I hope everyone had a terrific summer. This one went quick, but nothing makes you realize it’s over quicker than having Dreamforce around the corner and the Winter 19 release notes already being out. Winter 19 is coming in early October, so even though it feels like Summer 18 just came out, get ready for it. As per the usual, this is another big one, coming in at just under 500 pages of new features. Between the release notes and what we’re going to hear at Dreamforce, we’re in for a ton of new features over the next few weeks. Speaking of Dreamforce, we’re super excited that we have people from Gears presenting in four different sessions this year. If you’re interested, check us out at the following:
As always, there’s no particular order outside of my own excitement around the features. At this point, the assumption is you need Lightning to use these features, but if something also works in Classic I’ll call that out (psst. If you’re still on Classic with no plan to move to Lightning, contact us. We can help!). Let’s get at it.
Display Density – A really nice UI feature for Lightning gives users the option to view page layouts in either a Compact mode or a Comfy mode. This is a user level setting but the admin can default it to what they’d like. At this point there’s no way to override what a user selects though. So what’s the difference with these? The side by side below really shows it nicely, but it’s all about collapsing the white space. Essentially Compact mode is displaying a much tighter layout than Comfy (which is what Lightning has been up until now) and can fit up to 30% more fields on the page before you need to scroll. The Created By field below is a good measure point of just how much more Compact fits in. A common complaint has been that Lightning had too much white space, so this corrects that and I think even improves where Classic left off. I like that it’s also a user option though as some users are simply not comfortable with a very small / tight display.
List View Updates – Some very cool updates to list views across all objects with Winter 19. First, we now have a List View Search. This is terrific. This is one of those items where a few times a month I’ve grumbled to myself how being able to search within a view would be terrific. Now we have it. Best part is, it searches fields on the records that aren’t even displayed within the list view. The search works with in Kanban or Grid list views. Next up is the ability to mass assign owners across the view. You can assign up to 200 records at a time and this will work for Leads, Cases and all Custom Objects views. This works in both the grid or the kanban views. Super handy. Another quick update is that we now have the kanban option for recently viewed list views. I’ll be honest, I never noticed that wasn’t there for those default list views, but admittedly I’m personally not a huge kanban user. Good to see that updated though. Finally, we also now have the ability to update the sharing rules of the list view. This was one that could be done in Classic previously, but now it’s available in Lightning as well.
Email Improvements – One of the best features of Lightning Experience has been the improvements to emailing from within a record in Salesforce. Winter 19 enhances this even further with multiple improvements. One of these is a simple little icon next to the email address to show that the email has bounced. Simple but effective and a great indicator for your users that there is something wrong with their Lead or Contact. As part of this, you can even see specifically which Activity (or multiple) was the one that bounced. Salesforce has always had the ability to track opens when you send email from Salesforce, but it was never a super easy thing to use. It was its own related list and a little clunky. Now, we get this information exactly where we want it – right next to the Activity we sent. This information is now part of the Activity feed and it will show you an indicator of whether the email is still unopened and when the last time it was opened. You also can see the first and last time it was opened – which is great especially for things like a proposal email. It’s key to know they’ve looked at it multiple times. Terrific improvement here. Speaking of the Email Tracking, in our new GDPR world, Salesforce also added the ability to not track Contacts. Now if you enable Data Protection & Privacy, in the Contact’s / Lead’s Individual record you can select “Do Not Track”. If you have that selected, no emails sent from Salesforce will track the opens for that Lead / Contact. Users will see a “Not Tracked” indicator where they would normally see that information. Quick text has also been streamlined for the Lightning Email components. Now there is a quick text button in the email dialogue box where a user can click it, select from a list of quick text they have access to, and then that text will be inserted into the email. Huge time saver for those repetitive phrases you need to insert into emails. Service has been leveraging this for a while, now Sales can benefit easily too. Finally, when sending emails from List Views, users can now add attachments to those mass emails as well.
Email Templates -Two quick improvements to Email Templates in Lightning. Now your users can keep an Email Template Private. Previously in Lightning they were all public. In addition, the merge fields drop down is much smarter. It only shows the fields you can use from the record you are doing the email from versus show the list of all fields – of which a lot wouldn’t work. Can’t complain on either of those.
Forecast Improvements – A few new updates to Collaborative Forecasts. First, the connection to Enterprise Territory Management is now GA and you can forecast by Territory. This lets you show your forecast by Territory but also the user role within that Territory. This supports the Territory Hierarchy functionality and allows you to drill down into the Child Territory for a forecast as well. In addition, users now have the ability to share their forecasts right from the forecast record. This is pretty handy if you need someone outside of the role tree to see a forecast – maybe someone outside of Sales or someone covering for another user while they are out. Finally, the Forecast page gets a bit of a facelift. Some cool new additions to it including breadcrumb navigation, the ability to search for others users forecasts, a timestamp to show the last time this Forecast was refreshed and a toggle to show / hide rows that have zero values. Great way to clear the clutter and reduce scrolling.
Einstein Forecasting with Custom Fields – Speaking of Forecasting, Einstein Forecasting gets a pretty cool update as well. You can now add your custom Opportunity fields into the model. As part of this, you have a setup wizard to allow all of your custom fields or tell Einstein to ignore certain custom fields that you don’t feel have any relevance to forecasting. Once added, these fields will be baked into the Einstein model for Forecasting. This is a beta for now, but it’s available if you own Einstein Forecasting.
Activity Enhancements – Activities and Tasks also get some nice enhancements for your users. Now when you use a Quick Action to create a task, it automatically adds a reminder to that task based on your settings. Previously you needed to create it and then go back in and edit it to enable the reminder. A needed fix there. On the email enhancements above we mentioned how Quick Text has been enabled to allow users to add repeated text into emails. This is also turned on for Activities now. So, if your users have repeated notes they add for their Activities, have them create Quick Text records for this and they’ll fly in their Activity creation. On the Activity Timeline itself (one of my favorite Lightning features) users now have the ability to filter which type of Activities they want to see in the feed. In addition they can set defaults for how they want their timelines filtered. This is a user level default that they can change or reset at anytime. All of these are items your users will love.
Einstein Activity Capture & Email Insights Improvements – We get a few improvements to Einstein Activity Capture too. First, you now get Recommended Connections to the Contact you are looking at within Salesforce. Based on analyzing all of the emails from the Contact, Einstein will recommend which colleagues might have a connection to that Contact. It’ll rate the connection Low, Medium or High based on the amount of emails they are in together and allows the Sales user to click into them and follow. It looks like this only does this for other Contacts within Salesforce. This would be very cool to see across other users within your Salesforce, too. If you have them all setup as Contacts, that would work here, but I assume that will come out eventually anyway. In addition to the Recommended Connections, users can now see recommended actions and take actions directly from the Activity Capture. For example, if the activity was from a prospect requesting a meeting or call, Activity Capture will automatically show “Scheduling Requested”. From there you can click on that and be presented with an option to create an event. They don’t list all of the actions available, but this is a nice feature. We also get a new setup feature that allows us to customize Einstein Email Capture to look for specific keywords. If Einstein sees those keywords within the content of the email, it’ll be highlighted within the Activity field and show the keyword that appeared. This is a great way to flag for competition or buying indicators in emails (keep in mind, Email Insights is included with Enterprise and Unlimited now, so this is a cool thing to take advantage of). Finally, users can provide feedback on the Email Insights on whether they are accurate or not. This obviously is a good feedback loop to help Einstein get smarter on its insights and suggestions.
Campaign Quick Filters – I like this one. Campaigns now have a very simple-to-use Quick Filters option that lets you quickly filter the Campaign Member list down to size. You can easily filter to show only Leads or only Contacts, filter off of the status, or based on First Name, Last Name or Title. Great way to drill down into your Campaign Members. Another quick Campaign update is that we now have an improved Campaign Member sync with Pardot. If you use Pardot and have the Campaigns synced, it doesn’t matter whether the Campaign Member is added within Pardot or within Salesforce, they immediately sync those members and then keep their info up to date.
Survey Enhancements – Salesforce Surveys gets a significant upgrade this release. First up, we now have three new Question Types you can use within the Survey. These include CSAT – which lets a customer select their customer satisfaction score from a list of options, sliders and picklists. Sliders are basically a fancy way to let the customer select a value on your scale, and we all know what picklists are. Nice to see these as new options. In addition to the new question types, we can now add multiple survey questions onto a page. Previously, it was one per page and the customer would move from page to page to answer each question. This will help streamline the surveys for your end-users. For the end-user, we can now allow them to pause a survey and then come back later to finish without losing any of their progress. Finally, if the recipient of the Survey is a Contact in your Salesforce, they won’t need to authenticate anymore to take the survey. Both of these are great for the user experience. We also get two admin / back-end changes. Going forward you won’t be able to edit an active Survey anymore. This makes sense. You don’t want to be editing it right as a user is filling it out. Last but not least, we get some improved tracking for the invitations. You can now see if someone has opened the invitation, started the survey or finished the survey from the invitation record. This is a big improvement for reporting. Overall, great to see these improvements. Keep in mind, you get a Survey for free, so this is a great tool to use. You will need to buy additional surveys though.
Filter Search with Number Ranges – A few small but handy updates to the global search filters. Now when you filter by a field, if it’s a number field you can use a range to set the filter. So, if you want to only search for Opportunities between $500,000 – $1,000,000 you can add that to the filter and narrow the search. Definitely a nice touch. In addition to this, you can now also filter by the Task Subject when searching for Tasks. There’s a few other search improvements that impact the other clouds which we’ll mention in other posts.
Increased Flow Limits – The governor limits per org have been dramatically increased in Winter 19. You can now have up to 4,000 processes and flows where previously you were limited to 1,000. Of those, the active limit has been bumped to 2,000 at a time from what used to be 500 at a time. Finally, you can now have up to 50,000 scheduled actions or flow interviews waiting to be processed at a time, up from 30,000. Flow is going to be a big announcement at Dreamforce and it’s becoming more and more integrated with all of the clouds so this is great to see.
Require reCAPTCHA for Web to Lead – A quick hitter that could be a life saver depending on the amount of spam you receive. With a simple toggle, you can now require the reCAPTCHA to be completed on your web to Lead forms. If it’s not completely, the form submission will be rejected and not fed into your Lead queues. If your site gets slammed with bots, this makes a ton of sense to turn on.
Calendar Series – Users can now schedule repeating events (series) from their Salesforce calendar. This is in beta, but it’s available to use.
Event Syncing – While we are mentioning Calendars, Lightning Sync for Outlook and Google both now have Event syncing. This is in beta, but it’s there for you to use. In addition to syncing Events based on user changes, now for the first time, it’ll also sync changes made by the Salesforce API. So, if you are modifying calendar events with the API in Salesforce, those changes will now sync just like if a user did it.
Territory Management Enhancements – If you use Enterprise Territory Management, you’ll see two new enhancements that are very handy. You’ll now be able to filter your Opportunity List Views or Opportunity Reports by your Territory. Both will have a filter to add for “My Territories Opportunities” and “My territory team’s Opportunities” which will automatically filter the list view or report by those values.
Account Teams Improvement – No more adding an Account Team members one at a time. Similar to the improvements to adding Opportunity Products, the Account Team interface has been updated to be more of a grid and allow users to rip through and add multiple members at a time.
Alright, that’s it for Sales Cloud. Service Cloud is up next and is another really big release. As our frequent readers know, Service Cloud is my favorite, so I’m super excited to dive into that one. I’m hoping to knock that out next week and get it done before Dreamforce, but I’m traveling to go see David Byrne and, well, sometimes music takes priority over Salesforce blogs. I’ll do my best though. As always, if you want any help on any of these features, feel free to reach out.
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.