What is Automation in Salesforce?
Automation in Salesforce can simply be described as sales automation. It is the automation of key components or sales processes, such as managing leads, team performances, sales forecasts, etc., to make the entire sales management smoother and streamlined.
The dictionary defines automation as “the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically.” And Salesforce defines automation as "the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.”
For example, a business could set up an automation whereby a new email is sent after two days if an email to a client is not opened. Alternatively, if the email is opened and an online form is filled out, the contents can be automatically added to a CRM and a sales rep notified that they should contact the prospect.
Automation reduces time, effort, and cost, whilst reducing manual errors, giving business more time to focus on your primary objectives. Repetitive tasks can be completed faster. Automating processes ensures high quality results as each task is performed identically, without human error.
And how is it done: Salesforce Automation offers several tools: pipeline management, sales management, etc. CRM collects data from customers and businesses to help predict needs to enhance customer experience. Salesforce Automation offers a clear insight into past, present, and prospects along with sales performances.
What tools does Salesforce use for Automation?
The answer is:
Workflow: Define Flow Trigger, Associate Trigger with Workflow Rule.
To determine your automation needs and which feature to use, ask these questions.
When do you want the automation to start running?
What do you want to happen after the automation starts?
For example, when you add a contact, you want the contact to receive a welcome email.
Start: When a contact is created
Automation: Send an email to the contact
Let’s have a detail look at each of the automation tool.
1. Process/Process Builder
The Process Builder is the breeze that Salesforce Admins need in their life. In Lightning UI, this automation tool is easy to build, has a huge amount of functionality and has increased the declarative work an admin can do at an ease in their orgs.
It has variety of features:
Create a record,
Update a field, Update a related objects field,
Log a call,
Launch a flow,
Send an email,
Post to chatter,
Submit for approval.
The hero, Workflow is the most powerful declarative automation tool, also known as Visual Flow, this tool is primarily used to generate wizard-style screens that can take a user through a series of steps, updating records along the way. However, Flow can also be used running in the background like other automation tools, but way more powerful. Workflow rules will only evaluate one outcome, either it’s true and it will execute, or it’s false and it won’t.
Workflows also have hardly any limits; if you have a large org with a lot of data, workflows should handle it without a problem.
Workflow in Salesforce is basically a container or business logic engine which automates certain actions based on criteria. If the criteria are met, the actions get executed. When they are not met, records will get saved but no action will get executed.
What are types of workflows in Salesforce?
Immediate Actions: These actions are executed immediately when the criteria for a rule is met.
Time-Triggered Actions: These actions execute at a specific time which is specified when creating this type of action.
Features: All the features you get from Process Builder, plus wizard-style screens, delete records, update any record in the system (not just related). Update a field, create a task, send an email, Send an outbound message. If Process Builder can’t do it, then flow usually can. It is generally a lot more powerful, not just in terms of specific features, but in terms of the bigger picture. It gives Admins access to “code-like” functionality, without having to write a single line of code.
Difference between Workflows and Flows:
Flow is more powerful than workflow rules and process builders. Also known as Visual Flow, this tool is primarily used to generate wizard-style screens that can take a user through a series of steps, updating records along the way.
Workflow rules are always executed behind the scenes, flows can provide screens to guide us through our business process. Flows aren't bound to any one object. Flow can create, update, and delete records for multiple objects.
By default, each object (or entity) is limited to 50 active workflow rules. Additional volume is available (up to 300 active workflow rules).
We finally arrive at the only tool on this list that requires development skills.
Apex is Salesforce’s very own programming language and can basically do anything on the platform. Most complex implementations will need Apex language for various reasons, so even if you’re not a developer, you should know why Apex is used and what it can do.
Features: Everything listed in the previous tools plus so, so much more. When declarative tools can’t do the job, Apex is here to save the day.