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SVP International

Like Lightning!

Posted by Emily Reitman

Colleagues with desks in my proximity usually hear me blurting out all kinds of things. Among the most popular since January: “It’s 2017!” Most of the time they’re pretty good at ignoring my outbursts and grumblings, but sometimes, when they just don’t know any better, they respond, “Yea…?”

What I mean when I say “it’s 2017” is that our work doesn’t always have to be difficult. I get it: social justice and equity, advocacy, kindergarten readiness for all and youth opportunity… A lot of our work is really, REALLY hard. But sending emails? Documenting important constituent relationships? Managing and growing our institutional knowledge? Not so much.

I’m glad to know that there are people out there who get jazzed about things like networks and servers, but I’m not one of them. It’s the automations and integrations that get my heart racing — the stuff that makes the tools we’re already using even better. That may sound every bit as nerdy as “networks and servers,” but I’m betting you’ll catch a bit of the geek after I share one of my favorite integrations with you here.

We all know that some of our most important conversations about work happen over the phone or in person. But many of them don’t; they happen in our inboxes. We also know that some of the most valuable pieces of information we gain in those exchanges don’t fit neatly into Salesforce fields. Well, okay — they almost never do. So we give that email a little flag. Or drop it in a fresh email folder. The real overachievers may even remember to bcc Salesforce.

These are all great things to do. But hey — it’s 2017!

If you’re currently using or considering Salesforce at your affiliate organization to optimize your records game, Salesforce’s Lightning app for Outlook or Gmail gives you an option that’s just as easy as the flagging, tagging and filing, AND gets you more mileage out of your info. Better yet, it’s practically under the hood already.

Four reasons you need to install Salesforce Lightning today:

1) Easily capture important correspondence in Salesforce — without leaving your inbox!

With Salesforce lightning for Outlook/Gmail a list view of related records will auto-populate the side of your inbox view, based on the email you’re viewing. With one click, you can easily attach an email message or an entire thread to the relevant record(s) in Salesforce. When you want to reference them later, e-mails will appear under Activity History on your records in Salesforce.

Add email and attachment to contact record


2) Get detailed information about the person your e-mailing — without leaving your inbox!

When related records pop up in the side of your screen, you can click on them to expand the entire record. You can also see summaries of any related records, telling you what investee projects or SVP committees a partner has participated in, before you respond to their email asking about new engagement opportunities.


3) Update status, contact information, and other key elements of your Salesforce records — without leaving your inbox!

If you see a field (standard or a fancy, e.g. related lookup fields) that needs to be updated because of something you learned in an email conversation — or something that is just no longer valid — you can instantly edit the field right there on the side of your screen!

Edit SF record from inbox


4) It’s SO easy!

It takes only moments to install in your Outlook or Gmail inbox. Once installed, the app will be one click away, or you can “pin it” so the app automatically opens when you open your inbox.

Open SF app in your inbox


Sold? Head over to the Google Chrome App Store or Microsoft to get yourself a copy of Salesforce Lightning for your inbox!

And if you’re someone who likes instructions:

We have been using Salesforce since 2005 and it’s come a long way in that time! We’ve made some updates over the years, but we still have some major opportunities to make Salesforce work better for each of our affiliates. In 2018, we’ll be making some major changes to our shared Salesforce instance. We put together this RFQ to find qualified consultants to support the project. Please take a look and share with your networks!

Lastly, I’d love to hear how Lightning for works for your inbox. Let me know!


Emily Reitman is Senior Programs Manager at SVP International

Reach out and get nerdy with her at emily@svpi.org.

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