Get Started with Salesforce Advisor Link

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Navigate Salesforce Advisor Link as an advisor.
  • Identify how Salesforce Advisor Link makes an advisor’s work easier.

We started our exploration of this solution with the big picture. Now that you know what Salesforce Advisor Link is and the types of student success and retention issues it solves, it’s time to zoom in and see what it’s like to live a day in the life of an advisor who uses it.  

Cloudy Salesforce admin Nina Brown hosts an Advisor Link training. Valerie Keckler assists her fellow advisors.

Thomas Caldwell, the Director of Academic Advising at Cloudy College, organized an Advisor Link training for a group of newly hired academic advisors. Valerie Keckler has experienced firsthand how Advisor Link leveled up her own advising capabilities, so she volunteered to assist with the training. She answers questions and offers her favorite tips and tricks. Let’s see how new users can personalize their experience and maximize efficiency with the tool.

Logging in to the Advisor App

To access Advisor Link, users need to log in. Advisors in the Cloudy training are instructed to log in to the account that the school's Salesforce administrator created. Since you may not have a link of your own right now, you can follow along with the instructions provided to the Cloudy crew. 

Follow these steps to log in to Salesforce Advisor Link for your institution (Optional).

  1. Check for the welcome email with login information.
  2. Follow the link in the email.
  3. Complete the login process that your school requires.

After they’ve logged in, the Cloudy advisors check the app name in the navigation bar to make sure they’re in the Advisor Link app.

The Advisor Link app.

Valerie helps an advisor who isn’t seeing the Advisor Link app. She shows him how to click the App Launcher ( App Launcher icon ) at the end of the navigation bar to search for and find Advisor Link.

Now that everyone is logged in, it’s time for advisors to personalize their accounts.

Personalize Your Advisor App Setup

In the Cloudy training, advisors start with the basics—adding a profile photo and updating user account information. Take a look at the steps new Cloudy advisor Adrian Morges completed to add a current photo and update his personal info.

In the page header, click your User icon, and then click your name to view your User profile.

The Advisor Link user profile.

  1. Upload your photo.
    a. Click the camera icon next to the profile photo placeholder.

    The camera icon next to the profile photo placeholder.

    b. Update the photo with your own headshot and adjust it accordingly.
    c. Click Save.

  2. Fill out your About Me and contact information.
    a. From your User profile, click Edit.
    b. Enter your details.

    Advisor user profile fields in Edit mode.

    Valerie has found it really helpful to keep her walk-in availability up-to-date in the About Me field in her User profile. She shares this tip with the trainees and Adrian loves the idea. He adds his open hours to his profile.

    Adrian’s About Me field with his drop-in hours listed.

    c. Click Save.

Once everyone saves their profile photo and personal information, advisors learn to further personalize their navigation tabs. Rearranging tabs in the app navigation bar is as simple as dragging and dropping. Advisors can also pin their most-used tabs, like Calendar or Notes, to a fixed position next to the app navigation menu so they're always visible and accessible with a single click.

Adrian decides he wants to pin the Calendar. He follows these steps. 

  1. Open the item using Cmd+Click or Ctrl+Click.
  2. Click the tab's dropdown arrow, and select Pin Tab.

Adrian’s Calendar tab, with Pin Tab selected.

Adrian likes how quickly he can access his calendar now that it’s pinned, and he’s also impressed that pinned tabs take up less room on the app navigation bar.

The Calendar icon that confirms Adrian’s calendar was successfully pinned.

Empower Advisors and Students with Accurate Appointment Availability

One key to successful advising is having a calendar that accurately reflects your availability to meet with students. With Advisor Link, advisors control their calendars, update their availability, and seamlessly share this information with their students. In the Cloudy training, advisors learn to access their calendars, schedule one-off advising availability, and add non-advising events to their calendars. Let’s follow along!

Access Your Calendar
Follow these steps to access your calendar in Salesforce Advisor Link (Optional).

  1. In the app navigation menu, click the dropdown arrow.
  2. Click Calendar.
  3. Remember, you can do this even faster by pinning your calendar like Adrian did above.

Schedule One-Off Advising Availability
Cloudy advisors also need to know how to specify the one-off, date-specific times they’re available for advising. They can do this by creating advising availability events on their calendars. These available times represent the recurring availability that they schedule in their personal availability settings.

Follow these steps to create advising availability Events (Optional).

  1. Go to your Calendar.
  2. Click in a time slot on the calendar or click New Event.
  3. Make sure to select the correct Event record type for blocking out available advising time. In this case, it's Advising Time.
  4. Fill out these important details:
    a. Select Scheduled or Walk-In for the Type field.
    b. Enter a Subject that indicates your availability. For example, Open for Advising. This text is visible on your Calendar only, and isn't visible to your advisees unless your Advisor Link administrator has made it visible.
    c. Enter a Location that you've specified in your availability settings. This field is required for Walk-In availability and optional for Scheduled availability.
    d. Select the Start and End of the available time block. For example, 9:30am 12:00pm.
    e. Leave blank the Name and Related To fields.
    f. Leave the Assigned To field assigned to yourself.
  5. Click Save or click Save & New to save this Event and begin creating another.

When you're finished, confirm that the advising time event appears on your calendar. The Appointment Manager will also reflect your new advising availability.

Adrian’s Calendar showing open advising hours from 9:30am-12pm on Monday.

Provide Support with Advisor Flex Scheduling

Even under the best circumstances, scheduling can be one of an advising team's biggest challenges. So it becomes even more daunting when it's not just about coordinating when you can meet, but also where.

Location-based availability allows advisors to designate blocks of time to meet with students, and associate those availability blocks with one or more locations. For example, say Cloudy academic advisor Valerie Keckler works from home three days a week. When she's home, she can meet with advisees by phone (her mobile phone) and virtually, using the Cloudy's approved web-conferencing tool. One day a week she's in her office on campus, where she can meet with advisees in-person, by phone (her office or her mobile phone), or virtually. And on Mondays she is responsible for childcare and she never knows exactly where she'll be at a given time, so scheduled appointments must be voice calls on her mobile phone. Now more than ever, Valerie and the other Cloudy advisors need the flexible scheduling made possible by associating their availability with specific locations—including virtual locations.

The first time an advisor logs in and navigates to availability settings, they will see a prompt to configure their location. All they will need to do is select the appropriate type and click Save. Advisors can edit appointment availability at any time.

New appointment location

Edit appointment availability

To learn more about how how admins set up flex scheduling and manage location-based availability, check out the article included in the Resources section at the end of the unit.

Schedule Non-Advising Events

Salesforce Advisor Link can accommodate the reality that appointments with students aren’t your only commitments in the course of a day or week. You can also set up your calendar to reflect time blocks that are unavailable due to staff meetings, campus events, and other appointments. Valerie chats with Adrian Morges as he prepares to add his non-advising commitments to his calendar. Valerie shares a few lessons learned with Adrian. The first is to pre-schedule a daily lunch break. It’s important for advisors to protect that personal time and if it’s not on the calendar, that time can disappear quickly.

The second thing Valerie has learned is that scheduling a start and stop time for events that take up most of her day is more effective than using the “all day event” tag. Students tend to miss the all day event as it appears across the top of the date on the calendar. It helps her to have the visual time block on the calendar date if she happens to have a conference or meeting that spans across a large part of her day.

Let’s take a look at the steps Adrian followed to add his non-advising appointments to his calendar. 

Adrian’s Calendar in weekly view.

  1. Go to your Calendar.
  2. Click in a time slot on the calendar or click New Event .
  3. Make sure the non-advising Event type is selected.
  4. Fill out the Event details.
    a. Enter a Subject that indicates your non-availability. For example, Adrian adds Alumni Lunch: Host
    b. Select the Start and End of the available time block. For example, 11:00am- 1:00pm.
  5. Keep in mind that your page layout may look different depending on how your Advisor Link administrator has configured the page.
  6. Click Save or click Save & New to save this Event and begin creating another.

When he’s done, Adrian confirms that the non-advising event appears on his calendar. This event also appears in the Appointment Manager so he can keep track of his day regardless of his location.

Adrian’s calendar showing overlap between a recurring appointment for open advising hours and a one-time appointment for an alumni lunch.

As Adrian reviews his calendar after adding his events, it’s easy to see that his scheduled non-advising Event (the alumni lunch) overlaps partially with time that he’s scheduled for drop-in advising hours on Monday. By scheduling a non-advising Event, it's easy to manage your availability and maintain flexibility. As it stands currently, students will not be able to schedule an appointment during Adrian's non-advising Event. If Adrian’s lunch plans change and he reschedules the non-advising Event for a different day, the full block of advising time automatically becomes available again because he never edited it.

If Adrian needs to edit an event later, he selects the Event from his calendar and clicks More Details, then clicks Edit on the record. He can also open the Event record from the Appointment Manager by clicking View Record when the Event is selected.

At the end of the training, new Cloudy advisors walk away knowing how to access Salesforce Advisor Link, personalize their user accounts, and manage their tabs to suit their individual needs. They also know how to set up their calendars to accurately reflect their availability, setting themselves and their students up for success when it comes to finding time to meet. The group will meet again next week to train on an additional set of features. Head to the next unit to keep learning with the Cloudy advisors.


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