Our expertise is centered in the Sales Cloud. We have particular strengths in business analysis (facilitating implementations), process Automation (Process Builder, Workflows, Flows, and Approvals), and data migration (with special expertise in migrations from ACT!).
If you need expertise beyond the Sales Cloud, we have a significant number of colleagues who regularly work with us and whose expertise complements ours. We will be pleased to refer you to these highly skilled professionals when ever you have needs that are outside our areas of competence.
We're more than happy to sign any reasonable non-disclosure agreement. We have a standard non-disclosure agreement, or we can use yours.
Unfortunately, we can offer our services only to companies based in the United States and Canada.
No, we don't directly sell Salesforce. However, we're happy to refer you to a Salesforce rep who will do that for you.
Salesforce offers four Editions: Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited. Here are some of the characteristics and limitations of each Edition:
Essentials Edition - This Edition is suitable only for the smallest companies with uncomplicated needs. Here are the most important limitations of Essentials:
Professional Edition - This Edition is vastly more robust than Essentials Edition, but still contains some important limitations. Here are the major limitations of Professional:
Enterprise Edition - This Edition supports virtually every Salesforce feature.:
Unlimited Edition - This Edition essentially adds additional data storage space and API Calls, but no additional features:
The above list of limitations is not comprehensive, and is subject to change by Salesforce at any time.
Not really. You know much more about your needs and your pocketbook that I do. However, I can offer a couple of general guidelines:
Salesforce is always very happy to have you upgrade to a higher Edition, and will gladly credit the amount remaining on your contract toward the upgrade.
In our experience, Salesforce won't even move your data to a lower-level edition, much less make a financial adjustment. Your only recourse then is to export all your data, purchase the new org, import your data into the new org (a non-trivial exercise), and cancel your subscription to your original org.
So, our advice would be to begin with the lower-level Edition. If you find you have needs that aren't being met by your current Edition, upgrading is pretty simple. Downgrading, not so much.
You can get a 30-day trial of any version of Salesforce, but there may be an even better option.
Salesforce will give anyone a free Developer's Edition. This Edition contains almost all the functionality of Enterprise Edition, but severely limits capacity (for example, a maximum of 2 users). While primarily intended for software developers, Salesforce is happy to let anyone have a Developer's Edition. Or 2. Or 10. Once you have your Developer Edition, just start playing with Salesforce. It's remarkably intuitive and easy to use.
But before you do that, you might want to go through some of the very basic trails in Trailhead.
I'd suggest beginning with “Find Your Way Around Trailhead” which will teach you what you need to know to use Trailhead itself (in about 15 minutes).
I'd then follow it up with either the “Learn CRM Fundamentals for Lightning Experience” trail which consists of the following modules: CRM for Lightning Experience, Accounts & Contacts for Lightning Experience, Leads & for Lightning Experience, Reports & Dashboards for Lightning Experience and Chatter Administration for Lightning Experience. This trail is focused on end-user skills
Or you could try “Get Started with Sales Cloud” which consists of the following modules: Sales Cloud Rollout Strategy, User Management, Sales Cloud Configuration Basics, and Data Management. This trail is more focused on admin skills.
ACL Consulting offers everything you need to implement or enhance Salesforce in your organization including the following:
When we encounter a request that is outside the scope of our skills (for example, involving other Salesforce Clouds), we have a wide network of highly skilled Salesforce professionals to call upon. We will be happy to recommend a consultant who will work with us to meet all of your needs.
A Lightning-QuickStart is a specific list of services offered at a discounted price to get your organization up and running quickly and correctly. If you're just starting out with Salesforce, it can be a cost effective way to get started.
A Full Implementation offers exactly the services you want and need, including much functionality that isn't included in the Lightning-QuickStart.
It's our belief that you are not well-served by a rushed timeline for your implementation. It takes time for us to understand your business and your current business processes. And it takes time for you to consider all the decisions that need to be made in the course of an implementation.
It wouldn't be too difficult to squeeze setup, training, and even data loading into a two-week period. But that would eliminate the time for knowledge transfer (in both directions) and thoughtful consideration.
We don't add additional features to a Lightning-QuickStart Package, but you can definitely have us implement additional functionality after the completion of your Lightning-QuickStart at our regular consulting rates.
If you feel it's essential to have these additional features present, configured, and trained on the day you go live, then you probably should consider doing a Full Implementation rather than a Lightning-QuickStart.
Just email us (an email link is at the bottom of every page on our website) and give us several times during our business hours (in the Pacific Time Zone) when you would be available for the consultation. We'll email you back, confirming one of the times you suggest.
That's a smart thing to consider at this early point.
If we're doing a Lightning-QuickStart for you, we'll need your Salesforce instance to begin configuration about halfway through the process. That will give time for configuration, training, and data loading before you go live.
If you're doing a custom Full Implementation, then the specifics of what we're doing for you will affect that timeline, so it isn't possible to offer a one-size-fits-all answer.
You need to identify a principal contact point for the implementation period. That should be the person who is the primary stakeholder for your Salesforce implementation project. This individual should be present for all Discovery activities.
Typically, it will be the manager of the unit that will be the primary consumer of Salesforce services. It might be the manager of your Sales department or it might be your IT manager. In any event, it needs to be someone who will have decision-making authority for the entire Salesforce implementation.
In addition to the principal contact, others need to be involved. If your principal contact is not from the Sales organization, then someone from the Sales organization needs to be on the Discovery team.
Conversely, if the principal contact is from Sales and is non-technical, then a member of the team should be the individual who will be your Salesforce System Administrator. The other members of the team should fill out the range of skills and functional areas that will encompass your Salesforce activity.
Usually you'll want to have around three people (but absolutely no more than five) on your Discovery team.
The Lightning-QuickStart training contains fixed content and covers only those elements which are available to your organization after completion of the Lightning-QuickStart. You cannot customize either the content or the number of hours involved in the Lightning-QuickStart training.
When you purchase training outside of a Lightning-QuickStart, you can determine exactly which topics you want included in your training as well as the number of hours of end-user training and administrator training included.
There are two alternatives available. First, you could engage us to create as many additional reports and dashboards you want following the completion of your Lightning-QuickStart.
Or, since creation of your own custom reports is part of the Lightning-QuickStart training curriculum, you may very well be able to create your reports yourself after completing the training.
Automation means the creation of Process Builder, Workflows, Flows, and/or Approvals using the point-and-click tools supplied by Salesforce. Automation using these tools can be done very quickly and efficiently and requires almost no overhead to code, test, and put into production.
As a result, Development is a lot more expensive and takes significantly longer. However, there are things you can do with the development tools that you just can't accomplish with the automation tools. So each of these has its place.
Salesforce provides a built-in tool for preventing duplicates from being created. It's a pretty good tool, but not perfect. But its biggest limitation is that it's no help in identifying or eliminating existing duplicates in your organization.
Fortunately there are several good options available in the AppExchange for this purpose. However, they do carry a price tag.
A View is a filtered list of Salesforce records of a specific object. Typically, you use a View to “work” your Leads or Contacts. As conditions in a Salesforce record change, it can drop onto or off of a given View.
In a regular App, you see a list of menu items across the top of the screen that represent the various objects included in that App.
In a Console App, the objects are stacked in the first tab (which functions as a dropdown control), and the remaining tabs across the screen represent individual records. This means that you can switch from one record to another without losing anything you were working on.
So, for example, if you’re working on the Smith Account and receive a call from John Jones, you can bring up his record without having to close the Smith Account record. Once you’re done with the John Jones record, you can return to the Smith Account record without missing a step. This can bring a dramatic improvement in your productivity.
Security is not only about keeping outsiders out of your Salesforce account. It's also about who is allowed to see and do what among the people within your organization. Different aspects of Salesforce security control CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) access for each object, access to individual fields within an object, and access to individual records.
Beyond access to records, security also includes such things as what hours of the day and days of the week users can access Salesforce, what the requirements for password changes are (how often, what constitutes a valid password, how many passwords are remembered, whether you use two-step verification at login, etc.), and many other details related to security.
If you have a picklist whose range of values are dependent of the selection of a value in a different picklist, then that's a dependent picklist. You can configure a dependent picklist to display only values appropriate to the value selected in the first picklist.
For example, suppose you have a custom object representing cars. The user can select the color of the car. But the car also has multiple models, and each model comes with its own set of colors. The Model T only is available in Black, but the Edsel is available in both Black and Red, and the Mustang is available in Red and Green. Once the user has selected the model, we want color to display only the values available for the model selected. A dependent picklist does this.
A Lookup provides a link to another record within the same or a different object. It may or may not always be present. Lookup relationships have no impact on security or access or on deletion.
A Master-Detail relationship means that every Detail (or Child) record always has a Master (or Parent) record. You can never leave this field empty, nor can you create a Child record without creating the Parent. You also set up rules to determine what happens if you attempt to delete a Parent record with Children (You can either prevent the delete from happening or automatically cascade delete all the Children of that Parent) and whether or not you are allowed to change the Parent record of an existing Child. In addition, there is automatic record sharing of Child records to the owner of the Parent record. Roll-up Summary fields can only be created on Master records.
Suppose, we have an Order object which contains multiple Line Item records. Each Line Item record contains the amount for that individual Line Item. But we also want to have an automated total of the Line Item amounts on the Order record. For this, we would use a Roll-Up Summary field. It will automatically add all the values and display a total of the order.
Roll-Up Summary fields are not limited to calculating the sum of values in the Child record; it can also calculate the average, minimum value, maximum value, or the number of records.
Roll-Up Summary fields can only be located on Master records to calculate values on a Detail record in a Master-Detail relationship.
A Self Relationship is a Lookup relationship to the same object. For example, we might add a custom field to the Contact object called, “Supervisor”. This field would be a Lookup to the Contact object (since a person's supervisor must also be a person).
Yes, there is!
First, Salesforce limits the number of Long Text (or Rich Text) fields you can have. But more importantly, it limits the ways Long Text fields can be used. Long text fields can't be used as External IDs. They can't be used in search filters. You can't use them as search criteria in reports or list views. There are limits as to the number of characters which will display in a list or report.
Always use regular Text or Text Area fields whenever possible.
Only put numeric data in a Number field if you will use it in a calculation.
Only put data in a Currency field when it represents currency and you want to see it displayed with the currency symbol.
If you need to enforce numeric values in cases where you don't need calculations, put the data in a text field and add a Validation Rule to prevent users from entering non-numeric values in the field.
A Validation Rule must be something that can be expressed as a single expression that evaluates to TRUE or FALSE. While a Validation Rule can be quite complex, and can contain multiple text, numeric, or logical functions, it must always be a single expression.
Unfortunately not everything we might want test to determine validity can be expressed in that way. Some business rules are simply more complex than that. In that case, you'll need to opt for a Trigger.
Keep in mind that creating and using a Trigger is significantly more complex and requires the inclusion of automated test cases before it can enter your Production organization. In addition, Triggers are only available in Enterprise Edition and above.
We agree that an administrator needs to know everything we include in the user training sessions. That's why we recommend that administrators attend and participate in user training, and why we schedule administrator training following the completion of all the user training classes.
But there are additional things administrators need to know about configuration, setup, and security in particular. That's why we also recommend administrator training. There is no overlap in class material between user and administrator training.
We think more classes are probably a good idea. The four hours of user training and two hours of administrator training we suggest cover the minimum amount of material a user needs to know, and require us to keep a rapid pace. Additional training hours or sessions allow us to cover additional topics and to keep a less frenetic pace (which enhances the learning for the trainees).
However, we understand that both in terms of the cost to purchase training services, and in the time spent away from their primary jobs, more training hours may not be possible for many organizations.
When it comes to fewer or shorter training classes, be aware that will mean the elimination of topics which are important in understanding and using Salesforce, and (in our opinion) fall into the penny-wise pound-foolish category
You can learn a lot from Trailhead, and we definitely recommend it as a supplement to the initial training we provide. However, it's virtually always an important - even essential - goal for organizations implementing Salesforce that all its users and administrators be ready on the day you go live with a basic set of the skills needed to do their jobs in Salesforce.
To be really frank, the priority for a sales team is always going to lean toward selling and making their quota rather than learning something they won't need until next week. That's why a class situation (where participation can be monitored) may be the only realistic way to get that basic information imparted before you go live.
The documentation will consist of a Microsoft Word document (delivered electronically) that contains just about everything the instructor will say about a given topic (and frequently more details than there is time to cover in class) along with screen shots illustrating the topics discussed.
It's offered as a Microsoft Word .docx file.
It's sent as a .mp4 file.
No, the link we give you will let you connect to GoToMeeting without needing to purchase anything.
You can't sell it to someone else. And you can't reproduce it without our copyright. Those are just about the only limitations we impose on your use.
Absolutely. You are welcome to modify it to better reflect your own business processes and for your use in training new hires. Just keep our copyright notice (adding your own to it, if you wish).
It's pretty much the same things you'd see as expenses for your own employees who travel:
With the exception of tips, all travel expenses will be accompanied by receipts when invoiced. Obviously, if on-site training takes place in the city where the consultant resides, your only expenses with be transportation to and from your facility and the noon meal.
Perhaps. We'll be glad to work with you (at our standard hourly consulting rates) to try and figure out the best way or ways to extract your data from your old CRM or database. A good bit of our knowledge and experience will apply to any data tool. However, we probably don't have any specific experience on your tool, so you should tailor your expectations accordingly.
From the time you give us approval to proceed with the final migration of your full database into Salesforce (and have provided us with clean CSV files if you aren't coming from ACT!), we usually are able to complete most data migrations within two business days.
If your data contains a very large number of Activities, History and Notes (over 250,000) or a large number of Attachments (over 5,000), those elements may not be complete within our usual two-day window. However, your primary data (Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities) will be complete and ready for you to work within that window.
Absolutely! We understand that your business needs to be up and running during your business day, so we regularly do migrations over a night or weekend.
We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover as well as direct ACH bank-to-bank transfers via a link on our invoice. If you wish to pay by check, that is possible, but your full data migration will be delayed until we receive your check and it clears. We don’t accept purchase orders.
Making a copy is easy. CLICK HERE for details.
We use Send This File to transfer files. You can CLICK HERE for instructions or click the Send File menu option at the top of every page on this website.
That said, you should NEVER send your data via email. Email is inherently insecure, and you don't want something as valuable as a list of all your leads and customers (along with their contact information) in the hands of your competitors!
The Free Test Migration includes 500 Contacts (along with their associated Accounts) plus their Activities, History and Notes (loaded as Salesforce Tasks). Secondary Contacts, Opportunities, Attachments, and Products are not included in the Free Test Migration. For full details, CLICK HERE.
All of the Activities, History, and Notes for each Contact exported will be included. If a Contact in the trial set has 10,000 Note records, then 10,000 Note records will be exported and included in your Test Migration.
We are happy to do a Free Test Migration whether you are coming from ACT! or supplying us with a clean CSV file.
Probably not. We randomly choose 500 contacts from your database, and we can’t ensure that all the Contacts for a given Account are included.
While the contacts are selected randomly by our programs, if we're migrating data from ACT! for you, you could create an ACT! Group for the Contacts you want included and have us apply a Group filter on your test data. Otherwise, selection of specific Contacts isn't possible for us.
We import Notes into the Salesforce Task object. You can find them in the Activity History section.
Unfortunately the functionality of the Salesforce Notes object is very limited. We cannot add custom fields to it, nor can we directly access the Create Date field for the Note. Therefore, there is no way to include either the date or the author of the Note. A vast majority of our customers find this unacceptable, so we bring in Notes as Salesforce Tasks where these limitations do not apply.
Salesforce has two types of Activities, Tasks and Events. Tasks include a date but not a time. Events include both a date and time.
For a variety of reasons, we bring in Activities as Salesforce Tasks by default. Salesforce only includes Events (timed activities) on its Calendar. Open Tasks are shown on the Salesforce To Do list. However, you can easily set up a Report or Dashboard to be displayed on your Salesforce Home Page including upcoming Tasks.
If you wish, we can import your open timed ACT! Activities as Salesforce Events for an additional charge.
Primarily because creating Events for Salesforce requires considerable additional work, and most of our customers prefer the option of bringing in their information at the lowest cost possible.
Most of our clients have few if any Activities set up to recur in ACT! Because of the extensive additional work required to create recurring Activities in Salesforce, and because we are unable to identify and correctly import certain kinds of recurrences, we have designated this as an optional service. However we always identify recurring tasks, display their recurrence frequency, and show you the date of the first recurrence.
That's correct, Salesforce does not support ACT! Groups. (Salesforce has something called Groups, but it refers to groups of Users, not groups of Contacts.)
So that you can see your ACT! Groups in Salesforce, we create a special custom field called “Group Membership.” This is a multi-select picklist field where there is one picklist option for each of your ACT! Groups.
To use this information you can create a Salesforce View on your Contacts for each of your Groups using the Group Membership field, the “contains” operator, and the exact name of your ACT! Group. If you don’t know how to do this, we will be glad to walk you through the process.
Definitely. Please mention that your dates are in DDMMYYYY format when you send us your data.
We never see or have any direct control over your credit card or bank information. The link on your invoice is a secure link directly to Quicken Merchant Services who handles our credit card and bank processing. Your financial information goes directly from you to them, without ever going through our hands.
As long as you are able to provide specific and firm specifications of what you want accomplished, we will be happy to quote a fixed price for any project. However, we are rigid about scope creep, and will always insist on adjustments for any change that has any effect on the amount of work performed.
Please understand, that for fixed price projects, we estimate the risk of a project taking longer than expected and price accordingly. In most cases, you'll actually pay less if we work on an hourly basis. But we understand if you prefer the safety of knowing what your maximum exposure is on a project, and are happy to work with you accordingly.
Where possible, we get a quote for the cost of air and hotel charges and use our traveling experience for other charges.
Alas, that is one of the great mysteries of the Universe. It is known to but a few enlightened souls with advanced kharmic training so that the intensity of this powerful knowledge doesn't sear their souls and burn out their brains. This training requires spending three years in a lamasery in Tibet, subsisting exclusively on a diet of high fiber insect droppings and fermented yak milk (at a cost of $10,000 per month).
We are very happy to refer you for this training, at the end of which the meaning of “ACL” will be revealed to you.
Oddly, few of our clients have elected to participate.