Sales Cloud

  • Salesforce Summer ’20 Release: Top Features

    The Summer ’20 Release is coming our way, but it is safe to safe, it has been a crazy couple of months to start 2020…

    Salesforce has even had to shuffle the offical release date, allowing for a little bit extra time for business, admins and the to get to terms with the large-scale affect COVID-19 has had.

    But as they say, ‘the show must go on’.

    And today, the Salesforce’s Summer ’20 Release Notes have now been published, we can now dive under the hood to see what the top features are!

    Summer ’20 Release: Timeline

    • May 4th – Release notes are published
    • May 29th – Sandbox refresh deadline/cutoff date, to ensure your sandbox gets early access to Summer ’20 features. You can use the Sandbox Refresh Calculator to help you check your sandbox environments.
    • June 12th & July 10th – Some early access instances of Salesforce will get the Summer ’20 release.
    • July 17th-18th – Most Salesforce environments will get the release over this weekend.

    Top Features of Summer ’20 Release

    Historically, Summer releases from Salesforce tend to generally focus on the usability side of the equation.

    Summer ’20 seems to also fit that mould, with a large focus in Sales/Service Clouds on general productivity improvements to improve how users can interact with Lightning… So here are some of the top features coming our way.

    Sales Cloud

    • Opportunity Scoring has some general improvements, increasing consistency and only display access to Scoring Factors a user has access to.
    • Some general tweaks to Opportunity Splits, Territory Management and ability to create Orders without Pricebooks
    • Additional Email Insight now available, showing if a customer has indicated they are ‘Not Interested’
    Not Interest insight highlighted in the Activity Timeline.
    Email Insight showing customer is ‘Not Interested’
    Kanban view of all opportunities with a card selected and the details panel open
    Record Details available in Kanban view

    Service Cloud

    Service Cloud also gets a number of updates to its feature list:

    • Related Record lookup, allowing agents to navigate up to 2 levels of record relationships within Salesforce. (ie directly access the Account of a Contact, which is linked to a case).
    • Knowledge Sharing (available in beta). Allowing you to define sharing rules like standard/custom objects in Salesforce, instead of via Data Categories.
    • And, Einstein Recommended Response is now Generally Available:
    Chat Replies component
    Einstein Replies in Summer 20, now ‘Generally Available’ and out of Beta.

    Salesforce CMS

    A number of new features are coming out way, if you are a Salesforce CMS user, including:

    General Improvements

    Split view after opening a record
    Lead with Split View

    Flow, Flow, Flow

    And finally, deserving of its very own section… Flow!

    After receiving a fair amount of attention in Spring 20 Release, Flow continues to push the boundaries between Admin versus Developer!

    One-Stop Shop for Automation: Starting a Flow

    As part of the change, the trigger points for a Flow have been brought ‘in-house’. No longer requiring a trigger/apex or Process Builder to start the flow.

    Along with being able to start Flows directly, and Admin can also choose if they are run before or after a record has been created or edited!

    For example, this would allow you to update field values on the record BEFORE it is saved to the database. Need to override a specific field when criteria is met? You can now do this via Flow!

    Flow Builder Toolbox and canvas
    You can now configure how/when a Flow starts, within Flow Builder.

    Admins, can also configure a flow to start directly if a Platform Event is received.

    To also recognise these changes, you can also use the Flow Wizard to select the new ‘type’ of Flow:

    The Templates tab of the New Flow window
    New Flow Templates in Salesforce, as part of Summer ’20 Release

    Debugging a Flow, gets a little easier too. With the ‘Rollback Mode’, allowing you to undo any record changes that were made as part of debugging a Flow:

    Debug options section of the Debug the flow window
    Flows: Now with Rollback Mode

    And Flows now also have the ability to run, as a ‘System User’.

    One use case for this would be to allow the Flow to ignore Sharing Rules within your org.

    Under Show Advanced, System Context Without Sharing—Access All Data is selected for How to Run the Flow.
    ‘System Context’ now available in Flow! Use with care…

    I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these Flow improvements!

    What are your favourite features?

    With the Summer 20 Release fast approaching, share in the comments below what you are looking forward to the most…

  • Salesforce Summer ’19 Release for Admins

    Get ready for the next release from Salesforce, with Summer ’19 Release just around the corner. What new features are in store for your org and when can you access it? In this post we will take a look at the top new features for admins, so read on to find out more.

    Salesforce Summer ’19: Top Features

    Overall, most of the features in this release seem to be geared towards general improvements to the Lightning UI.

    A lot of this release feels like it is further ‘sanding back’ some of the edges of Lightning and improving productivity further for users.

    The ‘Summer’ release from Salesforce, does historically tend to be more focused on general improvements. And this year is no exception…

    Why? Well, keep in mind this is the release before Dreamforce (where a lot of the new and big features tend to be announced). And most of the Dreamforce announcements tend to be piloted/beta released in Winter or Spring, obviously depending on the dev teams progress…

    With that said, let’s take a look at the top features for Sales/Service Cloud in Summer ’19 release.

    Lightning Transition: Critical Update & Tools

    As announced in Spring ’19 release, from Winter ’20, any user which has the Lightning Experience permission will be automatically switched over to Lightning UI.

    So as part of Summer ’19 (the last release before Winter 20), there are a number tools and updates to support Admins this transition.

    There are a number of tools and tweaks which help, and they are outlined here.

    These aren’t ‘sexy’ features, but they will help with your transition if you are still planning on the move.

    Related Lists in Lightning

    Summer ’19 brings with it a few tweaks to List Views in Lightning.

    First up, we have ‘Enhanced Lists’. “A what?” I hear you ask… An Enhanced List will now allow for up to 10 columns to be displayed in Lightning (rather than the previous limit of 4).

    Enhanced Lists also allow for columns to be resized… YAY!

    Summer 19 Enhanced List Views
    A normal Related List (top) vs an ‘Enhanced’ Related List (bottom)

    Quick Filters on Related Lists

    When viewing ‘all records’ from a related list, you will now have Quick Filters available.

    Opportunities related list open quick filter icon highlighted and quick filter panel open.

    Speed Up your List View Search

    Previous releases introduced the ability to search within a List View, allowing you to speed up the process of finding what you were looking for. Though they didn’t support picklist values, only text.

    Well Summer ’19 release fixes that, and picklist values on a record will also be searched if using the List View search feature.

    Keep the Record Context when switching UI

    Another minor but useful tweak, when switching between Lightning UI or Classic (and vice versa), the record context will be remembered.

    This means for example, when you switch to Lightning from an Opportunity record within Classic UI – you will now be taken to the relevant record you were on but in Lightning UI (if it is available).

    Search Results That Reflect How You Navigate

    Another one for usability, how you navigate in Salesforce will be used to present to you the Search results from the Global Search, including any personalisations the user has made to Navigation Bar.

    This is quite an interesting tweak, and should help once again speed up the process of finding what you are looking for within Salesforce.

    Sales & Service Cloud – Core Improvements

    A number of the feature improvements for Sales and Service Cloud ‘Core’, are bringing in a number of features to increase feature parity between Lightning and Classic. And as a result, closes out the list of features not available in Lightning.

    Sales Cloud: Customisable Product Schedules

    Summer ’19 release brings with it the ability to setup and customise the Line Item Schedules object in Lightning UI.

    You can now enable and setup this object like any other, and create custom fields, buttons, validations, triggers, etc.

    Sales Cloud: Quotas Now in Setup Menu (in Collaborative Forecasts)

    Collaborative Forecasting has also FINALLY received the ability to edit and setup Quotas for Forecasting Users via the Setup menu. Gone is the need to update and add quotas via API / Dataloader.

    Quotas for Collaborative Forecasts is now available in Setup, thanks to Summer '19 Release
    Quotas for Collaborative Forecasts is now available in Setup, thanks to Summer ’19 Release

    This spells the end-of-the-line for Customisable Forecasting (the earlier version), which Salesforce has also announced will be retired after Summer ’20 (next year).

    Sales Cloud: Enterprise Territory Management

    Another one that has finally made it to Lightning, is Enterprise Territory Management, with the relevant object now showing in Object Manager within Lightning.

    And remember you can also forecast against territories in Lightning too. With Summer ’19 adding a new way to view your team’s Territory Forecasts.

    Finally, Salesforce has also announced the original Territory Management module will also be retired in Summer ’20 too.

    Service Cloud: Knowledge Enhancements

    There are a number of improvements to Knowledge in Service Cloud. Starting with in-line editing for article drafts.

    In-line Editing for Articles now available in Lightning
    In-line Editing for Articles now available in Lightning

    You can now also add the Knowledge component to more objects within Lighting, which will speed up the searching for Knowledge Articles.

    Other Knowledge updates are also included in the Summer ’19 Release, including improved reporting, paste images into Rich Text Articles, and more.

    Service Cloud: Merge Cases

    Summer ’19 introduces a new ‘Merge Cases’ feature, though keep in mind it is currently beta.

    It is a feature that has been available in competing platforms for quite a while, but never the less a very handy feature to clean-up your cases.

    And if you have used the Merge Accounts feature, it will look very similar to you…

    Merge Cases from within a case
    Merge Cases option, available in Summer ’19 Release (beta)
    Select the field values to merge
    And the merge wizard allows you to pick the fields to keep/retain as you merge cases together.

    Service Cloud: Improvements to Lightning Flows (aka Guided Action List)

    Another product has changed names, with Guided Action List becoming the new Lightning Flows. But the change also brings with it a few changes and improvements too.

    You will be able to reorder Actions and Recommendations as you like.

    Guidance can now also be added to additional objects: Orders, Products and custom objects.

    Actions and Recommendations now available on additional objects.
    Actions and Recommendations now available on additional objects.

    When will Summer ’19 Release be available?

    As we enter May, the Summer ’19 Release may already be available in a number of pre-release orgs and sandboxes.

    As per Salesforce’s blog, we have now passed the May 3rd cut-off date for sandboxes to be refreshed to gain access to the preview release.

    Production orgs will start to receive the release from this week (May 8th) for some US instances. And for everyone else, we will receive it either June 8th, and June 15th.

    Find your release date:

    • Go to the Trust website
    • Click on the button: ‘Status’, next to the status.salesforce.com text
    • Type in your Instance or Domain
    • Go to the ‘Maintenances’ Tab
    • Scroll and search for: ‘Summer ’19 Major Release’
    Summer'19 Release will hit EU16 on the 9th June.
    Example of the Trust site from Salesforce.

  • Winter ’19: Top Sales and Service Cloud Features

    The first release of 2019 is almost here… Yes, I typed that right, 2019!  I was sitting in a meeting today, and we were planning the roadmap out to 2021.  It’s crazy to think…  But as the seasons change, we hit the start of the three-releases-a-year cycle with the Winter ’19 Release from Salesforce.

    winter19 - snowboarding Astro
    Winter ’19 – Snowboarding Astro

    Now I have to admit, I was caught a little off-guard by the release.  It wasn’t until I saw the new snowboarding Astro in a developer sandbox, that I realised I had completely missed the normal pre-release build up. :-O

    Where did the last 2 months go?!

    At least there is plenty of time until Dreamforce 😀

    Is it just me…?

    I struggle to be “wowed” with this release.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are some nice usability tweaks for sure.  And some additional features which do really help make Lightning a more robust and complete user experience.

    But I am left wondering, where is the “Salesforce magic”?

    Maybe there is more to be announced shortly at Dreamforce?  But what about Dreamforce last year?  Where is “myTrailhead” (there is an answer buried in the FAQ)?

    I assume the strategy for this year must be revolving around bedding-in the various acquisitions and general improvements to Lightning Experience.

    Top Features of Winter ’19 Release

    Stepping down from my little soap-box now…  And I will admit there are some really useful and cool usability features coming our way!

    So let’s have a look at the top features focusing on improvements to Sales/Service Cloud.

    Search List Views & Bulk Change Records

    List views have received some attention this release, and now have a cool ‘Search this list’ feature.  Such a simple idea, but I am hooked to using it now in my sandbox environment.

    Winter 19 Release: Search List Views

    You can now also do a number of bulk actions from the list view too, such as selecting multiple records and changing the owner.  This now brings yet another ‘small’ but useful feature from classic into Lightning Experience.

    Enhanced Run Page in Reports (Beta)

    Another cool feature – albeit a ‘beta feature’ – is the new Enhanced Run Page within Lightning Reports.  You can easily adjust what is displayed in the report, without having to edit the report and re-run…

    Also drilling down into a group/column is now a whole lot easier, matching Classic.

    winter19 - Enhanced Run Page in Reports
    Enhanced Run Page in Reports

    Joined Reports in your Dashboards

    Finally!!! Joined Reports can now be used as components on a Dashboard….

    Winter19 - Joined Report as a Dashbaord component

    Forecasts

    From memory it has been a little while since the last touch-up to Forecasts.

    Winter 19 will bring a number of new features, including the ability to now forecast by territory.

    Email tracking for your Sales and Service users

    In Lightning you can now track email responses, seeing if the email has been opened.  And actually displaying this information back in the Activity Timeline within Lightning, presenting this back in a way that is easy to view.

    Winter 19 - Email Tracking

    Live Agent Setup in Lightning

    You will now be able to setup Live Agent in Lightning Experience.  Another small thing, but one less reason to have to switch back to Classic!

    Bonus: Flow Builder

    So although not technically part of the Winter ’19 it was announced alongside the Winter ’19 release…  Early next year (likely Spring ’19 release), we will have a new Flow Builder.  Which will get a much-needed redesign.

    Removing the dependency on Adobe Flash is a huge benefit and one of the things I am most excited about.  It feels like every second day, I have to update Flash before I can then use Flow Designer.

    Salesforce's new Flow Builder
    The new Flow Builder… Coming soon!

    Wrap Up

    So aside from me being a little jaded, there are some nice usability features being added in this release which add a bit more flesh onto Lighting Experience.  (And if you haven’t migrated to Lightning yet, what are you waiting for?!)

    There are a lot of new features overall to the platform, and I am not sure if it is just the sandbox instance we are using or if it is the release… But Lightning Experience does feel a bit more responsive overall too.

    What are your top features?  Have I missed something?  Feel free to tell me / yell at me in the comments 😀

    Resources

    Other resources to help get #releaseready with the upcoming Winter 19 release.

    Salesforce Official resources:

    And the blogosphere:

  • Summer ’18 Release: Top Sales & Service Cloud Features

    Time marches on and 2018 continues hurtling towards summer (or winter for the southern half of the planet).  But it is that time of year again where we get to investigate and plan for the Summer ’18 release from Salesforce, which is due to be released to most orgs within the next month.

    Additionally, we see Lightning continue to be the primary focus for Salesforce with a number of key new features, as predicted, being included as part of this release.

    Release Notes – New breakdown

    Firstly, you may notice a subtle but helpful new format of the Release Notes.

    New sub-headings in the Summer '18 Release Notes
    New sub-headings in the Summer ’18 Release Notes

    Most features and changes included in the release notes, now appear to be broken down into easier to digest sub-headings covering the all important: Where/Why/How/When/etc.

    It is a subtle but useful change, given the volume of information in the 478 page document!

    Summer ’18 Release: Features Breakdown

    As with any Salesforce release nowadays, there are thousands of new features, and narrowing them down to a is getting harder and harder!  But let’s dive on in, and take a look at the Top Sales & Service Cloud Features.

    1) Lightning Console – To feature parity and beyond…

    With Summer ’18 Release, we see Lightning Console pretty close to matching Classic Console, with some additional new features added in for good measure.

    Now I know I am cheating in the top 10, as I am going to group a couple of features together in this one… But it will be worth it 🙂

    For the console changes, click here.

    Console specific features in the release include:

    Guided Engagement with Flow

    But the pièce de résistance though is the new Guided Engagement Console feature.  Allowing you to combine the power of Console and Flows, to give your users guided forms/scripts to work from:

    Summer '18 Release: Lightning Guided Engagement
    Lightning Guided Engagement

     

    2) Reports & Dashboards

    Summer ’18 Release from Salesforce includes a bonanza of features and updates for all things Reports & Dashboards… So again, I am grouping a few distinct features under one topic here – otherwise my top 10 would just be reports and dashboards!!

    For all Report & Dashboard features, click here.

    Lightning Report Builder

    First up, Summer ’18 Release sees Lightning Report Builder come out of beta, and become Generally Available.  With a few extra tweaks since Spring ’18 also added in!

    Summer '18 Release: Lightning Report Builder

    One thing to note: the user permissions have changed due to the feature becoming ‘generally available’, and this now allows you to hide Classic Report Builder from users, if you wish to…

    Lightning Joined Reports (Beta)

    Additionally, we see Joined Reports enter public beta within Lightning!  There are a few limitations listed in the release notes, but the biggest appears to be having to use the Salesforce Classic Report Builder

    Summer 18 Release: Joined Reports now available in beta
    Joined Reports (beta)

    Get organised: Folders and sub-folders

    I have to admit, this one makes my inner Salesforce geek very happy!  And I wrote about it in the predictions post back in January… As soon as I heard it was on the roadmap for this year, I have been eagerly awaiting this feature!!!

    Sub-Folders, within Folders!  OMG! 😀 😀 It is Lightning Experience only – but this has been a pain in the backside of many Admins, since even before I started working with Salesforce!

    Summer '18 Release: Report Sub-Folders
    Report Sub-Folders

     

    Export reports & keep your formatting

    Lightning Experience now allows you to export your report and keep the formatting of the report.  Simple…

    Filter History Reports by Old and New Values

    In Classic, another bug-bear of mine (and many others) was the fact you could not filter a History Report by the old or new field values…  It would only display them in the report or the history related list if the field was tracked.

    This ended up with a lot of reports being exported and then working with the data in Excel… GRRR

    But GRRR no more! With the ability to now filter by these values!

    Salesforce Summer '18 Release: Filter by Old or New Values on History Reports

    Thank you Salesforce!

     

    3) Lightning Experience improvements

    Another area with a number of smaller feature improvements, Lightning Experience continues to get refined with each release.

    Click here for all of them…  Otherwise, read on!

    Speed up your search

    Summer ’18 Release will allow your users to search by specific objects, from the global search bar…

    Summer '18 Release: Search by specific object

    Boom!

    Dependant picklists and Path

    Path is an amazing feature, allowing you to guide users through almost any process just based on a single picklist.  But with Summer ’18 release, any dependant picklists will now also prompt users when they move steps.

    Summer '18 Release: Update dependant picklists

     

    Group by Topics

    Topics are now available in Lightning Experience!

    Many users used Topics in Classic, and it is great to seem them ported over to Lightning Experience now.

    If you haven’t used them before, it allows your end-users to group and organise records, by a topic.  Imagine it like a #tag on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/etc, allowing you to then search for the topic and get all related records.

    Salesforce Summer '18: Topics now in Lightning

    4) Privacy (Support for GDPR)

    With the upcoming GDPR changes, Salesforce has continued to add in features to assist businesses (and us Admins) to get ready.

    Changes to Individual object

    The Individual object was a little limited when it was first released in Spring ’18.  The object wasn’t like a standard object, meaning access was very limited.  And creation of records/etc Apex coding was required…

    But no more!  In Summer ’18 the object is now a standard object with all the bells and whistles that comes with that – including the ability to now use workflows/process builder!

    You will be able to now:

    • Create custom actions, buttons, and links for Individuals
    • Create different Individual record types
    • Undelete an Individual that you had deleted
    • Use Individuals with workflows or with Process Builder

    Make a Users’ personal data unusable

    As part of the new privacy regulations, and the ability to request your personal information is removed from a system, presents a bit of a challenge for anyone who has a user record within Salesforce.  These could be community users or internal users…. And is due to the fact you cannot delete a Salesforce user record, ever.

    So to get around this, Salesforce is now including a new system method ‘obfuscateUser()’ , which will scramble user information.

    This one definitely falls into the ‘advanced’ category, as it requires Apex knowledge (or how to invoke Apex via Process Builder/Flow).

    And would require planning and testing, as Salesforce is warning: that it cannot be reversed!

    Scramble user data before and after

     

    Summer ’18 Release: Key Dates

    There are a number of key dates you need to know for Summer ’18 Release.  So to help highlight what they are, here is a handy infographic from Salesforce.   Remember the dates shown below are in US date format though…

    Summer 18 release - key dates

    What is the release date for Summer ’18 Release?

    The release weekend for your org will depend on the instance it is on, but the release will occur on the weekend between the 18th May – 8th June 2018.

    Summer ’18 Release: Additional Resources

    Official Salesforce resources

    Other blog resources

  • Time to prepare for Summer ’18 Release

    It only feels like a few months since Spring ’18 release… Oh wait, it was.  As time marches on, we are now due for the next release from Salesforce with Summer ’18 release.  Over the coming weeks we will start the normal release readiness prep, but what are the key dates of the release?  And when will Summer ’18 be released? Additionally what features might we expect to see from Salesforce Summer ’18 release?

    Summer ’18 Release: Key Dates

    As with every release, there are a number of key dates you have to be aware of.

    Most of this is sourced from the Release Readiness Group and you can download a handy infographic here (source: Salesforce).

    April 19th – Pre-release orgs are available to preview the new release.

    April 23rd – The Preview Release Notes will be published.

    May 4th – Sandbox cutoff date.  Remember to check here for instructions on which sandbox instance a refresh will land on.

    May 18th, June 1st, June 8th – there are three release windows for Summer ’18 into production environments.  Which depends on your Salesforce instance.  You can check the dates relevant for your instance, here.

    There will also be a number of Release Readiness webinars, and sessions which will be posted via the Release Readiness Group in the Trailblazer Community.

    Summer ’18: Possible Features

    Because I am not one to generally wait…  Impatient, I know…  So I started searching the product roadmaps to see what is likely to be released as part of the Summer ’18 release.  Combined with a number of webinars I have watched, this is a list of some of the features likely to show in this release.

    But please note – this list isn’t definitive or guaranteed list.  And we will get official confirmation within the next week as the Pre-Release Orgs & Preview Release Notes become available. 

    So let’s jump in and speculate as to what we might see…

    Lightning Report Builder & Dashboards

    We are likely to see a lot more features being rolled out to the new Report Builder feature.  These are likely to include:

    • Joined Reports, finally in Lightning – albeit this is likely to be a beta/pilot release
    • The ability to create field to field filters. This will allow you to compare two fields directly within the report builder, without needing to build report formulas or custom fields. For example you could run a filter where Created Date equals any custom date field on your object.
    • The ability to create reporting sub folders.  So you could setup a ‘Sales’ folder, but then have sub folders for each sales team within it.
    • Ability to sort columns based on a summarised/aggregated value.
    • Setting dashboard schedules for multiple users

    Files

    Files is likely to see the introduction of a Library-type functionality.  This will be no doubt be a nudge for users still on Content/Libraries to move over to the newer Files functionality.

    Platform Enhancements

    The rollout of branding/themes started with the last couple of releases.  We will likely get the ability to now theme/brand each app individually (rather than one theme applying org wide).

    List views will also see Mass Quick Actions rolled out to more objects too.  While Persons Accounts should get the ability to create custom Quick Actions on the object.

    And Product Schedules should finally become available in Lightning Experience.  This should stop users having to switch back to Salesforce Classic to enable product schedules, or to establish/modify schedules for products.  Which is something one of my orgs uses alot, and has blocked Lightning roll-out for that team.

    Wrap up

    We will see if these possible features are actually included in Summer – and no doubt there will be a number of other additions which haven’t been included here… There are always 1,000s of features in each release – so I know we only touched the surface here!

    Appendix

    If you want to know more, one of the most helpful videos outlining some of the new features on the roadmap, is this one: True to the Core, which was originally included in my last post Dreamforce 2017 roundup.

    Also the Lightning Roadmap is available here, but a little out of date now Spring ’18 is in preview, it is available here.

    Hope that helps with exploring in more detail.

  • Cutting the Clutter: Maintaining a Clean Salesforce Org

    Maintaining a clean Salesforce org, doesn’t need to be a battle. Recently, I was watching a great webinar by Kelly & Leanne entitled ‘Cut that Clutter‘. And it got me thinking about how the problems faced by a cluttered Salesforce, and how it can easily consume an Admin’s time and effort. And it not only affects us as Admins, but also our end users! So in this post I am going to recap some of the awesome tips shared in this webinar, and also see offer some additional FREE tools to tackle the problem that so many of us face!

    The War Against Clutter

    Ok, ok. I admit that this header is full of hyperbole.

    Maintaining a Clean Salsforce, shouldn't be a battle...
    Don’t raise the white flag, in the war against clutter!

    But a cluttered Salesforce creates a lot of frustration and anxiety for me. And I assume most it does for most of you reading this too! My personal vendetta against clutter drives me to ensure I am always improving the org for my end-users…

    I have previously written about how we started to tame the Technical Debt beast haunting our primary orgs and removed over 2 million records from an org (hint: very manually).

    But there is still so much to do…

    It is a seemingly never-ending fight. But as Admin’s we are always looking for tools and resources to help us in our day to day Admin Superhero duties. And to help us in maintaining a clean Salesforce org…

    Cut that Clutter! – The Recap

    Now before we get much further. If you have a spare 30mins I strongly recommend that you watch the webinar as I am only going to briefly summarise it here…

    The session covers the Three-S’s. These are the primary areas to focus on, to ensure your CRM is kept in tip-top shape.

    • Security – making sure you know who can see what in your CRM
    • Structure – does the setup of Salesforce ensure data security and meet any data governance requirements
    • Strategy – how to plan and scale while ensuring you don’t have to keep doing ‘big clean-ups’ each year

    If you want to hear more, then please check out the video.

    Cut that Clutter: Resources mentioned

    Next up, the ladies mentioned some great tools to help you in maintaining your Salesforce org.

    From Salesforce:

    • Salesforce Optimizer (aka Optimiser in non-US/Canada countries 🙂 ) – I am in LOVE with Optimizer reports. It is such an amazing tool to help you analyse and understand where the Technical Debt is likely to be hiding within your org. This should be your first port of call, in maintaining a clean Salesforce. That is how much I love it!
    • Security Health Check – helps you understand any vulnerabilities you may have within your Salesforce. This covers areas like Password Policies, Critical Updates, etc.

    From AppExchange:

    • Field Trip – this tool is one I install in every org I have managed now for a number of years!! It is a great tool to help analyse and understand just which fields are being populated and used by your end users. It is worth noting, that if you have a field that is always updated automatically by a trigger/workflow… Then it will obviously show as being used, even if that trigger/workflow update isn’t actually required. But overall it will help you understand your org in very tangible way.
    • The Permissioner – can help you when mass assigning/removing Permission Sets from your users.

    From Trailhead:

    Additionally the ladies have set up an Admin Trailmix.

    This covers a number of modules covering: Salesforce Profiles/Permission Sets, User Authentication, Data Quality, Data Management and finally Reporting & Dashboards.

    Help with maintaining a clean Salesforce org

    Extra, extra! Two more tools to add to your Salesforce Cleaning toolkit…

    Now for the bonus round.

    There are always so many tools and ideas out there helping admins when maintaining a clean Salesforce org. And I am only skimming the surface with these next two tools…

    Compare Permission Sets & Profiles

    When watching the webinar, albeit not live, I started shouting at my screen.

    During the Security section, there was a point around Profiles/Permission Sets. As an admin it is a mammoth task to compare all profiles/permission sets and what they might grant access to within your org. This can be kryptonite to Salesforce Superadmins…

    There was a recommendation to switch off Enhanced Profile View, and then compare the permissions… But why do that? Especially, when there is a secret weapon at your disposal?

    Perm Comparator by John Brock is that secret weapon!

    Seriously… More people need to know about this tool! And I am not even on commission! 🙂

    Stop duplicates in their tracks…

    Salesforce hasn’t always been an admin’s best friend when it came to cleaning an org…And without getting all ‘back in my day’-ish…

    But there was a time Optimizer, Security Health Check and those tools simply didn’t exist.

    There was also a time Salesforce didn’t have an easy way to prevent duplicates… Admins had to either buy other tools to identify and manage duplicates, or create complex formulas and validation rules to try and prevent exact match duplicates.

    But when planning your strategy for maintaining a clean Salesforce, you should investigate the in-built duplicate management tools from Salesforce.

    After all, what good is cleaning up your security (profiles, access policies, passwords) and clearing out fields you don’t use any more – if your end users are still swimming in duplicate records?!

    The in-built feature will take care of the basics, but depending on your use case, there may still be a reason to buy a tool like Cloudingo or DemandTools (just to name a few).

    What is in your toolkit?

    De-cluttering your Salesforce can be so rewarding!
    De-cluttering can be so rewarding!

    As I mentioned I only skimmed the surface here… And this is a topic I can (and will likely) write more about in the future. I have rambled more than enough for now…

    So to wrap up the post, feel free to add any other suggestions or recommendations for your ‘Cleaning Salesforce Toolkit’ into the comments section below.

  • Spring ’18 Deep Dive: Reports & Dashboards

    Spring ’18 release brings with it a swag of new features.  But it also brings with it a big makeover for reports and dashboards.  In this post we are going to take a deep dive into reports and dashboards in Spring ’18, and see what is coming our way.

    Additionally (and most excitingly) this is the starting point for new reporting and dashboard features within the Lightning.  With another more features heading out way over the coming releases.  To see what this includes, check out feature predictions for 2018 here.  Otherwise let’s get started!

    Dashboards in Spring ’18

    Coming in Spring ’18 your users will now be able to subscribe to dashboards easily within Lightning.

    By setting up a subscription schedule (either Daily, Weekly or Monthly), Salesforce will then schedule a refresh of the dashboard and send out an email update to the user.

    Subscribe to Dashboard in Salesforce Lightning
    Subscribe to a dashboard. Source: Salesforce

    And keeping with the myLightning ability to theme and customise your Lightning instance, dashboards now support more customisation and personalisation by selecting a colour theme.

    Additionally you can then choose the theme by individual component to highlight sections.

    Set a colour pallette for your Dashboards
    Colour your dashboards whichever way you want! Source: Salesforce

     

    Report Builder (Lightning)

    Lightning Report Builder was first introduced in the Winter ’18 release.  But the new report builder is in beta, meaning there are a number of known limitations.  Reports and dashboards in Spring ’18 starts to bridge that gap.

    Most features in Spring ’18 release are migrated Classic features.  But these features are reworked to operate in a very Lightning way.  After all what good is it having a new user interface, and not take advantage of reworking how users can use the system?

    Most importantly it is easy to see how this is a stepping stone to the future for Reports & Dashboards in Lightning Experience.

    Summary Formulas, Buckets & Cross-Filters

    As mentioned above, these aren’t specifically new features.  But they are new for the new Report Builder and operate a little differently.

    For example being able to create a summery bucket on a column, simply select the column dropdown and create:

    Report Builder and creating a Bucket column
    Creating a summary bucket within the Lightning Report Builder. Source: Salesforce

    Or creating a cross-filter, which is also easily done now within the new Report Builder:

    Create a Cross-Filter within the Lightning Report Builder
    Create a Cross-Filter within the Lightning Report Builder. Source: Salesforce

    How to activate the new Lightning Report Builder

    To get access to all of the new features of reports and dashboards in Spring ’18, you will need to first activate the new Report Builder.

    A note before we start, there is a key dependency to activating Lightning Report Builder… That prerequisite is  enhanced folder sharing needs to be enabled.

    If your org was created after the Summer ’13 Salesforce release, you already have enhanced folder sharing. If your org isn’t already using enhanced folder sharing, see Turn On Enhanced Sharing for Reports and Dashboards in the Salesforce Help.

    Go to Setup -> Reports and Dashboards Settings -> Enable Lightning Report Builder (beta):

    Enable Lightning Report Builder (Reports and dashboards in Spring '18)
    Enable Lightning Report Builder

     

    Once enabled, remember to also update either a profile or permission set to include access to the Report Builder (Lightning Experience) too:

    Enabling Report Builder Lightning Experience
    Enabling the Report Builder (Lightning Experience) on a profile

    Remember, if you don’t see this option, you need to check your Folder Sharing rules within Salesforce.  And you will have to check via Classic Setup…  The irony isn’t lost – this dependant setting is only available via Classic Setup menu currently. 🙂

    Before enabling though, ensure you are aware of the implications of doing so.  Especially how this will impact end-users within your org.  When you are ready, jump back into Classic UI and then go to: Setup -> Folder Sharing -> “Enable access levels for sharing report and dashboard folders”.

    Wrap up

    The changes to reports and dashboards in Spring ’18 gives us an insight into where Salesforce is taking the analytics features of the platform.  Along with the added flexibility the Lightning Experience grants.

    Overall reports & dashboards within Salesforce are finally getting much deserved makeover…  And there is more to come over the next few releases!

  • Top 4 Salesforce Predictions for 2018

    It is the holiday season, and it is a time for being with family and friends. It is also a time to celebrate the year that was, along with planning for the year that is to come. Can you believe it, it is now 2018…. And with a new year, comes new expectations. In the Salesforce world, this means new features and new use cases. In this post we are going to look ahead to a number of Salesforce predictions for 2018.

    Salesforce Prediction #1: Salesforce revenue tops $12.5bn

    Salesforce Prediction: Revenue Forecast for FY18/19
    Salesforce Revenue Forecast (from Dreamforce 2017)

    This one shouldn’t be a a massive surprise, as it has been forecast in every quarterly update. But unless things go horribly wrong over the first three months, Salesforce will confirm it has sailed past the target of $10B revenue for its FY17/18 and pass $12.5bn for FY18/19!!!

    Marc Benioff has been quoted in the media saying: “We did this faster than any other enterprise software company in history. Our continued momentum as the leader in CRM, the fastest-growing segment of our industry, combined with more than $15 billion in billed and unbilled deferred revenue, puts us well on the path to $20 billion and beyond.”

    Why is this interesting? Firstly we could see Salesforce start acquiring more companies over the coming 12mths. Last year was all about bedding in the huge number of acquisitions from 2016. We are likely to continue to see new products and features from the purchases, but are there new ones on Benioff’s radar?

    This will make the battle between the Enterprise SAAS titans all the more interesting over the coming year, as Salesforce’s competitors gear up to take on the CRM behemoth. 2018 will see this competition among CRM platforms heat up… Which can only be a good thing for us as they all push each other to further innovate.

    Salesforce Prediction #2: Artificial Intelligence

    Buzzword and passing fad? Or a trend to look out for? However you feel about it, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will still be all around us in 2018. Einstein has celebrated its first birthday in 2017. After a slow start, new AI-enabled features being rolled out more frequently now.

    Helping hand: AI & Human

    But it isn’t just about Einstein. Recently I attended the “Week of Innovation” here in the lovely Salesforce Tower (aka Heron Tower) in London. One of the sessions that caught my eye was a Salesforce Ventures presentation. In it they highlighted the venture capitalist strategy, but also their portfolio of recent investments. And a number of these are also looking to leverage AI to solve specific business problems.

    For example, Digital Genius for AI in a Customer Service environment, TalkIQ for AI powered insight on call coaching your reps and Squirro for event-driven insights. All of these companies have been invested in by Salesforce Ventures, which shows that Salesforce is taking AI very seriously and looking to grow the AI & CRM ecosystem.

    Salesforce Prediction #3: Dreamforce customisation features (my, my, my)

    Another solid prediction… New features! My, oh my! But just bear with me…

    If you have been to a Salesforce presentation… Everything starts off with the ‘Forward Looking Statement’ (used to be called the Safe Harbor Statement). And this section will be no different! 🙂

    2018 will continue to see the standard 3x releases bring in a number of new features. So we will continue to be kept busy keeping up to date with all the planned features.

    Lightning Experience - Custom theme setup

    To start with, the big ‘my’ announcements at Dreamforce should all become available throughout 2018:

    • myLightning and all the custom theme goodness, is due for release in Spring ’18 (it is in the preview notes)
    • myTrailhead is expected to be generally available after a beta period. This is likely to be GA in H2 2018 (which is most likely to be the Winter ’19 release).
    • mySalesforce, myIoT, myEinstein will also likely become available too either in Summer ’18 or Winter ’19.

    Salesforce Prediction #4: New features keep on coming, to Lightning though…

    Another prediction for 2018: Salesforce will continue the trend of “Lightning Experience only” with new features. But what features can we expect to see in 2018? I have dug through a number of online videos, presentations and roadmaps to find out what is coming our way and here are some of the best features I found:

    Reports and Dashboards

    Reports and Dashboards in Lightning will get a lot of attention over the coming releases:

    • Dashboard tables will get reworked. Instead of being tied to the source report, the upcoming feature will allow you to have access to all the fields on your report type. (Likely Spring ’18 & Summer ’18)

    • Dashboard & Chart colour configuration allowing you to essentially create a custom look for your dashboard. (This should be available in Spring ’18)
    • Winter ’18 brought us Dashboard & Report folders within Lightning. But next year we will likely see the ability to create subfolders. (Likely in Summer ’18)
    • The ability to create field to field filters. This will allow you to compare two fields directly within the report builder, without needing to build report formulas or custom fields. For example you could run a filter where Created Date equals any custom date field on your object. (Likely Summer ’18)
    • Joined Reports in Lightning (Likely Summer ’18 via beta/pilot)
    • Ability to sort columns based on aggregate (Likely Summer ’18)
    • General usability updates, including ability to resize columns on reports and rename field labels in the report (Likely Winter ’19).

    Dynamic Lightning Components

    We saw the first iteration of this in Winter ’18 release, but there will be more ways to control dynamic components in upcoming releases. Potentially including the ability to filter the component by who the user is or by device being used.

    The presentation I saw on this actually went as far to say that Salesforce are working towards being able to release dependent page layouts… Which would be fascinating in the possibilities it would unlock for Admins and Developers on the platform!

    Lightning & Lists

    Inline edits when in list view have been in Lightning now for a number of releases. But the ability to mass action/update records has been limited.

    Moving forward, we will see a number of improvements to how you can work with lists when in Lightning. Things like the ability to mass change owner of records. Or updating multiple records from a list view with a Lightning Action…

    When will we see these? Well it is on the future roadmap for post-Spring ’18 releases.

    Wrap up

    So that is it for now. That was a glimpse at the crystal ball for 2018.

    As we all know, Salesforce is an ever-evolving beast of a platform. It will no doubt continue to drive industry-specific focus via packaged CRM features for industries (like Health Cloud or Financial Services Cloud). Are we likely to see a Retail Cloud some time soon?

    The year ahead also introduces a number of challenges for Admins, Developers and Specialists in the form of new privacy regulations. The largest change coming our way is GDPR, for companies dealing with individuals within the European Union.

    But as with every year, there is always a lot to look forward to. So happy new year and let the good times roll!

    Share your predictions

    Do you have any Salesforce predictions of your own? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

    Appendix

    If you want to know more, one of the most helpful videos outlining some of the new features on the roadmap, is this one: True to the Core, which was originally included in my last post Dreamforce 2017 roundup.

    Also the Lightning Roadmap is available here, but a little out of date now spring ’18 is in preview, it is available here.

    Hope that helps with exploring in more detail.

  • Dreamforce ’17: roundup

    Were you fortunate enough to head to this year’s Dreamforce?  If not, have you caught up on all the new goodies that were announced?  If you are like me and couldn’t attend, we have to catch up on all the new announcements from this session via Youtube, Facebook,  Linkedin and other blogs.

    So to help out, below is an overview of some of the resources I have found useful to catch-up on all things Dreamforce 2017, and feel free to add your comments & own resources in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

    Fourth Industrial Revolution

    The key theme this year was around the 4th industrial revolution.

    And it contains a key message about the impacts on the impacts this next digital revolution will have on society, from AI and the workplace of the future, to how we treat each other…

     

    Dreamforce 2017: over 3200 sessions of learnings!

    If you have been fortunate enough to attend Dreamforce, the scale is massive.  It literally takes over San Francisco for a week and brings together people from so many different backgrounds to learn and network.

    But where to start though?  Catching up on everything is a mammoth task and with over 3200+ sessions, there is so much for people to catchup on.  New use cases and successes shared with the Salesforce community… It is what Dreamforce is all about!  That is why no two wrap-ups will be the same, as everyone has there own personal journey through the week.

    But key highlights for me include Salesforceben with two great posts stand out for me: Admin perspective or Nov roundup) and Jen Lee’s fantastic recap and her sessions about process automation and workflows.  Also David from SFDC99 has a great recap too.

    Salesforce has the videos published from most of their keynotes and a number of the larger sessions from the week, and you can access them on the Salesforce Youtube playlist.

    Key Youtube videos I have found useful include:

    And personally, I love the T-Mobile story at this year’s keynote, where they demonstrated a number of the new ‘mySalesforce’ features (such as my Trailhead, my Lightning and my Einstein).  You can catch that session including a live demo here:

     

    The future roadmap of Salesforce core platforms

    One session I always try to catch up on is the core platform update/roadmap sessions.  This next session has a number of the Product Owners talking about some of the features that are coming up over the next few releases.

    Want a crystal ball into Salesforce’s thinking and where they are focusing their efforts? Look no further.

    They also go into the Ideas Exchange, why some ideas can’t/haven’t been delivered so far (even though they might seem really simple from the outside looking in), and how Lightning is actually allowing Salesforce to drive the pace of delivery of new ideas that Classic simply couldn’t do…

    So without further ado, here is the True to the Core overview from Parker Harris and co…

    The future roadmap of Salesforce’s core products definitely looks promising and personally I can’t wait for the discussed improvements to reports & dashboards (Sub folders… Field to field filters?!  OMG)

    Comments always welcome

    Got any key videos / blogs / resources you have used to catch up on Dreamforce this year?  Share in the comments below.

  • Salesforce Winter ’18 Release

    Salesforce’s next release is here, and Winter ’18 is jammed packed with Lightning features and still brings some improvements for those (well most of us) who are still on Classic.  In this post I will also show you how to check key days for your org and share some of the best resources I have found for the Winter ’18 release.

    Let’s jump in and take a look at the top Sales & Service Cloud features in this release.

    Top 6 Winter ’18 Features: Sales & Service Clouds

    Enhanced Instant Search Results & Better Search in Salesforce

    Salesforce Winter '18: Smarter Search Results

    This is such a small thing overall, but will save so much time for users.

    Spell correction is now available within instant results!  Users will now get suggestions if there is no direct match.

    And the search has also been improved to allow users the ability to include an Account Name when searching for a contact, opportunity or an account.  This will then narrow the overall results!

    To check out this feature, click here.

    Lead conversion now improved in Lightning Experience

    This has been a bug bear of so many people.  Put simply the Lead conversion process in Lightning left a lot to be desired!

    Well Salesforce have heard us and worked on an improved conversion process, and now gives a clearer view to sales users on if they are creating a new record or linking the lead to an existing one.

    Personally, the new screen looks a little clunky… But it is still an improvement from the previous way of converting a lead.

    Salesforce Winter '18: Lead Convert Process

    The new lead convert process is documented here.

    Manage your duplicates using Duplicate Record Sets

    If you saw one of my last posts, data is such a big focus for us.  The new Winter ’18 release now allows you to manage duplicates within Lightning.

    In the Data Management section of the Setup menu, you can setup a feature to report on duplicates based on your matching rules.  Now in Lightning you can leverage any reported Duplicate Record Set, then compare and merge!

    Salesforce Winter '18: Duplicate Record Sets

    View this feature in the release notes.

    Macros & Live Agent now in Lightning Experience

    I have combined these two but Macros and Live Agent are now both support in the Lightning Service Console! #abouttime!

    This will bring about productivity improvements for those using Lightning.  But most importantly also removes yet another hurdle to making the change to LEX for those orgs not using Lightning UI and Service Cloud…

    Check out Marcos and Live Agent details.  Live Agent in particular does still have a few feature gaps between Classic and Lightning, but these gaps are slowly being removed and will no doubt be ironed out over the next few releases.

    Time Field Type (beta)

    There is a new feature in beta this release, which allows users to track time (independent of date). :-O

    Imagine in a project management app, being able to simply allocate time to something rather than stating a date/time…

    For more click here.

    Lightning gets a tweaked UI

    Lightning has been such a big focus for Salesforce and they continue to actively improve the User Interface.

    In the upcoming Salesforce Winter ’18 release, they have given us a new look and feel.  To me this is very similar to the new-ish design concept that Google and others are following, with ‘cards’ of information broken out into pieces and clearer whitespace usage to illustrate what is important on the page.

    And also in the Setup menu, there is future improvements hinted at.  Where in the future we might be able to update the background and theme Salesforce Lightning Interface to suit your business 🙂

    More details here.

    Salesforce Winter '18: New Look and Feel

    When does Salesforce Winter ’18 release?

    You will need to check Trust site for your server instance, but most production orgs are currently schedule for the major release from 7th October 2017 (select NA instances) – 14th October 2017 (most AP / EU instances).

    Can’t wait for the release?

    Miss the cutoff for sandbox refreshes on the last week? You may still be able to sign up for a pre-release Winter ’18 org to have a look at the new features.

    Best resources to help you get Winter ’18 release ready!

    Salesforce directly should always be your first port of call.  They always publish and support users through the transition and this release is no different.  Here are your go-to Salesforce resources:

    Other blogs and videos for Salesforce Winter ’18 Release Readiness

    Check out her blog, as there is a wealth of information also on areas like Mobile & Einstein!

    • Salesforce Weekly, has done a ‘Release in Action’ video for Salesforce Winter ’18
    • Rakesh on Automation Champion has his top 10 features
    • Praneel at Above and Beyond has a guide on the features of the release, with some additional focus on things developers (and some admins) would be interested in like DX.
    • Jenna Molby has a breakdown of her 12 favourite features from the release.
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