Making Salesforce Documentation a Habit
Let’s talk about an essential aspect of Salesforce that often gets overlooked: documentation. Salesforce has transformed customer relationship management for businesses everywhere, but without proper documentation, Salesforce is just another tool.
In other words, software is only as good as its users.
And how do users get better? Clear and simple Salesforce documentation that helps them navigate and adopt the tool.
Good documentation also keeps Salesforce organized and up-to-date, making it simpler for users to find the information they need without getting lost in a sea of resources.
But even though we accept the value of good documentation, some of us are still hesitant to invest in it.
Some possible reasons for this reluctance might include:
- The scale of the task: The belief that documentation is too big and overwhelming.
- No time/not a priority: Thinking that documentation isn’t important enough to make time for amidst our busy schedules.
- No business case: Not having a pressing reason or motivation to invest in documentation.
- Agile misconception: The idea that agile development means you don’t need documentation.
In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into the importance of Salesforce documentation, the benefits of having it well-organized, and some handy tools to help you streamline the process.
Why Salesforce documentation is important
The reasons for documentation differ among companies, but here are a few reasons to consider investing in it:
- Boosting user productivity: With clear documentation, users can find the info they need faster, saving time and energy.
- Enhancing data quality: Good documentation means better processes, which leads to more accurate and reliable data.
- Cutting down on FAQs: When documentation is clear and easily accessible, users won’t need to ask as many questions.
- Empowering users: Thorough documentation helps users understand Salesforce, troubleshoot issues, and easily learn new processes without having to rely on seasoned Salesforce users.
- Maximizing value: Proper documentation helps organizations realize the full value of their Salesforce investment, ensuring the tool is adopted and used.
Why isn’t documentation a priority?
It takes too much time
One reason people don’t document is that it takes up a lot of time.
But if you think about it, the case for documentation is pretty compelling.
Most sales reps spend 3-11 hours a week searching for answers to questions about tools, processes, or info they need. If they don’t have to waste all that time, they could focus more on sales, right?
Sales leaders also spend more than 4 hours a week answering questions. But if there were a solid documentation strategy and a contextual learning tool like Spekit, they could get that time back to focus on more important things.
With the fast-paced nature of business and the pressure to get things done quickly, it’s tough to justify spending time documenting and organizing information. It can feel like a luxury that’s hard to afford.
So, documentation gets neglected, and organizations end up scrambling for answers. Ultimately, it leads to high-pressure situations, people leaving the company, and missed opportunities.
We don’t “need” it
Another reason people might not focus on documentation is because they don’t really use it.
Instead, they tend to ask questions in chat platforms like Slack, hoping for quick responses from their colleagues.
This heavy reliance on real-time interactions leads to a mindset where documentation seems unnecessary or redundant, even though having a centralized knowledge base could offer long-term benefits.
The issue of brain drain, or losing institutional knowledge, adds to the challenge. When employees move on or get promoted, the go-to person for quick answers may no longer be around.
It’s during these transitions that the importance of documentation becomes clear.
Proactively capturing how-tos and best practices before that knowledge disappears can help you avoid headaches later on.
Tech and process changes are constant
Lastly, fast-changing processes and technologies can make documentation feel like an endless chore.
As soon as a document is created, it risks needing to be updated, prompting the need for constant revisions and updates. This can be discouraging for those responsible for maintaining documentation, leading them to question its value.
A relentless cycle where documentation is perpetually pushed to the back burner, with businesses suffering the consequences of disorganized and outdated information.
Download 12 Salesforce Adoption Tips Guaranteed to Drive Higher ROI to learn more.
3 Cs of documentation
You can’t talk about Salesforce documentation without mentioning the 3 Cs: Completeness, Clarity, and Consistency.
Think of completeness as the foundation of a house.
Just like you wouldn’t want any missing bricks or gaps in your house’s foundation, your documentation should cover all the essential topics and details. That way, users can find the information they need in one place.
Imagine trying to follow a recipe full of complicated jargon.
You’d end up with a kitchen catastrophe (or a sad and hungry group of people around your table). The same goes for documentation. It needs to be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Clear content helps users quickly digest and apply concepts effectively in their work.
Picture a sports team where everyone follows their own set of rules — it would be utter chaos. That’s why documentation should be consistent in style, tone, and formatting.
Consistent documentation makes it easier for users to navigate and understand the information, creating a smooth and cohesive experience.
So keep the “3 Cs” in mind when documenting. They’re the key ingredients to creating valuable resources that empower your Salesforce users to succeed.
How to build strong documentation habits
Building strong documentation habits is like constructing a Lego masterpiece. You need the right pieces, a clear plan, and a consistent approach.
Let’s dive into how you can create documentation that’s easy to understand and act upon.
Make it easy to understand.
It starts with choosing the right Lego bricks.
You want to use simple, concise language that users can easily grasp and apply.
Being clear and to the point is like giving them a well-organized box of Lego pieces — they know what they’re working with and can start building without any confusion.
Be consistent with language and formatting.
Next, focus on consistency. Just as you’d follow a specific style and pattern while building your Lego creation, ensure your documentation maintains a uniform format, style, and language.
Consistency creates familiarity and reduces the learning curve, simplifying navigation. Think of consistency like following the step-by-step instructions in a Lego manual — you don’t want to introduce any surprises.
Include screenshots and clear instructions.
Lastly, don’t forget the visual aids.
Including screenshots and clear instructions is like providing a detailed Lego blueprint.
Users can see what the final product should look like and follow the instructions to achieve the desired outcome. This way, they can better understand the concepts and apply them effectively in their work.
So, when working on documentation, remember to keep it simple, clear, consistent, and visually appealing. With the right pieces and how-tos in place, your team will be well-equipped to create, learn, share, and move faster.
How Spekit helps make Salesforce documentation easier
Imagine Spekit as a friendly tour guide for your Salesforce journey.
Just as a guide provides concise, interesting, and relevant information to keep you engaged and informed during your exploration — Spekit serves up bite-sized, easy-to-understand content that keeps your team on track and eager to learn more.
It’s how people want to learn.
With Spekit, you can learn at your own pace.
It keeps you in the flow of work, so you’re not constantly interrupting your tasks to search for answers, losing focus and valuable time caused by context switching.
Spekit offers various learning resources tailored to each learner’s style or preferences. So whether it’s a walkthrough, video, or an article, users are in control of their experience.
The just-in-time learning tool also enables you to create and share user-friendly Salesforce documentation without coding or technical expertise. Making it easier to launch new learning paths or changes without siphoning hard-to-come-by IT resources.
It’s quick and easy.
Just as a GPS provides turn-by-turn directions to your destination, Spekit offers embedded, bite-sized training on objects, fields, and picklist values, giving employees instant access to the knowledge they need right when needed.
Instead of having to navigate away from their tasks to hunt for answers, employees can access relevant training and support without breaking their flow and concentration.
This means less time spent searching for answers and more time spent on getting things done.
People actually use it because it’s in their flow of work.
People are more likely to engage with and retain information when it seamlessly integrates into their daily work routine.
That’s why we’ve designed our just-in-time learning platform to deliver bite-sized knowledge and training directly within the tools and applications your employees use every day.
Our platform embeds relevant training and supports right where it belongs — in the flow of work. This means that whether your employees are working in Salesforce, Slack, or their email, they can access the information they need with a single click.
With Spekit, learning becomes an organic part of the workday, making it easier for employees to absorb, retain, and apply the knowledge they need to excel.
Simple yet comprehensive content
Creating content with Spekit is as easy. The rich text editor and rapid authoring capabilities make it a breeze to blend all the ingredients you need for a comprehensive, easy-to-digest learning experience.
Spotlights announce essential updates and changes to your team. With in-app notifications and alerts, Spotlights ensure that the right people know about relevant changes at the right time. Plus, with real-time analytics, you can track engagement and make sure your message gets through loud and clear.
Topics are like a library where all your centralized content and documentation live. Here, employees can easily find and consume the information they need, and trainers can sequence learning paths for an easy-to-follow journey through the vast world of Salesforce knowledge.
The Web App is like the “town square” of Spekit.
Here, you can onboard employees and manage content, users, permissions, settings, and analytics with ease. Collaborate on a knowledge base, assign subject matter experts, and create tailored onboarding modules.
Read The Challenges with Content Documentation and How to Address Them to learn more.
Bite-sized & easy to understand
By embedding bite-sized training on objects, fields, and picklist values or associating it with specific keywords or URLs, Speks provide instant access to on-demand learning directly in context, right when needed.
With Speks, your employees can avoid making mistakes due to a lack of knowledge or understanding.
Instead, they can confidently navigate their daily tasks, knowing that the support they need is just a click away.
Creating content for Speks is a breeze, thanks to its easy-to-use rich text editor and rapid authoring capabilities.
By leveraging Speks’ intuitive content creation tools, you can ensure your employees can tap into the knowledge they need to succeed and grow as Salesforce users.
Spekit’s analytics are like a powerful magnifying glass that allows you to zoom in on every aspect of your training and content efforts. With comprehensive dashboards, you’ll have a complete view of activation, engagement, and performance metrics at the user, team, and content levels.
Imagine the activation dashboard as a quick snapshot of your users’ onboarding experience, helping you understand who’s logged in, downloaded the Chrome extension, and interacted with Spekit.
The By User dashboard, on the other hand, offers a deeper understanding of each employee’s engagement and success with Knowledge Checks.
The Flows and Searches dashboards act as your content’s performance detectives, offering insights into Flows activity and search patterns within Spekit, so you can identify gaps and optimize your content.
Meanwhile, the Spek Views and Spek Management dashboards help you track content popularity, engagement, and overall governance.
Lastly, the Topics dashboard gives you a clear understanding of the interconnected web of your content, ensuring you avoid duplicate content and maintain a well-structured knowledge base.
In essence, Spekit’s powerful analytics tools offer a comprehensive, easy-to-understand overview of your training and content initiatives, empowering you to continually improve and adapt.
Learn more about Spekit analytics.
Gauge understanding with Knowledge Checks
Knowledge Checks flex your employees’ understanding and retention of critical tech and process changes. These bite-sized assessments help keep their minds sharp and focused, ensuring they stay on top of new information and grasp the nuances of your organization’s processes.
Think of Knowledge Checks as a regular, friendly nudge for your employees, encouraging them to continually measure their learning progress and stay engaged with the material.
By providing frequent checkpoints, Knowledge Checks help to paint a clearer picture of the impact and effectiveness of your training efforts and content.
With this information in hand, you can make data-driven decisions to refine your training strategies and better support each employee’s learning journey.
Tip: Answer questions with a Spek #checkitinspekit
Tired of answering the same questions over and over? Answer a question with a Spek and help your employees adopt the behavior to #checkitinSpekit.
Learn more about Spekit for Salesforce
To sum it up, Spekit is like that one indispensable tool in your toolbox that you never knew you needed until you discovered it.
With its ability to streamline Salesforce documentation, boost productivity, and make training a breeze, it’s the go-to solution for companies looking to unlock their full potential and drive meaningful business outcomes.
Companies like Mariner Wealth, Southwest Airlines, and Uber Freight have already experienced substantial improvements in Salesforce adoption, documentation, and data hygiene, thanks to Spekit. Learn more about how Spekit integrates with Salesforce and can help your organization streamline Salesforce onboarding, documentation, learning, and change management.
To learn more, join us for our Salesforce Admins series.
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About the Author
Mel is the CEO and Co-founder of Spekit, a Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, Entrepreneur’s Top 100 Women of Influence, and featured across Crunchbase, Fast Company, Business Insider, and more. She is leading the revolution to shatter the glass ceiling and unleash the full potential of every employee. Learn more ->