Director of Revenue Operations
Everything Admins, Release Managers, and Developers Need to Know About This AI Chatbot
It seems like everyone’s talking about ChatGPT—but how useful is it really? In our essential guide to ChatGPT for Salesforce teams, I explain what ChatGPT is, give you some background on it, and discuss what to do to get it online so it draws on current data.
Then I explain how admins, release managers, and developers can best leverage ChatGPT to do their jobs more efficiently. At the same time, I list some pitfalls to watch out for with the tool in its current free research version.
Finally, I provide some tips and tricks on how to make the most out of ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is an generative language model developed by OpenAI, a prominent AI research lab. The acronym “GPT” comes from “Generative Pre-Training Transformer,” which is the architecture OpenAI used as a foundation for the model. It was fine tuned using both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. ChatGPT’s release date was in November 2022.
OpenAI designed ChatGPT for natural language processing tasks, meaning that you can engage with the app in a conversational manner. Based on the vast number of web pages it has indexed, it can help you find information you request.
Note, however, that the free research preview was only trained on data up to September 2021. Fortunately, there’s a way to get around this. More about that later.
If you’re wondering how to get ChatGPT, here’s the good news: It’s free! (For now, at least. OpenAI is planning to release a paid version in the near future that will cost $20 per month.)
Just go to chat.OpenAI.com, and register for an account. You’ll need to provide an email address and phone number, after which you’ll receive a verification code. Enter it, accept the terms and conditions, and simply start writing in the prompt field.
When it comes to accessing ChatGPT, high demand could pose a problem. In my experience, once you’ve signed up for an account, it’s usually quite easy to get to the app. However, you might have to try quite a few times before you can even sign up. Fortunately, ChatGPT will entertain you while you’re waiting by writing funny limericks, raps, and scenes from screenplays.
But hey—didn’t Marc Benioff just announce the release of EinsteinGPT? Why shouldn’t you just wait for that instead of figuring out how to use the original ChatGPT? Salesforce will likely provide something that’s more tailored to the Salesforce platform, after all.
Well, you’ve got a point, but there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind. Salesforce hasn’t yet announced exactly what EinsteinGPT’s capabilities will be. Benioff referred to generating leads, closing deals, and writing reports (with jokes included).
But it’s unclear as of right now whether it will have any other features. We’ll probably learn more at Salesforce DX on March 7.
At the same time, if Salesforce tailors EinsteinGPT towards the Salesforce platform, it might not have such a wide range of use cases as the original tool. So it’s worth learning your way around ChatGPT either way. (And if it’s not useful in Salesforce, you can always ask it to write sonnets for your fur baby.)
As I mentioned above, ChatGPT was only trained on data up to September 2021. Fortunately, there’s a Chrome plugin that connects ChatGPT to the internet. It’s called WebChatGPT, and it works nicely.
After installing the plugin, you’ll see a toggle at the bottom of your screen that says “Web access.” You can choose to have it on or off, depending on what you’re working on.
When using WebChatGPT, you sometimes have to refresh your browser before entering a follow-up prompt, but that seems to be the only drawback.
WebChatGPT works like this: When you enter a prompt, it does an internet search and chooses three sources to base an answer on. It cites the snippets of text it’s referring to, and then generates a conclusion.
Pretty neat, right?
Without WebChatGPT, if you’re looking for information about a more recent development, you’re out of luck.
For example, I asked ChatGPT how to build a pipeline in Salesforce DevOps Center—without internet access enabled. its answer really wasn’t relevant. It provided global instructions regarding the change management process in Salesforce. And when I asked it for a link for further research, it provided a bogus URL.
This isn’t surprising, because DevOps Center has only been in GA since December 2022, and most of the resources about it started appearing after the public beta in June 2022. So without WebChatGPT, the app has no way of knowing this.
Now it’s time for the good stuff—how you can use ChatGPT to be more efficient in Salesforce!
Before we begin, however, note that if you ask ChatGPT how it can help you do your job better, it might come up with some suggestions that are based on an integration with Salesforce. My research shows that there are several developers who’ve created scripts for this, but how effective they are, I don’t know.
ChatGPT will also likely suggest providing you with resources where you can learn more about specific Salesforce topics. If you’re not using the WebChatGPT plugin, the links go nowhere. So there’s that.
So how can ChatGPT help you in your daily job?
I’m not going to attempt to describe all the different ChatGPT uses because I suspect there are even more than we can imagine. But I’ll provide some general guidelines on how admins, release managers, and developers can incorporate the app into their workflow to streamline processes and become more effective.
As an admin, you’re always swamped. So it’s good to know you can absolutely use ChatGPT to speed things up significantly. Here are a few use cases for ChatGPT.
Ask the app questions related to the Salesforce platform and its features. Make sure to have WebChatGPT installed for this, so you know you’re getting up to date information.
Ask it for best practices for managing your Salesforce orgs (or some other aspect of Salesforce) to ensure you’re optimizing the use of all your environments.
ChatGPT can help identify issues such as errors or bugs in next to no time. You can use its troubleshooting guidance to quickly resolve issues so you can focus on more strategic work.
Use ChatGPT to write instructions on how to automate routine tasks and workflows like generating reports and updating records based on predefined triggers and rules.
However, note that the app doesn’t always provide accurate instructions for more complex tasks. For instance, I provided the following prompt:
Generate step-by-step instructions for junior admins on how to create a Salesforce flow for the following scenario: “Everybody at the company gets excited when a new deal is won. Create a new flow to let everyone know the minute this happens, leveraging public groups and email alerts. The flow can fire when a deal is moved to stage ‘Closed Won’ (or whatever your win stage is) and send an email to members of the group that includes information like which rep owned the Opportunity, the name of the new customer, the deal size, and any other information that’s valuable.”
This was the response:
Sure, I can help you with that! Here are the steps to create a flow for your use case:
That’s it! Now whenever an Opportunity is moved to the win stage, the flow will trigger and send an email notification to the appropriate public group or user with the relevant information.
I reviewed the response, and here are my edits:
Clearly, ChatGPT is not infallible. It got it about 50 percent right. That’s why it’s always best to review the app’s output carefully and if you’re not sure about something, ask a knowledgeable colleague.
ChatGPT can also help release managers be more effective—and reduce some of their heavy workload. Here’s how.
ChatGPT can offer guidance on best practices for Salesforce release management. This can help you optimize your process so you can do more with less.
You can ask ChatGPT to generate test scripts and analyze test results. This saves a considerable amount of time and lets you identify and fix issues more quickly. Make sure to review the scripts before using them to make sure they actually do what you want them to.
Creating release schedules can be challenging at the best of times, especially considering the many factors you have to take into account. But now, you can let ChatGPT do the heavy lifting for you!
Just input all relevant data, such as your team’s velocity, prioritized backlog, dependencies, and timelines. The app will analyze it and generate a detailed release plan with the release date, milestones, and specific tasks you need to complete before the release date.
Here’s an example:
Time saver? I’d say so!
Developers can make exhaustive use of ChatGPT to speed up their workflow.
Yes, ChatGPT can write code. Even Apex. And it can take your natural language input and write flawless code. Check out this ChatGPT coding example.
I entered the prompt:
Write the Apex code for a Salesforce flow that triggers an announcement email to the entire company every time a deal is closed.
Here’s the response:
Interesting tidbit: It took me longer to write the prompt than it took ChatGPT to provide the response. The app generated this code snippet in under five seconds.
Another excellent way to use ChatGPT to streamline your workflow is to use it to pinpoint errors and bugs. All you have to do is copy and paste the code into the prompt field and ask ChatGPT to review it.
If the app detects any errors, it calls them out and suggests corrections.
These are just a few ways you can use ChatGPT to help you professionally. But how helpful the tool is depends on how well you use it. (Fun fact: There are already so-called “prompt engineers” who specialize in creating prompts for AI, including ChatGPT.)
Here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of ChatGPT:
And there you have it. ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can do a wide range of things, but it’s still in its infancy and, like any toddler, messes up on occasion. So always review and verify its output before applying its suggestions. When you use ChatGPT appropriately, it can already help you work more efficiently and effectively in Salesforce—and as the app matures, it will only expand its capabilities.
Will ChatGPT replace developers in Salesforce?
No, ChatGPT will not replace developers for the foreseeable future. While generative language models are capable of performing some aspects of coding like writing boilerplate code or generic functions, they don’t yet have the ability to think critically and strategically. In addition, they can’t generate new concepts. Instead, it’s likely that developers will learn how to leverage ChatGPT to perform tasks more efficiently and effectively so they have more time for higher-value work.
Does ChatGPT save conversations?
ChatGPT does save conversations, but not reliably. Sometimes, the app stalls, and when you refresh the page, you often lose your chat history. That can be frustrating when you’re using the app for instructions or information for a project. There are various browser extensions that let you save and export your chat history—however, their functionalities and quality vary. You’re best advised to do some research and determine which one is right for your purposes.