Category Archive: Consulting

Salesforce: List Views vs. Reports

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Salesforce is one of the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) tools used by non-profits and associations. Part of the reason Salesforce has become so popular is because it’s so easy to use. Salesforce offers a wide variety of tools and processes that help organizations run smoothly – without the use of code. In fact, Salesforce was just recognized as a Leader by Gartner Inc. in its 2023 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms. Low-code and no-code platforms are ideal for organizations that need functionality, but don’t have a development team in-house.

Salesforce: List Views vs. Reports
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Two prime examples of no-code or configuration based Salesforce data tools are List Views and Report Builder.

When you’re working with Salesforce, though, really understanding the differences between List Views and Reports is crucial. Once you know the difference and define the purpose for each tool, you can make the most out of your data and improve your team’s productivity.

List Views

List Views are a powerful tool for organizing and displaying data in Salesforce. They allow you to quickly filter and sort your data based on specific criteria. When viewing data in List View, you’ll be looking at a clean, easy-to-follow table of information. In List View, you can customize your data display by selecting and organizing the fields you want to see. This way, you’re getting the information you need without having to sort through what you don’t.

Quick and efficient data access isn’t the only thing List Views are used for. List Views can also be used to manage member data effectively. For instance, you can create a List View to see all members who haven’t renewed their membership, or those who have yet to register for an upcoming event. List Views like this can make it easier for your association to execute targeted marketing campaigns and prevent members from being lost in the shuffle. You can also save your List Views as a personal or shared view, making it easy to access frequently used searches.

Salesforce List Views are an incredible asset to associations, but it’s important to emphasize that they cannot perform data analysis or generate summary reports. They are best suited for day-to-day tasks that require quick access to relevant data.

Reports

Salesforce Reports offer more advanced functionality and analysis tools than list views. You can use them to summarize and analyze data in a variety of ways, including charts, tables, and graphs. Just like with List View, you’ll be looking at data that’s been sorted to your specifications, but you’ll also see relevant data analytics that allows for in depth analysis.

With Salesforce Reports, you can create custom reports to analyze and measure your members’ engagement. For example, you can create a report to track the number of event registrations per member category, or monitor the progress of your membership campaign. Reports are a great way to take the raw data you’ve been collecting and turn it into easy-to-understand summaries about performance.

Reports are also helpful for identifying trends and patterns in your data, identifying areas for improvement, and tracking progress over time.

While Salesforce Reports are undeniably important, it is important to note that using them properly and effectively requires that advanced underlying report types already exist. Once those are in place, the reports you need to generate can be easily created. If you and your association are not familiar with report creation, it’s best to seek assistance from a Salesforce expert to get started.

When should I use a List View versus a Report?

Overview of List Views
  • Basic filtered views of records
  • Quickly segment data
  • View information from a single object
What you CAN do with List Views
  • Allows users to create views specific to them
  • Can filter and “report” on data while viewing data on an object
  • Use the List View results to mass edit records, such as following multiple records and editing data on multiple records
  • Contact List View results can be added to Campaigns
  • Loads up to 50 values at a time — simply scroll down to load the next 50 values
  • Bulk updates on List Views can be performed for up to 200 records at a time
What you CAN’T do with List Views:
Overview of Reports
  • Used to summarize, calculate, and analyze data
  • Combines data from multiple records
  • Standard and Custom Reports
  • 4 standard report types: Tabular, Summary, Matrix, or Joined
  • Export to Excel or CSV
  • Reports can display up to 2000 rows of data — additional rows can be viewed once exported
What you CAN do with Reports:
  • View data across objects, such as Contacts with a set of Interest Areas and/or Geographies
  • Ability to summarize data, such as Activity/Task data (Open for a specific user, All Closed for a time period, etc.)
  • Schedule Reports
What you CAN’T do with Reports:
  • Joined Reports cannot be exported to Excel
  • Complex Salesforce architecture and configuration may limit how many objects can be seen on a single Report

Both tools bring a lot to an organization’s table, but it’s crucial to understand their limitations. While List Views are ideal for day-to-day tasks and offer quick access to relevant data, they cannot perform data analysis or generate summary reports. Reports, on the other hand, require an understanding of the data structure to create, and they’re only available to Salesforce users with the appropriate permissions.

Salesforce offers powerful tools for associations like yours to organize and analyze data. List Views and Reports are both valuable features that can help association staff members manage their data in different ways. By understanding the differences between List Views and Reports, as well as their limitations, associations can make the most of these powerful tools while improving their productivity and efficiency.

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Salesforce Summer ’22 updates

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Salesforce Summer 22 updates Exceed your business goals with the Summer ’22 release by seamlessly integrating your data, finding meaningful insights, and building lifelong customer relationships.

Disclaimer: Please consider that all the features listed below are not final and subject to change up to the time of the official release date for Summer ’22.

The new Salesforce Summer ’22 update is packed with features that will help businesses close more deals, manage their data more effectively, and work smarter. 

  • For sales teams, the new update offers a number of enhancements, including a revamped opportunity management interface, and enhanced forecasting capabilities. 
  • For marketing teams, the Summer ’22 update introduces several new features, including the ability to create marketing budgets, track campaign performance in real time, and create Einstein predictive scoring models. 
  • And for administrators, the update includes a number of productivity-boosting features, such as an enhanced setup user interface and Lightning flow Builder. 

Whether you’re a sales pro, a marketing maven, or an admin extraordinaire, the Salesforce Summer ’22 update has something to offer. So read on to learn more about what’s coming in Salesforce Summer ’22!

Reports and Analytics

  • Enhanced Report Type Selector
    Salesforce has just released a new feature that will make report creation easier and faster than ever before. With this new feature, you will now be able to view all the recently used report types, which objects are included, and which fields they contain.In addition, you will now be able to see which report types are custom and which ones are standard. This is important because it will quickly identify which reports you will need to create from scratch and which ones you can use the standard Salesforce templates. Overall, this new feature will save you time and hassle when creating reports in Salesforce.
  • Edit Multiple fields when Running a report (Inline Report Editing)
    Have you ever run a report and found that there are some data you need to clean up before proceeding? Well, with Inline Report Editing, you can now do just that! Simply run your report and click on the pencil icon. This will allow you to edit multiple fields simultaneously, making it quick and easy to clean up your data. And best of all, once you’re done, you can save your changes so that everything will be up-to-date next time you run the report.
  • When creating a report, you can now filter report type by an object
    Another quality of life improvement for reports and Analytics! One of the data challenges is that it can be hard to find what you’re looking for, especially if you’re looking at much data at once. So when you’re creating a report, you can click the filter button and type in an object name to only view report types that contain the object you want to see. This is a huge time-saver, and it makes finding the correct report much easier. So if you’re working with data, be sure to check out this new filter function!
  • Summary Options – Median
    Salesforce added a median option to the summary functions, which is great news for anyone who needs to calculate median values in their reports. In the past, calculated fields were required to get the median value for a field, but now it can be done with a simple summary function. This is a welcome addition that will save time and effort for many users.
  • Dashboards and Analytics Home
    In business, data is everything. It can make or break a company, and Dashboards and Analytics Home is here to ensure that your data is working for you. Salesforce has created an all-in-one central hub for your data and strategy team to manage and organize your tools and how you display your information. This will allow you to search, organize, and share information easier and faster. In today’s fast-paced world, time is of the essence, and this special feature will help you make the most of it.
  • Limit Tabular Report Results
    If you’re like most people, you want your tabular reports to showcase the most relevant data. Luckily, you can now do that by setting a limit on the number of records that get displayed. To do this, simply add a row limit filter to your dashboard table or chart component. You can set the limit in ascending or descending order to ensure that only the most important data is being shown. This is a great way to make sure that your reports are always focused and informative.

Customization and Org Maintenance

  • Restriction Rules
    To further extend your control level over your organization’s data, Salesforce is introducing restriction rules. Restriction rules allow you to filter out the data to which a user has access via the standard set of permissions they already have access to. Restriction rules are available on custom objects and a handful of common objects.
  • Enable Permission Set and Permission Set Group Expiration
    This functionality allows you to set an expiration date for permission sets and permission set groups. By default, these are assigned without an expiration date. When the expiration date comes, the user assigned to them will lose access to the functionality.  Salesforce has also released an enhanced UI for this functionality.
  • Track Transaction Security Policies for Critical User Permissions 
    You can now set TSP (Transaction Security Policies) to keep tabs on any changes made to permission sets and permission set groups. If changes are not compliant with your organization’s policies, set up alerts to notify you or block the changes.
    You can also track MFA authentication usage for interface logins.
  • Picklist Unused values alert
    Salesforce is introducing this amazing tool that allows you to set up an alert automatically email you when you have picklist fields with more than 4000 inactive picklist values. This is great because it will help you easily clean your org and improve storage and performance, saving time and effort!
  • Clean Up Inactive Picklist Values
    Once you know which fields you want to maintain, it becomes as easy as using this tool to delete all those unused picklist values and select and delete.
  • Bulk Manage Picklist Values 
    Save time deleting, activating, deactivating, and rearranging picklist values. Now you only need to select and use the new “action selected” buttons.
  • Custom Address Fields
    Suppose you wanted to have a custom address field, but you missed the google lookup functionality or compounded readability that came with them well. In that case, Salesforce is now introducing this new functionality where you can create custom address fields that behave similarly to standard address ones.

General

Dynamic Related List
The ” Dynamic Related List ” has added a new single component to the Lightning App Builder the “Dynamic Related List.” This allows users to choose the list of fields, sort orders, apply filters, and apply a descriptive number to see the most relevant records. This is a great addition for those who want more control over their data and how it is displayed. With this component, users can easily customize their views to suit their needs better. This new addition makes it even easier to use the Lightning App Builder and create dynamic applications.

Security

MFA enforcement is coming
MFA enforcement is coming, and there’s no stopping it. Salesforce has been turning on MFA for all orgs in the past weeks because it was going to become a requirement as of 2/1/2022. Be advised that Salesforce will continue to enforce MFA in future releases. So what can you do to prepare? Well, first things first, you need to set up MFA in your org. If you’re unsure how to do that, Salesforce has a great guide that walks you through the step-by-step process. Once you’ve got MFA set up, make sure to test it out and ensure that everything is working as it should be. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard come release time. So take the time now to get prepared and avoid any last-minute scrambling.

Compatibility Notices

Supported Browsers 
As of December 16, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for Internet Explorer 11. This means that IE11 will no longer be a supported browser for Salesforce. If your organization uses IE11 and you haven’t completed the move to Lightning Experience, you will no longer be able to use Classic. With the end of support for IE11, now is the time to complete your move to Lightning Experience and take advantage of all the new features and benefits it offers.

Salesforce has always been a customer-centric company, and the Summer ’22 release is no exception. The enhancements and updates in this release are designed to help you exceed your business goals by seamlessly integrating your data, finding meaningful insights, and building lifelong customer relationships. We’re confident that these features will provide you with the tools you need to take your business to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you make the most of the Salesforce Summer ’22 release!

Keep in mind that these are the highlights from the release that we think our clients may be interested in or impacted by. To review the full release notes, click here.

Step 2 of Your AMS Journey: Aways Have a RFP

Noel-Shatananda October 16th, 2020 by

As an organization that specializes in AMS support and implementation, we typically step in after the selection of an Association Management System has already been made by your organization. Our first step is to ask the AMS partner or association for their Request For Proposal, but a surprising number of clients never issue one.

What is a Request For Proposal?

A Request For Proposal (RFP) is a document used when an association is seeking support or consultation on a tool, product, or service for their organization to leverage. The RFP is designed to outline the requirements for a specific project, and is used to solicit bids from vendors for the association to consider during the process.

While there are a variety of ways to format the proposal, they typically take time and resources to create. Make sure this is a project your association is fully committed to doing before beginning the RFP process.

Here are some things to consider as you create an Request For Proposal for your AMS Journey:

What is a Request For Proposal?

Clearly Defined Needs: This builds directly off Step 1 in Your AMS Journey, “Ask Why.” Be sure to have a high level set of needs with a strategic vision as you begin outlining this document.

The More Detail, The Better: Now, take that strategic vision the organization has and break it down into detail level requirements. Do not go into the tactics (the how) but clearly state the requirement (the what) in an AMS agnostic way. A typical example could be, “the new AMS supports memberships that can be anniversary (day of purchase) or calendar (yearly) based.”

Hire a Vendor Selection Consultant (VSC): Contemplate hiring a vendor selection consultant who can help you get the details finalized. They usually come with deep knowledge on what an association your size should typically look for. Larger organizations with a bigger staff need to consider this more, since the complexity of their processes are usually higher.

Caveat: Some VSCs may come in with a lengthy list of potential requirements that an organization your size may typically need. Ensure you choose the ones that are most relevant to your organization for the present and the near future. However, beware of adding bells and whistles that you do not need into the basket.

Reduce Complexity: Work with the consultant who would be an unbiased third party to evaluate your existing processes and make the hard decisions on which processes stay, and which ones need to be eliminated. Beware of legacy workarounds: we tend to see a lot of processes that organizations want us to implement that were actually workarounds put in place to overcome a deficiency of the legacy AMS.

Evaluate Bylaws: Oftentimes fusionSPAN has been asked to implement a piece of functionality because the bylaws mandated it, when in reality it made very little sense. We recommend that the association take this opportunity to look at its bylaws carefully to evaluate its relevance during the request process.

It’s your blueprint: The RFP will be the blueprint of the tool that will take you into the future you aspire to march towards. At the end of the day, ensure you are confident and happy with your blueprint.

AMS-Journey-img-02

There are a variety of resources and templates online for your association to use when creating a RFP. Make sure to highlight your organization information and required details for this implementation, as well as budget info, deadlines, and any questions you will have for potential vendors. Remember, the idea of this proposal is to specify your needs to help find the best fit for your association.

Stay tuned for Step 3 of Your AMS Journey: Selection to Adoption, where we discuss choosing the right Product Partner for your association. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to fusionSPAN with any of your AMS implementation needs!

Live Streaming – Partnering for Success (Part 1)

Avatar photo June 13th, 2014 by
BlogNGS The National Genealogical Society (NGS) based in Arlington, Virginia, is always looking to add new and exciting elements to their Annual Family History Conference. After the 2013 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the discussion to offer live streaming began. With only 10% of the their membership attending the annual conferences, the general consensus from staff and board was that having a hybrid event would be a great offering. So it was decided that the #NGS2014GEN Annual Family History Conference, held in Richmond, Virginia, would be NGS’s first hybrid event!

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Birth of a Blog

Avatar photo September 9th, 2013 by

Those of us in the association world know that the needs of small staff associations are not very different from the larger organizations. All of us are faced with much of the same dilemmas and challenges. In staff meetings and discussions with colleagues we often find ourselves in the midst of a variety of topics including
Birth of a blog

  • How do we improve member retention and engagement?
  • How do we increase our annual meeting attendance?
  • Who should be managing our website content?
  • How do we run a successful fundraising campaign?
  • Should we have a private association community?
  • How do we get our association to be mobile ready?
  • How do we improve the $$$$ from non-dues revenue?
  • And much, much more…..

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