As a part of my job in Sales Operations & Strategy, I often find myself working on the "user-facing backend" of Salesforce, the dominant CRM across most of the tech world.
I'm not a Salesforce developer, but I've come to believe that anyone in Sales Ops can benefit tremendously from knowing how to configure Salesforce to some degree. Whether it's creating new fields, building validation rules to govern rep behavior, or changing layouts to improve usability, it's possible to get a lot of quick wins that delight sales teams with this knowledge.
Unfortunately, the Salesforce admin section is a little bit like Alice in Wonderland - where nothing is as it seems and there are a lot of wrong turns. Salesforce tried to fix some of those issues with the release of Salesforce Lightning....but I'm not exactly being controversial in saying that, well, they failed. The sad truth is that Lightning has made most admin tasks significantly harder and notably slower.
Fortunately, there are some tools out there, specifically Chrome Extensions, that can make your Salesforce life a lot faster and easier.
Salesforce Navigator for Lightning (Download Link)
The biggest problem I have with the Lightning Setup page is the navigation. It seems like no matter what you want to do, you need to go through at least four (slow-loading) pages in order to even get started.
Enter Salesforce Navigator for Lightning, a truly magical tool which cuts down the number of steps to just one. It's my biggest must-have Chrome Extension for Salesforce Admins.
It's essentially a text-based search tool that allows you to instantly go directly to the Setup page you need. You trigger the extension by using a customizable keyboard shortcut and then start typing what you need (in the above example, I used Opportunities). The extension then provides direct links to every part of the Setup that's related to that search term.
The above example is just one use case - the extension can literally search for anything:
The ability to go directly to an object's fields (for instance) is a true game-changer. Over many months, this tool has saved me many hours of wasted time and uncountable frustration - it's become my default for accessing anything that lies on the admin side of Salesforce. Once you get used to it, you'll never use Salesforce without it.
Salesforce.com Quick Login As (Download Link)
Logging in as a user is one of the common ways that admins test Salesforce functionality - it's always helpful to view new tools or layouts "through the eyes" of the people you're building for.
As usual, though, this essential admin task is tough to access. You need to search for a user, navigate through to that user's details, and then login as that user.
Salesforce.com Quick Login As makes the login-as process much faster and easier. You simply click on the extension to pop up a search window that allows you to login as any user, instantly:
Again, it's a minor timesaver, but if you do a lot of testing for new deployments, the minutes saved really add up.
Salesforce.com Id Clipper (Download Link)
Record IDs are the perfect example of Salesforce functionality that users almost never interact with, but admins need all the time.
Unfortunately, there really isn't a great way of gathering a record's ID without copying text from the URL - a task that's slow and error prone. Throw in the fact that all records in Salesforce actually have two IDs (15 characters and 18 characters - don't ask), and gathering the right ID is a true headache.
Salesforce.com Id Clipper solves that problem by allowing you to very quickly get any type of ID from any Salesforce record. It's shockingly simple - while viewing any Salesforce record:
- Clicking once on the extension logo copies the 15 character ID to the clipboard.
- Clicking again copies the 18 character ID.
- Clicking again copies the full link.
It's a minor timesaver, but it's incredibly satisfying not to have to mess around with copying text from URLs ever again.
Hopefully you found this helpful! If you did, shoot me a message on LinkedIn or via the Contact Page. Happy Salesforceing!
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