I’m Creating a Flow: Intro

Correction: I’m writing a blog post to put off creating a flow.

A week or so ago, one of the sales reps sent a member of our marketing team a list of questions that she asks during scoping calls with clients. She wanted a fancier version of it, maybe? I’m not sure, but the marketing coworker came to me and asked about it, and I said “well, we can use Salesforce, and then the info is populated directly.”

I reviewed the list, and naturally a good chunk of those questions were already represented in Salesforce as fields. Fields that aren’t always filled out (thank you, Field Trip for confirming my suspicions).

I told her I would take it from here, and I reached out to our sales rep – “hey, do you want to pilot an interactive version of this form online?”

To my shock and delight, the sales rep said yes.

Cue my sudden realization that I didn’t really know how to make it work. Yes, these fields exist in Salesforce, but they are kind of all over the place. They are on the Account object, the Opportunity object, a custom object, and anywhere else you can think.

My first thought was Visualforce, since I’ve been trying to prepare for Platform Developer 1. It helps that the sales guys always tell me “we don’t really have a consistent way of doing this.”

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that maybe the root cause is that we don’t really have a consistent way of doing anything. Everyone is given their tool (Salesforce), and then they run off to survive in the wilderness. But they all use it differently. Some use it like a storage canister, where they try to keep food or water preserved for all time. Others use it as a compass – where should be heading? Still others just like to look at it for long stretches of time without really doing anything.

They largely consider this to be a strength, but I have my doubts.

So I’m working on a compromise: a visual flow that will allow them to jump between input screens but keep them generally on one path.

This is new territory for me, so as I learn, I intend to post about it. I like to share my mistakes – it keeps me humble, and hopefully someone else can learn from them.

My last series, Sales Cloud for Marketing, is coming to a close, anyway…perfect timing!

Look out for the first post in the series: Cramming Session for Visual Workflow.