Salesforce And HubSpot Integration

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Is your company using both Salesforce and HubSpot? If so, you may have heard about the need to integrate these two powerful systems. In this blog post, we’ll explore why integrating Salesforce and HubSpot is crucial and share some best practices to ensure a successful integration. So, let’s dive right in!  

Integration of Salesforce and HubSpot can be defined as a tool or process that keeps the necessary data in sync between the two systems. By achieving this seamless data flow, you can improve the overall operations of your company by streamlining processes, reducing data duplication, and minimizing the burden of manual data entry. Sounds like a win-win situation, right? Well, hold on, because there’s more to it than meets the eye! 

Sharing data between Salesforce and HubSpot allows each system to leverage a broader range of information, which can fuel processes and make them more effective. The ultimate goals are to improve marketing return on investment, enhance sales efforts, and increase customer satisfaction. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want those outcomes for their business? But now comes the question of how to achieve this integration. Don’t worry, we’ve got a solution for you: the HubSpot to Salesforce integration app. This proven solution offers a simple and effective way to integrate the two systems seamlessly. 


Before you install the integration app, there are a few important tasks you should complete to ensure a smooth integration process. Let’s take a closer look at each step: 


  1. Understand the shared data and its usage:

Capturing a comprehensive understanding of the data that needs to be shared between Salesforce and HubSpot is crucial. Take the time to identify the specific data objects and attributes that will be synchronized. Additionally, gain clarity on how this data will be used in each system. This information will be essential for configuring the integration and determining the direction of data movement between the two systems. Moreover, it’s vital to establish clear data mapping between Salesforce and HubSpot, ensuring accurate synchronization. 


  1. Prepare your data:

Data preparation is a crucial step in any integration process. It goes beyond removing duplicate data; it involves reviewing the key data attributes for missing or invalid values. Cleaning up your data ensures that you start the integration with a solid foundation, reducing the risk of errors and data inconsistencies. 


  1. Determine historical data requirements:

Consider whether you need to include all historical data or just a subset during the integration. While the integration app will handle data changes going forward, you should decide if you want to bring in all the historical data or focus solely on current active deals and customers. This decision will depend on your specific business needs and the relevance of historical data for your ongoing operations. 


  1. Install and configure the integration app:

Once you have all the necessary information and your data is adequately cleansed, you can proceed to install the HubSpot to Salesforce integration app. Follow the installation instructions provided by the app and configure it according to your requirements. This includes setting up data mapping, establishing synchronization rules, and defining any customizations needed to align with your business processes. 


  1. Perform a historical data import (if necessary):

If you decided to include historical data in the integration, this is the step where you can perform the data import. Follow the guidelines provided by the integration app to ensure a smooth and accurate transfer of historical data. It’s essential to validate the imported data and verify its consistency within both Salesforce and HubSpot. 


  1. Audit and monitor the integration:

Once the integration is up and running, it’s crucial to regularly audit the data flow and ensure that the integration is moving data as expected. Set up monitoring mechanisms to track the synchronization process and address any issues or discrepancies promptly. Regular audits will help you maintain data accuracy and reliability between Salesforce and HubSpot. 


In conclusion, integrating Salesforce and HubSpot is a crucial step for companies that utilize both systems. By seamlessly connecting these platforms, you can streamline operations, reduce data duplication, and enhance overall efficiency. The ultimate goals are to improve marketing return on investment, enhance sales efforts, and increase customer satisfaction – objectives that every business strives to achieve. 

To ensure a successful integration, follow the necessary steps outlined in this blog post. Take the time to understand the data that needs to be shared between Salesforce and HubSpot, ensuring accurate synchronization and mapping. Prioritize data preparation, eliminating duplicates and validating key attributes. Consider whether historical data should be included in the integration or if a subset is sufficient for ongoing operations.  

Next, install and configure the HubSpot to Salesforce integration app, leveraging its user-friendly interface and simplified setup process. Perform a historical data import if necessary and establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure data consistency and reliability. 

It’s important to note that while the integration app simplifies the implementation process, it should not replace the need for clean data and process analysis. Clean, reliable data remains crucial, as does a comprehensive understanding of how your data is utilized within each system. Remember, the integration app provided by HubSpot is a facilitator, working hand-in-hand with thorough data preparation and process analysis. 

As you embark on your Salesforce and HubSpot integration journey, consider partnering with a consulting organization like Alternative Solutions. Their expertise can provide invaluable support and guidance throughout the process, ensuring a seamless and successful integration. 

With the combined power of Salesforce and HubSpot, along with the expertise of Alternative Solutions, you’re well-equipped to achieve streamlined operations, reduced data duplication, and enhanced marketing and sales efforts. Embrace the possibilities that an integrated Salesforce and HubSpot ecosystem offers for your business. 


If you’re looking to integrate Salesforce and HubSpot, then give us a call at 855-794-7342 or contact us at for a consultation.  

Introducing Consumer Goods Cloud

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Introducing Salesforce’s Consumer Goods Cloud, a powerful platform designed to make things easier for retail companies. It helps them run their operations more smoothly, improve how they sell products, and increase their sales.

Consumer Goods Cloud has a lot of useful features that help businesses manage their relationships with customers. It gives them a complete view of each customer, including their preferences, what they’ve bought before, and how they’ve interacted with the company. This helps sales teams understand customers better, personalize their approach, and give them great experiences.

The platform also helps teams work together when planning how to work with important customers. They can make plans, set goals, and work on those plans together. This makes sure that everyone is on the same page and that the company and the customer work well together.

Consumer Goods Cloud also uses advanced technology, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, to give companies even more help. It can analyze data and make predictions, which helps companies make better decisions, make customers happier, and make more money.

Under the “Retail Execution” part of Consumer Goods Cloud, companies can make sure their products are always available in stores, make their products look good on shelves, and help their field workers be more productive. They can use mobile devices to collect real-time data about the products on store shelves, what the competition is doing, and how much things cost. This information is sent to the Consumer Goods Cloud, so the sales teams can make good decisions quickly.

The platform also helps companies manage tasks, like restocking products or setting up promotions in stores. Managers can keep track of what’s happening, solve problems, and make sure everything gets done on time.

Mobile Data Collection: Field teams can leverage mobile devices to collect real-time data on shelf conditions, competitive insights, and pricing information. This data is instantly synced with the Consumer Goods Cloud, enabling timely data-driven decision-making by sales teams and managers.

Task Management: The platform streamlines task assignment and tracking, enabling companies to assign specific actions to field representatives, such as product replenishment, planogram compliance, or promotional setup. Managers can monitor progress, address issues, and ensure efficient task completion.

Consumer Goods Cloud utilizes Field Execution to help companies optimize their field operations, boost productivity, and enhance customer engagement. Key features include:

  • Territory Management and Visits: Organizations can optimize field resources and balance workloads using territory management and visit planning. This ensures sales reps cover the right areas and maximize their time and effort.
  • Route Planning and Optimization: Field representatives can utilize Salesforce Maps to plan optimized routes for their visits, considering factors such as customer priority, traffic conditions, and travel distances. This saves time, reduces fuel costs, and increases the number of customer visits.

Consumer Goods Cloud also offers robust analytics and reporting capabilities, providing actionable insights into field performance, compliance, and sales trends. Real-time data empowers companies to identify areas for improvement, optimize execution strategies, and drive sales growth.

One notable success story involved a South American pharmaceutical company seeking a comprehensive solution to manage their extensive list of retail accounts. They specialize in importing, distributing, and marketing medicines, medical products, and food supplements globally. Their requirements included tracking in-store agreements, inventory, planograms, asset placement, and product placement. Additionally, they aimed to enhance their sales team’s in-store visit planning using Salesforce Maps.

The highlight of the project was the configuration of retail execution, enabling the display of a territory map with scheduled visits for sales reps. Clicking on a visit provided a list of tasks to be completed, either through a predefined set of tasks or a custom action plan created by the sales manager.  For the customer’s specific needs, we developed custom tasks using code, including store agreement compliance, asset condition checks, and accurate asset counts within the store.

Consumer Goods Cloud requires significant administrative setup to ensure optimal functionality for end users. As a new product from Salesforce, it is important to acknowledge that there may be documentation issues. Consequently, certain fields necessary for data entry were not mentioned in the implementation or developer documentation, yet they were still required.

While Consumer Goods Cloud requires initial setup and documentation improvements, its impact on businesses has been significant. With its transformative capabilities, the platform has the potential to drive sales growth, streamline operations, and enhance customer experiences in the consumer goods industry.


Contact us here at Alternative Solutions for assistance implementing Consumer Goods Cloud today.

Is Your Organization Ready to Retire Workflow Rules and Process Builder?

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Is Your Organization Ready to Retire Workflow Rules and Process Builder?

Salesforce Automation Tools

Currently, on the Salesforce Platform there are three tools you can use to create automation. Those three tools are Workflow Rules, Process Builder and Flow. Salesforce is gearing up to retire Workflow Rules and Process Builder. This retirement is focused on creating a more streamlined approach to automation and to keep things as simple as possible with their low-code motto. As this retirement looms, Salesforce will lead you to create any new automations using only Flow. At Alternative Solutions our Salesforce Consultants are evaluating and readying our own instance for this change.

How does this effect your Salesforce Org? One of the benefits of Salesforce is the ability to automate repetitive tasks. If you currently have Salesforce, your org is mostly likely using one of these tools for your current automation processes. It’s now time to begin thinking and strategizing on how you will convert your existing processes to Flow.

Mapping Out the Process

Salesforce has started to map out a process to help you “go with the Flow”. They are giving everyone plenty of time to make these transitions but don’t wait to get started. If you have a Salesforce Admin in house, they will need to ramp up their knowledge of Flow and learn more about the migration tool that Salesforce currently has in Beta testing that will help you convert your existing processes. This is a great time to make sure that your organization is following the best practices of having only one automation process for each object. You want to avoid having overlapping processes on objects. The overlapping of multiple automation triggers on any one object can cause a spider web of a mess and untangling the mess can be overwhelming.

Start Using Flow

For new Admins this might be a bit overwhelming and daunting especially since you cut your teeth on Process Builder or Workflow Rules. Your first action should be to locate all the current automations and inventory those. As you start your inventory, you will need to determine if they are still applicable to your current business process. You will also need to start using Flow in any new automations so that you will not have to revisit or make changes as you move toward updating existing automations.

Salesforce’s Migrate to Flow (Beta) tool currently provides support for converting your existing Workflow Rules into Flows. They plan to add support for Process Builder to Flow migration as well, in the Winter ’23 release. Also on the horizon is the plan to start blocking Admins ability to create new Workflow Rules and Processes, currently slated for the Winter ’23 release.

As always, these dates are subject to change and should be considered a forward-looking statement.

Create Your Roadmap

Here at Alternative Solutions, we are working with our clients to create a Roadmap to ensure that this transition is as seamless as possible and that nothing gets lost as the automation processes are converted. We will be starting, just like you should, by mapping all existing processes and evaluating their necessity. It’s also a perfect time to clean up any automation that isn’t needed and perhaps define any new processes that your Users can benefit from. If you are wanting to get ahead of the game and make updates that can consolidate your current automation processes, Alternative Solutions can help. We offer support packages to ensure that your team stay ahead of the game, and you come out with an even better and cleaner process than before.

Don’t forget Trailhead

As always, Salesforce recommends seeking out Trailhead and going through their trails on Flow. This will help you better understand what this transition will entail and to get the jump on learning a new and powerful tool that can help you better utilize your platform.

Process Builder vs Workflow – Salesforce Insights

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Creating automation to save time and steps for users is extremely valuable. Not only does it buy back time, but it also allows for a uniform process. Historically, Salesforce’s Workflow product has accomplished this for our clients. More recently, they have developed a new automation tool called Process Builder which is an improvement on automating tasks. continue reading to learn the differences between process builder and workflow. 


What is Workflow in Salesforce?


Workflow allows you to simplify your work process and communication lines such as creating automation for repetitive tasks and organizing daily tasks into one platform. These can be done by a simple point and click version of an If/Then statement for data. In other words, these can be triggered by data being created or data meeting a certain condition. These can be done both immediately or on a time delay. There are two ways the Rule Criteria (The If), Using Wizard Salesforce or creating your own custom formula. Wizard Salesforce is an easy to use data input capable of inputting up to 50,000 records at a time. This includes contacts, leads, accounts, solutions, campaign members, and personal accounts. Using the custom formula method is helpful if you run into a character limit while creating a formula field. You can use the Update Record action and set the desired formula in the Rule Criteria. Once you have set your If statement, you can go on to what happens when the If the statement is true. This is known as the Rule Action or the Then statement. 


What is Process Builder in Salesforce?


Process Builder, a newer tool for admins, is capable of performing everything Workflow does and more with the exception of sending outbound messages (messages to another system). While Workflow is able to update some fields, Process Builder is capable of updating any field that has any related record. In Workflow, if you put multiple actions on criteria, there is no way to predict or control which action will happen first. However, with Process Builder, you are able to control the multiple actions set to criteria and what order you want them to take place in. For example, once an opportunity is created, you have three rules that are triggered and those are to email a manager set a contact, and assign a representative. With Workflow you have no way of assigning which action takes place first. In some cases, there are many more rules that are assigned and that can cause problems when there is no order. In Process Builder, you are able to assign these multiple actions an order in a sequence that is much easier to manage.  Much like Workflow, in order to set the criteria for the If/Then statement, you can use the Wizard element of Salesforce. However, Process Builder is able to trigger If/Then statements in multiple ways. 

Salesforce Sales cloudThe Similarities of Workflow & Process Builder


  1. Both Workflow and Process Builder focus on automation to simplify and reduce steps for a user in their own unique way
  2. Both are user friendly and have a visual interface that allows anyone to navigate regardless of their technological background
  3. Both support on the go actions such as drag and drop.


The Differences between Workflow & Process Builder

  1. Process Builder is capable of updating any field where workflow is limited to certain fields.
  2. In Process Builder you are able to control multiple actions set and the order at which they’re triggered.


Which Should You Use?

Salesforce has said they are still supporting workflow, but will no longer enhance the product. The process builder product gives you more automating abilities and is still being improved upon. If you are just now automating your data within Salesforce, we suggest using Process Builder. We are Salesforce experts and would love to help you design your automation using Process Builder. Please contact us today and start automating your data.

Building a Plan for your Data Warehousing

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Integrating data can be a daunting task in the complex environments of today’s business world.  Different business units have commonly been siloed historically, leading disconnected sources of data.  As we try to move the business ahead using a cohesive strategy, one of the first steps is bringing all of our data together.

This often starts with a data integration partner, and a long-term road map for application systems overall.  Let’s look at how to plan a data warehouse project.

Your Application Roadmap Checklist

This quick checklist to will help you launch your Application Roadmap.  Use this checklist to come up with more questions about your current data infrastructure.  When you’re ready to move forward, bring the right people together and take the time to build out a comprehensive plan for where you want to take your application infrastructure.

  1. Take Stock of Your Current Systems

What systems are currently in place?  How are they working?

What systems do you know you’ll be adding?

How do these impact our plan to manage our data?

  1. Where is Your Data Stored?

Reach out to your employees to see what data they’re keeping.

What CRM’s, ERP’s, Marketing, POS, or Order Entry software stores data?

Is your data digitized?

  1. Clean Up Your Data

Do you have bad data that needs to be purged?

Do you have old data that could be archived(speeding up searches and integrations)?

Do you have a data maintenance plan?

  1. Set Goals Around Your Data?

What are your data security goals?

Who in your company should be able to leverage data?

Who in your company is responsible for your data?

Choosing an Integration Path

Great!  You’ve figured out what your applications need to do, and what requirements you have for sharing data between them.  You’ve got the most important part out of the way!  But, we still need to make our dreams a reality.  And for that, we need to look at integrating all that data.

Let’s start by deciding how we’ll make the magic happen.

Living On Easy Street

In our first example our client, Widgets Etc., is using with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  They’d like to pass some simple data from one to the other.  Great News, Everyone!  There are built in connectors for these two products.  By simply following the documentation in the help portal, we can complete basic data integrations between them.

“Talk is Cheap.  Show me the Code.” – Linus Torvald

In our second example, Widgets Etc. has now let us know that they all use a legacy system for marketing.  Their old CIO built it back in 1996, and they’ve been using it with manual data integration since.  In this scenario, we’ll have to have a developer come in and build an API into that application.  We can then connect it to our other data sources.

“We are moving slowly into an era where big data is the starting point, not the end.” – Pearl Zhu

In our final example, Widgets Etc. has reviewed their Application Roadmap, and realizes that they’ll need to integrate a few other systems while following strict business rules about where and how data gets moved between applications.  For this, we’ll often bring in a Data Warehousing partner.  The decision here should largely be built around the available connections offered by the partner and their ability to process the business rules Widgets Etc. has outlined.  Take a look at the chart below for more information.

Still not sure where to begin?  Reach out to us at and speak to one of our consultants.


Area Mulesoft Informatica Cloud Stitch TIBCO Scribe
Focus Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), application integration Data integration, ETL Data ingestion, ELT Data Integration, ELT
Database replication Incremental replication depends upon manually written SELECT statements Full table; incremental via change data capture Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys Full Table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT statements built with GUI
SaaS sources About 70 More than 80 More than 100 More than 200
Ability for customers to add new data sources Yes Yes Yes Yes
Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes? No / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
G2 customer satisfaction 4.5/5 4.0/5 4.8/5 4.1/5
Support SLAs Yes Available Available
Purchase process Requires a conversation with sales Requires conversation with sales AWS Store, Conversation with Sales, Stitch Website Requires conversation with sales
Compliance, governance, and security certifications HIPAA/HITRUST, GDPR, Level-1 PCI-DSS, SOC 2, FIPS HIPAA, SOC 2, SOC 3, Privacy Shield HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2 GDPR, ISO27001, SOC2/3 and PCI
Data sharing Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vendor lock-in Requires conversation with sales Annual contracts. No open source Month to month or annual contracts. Open source integrations Multiple options.
Developer tools Runtime Manager REST API, CloudHub API Informatica Developer Tool, REST API, Connector Toolkit Import API, Stitch Connect API for integrating Stitch with other platforms, Singer open source project Scribe SDK, Spotfire Developer Tools, REST API, Node.js Apps
Free Trial? 30 Day Options Available 14 Day 30 Day


Why Should I Add Tableau?

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In June of 2019, when purchased Tableau, it was largely overshadowed by political and international news.  But, at 15.7 Billion USD, the purchase was anything but insignificant.   It was a bold move, pushed largely by Chairman and Co-CEO, Marc Benioff.

“Tableau is an extraordinary company, with an amazing product and team and an incredibly passionate community,” said Benioff. “Together we can transform the way people understand not only their customers, but their whole world—delivering powerful AI-driven insights across all types of data and use cases for people of every skill level.”

Benioff has a pretty long track record of betting on good horses in the data world, and he certainly didn’t miss the mark here.  Salesforce had long had limitations in Reports and Dashboards that made displaying data at times impossible.  In the year that followed, many customers saw the power of Tableau and Salesforce Combined.

  1. Data Collection Made Easy

With Salesforce, data collection is a normal part of your everyday interactions with the system.  Many times, SFDC is collecting data about our customers without us even having to be conscientious of the collection.  The data is stored safely and securely on cloud servers.  And, with Salesforce Connect and API’s, we can bring data(integrate) in from virtually any system in the world.

  1. Inherited Security

If you’ve ever setup wide-range report distribution or a CRM, you know that configuring access to the records in your system can be pretty tricky.  Salesforce comes with a hierarchy system that lets you inherit access to user records upwards throughout your org chart.  These same system permissions can be passed over to Tableau, so you’re only setting up access once across all applications.  Single Sign-On and Federation Logins can also work with other systems to build out permissions.

  1. Data is just Data. Tableau is Visualization

We’ve all asked for a report, and been sent a 25,000 row excel spreadsheet.  I remember discovering Pivot Charts early in my career.  “What can’t they do?” I thought.  I chuckle to myself about this after Tableau.  With Tableau, we can take built-in components/functions, and build out reports that a user can change dynamically as they’re inspecting the data.  As their questions about the data change, the report can change to reflect it right in front of their eyes!

 Salesforce Tableau Integration

After a year, Tableau just released a new way to embed and integrate their visual analytics solution to Salesforce. The integration allows Salesforce developers and admins to implement a tableau dashboard in any Salesforce Lightning environment. All you need to do is find the URL of your tableau dashboard. When you have the URL, paste it into the ‘tableau visualization’ tab in your Salesforce dashboard. Once you’ve published it, it should automatically add it to your dashboard.

But, Why?

So, we’ve seen that Tableau and Salesforce integrate into and augment each other very well.  But, maybe you aren’t sold on Tableau’s features.  Why do we need a better dashboard?

Ultimately, we often forget the purpose of reporting.  It can become to hit quarterly numbers; to meet a bonus quota; or, to get leadership off our backs.  These use cases are not living up to the potential of reports.  A report should be there to answer questions.  Questions about things like how we’re connecting to our customers, how changes we’re making are impacting the pipeline, and how our employees are functioning in different environments.  These should be questions that spark transformative change in an organization.

A well-designed report in Tableau will often leave you asking new questions.  And, as these questions we didn’t even know we had emerge, we can change the data to more appropriately answer them in real-time.

Don’t believe me yet?  Head on over to and take a look through Tableau’s public gallery.  Be sure to click on things in the report.  They’re quite interactive.  Feel free to reach out to us at Alternative Solutions Consulting so a Tableau Subject Matter Expert can talk to you about growing your use of reports.  Bringing data into the culture of your organization starts with integrating the best data tools and providing them to the staff.

Different Types of Reports in Salesforce

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There are four different types of reports you can create in Salesforce. Each type of report is best suited for showing different types of data in different formats. When deciding which type of report to create, you should start with understanding the goal value you’re trying to discover or communicate through the reports.

The four types of Salesforce reports are Tabular, Matrix, Summary, and Joined. They will allow your Salesforce administrator to pull, send, and review the data in your Salesforce account in different formats. Below, we’ll expand on what each type of report is and how it displays the data.

Financial Services Cloud

What is a Salesforce Report?

A Salesforce report is a list of data generated based on predefined criteria. They can be displayed in either rows or columns and be public, shared, hidden, and read-only or with write access. The benefit of reports in Salesforce is being able to quickly and easily understand the data within the system. With that data, your business can make informed decisions about what new products or services to build and how to communicate with your customers more effectively.

For example, consider a business scenario in which a company sells manufacturing equipment. They have a list of past customers that have purchased the equipment but may return for yearly maintenance or parts. They also are continually receiving new leads that their sales team is calling on and building relationships with. It’s possible to build a report in Salesforce that can show the annual continuous revenue of past customers, and also a report to see new leads, and their progress through the sales funnel, along with projected revenue. Business analysts can use these reports to find common data points in the company’s highest revenue-generating customers and design new customer relationship-building programs to improve those relationships!

Tabular Reports

Tabular Reports are the most simple type of Salesforce Report. They show your data in rows and are most effective when your goal is to export it. Tabular Reports shouldn’t be used when you want to manipulate data in any way like present totals, calculations, or groups of data.

Matrix Reports

Matrix Reports are a step more complicated than Tabular Reports where they can show data in rows and columns. They can be used to see different totals from your data and are effective when your goal is to display a huge amount of complex data.

Summary Reports

Summary Reports in Salesforce are the most commonly used reports and are designed to show groups of data. With summary reports, you can group data by different accounts, and then do calculations to see totals, maximums, minimums, and averages. These reports allow you to easily see which accounts are bringing in the most revenue and which products or services they’re purchasing the most.

Joined Reports

Joined Reports in Salesforce give you the ability to create two separate reports and compare their individual data. It’s not as commonly used, but can be effective when trying to learn distinct differences between accounts. 


How To Create A Report in Salesforce

Creating a report is quick and easy. After your desired report is created, you can set it in your dashboard to have quick access to the information on any of your custom business analytics. The steps to creating a report are below.

  • Navigate to the Reports tab in your Salesforce account and select “New Report.”
  • Select the “Property” object and click “Create.”
  • Choose which Properties, Fields, and Filters you want within your report.
  • Choose the type of report you want to create.
  • Click ‘Save’ to save your report within a specified folder.
  • After saving your report, click ‘Run Report’ to create your report!

Creating custom reports and designing your workflow in Salesforce can get complicated. Here at Alternative Solutions, we have helped hundreds of clients design and optimize their business workflows with Salesforce. We are a team of Salesforce administrators and experts, so please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Save Time By Creating an Email Template in Salesforce

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Salesforce is set up to automate your sales process. One easy and quick way to do that is to set up email templates to use in your sales workflows. With those templates, you can set up an automated email response for whenever a new lead enters your pipeline. You can also set up automated emails to keep potential customers engaged while your sales reps build relationships with your customers.

There are four different types of email templates, each with their unique purpose.

  • Text
    • Text emails are very basic and can look like regular emails you see in your inbox every day. All users on your salesforce instance can create text email templates.
  • HTML (using Letterhead)
    • HTML emails using a letterhead are made to look more professional. They can be created by your administrators and users with the permission for “edit HTML Templates.”
  • Custom HTML
    • These are very visually dynamic templates. They can be created using an HTML file that you insert into your email template. Again, your administrators and users with “Edit HTML Templates” permission can edit these automated messages.
  • Visualforce
    • Visualforce email templates can be created by your administrator and developers. These are designed to include dynamic information from merging the recipient’s data into the template. Use this email template to create completely customized responses to each potential customer.

Each type of email template can include text, merge fields that pull in personalized account information, and the ability to attach files. If you’re interested in learning more about automated email templates, please contact us here.

Dynamic FormsHow to Create An Email Template

  1. Go to Setup > communication Templates | Email Templates
    1. You can also go to Setup > Email | My Templates
  2. Select “New Template”
  3. Choose the Type of Email You Want To Create
    1. This could be a either a text-only email, an HTML email, or visual force email. 
  4. Specify a template name and layout
  5. Check the “Available for Use Field.”
  6. Write out the body of your email or insert your desired HTML code
  7. Click to save it to a folder.

Once it’s saved, you can use it in any new email you create. Use your email template when creating a drip email sequence to a new list. This will help it have brand consistency and make creating that series of emails quicker and easier.

Automated Email Drip Campaign Example

The goal is to connect and share information with your potential customers in an authentic way. Email allows you to create a personalized and scalable experience for each customer in your account. If you’re new to creating email templates and automated drip campaigns, you should try creating a welcome email series using an email template. Automated email campaigns are a key component to the Salesforce Service Cloud, which helps your organization connect and build relationships with your customers. 

  1. Welcome Email
    1. Use an email template with a letterhead that simply welcomes your new lead whenever they subscribe to your email list or download a whitepaper.
  2. Give More Information about product/service
    1. Use that same email template with a letterhead, but this time include a helpful piece of information. It could be a resource article or a different whitepaper. The idea is that you are the expert on your product or service and are trying to teach your potential consumer
  3. Link to Overview of Brand and Company Culture
    1. Again, you can use the same saved email template with a letterhead, but this time the content can include more information about your company. You’re trying to build a relationship with your potential customer. By parting the veil on how your internal company operates and the mission of your organization, you’re showing vulnerability and honesty. 
  4. Send A “meet a Sales Team Member” Email
    1. With Dynamic content in an email campaign, you can send one that gives an overview of your customer’s potential sales team member. This will help “humanize” your emails and build a deeper connection with your customers.

Dynamic FormsEvery drip campaign is different, but with Salesforce you can create a completely customized and personalized series of emails. If you’re curious about learning more about creating emails in Salesforce, please contact us. Here at Alternative Solutions, we are a team of certified Salesforce experts and have years of experience with the software. We have helped dozens of organizations optimize their organization with the Salesforce platform. Get in contact with us today!

The Hype Behind Community Cloud – Salesforce

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Since launching Community Cloud in 2013 Salesforce has continued to grow the functionality and extensibility.

But what is a Salesforce Community? Communities isn’t a social media application, it’s a customer/employee/vendor/client communication application.  It lets you create an online space to speak with the people you do business with even if they aren’t on Salesforce.

Financial Services Cloud

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So, what can you do with an online portal?  One major use in our business is the Help Desk and Work Ticketing systems.  By logging into their Community account, any AltSolut customer can create an emergency ticket, update a ticket, or see responses on a previous ticket in our Help Desk.  Through the power of Salesforce, many processes are automated behind the scenes like routing the work to a capable agent who has the availability to work the ticket, or notifying a lead if the work isn’t completed in certain timeframes.


In the Work Ticketing System, we developed in-house, clients can see Sprint progress on current development as well as provide feedback or review/upload documentation.  Housing our Work Ticketing System in Salesforce allows us to manage our Project Management process in detail rather than paying a 3rd party provider for less extensible services.


Is that all?  Of course not.  Communities can also act as your Employee Intranet or Vendor Management system.  Pull employee metrics directly from other Salesforce Objects and create a KPI dashboard.  No more waiting until that 6-month review to see your progress.  Vendors/Clients can manage PO’s and Invoices with less work on your team through the power of Salesforce’s Contracts and Entitlements automation feature.  And you can even leverage Salesforce Chatter to maintain that air of personal acquaintance.


I already have a website, though!  With Lightning Builder, you can build easy to maintain public web pages with the look and feel of the modern era.  Salesforce can dynamically pull in content from their CMS (or Amazon’s AWS), and without the need for a team of developers to manage the process.  Customers can see your normal website, or login to their My Account area and see & make changes custom details.  By linking Commerce Cloud (or a 3rd party payment processor), they can purchase items without ever leaving the site or signing in again.  Community also comes with robust blog management features, and can integrate a forum quickly with great moderation options.  Or, you can integrate Community Builder on top of your existing website.

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You’ve certainly made a point that Community Cloud can lift heavy, but IT says they can’t add extra cost and time! is built by both Business Users and IT Rockstars.  Compliance and Audit are key in any business, and Salesforce provides many tools to help.  Through help desks, knowledge (very robust permissioning), and easy configuration with outside sources like Active Directory SSO, Oracle, and more, IT will be very happy with all the time they aren’t spending answering simple questions or chasing down the equipment you forgot to return (We sent you an email five minutes before your shift was over to bring it back on your way out.


Spencer Gibson, Alternative Solutions and Customer Life-Cycle Management Consultant

Salesforce Lightning vs. Classic

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Salesforce Lightning or Salesforce Classic? Both are very capable versions of Salesforce and both have their advantages. Currently salesforce is in the process of migrating all of their customers to the new Lightning experience, so you’ll need to transition eventually. Below we will walk you through the differences of the two versions and how they’ve improved upon the 20 year old CRM software!

Introduction to Salesforce

Salesforce is a CRM or Customer Relationship Management tool. It basically is a tool that helps you keep track of and build relationships with your customers or potential customers. It is cloud-based, so you can log into it from anywhere and scales with your team as you grow. It has been a major tool in most B2B businesses for the last 20 years and boasts over 150,000 clients from around the world. There is also a 3rd party app marketplace that makes it easy to install and run thousands of programs to improve your business operations.

They released Salesforce Lightning product in the winter of 2016, but after 16 years of users on an old platform, it is tough to have their entire customer base transition at once. When you’re an organization that has been using Salesforce for 10 years, you have processes set up that are hard to augment. It is possible to migrate your data over into salesforce lightning. Salesforce is actually in the process of transitioning all of their clients into their lightning product and does not sell the classic version to new customers. If you’re curious about the process, get in contact today!

Difference between Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic

The main differences between the two separate versions are the user experience and technical features. Salesforce Lightning has included an impressive list of new features that aren’t included in Classic. The design and usability of the tool have also been greatly improved! Below is an example of how the interface looks!

Salesforce Sales cloud

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Salesforce Lighting vs Classic: User experience comparison

The user experience upgrade is primarily for end-users. The admin now has the ability to drag and drop to edit and design their components to their liking. They don’t need to request code to be edited or changed, completely removing the development from the process. Now developers don’t have to be tasked with mundane aesthetic changes, they can now focus their time on app development and customization projects. 

Users can now also design their own custom experiences utilizing business logic on lightning flow. With Lightning, you’re also able to see the activity timeline of your customers and keep track of their history. The low-code customizability of Salesforce Lightning really makes it a better option for every business. 

Salesforce Lightning vs Classic: Technical comparison

Where the main improvements of Salesforce Lightning are with the user experience, there are some technical improvements as well! Overall, it loads quicker, holds more information, and lets you save and transfer more data. It also allows you to pull more data from integration.

  • Home Page Improvements: The home page now can present a performance chart, an assistant, news about your leads, and key deals you’re focused on. 
  • Dashboard Improvements: Now you’re able to have more columns on your dashboards. This is a vast improvement on the original and limiting 3 columns. You can customize them to include any information you would need. 

Mobile App Improvements: Everything available in the cloud-based Salesforce Lightning produce, is easily used and operated on within the mobile app. This means you can view potential lead changes while away from your desk, traveling, or just away from the office.

salesforce service cloud screenshot

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Any Drawbacks for Salesforce Lightning?

With any major application update, there are some drawbacks. These are primarily on the side of the time it takes to migrate from salesforce classic to salesforce lightning. Including the time to migrate from classic to lightning, there is the time to train your sales team on all the new features of lightning. 

Considering the price, Salesforce Lightning doesn’t cost more than Classic. This means you will receive more functionality and easier to use the product without an additional monetary commitment. The main things that are going away in the lightning interface are in the opportunities section. The big deal alerts and the similar opportunities sections are getting removed.

Considering the overall improvements and the necessity of salesforce migrating all of their customers over the next few years, we highly encourage anyone still using classic to migrate over. If you’re curious about the process, please reach out to us here.

salesforce service cloud screenshot

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Process of Switching from Classic to Lightning

Step 1: Assess your needs

Review how your organization currently uses Salesforce and assess if transitioning to Lightning would improve their workflow. This usually takes sitting down with key people in each group of your organization to review how they utilize salesforce in their everyday tasks. 

Step 2: Execute a gap analysis

Take time to map how your organization currently uses Salesforce and write out the benefits of lightning that they could potentially be using. Review it to see where the gaps are and this should give you a better understanding of what opportunity you are missing out on.

Step 3: Test out the Lightning Experience Readiness Check

Salesforce have developed a lightning experience readiness check tool that gives classic users the opportunity to test out lightning. It will review how your organization uses lightning and show you where you can improve! 

Step 4: Get your team on board

We suggest sitting back down with your key people within each group of your organization and get a qualitative understanding of their experience with lightning. You want to migrate to Lightning with everyone in your organization on board, so this means sitting down and listening to everyone’s personal experience. There is still the opportunity to toggle between the lightning version back to the classic, if you wish.

Step 5: Make the jump!

The last step is to migrate! We do Salesforce consulting and can help your entire team migrate to Salesforce Lightning. Get in contact today to learn more!