any changes. Taking advantage of Chatter and Files for collaboration will help your team communicate better, keep information centralized, and help your team finish projects faster and better. Happier teams will make you a better project manager overall!

Field History: See Who’s Changed What & When

Field History Tracking allows you to see all changes that happen to a specific field. By clicking on a field’s history, you see all prior and new values in the field, who changed each value, and at what time this change occurred. As a project manager, you can make decisions off of these changes like adding an approval process so only certain Users can approve changes to fields, or even giving only certain Users access to changing fields. You may also be able to identify why certain fields change so much and see if there is a way to prevent the need for so many changes. This will save your team time and headache as they will only have to enter information once and be finished with the record!

Hint: Don’t forget to add the Field History related page to your page layouts too!

Use Reports to Stay Updated On Project Timelines

Managing project timelines is a huge pain point for project managers. If one of your team members gets off track, your entire project could be delivered late. To help manage projects that are at risk of being delivered late, you can use Salesforce Reports.

You can easily create a Report of Open Opportunities and filter by a time period, like within the past week, past 30 days or more. The fields you can run this filter on include:

    • Last Modified Date
    • Last Activity Date
    • Last Modified By

You can use the same style of report for Accounts too. This report will you see which of your projects haven’t been touched in a while and what team you may need to follow up with. Using reports to stay aware of which projects are prone to coming off schedule will help you take actions to keep them on track and become a better project manager today.

Utilize the Salesforce AppExchange: Inspire Planner Project Management Tool

Despite using native Salesforce for project management functions, it is not a complete solution since Salesforce’s main function is to be a CRM. However, you can use a project management app from the AppExchange to have a complete project management solution on Salesforce.

Inspire Planner project management app is fully integrated with Salesforce and has all vital features to make you a better project manager. You can have project templates, use time-tracking features, share projects internally and with external users, set up multiple predecessors for Tasks, track estimated vs actual completion times for projects, and more. Getting the Inspire Planner app will put you on track to becoming a better project manager today!

Inspire Planner is a user-friendly project management app for Salesforce