We’ve all seen the trend. There is a hunger for analytics, and it’s only growing day by day. One of my favorite things about Salesforce is that they help us all to stay on top of that demand, and provide that valuable data back to our constituents. (Don’t agree that Salesforce is committed to analytics? Check out all the goodness coming in Spring 14 & then we can talk.)
One of the requests I hear over and over, with companies I’ve work for & as questions that get raised in User Groups or the Answers Boards, is around time-stamping records. As recently as two weeks ago, I had someone ask about the best way to capture when a lead hits or passes a stage. This is a classic example, but the answer is the same for anything similar.
First, create your Date/Time field (or, if you only care about data-stamping, then a straight-up Date field will work). To help everyone understand when this field is, I would suggestion including ‘Timestamp’ in the name of the field & always add in some help text. (Alternatively, if these data points will only be used in aggregate, consider leaving it off the page layout altogether.)
Next, you will need to create a workflow rule that contains your criteria for the timestamp. For example, if you want to timestamp when an opportunity reaches your Stage 3 or higher, set the criteria for the workflow rule to be Stage EQUALS “Stage 3, Stage 4, Stage 5″ and so on. This will make sure to capture those records that may skip a stage in the sales cycle, but still meet your criteria.
Finally, you will need to add an action to your workflow rule. In this case, the action is a Field Update and the field that you will be updating is your newly created timestamp (or datestamp) field. The new value for that field will be set with a formula, and will be either NOW() or TODAY() depending on the type of field you created.
It’s that simple & cane be created in a matter of minutes! Alternatively, this can be used with a checkbox as well (instead of a timestamp), but if you can get that extra piece of data, why not?
Final tip — don’t forget to activate the workflow rule!