Create live charts in PowerPoint from SalesForce – Revenues, forecasts and more

by Hrishikesh on August 24, 2011 · 2 comments

in Tutorials

Before every week’s sales performance review with your manager, you need to present your SalesForce numbers in the best light possible. You go to your SalesForce account, set some filters and run a report on those filters. Then you export it as an Excel document and import the data in PowerPoint. Finally, you create charts to suit to the meeting’s agenda. You do this boring and time-consuming task every Friday, before your weekly meeting. Haven’t you had enough of it? Don’t you think you spend more time creating reports and charts, and less time actually selling?

You sure do. In this post, we’ll teach how to use oomfo to automate all of this for you. You create the charts once, connect them to SalesForce and never ever have to update it again. Yes, you will have live charts with up-to-date data every time you go into your meeting.

Sounds hard to believe, but let us show you how.

The Magic Connectors

oomfo can automatically pull data from any data source that can be accessed from your browser, be it SalesForce, Google Docs, Google Analytics, Twitter, SharePoint, your CRM or ERP system, or even local files. All one needs to have, is a connector. A connector is something that talks to the data source, retrieves data, and presents it in a structure that oomfo understands.

Now for the difficult part. The connector is a web page (with programming instructions) that can talk to various other systems on web or your enterprise network like Twitter, SalesForce, Google Analytics, Google Docs, your ERP or CRM. If login credentials are required for any of these services, then these will have to be provided to the connectors. It’s like the connector is logging instead of you, getting the latest data, converting it into XML format and updating it in PowerPoint, while you are enjoying your siesta or the game. This will happen automatically every time the presentation is viewed as a slideshow.

Now before you start sending emails to your IT team, let us quickly tell you that we provide the connector for SalesForce, and have done it for Twitter earlier. We will provide a connector for Google Analytics very soon. However, if you have a proprietary ERP or CRM system or one hidden behind your firewall, you might have to get your IT team involved.

So let’s dive in to the SalesForce connector, which is written in PHP and accesses the SalesForce API.

How to get started

To begin with, you need:

  1. PowerPoint 2003 / XP / 2007 / 2010. (Only 32-bit version for PowerPoint 2010).
  2. The latest oomfo add-in installed. Get the latest version of oomfo.
  3. Download the SalesForce connector.
  4. Get your SalesForce Security Token from My Personal Information > Reset Security Token. The token will be sent to your email which you use to login into SalesForce.
  5. When viewing the presentation, you will also require an active internet connection to get the latest data.
  6. Request your IT department to host the connector on a Linux server. More info here.
  7. Request your IT department to enable cURL on the Linux server. More info here.

Charts provided by the SalesForce Connector

Using the SalesForce connector provided, you can create 5 different kinds of charts:

  • LeadsByStatus: This call gives you the count of Leads sorted by Status, and shows the Annual Revenue generated by Contacted and Closed Leads in the tooltips.
  • PipeLineByStageAndType: This call gives you the Stages as Categories, Revenue as Values and Type as grouped within Stages.
  • TotalPipeline: This call gives the breakup of the Pipeline by Stage.
  • TopAccounts: This call gives you the annual revenue of top ‘x’ number of accounts.
  • TopNewProspects: This call shows the top ‘x’ new prospects ordered by expected revenue.

These calls provide the metrics that a sales department would require the most.

Let’s see the charts in action

We will be trying out the LeadsByStatus call. You will be required to use your SalesForce login credentials to use this connector. We’ll show you how and where to write them.

Start PowerPoint, click on the Insert tab, and on the right hand side of the ribbon you would see the cluster of oomfo buttons.
Cluster of oomfo buttons

Click on the Insert Chart button. In the oomfo window, select Single Series from the drop down, and select 3D column chart.

Select "Single Series" from the oomfo menu

In the Chart Data tab, click on External Data Source > XML from File/URL.

External Data Source in oomfo from the Chart Data tab

You would be writing the connector’s URL along with the parameters in the textbox to the right. The general structure of the URL would be URL path + username + passwordandsecuritytoken + call type + parameters  and values required for each call. We will now see how to construct this properly.

To authenticate this connector with your SalesForce account, follow this pattern:

If your password is mypassword

And your security token is XXXXXXXXXX

For this connector, you must enter mypasswordXXXXXXXXXX in place of the passwordandsecuritytoken above.

Paste the connector’s URL in the textbox. It should be http://yoursite.com/path_to_file/SalesForce.php. Here yoursite.com is just a placeholder and should be replaced by the URL of your server, to which your IT team has copied the connector file. Make sure you get the correct URL. This URL now needs parameters according to which it will query and return the data.

For the LeadsByStatus call, we require the following parameters:

PARAMETER VALUE
call LeadsByStatus

Here is how you would configure the URL:

http://yoursite.com/path_to_file/SalesForce.php?username=youremail@abc.com&password=xxxxxx&call=LeadsByStatus

Please notice the ?; it is required exactly in the way shown. Now click on Load, and you would get the data in the text area below. Click on OK > Finish.

Live chart of Leads by Status from SalesForce in oomfo

There you have it! A live count of the count of Leads sorted by Status! These values would keep updating each time you start your presentation.

You can try changing the chart type from 2D Pie to 3D Column. Just do it from the Chart Type tab.

Live Column chart of Leads by Status from SalesForce in oomfo

Now you realize that oomfo provides you much more flexibility to manipulate your data and see it in a different light.

You have 4 calls more to play around with.

Details of each call

LeadsByStatus (single-series)

PARAMETER VALUE
call LeadsByStatus

Sample query:

http://yoursite.com/path_to_file/SalesForce.php?username=youremail@abc.com&password=xxxxxx&call=LeadsByStatus

Live Column chart of Leads by Status from SalesForce in oomfo

PipeLineByStageAndType (multi-series)

PARAMETER VALUE
call PipeLineByStageAndType
year For example: 2011
quarter 1 or 2 or 3 or 4

Sample query:

http://yoursite.com/path_to_file/SalesForce.php?username=youremail@abc.com&password=xxxxxx&call=PipeLineByStageAndType&year=2011&quarter=3

Live chart of PipelineByStageandType in oomfo

TotalPipeLine (single-series)

PARAMETER VALUE
call TotalPipeLine
year For Example: 2011
quarter 1 or 2 or 3 or 4

Sample query:  

http://yoursite.com/path_to_file/SalesForce.php?username=youremail@abc.com&password=xxxxxx&call=TotalPipeLine&year=2011&quarter=3

Live chart of TotalPipeLine from SalesForce in oomfo

TopAccounts (single-series)

PARAMETER VALUE
call TopAccounts
top Number of top accounts you want. For eg: 3 or 5 or 10

Sample query:  

http://yoursite.com/path_to_file/SalesForce.php?username=youremail@abc.com&password=xxxxxx&call=TopAccounts&top=5

Live chart of TopAccounts from SalesForce in oomfo

TopNewProspects (single-series)

PARAMETER VALUE
call TopNewProspects
top Number of top prospects you want. For eg: 3 or 5 or 10

sample query:  

http://yoursite.com/path_to_file/SalesForce.php?username=youremail@abc.com&password=xxxxxx&call=TopNewProspects&top=5

Live chart of TopNewProspects from SalesForce in oomfo

Summing it up

In this blog post we saw how to create live charts in PowerPoint using your SalesForce data. If you understand PHP, you can open the connector provided and see how we connected to the SalesForce API, retrieved data and built the XML. The XML is based on the FusionCharts format. In the coming posts, we will talk more about how the connector was built and the programming side of things.

If you want more oomfo goodness, you can read more about the connector for Twitter.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat Marshalek February 9, 2012 at 4:06 am

Question: looking over the article for salesforce – it says to host the salesforce connector to a linux server! can you  host it on a windows 2003 server? Why and Why not?

Thanks Pat

Reply

Hrishikesh Choudhari February 9, 2012 at 11:37 am

Pat,

The actual requirement is that your server should be able to run PHP.

A Linux server generally has support for PHP, which is why we recommend it.

If your Windows 2003 server setup has PHP installed, you’re good to go!

Reply

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