If Naming Your Salesforce Opportunities Drives You Nuts..You're Going to Love This!

Do you typically draw a mental blank each time you need to create an Opportunity in Salesforce, and realize that the Opportunity Name field is required?

Most people can't think of anything witty, insightful or creative to include in the Opportunity Name field in order to clearly identify this particular deal.

How do most people solve this problem?

Most people typically use some combination of the customer name, along with the type of deal and perhaps the date that the deal was identified (or potential close date).

Sometimes people use a prefix of their initials, business unit, or type of product/service that we expect to use in the deal.

What happens when new team members come on board, and no one explains this unwritten rule to them?

CHAOS happens.

Everyone comes up with their own naming convention...their own abbreviations, acronyms, prefixes and suffixes...and let's not forget about creative use of punctuation.

How can you solve this issue for once and for all?

Step 1

Come up with a standard naming convention using values that are always required for all opportunities, and the combination of which will create a unique entry for each opportunity, so that the naming convention makes sense to anyone who will read it.

Some examples include:
  • [Primary Contact] - [Opportunity Record Type] - [Created Date]
  • [Account Name] - [Opportunity Type/Record Type] - [Created Date]
  • [Account Name] - [Division] - [Opportunity Type] - [Created Date]

Using just the first example will result in Opportunity names like:
  • Abraham Lincoln - Medicaid Application - 12/15/2016
  • George Washington - Lease Renewal - 11/20/2016
  • Thomas Jefferson - Trademark Application - 12/5/2016
  • Betsy Ross - Coffee Sweeteners - 9/4/2016
Step 2

Create a workflow in Salesforce, so that any time an Opportunity is created or edited, the field Opportunity Name should be updated with the parameters of the fields you selected in Step 1.

I recently implemented the naming convention below for one of my clients:
  • [Primary Contact] - [Opportunity Record Type] - [Created Date]
...which means that my Field Update setting looks like this:

Below I will cut and paste the text included in my formula:

npsp__Primary_Contact__r.Full_Name__c &" - "&   RecordType.Name &" - "&  TEXT( MONTH(DATEVALUE (  CreatedDate ) ) ) & "/" & TEXT( DAY( DATEVALUE(CreatedDate )) ) & "/" & TEXT( YEAR( DATEVALUE (CreatedDate) ) )

Step 3

Before you implement this and start doing the happy dance around the office, you need to update the help text hover for Opportunity Name so that your users know that your naming convention will automatically override anything they insert into the Opportunity Name field.

Here's what I did:

This is what it looks like for my end users:

In Classic

In Lightning Experience

...and NOW you can do the happy dance and celebrate another win for your team.

When you get back to your desk, you can apply the exact same principles to naming your Campaigns and perhaps several custom objects.

David Giller a Salesforce MVP, User Group Leader, Trainer, Consultant, Blogger & Author.

Although he started his career as an attorney, David entered the world of enterprise-scale IT management at NBCUniversal, & continued at GE Capital, where he was first introduced to Salesforce & became known as "The Salesforce Guru."

David is now CEO of Brainiate, helping companies unleash the power of Salesforce.

You can read more about David's bizarre career path here.

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