Partially Fixed

Timeline - Pros and Cons - (Thoughts and Feedback appreciated)

  • 21 November 2017
  • 31 replies
  • 1320 views

Userlevel 6
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As people have started using the Timeline feature, I was curious what everyone is finding or viewing as the Pros and Cons while putting this feature into play.   I thought I would start with a few thoughts and attempt to get people talking about how and why they use the feature or perhaps why they have chosen not to (yet).

Pros:

- one can sort or only show timeline data based on a specific activity type

- diary of events and account updates in one place

- draft notes for the next meeting and future discussion points for the account

- log calls, onsites, weekly updates, EBRs, latest Deal notes, At Risk Notes  (create a specific activity type for each)

- Given the SFDC widget, most others in the organization can see the Timeline data and find CSM updates one place






Cons:

- small to see/view/edit the information in
the GS widget - exploring ideas, but not sure we have many options based
on the SFDC account/opp page layout.

- (from what I know - disclaimer) the Timeline only accepts
manual entries and no way to auto-add entries like CTA completed or
Renewal closed.   Believe this functionality is on the GS roadmap for the rules engine to auto-add
entries into the Timeline.



Bottom Line:

- Overall, I believe most teams benefit by deciding on one or two places where ALL the
activity / account / deal notes live and the Timeline could easily be that place.

Thoughts, Feedback, alternative uses of the Timeline are welcomed !!

31 replies

Userlevel 3
@Jeff - did you figure out the "magic phrase" to make Timeline -> SFDC events sync work?  We had tasks syncing well but have since switched to events and nothing is coming over.
Userlevel 7
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Couple of things:



This knowledge article  says "While syncing to Salesforce Events, it’s mandatory to map the Date Time field to the End Date-Time field under Salesforce Fields."



Problem is, there is no end date time field on the Gainsight side, so you have to create a custom End Date field in order to map it to the Salesforce End Date Time field.







When I asked why there isn't a GS End Date time field already - if this is a mandatory requirement to sync to Events - I was told they didn't make a field available by default because it could break sync for customers who are running older versions of GS.  



Second thing - there apparently isn't a way to make this GS End Date field auto populate, so CSMs would have to manually set the End Date on the Timeline activity in order for the sync to process correctly because if that field is empty on ANY timeline record, it will break the sync (according to what L2 support told me).



Very clunky if you ask me.  We've decided just to sync everything to Tasks.  Not the preference but if sync is going to break everytime a CSM forgets to manually set the end date, that would cause too much maintenance.



Oh and it only goes back something like 14 days? (I may have that wrong, but it's a short window) so if you need records  prior to that to sync they won't get picked up.
Userlevel 3
Thanks for the explanation, Jeff.  It really is clunky.  I just went through the same thing with support and they built a "duration" field in order to get it to sync.  This actually wouldn't be terrible except that I can't require that field.  We're going to see how it goes though since it's pretty important to us that we sync as events and not tasks.  The fact that it's required but not built by default is baffling.  That means that every person that wants to use event sync basically has to work with support.

Is there any update on having the ability to import or bulk load Timeline events? We have events being tracked in another system and it would be great to have the ability to load them into Gainsight in an automated fashion instead of CSMs having manually copy and paste from the other system which is part of our core application.

Userlevel 6

Hello Everyone!

Happy to announce that Timeline is enhanced as per Gainsight Horizon Experience as part of the v6.18 release (SFDC / NXT). The Timeline Horizon Experience gives prominent space to high priority information as well as new options to search and filter Timeline. Users now have the ability to edit Activity Type after creating an activity, create and save Timeline views, preview attachments, manage drafts from a consolidated tab, and much more.

For more information on this feature, refer to the SFDC & NXT articles.

This feature is implemented in both SFDC and NXT versions.

Thanks for posting!

The editing window in Timeline is WAY TOO SMALL.  We started taking notes in other editors (Evernote, Word, etc.) and copying our notes over.

We also lost the ability to copy/paste pictures into a timeline entry (which is frequently needed) and have to attach them instead (which provides more fuel to edit notes in another source and just attach them, but then you lose the benefits of timeline which is to provide easy lookup of what was discussed with that client in the past).

There is way too much space provided for tasks.  Can you go back to having the date and owner on the same line as the task subject?  

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