Hope everyone had a great summer. Can’t believe this is already Labor Day. I feel like I just wrote about all of the Summer 16 features to kick-off the summer, and here I am again. We need another month of summer. Well, the one positive of summer wrapping up is that we’re getting closer to Dreamforce, which means Winter 17 is coming. The release notes are out – totaling 432 pages! Some great stuff in here.
As we stated in the Summer 16 write-up, Lightning Experience had mostly wrapped up for Sales Cloud. We get some new stuff which we’ll describe below, but with Winter 17 Lightning Experience starts to spread into Service Cloud. We’ll cover those Service Cloud changes in Part 2. Again though, for Sales Cloud users, unless you have a highly customized setup or require the few remaining features LEX doesn’t support, you really need to start planning your cut-over to Lightning Experience if you haven’t already. It’s now been three releases of new features for Sales that only work in LEX. One of the huge benefits of being a Salesforce customer is getting these new features three times a year, and you’re losing out on that if you don’t move over.
Alright, let’s get to the features though. We’re going to do four posts again, and this time our fourth post will be about Pardot. We did Analytics Cloud last time and with Salesforce now having so many different product lines (and Gears supporting most of these officially), we’re going to try to do one or two of the other clouds each release write-up. So, here’s the order and let’s get rolling:
Part 1 – Sales Cloud, Lightning Experience (except Service Cloud) and the Platform
New Lightning Navigation – Sounds like a lot of people were unhappy with the left-handed navigation of LEX, and as usual, Salesforce listened. We get a new Navigation menu for LEX with Winter 17 and it’s back to being across the top. For the most part the functionality is the same, but should be much more familiar to the users. Supposedly from the tabs you can also get at creating a new record and recent items – basically a drop down on each tab item – but I couldn’t get this to work in the pre-release org. If that’s there, it’s a nice touch.
Accounts Update – In LEX, the Accounts page gets a bunch of new features and a re-design. Take a look at the screenshot below, but first up is News. (Insights is now called News). The News feature – if turned on – is now front and center on the Account screen. Personally I think this is great for Sales users as this will give them a quick update of what is going on before a call or visit. In addition, News now can contain profiles on top executives at the Account and any news about them as well. Outside of news, the new Logo and Autofill features that were in beta in Summer 16 are now generally available. Taking a look at the screenshot below, one interesting thing is this is the first time in a very long time that Chatter is no longer front and center. That screenshot is the default view and it’s all about News & Activities. Chatter is still just one click away, but it’s a subtle shift in attention for Salesforce.
Contact to Multiple Accounts Updates – Some pretty big updates to one of the major new features in Summer 16 – the ability to relate Contacts to multiple Accounts. This was a hugely requested new feature so it’s good to see Salesforce continue to improve upon it. First, Person Accounts can now be related to Business Accounts as part of this. Especially for those instances where you have both Person and Business Accounts in play, this is a very nice update. Second, you can now add validation rules to the relationships between the Account and Contact. Next – and this one is interesting – these relationships can now be viewed, edited and created from within the Lightning Communities. It doesn’t look like this impacts security settings for the Community yet, but it’s nice that you can expose it. Finally, the relationship object now supports triggers so you can automate some of the updates or inserts. Good stuff all around.
Flexible Campaign Influence – Very exciting new feature that allows you to be much more flexible in how you assign Campaign Influence on Opportunities. Today, when you have multiple Campaigns associated to the Opportunity, the Primary Campaign gets 100% of the Influence credit and any other Campaigns get 0%. This was frustrating for a multitude of reasons, but with Winter 17 this is an issue of the past. Now, you can create your own Influence Models, that allow you to determine how it should be spread. Want to spread it evenly across all Campaigns? Or maybe give credit to the last Campaign that comes in? Or maybe do a weighted model where one campaign gets more than the others, but the others at least get some credit? With the new Customizable Campaign Influence feature we can do all of that. With this comes an updated Campaign Statistics screen that will show the revenue generated by the campaign reflective of the new model. Only thing you need to really worry about here is what to do with all your historic Opportunities. You can do a clean-up to get them into the new model or just start with this on new Campaigns only, but this is a great new feature and it works in Classic as well as LEX.
Bulk Actions in Lead List Views – Lead list views have just gotten a bit more powerful. Winter 17 brings the ability to apply two different bulk actions to Lead list views. First is the ability to bulk add Leads to a Campaign. You can select any Leads from the view and then easily add them in bulk to a Campaign with the “Add to Campaign” button. Second, is the ability to claim Leads from a Queue. This looks like it only works in list views that are limited to a Queue, but from those views a user can select multiple Leads and select the “Accept” button. Those Leads will then by assigned to that user. Definitely a nice productivity improvement.
News Updates – A few updates to News besides it just being renamed to News. As I mentioned above, News is now front and center on Accounts. It’s now also available on Contacts and Leads now as well. Finally, you can now share News items through Chatter. I love the News feature so great to see it becoming deeply embedded (LEX only).
Filterable Activities Timeline – One of the slicker new features that came with Lightning Experience was the Activity Timeline and the ability to quickly see the history of all the Activities on a record in a nice chronological order. Winter 17 brings a super handy improvement and that’s the ability to quickly filter the Timeline. You can filter by Date Range or Activity type.
Email Updates – With the new Enhanced Email in Lightning (and I’m assuming in Case Feed as well) there are a few new updates. First one seems small, but man, this one has been killing us for a few years on the Service Cloud side. We now have the ability to Forward emails from Salesforce directly. Previously you could only Reply / Reply All. I need to play with this on the Service Cloud side to see how the email-to-case functionality works, but for Sales this is pretty straight-forward and a nice feature. (LEX only) In addition to this, the API/Apex email limit has been raised to 5,000 a day. For us, this is a really big update as sometimes you just can’t use the standard auto-replies and workflow and need to send emails via Apex or the API. The previous limit was 1,000 so this is a really big bump up.
Calendar Updates – Two quick new updates to the new Calendar feature in LEX (the Calendar is one of my favorite new features from LEX). First, you can now personalize the color of your different calendars. Second, you now can view your Calendar(s) in a monthly view vs. the weekly only view that was there previously. Loving it.
Lightning Flow – Lightning now supports Flow and as part of this, has changed the UI to make Flow fit into Lightning Experience. This is in a beta, but you can embed these flows right into any Lightning page. In addition, you can now display Flow in a two column format if you’d like. Good to see this now supported and expanded a bit.
Clearer LEX Messaging – Two quick improvements to messaging for users within LEX. First, when creating, editing, deleting or cloning a record, there is now clear messaging saying that this was successful. Previously this was a little tough to tell. See below for the example (glad to see the team working on the release notes are also Seinfeld fans). In addition there’s some improvement to the error messages when using inline editing to make it much clearer what the issue is. Small but welcome changes.
Lightning Report Subscribing – In LEX, you can now subscribe to reports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. A new very easy interface allows you to subscribe to up to 5 reports and dictate when you’d like to receive them.
Texting in Salesforce1 – Natural update and definitely a big one for mobile users. You can now send a text as an action within Salesforce1!
Google Calendar Integration – It’s in beta, but you now have the ability to sync Google Calendar with Salesforce automatically.
Skype for Salesforce – Another beta, but Salesforce now has an integration with Skype for Business and LEX. With Skype for Salesforce you can keep track of your Contact’s skype address and from within Salesforce see their Skype presence and launch a Chat, Video or Audio Call. This only works if you’re on Skype for Business and not the free client.
Quick LEX Updates – Here’s a quick list of Classic features now supported with LEX, or small improvements.
Revenue Schedules – This was one of the big use cases still hanging out there that wasn’t supported. With Winter 17 you can now see Revenue Schedules with LEX.
Quotes – Another big Sales Cloud feature that was missing, but now Quotes is supported. Looks like all features are supported as well.
Save & Next – The Save & Next buttons are now in LEX to allow users to more easily create an additional record once they create their first.
List View Inline Editing – LEX now has Inline Editing for list views as well. Unfortunately, it still has the same limitations as Classic in that the view can’t have more then one record type in the view. Would have been awesome to have that eliminated as an issue. Please note, this is actually a beta.
Remembering Section Preferences – When users expand or collapse a section in LEX, it now remembers how they left it last (like Classic) and the next time they view a record, the layout will present as they last left it.
Field Level Help – LEX can now display the help bubbles for a field
Lead Merge – Lead Merges with the side-by-side comparison of fields now works in LEX.
Report Changes – Reports in LEX now support Filtering by Hierarchies and the Smart Filters for dates (Next Month, This Year, etc.).
Stay in Touch being Retired – Personally this is my least favorite feature Salesforce ever released, so glad to see it going away. Not many features are fully retired, so I guess I’m not alone in my dislike.
Web-to-Lead Endpoint Changes – Salesforce recently emailed all customers about a change to the endpoint URL for Web-to-Lead. Basically, to improve performance, Salesforce has made a change to these endpoints and introduced a new URL. What this means is, if you are using Web-to-Lead (or Web-to-Case) you need to update your forms by the Summer 17 release. This is a very easy change and you can do it already, but your forms will stop working if you don’t. Just follow these instructions to make the change, and I’d do it sooner than later.
There’s actually a slew of other smaller features so I definitely recommend reading the release notes thoroughly. Lots of great stuff in this release. That’s it for the Sales Cloud and Lightning items that caught our eye. Next up will be Service Cloud.
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.