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 whether you should use page layouts or record types—particularly if you need to include multiple data types on the page.
Often, users will find that Salesforce has two similar features or functions. It can be challenging to discern the differences between the two and identify the types of situations where using each is most appropriate.
Here are two examples of similar pairings: Record Types vs. Page Layouts and 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 can access, and the business processes they follow in Salesforce.
We’ll cover Page Layouts and Record Types: what they are, what they aren’t, and when you should use each one.
Salesforce Record Types: What They Are, How They Work, and How to Use Them
Salesforce Record Type Creation Screen
Record Types in Salesforce allow you to display different business processes, picklist values, and page layouts to different users based on the information in their profiles.
Let’s expand a bit.
By “business processes,” we mean things like the lead status or opportunity stage. Different types of records may use different steps on the way to converting a lead to a sale, and that fact should be reflected in your system. You can use Record Types to make that happen.
For instance, you might create a type of record that differentiates between your software sales and your professional services sales. Each would use different picklist values within the customer profile based on the type of services they are interested in. For example, a picklist field for a lead that is a fit for services instead of software might populate with the types of consulting that lead may be a fit for.
Additionally, you can use multiple Record Types to display multiple page layouts. Let’s say a customer had purchased 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, and How to Use Them
Salesforce Page Layouts Screen for the Contact Object
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 feature or custom Visualforce code.
Further, you can customize the layout of a page 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 contains the data that is relevant to them.
In short, Page Layouts are a tool for customizing the content, look, and feel of record pages for your users.
It is also essential 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. You can use Record Types to extend this functionality and better segment users to display custom layouts.
When to Use Record Types vs. Page Layouts
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 requiring 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 as measured by the number of employees in the company (1-250, 251-1,000, 1,000-10,000, 10,000+). Team members will have to collect different information depending on the account size.
This is a perfect 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 record type to one sales process. That means that we will need four record types, one for each sales process. To display the information, you will need to create four Page Layouts and assign each its own Record Type.
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 control who has access and edit specific data fields in your Salesforce database. You could specify that the user will still be able to access the data through reports, but will not be able to edit it.
You must test your changes thoroughly before you push them live to all users.
Then you can ensure you haven’t overlooked anything, like certain user groups receiving access to data that isn’t relevant to them. You can also ensure that new Page Layouts do not overwhelm your team with too much information. This 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 is 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 to 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 pages, you can set and enforce the data points that your team will collect and utilize throughout the customer journey.
Insycle enables operations teams to fix CRM data quality issues in bulk and automate data maintenance processes. Without Insycle, the cost of bad data is a major blind spot for marketing and sales leaders and a roadblock for execution by their teams.
Want to learn more about how Insycle can help you improve your Salesforce data quality. Click here to learn more.