Print the Month based on a Date Field

Business Problem:

Often times you might want to filter a report based on the Month of a specific date or you will need a field to display on a record based on a date field.  This is great for formula concatenations or reporting purposes
Formula Rule Solution:
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 1, “January”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 2, “February”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 3, “March”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 4, “April”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 5, “May”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 6, “June”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 7, “July”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 8, “August”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 9, “September”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 10, “October”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 11, “November”,
Month(datevalue(Any_Date_Field_Here__c)) = 12, “December”,
This is a relatively simple formula but let’s break this down anyways.  The Month() function takes a date field value and gives you the number representation of that date.  Therefore, if you want to display the actual Month in words you need an additional statement.  The Datevalue() function breaks a date field down further and allows Salesforce to turn the date into a number.  So, when you have the Month(Datevalue()) functions together you can get a Number representation from the Month field.

Opportunity Validation Rule to Require Multiple Fields Validation Rule

Business Problem:

Opportunities in Salesforce utilize a standard field called Probability which is tied to the stage and forecasting.  Once an Opportunity reaches certain probabilities businesses may want to require certain fields to have a value. 

Validation Rule Solution:

AND(Probability > 50,

This Validation Rule is relatively simple but there are a few gotcha’s that I want to breakdown here that can be big headache’s if you don’t know how they work.

First, the probability ignores the “%” symbol so you don’t need those in your formula.  Additionally, notice that I did not put a “,” behind the ISNULL(Third_Field__c) statement.  This is because this is the last statement in the OR() statement and you don’t need any additional commas inside that statement.

So why not put all this in one big AND() statement?

Here’s why.  If you put everything in an AND() statement everything must be true in order for the validation rule to trigger.  In the business case, First_Field__c,Second_Field__c, Third_Field__c each need to be filled out. However, if they are all included in the AND() Statement, if one of the fields is filled out the validation rule would not trigger.  Hence, the use of OR()!

Calculate a Currency based on a Picklist Value

Business Problem:

In some cases, businesses might use a Picklist Value to reference a number such as a month, quarter, term, or year. This Picklist value often correlates to a number. Sometimes businesses might want to make a calculation based on this number and an amount field or another currency field.

Formula Solution:

Data Type: Currency

ISPICKVAL( Term__c , “1”), Currency_Field__c * 1,
ISPICKVAL( Term__c , “2”), Currency_Field__c * 2,
ISPICKVAL( Term__c , “3”), Currency_Field__c * 3,
ISPICKVAL( Term__c , “4”), Currency_Field__c * 4

Let’s break this formula down.

An IF() Statement is comprised of three variables, something variables to compare, an action if the variables to compare is true, and an action is the variables to compare is false.

IF(ISPICKVAL( Term__c , “3”), Currency_Field__c * 3,

In this case, the ISPICKVAL( Term__c , “3”) is the variable to compare Currency_Field__c * 3 is the action if true. Notice we don’t have an action if False set in this example. This is because we have several IF() statements, one for each of the picklist values in your picklist. At the end, you only need one action if all the IF() statements are false.  The last thing to remember is to always close all of your statements with closed parentheses and in the example, we have there are 4 close statements.

Why you should Volunteer as a Salesforce Mentor today

I’ve been lax in making posts lately because I’ve been working on a project to bring a Mentoring program to the Salesforce Community. Mentorship Central is a Salesforce community group that launched several months ago and now have recently launched a new matching site that allows people in the Salesforce ecosystem to volunteer as a Mentor, Mentee, or Both and find their ideal match.

I wanted to write a post today to share why I think people should volunteer as a Mentor. I have three arguments to convince anyone to volunteer as a Mentor.

Argument 1: Giving back is in the Salesforce Community genetics

The Salesforce community is a wonderful thing. You can find the answer to any question, assistance on a project, or even just post something funny. But at the heart of the community is giving back. Volunteering as a Mentor is just going a step further and the next natural progression in an evolution of a good community member.

Argument 2: You will learn something

You might think that the Mentor/Mentee relationship is a one-way street where the Mentor is just imparting information to the Mentee. The Mentor/Mentee relationship is much more than that and the Mentor can learn just as much from the Mentee. Mentors get experience in coaching, teaching, as well as opportunities to have new situations presented to you that you might not see in your existing role.

Argument 3: It’s not a huge commitment!

As a Mentor, the average commitment is less than an hour a week! Come on, you can spare an hour! That doesn’t sound so bad.


Did I convince you? Volunteer today –

How I interview for Salesforce Roles

I originally wrote this as a guest blog post last month for CRM Marketplace.


Salesforce professionals with a wide range of technical and soft skills can be difficult to find. Often times these are the only things that we look at when hiring an employee or contractor resource. But technical acumen and soft skills aren’t the only thing I look at when hiring a Salesforce professional. That’s certainly not to say those attributes aren’t important, because they are. They just simply won’t be the focus of this post.
Whether you are hiring a Consultant, Administrator, Developer, Business Analyst, etc. you can’t just look at Technical ability and soft skills. There are three areas that I also evaluate during the hiring process that are outside of technical ability which I feel gives me a better sense of whether the hire will be successful or not.

Cultural Fit
Cultural fit questions are key to a good hire. I work at a startup so things change quickly and that’s part of our culture. When interviewing a candidate, I need to make sure that they prove to me that they adapt to change quickly and thrive in an unstructured environment. Maybe your organization is very structured and some people don’t work well in those environments. If you only restrict yourself to skill based questions you miss out on seeing if this person will “fit” into your organization.
Cultural Fit isn’t just your responsibility but it’s also the candidates. Your candidate should be asking you questions about what it’s like to work at your organization and what the culture looks like. If they don’t maybe it’s not that important to them. But do you really want someone on your team that doesn’t care about your organizations culture?

Life-Long Learning
I always ask candidates when was the last time they learned something new within the Salesforce ecosystem. Especially for the more senior candidates. As technology continues to expand those that don’t take it upon themselves to self-improve will be left behind. I want people on my team that value life-long learning and understand that you’re never done learning.
Sure, you might have gotten your Salesforce Developer certification back in 2008 but do you know anything about Wave Analytics? What’s the last Trailhead badge you earned? Have you attended any Salesforce training webinars recently?
In the Salesforce ecosystem we have so many opportunities to learn and continue to learn that we all should be taking advantage of those resources. The level of commitment to self-improvement a candidate shows is a strong indicator of future learning potential within your organization.

Creativity and Critical Thinking
Creativity is sometimes hard to gauge as is Critical Thinking. I generally approach this area of evaluation by asking a scenario based question and ask the candidate to walk me through their thought process. I generally hire Salesforce Technical resources that will be troubleshooting technical issues on the platform. To test this specific position, I give the candidate a scenario where a problem is presented and there are many potential root causes. This allows me to see not only what the candidate knows technically but also how they evaluate the problem and think through it.

For example, I often present candidates with this sort of question: My Visualforce page I just created isn’t visible on my community… Walk me through how you would find the root cause of this issue.
This is a good scenario because the question is specific and there are multiple sources for an answer as well as multiple ways to get to those answers.

As you hire Salesforce resources consider adding in questions that evaluate Cultural Fit, Lifelong Learning, and Creativity/Critical Thinking instead of just technical skills. If you do you will likely have a better hiring outcome because you are doing a much more well-rounded evaluation.

Convincing your boss to run their meetings from Salesforce

I’ve run several meetings in my time. In general, I see meetings falling into a few buckets: status/connect meetings, working meetings, and informational meetings. Status/Connect meetings are designed to provide a session where a team can come together and share information and status updates as to current work completed, planned, and working. Working meetings are designed to allow a team to produce a defined product. Informational meetings are meant to disseminate information to a wide audience. Each of these types of meetings can be run from a Salesforce Dashboard.

But what if your boss is old school? Still printing reports? Still showing an Excel Spreadsheet or a PowerPoint slide? How can you convince your boss to move away from these antiquated tools of the meeting and onto running your meetings from a Salesforce Dashboard?

#1 – Build in components that matter to the attendees

Let’s say we are in a Sales Status Meeting. What components should we include in a Sales Status Meeting Dashboard? Certainly a total pipeline, YTD quota obtainment, or even a top deals component. But those are components for the manager and hold little value to the attendees.

What’s more valuable are components that impact the behavior of the meeting attendees. For example, in a Sales Status Meeting a behavior impacting report is an individual Sales Rep % Quarterly Quote obtainment report. This puts the team in competition with one another and allows the manager to identify high and low performers. Additionally, components that allow meeting attendees to see how close they are to a particular bonus level or anything related to their direct compensation is going to provide motivation as well. Anything that motivates your team will motivate your boss.

#2 – Data is always up to date

Dashboards have the benefit of always being accurate. PowerPoints, Spreadsheets, and any other non-cloud based tool have the add bonus of always being out of date. Its just not something you want to run meetings off of because you’re always talking about inaccurate information.

Bring up past examples to your boss when a poor decision was made or bad information was disseminated because the information wasn’t accurate. That will show how much better running a meeting from an accurate Dashboard is.

#3 – Live it

If you want your boss to use a dashboard to run their meetings then you need to use Dashboards to run your meetings and your day to day. You need to live it. Make yourself a dashboard with components that trigger action for you. Think of the components that motivate you or your team. For instance, I run a Customer Support Team. I add components on my dashboard such as the total breakdown, by percentage, of cases closed by individual team members so each team member can see what they are contributing to the total.