Actions & Recommendations: Salesforce’s best kept secret (Part 1)

person whispering a secret to another person

There’s a little known but really cool feature built-in to Salesforce, that you can use to guide your users through a series of steps, all while keeping track of their progress. It’s called “Actions & Recommendations, and you can find it in Setup. We came across this need when our sales leadership came to us asking for a sales process that is in Salesforce. Not just a bunch of checkboxes, not a separate doc. The goal: for required actions for each stage to be completed within Salesforce, and visible as a list of things to be done.

Path: A Good Start

screenshot of Path on the Opportunity. Lists some fields, and some guidance text for this stage.

We already have that with Path you say? Yes, the guidance that Path provides is great (specific fields that need attention, and a rich text area that can provide advice, links). You can make it somewhat dynamic by making different fields available at different stages. You can also customize the “Guidance for Success” text for each stage. And since it’s rich text, you can include pictures, links to docs, etc.

Actions & Recommendations: Level Up!

Screenshot of Actions & Recommendations component, which shows a list of actions items to be completed.

This component provides the ultimate in customization! Instead of only having access to fields on this object, it has users go through Quick Actions and Flows, giving you access to whatever a screen flow can access. As you complete the action, it keeps track by checking off your progress as you go. Lists of actions that can be taken right there, in Salesforce. As you do them, they are checked off as completed.

How to Set it Up?

Sounds great!  This feature is not well documented, but it’s easy to use.

  1. Create Flows and Quick Actions that you want your users to complete.
  2. Navigate to “Actions & Recommendations” in Setup, and click “New Deployment”
    1. select the Object that this series of actions relate to
    2. select Channel Defaults- this is the weird part. This was clearly first designed for Service Cloud. Just go to the Default tab, and drag relevant actions to be pinned at the top of the list, Bottom of the list, or just leave as unpinned (will appear in the middle).
    3. in the next window, check off which actions should be available to the user to manually add to their list. This is also useful if a user needs to complete an action again.
  3. Navigate to the page where you want your Actions & Recommendations to show up, edit the page, and add the “Actions & Recommendations” lightning component to the page.

Use

How do your users use it? When they click each button, they are launching the Quick Action or Flow. Once they are done with the Flow or Quick Action, that item will be marked with a check. If they refresh the page, it will no longer be visible, but you can see that you completed it by clicking the History tab of that component.

Tips

  • If you want to tie any automation to the completion of an action, then have the action update a field on the record that can be referenced later. You can even add a date field to each one so that it records the date completed on the record itself.
  • If making and delivering all the Quick Actions and Flows is overwhelming, you can start by just creating those one at a time (and having users test them out by adding them to the Mobile & Lightning Actions section of the page layout). Then add the Actions & Recommendations component as the cherry on top- the way they are all organized and accessed in a more intelligent way!

 

I want to thank Fred Tchang in creating this great blog on a cool feature that is seldom used. Feel free to post your comments below or email me at buyan@eigenx.com or contact Fred with his contact information below.

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Fred Tchang

Author: Fred Tchang

I am a Salesforce Administrator, working in a B2B software company serving manufacturers. Working with people to achieve more through technology is what energizes me. I feel lucky to have had a variety of roles, each of which has given me the skills needed to implement change.

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