Over the course of time, certain features fall out of favor or become obsolete to a point that they become useless. I’m discovering this to be true in our beloved Salesforce as well. With every new Salesforce org I setup, there’s a checklist of features that should be enabled, or disabled based on “best practices” and I find myself wondering why some of these settings and features are even still a part of the platform.
What started out as a Twitter poll on Social Accounts & Contacts (which we’ll look at below), turned into a conversation where my fellow Tweeters sounded off on the Salesforce features that are on their “most useless” list. Let’s take a look!
Social Accounts & Contacts
When Social Accounts and Contacts came out in the Winter ’14 release, it was pretty cool. The idea was to provide a personal and social element to records – after all, Salesforce was selling the concept of a “Social Enterprise” so it was only fitting that this feature was released. While good in concept, I found it to be painful to use.
Salesforce didn’t make any attempt to automatically query social networks to see if matching profiles could be found, and there was no option to log into a corporate level account which could be used globally, requiring a user to log into their own social network, and find the Account, Contact or Lead.
Do you use the @Salesforce Social Accounts, Contacts and Leads feature in your org? #awesomeadmin #askforce
— Brent Downey (@brentdowney) January 13, 2016
To me, the amount of space that the Social Accounts & Contacts took up on a record detail was noise – especially if it wasn’t being used, and Admins across Twitter seemed to agree.
@brentdowney The top row of dashboard on home page
— Ryan Lorenzen (@RyanLorenzen) January 15, 2016
Salesforce Classic’s homepage has long been a point of contention, specifically the dashboard snapshot. While Lightning Experience provides a much better and more useful Homepage experience, Salesforce Classic’s Homepage remains unchanged.
The Homepage dashboard snapshot only shows three components of a selected dashboard – and not just any three components, it’s always the top three components. The only way to customize what displays on the snapshot is to modify the dashboard.
If you want to see the full dashboard, there isn’t a quick link provided – you have to click into the Dashboard’s tab, search for the appropriate dashboard and potentially refresh before getting to the full data set. So, while most organizations leave the Homepage Dashboard enabled, I choose to remove it entirely.
Homepage Activity Defaults
@brentdowney homepage activity to do list defaulting to ‘overdue’ is an odd choice I think
— Kristi Guzman (@KristiForce) January 15, 2016
Here’s a default setting that I never understood. On the Salesforce Homepage, in every new org, the My Tasks section defaults the task list to only display Overdue items! I never understood why this default setting was made, and why it hasn’t been changed.
Most organizations are proactive, not reactive. And the whole point of a task list is to see what needs to be done – not what should have been done. This is one of the very first things I have users change when I do trainings – update the list to show Next 7 Days + Overdue.
Stay in Touch
@brentdowney stay in touch
— Daniel Hoechst (@dhoechst) January 14, 2016
Alright, now here’s a feature that makes sense – I can understand the premise. For those that aren’t aware of the feature, Stay in Touch enables a Salesforce user to send an email to a contact, asking them to verify the contact information on file. When it was deployed, which based on my research, is probably in the early days of Salesforce, it was probably pretty useful.
But now email is a tricky place to navigate. Bots are ever present, scanning our emails for the dreaded SPAM and, while probably an interesting feature in the early days, just doesn’t cut it today. The email template used isn’t customizable, has the Salesforce branding on it, and if there is an error or update to the contact information, there isn’t an update or write back to Salesforce feature – the issuing rep must manually update the record.
To eliminate confusion and prevent your companies domain from being flagged for high volumes of SPAM, I suggest turning this default feature off. If it’s a needed feature, look at creating a company-branded email template that users can select and send instead. Same functionality but more customizable.
System Generated Chatter Feed Posts
@brentdowney system generated feed posts
— Steve Williams (@MrSteve_W) January 14, 2016
Chatter is a very useful tool for many organizations. Personally, I’m a Chatter champion. But if Chatter isn’t managed well, it can become noisy. System generated feed posts don’t help reduce noise at all.
For example, let’s say that I’m updating a Chatter group description because I found a typo. That action generates a system generated Chatter post to the group. By default, Chatter feed tracking is enabled for some of the standard objects as well, but most System Admins don’t take the time to update the tracking settings to include meaningful information (or turn off feed tracking where it’s not necessary).
@brentdowney quick create for sure. And the scariest. Even @parkerharris knows the evilness of it. & the old setup menu & profile page
— Rachel Natik (@RachelNatik) January 15, 2016
Quick Create was mentioned a few times by several folks on Twitter, but I chose this Tweet to represent the others because of Rachel’s comment! For those that don’t know, Quick Create allows users to quickly create Leads, Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities from the sidebar.
Sounds nice until you learn that records created through quick create don’t follow any of your beautifully crafted data validation rules which means that these records can be full of dirty data.
Now, I have heard, from Parker Harris’ very own mouth that this is a piece of functionality that served a purpose and is now “evil” as Rachael puts it, yet it’s still available! If this is active in your org, turn it off right now!
Luckily, there’s an alternative to Quick Create that I like a lot more, and that’s Publisher Actions. Admins can create publisher actions where users can create records using an abbreviated form, but these forms still follow validation rules!
Big Deal Alert
@brentdowney big deal alert
— Stacey Cogswell (@Stay_Sea_) January 14, 2016
Big Deal Alerts are interesting because I can see the value of this feature – for Professional Edition orgs. PE orgs don’t include Workflow Rules, so big deal alerts could prove to be one of the only options available to notify management of large deals in the organization.
For the remainder of the customers on Enterprise Edition or higher, workflows and Process Builder proves to be a much better and far more flexible solution. For example, Big Deal Alerts are triggered when a dollar value threshold or probability is reached. But what if you need or want to send an email when a different variable is met? It can’t be done with Big Deal Alerts.
Workflow Rules can enable a much richer experience, tailored to your organization. Better yet – leverage Process Builder to create a Chatter post and tag a specific individual or individuals in a Chatter post to drive engagement and reduce emails!
Don’t agree with this list or have something to add? Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it!
10 thoughts on “ Salesforce’s Most Useless Features ”
You have updated the Account by converting a Lead. This is the most annoying automatic Chatter Feed notification on the planet. AMEN to every other item on this list. In the face of my users I would never say the Salesforce name in vain, but thank you for your honesty in pointing out some blemishes.
Note: PE orgs are getting workflows!!!! That’s what the big announcement this month included. So big deal alert will be even more useless. 🙂
Thanks Mary! That’s part of the new Lightning Editions announced a few weeks ago! Super exciting!
How about the “Quick Find / Search… ” text in the setup menu. About 3.. HUNDRED times a day I go to setup and start typing something to narrow down and quickly get to “Users” or “Email Alerts” but because that stupid little text goes up there, I end up searching for “Quick Find / Search..Users” or Quick Find / Search..Email Alerts”.
Idea in Success Community to remove it. https://success.salesforce.com/ideaView?id=08730000000LgfWAAS
I know it’s not really a “feature” to have that little bit of text there, but its counter-productive.
I support you 100% on this one! 🙂 I have voted for this idea a while back and wish I could vote again and again!
I found this on one of the Success Communities this week, and it’s awesome! It’s a Chrome extension that blocks the “Quick Find/Search…” text in the setup menu. There’s a couple other features that I enabled as well, but that’s the main one. Here’s the link; i hope it helps!
I’m not sure if I should categorize them as useless but rather redundant. One such is “invite coworkers” when an Admin can just as well create chatter free user. Another thing that baffles me is about Files/Chatter Files/Content/Libraries/Documents when SF could easily bundle them together as one and provide bells and whistles (aka attributes).
Brent, thanks for sharing. I am 100% on board with you regarding the stay in touch, system generated chatter feeds, and, most of all, the evil “quick create” that quickly creates bad data in Salesforce. Tasks defaulting to only overdue and the homepage dashboard is “useless” for two reasons in my mind, 1) it takes up space when they could click the dashboard tab and 2) because so often users have no idea how to switch it and have random dashboards they don’t care about. Having been a PE admin, Big Deal Alerts are awesome, but quickly becoming obsolete, so I hear you there too.
But… Personally, I have to defend one of the features, Social Accounts & Contacts. I’m a big fan. All public info is available to users whether or not they are connected to the account/contact, which means if they find somone’s info, they can at least get a vibe for who they are before contacting. BUT, having to manually lookup a reacord’s profile, is a PitA, as is having to login. This feature is really improved with the Data.com Social Key that matches accounts and contacts to their social accounts. But again, it was better when LinkedIn was still included. (Side note, I never understood the purpose of “youTube” to contact matching).
I just came across this post – the most useless feature IMO is the related tab on mobile. When you’re on an account or contact and it says Activities 3+ or Opportunities 3+ this helps no one. Ever. To get something decent on mobile you need to do a lot of work.
It would be nice if it just opened a list of the top 3 records for each related list with the option to tap into the full list. This would take a tap out of the equation and provide much faster access to data.