The Beginner’s Guide to Salesforce Automation
Congratulations on getting started with Salesforce! If you’re wondering where to start, may we suggest using it to automate your business processes? Your organization will immediately run more efficiently. To help you get going, we introduce The Beginner’s Guide to Salesforce Automation. In it, we dive-in from a beginner’s point-of-view covering Workflows, Lightning Process Builder, Visual Workflow, and Approvals.
Part I: Workflows
Workflows in Salesforce is a tool you can use to fully automate your business processes. (It has been mostly replaced by Process Builder, but there are still a couple of things for which only Workflow will do. More on that in a future post.) You use it when you want to take an automatic action when a record meets certain criteria. It means you can replace a lot of your manual processes with automatic ones. Let’s take a look at how this works.
Analyze Existing Business Processes for Automation Potential
The first step is analysis. Take a look at the business processes in your company. Look for tasks being done manually, but that a workflow rule could manage automatically; workflow rules can create tasks, send email alerts, update fields, and send outbound messages. So, look for these kinds of things as candidates for automation.
For example, imagine your company’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing wants to be notified when a Sales Representative enters an Opportunity with an expected revenue of at least $100,000. At the moment, the Sales Representative who enters the Opportunity sends this email manually. Once the email is sent to the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, the Sales Representative makes note that the email was sent. The process looks like this:
This is a perfect example of a process that can be automated with a workflow rule in Salesforce.
Create Workflow Rule in Salesforce
Now that we’ve found our business process to automate, we are going to build a workflow rule that will handle it.
STEP 1: CREATE A WORKFLOW RULE. Workflow rules are the containers into which you’ll later place a bunch of actions. To make one, first find them by using the Quick Find box; type “workflow rules,” then click on “workflow rules.” Your screen should look similar to this:
Click “new rule.” For our process, we choose “Opportunity” when prompted to select an object. Enter a name for the rule and—as a best practice—enter a description. We’ll choose “created, and anytime it’s edited to subsequently meet criteria” as we want it to fire when an opportunity’s created and updated to have an Expected Revenue of $100k or more.
The rule criteria field is Expected Revenue, because the value there is what determines whether or not to take action. We only want our workflow rule to fire when the Expected Revenue is $100k or more:
STEP 2: ADD ACTIONS TO WORKFLOW RULE. Remember how we said that you’d fill up the workflow rule container with actions? This is when you do that. Here’s the action we added for sending the email automatically.
We’ll need an email template for one of the actions to use, so lets do that now. Enter “email template” into the Quick Find section in Setup and that will take you to this location. Here you click “New Template,” and complete the form.
Now, we create an email alert action that will send the email required by our business process:
Here’s the action (field update) we made to check off a custom checkbox field on the Opportunity object, named High Value Opportunity. This will happen whenever the value in the Expected Revenue is at least $100,000. Now, the Sales Rep doesn’t have to manually mark off the task as done:
STEP 4: ACTIVATE WORKFLOW RULE. Click “Done” at this screen:
Click “Activate” at this screen. This is a common forgotten step so if you find that your workflow isn’t firing, this is likely the culprit!
Make sure your rule works as intended by testing it.
For our workflow, all we have to do is click on the Opportunity tab, then click “New” to create an Opportunity with expected revenue of at least $100,000.
We then click “Save.” If our workflow rule is built correctly, that should then kick off the workflow rule’s actions of 1) sending an email to the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, 2) checking the High Value Opportunity checkbox, and 3) sending the outbound message we configured.
As you can see, the checkbox is now checked. The email was sent (trust us, it happened). Voila! That business process is now fully automatic. Now, the Sales Rep can focus the time and thought she used to devote to this task on the sales process instead.
Stay tuned for our next installment of the Beginner’s Guide to Salesforce Automation: Part 2: Process Builder