What Is Idea Management in Salesforce: Understanding the Power of Innovation

15 min read

Ever heard the saying “The customer is always right”? Well, there’s a reason it’s become an integral principle for businesses worldwide. After all, who better to shape the direction of your products and services than the very people using them? Customer ideas are like golden nuggets, offering invaluable insights into their needs and desires. By listening closely to their feedback and suggestions, businesses can tailor their offerings to meet customer expectations and stay ahead in the market.

So, welcome to the world of idea management in Salesforce, where the invaluable input from various stakeholders – whether customers, partners, or employees – serves as the catalyst for driving product and service improvements. Let’s get started!

Understanding Idea Management

What is idea management? By an idea management we understand a structured approach to gathering, evaluating, and implementing ideas, insights and feedback from various sources, such as employees, customers, and partners. It’s all about having a dedicated idea management system in place to collect and turn innovative thoughts and feedback into actionable strategies.

For example, a technology company may use ideation to gather feedback and collect ideas from users about their experience with the company’s software or application. A manufacturing company may implement ideation to solicit ideas from employees on optimizing production processes and increasing efficiency on the factory floor. A healthcare provider may seek ideas from industry partners, such as medical device manufacturers or pharmaceutical companies, to develop innovative healthcare solutions. There are millions of use cases with the certain outcome – a successful company that beats the market and conquers the hearts of its customers.

Why is idea management important?

Idea management, widely known as ideation, is the lifeblood of innovation. It allows businesses to tap into the collective intelligence to generate fresh product/service ideas and solutions to stay competitive, adapt to changing market conditions, and seize new opportunities for growth.

Idea management is vital when it comes to relationships with customers. A report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that 46% of respondents believe that idea management tools have helped their organizations improve customer experience. By using feedback and ideas directly from customers, organizations can develop products and services that are tailored to their preferences, ultimately leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty. So, it’s not just about coming up with new innovative ideas; it’s about making your customers feel more satisfied and loyal to your brand.

And remember, building the wrong solution is more expensive, and takes more time than ideation.

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    Idea Management in Salesforce

    Before explaining what is idea management in Salesforce, let’s define what is meant by “idea” in this context. Ideas are suggestions posted by members of an ideas community and organized by zones. For example, if the focus of a particular zone is “Home improvement,” an appropriate idea for that zone could have the title “Smart thermostat with motion sensor technology.” Similarly, if the focus of another zone is “Education,” an appropriate idea might be titled “Tutoring program for employees’ children.”

    With that in mind, let’s delve into the concepts of idea and innovation management within Salesforce. With Salesforce, businesses can create a structured way to generate and work on ideas within the organization. Salesforce offers an Idea object that serves for establishing idea management processes in your org. You can even enable Ideas on your Experience Cloud site to allow users to post, vote for, and comment on ideas. To do so, you’ll need to enable the Ideas for your org first, then configure it according to your needs and create one or more zones to organize ideas into logical groups and associate the zones with the Experience Cloud site. However, it’s important to remember the limitations.

    ideas salesforce

    Limitations to keep in mind

    The Ideas object is currently not supported in Salesforce Lightning and is only available in the Classic user interface, which means there’s the need to constantly switch to the Classic interface to manage new ideas in the Salesforce org. However, there is a third-party idea management software, AC Ideas Ultimate, that does just what’s requested and is completely compatible with Salesforce Lightning Experience, allowing for managing all data in LEX!

    By implementing AC Ideas Ultimate, you can offer your own Ideas community for your customers or partners to submit product feedback and suggest new features for brainstorming, and establish a clear idea management platform in Lightning Experience.

    idea management salesforce

    Salesforce Experience Cloud for Collecting Ideas

    Experience Cloud offers Salesforce users a convenient drag-and-drop tool for constructing websites directly on the Salesforce platform, connected to the Salesforce CRM. The platform acts as a bridge between the user and internal Salesforce data, facilitating easy interaction with CRM data. With Experience Cloud, users can create impressive portals and sites for gathering ideas and feedback from customers, employees, or partners, offering a centralized hub for idea management. Here, users can submit ideas, vote on suggestions, and engage in discussions to shape the future of products and services.

    From support and partner portals to membership or fundraising sites, you can integrate an idea management process into any Experience Cloud site. Whether in IT and high-tech, manufacturing, nonprofit, or higher education, gathering new ideas and feedback from your users is crucial for continuous growth. Therefore, whether you’re already using Salesforce or considering a switch, don’t overlook Salesforce idea management as an opportunity to stay competitive in the market and expand your business.

    And if limitations for managing data in Salesforce Lightning Experience are what stop you from implementing an innovation process in your company – go for the AC Ideas Ultimate app, a dedicated idea management software specifically designed for idea management within LEX.

    What you can do with the AC Ideas Ultimate LEX-native idea management software

    • Tailor your idea management process with zones support, making it uniquely suited to your organization’s needs.
    • Easily rank and prioritize ideas based on various factors like votes, effort, or value, ensuring you focus on what matters most.
    • Use the ideas matrix to analyze feedback and pinpoint top-performing concepts, guiding your innovation strategy.
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    • Launch idea campaigns to curate idea collections around specific topics.
    • Streamline the journey from conception to realization by navigating all new ideas and feedback in an easy-to-use and visually clear Kanban table.
    • Link ideas to Salesforce Cases and Opportunities. Convert Cases into ideas and link them to Opportunities for quick wins. Create new ideas from Cases, and prioritize those related to Opportunities.
    • Integrate with Jira for smoother idea management and tracking.
    • Boost engagement and encourage active participation in ideation processes from your team and stakeholders by using a reputation feature.
    • Use Idea Flagging to easily identify and gather support or opposition for key ideas.
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    • Implement custom fields to gather specific information relevant to your organization’s needs.
    • Create custom reports and dashboards to visualize data and track progress to ensure efficient innovation management.

    The Power of Idea Management in Business Strategy

    Idea management holds incredible power in shaping business strategy. Having a robust idea management system can truly set your company apart. It’s not just about collecting ideas; it’s about creating a culture of innovation and creativity where every voice is heard. When you tap into the collective wisdom of your team and your customers, amazing things can happen. You can discover new opportunities, solve complex problems, and provide the experiences your customers expect. All of these factors will help you stay competitive and ahead of the market. And when your customers feel truly heard, valued, and understood, they will not only love your product, but they will also become your most loyal advocates. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of any business?

    Let’s explore the key benefits of having an innovation management system in place for each business:

    Idea generation and capture

    With an efficient idea management process in place, companies get a structured approach to generate, capture, and evaluate ideas from employees, customers, and other stakeholders, ensuring that valuable initiatives are not overlooked and can be effectively utilized to drive innovation.

    Efficient idea evaluation and selection

    Innovation management systems typically include tools for evaluating and prioritizing ideas based on predefined criteria such as feasibility, impact, and alignment with strategic objectives. Just what AC Ideas Ultimate idea management software for Salesforce Experience Cloud offers. This feature streamlines the selection process, allowing for focusing on the most promising innovative initiatives with the greatest potential for success.

    Faster time-to-market

    By systematically managing the innovation process from idea generation to implementation, businesses can expedite the development and launch of new and more advanced products, services, or processes, thus, capitalizing on market opportunities more quickly and stay ahead of competitors.

    Risk mitigation and resource optimization

    An idea management platform allows businesses to assess the risks associated with implementing new ideas and allocate resources more effectively. By identifying potential obstacles early in the process, organizations can mitigate risks and optimize resource allocation to maximize return on investment.

    Continuous improvement and adaptation

    When a business uses an idea management program, it encourages ongoing experimentation, iteration, and learning. By capturing feedback and insights from stakeholders, organizations can refine their innovations over time to better meet evolving customer needs and market dynamics.

    Competitive advantage and market differentiation

    By establishing a culture of innovation and consistently bringing new and improved offerings to market, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and maintain a competitive edge. This allows them to attract and retain customers, drive growth, and strengthen their position in the marketplace.

    Learn more about idea generation and the use of idea management software in Salesforce in our blog below.

    Maximizing Feedback and Ideas to Enhance Products and Services

    No matter what industry you're in or the size of your business, customer feedback and idea sharing are absolute game-changers when it comes to enhancing products and services. In this article, we will highlight the remarkable capabilities of AC Ideas Ultimate, a powerful Salesforce ideas management app designed for Experience Cloud.
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    Best Practices for Setting Up Idea Management on Salesforce

    Define clear objectives

    Clearly define the objectives and goals of your idea management initiative. Determine what you hope to achieve through idea generation, such as improving products/services, increasing efficiency, or beat the market.

    Assign responsibilities

    Assign roles and responsibilities to individuals or teams responsible for managing the idea management process. If using Salesforce, your Salesforce admin will take care of the Salesforce platform and Experience Cloud site. You’ll also need someone to handle idea evaluation and champions to promote participation.

    Encourage participation

    Encourages active participation in idea generation within Salesforce. Use recognition, or rewards for submitting valuable ideas to encourage engagement and involvement from Salesforce users. This feature is readily available in the AC Ideas Ultimate package for Experience Cloud.

    Implement feedback mechanisms

    Establish feedback mechanisms to provide timely feedback to idea contributors. Make sure to acknowledge and respond to their ideas, whether they’re accepted or not, to show that you value their input.

    Use Salesforce-native apps

    Use idea management software like AC Ideas Ultimate to gather feedback from your Experience Cloud site and manage ideas internally in Lightning Experience. The app offers additional great features that make idea submission, voting, commenting, and tracking more efficient. These features include Ideas Matrix, Zones support, Idea Flagging, native support for Jira, Idea Campaigns, and more.

    Monitor progress and measure success

    Regularly monitor the progress of the idea management initiative and track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. Evaluate metrics such as the number of ideas submitted, implementation rates, impact on business outcomes, and user engagement to assess the effectiveness of the process. This is all possible with the native Salesforce reports & dashboards.

    Real Use Case: Using LEX-Native Idea Management Software in Experience Cloud

    Here, we want to provide you with a real-life example of using AC Ideas Ultimate for establishing idea management in the IT company using Salesforce Experience Cloud.

    BigCommerce is known for providing a robust and flexible e-commerce solutions that empowers more than 60,000 businesses to create and manage successful online stores. BigCommerce approached Advanced Communities with the request to build a Help Center on Experience Cloud and establish a knowledge management system with the ideas functionality so that BigCommerce could provide better customer support and gather product/feature ideas for future solution enhancements. Advanced Communities created a beautiful customer portal with custom design and implemented AC Knowledge Management Enterprise application alongside the AC Ideas Ultimate app to fulfill the client’s requirements.

    The results spoke for themselves as the organization significantly improved customer support processes and started gathering valuable customer feedback and insight for future product improvements. Right after implementing all Advanced Communities’ solutions, BigCommerce Help Center earned a prestigious Salesforce Bolty Award and garnered recognition as one of the most innovative sites on the Salesforce Experience Cloud platform.

    Case Study

    Explore how Advanced Communities helped BigCommerce to provide its cus­tomers with intuitive and user-friendly access to the documentation and support they need.

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    What do you mean by idea management in Salesforce?

    What is idea management in Salesforce? It refers to the process of gathering, evaluating, and implementing ideas within the Salesforce platform. It involves using Salesforce’s built-in features or third-party idea management tools to collect suggestions, feedback, and proposals from various stakeholders such as employees, customers, and partners. These ideas are then reviewed, prioritized, and potentially turned into actionable projects or enhancements to Salesforce products, services, or internal processes.

    In Salesforce, idea management typically involves using the “Ideas” feature, which allows users to submit, discuss, and vote on ideas for improving Salesforce functionality.

    Can I manage ideas in Salesforce Lightning Experience (LEX)?

    Yes, you can establish an efficient idea management program in your Salesforce Experience Cloud site and manage all data internally in Lightning user interface without the need to switching to Salesforce Classic. It’s all possible with the AC Ideas Ultimate application for Experience Cloud. Download the app from the AppExchange platform to enjoy all the benefits of managing and evaluating ideas in LEX.

    Whether you’re looking to establish ideas management directly within the Salesforce for HR environment, optimize customer feedback processes within the customer portal, or enhance product development workflows within the partner site, AC Ideas Ultimate is the perfect solution. The app offers customizable features to tailor the idea management process according to your specific needs. You can easily configure workflows, permissions, and notifications to streamline idea submission, review, and implementation.

    What is idea exchange in Salesforce?

    Salesforce offers its own Ideas community for Salesforce users to submit product feedback and suggest new features – Idea Exchange. The platform serves as a collaborative space where users can share, discuss, and vote on ideas for improving Salesforce products and services. It functions as a central hub for gathering feedback from the Salesforce community, including customers, partners, and developers. Users can submit ideas for new features, enhancements, or changes to existing functionalities, providing detailed descriptions and use cases to support their proposals. Other community members can then review and vote on these ideas, expressing their support or offering additional insights and suggestions. The voting system helps prioritize ideas based on their popularity and perceived value to the community. Salesforce actively monitors the idea exchange, engaging with users to gather feedback, clarify requirements, and provide updates on the status of submitted ideas. Periodically, Salesforce evaluates the most popular and feasible ideas for implementation in upcoming releases, demonstrating its commitment to customer-driven innovation.

    To visit Salesforce Ideas Exchange, go to

    By actively engaging with the community and incorporating user feedback, Salesforce demonstrates its dedication to continuously improving its products and services to better meet the needs of its users. So, whether you’re a Salesforce customer, partner, or developer, your input matters, and the Idea Exchange is the place to share your thoughts and contribute to the evolution of Salesforce.

    What are the objectives of idea management system in Salesforce?

    The main goal of the idea management process in Salesforce is to gather, evaluate, and implement ideas and feedback from different stakeholders to:

    • Encourage collaboration
    • Drive innovation
    • Enhance user experience
    • Prioritize improvements
    • Ensure further development and growth
    • Accelerate time-to-marketIf you need help establishing an efficient idea management platform on your Experience Cloud site, the Advanced Communities team is here for you. With over 15 years of experience building stunning Experience Cloud sites and developing and implementing Salesforce-native apps, this is our expertise from the inside out. Feel free to reach outto us to discuss your needs or request a demo of our products.

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