This article shares workflow and activity management best practices, particularly for teams leveraging both Gainsight CTAs & Salesforce Activities. Since Gainsight is built on the Salesforce platform, we offer easy sharing & syncing of data between the apps. Below you’ll find guidance on how to think about workflow within the two solutions, and recommendations to increase visibility across organizations, where some teams are focused in Gainsight and others are oriented in SFDC.
Gainsight Definitions & Feature Descriptions
Call to Action (CTA):
- Notification to prompt a customer engagement
- Engagements typically fall into 3 high level categories:
- Addressing Risk
- Identifying Opportunity
- Planning for key Events
- Customers also have the ability to create additional Custom CTA Types as required by their teams
- CTAs can be triggered automatically via a Rule, or created manually by a user
- Tasks live underneath Calls to Action; they outline the specific steps that need to be taken to appropriately address the CTA
- Tasks are optional (ie., you can have a CTA without any tasks)
- Tasks can be created manually by a user, or automated via a Rule
- A playbook is composed of a group of tasks that can be pre-configured to outline a best practice play
- Example: You may have a Risk Call to Action due to a ‘Detractor Survey Response’ - you can build a playbook which outlines the steps to take in order to effectively manage that customer Risk
- Playbooks also allow for dynamic task due date assignment
- The CTA itself has one primary owner
- The Tasks underneath a particular CTA can be assigned to one or more owners. Assigning to multiple owners allows for visibility & coordination in situations where multiple points of contact will be working on the same customer engagement (CTA)
Viewing CTAs & Tasks:
- Cockpit is the core workflow area within Gainsight and is the primary location for viewing and taking action on CTAs & Tasks
- Viewing options within Cockpit are dynamic; a user can view CTAs by Owner, High-Level Reasons, Priorities, Due Dates, etc.
- The Customer360 Page also includes a Cockpit View, where you can view/action any relevant CTAs/Tasks (Closed or Open) for an individual customer
- The Gainsight Widget on SFDC Account & Opportunity Pages will also provide the Cockpit view for each customer
- You can build Gainsight Reports on the Call to Action or Task Object, to report on CTAs & Tasks
For more details about Gainsight Cockpit, refer to CTAs, Tasks, & Playbooks Overview.
For information on SFDC Activities, refer to the SFDC article Plan and Track Meetings and Tasks.
To enable Sales users to view CTAs and tasks created in Gainsight, they need to have at least read access into the Call to Action object in order to view them. Without read access, they will get an insufficient permissions error in SFDC when they try to view tasks.
Best Practices: Visibility and Collaboration Across Gainsight and SFDC
Why should my CSMs work in Gainsight Cockpit instead of SFDC Activities?
We recommend that your CSMs work directly from Gainsight Cockpit for managing their customer engagements & workflow. While SFDC was built with Sales Reps in mind, Cockpit was built specifically as the hub for CSMs, helping to track, plan & prioritize customer engagements. Here are a few of the benefits of using Cockpit for this purpose:
- CTAs are strategic, rather than tactical: A CTA is focused on a coherent initiative with a customer, which will likely take multiple steps to address. The CTA + Playbook/Tasks allows the CSM to plan & execute appropriately, for each step in the process. For longer term initiatives, leverage Success Plans in order to ensure alignment with your customers long term strategy.
- CTA Types map to CSM workflow: CTAs are categorized as Risks, Opportunity & Events and represent the fundamental priorities of a CSM. Categorizations of these CTA types can also be linked with other Gainsight functionality, including driving a Gainsight Health score measure, or providing a list of all core risks within the CSM org.
- Playbooks Enable Standardization: Ensure CSMs are following best practice processes by standardizing on a CTA playbook which can be used across the org & geos.
- Access to Best Practices: Take advantage of Gainsight Vault, which allows your team to download industry best practice playbooks for use in your instance of Gainsight.
- Cross-functional coordination: Shared ownership or collaboration on a CTA between multiple stakeholders via dynamic task owner assignment. Chatter can also be integrated with CTAs, allowing your team to post comments & notes that are visible in the Chatter feed across the organization. For more information on Chatter integration, refer to Chatter: Integration Overview.
- Dynamic Task Assignment: Flexibility in assigning & resetting CTA Task & Due Dates.
- Automate Milestones: Ability to turn any CTA into a Milestone that is visible on the customer timeline (example: Executive Business Review). Provides perspective as to how core customer milestones are impacting adoption & health.
How do I give my Sales Team (who live in SFDC) visibility into what CSMs are doing in Gainsight?
- Syncing GS Tasks to Activities: We recommend syncing CSM tasks from Gainsight to SFDC, so they’re viewable to the Sales Team in SFDC Activities. For more information on how to sync tasks, refer to How to Create Playbooks.
- Gainsight Widget (via Gainsight Sales License): Exposing the Gainsight widget on the SFDC Account Page provides visibility to core Gainsight customer data including customer Healthscore, Cockpit Details, Success Plans & Usage Data. For more information on activating widgets, refer to Set up Gainsight Sales View (aka, widgets).
How do I give my CSMs (who live in Gainsight) visibility into what the Sales Team is doing in SFDC?
- We recommend creating a Related List on the Customer360 Page, which shows all open and closed SFDC Activities. This allows CSMs to easily see recent & pending engagements with the customer that are owned by other members of the organization. For more information on building C360 related lists, refer to Configure the Customer360 Details (C360) Page & Section Types.
If I’m a CSM working on a customer engagement with Sales, what’s the best joint workflow process?
- We recommend the CSM owns a CTA in Gainsight and assigns a supporting task to the Sales Rep. Ensure the task is synced to SFDC and the Sales rep can pick it up, work and close it out - all of this will be visible to the CSM in Gainsight.
If I’m in Sales and want to assign an action to a CSM, what’s the best way to do this?
- Create a CTA from the Gainsight Widget on the Account Page and assign the CSM as owner. Note, you will need to have permissions to Edit Gainsight Objects (not just View).
Additional FAQs on Gainsight and SFDC Syncing
How can I sync Gainsight Tasks to SFDC Activities?
- You can sync individual Gainsight Tasks to SFDC Activities. These tasks will then be viewable in Activities on the SFDC Account Page. For more information on how to enable sync & task mapping, refer to Configure Cockpit: CTA Types, Reasons, Priority, etc. There are two options for how to sync tasks:
- Manual Sync: user has the option to manually sync individual tasks directly from the Cockpit UI
- Auto-Sync: Elect to sync all Gainsight tasks to SFDC Activities
If a task is synced from Gainsight, will the SFDC Activity automatically update as the task progresses in Gainsight?
- Yes; the synced task in SFDC will reflect changes made to the task, including status changes (moving from open to closed, etc). It will also reflect any comments included on the task.
Is this a bi-directional sync?
- Yes; any changes made to the synced task in SFDC will reflect back to Gainsight.
Can I sync a Gainsight Task to another SFDC Object (Opportunity or Contact)?
- No. At the moment, tasks can only sync to the SFDC Account Object.
Can I link Opportunities to CTAs?
- Yes; this is performed manually by the CSM from the CTA.
- This will require an initial set up within Admin > Cockpit Configuration.
- You can select all Opportunity Fields that you would like to have viewable or editable from right within the CTA. For more information on configuring object linking, refer to Configure Call to Action (CTA) & Tasks Detail View Layouts.
- Can I close the Opportunity from the CTA?
- Yes; if you bring in the Status field, then closing the CTA will close the SFDC Opportunity.
- Best Practice Tip: link Renewal CTAs to their Renewal Opportunities, and easily edit forecast probabilities and opportunity notes from the CTA.
Can I copy data from Gainsight to SalesForce?
- Yes; using the Gainsight Rules Engine, you can load data from Gainsight to SFDC fields.
Can Gainsight automatically create tasks assigned to other SFDC users based on actions taken within Gainsight?
- Yes; when we trigger a Call to Action with an associated playbook, playbook tasks can automatically be assigned based on a role field or assigned to an individual. Those tasks can be synced to Salesforce for non-full-Gainsight users .