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Getting Acquainted with the Salesforce Console

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Salesforce.com’s Console is a great tool to view activities, leads, contacts, accounts and opportunities all in one screen. It is particularly effective during call blocks and working numerous activities at a time in a quick, repetitive fashion (such as logging activities). Using Console can boost the productivity of your sales team or any Salesforce.com (SFDC) user. The steps should be taken by each individual user so that they can customize their views in accordance with their preferences.

First things first – you need to add the console tab to your navigation bar, so you can easily access it in the future. To do this, click the plus sign on your top banner. Once you are there – click: Customize My Tabs.
Capture.PNGFind Console view, and Add it to your Selected Tabs. Click Save, and you are all set to get started.

Using Console View
Use the top bar dropdowns to switch between views you have. You can view your activities, leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities and campaigns.
Capture1.PNGClick on the subject of the activity to view the task and the lead/contact detail. You can make each window bigger or smaller by dragging the grey separator line between them. You will see different windows depending on what kind of view you are in. If you are in an opportunity view, you will see the Opportunity detail, and the Account detail. Colors will change based on the object you are viewing. 

After you have completed a few activities, click the [Refresh] link, and your view will remove any activities you have completed. Quick Tip: Clicking the [Refresh] in the console will have a much faster load time than hitting refresh on your browser.
Capture2.PNGYou update records in the Console as you would normally; the only difference is that you can’t double click to edit a field. Instead, you need to click edit first, and all available fields will be editable. In Console you are also able to create follow up tasks and events in each mini-window, while still being able to see the record that it relates to.

Console view is only as useful as the views you set up for it. For Leads / Contacts / Accounts / Opportunities you can use the views you have set up on each object. To do this, go into each object, and click Create New View. This is something that can be done at the admin level, but I think it is best for each user to create these views for themselves based on their particular preferences and for their job role.  
On the next page, name your view and you can play with filters so that they fit your needs. You can create multiple views. See my example here for "My New Leads Created Today".
Capture4.PNGStep 3 to select fields to display is very important for console view. Here, you select the fields you wish to have displayed on your Console by adding and removing. The order they are in will be the order they populate horizontally across your view.
Capture5.PNGHere's how those fields will now look in Console:
Lead-View.PNGFollow this process for all the different views you want to have for Leads, Contacts, Accounts and Opportunities. It is most useful for Contacts, Accounts and Opportunities, since they have other objects that they relate to. (Leads are in a silo and can’t be related to any objects.)

Activity/Event Views are hidden on your home page under your calendar, on the third button in. (Highlighted below)
Capture7.PNGThe view options are a bit different as well, since they pertain to the activity or event and not an object. A few good views to use are: Today’s Calls/Emails, Past Due Tasks, Meetings this week, etc. A few filters I like to use are Type and Due Date. The next step is to select the fields you would like to display on your console.

Capture8.PNGNow you have all of your views set up, and you are good to go! Using the console will take a bit of getting used to, but it is incredibly useful and will dramatically impact you and your team’s productivity. The best part is, you can always improve: the views you set up can be edited on the fly at any time, and with one simple refresh your changes will take place.
Author:Amy Waller
1 Comment

Expert Comment

by:Kristin Mehiel
Very helpful article!

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