My Top 5 Salesforce Automations
In this article, I will run down my top 5 Salesforce automations, which deliver the best bang-for-buck value, while giving our customers functionality beyond the scope of a standard Salesforce implementation.
As a Salesforce consultant and administrator working within the SMB and eSMB markets, we often find ourselves looking for quick ways of delivering value to our clients without having to expend large amounts of time in development, or exceeding our budgets on third-party AppExchange products that, while delivering the value and functionality required, are often too expensive for the value and ROI they will deliver to an SMB.
With that in mind, we tend to do as much as we can within the constraints (or maybe not-so constraints) of Salesforces built-in automation tools.
Before I get into the list I’d like to shout out to all the contributors UnofficialSF, this is a truly great resource for automation extensions and tools, which is updated very regularly. If you haven’t visited there before and are interested in automation, check them out!
In no particular order, here we go!
Data tables are an infinitely useful piece of automation, that allow you to do a plethora of tasks that wouldn’t normally be possible. My favourite use case for this is custom, editable related lists that can display data from any object related to the main object. Using a flow you can pipe data from distantly related objects and display them on the main object of your choosing. An added bonus of this is that you can make a table inline editable, which is functionality that Salesforce doesn’t currently have, and isn’t even in the planning stages as a feature addition.
There is a free data table screen component available at UnofficialSF, or you can grab it from the AppExchange by a company called TigerFace Systems, who offer a free, read-only version, or a paid version with additional functionality.
Add multiple related objects
This is a handy automation I came across while working on a project and looking for a solution where I could display a list of related objects and relate them to a newly created object. Rather than build something from scratch, which is something I avoid as much as possible to maximize ROI, I had a look on the AppExchange, which hosts a number of pre-built flow templates that can be adapted to suit your needs.
The flow I used for this can be found here, and with some cajoling, it did exactly what I needed it to. It’s worth being aware that these flow templates have pre-built variables and objects that they work with, so your best bet to tailor them is to work through each node and adapt it to your use case.
Dynamic email confirmations
This is one I only built recently, and is a niche use case, but is very useful for tailored emails. The idea is that, depending on the source business, a flow will pull some data, and send a confirmation email using the correct Org-Wide Email address.
To facilitate this we again required some help from UnofficialSF, this time from a more complete email action builder which is fantastic for extending the email capabilities of flow, including using lightning email templates, something that isn’t supported with email alerts or standardly with Salesforce at the moment.
This isn’t a specific automation, but more of a mindset. When creating a piece of automation to solve a client use case, it’s always worth thinking – “How can I improve this?”. What I mean by that is, beyond what has been briefed in, what else can I do that will add value to the piece of work and go above and beyond expectations.
A good example of this is an automation I built recently as a purchase order creation app. This was built from the ground up to create a PO, assign a supplier and choose various products to assign to that supplier’s PO. I combined a few of the different tools mentioned above, as well as some well-placed screens to deal with errors, rename objects and stop the same product from being added to a PO again.
This is really the end goal of a good piece of automation, something that meets and exceeds a use case, and adds a heap of value for less work than it would take to develop.
This is a fairly common requirement from a lot of clients, to link together objects that aren’t linkable by default, and this is also the most common automation I implement.
Imagine a client wants to create a quote, but when they do, they need values from an Account, Contact, Opportunity, and Opportunity Product. It’s a real pain to have to duplicate data that already exists on these objects and to have to look that data up.
With a relatively simple flow, you can create a quote that has all these fields pre-filled, calculated, and ready to go. It sounds basic because it is, but this kind of thing really adds to the user experience and minimises the time required on admin, allowing users to focus more on their core responsibilities, such as selling or marketing, rather than copying and pasting values across multiple objects.
Well that sums up my top 5 salesforce automations (that I could think of at the time of writing), I’m sure there are plenty more useful ones, so feel free to comment and tell me what you’d classify as your top 5.