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What makes it possible for businesses across so many industries to all use Salesforce? The answer is customization. Lenders, doctors, restaurants, and clothing stores can all use the same software because it adapts to their unique operations. Changing standard object and field names is one easy way for users to customize Salesforce around their needs. 

To help you understand why and how to change Salesforce’s default names for its objects and fields, we’ll show you:

  • How data is organized in Salesforce
  • What standard objects and fields are
  • Why you should change the default names
  • What to know before making changes
  • A step-by-step guide on how to do it

How Do You Look at Data?

Imagine that you’ve got a stack of papers in front of you with all the information about your operations. You’ve got pages with your customer’s names, items sold, and every support ticket you’ve ever handled. Technically, all the information you need to plan out your goals is here. But how do you make use of it?

The most common way someone would organize this data is with a spreadsheet. You could arrange your numbers to get a good idea of your business’s finances, the contributing factors, and what realistic goals you can set. Salesforce uses this kind of method, too, with a few minor changes.

What Are Objects in Salesforce?

Instead of using spreadsheets, Salesforce uses objects. An object serves the same purpose for visualizing data. It helps you organize the information you have so it’s usable. For example, an object might include information about your customers, products, and support cases. They are Salesforce’s particular way of grouping information about a specific topic. 

In Salesforce, each column in a spreadsheet would appear as a field, and each row would appear as a record. Then, you can use it in dynamic ways such as creating reports and dashboards to guide your decisions. 

For example, imagine that you are a funding company that stores their funding information in Salesforce. Each deal has an object that lists all the associated data. If you were to look at this object, you would likely see information such as the outstanding amount, interest rate, payment schedule, etc. This is how you keep it organized and link related bits of data.

Why Change the Names of Standard Objects?

For most, the assigned names of Salesforce’s standard objects work just fine. However, you can get more use from custom names under the right circumstances. For instance, a funding company would use different terms in their operations than a bakery would. In an industry with distinct terminology, customization keeps processes clear. 

Using more descriptive industry titles helps your team understand what info they’re working with. Also, it keeps your terminology consistent. Keeping things the same across your business’s communications helps avoid confusion, and your team won’t have to “translate” terms throughout the day. Also, it makes it easier to prevent issues when you onboard and train new staff. Finally, it’s much easier to learn one word than memorize three or four terms for the same thing.

Which Standard Objects Come With Salesforce?

Salesforce comes with a set of objects by default. These cover information that Salesforce users almost universally need. Since they include the basics for business’s day-to-day processes, they help users quickly set up their org and get thorough help from their support articles. 

The standard objects in Salesforce include:

Account – This includes the relevant data about an entity pertinent to your business. This could be a client, a deal, a competitor, a partner, or anyone else you interact with. Think of the account as the bread of your information sandwich and the info listed within it as the meat inside of it.

Account History – The account history object shows you the changes that a user made to an account. You can check this to see what actions have been taken and make sure that no steps were missed, for example, sending an estimate to a client. 

Case – The case object represents a support ticket. These are open whenever your customer has an issue that they need your help with. Tracking these gives you a consistent way to make sure your customers are getting the best support possible and helps you retain business.

Contact – The contact form gives you information about a person associated with your account. This would include the person’s name, phone number, email, and any other information to help users reach out to them.

User – The User object represents a user in your Salesforce organization. You can find their name, account ID, email, and location here, alongside other details.  

Asset – An asset describes whatever your company is selling. You can use it to keep track of products, for example, and associate them with the account of the individual or business that purchased them. This way, you can see what was sold to each customer. Or, in the case of software, you can see what product they are currently using if they need service or an upgrade.

Domain – The domain is a field that displays the URL of your company’s website. This is the address you have within your Salesforce org’s data, so users cannot change it from the object itself.

What Purpose Do Fields Serve?

Fields in Salesforce let you fill in different types of information about an object. For example, some information you may put in fields could include a prospect’s name, contact information, the cost of a product, the owner of an account, or the last person who modified the data. 

You can also add custom fields to an object if you want to include more details. For example, if you work in real estate, you might like to add the price of a property to its object. In addition, you can set the field to accept typed input from your Salesforce users or allow them to select options from a pre-set list. Whatever you choose, there are enough ways to modify your fields to capture the information you need. 

What is the Difference Between a Standard and Custom Object?

What happens if you can’t use one of Salesforce’s out-of-the-box objects to do what you want? There’s no need to call for help yet. The next step is to look at Salesforce’s custom objects. These are objects that let you set names, input fields, and input types so you can keep track of information. 

Putting it simply, a custom object is any object that is not already included in Salesforce. You can use these to create sections that log details about products, track applicants for an open position, or keep tabs on your staff’s accrued vacation, for example. 

Keep in mind that if you’re using custom objects, it’s best to use them only when needed. Keeping information as standardized as possible is a general good practice. It’s easier only to customize fields when you have a well-thought-out purpose so information doesn’t become overly complicated. When you build around Salesforce’s native objects, it’s easier to transfer data to other applications that you’ve integrated and connect your Salesforce org with new software.

What Should You Consider Before Changing Object and Field Names?

Sometimes, you don’t need to create an entire custom object to solve the problem. For example, if your ultimate goal is to keep terminology consistent or you can use an existing object’s configuration to do what you need, all you have to change the name.

When renaming an object, keep in mind that most of them, but not all, can be renamed. The standard objects that users cannot rename include objects that perform specific functions, like the Forecasts tab, which shows your expected sales revenue. Thankfully, there are few cases in which these would need to be changed, so you’ll be okay with custom objects and reports if you need something more detailed.

Does Changing an Object’s Name Update it Everywhere?

In short, while changing the object’s name updates it in most places, there are a few places where you’ll have to update it yourself. For example, editing the names of objects in Salesforce updates your setup information with the new titles. However, when you go to the Setup area (found under the gear icon), the names you see will be the original ones that Salesforce assigned.

Always check different areas in Salesforce and in your training materials where you’ve referenced these names. The first place you want to check is the list view so you can see which names it’s displaying. The list view uses your original object names until you update them there manually. 

You can also check the names of reports referencing the objects to make sure they match. Don’t forget to read the descriptions as well and make sure that they’re consistent. Additionally, if you use email templates, click on them to ensure that all the information is consistent. This will help you make sure that all the auto-filled information still works.

Always double-check if there are any other items on and offline where the old name appears. Some examples are custom fields that you’ve created, record types that reference the original name, and your saved page layouts. Your integrations will benefit from an extra check, too.

What Permissions Do You Need to Change Object Names in Salesforce?

Before changing any object names, check that you have the proper permissions. 

  • If you want to rename a tab or a field, you’ll need permission to Customize Application or Manage Translation
  • If you are designated as a Translator, check that you have permissions, including View Setup and Configuration
  • If you want to reset tabs that have been renamed, you’ll need Customize Application or Manage Translation permissions. 
  • If you are a Translator who wants to reset tabs, you’ll need View Setup and Configuration permissions.

How to Change Standard Object Names in Salesforce

Now that you’ve gotten all the basics down, you’re ready to change the standard object names. 

  1. To start, go to the Setup item with the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner. 
  2. Next, click customize
  3. After that, hit the option labeled Tab Names and Labels
  4. Click on Rename Tabs and Labels
  5. Now, select the tab or object that you want to rename and then hit edit
  6. When you change the names, make sure that you also update the plural label and select if the name starts with a vowel sound
  7. After you’ve done this, click next.
  8. Now, you can change the standard field names
  9. As with the objects, make sure to update the singular and plural labels and indicate whether the word starts with a vowel sound.

If you’re working with a custom object, you won’t be able to edit the name. So make sure to name it well when you’re creating it so you won’t have any problems down the line. 

Wrapping It Up

Salesforce’s ability to customize objects gave it a reputation as one of the best CRMs available. Its insights are unmatched, its reports are quick, and it integrates with programs that give your business a competitive edge. Now that you’ve changed your custom object and field names, you can get even more perks from your CRM. 

With a good understanding of how Salesforce looks at data, you’ll know when to change standard object and field names and how to do it when that time comes. This is just one of many ways that Salesforce’s customization features give your company a boost, so check back in for more tips.