Spring (’17) Cleaning: DeClutter your Inbox & Task Lists with Salesforce Dashboards

“Max – It’s only March, a little early for that blog title”

Ok you got me, however it’s been 70 degrees here in Chicago and Salesforce rolled out their Spring ’17 Release so I feel justified in jumping the gun a small amount here. Besides it was between that and “Make Salesforce Great Again” or “Too many workflows. Sad!” so I think I made the right choice avoiding the Donald Trump Clickbait. Now, for the content:

Recently, I was working with a customer that has had Salesforce® for a long time and during a screen share, I noticed 2 things. First their outlook reminders were constantly popping up messages like “Opportunity Past Due” and “Account Status Changed” and all their Salesforce records had Open Activities that were a mile long. When I asked about this, I was told:

“I need to know what’s going on.”
“…and all these emails and open tasks help you?”
“Well, no. I mostly just delete or ignore them.”

I see this a lot. At the time, it seems like a good idea to get an email every time someone on your team closes an opportunity, or have the system email you or create a task for you when the close date falls behind; but then, after a few months or years you’ve thought of 15 good reasons to get an email and all of sudden Salesforce is sending you (and your team) 50 emails a day. With that amount of noise, we tend to just tune it all out.

The key to fixing this is 2-fold. First, we need to separate the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from the notifications or alerts.
KPIs are metrics and data points we want to monitor periodically to ensure the business is running smoothly and our data is accurate. Information which you can act on soon, but do not need to be addressed this instant. Things like:

  • Opportunities with Outdated Close Dates
  • Accounts Overdue QBRs
  • Invoices Not Sync’d to Quickbooks

Notifications and Alerts on the other hand deal with time-sensitive information or things so important that we can’t afford to miss. These might be:

  • Unresolved Cases Exceeding SLAs
  • Credit Card Payments Failing to Process

Granted there is a fair amount of grey area and overlap between the two. You have to decided what is right for your business. Once you do, you can move on to the second part of the cleanup:

  1. For everything that you identified as KPI create a report that pulls all the information you need into one place. For Example: Opportunities Past Due
  2. Create Dashboard and create an Dashlet for each report. This is where you can leverage Salesforces Color Coding and Gauge Capabilities to highlight important information quickly.
  3. Develop a routine of visiting the dashboard and monitoring your KPIs as needed. (Daily, weekly, monthly) AND if you still like the idea of receiving this information in your Inbox. Schedule the dashboard refresh. This will update the KPIs and send you an email on the schedule you choose.

There we go. We just turned this:

Outlook Inbox Email Notifications

Into this:

Salesforce Dashboards

If your team needs Salesforce Support to help get the most out of your instance and make beautiful dashboards (like the one above), then Contact Us today!