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When it comes to Salesforce, it’s a safe bet to say that as your organization changes over time, so will your Salesforce org. 

Maybe your longtime admins have left, taking with them their wealth of knowledge and know-how into why specific objects and fields are even used within your org. Or maybe your team has grown, and as you’ve onboarded new members they’ve inherited an org with massive amounts of customization with no documentation.  

Keeping an eye on your overall field usage is a key requirement for those managing Salesforce. Over time, it’s hard to lose track of this — especially if you’ve inherited a massive org with no documentation. 

The most successful Ops teams leverage their field usage to run an efficient org and free up space when they need to make important changes that can accelerate GTM teams.

Read on to learn some of the benefits you’ll discover by monitoring your Salesforce field usage.

What is Field Usage in Salesforce?

At its core, within your Salesforce org a field represents the data stored in the columns of your relational database. 

There are two primary types of fields that will usually be used within your Salesforce org – Standard and Custom. 

In order to have a better understanding of the benefits of monitoring your field usage, here’s a quick overview of these two types:

Standard Field:

These are the predefined fields in Salesforce that perform a standard task. Some of the more common standard fields include:

  • Created By
  • Owner
  • Last Modified By
  • Field Made during Object Creation

Custom Field 

As the name suggests, these are fields that can be entirely customized based on any requirements your org has. Users can create them in whatever way they desire, in which case having a way to monitor the field usage becomes a necessity to keep track of all your custom fields. However, there is a limit of 900 maximum custom fields per object allowed. So when those run out, it’s critical to monitor field usage and have a clear picture of which are safe to remove.

There is an exhaustive list of field names available within Salesforce, so being able to see what each field is used for is key to continuing to have a reliable Salesforce org.

Top Benefits of Monitoring Salesforce Field Usage

Your Salesforce org will essentially serve as a free-flowing pipeline of available data at any given moment. And your admins are the ones who serve as the gatekeepers to all that valuable information. With that in mind, there are several key benefits to monitoring your organization’s Salesforce field usage:

1. Increase GTM productivity

Stop watching your team scroll through dozens of unnecessary fields. Removing clutter from your page layouts can increase team productivity and make your sales teams love you. Bonus points if you can clear out some unneeded required fields from their process!

On the contrary, having a ton of clutter on any lead object will make it difficult to understand how your fields are being used, and lead to a slowdown in productivity as your team has to siphon through an excessive amount of fields. Salesforce clutter can also lead to confusion and hinder productivity for GTM teams. For example if a page is filled with tons of fields it can take them double the amount of time to find the critical info they need.

2. Discover underutilized fields

When monitoring your Salesforce field usage effectively, you will easily be able to see if any of your fields are being underutilized. 

To be clear– just because a field is underutilized doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. Identify population percentage across your entire org and create processes to automate or streamline the collection of data in underutilized, high value fields.

Take a field titled “Closed lost reason: as an example. Your sales team may not always take the time to provide a reason for why an opportunity was lost. BUT it’s highly important for marketing and product to drive higher quality leads and tend to product gaps. Identifying ways to simplify how this data is collected could mean a big win for your business long term.

One way to discover how your fields are being used is through our handy app FieldSpy which analyzes the field population percentage across your entire org.  

3. Manage against custom field limits 

While highly useful, custom fields have limitations within Salesforce. There is a 900 maximum hard limit on the total custom fields per object allowed. This means you may find yourself having to audit and rationalize your field usage for some of your objects, and having insight into your field usage can prevent the need to have to constantly go back and forth with your custom fields.

When regularly monitoring your fields, you can better grasp how your Salesforce org is running and whether your admins are fully equipped to be as productive as possible. The fear of new team members coming in and not having a clear view into how you’ve utilized your fields becomes less of a concern, and any roadblocks can be quickly overcome.

Best Salesforce Field Usage Apps

In order to have the best shot at monitoring your Salesforce field usage, you’re going to want to look into one of the apps available. Manual monitoring is a daunting, time consuming task, so save yourself some time and check out some of these that are available at the AppExchange:

Top 3 Salesforce Field Usage Apps
App Description
FieldSpy Delete fields quickly and confidently, and return to work that matters. This app allows you to analyze objects to discover field population percentages and whether they’re referenced in automation. See if fields are actively used with smart insights to guide cleanup
Field Trip Analyze the fields of any object, what percentage of records have that field populated, and the overall health of your data.
Juventas Set up the Analysis for all or any of the below Objects from an Admin screen:
Account, Contact, Case, Lead, Opportunity. This app also generates a report with the list of fields that are not used and can be considered for deletion.

Each of these apps offers the kind of reporting and insights you’re going to want to have as you monitor your Salesforce field usage. This leads to better strategic planning and the ability to more confidently perform any cleanup initiatives you may find you need.

Confidently Delete Fields With Sonar 

Removing the wrong fields in Salesforce can lead to headaches most admins and developers would like to avoid. Luckily with Change Intelligence from Sonar you can gain valuable insight into your fields. Use tags to easily see which fields or objects are used in other systems, need cleanup, or should be part of a broader Initiative. Once you have a better understanding, confidently remove any unused fields along with any other changes your organization may need. 

Try Sonar free today to gain the upper hand on your Salesforce field usage.