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Using Batch Flows to Perform Complex Data Loads
Instead of manually preparing complex data loads, we can use flows and custom objects to ingest CSV data, perform transforms and business logic, and then update or insert records in Salesforce.

When you need to regularly load data from a spreadsheet that requires some processing or transforming fields into records (or both) there are a few ways to accomplish this.  We can use lots of VLOOKUPS on the spreadsheet with an upsert, we can use a tool like Boomi, or we can go the route I chose and use Salesforce Flow.  


The Use Case

Keeping track of healthcare gaps is crucial for health insurance companies to ensure that their members receive proper medical attention and follow-up visits. My client works with these carriers to monitor the gaps in care their members have with their providers.

For example, if a member is enrolled with Humana, the insurance company wants to make sure that they have an annual check-up and eye exam. To incentivize members to keep up with their appointments, the carriers might offer cash rewards.

Every month, the insurance carriers send my client CSV sheets detailing the gaps in care for all of their members. However, the spreadsheets can be a hassle to handle as they come in different formats and sometimes have inconsistent information. To tackle this challenge, my client uses advanced techniques to process and transform the data into meaningful records, keeping track of each member's gaps in care and working towards closing them.

This carrier provides an incomplete, complete, and incentive column. There is just one row for each member:


This carrier provides a column with the type, and each member has a row for each type:


The Solution

To accomplish this, I created a streamlined, automated process. I've crafted a custom database object called Member_Care_Gap_Load__c, specifically designed to accommodate the vast amount of data from spreadsheets received from health insurance companies. With a daily check on all open records, this process will seamlessly manage the care gap tracking for each member, ensuring no lapses are left unchecked. The first type of spreadsheet, where there is one row for each member, will undergo a meticulous process of loading 6 times into the database, capturing every gap represented. The second type of spreadsheet, where each member's information is repeated multiple times, will undergo a more straightforward loading process, as it will be loaded just once into the database. Then, the scheduled batch flow will take over and seamlessly manage the rest of the process.


With 100,000 records to process, I was worried about hitting speed and limits in the system. But to my delight, the batch processing for the Member_Care_Gap_Load__c custom object was lightning fast, completing in just 15 seconds without a hitch. However, my initial approach for another batch process I have of checking every member in the database for gaps was a bit too ambitious, and it hit a limit due to the combined flow filters in the organization being capped at 250,000 records per 24 hours. I had to be strategic and put in better filters to only focus on members with potential gaps. One small mistake, such as incorrect record formatting, could cause bring an entire batch of 200 records to a screeching halt. The other batches of 200 records would still process, just the batch with the single error would fail. It's a delicate balance, but with the right approach, this process proved to be a reliable solution.


Here is my entry criteria for the batch to start:

And that is all the batch is, the entry criteria and the time it runs, and an element calling a subflow.  I created an auto launched subflow to call from the batch and while it's not necessarily needed, it allows me to change the batch start time, without touching the flow, and vice-versa.

I have a Member_Care_Gap_Load__c record variable set as input in my subflow, and I simply pass the entire record in from the batch flow.

This is the general process in a nut shell. Is the record there -- Yes? Should the process continue? If not, it marks the original load record that kicked off the batch as processed so it’ll exit the flow and not try to process again.

The solution that was actually implemented is a little more complex than this as there is a sub flow to process the half year gaps on their own to make changes to any one flow a little easier. The idea is the same; decisions on what the data is, and then assignments to set the needed fields.


Into The Weeds

The first thing I do is get all my contacts into a report and use VLOOKUP to get their contact ID. The hope was to do this in the flow, but the unique ID in my org is an encrypted field, and you can’t use flow to filter on encrypted fields in a Get Records query. There are some workarounds, but I opted to use Excel and get the Record ID onto my import sheet. I made a field for the record ID on my load object.


The very first decision I have is to decide if it a record even needs to be processed. My spreadsheets have a Boolean gap-in or a date field to indicate if they have this gap. If either of those values isn’t present, I update the load record to "processed", add a message, and end the flow. There are many people on the sheet that don’t have each gap. I do a get records for the carrier record type (record type on account) and the carrier record (BCBS, Humana, etc.). I don’t have a decision on these because they should exist, but I technically should have a decision so I would know if they were missing. They are an important part of the process and should already exist.


Next, I do a GET query on the contact record. I’m doing it with VLOOKUP, but I could have used Unique ID if it wasn’t encrypted. It's important to note that not every person on the sheet is in Salesforce. I’m not creating them, so I just update the load record indicating they don’t exist. This would let me use this data for a report to see who was missing.


Finally, I check that the Care Gap and Carrier Care Gap records exist. If they don’t exist, I update the load record. These should exist prior to any record entering the flow.  I setup the records using a naming convention based on gap type/carrier. Gap types may come on the spreadsheets as a code or a full name (ex. BCS or Breast Cancer Screening.)

I use a CASE() formula in my flow to normalize the type. I could use Metadata Types to make this more dynamic, but it only has to be set once so I just used a formula. I also sometimes shorten carrier name in the gap name due to field length, so I have a formula to normalize how I’ve shortened names (Blue Cross Blue Shield to display as BCBS, but the actual account is the full name).

Using Get Records

Now we do a Get Record query for the contacts gap record. This is where the real work comes in. My rules are - it has to be for the carrier gap we’re loading, be between the start/expiration date ranges, and be related to the contact (ex. BCBS – BCS – Michelle Lavalette – current date)


·     If it exists and was marked as closed on the sheet, we’ll update it as closed

·     If it exists but was not marked as closed on the sheet, we’ll do nothing

·     If it doesn’t exist we’ll create it.

This is a decision element with 3 nodes, one for each of the criteria outlined.

The do nothing path is just the default path, it just goes to a final update load record to indicate it has been processed.

Found and close will update the gap record with a close status/date. I have a formula date field for close date, because it was either provided or not. If it hasn't been provided, I just use the current date.

The create gap path has more decisions. First I have to check if it’s an open or closed record, and set the status accordingly, as the record might just come in as closed.  I have an assignment element after each decision to set a statusVar with the correct status. You could set a default for the statusVar and only use an assignment at one path. I also have a closeDateVar so I can fill in the closed date or not depending on the path. I tend to name variables with Var as the end, and formulas with F at the end, so it’s easy to see quickly which is which.


I create the member gap and fill in all the values. There's a formula to name it - member name + carrier gap name, but it's capped at a length of 80 so that it doesn’t hit the name field limit.



Next I check to see if there is an incentive. Some gaps have them, some don’t. If it does, I create it.

The final step is to mark the load records as processed.  



When it comes to loading the same type of data into Salesforce over and over again, I found myself needing an efficient solution. With varying data but the same target objects, I needed to ensure accuracy and minimize room for human error. That's when I discovered the power of batch flows. With a simple set up, I was able to quickly and easily load all the records from my spreadsheet, updating and creating them as needed, and seamlessly linking them to the correct sub-records.

Thanks to this batch flow, I no longer have to worry about the possibility of human error causing incorrect data to be created. And with the ability to quickly load the data, my work has become much more streamlined and efficient.

Why your sales team needs to start using Scratchpad
If Salesforce is getting in the way of your sales team actually selling, you might want to take a close look at Scratchpad.

What is Scratchpad

Scratchpad at its core is Google Chrome extension that syncs data from Salesforce into a customized, stripped down interface. It’s gaining rapid popularity in the Salesforce world and for good reason. While we know and love Salesforce for its breadth of features and complexity, we sometime know it can be a little too complex. That’s where Scratchpad comes in, as it basically strips out the externalities of Salesforce and hones in on what makes Salesforce so powerful in the first place — the ability to stay on top of your entire pipeline. Scratchpad offers an intuitive interface that gives you a daily home base where you can keep track of notes, tasks and get a birds eye view on your entire pipeline. The best part is that all this can be shared with your entire team and then synced back to Salesforce so you and your colleagues are not working in a silo. Let’s take a deeper dive into what Scratchpad can do for you and your Salesforce organization.

What makes Scratchpad so powerful

When you first open up Scratchpad and connect your Salesforce account, you would be warranted in thinking “that’s it?” The interface is very simple, and you will only see four tabs,  “Home”, “Notes”, “Tasks” and “Pipeline” and two icons, “Calendar” and “Inbox”

Your “Home” tab will give you a little moment of zen with the time and a friendly greeting.

The “Notes” tab will give you a very familiar notes experience, especially if you have ever used Apple’s built-in Notes app. Take notes as you go about the day and then selectively link the note to Salesforce where it can be saved to any record. On top of that, you can also share notes with colleagues within Scratchpad or turn any note into a template where you can customize it over and over again.

In the “Tasks” section, you will find just that - tasks. Daily tasks, overdue tasks and pending tasks not actioned yet. All directly synced from Salesforce. This means that you can confidently close and update tasks in Scratchpad without ever opening Salesforce, knowing that they will be synced with the correct records.

Finally you have the “Pipeline” tab, that is inarguably the most powerful tab in Scratchpad. In Pipeline, you can access pretty much every bit of information held within Salesforce. This includes Opportunities, Accounts, Contacts, Leads and Events. If you have ever used Notion or Airtable, this extremely customizable interface will be very familiar. Choose which fields you want to see; filter, group and highlight records and most importantly save all of these table customizations so your colleagues can see exactly what you see. The real power of Pipeline emerges once you start creating and adding views. Views allow you to create a new table or even a new Kanban board. Then you can save these views for your entire team or select roles in your team.

Imagine a scenario where you have a new sales rep on your team and you want to hone in what they can and can not enter for an opportunity, just to avoid any issues of adding in extraneous information in the wrong area. Simply create a “New Sales Rep” view and pick and choose which fields they can read and write to. In Salesforce, this would be a little convoluted as you would need to modify permissions, roles and even their layout. In Scratchpad, all you need to do is share the view link and then ask them to save the layout in their own Scratchpad. That’s it…you don’t need to get your Salesforce Admin involved at all.

Why we love Scratchpad

Salesforce is a necessity to use Scratchpad, there’s no getting around that. We love that because at the end of the day, we love Salesforce! But we also know that it’s not the most beginner friendly interface for someone who’s bread and butter is sales but may be coming over from Hubspot or another competing CRM. We also know that sometimes sales teams struggle with using Salesforce that it could sidetrack them from their end goal of actually selling. That’s the beauty of Scratchpad, that it allows your team to focus on selling and only present them what they need and none of what they don’t need. This refined, focused approach not only allows new hires to get up and going in a third of the time, but allows your more advanced reps to focus on their clients instead of fiddling with Salesforce.

What we would change

While Scratchpad is revolutionary in its simplicity, it’s not perfect by any means. Relationships on how records are related to each other is not easily accessible. The home tab, while peaceful, seems like a missed opportunity for sales reps to customize and create their own meaningful dashboard. Then finally, we would unleash it from Chrome and have it be a standalone desktop app so team members can use it regardless of their browser choice. So while Scratchpad supplants and betters a lot of aspects of Salesforce, you will still need to creep in there every once in a while to do what you can’t do in Scratchpad.

What’s next for Scratchpad

Scratchpad is making waves and deservedly so, having raised over $50 million in funding since their inception in 2019. It essentially brings the admittedly clunky interface of Salesforce into 2022 and makes it accessible to everyone. We’re excited to try out Scratchpad Studio which brings automation, deeper integration with external apps such as Slack and more meaningful insights into the card views. This innovation on top of their rock solid core, indicates to us that this platform is going to become truly powerful very quickly. We can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Why you should attend TrailheaDX 2021

What is TrailheaDX?

Features / Roadmap / Products / Platform News   

TrailheaDX is the admin and developer focused event in the Salesforce ecosystem. It brings together admins, developers, architects, IT leaders, and entrepreneurs. During the event attendees learn from product experts, Salesforce product staff, and other ecosystem partners. They'll cover over 35 product demos, in 25 expert-led rooms.

Why attend TrialheaDX?

Whether you're a Salesforce practitioner or a customer, TrailheaDX is a great event to learn about the technical capabilities and latest improvements to the platform. For customers it can spark ideas around ways in which the Salesforce platform can be used to solve other business problems in your organization. For Salesforce developers and architects, the event is a meeting of the minds and a showcase of the latest patterns we can implement in the solutions we design.

The virtual gathering of Trailblazers will be broadcast on June 23 starting at 8:45 AM PT.

The schedule is now live at TrailheaDX Session Schedule. We hope you can attend!

TrailheaDX Sessions We Are Excited For

Below are some of the sessions our team has identified as promising and worth tuning in!

App Development with Salesforce DX

Wednesday, June 23, 1:00 PM - 1:40 PM EDT

Join us for a discussion about bringing source-driven development, team collaboration, and continuous integration and delivery to your org using the tools provided by Salesforce DX.       

Session Link


Salesforce Certifications: Zero to 40 and Counting!

Wednesday, June 23, 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT

Gaurav Kheterpal has more than 40 Salesforce, Vlocity, and Mulesoft certifications. Join Gaurav to learn tips about certification prep, study schedules, exam strategy, and more.

Session Link

Simplifying Package-Based Development Using DX@Scale

Wednesday, June 23, 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT

Understand how you can leverage mono repository, scratch org pooling, and cli plugins to take your package-based projects to the next level. DX@Scale brings you practices, frameworks and open-source tools to enable development teams of all sizes to work with packages comfortably. This demonstration shows how the development lifecycle can be streamlined from creation to release of a package and all steps in between.

Session Link

Data Protection. Be Sure Your Data is Safe.

Wednesday, June 23, 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM EDT

Odaseva helps large enterprises protect their data everywhere it’s vulnerable and find smart, proactive ways to solve data problems before they happen. Get an under-the-hood look at our Data Protection solution. You’ll learn the most effective ways to protect your data everywhere it’s vulnerable (not just in production) using sandbox anonymization, how to use analytics and APIs to be an outstanding steward of your mission-critical data, and how replication can maximize the value of your backed-up data.

Session Link

Using Story Maps to Build High-Value Software Releases

Solution design and implementation strategy is integral to getting the most out of your Salesforce investment. We’ve used many frameworks and tools for solution design across the years, testing which methods produce the right solutions, at the right time, and the right budget. In recent years we’ve become very fond of tool called the Story Map.

As a client, a story map is one of the first things our Solution Architects will develop with you for your project, and it will provide the basis for planning incremental releases moving forward. What is a story map, why is it better than a traditional flat backlog, and what does the process of creating one look like? Let's dive in and take a look!

Story Map using Sticky Notes on a Whiteboard

What is a story map?

A story map is designed to map a user's journey across the various activities they undertake with your Salesforce software. It identifies all the potential user stories and considers the features that help those users along the way. In its focus on the workflow and complete experience, a story map helps break down releases into high-value groupings of functionality that can immediately benefit your users and business.

Why is story mapping better than just a flat backlog?

You're likely familiar with a flat backlog and its list of discrete features and competing priorities. The problem with a backlog is that it doesn't take into account workflow or dependencies. That is to say, you may end up correctly identifying the highest value story, but fail to see that it depends on a lower level feature. Backlogs simply aren't designed to convey that sort of interconnectedness of business workflows, and, as a result, you're left with a list of isolated features with no larger picture to make sense of it all. It's also easy to lose sight of what it is the application is actually doing when you focus exclusively on individual details.

Flat Backlog Compared to Story Map

Story maps, in contrast, are far more expressive than a flat backlog. They provide context for the various features by helping teams visualize activities and workflows from start to finish. Rather than a ranked to-do list of items, you have a more complete picture of all the various user stories and how they move through the software. A story map allows you to more easily identify the high-value stories and know exactly which features are required in order to put them into service. This, in turn, enables you to build releases that are immediately useful with all of the necessary moving parts.

A story map also makes it easier to communicate with stakeholders at all levels and in all areas of your business. Instead of a cryptic list of stories broken down into sprints, you have a more robust visualization of exactly how your application is being used that everyone can understand. This helps keep teams on the same page, and it also helps to manage expectations and gives discernible value to every release.  

How To Create A Story Map

A story map is particularly well-suited for building out applications in Salesforce, in which incremental releases can offer tremendous value across your business. Whether you have ten employees or a thousand, our Solution Architect will guide your team through the same process of crafting a story map to help you get the most bang from your buck and ensure your solutions are meeting every user's needs.

From start to finish, a story map is all about making sure your releases reflect the real needs of your users. You already know that Salesforce is a powerful business application development platform. Get even more out of it for your business with Relay's Salesforce Architect-as-a-Service offering. Our Solution Architects can help in-house teams and implementation partners deliver more effective product development roadmaps by crafting a robust story map for your business or client. Contact us to learn more today!

Top 5 Chrome Extensions to Transform your Salesforce Workflow
Salesforce is great, but we all know it can be enhanced. Let's take a look at our picks for the top five Chrome extensions that will transform your Salesforce workflow.

Salesforce is the world's most powerful, and most popular CRM for a reason. Companies all over the world invest huge amounts of capital and resources to make sure that their Salesforce instance is streamlined and functional. But even though your Salesforce has been tailored and fine-tuned to do exactly what you need, using it day to day provides it's own sets of challenges. Sometimes you need an easier way to access an API field name, hop across multiple sandboxes or simply need to find an easier way to add contacts from LinkedIn to your Salesforce org. That's where Google Chrome extensions become so invaluable.

So let's take a look at Relay's top five Chrome extensions to transform your Salesforce workflow.

Salesforce Inspector

If you're a power user or Salesforce admin, you are probably well aware of Salesforce Inspector by now. An invaluable tool for developers, Salesforce Inspector adds a metadata layout on top of the standard Salesforce UI. This allows you to quickly view field information directly from a record detail page or even see all data related to a record even if it's not on the page layout.

This gives every Salesforce power user deep insight into how a Salesforce org is composed and structured.

ORGanizer for Salesforce

If you find yourself bouncing between different Salesforce orgs all day, then you will want to take a close look at ORGanizer for Salesforce. Not only does it allow you to store all credentials related to all your Salesforce orgs, but it allows you to organize how your orgs are structured within your browser. You can also use the built in Quick Link tool to quickly access your most used Salesforce links or even customize these quick links to open a custom relative link.

Stop juggling logins for multiple Salesforce orgs and install ORGanizer for Salesforce.

Salesforce Navigator

While we all know and love Salesforce, we have to admit there is a lot of clicking around to find the page you need. Especially if you need to access admin settings. That's where Salesforce Navigator takes over. Using a custom keyboard shortcut, simply search for any page within Salesforce and Salesforce Navigator will take you right to it.

Saving those three or four clicks over the course of eight plus hours, will definitely add up and you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Salesforce Hotkeys

If you're ready to dive further into the world of hotkeys, take a look at Salesforce Hotkeys to absolutely enhance your workflow. Any power user will tell you that a mouse can sometimes be the least efficient way to navigate any application and this includes Salesforce. With over fifty hotkey presets including creating new accounts, logging a call, saving a record or editing a record; you can save minutes or even hours a day navigating Salesforce via your keyboard.

While there is a slight learning curve to learning all the hotkeys, you will be flying through Salesforce like never before.


LinkedIn can be a representative's best friend in the sales process, but enriching your Salesforce data with LinkedIn information can be a bit of a manual affair. That's where Assistlead comes in to bridge the gap. Once on LinkedIn, activate the extension and then you can create new leads and contacts with a single click. Since all the lead information is culled directly from LinkedIn, this ensures your data is precise and more importantly up-to-date.

Make sure your leads and contacts never go stale and definitely take a look at AssistLead.

The Chrome app store is full of new extensions and add-ons that can completely change the way you use Salesforce. These are just a few of our favorites, but let us know which ones you rely on to make the most out of Salesforce.

The Future of Slack and Salesforce - Updates from DreamForce
What's in store for Slack in 2022? Let's take a look at all the new announcements made at Dreamforce 2021.

Since Salesforce's acquisition of Slack back in July for an eye-popping $27.7 billion, we have slowly started to see how the two companies will co-exist. If you're unaware, Slack is a workplace behemoth that has transformed the way remote teams work and communicate and has been a staple for hundreds of thousands of companies since the start of 2020. When Salesforce acquired them it seemed like a natural fit to expand their reach into the new work anywhere world. It's what they have dubbed, the "digital HQ" that allows organizations to deliver customer and employee success from anywhere.

Dreamforce, Salesforce's massive annual event, was held just a few weeks back where of course the focus was on the Salesforce platform. There were however quite a few announcements for how deep the marriage between Slack and Salesforce will become. Let's go over three of the biggest ones.

Slack-First Sales

The first one to highlight is the announcement of "Slack-First Sales" which changes the game for sales teams across the world. The introduction of "digital deal rooms" allows sales teams to collaborate in real-time with files, conversation, and most importantly Salesforce data in one place. No longer do they have to switch between multiple platforms to get the information they need. Without ever leaving Slack, they can access customer data and meeting information in one collaborative space. Add in the capability to set Slack alerts for inactive accounts and a pipeline view to monitor and manage pipeline health, and Slack-First Sales is looking like a boon to Sales teams everywhere.

These capabilities are set to be rolled out in the summer of 2022.

Slack-First Service

If your team is on Salesforce's Service Cloud, then their Slack-First Service is going to be a huge addition to your ticket management workflow. The introduction of Case Swarming and Incident Swarming allows service teams to automatically create channels or threads related to high-priority cases or tickets. This allows teams from all across your organization to collaborate on an incident directly in Slack without having divergent discussions on other platforms. Expert Finder is a new addition as well where you can bring in just the right people for an incident based on availability, capacity, and skills.

Expert Finder and Case Swarming are expected to be available in the Spring 2022 release while Incident Swarming is expected in the Summer 2022 release.

Slack-First Nonprofit

The introduction of Slack-First Nonprofit will be more of an extension of the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud, but it's a huge one. Streamlining communication is the big feature where case managers can bring the right external parties and experts into the conversation with ease. Daily Digests and notifications will allow case managers to see their agenda and tasks for the entire day across all their clients, all within Slack. Review and Approval features allow teams to approve documents directly in Slack while syncing those approvals and changes back to Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud.

Slack-First Nonprofit is expected to launch with the Spring 2022 release.

Of course, there were tons of other great Slack-focused features announced at Dreamforce, including Slack-First Marketing, Slack-First Trailhead, and GovSlack. What this shows us and the rest of the world is that the connection between Salesforce and Slack is still in its infancy stages and the two platforms are going to only become more powerful over time.

The Benefits of Creating Custom Salesforce Applications Using Lightning Web Components

Salesforce Lightning Web Components (LWC) is a programming model for building web-based applications on the Salesforce platform. It offers several benefits over other development approaches, making it a great option for creating custom Salesforce applications.

One of the main benefits of using LWC is that it is built on modern web standards, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This means that it is easier to learn and use for developers who are already familiar with these technologies. It also makes it easier for your team to maintain and update the applications over time.

Another benefit of LWC is that it is a part of the Lightning Platform, which is Salesforce's user interface framework. This means that applications built with LWC will have a consistent look and feel with the rest of the Salesforce platform, providing a seamless user experience for your team.

LWC also offers improved performance and scalability compared to other development approaches. It uses a state-of-the-art programming model that makes it easier to build high-performance applications that can handle large volumes of data. This can help improve the overall efficiency of your business operations.

In addition, LWC offers better security compared to other development approaches. It uses a secure coding model that helps prevent common security vulnerabilities, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and cross-site request forgery (CSRF). This can help protect your business data and ensure that it stays secure.

Overall, the benefits of creating custom Salesforce applications using LWC are numerous. From its modern web standards and consistent user experience, to its improved performance and security, LWC offers a powerful and effective way to build custom applications on the Salesforce platform.

Scratchpad vs Dooly vs Laserfocus - Which one is right for your sales team?
If you're in the marketing to streamline you sales and rev-ops efforts and increase the focus on selling, you're going to want to take a look at three biggest names trying to revolutionize Salesforce.

The other day we took a look at Scratchpad ( we came away extremely impressed with how it’s trying to revolutionize the sales experience for all Salesforce users, regardless of experience level. While Scratchpad may be the fastest growing, it’s far from the only one in this space. We’re going to take a look at Dooly, perhaps Scratchpad’s biggest competitor and Laserfocus, a rather new entrant. At their core, all three apps are trying to streamline the sometimes convoluted Salesforce space and we’ll see if they are successful in their mission.


We already did a deep dive on Scratchpad in our last post, but essentially Scratchpad uses a Chrome extension approach to sync only the relevant data to the sales rep in a slick interface that lives outside of Salesforce. We love it’s streamlined and more importantly collaborative approach to note taking, pipeline management and task sharing. The UI is intuitive, familiar and doesn’t bog down your team with unnecessary fields or features that get in the way of the core goal — selling. While we wish there was a desktop or web component that didn’t tie itself to Chrome, there’s not much else to complain about. Scratchpad does everything it promises and more.


Dooly is Scratchpad’s direct competitor in this space, and for good reason. Dooly goes feature to feature with Scratchpad, including notes, pipeline management, collaboration and templates. In addition, it includes playbooks, a robust web and Chrome app and sleek LinkedIn and Slack integration integration. But one of the standout features is what they call Deal Vitals.

Deal Vitals give you a real time report card of every opportunity so you can see if it’s still in good health or needs a little nurturing. This a great way to make sure your opportunities are not wilting and the cleanliness of your Salesforce org is staying top of mind.

We also love the Playbook feature that intelligently bubbles up relevant information to your entire team through the notes section.  Say a new employee is on a sales call and the customer remarks about price concerns. As soon as the new employee marks “price concerns” in the notes, it will surface the playbook of what they should say and do in this exact situation.

Dooly is packed with smart, clever features such as this but perhaps there are too many features. The beauty of Scratchpad is in its simplicity and how it hones Salesforce down into a beautiful, focused interface. Dooly’s interface is great and a joy to use, but there’s a slight learning curve that could slow down new sales reps and often it can be a little confusing to decipher what is where.


Our last entrant into this growing space is Laserfocus. They’re the newest and perhaps the smallest of the three. Similar to Scratchpad and Dooly, Laserfocus takes the immense data that’s contained in Salesforce and filters it to a streamlined, simple interface. Though perhaps a little too simple for our tastes. While it does include tasks, notes, and pipeline management, there are no collaboration features to speak of. That means you can’t send contacts, opportunities and records in Laserfocus without having to go into Salesforce. While we love the approach to stacks, there is no intelligent notifications like in Dooly that would alert you to opportunities that are starting to wilt. With that being said, Laserfocus is still a pleasure to use and the foundation of what they are trying to build is rock solid.

Our Choice

We’re very impressed by all the options in this space and we expect the options to keep growing as Salesforce becomes more convoluted over time. The pricing is similar across the board (all offering a free tier and then starting at $35/user/month for Dooly, $39/user/month for Scratchpad and $30/user/month for Laserfocus) Our choice is still Scratchpad as it straddles the fine line between simplicity and features that allows sales teams to spend the majority of their day in Scratchpad without having to do too much in Salesforce itself. We do love Dooly and all it’s smart features, so if you’re looking for a tool a bit more feature packed, than Dooly would be a great choice.

Our Takeaway

To be honest, you can’t really go wrong with any of these apps if you’re looking to introduce a new tool to your sales team’s arsenal. If you want simplicity and ease of use, Scratchpad is for you you. If you’re looking for more features and an app that lives outside Chrome, then Dooly is a solid choice. Either way, get back to focusing on sales and stop struggling with Salesforce.

or do you still have some questions...
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