The Layout Group tool combines several disparate functions into one strategic location. In addition to actually designing record "layouts"—moving the various fields around to present information to the users—the Layout Groups tool also has functionality to create new database fields, rename/relabel data fields, and add/remove/edit options within dropdown fields.
Anytime you need to make changes to fields and field parameters, the Manage Layout Groups tool is great place to start.
By definition, a Layout in InsideSales.com is the function that defines the physical appearance of record objects in the database. They structure the raw data fields floating around in MySQL and give them visible "form and substance."
The Manage Layout Groups tool is comprised of two elements:
Notice that the Layout Group tool breaks up a record's layout into two sections: a View Layout, and an Edit Layout. As a result, it's possible for a record object's layout to be different depending on how a user works with it.
If a user is viewing a record, but not editing it, the View Layout controls what they see. If they're editing the record, then the Edit Layout is the one in charge.
Still confused? What it means is that depending on how a Layout Group is designed, a user may have an entirely different view of a record when merely looking at it versus making changes to it.
And why would an organization want to design a Layout Group that way? you might ask.
In most cases they don't—95%+ of our clients want the View Layout and the Edit Layout for each object type to be exactly the same. Luckily, InsideSales.com makes it very easy to this, by letting you mirror the View and Edit layouts. In the dropdown for each layout view, simply choose the same layout for both sides.
By default, all of your layouts will be mirrored initially, and most companies won't want to change this. Typically a company uses split layouts only when it's absolutely critical that the data in certain fields never be deleted or modified (if a field isn't in the Edit Layout View, it's pretty hard to change it).
The advantages of mirrored layouts are consistency and ease of management. The Sysadmin isn't forced to update two different layouts every time they make a change to a record view, saving time and work. Unless you have a compelling reason otherwise, stick with mirrored layouts.
An extension of your control over data visibility is the View Settings tool. It contains the components Data View (Data Employees) and Layout Groups and is accessible from any page in the LMP as the link in the upper-right of your underlined Name Date Time.
When you click this link it opens a small pop-up window radio button selections for Data View and Layout Groups. Note: Though they're related, don't confuse the Data View capabilities of the View Settings tool with that of Data View Permissions settings on the Employee Information page.
This tool is potentially available to each user in the system to set which users' data they want to be able to view and which of their available layout groups they want to use to display data, such as on lead and deal records. There is not system-wide control panel for these settings, so each user will configure this within their own CRM login. Depending on your security policies you (the SysAdmin) may need to login as each user, apply your settings, login as SysAdmin again and disable access to the View Settings tool.
A security policy you may adopt for your team is to restrict data access for Basic Page Permissions group members to only what they need to perform specific tasks within the database. You can begin (preferably after hours) by enabling the View Settings tool link for Basic users within the Manage Permissions link under the Administrative tab. Navigate to Basic and search under the Administrative section for "Link: View Settings" and place a checkmark next to it and click Save at the top.
Now all users in the Basic group should be able to see the link in the upper right and to open the View Settings tool. You will need to login as each user, open the tool in their CRM interface, and apply the desired settings. Once all Basic users are set you can login as SysAdmin again, navigate to the "Link: View Settings" checkbox for Basic users, and disable it. They will have no way to adjust the settings themselves.
The point of the Data Employees tool is simply to choose which users in the system you want to acknowledge or disregard, or more accurately, the data where the users have ownership. Notice in the View Settings screenshot that the radio button is set on Data View and the multi-select menu below includes all active users in the system (highlighted in blue). For each name that is highlighted in blue, their ownership data will be visible for this user logged in (who happens to be "Admin1 System" in the screenshot).
Conversely, if any names were de-selected (by holding down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and left-clicking on the name) their ownership data would not be visible to the user with that setting. Essentially the data owned by the de-selected users would cease to exist for the user with those Data Employee settings. Yes, you could mistakenly de-select your own name on that list and hide your own data from yourself. It happens.
Apart from accidentally disappearing your own data, this tool is an effective means of precisely controlling data access among your users. For example, you could hide data owned by you, the SysAdmin, from Basic users by de-selecting your name within each of their View Settings tools. You can set User A to only see data owned by User A and User B, and so on. Remember though, if you set a user as Not Corporate (uncheck the Corporate User checkbox under Data View Permissions on their Edit Employee Information) they will only ever see their own data, regardless of what you set in their Data Employees list. Of course you can still hide their own data from them by de-selecting their own name on their Data Employees list.
The second radio button on the View Settings tool is Layout Groups, and it allows each user (with access to their View Settings tool) to switch between their available layout groups. You should recall that the Available Layout Groups multi-select menu for each user is located under the Data View Permissions section on their Edit Employee Information page.
In this screenshot you can see a region highlighted in blue for the two available layout groups. (Be sure to familiarize yourself with the rest of the chapters in the Manage Layouts book of this course to understand layout groups and custom layouts.) Layout groups help you define different ways of presenting data in the database records (leads, accounts, deals, for example) for users based on their functional groups. For our example here we see that the user has both Admin Layout Group and Basic user Layout Group selected and available. In the next screenshot we'll see the Layout Groups portion of the View Settings tool.
On the right side of the panel you see a single-select drop menu opened to show the two available choices: Admin Layout Group and Basic User Layout Group, with the former highlighted and set in the system. This user will view data in lead records, for example, as they are defined in the Manage Layout Groups tool. This is useful for a SysAdmin to switch between different layout groups to spot check the layouts and see exactly what other team members will see. Again, this is a setting to help control what the users in the system will see when they pull up data. If users in the Basic Users page permission group don't need to switch around, you can follow the same process that you did for locking down their Data Employees settings.
The custom field types are directly linked to the MySQL database technology that powers InsideSales.com. The field types usually straightforward, representing type of data they house.
Pay particular attention, however, to the custom number fields, integer and real number.
In alphabetical order the fields are:
There's really no right or wrong answer to this question, but here are a few tips:
This is a common problem for many organizations. Despite its sophistication, at its core InsideSales.com™ still requires some level of data entry to work to its ultimate potential. Without at least some marginal effort by users and managers to track and organize data, the system quickly breaks down.
One thing you can do to alleviate some of the headache of data entry is to use drop-down fields as much as you can. Drop-downs are great for slow typers, because they don't have to take their hand away from their mouse or actually key in any data to select data. Just be sure not to get too carried away with drop-down fields if it's not appropriate. For example, if you suddenly find you keep having to add options to a drop-down field constantly, or you have dropdowns with more than two or three dozen options, you should probably change those over to text fields and have the users type them in. One benefit of drop-downs for you as a manager is that you'll get consistent data entry from your agents. That will help as you want to build reporting and system optimization.
The answer to this question is simply, "Whatever works best for you and your users." If your users don't mind scrolling to input data, change the page height and width. If that method appears too disorganized, or you simply prefer using a multiple page form, then use that method. You may also want to look into "conditional panels" that open or close sections of the layout depending on what drop-down menu choices you agents select. That way your agents will only have open what they need for each record. We won't cover that feature in this level of certification, but we'd be glad to discuss it with you in Implementation and Support.
By far the most commonly used fields are text and custom dropdowns. Date fields are a distant third. More commonly though our users like to rename existing standard fields. This is perfectly acceptable, but watch out that you don't get yourself and our Support team confused when they try to diagnose and troubleshoot system problems.
Text fields hold up to 100 characters of text; description fields hold over 30,000 characters (15 pages or so). Some fields can be adjusted to hold and/or display more than the default limits. In the Layout Editor tool work within the "Field Properties" panel to make those adjustments.
We have allowed you to create multiple layouts per user role. Smaller organizations find that they never need more than one group of layouts at a time, but most organizations will create several groups to meet users' needs.
Often the primary motivation for creating multiple views of the same data is to control what specific fields are accessible to your team members. For example, you may not want to show the Lead Source or the number of dial attempts to your agents to keep them from "cherry picking" their leads. There are three specific methods for controlling which users or user groups will have access to the layouts your build:
To start editing an individual layout, choose the Layout type you want to change, and click the Edit link next to it. In theory it doesn't matter whether you choose the Edit Layout or the View Layout to make your changes, but we've found that for visual design consistency and spacing, it's better to make changes on the Edit Layout side.
After making your selection, the system will transition to the Layout Editor tool, as shown.
When you get there, you'll see that the editor has two basic components:
The page editor area uses a simple drag-and-drop interface to move fields within the record form. Practice moving a few fields around to get used to the feel of the tool.
As you work with the drag-and-drop layout editor, you may notice times when you attempt to move a field and it doesn’t move where you intend. This is normally caused by dropping the field too close to another one, or too close to the form border. When this happens, the editor detects the overlap won't allow you to drop the field, pushing it back to the spot where you picked it up.
You also have the option to move fields using the arrow keys on your keyboard. This gives you the ability to move fields into tight spaces, with more precision. Holding down the CTRL while you tap the arrow keys will speed up the movement to about 10 pixels at a time.
Moving Blocks of Fields Together
In many cases instead of moving fields one at a time, it's more efficient to move a block of fields together. To do this, you'll use a combination of the mouse and keyboard together.
First, select all of the fields you want to move as a block using the mouse. After you select the first field, hold down the CTRL key and select the remaining fields you want to move as a block. When finished, all of the fields will be outlined in blue, as shown.
Once all of the fields are highlighted, instead of using your mouse to drag them, use the Arrow Keys on your keyboard to move the block of fields together. If you continue to hold down the CTRL key while you use the arrows, the fields will move faster; if you use the arrow keys by themselves, they fields will move more slowly. Try using this technique to get used to the movement.
The page form area defines the physical appearance of the record object, but all of the other functions hang out in the various Properties menus on the right side of the Layout Editor. From top to bottom, they are:
Form Properties Menu
The form properties menu controls the basic visual elements of your layout: form and field size, color, and type (font).
Height and Width: These properties control the basic size of the page form. For instance, try increasing the height of your layout 100 pixels greater than its current setting. Then point and click the mouse in a blank area in the form, and watch as the system adds white space at the bottom of the form.
Field / Label Container Width: These adjust the width of the field labels, and the containers which house the actual data. These are general settings that apply to all of the fields in the form, though some fields can be altered by adjusting their individual Field Properties, which will be shown in another section.
Font Size and Form Font Family: These control which font and font size the Web browser will use to render the form text.
Color Settings: Each of the color settings can be adjusted for personal taste and preference, though we recommend using a light background with dark text for easiest visbility.
Show Label Above Field: This switches the field labels to appear above the input line, rather than next to it. Some administrators prefer this type of data entry, though in most cases the default works just fine. Be aware that changing the label location can cause major changes to the spacing of your fields in side your layout. If you're going to use this option, do it from the beginning while you're setting up your field locations, otherwise you'll be forced to re-align and redistribute the fields after the change is made.
Copy Attributes from Layout: If you have set up another layout of the same record type, you can immediately import the font, size, and color properties of the existing layout, so that the layout you are currently editing matches. This is a very nice time saving feature when you're creating multiple layouts for the same object type.
Add / Delete / Previous / Next Page: The layout editor gives admins the option to create layouts with more than one page. This is very useful for organizations with large numbers of input fields, so users do not have to constantly scroll up and down (or left and right) to input data. However, it does mean users need to be aware that not all data fields are contained on a single page.
Show / Hide Hidden Fields: The hidden fields option is used to reveal any fields that have been hidden in a Panel, and are not currently visible. A more detailed explanation of panels will be given in a separate section.
Panels are a unique aspect of the layout tool that allows sysadmins more control over their record layouts, and make certain areas of the site more secure.
A panel is essentially a section, or block of the page form that can appear or disappear depending on a variable selected by the user. If a specific field variable is chosen, the panel appears with a new set of fields.
A panel can also be set as always active, meaning it appears in the layout regardless of criteria. Most of the time, however, panels will be criteria based.
When a dropdown option is selected that controls a panel, the layout of the document automatically updates as the panel opens. Sysadmins can also add security features to panels based on record ownership. This means that only a record owner, for instance, could access certain fields contained within the panel, while anyone who doesn't own the record would have no ability to see or modify those same fields.
Be aware that as you add panels, they appear in order along the bottom of the page layout, and cannot be moved. This means that you need to plan ahead the order in which the panels appear, and which fields should be placed into each one.
Panels are not required for your layouts to work, but can be useful for sysadmins who want to create more dynamic, streamlined, secure layouts.
Field Properties Menu
The Field Properties menu gives sysadmins control over the individual fields within the layout form. You can use this menu to change field names, make fields searchable within the database, add and modify options to dropdown fields, and link dropdowns to panels.
To use the Field Properties menu, select a field within the layout form (you'll see it faintly outlined in blue when it is selected). Once highlighted, come back to the Field Properties menu, where you can now modify the field.
One of the most important Field Properties actions is editing custom dropdown fields. To edit a dropdown field, highlight the field, then go to the Field Properties and click the Edit Options link. The system will pop up the Manage Dropdown window to allow you to begin editing the dropdown options. See the section of this guide entitled Manage Dropdown Window (below) for more information about this interface.
Notice also the Panel Controls heading, and the Log Changes checkbox. The panel control links a dropdown field, and the option within that field, to trigger particular panel.
The Log Changes option is used if you want to keep a running log of changes made to that field and store it with the record, for example, if I wanted to make a log of changes to the Rating field. Any time a user modifies the Rating field, a log is created and stored.
The Default field is used to select a default value for this field. The default value is automatically selected whenever a new record that uses this layout is created. You can also select the default value on the field itself in the main layout editor window.
Note: Default Values are not available for certain types of fields, including most password fields, advanced multi-select fields, date/time fields.
Manage Dropdown Window
Let's go into a little more detail about the window.
From here, you can determine which options are available in the dropdown and how they are displayed. To change the order in which options are displayed, highlight one and press the Up and Down Arrow buttons to move them.
To remove an option from the list, highlight it and use the Right and Left Arrow buttons in the center of the window to move it from the "Active" list to the "Disabled" list. To make an option available again, move it to the "Active" list.
Below the arrow buttons are the Create (marked with a "+") and Edit (marked with a pencil symbol) buttons. Pressing either of these buttons will bring up a window in which you can edit the parameters of a dropdown setting.
There are three options to edit for this dropdown entry:
A limited number of dropdown statuses, such as those involved with the Lead Status dropdown, will display a number of other options.
Here are some brief instructions about this interface
Standard Options: These are the typical options that all dropdown statuses share, as explained as above. They include:
Record Tracking: These options tell the system how this status should be used for record keeping. These records are available through the Reports engine.
Record Actions: These options tell the system to perform certain actions whenever a record is designated with this status.
Available Fields Menu
The Available Fields menu shows all of available fields that are currently not being used in the layout. To add an available field to the layout, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping the desired field into the form.
In many cases, though, the data field you need in the layout simply doesn’t exist. When this happens, it’s time to go ahead and create our own custom field using the Add New Field button.
After clicking the button, a new window pops up with a dialogue box to give the new field a name, and choose the type of field it should be. Typically the most difficult part is choosing the type of field, particularly if you’re not familiar with some basic database management conventions. In the next section, we’ll talk in detail about the field type options to make sure you create the right types of field for your needs.