Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and I hope everyone has a terrific upcoming New Year. It’s hard to believe the year is almost over, let alone the decade. The 2010’s were a big decade for us at Gears (it’s hard not to be when all but 6 months of our existence was in the decade) and it’s super exciting to see us entering the next decade with so much momentum. We turned 10 this year, we just recently crossed the 100 employee mark and we are still looking for more people to join the team, and we were named a top 10 Small Consulting Company to work for this year. Not a bad way to end the decade and we have some exciting stuff coming for the new decade.
Speaking of the new year, as usual, Salesforce is kicking it off with a new release coming. Spring 20 is on its way and as usual, it’s a big one. Interesting to see a new mascot in the logo – with Blaze sitting there pretty calmly (although, I’m not sure how smart that hummingbird is sitting there right in front of a wolf’s mouth). Anything is better than the bear, so I’ll take it.
Before going into the specific features, we need to talk quickly about Lightning. On 1/7/20 (which is prior to Spring 20), Salesforce is automatically enabling Lightning in all orgs that haven’t turned it on yet. It’s a little confusing what this entails, and the release notes describe it pretty well, but basically, it doesn’t mean all of your users are suddenly going to be flipped to Lightning – but I think it’s safe to say this is a not overly subtle way of Salesforce telling you to get into Lightning. It’s pretty passive-aggressive, and typically aggressive-aggressive is the next step. I don’t actually know the plans for what happens next, but I think it’s pretty obvious that Classic is on its last legs. We’ve been saying it for well over a year now, but if you’re an admin or a Salesforce owner and you don’t have a plan to get to Lightning, this is something you need to do, and you really need to do it in 2020. Make this your Salesforce resolution, and get your plan together and get into Lightning. If you need help, feel free to reach out, and we’ll be happy to build that plan with you.
Alright, let’s dive into the release itself. As we have been doing for what feels like forever, we’re going to break this up into four blog posts to cover the major clouds. The order we’ll be going in is below, but this one is focused on Sales Cloud, Platform updates and Einstein for Sales. As always, the order of the features is a bit random but mostly based on what I thought was coolest first. In case you can’t tell from the paragraph above, all features are assuming you’re in Lightning. Here we go.
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, Quip, and Files
Part 4 – Rotating Topic: Manufacturing Cloud (Update: On 2/25/2020 at 2EST / 11PST we are also doing a webinar with a live demo of Manufacturing Cloud. Go here to learn more and register!)
Einstein Opportunity Scoring now Free – This is a great one to kick Spring 20 off with. All Sales Cloud users now have access to Einstein Opportunity Scoring without having to purchase the Einstein for Sales add-on. As a reminder, Opportunity Scoring is a pretty cool feature that sets a score from 1 – 99 of how likely that Opportunity is to close based on Einstein’s analysis of the data elements on that Opportunity and past history. It definitely doesn’t replace your Sales Rep’s forecasting, but it is a terrific check against it. For example, if you have a Lead Source that is typically a terrible source and you have a Sales Rep forecasting it highly, you’ll see that their forecast is very different then Einstein’s scoring. That’ll let you dig in to see if this is an outlier that really is coming in or if your rep has happy ears. Awesome to see this now available for free. This is a must-add to all Sales Cloud orgs at a minimum for your Sales leadership reporting.
Email Enhancements – Spring 20 brings some new enhancements to the Email functionality. I’ve mentioned this before, but the Email enhancements in Lightning are definitely one of the biggest productivity improvements over Classic, and with these Spring 20 enhancements it only gets stronger. First, all users now have the ability to save emails as a draft. The Service Cloud side has had this ability for a while, but now any users of the email functionality have this. Next up, if you are a High Velocity Sales user or an Inbox user you can now schedule when you want an email to send. Similar to how Outlook lets you schedule an email to send at a later date/time, you can now do the same with Salesforce emails. As part of this, users can also manage their scheduled emails to be able to see what emails are scheduled up and adjust when they are going to send. Finally, a nice new enhancement for users that use the mass email functionality. Now when building out the List Emails you can use Account data as part of the filter criteria to narrow down the list in order to select the right Contacts to email. Will be a definite time saver.
Enhanced Email Relays – This isn’t an enhancement a user would really notice or leverage, but it’s another improvement to the overall email experience within Salesforce. The email relay functionality lets you leverage your own company’s email relay to send and receive emails from Salesforce instead of using Salesforce’s relay. Sometimes you do this because your own domain is more trusted and less likely to get caught for spam, other times it’s a contractual requirement. The functionality has existed for a while in Salesforce, but it was an all or nothing, meaning you could only set up one relay and then your whole instance needed to use it. This was an issue if you had multiple domains to support multiple brands or if you just wanted to use the relay for a subset of your users. With Spring 20, you now have the ability to set up multiple email relays and determine what emails will use which relay. In addition, you now have the ability to maintain and set these up on your own, where previously you needed to reach out to customer support to turn this on. This has been a long time coming, so great to see.
Email Threading on the Activity Timeline – Spring 20 brings another nice enhancement to the Activity Timeline component (yet another huge improvement over Classic). Email Threading now groups up the entire email conversation into a single thread. From the Activity Timeline, you can see the email subject and a counter of how many replies are within the conversation of that email. With a simple click, it’ll expand to view the whole conversation in one place. Super simple and a much better way to view your email activities.
Assign Activities to Queues – This is one I never thought I’d see as Salesforce was purposely avoiding this functionality for so long. Now you can assign an activity to a Queue instead of needing to assign it to an individual. From there, specific users can claim them and work the activity. This has come up quite a bit over the years with our customers and it has always been a little annoying that it wasn’t possible. Nice to see the change.
Clone Records and Their Related Records – It’s been a while since the Clone feature has been enhanced so this is a nice one to see. Now when cloning a record you can select whether you also want to also clone related records. You can select by object and when you clone, a new record for each of the selected related objects will be created with the new record. As an admin, you need to add this option to the page layouts you want it available on, so it’s not a global change that just appears. As a side note, this is something we’ve built custom multiple times but we’ve extended it to also include what fields you want to clone, set to blank or default to different values so the clone is even more intelligent. It’s a great feature if anyone is interested, please reach out.
Filter Opportunity Products – A quick enhancement to the Opportunity Products page makes searching for specific products much easier. If you have Opportunities with lots of Opportunity Product lines, scrolling down to find a specific line is definitely a pain, but no more. Now a handy search bar and a filter list have been added to the page that allows you to search for a specific product and narrow the Opportunity Product records to just what you searched for. Super handy.
Lightning Experience Features with Chrome – An interesting feature here. Basically, if you want to test out some UI / UX changes to Lightning that Salesforce is piloting, you can do it with a Lightning Extension app within Chrome. I’m assuming the examples they give in the release notes are the ones available with Spring 20, but Dark Mode is a good example of something you can test out with this. Again, this only works with Chrome and there’s probably no guarantee these features ever get out of the experimenting mode, but a cool way to try out different UI enhancements.
Report Enhancements – Spring 20 brings us a few more report enhancements as well as turning a few pilot/beta features into full GA features. As we discussed in the Winter 20 write-up, the very cool Field to Field filters and Count Unique Values features are now GA. Both will be extremely handy for report building. In addition to those, we now have the ability to turn off the Report Preview while you are editing your reports. The preview is nice, but when you’re just trying to motor through a bunch of changes, it can slow you down while you wait for the results to appear. Now you can flip it off and just build away. A nice add. Another really nice enhancement is the ability to attach a spreadsheet to your report subscriptions. When you select this, a formatted spreadsheet with all of the report details will be included in the email sent to the subscribers of a report. The email will still have the summary details of the report, but all of the row-level details will be within the spreadsheet. Very handy, but keep in mind this is in beta for Spring 20, so test it out a bit first. Speaking of report spreadsheets, we finally can get rid of the exclude confidential information disclaimer when you’re exporting your reports to a spreadsheet. This is one I thought would never go away, but now it can be removed from all reports with a global setting. Good riddance!
Einstein Voice Assistant – Einstein Voice Assistant was all over Dreamforce and with Spring 20 it’s officially in beta and available to all Salesforce users via the Salesforce app. Einstein Voice Assistant is basically Siri for Salesforce, allowing users to make updates to Salesforce all by voice. This includes actions like logging a call, creating a Contact, and updating an Opportunity. You can set up different voice skill sets by user profile to tailor what actions each profile can do. This is a beta right now – so I’d highly recommend only rolling this out to your power users that like playing with new tech at first. This is one you don’t want the technophobes trying out as a beta and then mocking it – potentially killing your future adoption. Once this is full GA and the list of actions available grows, this will be a killer feature to show off. Road warrior type Sales reps, in particular, will eat this up.
Inline Editing for Forecasting – The Forecast page has added inline editing so that sales users can now edit multiple Opportunities at once without having to leave the page. Great time saver. Speaking of Forecasting, a few new options for slicing and dicing your Forecasts have been added if you use Territories. Now you can forecast quantities and schedule date by Territory.
Search Enhancements – Now when you search for Opportunities or Contacts (no love for Cases?), the instant results and recent items will automatically display the related Account that they belong to in the result. Pretty handy. In addition, the new conversational search feature that’s part of Einstein search gets a pretty cool update. Now you can add filters to your search terms, making it even smarter. For example, if you searched for “Cases Closed this year”, the search results are automatically adding filters to your results looking for Cases with Closed Dates of this year only. Very slick. I think this will take users some time to get used to – as it’s a big mental shift in how you use Salesforce search – but this could replace a lot of the need to build ad hoc list views and be an incredibly powerful way to surface your Salesforce information.
Einstein Prediction Builder for Free – Well, sort of for free. All instances now can essentially try out Prediction Builder for free as you’re allowed to build up to ten different prediction models and have one active model without having to purchase any additional licenses. Especially for the advanced admins out there, this is something you’re going to want to play with. If you have the ability to run one active model for free, you might as well take advantage of some powerful AI and put it to good use. This is one of those features that can be a real game-changer for your management and could really take your instance to another level. Would love to see this included for free even further, but this is a good start.
News from new Sources – Lightning News now gets news articles from the following countries: Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, and the Netherlands. The news is still English only, but the expanded sources will provide even more news reports especially for international and global accounts.
Recycling Bin Updates – Two quick updates to the Recycling Bin. First, you can now undelete Reports and Dashboards. Second, you can now delete the entire org’s bin with one click. You need Modify All Data permissions to do this. Both of these worked in Classic previously and are now in Lightning.
Advanced Currency Management – We can now access and manage the dated exchange rates via the Advanced Currency Management within Lightning. No new features, but we no longer need to flip into Classic for this.
Simplified Data Requirements for Sales Cloud Einstein – This one is a quick victory for smaller companies / instances without a lot of data. Previously, Sales Cloud Einstein needed at least 1,000 closed Opportunities within 2 years to be able to start analyzing your data. Newer instances and companies without a lot of volume could have a hard time getting to that threshold making it impossible to use Sales Cloud Einstein. With Summer 20, you just need 400 closed Opportunities with at least half of those being Closed Won. Definitely a much easier threshold to hit.
Retiring Features Reminder – We have some big features retiring in upcoming releases that are worth the reminder. Customizable Forecasting is being retired and will no longer be accessible as of Summer 20. So, Spring 20 is your last chance to get off of it and migrate to Collaborative Forecasting. The original Territory Management is also being retired, but that isn’t until Summer 21, so you have a year to get off of that. Finally, Data.com cleanse and prospector is also being retired as of 7/31. Licenses can no longer be renewed so, whenever your contract is up, they will stop working.
Well, that’s it for part one. No massive new feature, but some great enhancements and you have to love the free Einstein that is included and starting to creep in everywhere. Turn on those Einstein features and show your management how you are leveraging AI to enhance their sales processes! Next up will be our Service Cloud post. As always thanks for reading and if you need any help leveraging these features (especially the AI ones), please reach out and one of our Solution Architects will get right back to you. Have a fantastic New Year!
Harry is the CEO and founder of GearsCRM, with more than 18 years of experience working with the Salesforce platform. Outside of Gears, Harry enjoys debating Star Wars and Marvel with his son and sharing music and videos with his daughter. He is an avid racquetball player, bleeds Dodger blue, cries Jets green and always tries to find spare time to read a good fiction novel.