Vandevelde Jan

Certified Salesforce Consultant || Salesforce MVP

Dreamforce, what can I say...one of the best experiences of the year!

From September 25th to 28th 2018, the largest IT conference took place in San Francisco: Salesforce's DREAMFORCE, and I was lucky enough to be part of this fantastic experience for the second time together with some of my 4C colleagues and customers!

Dreamforce as a learning experience

First and for most, as a consultant, you go to Dreamforce to LEARN! It's four days of learning about new features, getting hands-on, ask experts & product managers about all things Salesforce! Get sneak-peaks about what's coming in the next releases, so you are up-to-speed and are able to support your customers better!

With more than 2600 sessions to chose from, my interest this year was focused to all things Salesforce CPQ, Salesforce Billing and Lightning Roadmap! So if you've got any questions on those topics, I'll probably be able to answer most of them ;-)

#DF18: THE Place To Network

Nothing beats expanding your network at Dreamforce! Talking to potential prospects, meeting and chatting with my fellow Salesforce MVP's and Community Group Leaders in-person, visiting other partners & AppExchange vendors with whom we could collaborate in the future. It's all part of the magic!

I've had the chance to meet and take some pictures with my biggest idols. People that have had a very big impact in my life and career! People like Steve Molis, Rakesh Gupta, Don Robins and of course David Liu (who was awarded the first ever Golden Hoodie for Developers this year!! Big Kudoos!)

 

Talking about Community Group Leaders. As a Group Leader of the  Belgium, Brussels Administrator Community Group I attended the Community State Of The Union on Tuesday, where more than 400 Community Leaders from all over the world gathered to share tips and tricks & learn from each other on how to expand our reach!

3 Major announcements grabbed my attention:

  • Developer User Groups are now officially part of the Trailblazer Community Groups! (About time I would say ;-)  )
  • The Community Team will be Marketing User groups worldwide, which means bigger exposure and awareness! So you'll see and hear more about us in the future!
  • A new Community Events platform has been started: Bevy! => be sure to join The Belgium User Group on the new platform

And as a member of the organizing team of our very own and first Benelux Community event YeurDreamin', Dreamforce was the place to be to promote our event, find some potential sponsors and speakers and get the full support of the Salesforce Community Management Team! (Erika Kuhl, Senior Director of Community at Salesforce)

So be sure to bookmark June 14th 2019, Amsterdam in your calendar and follow us on Twitter @Yeurdreamin or visit the Yeurdreamin' website for more information!

Having FUN at Salesforce Dreamforce

PARTIES

After a long and fruitful day of learning, jamming content into your brains, you need to have some fun right. Every day there are parties hosted by Salesforce, ISV's, Partners and Consulting companies. The list is too long to name here ;-) But you can be sure you won't get bored in the evening! Here are some pictures & video's to give you an overview and apparently my User Group Co-Leader Michael had some wild dreams ;-)

Dreamfest

 

QUIP Party with Macklemore

That night when Macklemore crowd surfs wearing @SteveMoForce amazing jacket at #DF18

The SWAG

Last but not least. If you are a big Salesforce fanatic, like me, you want to grab a lot of SWAG! So here is a picture of the swag I was able to collect during my stay at Dreamforce this year ;-)

Note that although it was fun getting a MEGA Codey, it was a nightmare to get him on the plane to Brussels ;-) but Codey made it! If you want to meet with Codey, you can find him at 4C office in Mechelen ;-)

Looking forward to Dreamforce next year which will take place November 19th - 22th 2019! See you all there!

So, I had one of the most read blogposts from the last 2 years, ever since Salesforce acquired Steelbrick CPQ: Tips for passing the Salesforce CPQ Specialist Certification

My post was even referenced in the Offical Salesforce CPQ Admin Essentials for Experienced Administrators (CPQ-211) course, which was an honor for me, for the time it lasted ;-)

But Last month Salesforce decided to decommission the old Steelbrick Community to which almost all my links were pointing, so that post became totally useless now :-( #SadFace and integrate it all into the Help and Training portal for CPQ. => this is the place to be to stay current about new Salesforce CPQ features!!!

I see a lot of frustrated Salesforce consultants wanting to get certified, but not finding their way to the correct learning resources, and contacting me that my links are broken... Even on the TrailBlazer community a lot of frustrations are posted about this. I don't know why Salesforce has not made sure that EVERYTHING was ported over to help and training and setup the correct redirections, so this transitions would have been smoother for everybody, but they will have had a reason ;-)

Good news for all you out there wanting to become a Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist and honor goes to SIMPLUS that was just in time to create the following eBook which contains almost everything that was hosted on the old Community!

!!!!!!!!

Download the Simplus Salesforce CPQ StudyGuide here!

!!!!!!!!

Big Kudos to Simplus and I'm prett sure that Gilles Muys (former Technical Architect Steelbrick) had something to do with it, so you can trust the contents!

Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist

Most of you know I love working with Salesforce CPQ and since a short time also Salesforce Billing. If you don't know what the new Salesforce Quote-To-Cash is and why I like it so much then read my blogpost on it.

Living in Belgium and interested in learning more on Salesforce Quote-To-Cash? Then join the Belgium User Group session on April 25th 2017 and register here for free!

Beginning of february I had the chance to participate in the Beta Exam for the new Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist certification exam. Having passed 6 Salesforce certifications at first try, having followed the Steelbrick CPQ Technical Training course, passing the CPQ Brown Belt accreditation and having more than 7 months experience in assessing & implementing Salesforce CPQ configurations, I thaught it would be a walk in the park... Well I guessed wrong,...VERY WRONG! I failed a Salesforce exam for the first time. Major Bummer! But I'm not ashamed of it ;-)

Actually it did not come as a surprise because when I came out of the exam room I just knew I didn't pass, but because it was a beta we would only get our results after 2 months. 2 months of waiting and being completely baffled by the level of detail and complexity those 110 questions were, including calculations with block prices (type slab) and discount schedules with quantities in each slab and having percentages like 12.5% and 15% and not being able to use a calculator??! In this day and age?? I can honestly say I'm not bad at math but it has been more than 18 years since I had to perform manual division with pencil and a paper ;-) I lost a lot of time at those exercises and couldn't finish responding to all questions within the given time. 8 questions unanswered and time was up... this never happened before :-(

So when approximately 2 months passed and I received my negative results I wasn't surprised, on the contrary, I gained extra motivation to pass this exam as soon as it would be made publically available to register again.

And yes about 2 weeks ago Salesforce announced this new certification was open for registration and I immediately registered and booked a seat for today, but this time I would be EXTRA prepared! This would not happen again and I want you to be prepared also!

Oh yeah and by the way I PASSED ;-) I am now a Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist... #OVERJOYED

So for that reason I 'll list some resources for you to study and prepare yourself for this exam, but be aware for the following:

  • Do not only read the resources listed underneath, you'll need to understand the concepts very well!
  • Theory only will not get you to pass this exam, at least spin up a dev org and install CPQ and try configuring some bundels, quote them, make sure to create a quote template including Terms and Conditions! You can find the downloadlinks to the latest CPQ version here.
  • If possible and you have access to partner training or premier training follow the Steelbrick Learning Pathway
  • If you see any links to other articles within the articles hereunder, click through and read them! 
  • If an article contains a video, watch the video!
  • Get into the details!

So here are the resources that can help you study for the Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist exam and without reveiling any questions I've put 1, 2 or 3 exclamation marks for subjects on which I received questions and how many questions. So !!! means multiple questions or very detailed questions.

 

UPDATE: THE OLD STEELBRICK COMMUNITY HAS BEEN DECOMMISSIONED! ALL LINKS HAVE BEEN REMOVED!!

UPDATED BLOGPOST HERE: http://www.vandeveldejan.com/tips/for-admins/24-updated-study-resources-salesforce-cps-specialist-certification

  • Access the official Study Guide
  • Trailhead CPQ Basics
  • Adding Features
  • Adding Options
  • Changing Option Selection Method !
  • Controlling when Bundle Configuration is Required
  • An Overview of Product Bundles
  • Adding Option Constraints
  • Check Prior Purchases & Option Constraints (To Avoid Creating Product Rules) !!!
  • Product Validation Rules !
  • Configuration Selection Rules !!
  • Alert Rules !
  • Overview of Product Rules
  • Create a Product Rule Based on a Prior Purchase !
  • Product Actions !
  • Configuration Attributes
  • Price Rules from Configuration Attribute !
  • Configuration Attribute Layouts
  • Hiding Options in Configurator !!
  • Auto-Mapping: Twin Fields !
  • Auto-Mapping: Twin Fields Q&A !
  • Bundle & Feature Level Field Sets
  • Product Managed Fields
  • Smart Start
  • Setting Configuration Type !
  • Package Product Code !!
  • Package Product Description
  • Subscription Pricing
  • Guided Selling Overview
  • Building a Workflow to Map Quote Process
  • Dynamic Questions in Guided Selling
  • Guided Selling Use Case !
  • Custom Actions !
  • Search Filters !
  • Dynamically Displaying Quote Line Columns !
  • Draft Watermark Added to Quote PDF
  • Creating Template Sections !
  • Translating Quote Templates
  • Quote Template Fields
  • Setting Document Output Formats !
  • Creating Dynamic Proposals !!
  • Custom HTML Template Content Troubleshooting !
  • Receiving error when previewing Quote Template: Invalid conversion from runtime type Boolean String
  • Create Template Content
  • Multiple Quote Term Sections
  • Building Quote Term Conditions
  • Creating Standard Terms !
  • Lock Quote Term from Edits
  • Merge Fields !
  • Generate Documents !
  • Filtering Line Items to Display in Separate Sections
  • Line Item Groups !!
  • Automatically Grouping Line Items in Quote Templates !
  • Configure Quote Line Item Columns !
  • Block Pricing !!
  • Discount Methods: Discount Schedules Overview !!!
  • Combine Block Pricing with Discount Schedules !!!
  • Percent of Total Pricing !!!
  • Cost & Markup Pricing
  • Price Rules 1 - Overview, Price Conditions & Price Actions !!!
  • Lookup Object / Table !!!
  • Real-Time Price Rules in Configuration !!
  • Writing Advanced-Calculator-Compatible Formulas
  • Overview of Product Pricing !!!
  • Quote Line Managed Fields !
  • Adding Summary Variable
  • Original Price - MSRP Pricing !!!
  • User-Defined Discount Schedules
  • Discount Methods: Discount Schedules Overview !
  • Multi-Dimensional Quoting (MDQ) !
  • Configure Steelbrick CPQ Package-Level Settings !!
  • Making MDQ Products Appear in the Standard Table by Default
  • Segmented Products: Yearly
  • Custom Segments in MDQ !!
  • Quote Line Managed Fields !
  • Monthly & Daily Prorate Precision !!
  • Subscription Pricing !
  • Effective Quantity
  • Discount Methods: Partner Discounts
  • Quote Calculation & Triggering Calculations !!
  • Contracted Pricing !
  • Ignore Parent Contracted Prices !
  • Auto-Generating a Contracted Price 
  • Change Auto-Populate Behavior in New Quotes
  • Opportunity Products Troubleshooting !
  • Edit Lines Page !
  • Bundle & Feature Level Field Sets !
  • Quote Line Editor Overview
  • Permissions on Profiles !
  • Field-Level Security
  • Contracts Overview !
  • Contracting Assets
  • Renewal Overview 1 - Setup !!
  • Preserve Bundle Structure on Renewal Quotes
  • Asset Amendments !
  • Localization with SteelBrick - Translation Overview !

I hope you will be well prepared for this exam and I wish you lots of success!

 

 

As a Salesforce Administrator & Developer I’m always looking to expand my knowledge on the Force.com platform.

Salesforce provides lots and lots of different resources to its customers which help them to better work with the platform and deliver “best-in-class” results. Ranging from the Help & Training portal to the different Customer Success Communities, as well as the different free workbooks and paid instructor-lead courses they offer.

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a new, completely free, way of learning that Salesforce developed called Salesforce Trailhead

Read more: Salesforce Trailhead: a new way to learn working on the Force.com platform

As a Salesforce administrator you are probably confronted with a lot of data files in Salesforce on a daily basis, just like me. And what #awesomeadmins ALWAYS do before import data into Salesforce is preparing the file for import!

Read more: How to deal with the case insensitive VLOOKUP in Excel when preparing a Salesforce datafix?

While preparing for my Salesforce Certified Administrator exam, which I passed in april this year, I wrote some notes down to review just before taking the exam.

The majority of the notes came from someone else who took the exam somewhere beginning of 2012, and as I was watching the video’s on Premier Help & Training portal, I edited and corrected them and even added some content to them.

Read more: Sharing my Salesforce Certified Administrator preparation notes

For the past few weeks, while the family was eating, drinking and having fun over the holidays, I was actually preparing myself for the Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator exam.

Maybe this seems a bit dorky to you, but I was actually having fun too ????

Discovering functionality that I hadn’t used before, playing with it in a developer org, making notes, trying out some own ideas tweaking the exercises… that’s just pure fun isn’t it?!

Read more: Nice way to start 2015: Passing the Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam.

Almost every Salesforce admin knows how to create an email template which can then be used in Workflow Rules, Process Builder, Visual Flow or just manually from the “Send email” button in the activity history related list.

Actually when creating an email template you’ve got 4 options:

  • Text
  • HTML (with a letterhead)
  • Custom (without using a letterhead)
  • Visualforce

The first 3 options let you create email templates containing mergefields of a particular object and fields of lookup relationships going up, but not down.

In most cases that’s all you need. But what if you would like to create an email template containing records from a related list like for example an Order Confirmation Email, containing the Order Details and a table of it’s related products ?

Read more: The not-so-scary Visualforce Email Template as Order Confirmation Email

In case you use different pricebooks and products in your Salesforce org, there may come a time that you wish you could set a pricebook and go to the product search page without having the user select a pricebook from a click of a button.

Read more: Skip the pricebook selection page and go directly to productsearch depending on fieldvalues

As a Salesforce Admin you sometimes wish you could create a custom button on an object that does one thing depending on a certain condition or does something else if the condition is not met.

This is possible but mostly requires some javascript knowledge. A lot of new admins, including myself at one time, depend on an external consulting firm because it means you’ll have to use some sort of code.

My company depended on external consultancy for such requirements and after letting then create some, analysing their code, I actually can create them myself now.

Read more: Creating Conditional Custom Buttons in Salesforce: some use cases

I guess it’s one of those features that you only get to know about when you get into a situation like I have ;-)

I call this a “hidden” feature because it’s one of those features you have to ask to enable through submitting a case at Salesforce Support. And if you Google hard enough with the right keywords you could find it. Let’s just say I didn’t for 2 months!!

Read more: The hidden Salesforce feature that saved me from going mental: Defer Sharing Calculations!

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Contact Info

Jan Vandevelde

Ninoofsesteenweg 42

9450 Denderhoutem

België

Mobile: +32 (0) 472 58 47 67

 

Email Address: contact@vandeveldejan.be

VAT BE 0882 025 057

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