Take a Tour of the Salesforce Partner Community
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- List the major elements in the Salesforce Partner Community and their purposes.
- List the resources new partners can use to learn more about the Salesforce Partner Community.
- Locate the tools partners use to conduct their business in the Salesforce Partner Community.
- Use these tools to perform some basic tasks.
Welcome to your place of business!
We’ve organized the layout of the Salesforce Partner Community page to match your essential business activities. There are several tabs across the top of the screen: Collaboration, Education, News & Events, Support, and Business. If you visit them from left to right, you get an idea of how to use the Salesforce Partner Community as you develop your business. We begin our tour at the left and work our way across the top of the screen.
The best way to get comfortable in the Salesforce Partner Community is to engage with other partners and Salesforce employees. Everyone here is either using Salesforce to build their business or helping someone else do it.
Most of the conversations in the Salesforce Partner Community take place in collaboration groups. These are gathering places for online discussions. They use Chatter, so you get updates in real time. Each group has a name and description that tell you what it focuses on.
Access your collaboration groups by clicking the Collaboration tab. Use the search box to find new groups to join—they appear in the Groups section of search results.
While you’re here, join these essential collaboration groups:
- Questions and Answers: When you can’t find the answer to your question, post it here. Ask any question, on any partner-related topic, at any time.
- Alerts for Partners: Stay updated with the latest technical and business alerts.
- Roadmap for Partners: Get a glimpse into the future of Salesforce products and programs. Register for Partner Roadmap webinars and get access to their videos and slides.
- Releases for Partners: Learn about the updates in the latest Salesforce release.
- Official: Partner Community: You’re automatically added to this group. Here Salesforce employees share news, knowledge, and best practices with partners.
- AppExchange & ISV Technical Enablement: The official group dedicated to technical topics of interest to ISV Partners.
These and more appear on our Featured Groups page. Find this by clicking the More tab.
You can also find interesting groups from the Collaboration tab, by clicking Groups on the left navigation bar. From there, view the groups you’ve recently visited, the groups you belong to, and the groups with the most activity. Join any group from here by clicking Join in the right column of the list you’re viewing. Some groups are private and may require someone to approve your membership.
Some groups have a lot of traffic, while others are quiet. You can adjust your notification level for each group. You want an email for every post on the Alerts for Partners group, but for those you follow only occasionally, a weekly digest is fine.
- From the Collaboration tab, click the group whose notifications you’re adjusting.
- Locate the group’s picture under its name, at the upper-left corner.
- Use the menu below the picture to select how often you want to be emailed.
After you’ve joined some groups, introduced yourself, and made new friends, it’s time to dig in and figure out how to develop your business. You’ve heard how great it is to be a partner, but where do you go to find out how to get things off the ground?
You’ve already found Trailhead, so you’re starting strong! Trailhead is a great resource for new partners. These two trails are tailored specifically to Salesforce partners:
- Build Apps as an AppExchange Partner
- Build Your Practice As a Salesforce Consulting Partner
We’re adding new modules all the time. You can keep track of what’s new at Trailhead for Partners, under the What You Need to Know tab.
Your partner training doesn’t end there. The Salesforce Partner Community itself has an entire section devoted to training. Let’s check it out. From the Salesforce Partner Community’s landing page, click the Education tab.
Along the top is a dashboard that helps you track your partner training. It shows the progress you’ve made on Trailhead, and your Salesforce certifications.
If you connected your Trailhead account with the instructions we gave you in the last unit, your Trailhead badges appear on the Education page. Below the badges, the Trailhead section tells you about new Partner Program badges, and recommends other badges for you based on your training so far.
On the Education tab, look down the left side of the screen. Under the heading This Just In, are several posts related to partner training and events. It’s a tidy summary of educational activities. Some of the things you see here are:
- New training materials such as Trailhead modules
- Registration and materials for webinars
- Blog posts relevant to partners
- Education pages covering new products or industries
- News about upcoming Salesforce releases
Below the Trailhead section is Program Information, which has general information about the Partner Program, as well as specific materials for AppExchange partners and consulting partners.
If you're an AppExchange partner, the General Resources subsection is where you’ll find the AppExchange Trailblazer Checklist. It divides your partner journey into 10 steps, starting with guided learning on Trailhead and ending with a published AppExchange listing.
Each step in the checklist has a corresponding Education page. There, you'll see guidance, tips, and a list of resources to get you on your way.
Below the Program Information section is the More Resources section. Here you’ll find assorted documentation on products and industries, and information about Salesforce certifications.
Click the News & Events tab. This is where you find out what’s going on in the Salesforce Partner Community, and at Salesforce in general. At the top are alerts: important, time-sensitive information we broadcast to all partners. If there are important product updates, program changes, or technical notices, we tell you about them here.
Along the left is news: the most important events, blog posts, and announcements for each month. To the right is our calendar, which shows you everything happening in the Salesforce Partner Community and throughout Salesforce. Some events aren’t publicly announced, so log in to see it all.
Take a look around. Even if you missed an event, you can often find related slides or a recording on the event’s page afterward. And if you want to get social, connect with us on LinkedIn or Twitter using the buttons across the top of the News & Events tab.
Come to the Support tab for help with a specific issue.
At the top, there’s a search box you can use to find any materials related to your issue: articles, blog posts, discussions, and so on. You might find what you need here and be on your way.
Along the right are some links. In particular, Known Issues shows a list of issues affecting other partners, and any existing remedies. Trust shows you whether there’s an outage affecting any of your Salesforce orgs.
Sometimes you need human help. Have you heard partners talking about “logging a case”? That’s where the humans come in. Logging a case means contacting Salesforce tech support to tell them you need help. Here’s how you do it.
To log a new case, click New Case at the upper right of the Support page. This shows you a list of topics. Select the one that best describes your issue and click Create a Case in the dialog box that pops up.
Fill out the form on the left side. How severe is the issue—does it prevent you from doing your work? Describe your issue completely for the support staff. Then click Submit Case. You just logged a case!
When you log a case, you get an email with a link to track it. You also receive an email when the case is updated. Log only cases for your own company here. If you need help with an issue related to a customer, you log a case elsewhere. We discuss this in a later module.
On the Support page, below the search, there are graphics that show you the status of your cases. See how many are new, in progress, or require action from you.
The table below contains all of the cases you’ve filed. Use the picklists to filter them.
Click the Business tab.
This is a high-level view of your consulting business with Salesforce. Here you follow up on leads, track opportunities, manage projects, and view their statuses. Submit new leads here, and track them as they mature into opportunities. As you build a customer base, create projects that represent your deliverables and outcomes.
It’s a little early in the game for discussing this in more detail right now. But you can plan on spending a lot of time here.
The Salesforce Partner Community is the village your business lives in. Whether you’re an AppExchange partner or a consulting partner, you can find everything you need here.
This concludes our tour, but there’s still a lot to explore. Take your time, get to know your colleagues, and learn to use the tools. Before you know it, you can get down to business and help your customers succeed.
Before we turn you loose, let's go over how to set up your team and manage your business as a Salesforce Partner Community administrator. Stick around for one more unit.