Salesforce Best Practices

We've picked up a few tips and tricks from our expert Salesforce CRM customers and partners.


More best practices will be added in the future

Flexibility in certain Salesforce Validation Rules

Salesforce Validation Rules seem absolute. And often they should be! E.g., A Contact is required to move an Opportunity beyond x stage. That should always be true!

But, situations exist where you might want a little wiggle room.

  • E.g., You are likely tracking New and Upsell Opportunities as different Opportunity Types or Opportunity Record Types.
  • To enforce this, you set up a Validation Rule that a New Opportunity can only be Won when no other Won Opportunities exist on the Account.
  • But there's an exception: a customer churns and comes back.
    • The standard approach is to disable the Validation Rule, move the Opportunity to Won, and then re-enable the Validation Rule. This comes with risk though! Another AE could unknowingly break your Validation Rule while it is turned off.
  • What's the solution for situations like this? Exempt System Administrators from Validation Rules like this where you want a bit of wiggle room.

Use a custom field for Opportunity Amount to meet your unique business needs


Salesforce Opportunity Amount field has a few special behaviors:

  • When Opportunity Products on that Opportunity has no records, Amount is editable by user
  • When Opportunity Products on that Opportunity has >0 records, Amount is calculated as the sum of Total Price on the related Opportunity Product records

Salesforce Opportunity Products also has a constraint:

  • Sales Price * Quantity must equal Total Price

What these limitations mean for you

  • You want the ability to report on Opportunity Amount differently from Opportunity Product Total Price to match your business's need. But you can't!
    • If reporting Opportunity Amount as Incremental, you are unable to report on total quantity at the product level on Amendments and Renewals.
    • When both price and quantity change on an Amendment or Renewal, product-level reporting does not make sense.
  • Salesforce Administrators can't override the value of Opportunity Amount. E.g. use case: a very large customer signs a multi-year deal and your leadership team would like to be more conservative in the booking amount to mitigate Net Dollar Retention (NDR) risk.

Recommended approach

Use a custom Salesforce Opportunity Amount field

First, define the right measurement approach for Opportunities for your business. We most commonly recommend Incremental Amount and Incremental ARR and we have a blog post to help you make the best decision for your business.

Then, implement it!

  • Create a custom currency field on Opportunity called Amount Override
    • Hide this field from non-Administrators. Only Administrators should update this field.
  • Create a custom currency field on Opportunity called Amount (Seller Entered)
    • This field is used to gather Amount information
  • Create a custom formula currency field on Opportunity called Amount (from Primary Quote). The formula refers to the field on the MonetizeNow Primary Quote that is most relevant to your business.
  • Create a custom formula currency field on Opportunity called Amount that coalesces (Amount Override, Amount (from Primary Quote), Amount (Seller Entered)). This field becomes your source of truth of Opportunity Amount, regardless of which data is available at a given time in the Opportunity's lifecycle.
  • Hide the native Salesforce Opportunity Amount field. Use your newly created custom Amount field on page layouts and for reporting.

Pro tip: If there are additional fields you'd like to report

For example, you may have selected Incremental ARR as your Opportunity Amount measure. But, you may also want TCV on your Opportunity. To accomplish this, create additional formula fields on Opportunity that reference the MonetizeNow Primary Quote.