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2016 is almost upon us, and with it comes resolutions galore. This is the time of the year when we all look back upon the people we have been and the people we’d like to be. In the past, I’ve closed out the year with a retrospective of top tips, but this year, I’d like to look forward. This year, resolve to get the most out of your Salesforce investment with these 10 brand new quick tips you can start implementing right away.

10. Read the release notes for the latest Salesforce release.

Knowing the newest features will help you identify the best ways to leverage new tools to improve your org. If you’re intimidated by the full notes, check out the video synopsis that accompanies each release. There’s no excuse to pass over this quick and easy 5 – 10-minute video!

9. YouTube is your friend.

You and your team can learn so much from YouTube videos provided by Salesforce, implementation partners, and regular users and admins in the field. I strongly recommend you subscribe to Salesforce’s channel and any others you find with great stuff!

8. Create a Salesforce training plan for your team.

With tools like Trailhead, you don’t have to work very hard to put together a comprehensive training plan. And if you offer incentives to your team for completing training (gift cards, extra vacation, maybe a drawing for a new iPad), you’re sure to see results!

7. Identify your power users.

Who in your office has been there forever? Who knows all of the inner workings of their job? Who does your team go to when they have a question? Once you know who they are, make sure they’re power users in Salesforce as well. They can take the burden off of IT, executives, and your implementation partner by answering day-to-day questions, training new members, and maybe even helping their team build valuable new Reports.

6. Don’t underestimate standard Salesforce functionality.

You’d be surprised how much Salesforce can do out of the box with minimal implementation efforts. From assignment rules to email-to-case to duplicate management and beyond, there’s so much you don’t have to build from scratch and can implement with a few quick clicks, not code. If you know what Salesforce can do, you’ll really maximize your ROI, save loads in development efforts, and may even make major strides overnight!

5. Follow Salesforce experts on social media.

I’ve told you about #askforce a number of times, and it is still one of my favorite resources. But if you really want to get the most out of the Salesforce community, follow the content creators, the developers, the experts who are answering questions and helping users like you. You never know the gems you’ll find in their feeds!

4. Attend a Salesforce Meetup or User Group.

There are countless Salesforce meetups and user groups all over the country targeted at admins, users, nonprofits, developers, consultants, and everyone else you could possibly imagine. Check out Meetup.com for events in your area and pop out to one of these awesome parties. You’ll learn tips and tricks, have the opportunity to get hands-on experience, hear what the leaders in your industry are doing to leverage their Salesforce platform, and meet some incredible people who will become your best resources…and friends! And if you’re in LA and see a guy knitting in one of the events, he’s probably me. Come say hi!

3. Get to know the AppExchange.

Every week, we bring you a new, exciting, interesting, or powerful tool from the AppExchange, but we’ll never cover all of the 1000’s of apps. If you’re having trouble doing something in your system, or maybe just have a new idea to make things flow more smoothly, head over there and try a couple searches. You might just find the next big thing.

2. Build something new for your team.

It doesn’t have to be big or flashy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. But implementing a new feature can generate excitement, bolster your training efforts, and quickly balloon your user adoption goals. If you need some good examples of features you could implement, here’s a couple quick projects you can do yourself.

1. Find an in-house Salesforce administrator.

Hire one, train one, it doesn’t matter. When you have a workflow that needs updating, a picklist value that needs adding, a user that needs creating, you need immediate results. And no matter how good your implementation partner is, they’ll never beat the speed of walking over to someone’s desk, telling them what you need, and seeing results materialize before your eyes. And when the next big project comes along, your administrator can play a crucial role in helping translate your business requirements into Salesforce needs and solutions to ensure your vision is maintained and you get the results you’re hoping for.

-Jared and the Salesforce Guys
Cover image by Joelle Diane