Wed, 2 December 2020
On this episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got Sarah Pilzer, Director of Operations at Country Dance and Song Society and Golden Hoodie winner. She tells us how she uses automation to serve her users.
Join us as we talk about why it’s always best to start with standard functionality, how to borrow from what people have already built, and how she checks in with users to make sure she’s building what they need.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Sarah Pilzer.
How Sarah puts Salesforce to work for her organization.
As Director of Operations at the Country Dance and Song Society in Massachusetts, Sarah is in charge of all office procedures, including running their Salesforce instance. “I am the in-house Admin, as well as doing all of the building and architecting necessary to create the systems we need,” she says.
Sarah’s organization uses Salesforce in a bunch of different ways depending on the department (sound familiar?), including registration and staffing for their arts education classes and fundraising. Making that work involves a mix of using what’s already in the Nonprofit Success Pack and building some custom solutions.
When to use standard vs. custom functionality.
To figure out what will work best, Sarah recommends sitting down with your users to find out what they do now and how it’ll best translate to Salesforce. “I try to start with an out-of-the-box feature if that’s possible,” she says, “if it’s already built, we should take advantage of that. We can save our time to work on other issues at the nonprofit like our mission and vision and really get to the programming if we’re not spending all of our time building tools.”
Sometimes that means trying a standard feature and seeing what the limitations are. For their program registrations, they started out using campaigns to track who was in which program but ran into some limitations when they also wanted to track donations. In the end, Sarah ended up building out a custom camp program object that fit their needs better. “My advice would be to start standard if you can, and if you find that’s not fitting your needs you can go custom,” she says.
Verify that automation helps your users.
One thing that helps Sarah help her team is leaning on the automations already built into Salesforce. Flows are a big part of that, including Screen Flows that walk her users through the automation. For the camp registration example, they have a Screen Flow that they expose to external users to create a self-service feature. This frees up time on the backend as they previously had to rely on paper forms that would be manually entered into the system.
“I think it’s really important that the automation works for who’s using it,” Sarah says, “so if I’m going to build out automation, I need to talk to the end-users first and make sure that what I’m building isn’t going to make their lives harder.” That’s a combination of conversations with her internal people, and beta testing on forms that go out to the community before they go live. Sarah isn’t afraid to call a quick twenty or thirty-minute meeting to make sure she understands what her users want, and she’s established an internal Salesforce user group to check in every month.
Direct download: Building_Automations_That_Work_with_Sarah_Pilzer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20pm PDT