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Tips for Using Salesforce Record Types

Many companies use Salesforce not only for sales-related CRM but also for managing disparate business processes. Salesforce record types can help administrators fine-tune their orgs and manage business processes for different users effectively.

Sometimes, administrators go a little overboard with custom record types. Even after reading the documentation, it can help to see how other admins utilize Salesforce record types. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Where are Salesforce Record Types available?

First of all, it’s worth noting that not all Salesforce editions include this feature. Editions with access to record types are:

  • Professional
  • Enterprise
  • Performance
  • Unlimited
  • Developer

Record types are available in both Salesforce Classic and Lightning experience.

Use cases

Just because your Salesforce org has more than one page layout for, say, Opportunities doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to add custom record types to the Opportunity object. You as administrator will need to dig a little deeper to make the right design decision.

When not to use Salesforce Record Types

If users on a given profile only need to see one Opportunity page layout, then you do not need to add record types to Opportunity. Simply assign each profile its respective page layout. Done!

When to use Salesforce Record Types

Here are some situations that would call for custom Salesforce record types:

  • A user with a given profile may need to use >1 page layout per object.
    • For example, opportunities may be one-time sales or service contracts, with different information captured for each type.
  • There are different sales processes for different kinds of opportunities, and some users may need to work with multiple types.
  • One or more picklist field needs to have segmented value sets.
  • Users clearly understand the different types and understand which record type to select when they create new records.
    • The difference should be very clear to any users who might have to make a choice.

Things to remember when using Salesforce Record Types

As with any custom feature, there are many aspects to consider when designing your solution.

  • Record type IDs vary between production and sandbox orgs.
    • Make use of lookups wherever they are available.
      • Sadly, Process Builder does not support record type lookups directly.
    • Be cautious about record type dependencies during deployments.
  • Each profile needs a default record type on objects having more than one type available.
  • When maintaining picklist value sets, remember to set visibility of new values for each record type.
  • The Winter 18 release introduced the ability to select record types for Account, Contact, and Opportunity records on the Lead conversion page.
    • Selecting record types created from converting leads is available in Lightning only.
    • Classic automatically applies the user’s default record type during Lead conversion.

TL;DR

Salesforce record types, if they’re available in your edition, are a great tool for managing different business processes for different users. Use them wisely.

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