Most Popular Ways to Automate Business Processes with Salesforce

Most Popular Ways to Automate Business Processes with Salesforce

Crowned as the # 1 CRM platform in the world, Salesforce various tools to its users that give them the power to turn their business ideas into reality. Tools like the Salesforce Sales Cloud helps in increasing sales efficiency, Service Cloud aids service reps in offering superior customer experience, Marketing Cloud helps in running productive campaigns, and Community Cloud helps users connect with consumers and partners. There are a lot more tools offered by Salesforce that you can not only be used as applications but also be customized according to the business needs.

Automation tools in Salesforce:

The Salesforce automation tools help in increasing efficiency big time by automating admin tasks that sales reps and managers have to perform manually. Salesforce provides multiple automation tools to automate repetitive business processes in your organization such as Workflow, Process Builder, Approvals Process, and Flow Builder.
Each tool comes with its own unique functionality. The type of the business process determines which automating method you should go for.

Workflow Rules

Workflows in Salesforce is one of the best ways to automate business processes. They enable you to can create a rule, and based on certain criteria that are set, Salesforce can do various things like sending an email, creating tasks, or updating fields.
These actions can be either ‘Time-Dependent Action’ executing at a particular time or ‘Immediate Action’ occurring promptly. In the case of Time-Dependent Action, parameters are re-evaluated at the specified time prior to action and, if the parameters are found to be incorrect, the Time-Dependent Action would not be performed otherwise. The acts which can be carried out through the workflow are:

  • Field Update
  • Email Alert
  • Send Outbound Messages
  • Create Task

Approval Process

Approval Process in Salesforce automates the steps required to authorize a record and determines approval at every stage to authorize it. It defines what will happen when a record is submitted for approval when the record is accepted by an approver or by all approvers and, furthermore, when an approver rejects a record. Field Update, Email Alert, Create Task, and Outbound Message are the actions that can be performed through the Approval process. Whenever a user demands approval, initial application activities occur in which the record is locked so that, although approval is pending, other users can not modify the record. If the approver refuses the request, the final rejection acts will be carried out and the approval status will be deemed as rejected. The approval process can be started when a user submits a record for approval when it is called from Process Builder, or a Flow, or via APEX.

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Process Builder

This automated tool by Salesforce enables admins to control the order of actions and evaluate the criteria for a record. The associated actions are mentioned below:

1. Updating records:
The tool can help you update multiple records that are somehow related to the record that initiated the process. You can either enter records manually or it can be done by using the records from a related record.

2. Creating records:
This action enables creating new records and allows adding different field values for them.

3. Posting on Chatter:
The tool enables you to post on Salesforce Chatter for sharing any data with any user.

4. Quick action:
If you already have global actions or objects, you can use Quick Action within Salesforce to use them in any record.

5. Launching/triggering the flow:
You can launch the flow from your process to automate different processes.

6. Invoking another process:
This action will actually invoke a process to another process.

7. Calling/triggering Apex code:
You can invoke an Apex code that you have already written within Salesforce.

8. Submitting the record automatically for approval:
The initial record that was used to start the process can be submitted and not any other record.

The Process Builder supports three types of automation processes within Salesforce, namely:

  • A change in a record starts whenever the record is updated or created.
  • An invocable process will start whenever another process calls it.
  • An event process will start whenever an event message is received.

Each of the above processes consists of:

  • Action groups that comprise an immediate or scheduled action
  • Associated criteria that determine when an action group should be executed

Visual Workflow (Flows)

Visual Workflow (Flow) is the perfect option for complex automation tasks that involve user feedback and branching logic at multiple levels. Within Visual Workflow, there are two types of flow: Display Flow and Auto Launched Flow. Screen Flow creates screen-based wizards to gather user data and execute user-based actions through a sequence of steps in your Salesforce org or external system. Flows do not initiate on their own based on changes to a Record. They need to be initiated through other means, such as calling them from a Process Builder, from a Visualforce page, or by APEX calling.

Which Salesforce Automation Tool Should You Use?

Every tool comes with its pros and cons, and Salesforce automation tools are no different. Depending on the business requirements, a few tools can perform certain actions while others cannot. The above is a brief discussion about how we can use the automation tools to automate our business processes.

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Pratyush Kumar

Pratyush Kumar

Co-Founder & Director at Algoworks, Open-Source | Salesforce | ECM
Pratyush is Co-Founder and Director at Algoworks. He is responsible for managing, growing open source technologies team and has spearheaded more than 200 projects in Salesforce CRM alone. He provides consulting and advisory to clients looking for services relating to CRM(Customer Relationship Management) and ECM(Enterprise Content Management). In the past, Pratyush has held consulting roles with various global technology leaders, such as Globallogic & HCL in India. He holds an Engineering graduate degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.
Pratyush Kumar

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