Love What You Do

New research on the Salesforce ecosystem: The promise of “Interesting Projects” is the #1 most important factor to Salesforce consultants picking their next role. Surprised? I’m not.

salesforce consultant washington dc

With such a major shortage of talent right now, of course employees want to work on fun and challenging business problems. Most would probably say it doesn’t even feel like work when they’re in a Flow state, using their full selves (both intellectual and creative) to think out of the box and solve complex problems.

I just love this data because it confirms what I personally love about using Salesforce. It’s like a big box of lego and you can build anything at all.

Have Salesforce issues you want to solve?
Let’s Talk!

#salesforceconsultant #salesforcepartner #makeworkfun

The Best and Worst Salesforce Consultants in Washington DC

Salesforce is a powerful CRM software that many businesses use to manage their sales and customer data. If you are looking for a Salesforce consultant in Washington DC, it can be difficult to know who to trust. There are many consultants out there, but there’s a huge variation out there. Some are amazing and some should probably stick to their day jobs! In this blog post, we will discuss the best and worst Salesforce consultants in Washington DC.

Salesforce Consultants in Washington DC: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

First, let’s start with why someone would want to hire a consultant for Salesforce: There are many reasons why companies choose to outsource their IT needs instead of handling them in-house. Hiring a consultant for Salesforce is a great way to get help from someone who knows the system inside and out and can help your business grow. It’s a robust program with tons of functionality. The genius of a good Salesforce implementation is in leveraging ONLY the features that actually fit the situation and HIDING everything else!

A good Salesforce consultant should be able to do the following:

  1. Seek to understand your business and its unique processes
  2. Help you set up and customize Salesforce to fit your needs
  3. Train you and your team on how to use Salesforce effectively
  4. Provide ongoing support and advice as needed

Now that we know what to look for in a good consultant, let’s take a look at some of the bad ones. A bad Salesforce consultant can do more harm than good and can end up costing your business money instead of saving it.

A bad Salesforce consultant may:

  • Not listen to your needs or understand what you want from the software
  • Take a long time to get back with answers and advice, leaving you waiting for months on end without any help at all!
  • If this is happening then maybe they aren’t interested in helping you grow your business.
  • They could also be working on another project that takes precedence over yours and you’re getting ignored!
  • A bad consultant will not give personalized service or advice. They will deliver the same generic advice and “solutions” to everyone and all situations.

You deserve better than that!

If you’re frustrated with a “bad” Salesforce consultant, it’s time to consider moving on. Let’s start with a conversation and see if we can help you. We’re nice people and at the very least will give you some ideas to help think through your situation.

Seeing Duplicates? Fix it Before Everyone Goes Cross-Eyed

A core tenet of Salesforce is to have “a single source of truth.” We want all our key touchpoints with a customer to be in one system — so that employees across different departments can all see the same information. We don’t want key notes getting lost!

If that’s the case — then what effect do duplicates have in a system?

Duplicates undermine the entire premise of “single source of truth.”

Because on one record for a contact we see her phone number and email. But then on a duplicate record we see a note that says “She loves our product but NEVER CALL HER BEFORE LUNCH TIME!”

Well, clearly that warning is ineffective if it’s not on the same page as her phone number!

Duplicates aren’t just problematic because you can miss key data — but they also propagate bad data. Any reporting, formulas, etc. that summarize your data will produce bad results when duplicates are in the mix.

And your team will quickly abandon using fields like “last touchpoint” because they will yield deceptive information.

Users need to trust their data. Like any relationship–Trust is at the foundation. As duplicates erode trust, the entire structure becomes more shaky. But this is avoidable!

So how do we fix it?

Salesforce has a “free” built-in duplicate detection tool. It’s better than nothing but it’s primitive. It’s very black and white and that’s not the real world. The real nature of potential duplicates is that they’re shades of grey. We need to be more nuanced.

My favorite duplicate tool is “Duplicate Check” and what I love is that different rules can yield varying levels of confidence in a pair being a true duplicate.

And so you could have a rule that 100% confidence level pairs are auto-merged. But 75% confident pairs go to a report for manual review.

Users tell me they absolutely love the Real Time potential duplicates show up when they’re creating a new contact. The section in the blue bubble pops up as a friendly option and prevents trouble before it starts!

For the annual investment most firms are spending on Salesforce, the Duplicate check tools are such an absolute no-brainer for ROI.

Why is the Mailchimp Salesforce Integration Not Working?

Reviews of the Mailchimp Salesforce Integration

This honestly boggles my mind! Salesforce is clearly the market leader in CRM. And Mailchimp is an awesome email marketing platform, generally speaking. They do what they do really, really well. They must have smart engineers on their team to solve problems. Why isn’t each company important enough to the other to fix this problem!?

Why is the Mailchimp Salesforce integration so bad?!

I’ve seen way too many examples where data just gets STUCK and it doesn’t flow back and forth smoothly as it should. You’ll go crazy (and waste too many hours of your life) trying to troubleshoot this. You can’t solve the problem as the user because the problem is rooted in the integration tool itself!

Mailchimp Integration with Salesforce JUST DOESN”T WORK!

My advice is that you need to choose between your systems: One to keep and one has to go. They’re not your children and don’t have feelings 🙂

There are good alternatives to Mailchimp that do indeed integrate nicely with Salesforce!

My favorite right now is Active Campaign

Second place: Predictive Response

They’re both solid tools and while they don’t have a logo as cute as that lil’ chimp, they’ll send your emails and cause you less headaches.

If you need help setting up the integration, have other Salesforce questions, or just want to discuss more — send us a note! We’re happy to help.

How Far is 6 Feet? Oh, it’s 182 Chickpeas.

I saw this sign at a restaurant yesterday and I found it remarkable:

182 chickpeas of distance! It caught me by surprise and got my attention.

This is a simple and great example of clever system design.

It highlights an often overlooked truth that people can have a hard time comprehending numbers. What is 6 feet distance? If the sign maker wants to increase the chances customers follow the rules, they benefit by providing some assistance.

Before Covid, how often was I using “6 foot distance” as an expression? It certainly wasn’t frequent enough that I’m fluent with it. It requires attention and mental effort to identify 2 objects and do the head math to measure a line between them.

It’s not that this task is difficult, but it requires effort. And when you’re moving about the world at the pace that we do today it’s understandable that the mundane calculation of 6 feet can get easily forgotten.

If you are building a system and care about the outcomes, then it’s your responsibility to create the conditions for your users to succeed.

And so this restaurant did something I’d say quite clever. They got my attention with a surprising message and a bit of humor. I’ve been told about 6 feet distance countless times the past few months, but this time I’m told about 182 chickpeas! It simply cut through the noise and woke me up from my otherwise automatic habits of fast casual dining: First I pay for my meal and then I sit down to eat it. The purpose of the sign was to stop me from sitting down at this table. And it worked.

Of course, the humor of the sign lies in the absurdity that it would be easier to grasp the meaning of 6 feet if it were measured in equivalent distance of 182 chickpeas. Because chickpeas we are all certainly fluent in!

The tongue-in-cheek sign is additionally clever because it preemptively de-escalates potential conflict should a customer begin to sit down at this off-limits table out of habit. They planned ahead, anticipated a contentious event with its inherent emotions and lightened the mood in advance.

No matter what system you’re designing — whether it’s a restaurant or Salesforce for your company operations — it’s often the little things that influence how users respond, how they feel about the experience, and ultimately if the system works.

I’m particularly attuned to user behavior when building out Salesforce systems because user adoption is absolutely critical! Your employees are human and need to be provided tools to accommodate the way real humans behave.

FYI — Some books that influence my thinking on these topics if you’re interested to read more:

Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman

Switch – How to Change when Change is Hard – Chip and Dan Heath

Decoding the Why – Nate Andorksy

Salsa Engage Integration with Salesforce

Salsa Engage provides a native integration with Salesforce NPSP — which for the most part works great. However, I just finished a Salsa Engage Integration with Salesforce and I have to say that the documentation provided did not cover a few important things. This led to unnecessary extra time spent trying to figure it out and so I’ll try and save you that at least 1 headache by explaining the Gender dilemma.

In Salsa Engage: There is a default standard Gender field, that is not visible or available on the Supporter page. But it exists and it’s not mapped to the existing Gender field in SF either.

The Integration created a NEW Gender (salsa) field in Salesforce, even though the system already has one. And the field mapping is locked between the NEW Gender (salsa) field in Salesforce and the Gender field in Salsa itself. Even using the field mapping tool, it’s not possible to fix this and just connect the existing Gender in SF to the default Gender in Salsa.

This is a problem because now both systems have 2 Gender fields — in total, 4.

To solve this we used Process Builder to copy the values back and forth but the whole thing seems avoidable. And it would have been much cleaner if the Documentation was edited to explain this.

Country field — Oh, that’s hidden too!

Ultimately after too much time wasted, I got this message from Salsa:

“There are a few fields in the same vein, such as County and Timezone that are held by Engage, that can be queried on and changed, they’re just not available to view/edit from a supporter record. “