Where to Go When You’re Stuck with a Salesforce Question

Real advice on how to answer a question using the Salesforce Help site.

When you have a Salesforce q, where’s the first place you go to find the answer?

Credit: Giphy

Sure, Google is the obvious choice. And if that doesn’t pan out, we’re only one case away from speaking with Salesforce Support.

But the Support route isn’t always the fastest. And while googling may be our lifeline, it becomes less helpful if you’re not familiar with how the Salesforce Help Site works.

That’s because the Help Center has a lot of different kinds of resources. And they don’t always appear in search engine results.

To be an effective troubleshooter, you’ve got to know how Salesforce helps you help your org. Let’s briefly talk about the Help Center.

Where to Go When You’re Stuck with a Salesforce Question

Disclaimer: This isn’t an exhaustive list of the Help Center/Trailblazer Community universe. This is only the stuff I find helpful when I’m stuck.

Table of Contents:

1. Salesforce Documentation
2. Salesforce Answers
3. Trailblazer Community Groups

1. Start with the documentation.

The docs section has highlights, considerations and step-by-step instructions for nearly every feature. It should be your first stop when you’re unsure about something (and is usually the first thing to get recommended in web searches).

The nice thing about these docs is that they’re organized in a very particular way. See the numbering below.

Note the anatomy of a “doc” page. This format is different from other assets you’ll find in the Help Center (like Ideas, Known Issues and Answers)

Once Iā€™m on a doc page, I usually check for the following:

  1. Is this feature available for my org’s interface? For me, that’s Salesforce Lightning. But some orgs may still be on Classic.
  2. Is this feature available for my edition? My org’s on the Enterprise plan. If I don’t see that plan listed, then I know it’s not something we can access.
  3. Do I /my users have the required permissions? Typically, listed permissions can be found in the user’s profile (as checkboxes).
  4. Are there other articles that might be worth a scan? The topic hierarchy on the left offers a good clue about what articles make sense to browse. Occasionally, I’ll find my answer by clicking a second or third link.

p.s. If your question is about Apex/code, you may need to visit the Salesforce Developer Docs instead.

2. Post your question to the Answers section of the Trailblazer Community.

Think of Answers as a giant community dart board. You stick your question here, and anyone with a Salesforce login is free to chime in.

Success can depend on the complexity of the question and whether it’s properly categorized. But it doesn’t hurt to try, on the chance a super user sees your issue and decides to respond!

A post from the Answers section of the Help Site. Note that questions can be liked or followed, unlike in the Docs section.

To post, click the Answers tab and type your question into the search bar. If no results exist, you can click the Post Your Question button.

p.s If someone gives a helpful answer, be sure to Mark as Best Answer. That lets the rest of us know – when we inevitably find your question – that there was some resolution at the time of your post.

p.p.s It’s nice to give back! If I post a question, I’ll also check for unresolved questions where I can respond. Cheers to good juju on the interwebs. šŸ˜ƒ

3. Post your question to a Trailblazer Community group.

Groups are one of many resources every admin should know about. There are groups around specific products, sectors, and other niches.

My top picks for posing questions include Release Readiness Trailblazers and the mega Pardot group. Since those large groups are frequented by Salesforce staff, I’m more likely to get a Salesforce-bonafide answer that way.

Questions aside, these groups are also a great place to meet other professionals, bounce ideas, and get a little bit more personal enjoyment out of Salesforce. So be sure to browse all the group offerings!

p.s. If your question is nonprofit-specific, you’re encouraged to post it in the Power of Us Hub.

Happy Hunting.

There are tons of ways to find answers to your Salesforce questions. And while I get if that seems overwhelming, in many ways, it’s a great problem to have.

Take time to get familiar with the Help site. It’ll make you a better Salesforce administrator and perhaps even a happier one!

Share your thoughts!