Summer is almost here with Memorial Day right around the corner and just on time is the new Summer 17 release. Summer 17 will be hitting your instance in early June, and as always we’re digging into the release notes discussing all the cool and exciting features. Summer 17 is a whopper with nearly 550 pages of details. I think those pigeons will drive me nuts after a bit, but outside of that, it’s a super exciting release. There’s no one killer feature for Sales Cloud or Lightning Experience, but there are a ton of small to medium enhancements and new features.
This is starting to sound like a broken record, but this is becoming more true with each new release – almost every feature below requires Lightning Experience to take advantage of them. Back in February we did a blog and webinar on why you need to move to Lightning for Sales Cloud. We now have another 30 – 40 new features that only work in Lightning. As we mentioned in Spring 17, if you are on Sales Cloud, you need a plan to more to Lightning Experience or you’re losing massive value in your subscription. At Gears we are now offering Lightning Experience Assessment packages to help our customers assess, plan and make the move – and to ensure you make the most out of that move. If you’re interested – even if you’re not a customer – feel free to reach out with our Contact Us page and we’d be happy to speak with you.
Onto the content. For our write-ups, we’re going in the order below and then in no particular order – except my own ranking of feature coolness – for the Sales Cloud features!
Part 1 – Sales Cloud, Lightning Experience (except Service Cloud) and the Platform
Lightning Sales Console – Service Cloud updated their Console starting in Spring 17, and now Sales Cloud rolls out their updated Lightning Sales Console. With the Lightning Console we get a couple of good new features. The first is what they are calling the Split View. This is a very nice feature and particularly cool for an Inside Sales team who is working a set list of Leads or follow-ups. The Split view allows a user to very easily pull back in the a List View without losing context to the records you are working. As you can see in the screenshot below, it adds a pretty unobtrusive third column to the left and a user can pop records right from there to their tabs. To access this, you can click on a small arrow always hidden, or from a List View itself, you can select how to display it – either as a table or as a split view. Very nice productivity gain here. In addition, the Sales Console now supports Person Accounts. You can now hit a list of Person Accounts just like you would a list of Leads.
Similar to the Service Console, this will take a couple of releases before all of the functionality is supported. For Sales, the biggest items missing are multi-monitor support and the ability to do push alerts. The other items are really minor and shouldn’t impact your decision to move to this.
Lightning Voice Updates – Lightning Voice gets some powerful updates in Summer 17 – first of those being it is now called Lightning Dialer. Next is the very cool ability to create a Call List. With a quick action you can now add any Account, Contact, Lead or Person Account to a Call List (I am going to assume the fact that Leads are not mentioned specifically is a typo because right below this is a picture of someone adding a Lead to a Call List). From this Call List, you can dial right out of Salesforce and scroll through the list by clicking “Call Next”. Along with this, users can now pre-recorded voicemails. If you receive a voicemail, from Lightning Dialer you click on an icon and it will automatically send your pre-recorded voicemail while you move on to call the next person on your list. Obviously, you can’t leave a personalized voicemail in this case, but if you’re in a high-volume call setting this is a great time-saver. Finally, you can also make a call directly out of a report. Even if you don’t build that Call List, you can use reports and make calls directly from there. All of this only works in LEX.
Einstein Automated Contacts – I don’t want to call this a “small feature” but when you think AI and especially when you see the presentations, your tendency is to think huge. Machine learning! Data Scientists! It’s all so massive sounding and leads you to think the features will be world changers. In reality the changes are a lot more nuanced and subtle (and smaller). Take the latest Einsten feature as a great example. Automated Contacts. This is a great idea and a super cool use of Einstein – but not some massive world-changing event. Essentially, what Einstein is doing here is analyzing all of the Email and Activity data related to your Opportunities and Accounts. Instead of having your Sales team having to remember to create Contacts every time someone new comes along (and we all know that can be a spotty practice), Einstein is watching these activities and emails and identifying a potentially new Contact for you. For example, Einstein is seeing someone new getting copied on all of the activities being associated to your Opportunity. It knows this person is not already in Salesforce, so it simply prompts the Sales user “Add Contact?”. Such a simple idea, but super powerful. A time-saver for your Sales users but also a very easy way to ensure all relevant contacts are added to Salesforce. These are the great incremental changes your Sales team will see with Einstein. People have a knee-jerk reaction that AI will replace the users. The point is to help the users get more efficient and faster. With features like this you can see how (as a reminder, Einstein Sales Cloud is a feature that must be purchased).
Einstein Insights Enhancements – In the same theme as helpful tools driven by machine learning, Summer 17 brings some enhancements to Einstein Insights which was released in Spring 17. All of the Insights are displayed in the Einstein alerts component. Three new Insight types are now included: Anytime a Competitor is named, anytime an email mentions a Contact that is on the Opportunity is leaving, or when Leadership is changed at the Account the Opportunity belongs to. All are definitely handy items to be alerted to and keep in mind these alerts can be driven from ANY activity – not just the ones you are receiving yourself. Another new change is a user can now see Insights on an Account or Opportunity they don’t own by simply following them. Previously you had to be an Owner of the record to see the Insights on your homepage. Finally, you can undo dismissing an Insight.
Date Matching on Einstein Activity Capture – Einstein Activity Capture now has some date criteria included into its processing to help determine whether an activity or email should be associated to an Opportunity or not. As of now you can’t modify this, but it has a 60 day window added from when the Opportunity was Created or Closed.
Email Updates – A really cool new feature allows you to pop-out your email composer into a larger screen. As part of this, you can then navigate around and look at other records and you won’t lose the email. This is a terrific benefit for Sales users who are typically trying to copy and paste content and research multiple records to compose their emails. In addition, users can now see their email signature displayed right in the email composer. If you need to edit it, or just want the assurance it’s going to be there, you can see it before you hit send. Nice little touch.
Lightning Sync and Lightning for Outlook/Gmail – The various ways to connect Exchange and Google to Salesforce have take a major step forward with Summer 17. For both email services you now have really two options: you can keep using the client side apps for Outlook and Gmail – both of which have been improved this release – or you can now start to use Lightning Sync which does a lot of the work at the Exchange/Google level with a two-way sync. There are a lot of new features in both of these, so definitely worth digging into, but here are the highlights. Let’s start with Lightning Sync. Lightning Sync now allows for both Office 365 and Google Suite the ability to sync Events and Contacts automatically without your users needing to do it from their client. Events is a bi-directional sync between Salesforce Events and the calendar in Office 365 or Google. In addition to syncing the event, it also syncs the meeting attendees. Finally, this is also bi-directional with Contacts. Contacts is particularly interesting as with this you can get the Contacts out of the local Outlook files and into a corporate centeral setting. Why depend on your users doing this themselves? Do the sync for them and improve your data. There is still a need for the client side connectors though – especially for email – and both of these have been improved as well. Some of the enhancements include the ability to pin Lightning for Outlook to always be open (it was pretty painful having to pop this open every single email), relating emails to Salesforce records on the fly as you compose them versus having to wait until you send, and the ability to choose while attachments you want to send over to Salesforce instead of just sending them all. In addition, users can now grab email templates from Salesforce and use them within Outlook as a starting point. Awesome feature there. All in all these are great enhancements to see – especially with the frostier Salesforce and Microsoft relationship. Good to see that’s not hampering progress.
Keyboard Shortcuts – Some people live and die by the mouse. Others of us grew up leaning on the keyboard and love our keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. With LEX, we now have shortcuts for some of the most common actions like Editing or Saving a record, Closing a Record, Launching Search, Creating a Note or Posting to a Feed. Some of your users will love this.
Account Hierarchy Component Enhancements – In Spring 17, LEX rolled out a very nice component for Account Hierarchies. We get two new enhancements to it with Summer 17. First, when you’re hovering over a record within the hierarchy, you can see a preview of it as well as some of its related records. I love this component and this is a nice touch. Second is more of a fix, but now only Parent records within the component have an icon to expand and show the children.
Contact Hierarchies – Speaking of hierarchies, Summer 17 brings us a new Contact Hierarchy component for LEX. This behaves very similar to the Account one above in that you can customize which Contact fields display in it, and it has pop-ups when you hover over a Contact. It supports up to 2,000 Contacts in a Hierarchy. This is sure to be a tool your Sales users will benefit from and will want to use.
Activity Timeline Expansion – I love the LEX activity timeline component. It is so much easier to see what has happened – and what is yet to happen – on records then trying to read from two related lists in Classic. Well it’s just gotten better. You now have the ability to do an Expand All and all of the Activity will display in an expanded view showing all of the content. This even includes emails where it will show the full body of the email. Terrific way to view a detailed history of what has happened on a record without having to leave the record.
Adding Campaign Members – We’ve always had the ability to add Leads or Contacts to a Campaign from standard reports in Classic. With Summer 17 this gets extended as well as made available to LEX. Now, as long as the base object is either Leads or Contacts, you can do this from any custom report as well as the standard ones. If it’s a custom report, it needs to include the Full Name field for this to work. In addition to this, in LEX only, you now have the ability to add Contacts to a Campaign right from the Account off of the Contacts related list. Really nice time saver here.
Picklist Enhancements – The first big hooray for Summer 17 with some bump-ups for picklists (this TubeChop service is really flaky, so just linking to the entire Hooray video. I will get this fixed!). The biggest change is that the picklist value limits has been bumped up. This is huge and man, it feels way overdue. Picklists can now have up to 1,000 values! Multi-Selects have been bumped to 500 and users can grab 100 at a time. This one is terrific. Next up is potentially just as cool. You can now make a field’s default picklist value variable. Instead of just having to select the default, you can now add in a formula to determine what the default should be.
Campaign Field History – You can now track Field History changes on the Campaign object. This will work in LEX or Classic. To be honest, I didn’t even realize you couldn’t previously, so not something I’ve ever run into. That said, I could see how it’s useful to Marketers.
Path Updates – The super slick Path has a couple of updates this release. First, it can now be added to Orders and Contracts. You can now add tips and highlight fields for each step of your Order and / or Contracts process. Nice addition. Second, the UI has been updated a bit. Now when a record is opened, by default the Path details are collapsed so the user doesn’t need to scroll to get additional details. A new icon has been added to expand and collapse the details. There is now a setting to allow this to be a user based setting if you’d like.
Rich Text is back with LockerService – Glad to see this fix. Previously if you enabled LockerService, your Rich Text fields would no longer work in Lightning. This was due to a security issues with the rich text editor. That has been corrected by moving the rich text editor to Quill and we no longer have this problem. As part of this change, LEX Rich Text fields will look and behave a little differently than Classic. Nothing seems major though.
New Location for News – News gets a bit of a facelift. This killer feature now has its own tab in Accounts, Contact and Lead records and you now have the option to display the news as the existing Carousel or as a List.
Navigate to a Record Directly from the Success Message – A nice little productivity enhancement. Now, instead of having to go to the recent items to go click into a record, you can go right to it from the Success Message that LEX posts. Not mind-blowing, but it’s another little UI tweak to help make your users faster.
Campaign Influence at the Account Level – If you’re using Customizable Campaign Influence, you can now add a related list to the Account and few how Campaigns are influencing it. This actually works in Classic as well, but in LEX you get two cool dashboard components that can filter down to specific Opportunities at the Account.
Search for Opportunities using the Account Name – A little search tweak here. Now, you can use a search term with the Opportunity name and the Account Name to only return Opportunities related to that Account. Lots of times you’re selling the same product, so your Opportunity names are necessarily unique. This lets you narrow those search results quickly.
Subscribe Other People to Reports – Now users can add other users to the subscription list for a report. The user will need additional permissions to be able to do this, but it’s pretty handy to take that out of the admin’s hands.
Kanban Updates – Kanban views can now summarize all Numeric fields as well. Previously it only worked with Currency fields. We can also now group Kanban cards by Owner. Finally it’s now more obvious if you can’t update a record in your Kanban view. Some quick hitters to a very cool LEX only feature.
Approval Comments – A quick improvement for Salesforce1. Now without having to leave Salesforce1 you can see any Approval Comments. This was a bit of an annoyance, so great to see it corrected.
Easier to Create Orders – Orders can now be added to the Global Actions list. This is for LEX and Classic. In addition, in LEX only, users can now add multiple products to Orders or edit multiple Order products at the same time. The enhancement is similar to the Opportunity Products one in Spring 17.
One Click Send of Quote PDFs – In LEX only, you now have the option to select Email PDF on the Quote PDFs related list. Quick and easy.
Convert Old Notes – Leveraging the API, we can now convert Notes from the old object into the new Notes object and give your users a consolidated Notes history. This could also apply to converting Notes from other systems.
Make Lightning Experience the Only Experience – We would definitely only recommend considering this for Sales Cloud users as Service Cloud is still in process of migrating to Lightning, but you can now remove the option for users to switch back to Classic. This can be set by profile or permission set.
Classic Features – Here’s a quick list of features that have worked in Classic that are now available in LEX as well. This list is getting shorter and shorter as nearly all the functionality in Sales Cloud has been replaced now:
Field History Related Lists – Field tracking related lists can now be added to any record layout in LEX.
Opportunity Stage History Related List – The Opportunity Stage History is now also available in LEX.
Search for Topics & Entitlements – LEX and Salesforce1 can now display results for Topic or Entitlement searches.
Contact Hierarchies – As mentioned above, LEX can now show Contact Hierarchies, but with much more functionality than Classic supports.
Add Campaign Members from Reports – As mentioned above, you can now add Campaign Members to a Campaign from reports.
Dashboard Filters – Appears to work the same as in Classic.
Approval Changes – Approvals can now be re-assigned and recalled from LEX (and also Salesforce1).
Combination Charts – Works pretty similar, however it looks a ton slicker.
Dashboard Folders- You can now create Dashboard Folders in LEX. However, you still need to flip over to Classic to other users access to those folders.
Matching Accounts on Lead Convert – Similar to how Classic works, if the Lead’s Company Name matches any Account Names, a picklist is displayed to select from. Previously this needed an exact and single match for LEX.
Alright, well that is it for Sales Cloud and the platform. As I mentioned a ton of new changes, but no single big one. Sometimes I prefer these types of releases as you get a lot of volume. Next up will be our Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning write-up.
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.