Are you the only Salesforce admin at your company? Most of the time, that will be a “yes.” And most likely, maintaining your database is only one in a long list of job responsibilities. Once upon a time, I was managing a sales prospecting team, handling all of my company’s renewal customers, and maintaining our SFDC instance. Sound familiar? This is when I discovered the Salesforce Customer Community. When I am struggling with an issue and don’t find the answer in the Help and Training documentation, I always turn to the community site. Unless you are the smartest SFDC admin in the world, you can always learn from your peers. There is much more information at your fingertips than you realize, and the community will save you time and frustration.

My favorite part of the community is the IdeaExchange. For a long time, I thought of an “Idea” site as a dumping ground – or perhaps even a cemetary – for feature requests. However, Salesforce actually uses this information to help plan future releases, which gives me the impression that they may actually be paying attention to us! Of course, not every idea can be turned into a feature. But there are so many users – many of them Salesforce support reps – who post workarounds for our issues, that it is always worthwhile to post or promote an idea. My favorites are below, with links so that you can read the entire idea and comments.

One example of an idea that offers a workaround:
Allow Page Layouts to Display Fields from Related Objects
This is a great idea – but thanks to cross-object formula fields, there is also a decent workaround.

Another idea that I really like (and honestly, I don’t understand why it isn’t already there):
Include Date and Time in Reports
This seems silly to me because the date and time show up on detail views (Created By, Modified By, etc.) but in a report you can’t get the time, only the date. The suggested workaround is to create a custom date/time field, and then you will be able to report on it.

How many of you remember when we could not use workflows to trigger other workflows? This idea was just included as a new feature in the Spring 2012 release. It’s awesome! (screen shot below)

One of the areas in Salesforce that I think can still be be improved is workflow rule actions. How about a workflow rule that triggers creation of a record? I’d like to see this feature because it would eliminate the need to write code for certain things. It could be used to clone opportunities, add people to a campaign, create custom objects, etc.

There are so many other ideas I’ve promoted, but I won’t list them all here. A few of my favorites are better drill-down options on history reporting, an ‘Add to Campaign’ button on custom report types, multiple contacts on one activity, and (this one is under consideration) more granular administration.

One word of advice: before posting your idea, search the IdeaExchange in case it’s already there. Most of the things that have occurred to me were posted by someone else – and when that’s the case, be sure to promote that idea to give it more points!

Which ideas have you posted/promoted, and why? Comment with your favorites!

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