Personal Training – Salesforce Style

As New Years rapidly approaches, many of us are preparing our new list of resolutions, trying not to get too depressed about the fact that we didn’t accomplish anything on last years list! Joining a gym and getting into shape is usually the number one goal at the start of each year for most people, but the likelihood of obtaining this goal goes down if you don’t have a personal trainer.

Recently, I published a survey to my users, and I asked about their preferred training method. Roughly half of the users wanted a full re-training (which was a 2-day event), and the other half wanted personal, one-on-one training. Since a full training would take more logistical work, I decided to start small and open up my calendar for personal training – Salesforce style! To make it easy on myself, I use a booking tool which displays my availability and automatically books the users preferred session on my calendar without me lifting a finger! Since this has been such a success with my users, I thought it only appropriate to share with you!

Here is what you will need to start accepting reservations:

  1. An account with ScheduleOnce (or another online booking tool of your choice).
  2. A Google account (depends on your booking tool)
  3. Screen sharing technology
  4. One available Salesforce web tab

Okay, lets get started!

1. Setup ScheduleOnce
After doing a lot of searching for a free or low cost tool which was easy to use and setup, I settled on ScheduleOnce. This tool has several levels of accounts including a free version. I chose to sign up for their Premium account which is $9 a month and allows for automatic booking. This features automatically reserves the booked time on my calendar which means that I don’t have to remember to create an event for the reserved time. This is a life saver. After creating your account, there is some initial set-up that you will need to do. Here are some of the things you will want to change in the Inbound Settings section of your account:

  • Booking options
  • Availability
  • Calendars (see step 2)
  • Reminders
  • Confirmation emails (see step 3)

You will also want to update your booking page with your photo, a quick note to your users, and perhaps a company logo (depending on which package you purchased).

2. Google Account
Update (12/17/12) – Google recently announced that Google Calendar Sync End of Life. This product will no longer be available for new installations and device synchronization. Additional details can be found by clicking here. Try using an alternative tool called SyncMyCal.

My organization doesn’t use Google Business Apps, and ScheduleOnce only integrates with Google Calendar. So, I was able to install a free plug-in which will sync my Outlook calendar to my Google Calendar. Since my personal Google calendar is full of personal details that I don’t want on my Outlook calendar, I decided to create a new Google account for the sole purpose of this functionality. After your Google account is created, you will want to install the free Google Calendar Sync integration tool which will sync your calendars together.

Syncing both directions allows you to make changes in Outlook without needing to modify your Google Calendar.

3. Screen Sharing Technology
Screen sharing technology is going to make your life easier, and the training much more effective. If your organization has an official screen sharing technology, or you have one that you prefer, make sure that your account is up-to-date and ready to go. I use Adobe Connect which allows me to have an “open” meeting URL which is always the same regardless of when the meeting is occurring  As part of my ScheduleOnce account, I add this meeting URL to the confirmation email and meeting invitation which is sent to my user at the time of booking. This way, if screen sharing is needed, it is readily accessible. If you don’t have a screen sharing tool or your company doesn’t provide one, you can use a free tool called Join.me.

4. Salesforce Web Tab
Now that our accounts are set-up and working, we can publish our booking site. Although the site is available to the public, I decided to insert this page as a web tab in Salesforce. This eliminates users from having to bookmark yet another website, and makes it easy for booking a training session. Here is how to create this web tab:

  1. ClickYour Name | Setup | Create | Tabs
  2. In the Web Tabs section, click New.
  3. Choose the tab layout that works best for you. I like the 2 columns with salesforce.com sidebar.
  4. On the next page, select URL for the Tab Type, and enter a tab name. Click Next.
  5. In the Button or Link URL section of the page, enter the URL of your booking page and click Next.
  6. Choose which profiles should have access to this tab then click Next.
  7. Indicate which apps should receive this tab and click Save.

You can now view your page to ensure that it looks the way you want it to. When complete, your new page should look something like this:

And that is it! Your training tab is now up and running and you are ready to begin accepting reservations for one to one training  My users have found this to be very beneficial. Hopefully yours will to!

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Brent DowneySimon TannerVanessa Hunt Recent comment authors
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Vanessa Hunt
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Well, after my morning run this morning, your blog post was equally refreshing! I’ve also found 1-2-1 web sessions a great way to embed learning & give users that personal touch. Love that you’ve incorporated the booking system into your Org. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be Tweeting this for you.

Simon Tanner
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Great blog. It’s a very informative topic. Thanks!

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