How to Auto-create Referrals from an Opportunity


Table of Contents

1. Create Outgoing Referrals Automatically
2. Flow Template to Auto-create Referral from Opportunity
3. Managing Opportunities to Auto-create Referrals
4. Configure Default Values for New Referrals
5. Default Ready for Submit Field Value

1. Create Outgoing Referrals Automatically

Referral management can be much easier with WorkSpan Salesforce App as you configure flows to auto-create and submit referrals to your partners. This helps you reduce manual efforts and ensure timely sync between Salesforce and AWS ACE or Microsoft Partner Center for updates on linked referrals.

To automate this business process, first, you need to determine the following:

  • When to share? - This is one of the most important decisions you need to make from your business process perspective. You need to determine the time/milestone in the lifecycle of an opportunity when it is appropriate to share it as a referral with your partner. And the conditions should be something that you can define based on your opportunity information. We recommend sharing the opportunities early in the lifecycle to get the most use of your partnership by starting collaborating early, e.g., creating and sharing referrals when the Win Probability goes over 20%. More details on how to set these conditions are in Flow template
  • Which partner to share with? - This is very important if you are using WorkSpan to Co-Sell with multiple partners (like Co-Sell with Microsoft or Co-Sell with Amazon). In such cases, it is mandatory that based on the information available on your opportunity, you should have a definitive way of identifying the partner with whom the opportunity should be shared when the sharing criteria are met. 

You can determine this based on things like products linked to the opportunity, the name of the opportunity, etc., as long as they are always going to be followed. If there is no definitive way based on how information is organized on your opportunities, you may need to add a new field in the opportunity (e.g., Cloud Partner Name or Partner Name).  

This functionality is available if your admin has configured and activated the Flow to auto-create Referrals and if the user is assigned either WorkSpan Account Executive or WorkSpan Sales Ops Manager permission set. Auto-creation works on the principle of no user input; it is triggered as soon as Opportunity is updated to meet the Flow entry criteria. At that moment, the Flow tries to create a Referral, populating all the fields according to default field mappings. If your admin has left the default Ready For Submit value as “No, " most field validations are skipped during auto-creation. Otherwise, if the default mapped value does not meet the validation criteria (or if the user doesn’t have a proper permission set), then not only will a Referral not be created, but the Opportunity won’t be saved as well.

Note: There are three very important things to note about auto-creation.

  1. Just because a Referral was created—doesn’t mean it was shared with the partner. Unless you have auto-submission enabled, Referral data will only be exchanged between your SF and your WorkSpan web app. Somebody will have to click the “Submit” button (or change the Ready For Submit field to “Yes” in another way) for it to be sent to your partner.
  2. Just because a Referral was successfully created using auto-create—doesn’t mean it is a ‘finished’ Referral. If your admin has left the default Ready For Submit value as “No,” then most field validations are skipped during auto-creation. It is very similar to draft Referrals created in WorkSpan: they exist in the system, but you might be unable to edit or submit them without populating some fields first.
  3. If you do not carefully think through the conditions of when to share and with which partner, then you might be unintentionally leaking important information. Especially if you have auto-submission enabled.

For detailed information, watch this video. 

2. Flow Template to auto-create Referral from Opportunity

This template is incomplete Out-Of-The-Box (OOTB). If you simply activate it as is, then not only will it not work, but your users will start catching errors and won’t be able to edit their Opportunities.

You will need a “View All Data” system permission on your profile in order to activate this flow template because it is run in a system context.

This template allows to auto-create a Referral from an Opportunity when it meets certain criteria. OOTB, will auto-create a Referral for the same Partner under the same Opportunity only if it doesn’t already exist (it doesn’t matter if the existing one was created manually or not). However, a key piece of information for a Referral is your Partner. Since Opportunity doesn’t have a standard field that fits such a purpose, you need to create your own custom field for that and change some placeholder text in the template with your custom field’s API Name.

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. If you are going to use this template, then all users in your organization who will be working with Opportunities (it doesn’t matter if they also work with Referrals or not) should be assigned the “WorkSpan Auto-create Referral from Opportunity” permission set.

If you don’t do this, then when a user without a proper permission set will update an Opportunity to meet the criteria and trigger Referral auto-creation—they will catch an error. And not only would the referral be auto-created, but the Opportunity will not be updated as well.

  1. Create a text (255) field on Opportunity to store the Partner ID from WorkSpan, called, for example, WorkSpan Partner ID.


  1. Go to Setup > Flows and click “Auto-create Referral from Opportunity.”


  1. In the Flow canvas, double-click on the Start element.


  1. Define the Entry Object as “Opportunity.” So, the flow is triggered whenever an “Opportunity” is created or updated.


  1. Scroll down to “Set Entry Conditions.” OOTB, the template only has one condition: when the Probability goes over 20%. And while the Flow can work like that, we strongly recommend adding at least one more condition: that your custom WorkSpan Partner ID field is not blank. To do that, click  + Add Condition.


  1. In the Field field, scroll down or search for your custom WorkSpan_Partner_ID__c field and click on it.


  1. Set Operator to “Is Null’ and Value to “{!$GlobalConstant.False}”


You can also add more conditions that make sense for your business, e.g., if the Amount reaches a certain number.

  1. Click Done.
  2. Double-click on the “Get Records Search Referrals.”


  1. Scroll down to the list of filters and note two placeholder texts.


  1. Click into each of those Value fields, then scroll down or search for ‘$Record Opportunity’ and click on it.


  1. Then scroll down or search for “WorkSpan_Partner_ID__c” and click on it.


  1. Repeat for the other field.


Click Done.

  1. Back on the canvas, double-click “Assignment Opportunity and Partner Assignment.”


  1. Scroll down and note the placeholder text.


  1. Click into the Value fields, then scroll down or search for ‘$Record Opportunity’ and click on it.


  1. Then scroll down or search for “WorkSpan_Partner_ID__c” and click on it.

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Click Done.

  1. In the top right corner of the canvas, click Save As and then Activate.


If you are only working with a single partner, then instead of creating a new field, you can just hardcode that partner’s ID in steps #11-18 mentioned above (use “Amazon,” “Microsoft,” or “Google,” respectively).

3. Managing Opportunities to auto-create Referrals

  1. Once the flow template is ready, go to the desired opportunity (let’s say “Dickenson Mobile Generators) and set the condition (>=20%) as mentioned in your flow. E.g., the probability is set to 30%. Click “Save.”


  1. Refresh the Opportunity page and click on the “Referrals” tab, as shown below. You can view the auto-created referral from this opportunity. Click on the arrow icon to go to the detailed page of the referral.


  1. You are redirected to the detailed view.


4. Configure Default Values for New Referrals

The Referral object represents an offer from a company to its partner to collaborate on an Opportunity. Hence, a lot of Referral data is likely to be the same as Opportunity (and its related records’) data. But not necessarily, and an AE should always be able to decide which data to share, which to keep, and which to alter. The “Default value” option works in two ways. It defines either (a) the Opportunity fields from which to pull values or (b) literal constant values to use when creating an Outgoing Referral (see Outgoing Flows (3.1)). Option (a) is also applied when linking a Referral to an Opportunity (see Linking Referral to Opportunity (3.2.2)), while option (b) is not. In all the cases, the values are only provided as default values; AE can edit them before saving the record (except for bulk creation and auto-creation because no distinct user interaction is possible in those cases).

Note: The mapping is only applied at the moment when you Create an Outgoing Referral or Link Referral to an Opportunity in Salesforce. It is NOT applied when a Referral is created from WorkSpan, and it is NOT applied at any other time inside Salesforce. I.e., there is NO ongoing sync between the Opportunity and Referral records provided by code in the package. However, there are Flow Templates in the package that you can use to do something like that. Or you can ignore that and implement something from scratch using standard Salesforce automation tools.

5. Default Ready for Submit Field Value

Ready For Submit is a unique technical field. It controls whether the data will be sent from WorkSpan to the partner or another system. However, it does NOT affect the exchange between Salesforce and your WorkSpan instance: the data is sent to WorkSpan regardless of the field’s value. Also, this (and every other) default value only applies to Referrals created in Salesforce. Referrals created in your WorkSpan instance and synced to Salesforce via the integration are not affected by the default mappings.

Out-of-the-box (OOTB), the default Ready For Submit value is ‘No.’ It means that the Outgoing Referrals are being created in a kind of ‘draft’ state. Aside from the hyperscaler partner use cases, it mainly affects bulk creation and auto-creation. In both of the latter cases, if the default Ready For Submit value is “No,” then most field validations will be skipped. However, the user might be unable to edit or submit such Referrals without first populating some fields. Regular Referral creation is mostly not affected: the Referral does create with Ready For Submit = ‘No,’ but the user is not allowed to skip most of the field validations anyway.

The only way for the user to change Ready For Submit from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’ is by clicking the Submit Referral button. There is no way to change from ‘Yes’ to ‘No.'

A System Admin can update the field directly using an external tool or anonymous apex script, thus triggering the submission.

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