8 Tasks for Training New Salesforce Users

Training New Salesforce Users

As we all know, Salesforce Administrators are often short on time, between ensuring the database is up to date, taking care of the many requests that employees ask of them, training new employees and more. We’ve discussed how user training is crucial to the adoption of a new system, but often the admins don’t have enough time to properly train users. Unfortunately untrained users can often be a security risk if they are not using the system properly. Gorav Seth from Ashoka – Innovators for the Public has outlined 8 training steps he uses to help quickly get new users up and running with Salesforce, and an automated process that lets him efficiently run new users through this training.

Gorav developed a hands-off initial training strategy for new Salesforce users by creating a limited “training” profile, which allows users to dive in and experientially learn how to use Salesforce while preventing them from deleting or modifying existing records. This custom profile allows for a greatly simplified user experience for new users, so they are not overwhelmed by fields, objects, and tabs, and also allows for a custom home page where he has embedded videos and helpful training material, so they are not dropped into the river without a paddle.

Gorav then built a cloud flow that allows him to assign the new user a series of 8 training tasks with the click of a button on their user profile. These tasks introduce the new users to the critical concepts and skills that they need to successfully use Salesforce, including using chatter, updating their profile, understanding how contacts and organizations work, and understanding how record ownership and sharing restricts access to information, along with where they should go for help when they need it.

The eight tasks that he has outlined are basic training pieces and may vary per organization and position, but these will assist with getting any new user started with Salesforce. These are no substitute for a comprehensive training program, but they will allow you to ensure that your new users have the basic tools and knowledge they will need for more in-depth training, without spending one-on-one time with each user.

Using visual workflow allows these training tasks to be easily assigned to new users. While the Winter ‘14 update, enabled workflows on the user object, you cannot automate tasks creation without using visual workflow. However, once the tasks are created, you could setup a workflow to automatically send an intro email to the user, pointing them to their home page, where their 8 training tasks will be waiting for them.

Finally, its worth noting that you will find that some users will say they have completed the tasks, without doing them. Be prepared for this, and enforce that these tasks are done correctly before granting anyone a full profile. Most of these tasks can easily be validated, and it is well worth the 2 minutes it takes to ensure that the new users have understood this initial material.

Here are the eight tasks that Gorav assigns to new Salesforce users:

  • Log in to Salesforce to update your profile with detailed information and a profile photo. This helps users know where to go and where to look for this information on other people’s profiles.
  • Use chatter to send a message to the admin, a group, etc. This message must use both an @reply and #hashtag to show that they understand the functionality of chatter. This shows that the user has started their training. Gorav likes to respond to their comment with a like so they know that he has seen the message.
  • Create a sample organization and add a contact to that org. This helps acclimate the new user to the details required for each new record into the system as well as shows them where all of the information is captured.
  • Share the new contact record you created within that sample org. This is a great way for new users to understand any security issues involved with sharing contacts as well as any implications that arise when a contact is shared.
  • Search for yourself (user profile) on Salesforce. This helps users get comfortable with searching and understand what information is shown to users within the search results.
  • Update your Chatter notification settings to make sure you are getting notified of certain groups, when people reply to you or send you a message.
  • Create a helpdesk request to update your profile from the limited training profile to a full one and to delete the sample records you created during this training exercise. You want users to get comfortable with coming here to submit requests and get additional help.
  • Request a specialized follow up training with your admin or other party, which will vary based on the position of the new user and how they will be using Salesforce.

There are a few other things to keep in mind when setting up this basic training. While the standard ‘description’ field can hold a short description of the task, you can’t create a long or rich text field on activities. In order to provide detailed, step-by-step instructions, you will need to create a custom field on activities to store a URL that points to a Solution, Knowledge Article, or page on an external website . When creating this page, you’ll want to be sure that it is one that can be easily updated to include new information in the event of any changes or updates that need to be made. This is also a great place to use screenshots to assist new users in getting familiar with the pages.

Here are a few screenshots of the process from the new Salesforce users perspective. Gorav added myself (Monika) to his sandbox so I could go through the same flow as the new users. When I first logged in I received a video explaining Salesforce and how Ashoka uses it, a welcome note with information about the tasks along with the 8 tasks the new user needs to complete. Note that Gorav removed all extraneous tabs and home page components from the layout:

HomePage for 8 Tasks for Salesforce New Users

Here is what a task detail looks like, along with the link to the URL for more details on how to complete the task at hand:

Task Details for 8 Training Tasks for Salesforce Users

And here is the page on the Ashoka intranet that Gorav created with the detailed step-by-step instructions on how to complete the task:

Intranet Detail for 8 Salesforce Tips for New Users

Lastly, for those who want to install this flow to a Sandbox to test it out, (at your own risk, of course) along with some additional screenshots, click here to download the files for Gorav’s flow along with instructions on how to install these files.

What other tips do you have on training new Salesforce users?

Monika McMahon

About Monika McMahon

Monika joined Heller Consulting after spending 8 years in the Boulder technology startup scene. She is an expert in Social and Digital marketing, adopting and implementing new (and old) platforms for organizations ranging from ecommerce, SaaS, and nonprofits. Monika not only understands how these platforms work but how to use them to meet business objectives. When she is not educating and sharing her online talents, she can be found enjoying the music scene in Denver.


  1. Orquidea Perez


    I’m a Saleforce Admin and would love to do this for my org, but I don’t see the instructions on how to install these files. Do I have to be using a Mac/OS?

    Thank you

    • Bryan Giese

      It looks like basic instructions are in the files, but it doesn’t go through it like a step-by-step tutorial. Here’s a link to details on the Flow Designer: About Flow Designer. Gorav would be the best person to answer more specific questions. Meet Gorav Seth

  2. Amanda Malloy

    This post is full of so many awesome ideas!! Thank you!

  3. Susan Kenna Wright

    Wow. It would be great if this were packaged as an app. That would be so helpful. Great ideas here.

  4. I am not able to import .flow or package using eclipse, can you give any hint?



  5. I love the idea of creating a special profile for new users. The eight training tasks really give a new user a feel for the system. Great ideas all around!

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