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For years now, system admins and users have been begging for the ability to choose Country and State from picklists in Salesforce. With the standard text fields, every time someone writes “Ca” instead of “CA”, or “USA” or “US” instead of “United States”, the reports you use to group accounts and contacts by their location loses value. Your company may have implemented complicated and lengthy validation rules and workflows to keep all the data consistent, but these take a lot of effort to maintain and can make a real headache for users just trying to enter data and move on to the next account. Well, with Salesforce’s new State and Country Picklists, your problems are solved!

Setting up State and Country Picklists in Salesforce is a several step process involving selecting or creating your list of correct values, mapping current values to the new ones, and several automated (and pre-built) data and metadata tests. It is a relatively painless process, and at the end, you will have cleaner reports, more useful dashboards, consistent and standard formatting, and your users will have a much easier time entering new data into Salesforce. And unlike some other updates to standard Salesforce functionality, you can always roll this feature back if you ever realize you need to revert to the original settings.

Check out Salesforce’s handy Implementation GuideImplementing State and Country Picklists” and clean up your data before the New Year!

-Jared and the Salesforce Guys

P.S.: If you need another solution for cleaning up your Country and State data, check out: App of the Week – Clean as you go with CountryComplete