The goal of this blog is to provide useful information to the reader. Most of the time, the posts will be related to Financial Services, Technology, Salesforce and/or Concenter Services. However, sometimes we discover something outside of our typical parameters that we believe is worth sharing.
In May 2014, Naval Admiral William McRaven delivered a concise speech filled with wisdom and real-world (not political) advice for the graduating class of The University of Texas in Austin. Yes, Concenter Services has a couple of proud UT alums, but that has little to do with why we believe Admiral McRaven’s message is important. We encourage you to take 19 minutes for the message, and be inspired to pass along to others.
**NOTE: If you are a subscriber, the link to the video may not show up in the email, so you can go directly to YouTube and search for “University of Texas 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral McRaven”
CONCENTER SERVICES is constantly working towards providing our clients with valuable information and tips on making XLR8 and Salesforce work even better for them. Below you will find the Salesforce WINTER 14 Release Highlights … these are the features that our team believes are most important for you to know. As always, please contact us with any questions!
Salesforce Winter 14 Release Highlights
1. With the Outlook integration, you now have the option to “Send and Add” for new emails.
2. Embedding Analytics into Detail Records
For example, on a Client Entity page layout, you could create a report summarizing Financial Account values by Account Type and display that as a pie chart on the client’s detail page.
3. Enabling Login Access for Administrators – this is actually a Summer 13 feature that deserves mentioning. This feature allows System Administrators to log in as any user without having access granted by each of the users. Salesforce must enable this feature. If you are interested, please issue a Case to Concenter Services, and we will instruct you on how to get this enabled.
When turned on, the user list will appear with the login link to the left of each user name.
4. Restrict List View Creation Admins have the ability to define which users can create List Views in your organization. A new permission, “Create and Customize List Views,” is available. Users who do not have this permission cannot create new list views. Note: this permission is enabled by default so they will keep their permission until your Administrator unchecks that box to remove the permission from that profile.
5. Ability to Hide the Entity Hierarchy Link A new feature allows Admins to hide the Hierarchy Link that appears next to the Entity Name. Hierarchies are used to group Entities together using the Parent Entity field. This is what the link looks like today:
Entity Name Concenter, Pamela and Michael [View Hierarchy]
If you do not use hierarchies in your organization, and wish to hide the link:
1. Navigate to Setup, click Customize > Accounts > Settings.
2. Click Edit.
3. Unselect Show View Hierarchy Link, then click Save
6. Ability to Freeze Users Access
In the past, if an Admin wanted to de-activate a user, he had to first make sure they were not the default user for any assignment rules, workflow rules, approval processes, etc. Now the admin has the ability to “freeze” a user while he performs the necessary steps to de-activate them permanently. This could also be especially helpful if an admin wanted to temporarily prevent users from logging in while he makes changes or possibly needs to do a mass update of data.
To freeze a user account:
1. Navigate to Setup, click Manage Users > Users.
2. Click the name of the user whose account you want to freeze.
3. Click Freeze.
The Summer 2013 release has now been implemented in all Salesforce orgs. Summer 13 was jam packed with new features and the team at Concenter Services has scoured the release notes and selected the golden gems that every Salesforce Administrator working in a Financial Advisory Firm should know.
New User Interface
A new user interface has been designed to assist in navigation while in “Setup”. The new interface is not turned on by default. We suggest that System Administrators watch the following Salesforce Summer 13 Release Training video for a preview before deciding to make the switch: http://www.salesforce.com/customer-resources/releases/summer13/release-training.jsp Scroll down to the “Force.com Training” module and click Play. The first topic in this module is the “Improved Setup User Interface”.
Highlights of the new interface:
- Setup is now accessible through its own link on the Home page. No more navigating through menus to get to it.
- Personal Setup has been moved from the Setup menu to its own link called “My Settings”, which you can access from Your Name/My Personal Settings on the top menu bar.
- New interface has moved the most frequently used “Administration” items to the top of the Setup menu and has been renamed to “Administer”.
- Customize has been renamed to “Build”.
- Monitoring and Deploy areas have been removed from Administration and reorganized into their own top-level menu item.
To turn on the new interface:
- From the top menu bar, select Your Name/Setup
- Select App Setup/Customize/User Interface
- Scroll all the way to the bottom and check the “Enable Improved Setup User Interface”.
- Click Save
Please note that you can turn the new interface on or off at any time but it can lead to confusion. It is best to research and make a decision to move forward and stick with it. As with most enhancements such as this, Salesforce will implement it as optional, but it will soon be the standard. We do not suggest postponing the conversion for too long!
New Checkbox Formula Type
A checkbox field can now be populated based upon a custom formula.
Example: You want a way to identify clients that are overdue for their Annual Review. You can create a formula field on the Entity named “Client Review Overdue”, which displays checked if the client’s Last Annual Review Date is more than 360 days ago.
Shared Activities Enhancements
Shared activities are a great way to “mass associate” a task or event (non-recurring only) to more than one contact. By creating one Task and using Shared Activities, you can associate it to up to 50 contact records. This association cannot be done at the Entity level, so you will need to relate the Task to a Contact in the Client’s household. The task will still be visible at the Entity level. Shared activities can also be reported on in custom reports.
Note that when using the XLR8 Process Engine and assigning tasks from steps, you cannot associate the task to multiple contacts using Shared Activities. A process that is in progress is specific to one client entity only.
Example: You need to create a task for your Admin to call a list of clients and schedule their next Financial Review meeting.
Shared Activities is not turned on by default. Once you turn it on, you cannot turn it off! To turn on Shared Activities:
- Navigate to Setup/Customize/Activity/Activity Settings
- Check the last setting that says “Allow Users to Relate Multiple Contacts to Tasks and Events”
- Click the Submit button to save the change.
Salesforce for Outlook Improvements
The new Salesforce for Outlook enhancements are only available in SF for Outlook versions 2.2.0 or later (found in Setup under Desktop Integration/Salesforce for Outlook). SF recommends uninstalling previous versions of SF for Outlook prior to getting the new version.
Below are the steps for uninstalling previous SF for Outlook versions:
- Close Outlook and Salesforce for Outlook
- Start | Control Panel | Programs and Features | Uninstall Salesforce for Outlook
- Delete the DB folder by going to: Start | search “%appdata%” | Salesforce.com | Salesforce for Outlook |delete the DB folder
For more information on uninstalling SF for Outlook go to:
Using the side panel in Outlook (which must be enabled within your configuration), you can now add emails to any custom object where activities are enabled.
If Shared Activities is enabled for your org, you can now add an email to multiple contacts.
- Using the side panel in Outlook, you can choose which contacts are used (four matching contacts will be automatically displayed) and even search for contacts that are not included in the address lines. You must click the envelope icon next to each contact where you want the email to be associated.
- If using the Send to SF button, the email will automatically associate to any matching contact record based on the email addresses in the To, From and CC fields. If an unknown email address is found, a record will appear in the Unresolved Items area of SF.
You now have an option between automatic (all) or manual (select) sync from your Outlook calendar to your SF calendar. If you select the new manual sync option, you can choose which events you want to sync from Outlook to your SF calendar by assigning the “Sync with SF” category to each event record in Outlook.
New Critical Update for Identity Confirmation
Salesforce is moving away from the email notification system for authenticating user access to a more secure SMS (text message) method. When you enable the “SMS Identify Confirmation Requirement” critical update, the default validation method will be changed for all users in your org to use mobile text verification.
We suggest that you communicate the change to your teams and encourage them to update their user record with their mobile phone number as soon as possible. If it is enabled and the user record does not have a mobile phone number, when the user needs to be authenticated, they will be prompted to put in their mobile phone number for verification. If they do not have a mobile phone, there will be a link for them to continue to receive email notifications.
One of the key advantages to the Cloud is that system enhancements can be pushed out to clients as opposed to traditional software which requires purchasing and loading the latest version. Concenter Services will continue to update our clients on Salesforce and XLR8 enhancements. It’s important to pay attention to the changes as some will impact you, while others may not. We recommend having someone in your firm responsible for staying current and communicating these changes to all users. Take advantage of the descriptions, release notes and videos. You can continue to count on us for updates, tips and hints.
Which best describes you:
Shoppers will spend whatever time is necessary to feel confident they have made the right choice on the particular item, and that they are paying a fair price. Buyers jump on the first thing that is acceptable at whatever price is listed.
If you are in the market for a new pair of socks, either approach will work just fine (though buyers might pay a couple of extra dollars). The biggest blunder we see made by Advisors in the market for a CRM, is being a buyer rather than a shopper. Keep in mind that a new CRM is a major step for your firm. It’s a business decision that will directly impact the level of service you provide your clients, the efficiency of your staff, and the effectiveness of your daily activities.
Since we offer XLR8, a version of Salesforce CRM customized for Financial Advisors, we have seen all types of approaches from those who are in the market for a CRM. Some Advisors take a very strategic approach in learning all there is to know about the many options available (The Analyzer). Some take a recommendation from a trusted source and move forward (The Buddy System). Still others pass on the responsibility of CRM shopping to a staff member or an independent consultant (The Delegator). Whatever your shopping style might be, there are a few common blunders we would like to help you avoid.
5 Common Blunders to Avoid:
1. Selecting a CRM that doesn’t offer enhancement and customization potential. Thanks to “the Cloud”, software is now an ever-evolving piece of your business. No longer should you be stuck with “an old version”. Enhancements should be pushed automatically so that you are always on the most recent version. Just as important is the flexibility offered by a CRM that will allow customizations to fit your specific needs. This means you might never again be faced with the transition to a new CRM.
2. Falling for the “Sales Pitch” without a Trial run. You wouldn’t buy a new car without taking it for a test drive. You wouldn’t marry without dating. Heck, most of us won’t buy a movie ticket without first seeing the preview. You certainly shouldn’t make an important decision on a CRM that will be part of your business for years without first giving it a Trial run. The Trial should be Free and allow you to input your own data just as you would with a new client.
3. Sending Mixed Messages. “Buy in” should come from the top and be consistent throughout the firm. A commitment from management combined with involving the Staff in the process is the foundation for a successful transition to the right CRM. The operations team will have differing needs than the Advisors, so let them sit in on the system Demo, and allow them to work in the Trial to ensure they are onboard. Take advantage of this window, because the best ideas for customizations and process changes will come from these open discussions. (Note: once the system is selected, Training for all users should be mandatory!)
4. Getting caught up in “Integrations”. Some CRM systems use a list of integrations as their main selling point, rather than functionality, ongoing enhancements and support. The only integrations that matter are the ones YOU need. With today’s software, most systems can be programmed to “integrate”. But just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. The CRM is not designed to take the place of your Portfolio Management System or Aggregator software. However, your CRM should offer integrations to Document Management systems, email systems, calendaring systems, etc., as well as bringing in selected data from outside applications/sources.
5. Looking at Price only. “You get what you pay for” can be misleading. It’s more important to “Pay for what you need”. Most new CRM projects will require Data Migration, Customizations and Training. Your vendor should spend time with you discussing each of these areas. Once again, thanks to “the Cloud”, the same CRM can work for you as a one-man shop and grow into your vision of multi-offices and multiple lines of business. As your business evolves, so should your CRM. Saving a few dollars upfront can cost you substantially when you realize the system can’t grow with you.
Shopping for your CRM should be approached as a step in your Business Plan. Your vision for the short-term and long-term should be communicated so that it’s clear whether a particular system is a good fit for you. If you are intimidated by the process, or just don’t have the time to dedicate, consider hiring a Consultant who specializes in the Financial Services industry. Either way, your strategic needs must be clear. A good CRM decision will prevent you from having to go through the process again. Instead, the right CRM becomes your partner for life … allowing you and your staff to efficiently provide the level of service to your clients and prospects that will allow you to fulfill your business vision. So embrace the joy of shopping and avoid these common blunders! The payoff can lead to a successful firm.
David Ferguson is a Vice President at Concenter Services, the company that offers XLR8, a customized version of Salesforce.com for Financial Advisors. For more information visit http://www.ConcenterServices.com or email info@ConcenterServices.com