A Guide to Salesforce Record Types vs Page Layouts
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Do you want to customize the object pages that your Users see in Salesforce? Are you confused about how to go about it? Maybe you aren’t sure if you should be using page layouts or record types — particularly if the solution you need is a bit more complicated with multiple variables.

Often, users will find that Salesforce has two similar features or functions and it can be difficult to discern the differences between the two and identify the types of situations where using each is most appropriate.

Like Record Types vs. Page Layouts. Or Workflow Rules vs. Apex Triggers. In both examples, there is some overlap between how the two features are used and the type of results that they produce in your Salesforce system.

In this article, we’ll focus on the differences between Record Types and Page Layouts in Salesforce and how you can use both to customize what your users see, the data they have access to, and the business processes that they follow in Salesforce.

We’ll cover what both page layouts and record types are, what they aren’t, and outline some example situations of when it would be best to use both.

Salesforce Record Types — What They Are, How They Work & How to Use Them

salesforce record types


Record Types are used so that you can display different processes, picklist values, and object page layouts to different users in your Salesforce system.

Let’s expand a bit.

When we say ‘processes,’ we mean business processes. An example of this could include the lead status or opportunity stage. Different record types may use different steps on the way to converting a lead to a sale and that fact should be reflected in your system. We use Record Types to make that happen, and creating record types is simple.

For instance, you might create a record type that differentiates between your software sales and your professional services sales. Each would use different picklist values based on the individual needs of that Record Type. Different record types will use different picklist values and may use custom picklists.

Additionally, you can use multiple record types to display multiple page layouts. Let’s say a customer had purchased both your software offering and professional services in two separate sales processes — you could use two record types to display two page layouts on the same object.

SalesForce Page Layouts — What They Are, How They Work & How to Use Them

salesforce page layouts

Page layouts in Salesforce are used to control the layout of Salesforce pages. You can control the placements of buttons, fields, custom links, Visualforce, s-controls, and related lists on any object record page.

Page layouts are also used to determine which fields are marked as visible, read-only, or required on object record pages. They determine what data will be shown to what users.Nearly any element of a Salesforce object page is customizable using the standard page layout features or using custom Visualforce code.

Further — you can create custom page layouts for a specific group of users, such as your sales, finance, or support teams. Each user group could have a custom page layout that only shows them the data that is relevant to them.

In short, they are a tool for customizing the content, look, and feel of your record pages for your users.

It is also important to know that you can only apply one page layout to a specified group of users per object, per record type. For example, if your Accounts only have one record type, that means that you can only apply one page layout per profile. Record Types are used to extend this functionality and better segment users to display custom layouts.

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Record Types vs. Page Layouts Examples

Example #1: You have decided to bring your customer success team into Salesforce. They will need to see account information for new accounts moving forward, but not for existing accounts.

This is a straightforward use case. Since you are adding one new group of users that will require one additional view, you can use a single page layout and apply this to the customer success profile. There is no need to use record types in conjunction with page layouts in this example.

Example #2: Your sales team would like to implement different sales processes for leads, based on the potential size of the account, based on the number of employees (1-250, 251-1,000, 1,000-10,000, 10,000+). They will have to collect different information based on the size of the account.

This is a perfect example situation for using Salesforce record types.

Because you have four different buckets that you are using to categorize leads, each category will have its own sales process, and you can only assign one sales process to one record type. That means that we will need four record types. To display the information, you will need to create four page layouts and assign each its own record type.

A Guide to Salesforce Record Types vs Page Layouts


Test Thoroughly When Making Changes

Using both page layouts and record types is often necessary for ensuring the right people have access to the data they need, but it does come with concerns. When you use Salesforce page layouts, you are controlling who has access to (and can potentially edit and alter) specific data fields in your Salesforce database. It is important to know that removing a field from a page layout does not mean that a user can not access that data field, as they can still see it in their reports.

You have to test your changes thoroughly before you push them live to all users.

You do this to make sure that you haven’t overlooked anything, like certain user groups receiving access to data that isn’t relevant to them. Or new page layouts overwhelming your team with too much information, which can slow down sales processes and cause your teams to make mistakes when entering data, which would require cleansing your Salesforce data.

The easiest way to test page layouts and see how they look to different users by logging into Salesforce and testing as the user themselves, so long as your account sharing rules allow it.

Record Types vs. Page Layouts — Complementary Solutions

Page layouts and record types are used in conjunction with one another to customize the views of different types of users. While page layouts control what is shown on the page, record types are used to differentiate between different categories of users and segment user groups for object page customization.

Ensuring that the right people have access to the right information is critical for improving efficiency and minimizing frustration among your teams.

Page Layouts and Record Types Play a Critical Role in Data Management

Both page layouts and record types play a critical role in your Salesforce data management strategy. With customized page layouts, you can set and enforce the data points that your team will collect and utilize throughout the customer journey.

Insycle can help you to take control of your data management processes and deduplicate, cleanse, and standardize your data in bulk, and automatically at set intervals.

To try Insycle’s free trial, sign up below.

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