Up here in New England, we're getting our first real snow of 2019. It isn't…
1. Salesforce Spring 19 Features – Lightning Sales Cloud, Einstein Sales Cloud and Force.com
Happy Holidays everyone. I hope you had a nice relaxing holiday these past few weeks and that you’re about to have a terrific New Year. The last couple of years, the Spring release notes have been coming out right before Christmas and this year was no different as they came out last week. The last two years, these were a life-saver as I was at my in-laws and had something to dive into and read to keep me occupied. This year, no travel for Christmas, so I was able to take advantage of a nice quiet week, crank up some Talking Heads and The xx and plow into all of the new features. This release is a big one (I guess none of them are small anymore), but in particular this release feels like we’re moving past getting everything onto Lightning and we’re really starting to see some great new features built on top of Lightning. This is a really nice release for Sales users and Service has some great new stuff as well – especially around all of the new Einstein related features. Instead of talking about it, let’s get right to it and walk you through what’s in Spring 19. As per the usual, we’ll be doing this in multiple parts which will be as follows:
- Part 1 (this post!) – Sales Cloud, Platform and Einstein for Sales
- Part 2 – Service Cloud, Field Service Lightning, and Einstein for Service (including Einstein Bots)
- Part 3 – Communities, Chatter and Files
- Part 4 – Rotating Topic – Pardot
As we’ve mentioned a bunch of times, you really need to be on Lightning to take advantage of most of the below. Salesforce just recently announced that anyone still on Classic (and that’s a lot of you) are officially on the clock and starting with Winter 20 (October 2019) the “switch to Lightning” feature will be enabled automatically for all users. Your users are going to be in Lightning in less than a year whether you are ready or not. You really need to get ready. Start to build that roadmap, and if you need help grab a partner – we offer our own Lightning Services and would be happy to help as well. Either way, start planning, get it rolled out and get all of these great features. With that said, let’s dive in. As always, there’s no particular order here outside of what we think is coolest first.
- Sales Cadences – This is a huge new feature for Sales – in particular an inside sales team. This might be the biggest new feature since the Lightning roll-out started, and is a huge reason to move to Lightning if you have an inside sales team and you’re still sitting on Classic. Sales Cadences allows for you to build a series of outreach activities for your inside sales team into a single stream. Think of it like a drip campaign for inside sales – on Day 1 call the prospect, Day 3 send a follow-up email, Day 5 call back, etc. This is something that not only have a lot of our customers asked for, but I’ve wanted something like this all the way back to my IMlogic days (over 15 years ago now!) to give to my inside sales team. There are some AppExchange apps that do this and of course you can build it custom, but to have this out of the box is obviously preferred. From the release notes this seems pretty powerful right out of the gate. First, any Lead or Contact can be added to a Cadence. At this point, they can only be added one at a time. You can add them automatically into a Cadence leveraging process builder or they can be added manually (if you’re getting really complex with the rules, this is a great use case for our BREeze rules engine as well). The Cadence themselves seem pretty simple to build out. You can build out multiple of these – and there doesn’t seem to be a limit there. The builder seems a lot like Flow where you can add the steps that you want for the Cadence. The steps can be an Email (associated to a template), a Call (which can also be associated to a Call Script), a Wait Period, or a custom step. Not sure how much flexibility you have in the custom step, but they give examples of sending a text or setting up a meeting. From there you save your Cadence flow and then add the Targets (Leads & Contacts assigned to them). From the end-user stand-point, there is a Sales Cadence tab, where you can go in and view the available Cadences and also the Targets that are assigned to them. In addition there is a view that shows Targets that have steps that are due today. This is great to be able to see in-flight Targets in the middle of their Cadences (and this was always a pain point to do when you were doing this custom). Check out the screenshots of some of this below, but this is a big new feature. I’m sure this will be get beefed up over the next few releases as well. If you’re a Sales Cloud administrator supporting an Inside Sales team – this is the feature to blow away your management. Sadly, the big drawback is it looks like this isn’t free with your subscription, and instead requires and additional license. I didn’t notice this at first (thanks Mark for catching this) and not sure if the release notes were updated later or if I just missed it.
- High Velocity Workspace – The High Velocity Workspace is really a culmination of a bunch of Salesforce features – Sales Console, Sales Cadences that we described above, Einstein and even Lightning Dialer. It’s pretty wild seeing all of these coming together like this, but to really use this effectively you do need to be leveraging each of those features. Essentially, this is a Sales Console on steroids and the steroids is Einstein and the Cadences you put together. A big part of this is the Work Queue which we described above – but it’s the steps from the Cadences that need to be completed that day. It could be step 1 for a few Leads, the 2nd steps for a few others, etc. Einstein Lead Scoring (additional cost) is ranking the order of these for your rep. Step back and think about the power of that for a second. We finally have a way to give an Inside Sales rep a pile of Leads that are all in varying stages of qualification and your Sales process in a ranked order of which to work on first. No more needing to flip between different Lead Views to get the next set of Leads – it’s all in one place. If you use Lightning Dialer (which is an additional cost) that is also embedded in here to enable your reps to call directly from here. You can also expose the Work Queue portion of this into your Outlook or Gmail integrations by adding the component to the email integration pane. Finally, Einstein Activity Capture is actually embedded into this – which means it’s automatically linking events and emails to the associated records, saving your reps time from having to log those separately. If I was some of the Inside Sales focused AppExchange apps, I’d be a little nervous seeing this. They’ve been charging a ton of money for similar consoles and now Salesforce is building this in standard. Similar to the Cadences above, if you’re an Administrator for an instance that has an inside sales team – this is something you definitely should be playing with and understanding how it could work. I can see a pilot of this with a select group of reps being really effective to see how it goes. My guess is pretty quickly they won’t want to go back and you’ll have the rest of the team screaming about when do they get this. Please note, that similar to the Sales Cadences feature above, this is available for an extra fee and is not part of your base subscription. It appears this is packaged along with Sales Cadences, but that isn’t 100% clear from the release notes (thanks Mark, for catching this).
- Forecast Changes – We get a few new updates to Forecasting with Spring 19. The first one is that you can now set your forecast time periods as more custom instead of the standard 12 months. You can extend the forecast range past twelves months and you can set custom fiscal periods. Not everyone is nice and neat on the calendar year, so this is a good one. Next up, you can now group your Product Forecasts by Territory. Product Forecasts came out last release, so this is the next step to allow for the grouping. Finally, Territory Forecasts can now be shared to any Salesforce user. This was possible before with all Forecast Types except Territory, so this is really just closing that loophole. One other note on Forecasting – if you are still using the old Customizable Forecasting, you are officially on notice. This is being retired in Summer ’20 (Octoberish 2020). Once this hits, users won’t be able to use it or access any of the data from it.
- Enterprise Territory Management Changes – Lots of sharing enhancements for Enterprise Territory Management. I already mentioned the ability to share your Territory Forecast above, but in addition to that, you can now grant access to records, reports, dashboards and list views by Territory. Coupled with this, you can also add Sales users to Groups and Queues based on their Territory. These are really nice improvements if you use Territory Management as it was impossible to mirror the setup there for these other items. There is also a new feature that only works in Classic (which is a little odd) where you can now share an individual record with a Territory. So, if you want your team to help you with a private Opportunity, you can add the Territory to the sharing and they can all see it. Again, this isn’t in Lightning but only Classic. To enable all of these, you do need to do a quick admin update and enable Manual Account Sharing in the Territory Management setup. Similar to Forecasting above, a note on Territory Management – if you are still using the original Territory Management, you also are on notice. This is being retired in Summer ’20 (Octoberish 2020). Once this hits, users won’t be able to use it or access any of the data from it.
- Data & Privacy Updates – In Spring 18 Salesforce released the Individual object as the beginning of their plan to handle consent requests from customers. The big one is obviously GDPR (which we covered in a webinar) but other countries and even states are considering similar laws. Basically, you need to implement a process around customers asking to control how you contact, track and store data about them. The Individual object was just the start and with Spring 19 we get a much more significant set of features to build on this. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any of this is in the pre-release orgs yet as I really wanted to try to build out some scenarios, so the following is just based on the release notes with some guessing versus getting hands on. First of all, we get three new objects – Contact Point Type Consent, Data Use Purpose, and Data Use Legal Basis. I’m assuming all of these are tied to the Individual object, but it doesn’t say. It’s possible they also link directly to the Contact and Lead objects too. These are a great way to start to track what a customer is allowing you to do in regards to contacting them. For example, if a customer requests never to be contacted by you, you can set it up so they are blocked on all channels – email, phone, mail, etc. That said, even if they request not to be contacted, you might have a legal basis to still send something to them – like their billing statement or an invoice. In those cases, you can setup categories to show these processes. This doesn’t sound like rocket science right? Can’t we just use text fields here? Well, there are a couple of reasons to really start adopting how Salesforce is tracking this. The biggest is – and you’ll see this below – Salesforce is building functionality (like actually preventing Sales from emailing someone who said they don’t want to be emailed) that is leveraging these objects to help you enforce these policies. If you go custom here, you’re going to wind up having to go custom on the enforcement as well and lose some valuable out of the box features. Second, the legal basis tracking – while definitely extra work – will really help when you are challenged by a customer as to why you contacted them. Every company’s legal interpretation is different around these rules, so this gives you a flexible way to put that in place and then track against it.In addition to the objects, we get the ability to merge privacy records the same way you’d merge a Lead or an Account. Now when you find a duplicate Lead, you can also merge their Privacy preferences. We also get to report on Field History on data privacy records. This is big as you can now see the full history of when different requests and updates were made. Finally, there is a super interesting new feature called Data Classification. This is in beta, but it is available to use. Data Classification allows you to now set a Data Owner, Field Usage and the Sensitivity of the Data on any field in Salesforce. This is super handy for trying to automate right to be forgotten requests or if you’re just trying to get ahead of the issue and periodically purge sensitive information after a period of time (remember, a big part of GDPR is that you can’t store personal data forever without a very legit reason). Now, you can flag your highly sensitive fields – Name, Email, Birthday, Wife’s Name, Social Security Number, etc. – and when you have a request where you need to remove sensitive data about them, you can do this based on the field flag versus having to do these one at a time. A ton of potential here.
As I’ve mentioned a few times, we have BREeze – our AppExchange Rules Engine – that let’s you automate updates based on a rules set. With this new functionality, we are going to be building a consent based version of BREeze that will automate the data updates you need based on these GDPR and other privacy consent requests. In the next couple of months, we’ll have a webinar and blog post about it, but there is huge potential here to really make this easy to manage and remain complaint. Very exciting stuff.
- Email Updates – The functionality around emailing and compliance of your prospect / customer preferences also has a few enhancements coming with Spring 19. Some of these tie into the GDPR / Right to Privacy updates I just described above. As I mentioned above, if you turn on the new Data Protection & Privacy setting, the email functionality will respect the data being entered into these objects. So, if a Lead or Contact requests not to be contacted via Email and their data privacy settings are set to reflect this, users will not be able to email them from within Salesforce – unless that email is a “non-commercial” communication – like an invoice or shipping updates. A second feature allows you to flag emails as non-commercial emails so that they can be sent out in these situations, but it also contains a permission set that you can take away from users that don’t send these types of emails. This will ensure they can’t email customers that ask not to be emailed. One thing to note here is that there doesn’t seem to be any mention of Pardot or Marketing Cloud leveraging this yet. For now, these seems to be entirely for email sent from within Salesforce. Next up, we get Folders and Sub-Folders for Email Templates! No more just being group in Public or Private folders, but now you can organize away. The folders also come with their own security settings where you can determine who can access or share the templates in each folder. Finally, when going to select an email template, we now have a handy search bar where you can quickly search for your template instead of having to drill back and forth into different folders looking for it. All great updates.
- Einstein Next Best Action – Next Best Action is the newest of the Einstein products and is officially GA with Spring 19. This is a very cool new product, but also one that you need to seriously game plan and map out ahead of time. Next Best Action lets you build out recommendations and strategies to what a user should be doing in different use cases. Two simple examples – but there are a ton of ways you can use this – are upsell / cross-sell / promotion offers and selecting the right approach to assist a customer. Using the Strategy Builder – which is the engine to build out the recommended actions and when they are applicable – you can make out all of the different scenarios and what should be suggested for each of them. Some of these scenarios could be based on basic logic within Salesforce. “The Customer Owns X, so therefore they really should also buy Y”. Others can be based off of prediction models. “The Customer owns X and bought it 6 months ago. Based on their past history, they need to re-fill X every 6 – 8 months, so we should ask if they want that re-fill now”. Obviously you can also build these out based on demographic data and similar customers or based on what they are calling about. As I said, you really need to think out the model and what you’re going to be suggesting, but once you have it built, Next Best Action will prompt your users on the right suggestion based on the data they are working on. You can embed these suggestions directly into a record as a Lightning component or within a Flow and use it based on some of the data being entered into the flow. I’m assuming you can also add these into a Console component as well since it’s Lightning. Another thing to consider is this could also be embedded into a Community as prompts directly to your customer. It doesn’t just need to be an internal facing tool (of course if you do that, don’t be creepy about it). Finally, with the suggestion, your users can select whether it was accepted or declined and if accepted you can launch a flow to walk through the process to handle the suggestion. You can report on the accept / decline rate of the recommendations to see where you have issues and which ones are hitting the mark. Super powerful.With most of the Einstein items, the release notes are very clear what is an additional charge and what isn’t. This looks like it is included as part of the platform and is not an additional charge. I’m trying to confirm that for sure – but if that’s the case – this is a total game-changer that you now have at your finger tips. I’d definitely recommend piloting this and really honing it before a larger roll-out as this is one of those features that you’ll learn a lot from just from the first few weeks of trying it. You want to incorporate those findings before you do a broader roll-out.
- One Click Task Complete – The one click Complete Task button is now in Lightning. It was always a little hidden in Classic, but it’s front and center in Lightning and makes it super simple to flag a Task as Completed.
- Calendar Enhancements – A few quick improvements to Calendar are also on the way. The biggest convenience one is that you no longer need to flip over to Classic to view, schedule or update Events on someone else’s public calendar. All of this is available on Lightning now. In addition to that, you can now schedule resources – like conference rooms, projectors, etc. – within Events now. Pretty cool there. Another big new addition is the ability to schedule an Event Series. You can now schedule recurring events daily, weekly or monthly similar to how you would in Outlook or Google Calendar. Also, you have the same ability to update a single occurrence or the entire event series when you need to make an edit. The Event Preview hover also has a bunch of additional information in it, making it considerably more useful – see the screenshot below. Previously you could only add 4 fields to this and now you can add up to 10. Also, you can now see Files that have been related to an Event. This was always a little bit of a pain point as you just lost any related Files, so this is nice to see. Another update for printing as well (Salesforce loves printing this release apparently). The printed version of the Calendar now shows outlines for time and event blocks making it much easier to read. Finally, the Lightning Sync with Outlook now supports Event syncs. New Events and updates to existing Events will now sync automatically with Microsoft Calendar. Now, if they would just add the ability to make custom Calendars public, the Calendar functionality would be amazing!
- Reports Updates – First off, a couple of things are now available in Lightning to get us closer to Classic parity. Joined Reports is now GA in Lightning and we can now run Historical Tracking reports in Lightning. Another near-parity item is we now have conditional formatting within reports. The interface looks much slicker than in Classic and it displays a lot nicer than it had previously. Check out the screenshot below. Great to see all of these. Outside of those, we get some nice enhancements to reports as well. For Matrix reports we get a new feature called Stacked Summaries. Definitely easier to see, so check out the screenshot below – but basically it’s a new toggle that let’s you stack the metrics in your Matrix report instead of having them spread across horizontally. You can toggle this on or off per report and in some cases this will really make it easier to do side by side comparisons. Reports now also come with handy header summaries of metrics about the report. These appear at the top and take up to eight of the metrics you have within the report and displays those summaries up top so you don’t need to scroll down to view. Doesn’t look like you can control which eight appear – I think it just goes in order from the report if you have more than eight. Not a bad feature. We also get a nice easy way to re-size our columns within any report. Small, but awesome update. Finally, we get a nice update to report filters on picklists. Now we can filter off of inactive picklist values. Previously you could only filter on active ones.
- Dashboard Enhancements – Compact Dashboard components are going to become your next best friend in Salesforce! Super cool new feature that allows you to create 1X1, 1X2 and 2X2 metric components so that you can have more components in less space. You can group up a bunch of these together and fit more in around the larger dashboard components. Look at the screenshot below to check this out visually. Added to this, we also get more space! You can now create 12 column dashboards instead of just using the old 9 column format. You can still make 9 column ones if you want, but for those wide screen dashboards with lots of data, the 12 column gives you more room to build in. These two combined gives you a ton of flexibility to make some killer dashboards. Very exciting. In addition to these builder enhancements, the Lightning Tables get a couple of updates too. We can now use the Summary Formulas as a column within the table. Not a feature I use a ton – and when I do, it’s always a little frustrating remembering how to use it correctly – but this is nice. In addition, you can now add two groups to the table, where before we were limited to just one. Finally, we get the Save As ability back. No need to jump to Classic to clone a dashboard.
- Additional Storage – Maybe the smallest description for a new feature, but this is a huge one. Data storage limits for “select” editions is being bumped up by 9GB from 1GB to 10GB. Basically, if I’m understanding this right, the floor is what’s bumped up and then you get the 20MB per user above that. Looks like this is for Group, Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited editions. With everyone using more and more data, this is terrific to see. One thing to note is this doesn’t look like it hits right as Spring 19 comes out, but in late March 2019.
- Einstein Sales Cloud Reporting – With Spring 19, we can now build reports for Account & Opportunity Insights as well as Automated Contacts Suggestions. On the Insights side, this is pretty handy as it’ll let you build a report across multiple Opportunities & Accounts to see Insights across your territory, top Accounts, or even across an entire Account hierarchy. Pretty handy. On the Suggestions side, this is definitely an easier way to quickly view all of the suggestions Einstein is making to create new Contacts. Nice new feature.
- Einstein Opportunity Scoring Visible to All Users – As long as you own at least one Sales Cloud Einstein license, all users will now be able to see Opportunity Scores for any Opportunity that meets the minimum data requirements to get scored. A pretty nice bonus for all of the non-Sales users as they will now be able to see the same Opportunity Scoring as the Sales team. In addition to this, Opportunity Scores are now visible by default on the Recently Viewed Opportunity List View. One quick note, these changes will be available soon after Spring 19 and not right as it rolls out.
- Search Updates – Two quick updates to the search results. First off, search now searches more objects. Account Brand, Account Relationship, Contact Point Type Consent, Data Use Legal Basis, Data Use Purpose, and Work Type Group objects are now searchable and return in the search results. In addition the Calendar object can now be searched within a lookup search. Finally, we get a little more clarity on what exactly was searched. Now in the search results, you’ll see the objects that were searched and what the result count was for each. Previously it was a little tough to tell if an object wasn’t returning results because there were no results or if it was an uncommon object and you need to click on “Show More” to get it searched. Pretty handy.
- Change your Default List View – Now with Pinned Lists, you can set your default list view for each object. Instead of defaulting to the recently viewed list view (which I’ll admit has thrown me off a few times thinking I’m already in the list view I wanted to be in), you can now pin a view and that will become the List View that opens each time you click into the object. Nice little update.
- Print a Record Page – This was available in Classic (I actually completely forgot it was there, it’s been so long someone has asked) and now it’s available in Lightning. You now have the Printable View option for any record that will turn your record page into a printer friendly format. This format looks exactly like the one in Classic – right down to the Salesforce logo on the top left. I guess if you really need to print, this is a great feature, but man, this seems so 1990s (and for the record, I loved the 90’s – moved to Boston for college, got married, bought our first house, OK Computer and Kid A came out, Seinfeld was in its heyday and Salesforce was founded – that was a good 10 year run for sure).
- Sandbox Cloning – A nice administrator update here. This was in pilot previously, but is now GA. We now get the ability to clone a Sandbox for a new Sandbox versus having to always start a sandbox off from Production. Especially if you’re in complex sandbox environments where you deploy across multiple sandboxes or situations where you need to do a sandbox refresh, this will be a huge time-saver.
- Field History Data Retention – Not really a feature, but more of a warning. Salesforce is following through on the update to begin archiving Field History data. We’ve already seen it at a few clients and now it’s in the release notes – so this is really happening. Essentially, you will have a rolling 18 months of field history data visible within the records and reporting of Salesforce. Another 6 months (18 – 24 months old) will be available via API only. After that, the data is gone. Salesforce does have a product you can buy called the FAT add-on which will let you retain up to 10 years of archived history. If you’re an older customer and you don’t want to lose your history, definitely do an archive. We also have a way to do a rolling back-up of it and let you query it via a Lightning component (so it’s visible in the record) or via an API. If you’re interested in getting some help to back this up – or something more robust to keep it accessible, please use our Contact Us and we’d be happy to help.
Well, that’s it for Sales Cloud. There are a bunch of other features as well, as overall this is a very big release. Some very cool stuff to get excited about. With the privacy enhancements, Sales Cadences and even the Dashboard changes in particular, that is a decent roadmap for your next 3 – 4 months to build out as an administrator. As always, if there is anything you’d like help on, feel free to contact us and someone will get back to you right away. Next up, we’ll be hitting the Service Cloud features including Field Service Lightning and Einstein for Service. Have a Happy New Year!