Amazingly summer is over and September is here already. I hope everyone had a good summer and you’re enjoying the last long weekend for a bit. With the end of summer, means Salesforce’s next release is coming soon and sure enough, the Winter 18 release notes are out. I actually think the new Winter 18 logo is pretty funny. With all of the Game of Thrones action happening, obviously the winter release is going to have a lot of “Winter is Here” jokes about it and I keep imagining that logo trying to walk around with the white walkers. The friendly zombie no one wants to walk with. Might just be me though. Alright, to the release though. Even though Dreamforce is in November this year, this is the release right before it so as usual it’s jammed packed. A ton of Lightning – for both Sales & Service, Einstein is really kicking in with a bunch of new features, and a lot of other stuff we’ll cover across the different clouds.
As we have mentioned in past releases – almost every new feature requires Lightning Experience now. That isn’t just the case for Sales anymore. Service is now officially in the same boat as well. At this point, no matter what cloud you’re on, if you’re still in Classic, you need a road map to get to Lightning Experience. Sales Cloud has been there for a while now – almost every Classic feature is support – and with Winter you now have 5 loaded releases of features you can’t use while on Classic. With Winter 18 Service Cloud also now supports most of the features. For some organizations you may need to wait one more release, but it’s time to start planning and / or migrating with Winter 18. We’ll cover that more in the Service Cloud write-up. This is a big deal though. Lightning is the future and you are really losing out if you’re stuck on classic. To help with this, in October we have two webinars we’ll be doing on all of the Lightning benefits and discussing approaches to migrate – one for Sales and one for Service Cloud.
- Lightning Sales Cloud: Why Sales Cloud Users Should Really Migrate to Lightning Thursday, October 12th 2:00pm EST
- Lightning Service Cloud & Knowledge: Lightning Has Struck: LEX For Service Cloud in Winter 18 Thursday, October 19th 2:00pm EST
Hope to see you at these. Onto the content. For our write-ups, we’re going in the order below:
- Part 1 – Sales Cloud, Einstein for Sales, Lightning Experience (except Service Cloud) and the Platform
- Part 2 – Service Cloud
- Part 3 – Collaboration: Chatter, Files & Communities
- Part 4 – Field Service Lightning
And now, in no particular order for the features- except my own ranking of feature coolness, here are the new Sales Cloud features:
- Streamlined Look & Feel – Lightning Experience gets some nice look and feel adjustments with Winter 18. All of these are intended to make it easier to read and to reduce some of the scrolling. A lot of the white space has been reduced on the page layouts – for both records and list views. I have a side by side of the list views below and you can see you get a decent bit more into the same section. It’s also a lot easier to read now. They added some contrast to the background so everything isn’t all white (it’s amazing how much that helps read the page) and also adjusted the fonts some to make the text crisper and stand-out more. On the background, you can change it from the blue to a gray, but both help readability (not sure if the blue is a “winter” theme and that changes with each release). All in all, this makes it much easier to read and use.
- Updated Lead Conversion – The Lead Conversion page gets a really slick update. The page is now completely different and allows Sales users to very easily select what they’d like to do. The Account, Contact and Opportunity options are now all broken out into expandable / collapsible sections where a rep can select whether to create a new record or select an existing record with a simple search window. Upon conversion users get a nice splash screen where they can then click to any of the records involved in the conversion or create a task. A really nice re-do of a very old page.
- List Email – Super cool new feature that your Sales Reps will love (assuming you let them use it). List email now allows users to select records from a list view and then do a Mass Email right from there. Simply select the records, click List Email, and then you get the LEX Enhanced Email editor where you can write a new email or select a template. Of course Activities are saved for all the records emailed to. Huge time saver. In addition, in the Activity timeline, you can now filter List Email Activities so you can see which Activities were more bulk emails versus individual emails.
- Lightning Report Builder – LEX finally has its own report builder (instead of just the old one slapped into a Lightning page) and it looks great. The UI is definitely much easier to use, modify the report, add columns, charts, etc. It also dynamically sets the report type versus you having to do it. This is in beta and is a pretty big change so there may be some issues that get worked out, but it looks great. There are still some features not support here. These include: Joined Reports, Bucketing, Custom Summary Formulas, Cross Filters, Row Limit Filters, and Role Hierarchy filters.
- Other Report Enhancements – In addition to the report builder we also get some really cool enhancements to normal reports and dashboards (these are not Einstein Analytics improvements). First up is a super cool new dashboard component called Lightning Tables. Now you can add a component that shows up to 10 columns from the source report. This isn’t like the old dashboard table where you could just show two fields. From there it’ll display up to 200 records that you can scroll through within the component. This looks incredible. Next up is the homepage dashboard component. This gets a big upgrade in that it’s not just a single dashboard widget now, but you can embed an entire dashboard on the homepage. Very nice. After these two are some quick hitters including bumping the limit of Groups from 200 to 500 for Line & Bar Charts, Line Charts now can have a 2nd line added, Donut Charts can now display values or percentages, and finally all of the chart icons have been redone. Great to see the update to reports and dashboards and they seem to have been lagging in the LEX process.
- List View Updates – Outside of the new streamlined look and feel, List Views get a bunch of new updates as well. First, the column widths now dynamically adjust to the content. From there, your adjustments to those column widths are now remembered by user. If you’ve over-customized them a simple “Reset Column Widths” option is now also available. Similar to the Search results, we now have text wrap in List Views as well. Users can set this by column (and again, it’s remembered). Finally, we now have mass record updates in a list view. You can update up to 200 records from a view with inline editing and then hit save. Terrific updates!
- Multitouch Campaigns – Pretty cool new feature for Pardot users. Now you have an option to enable any of three new models for the Customizable Campaign Influence. The First Touch model tracks the campaign where the prospect first interacted with you. The Last Touch model shows which campaigns were involved prior to an Opportunity closing. Not sure if this is always just the last campaign before the Close Date or if there’s some intelligence here. Finally, there’s the Even Distribution model that shows how campaigns perform across all interactions with prospects. You also can just keep the default model by itself, but these are definitely cool options to take a look at.
- Einstein Lead Scoring – A rare feature that is actually for Classic and not LEX – Einstein Lead Scoring is now visible in Classic. In addition, a nice update to the scoring model. Previously, Einstein required that you converted the Lead to an Opportunity to analyze those historical leads. Now, it can analyze any converted lead as part of the model – whether an Opportunity was created or not. Finally, the administration was made a bit easier.
- Einstein Automated Contacts – A pretty cool new feature for Einstein users called Automated Contacts. Tired of the struggle of getting your Sales Reps to enter in Contacts and Contact Roles on Opportunities? Now it appears Einstein can do this for them automatically. Obviously, the automatic depends on Einstein being able to see these contacts as activity within Salesforce – from emails being associated to Accounts and Opportunities. It’s not going to scan a business card for you (yet). However, as long as your Sales team is added in their email activity, let Einstein make these associations automatically. Big time saver but more importantly, a much easier behavior to work with Sales on. All we need you to do is add your activity and let Salesforce do the rest – pretty powerful. Users can see what we created / associated with a “Added by Einstein” list view and a dashboard lets admins see across the whole instance to measure this. This is in beta for Winter 18.
- Calendar Updates – A few updates to Calendaring makes it more powerful in Winter 18. First, you can now sync Attendee Details for Google users with Lightning Sync. In addition, users can now share their calendars with other users and allow those users to see them beside their calendar. This only works for the core calendar and unfortunately not for any custom calendars users create (let us share custom calendars!).
- Prompt for Opportunity Products – With a quick setting you can now prompt users to add Products to an Opportunity. Pretty handy.
- New Time Field Types – This one was a little hidden in the notes but this is a great new field type. You can now have a field to represent Time without having to mess with Dates. Really big for Service Cloud, but also time and project management. To support this, we get a few new functions as well: TIMEVALUE, TIMENOW, HOUR, MINUTE, SECOND and MILLISECOND. I assume this always goes off of the running user’s time zone, but it could be GMT. Definitely something to check. This is all beta, but available to anyone.
- Search Enhancements – A couple of quick search enhancements. You can now resize columns and as part of that you have a choice of whether you can the text to wrap or get cut off. What’s nice is Salesforce remembers this by user, so you can really customize your search results to look like you’d like them to. In addition to this you also have some new sorting options that are dynamic by the field. Relevance is still the initial sort order, but you can adjust this to the field itself or other qualities. For example, on an Account search you can also sort by Account Owner or Phone but with Opportunity searches, you can sort by Opportunity Name, Account Name, Stage, Close Date or Owner. I think this is actually really handy. Would be cool if later we can customize the drop downs.
- Globilization Updates – Very quick updates here. Admins can now enable multi-currency without contacting Salesforce support (yah!). You can also now import translation files a bit easier as Salesforce now let’s you import and export as XLIFF files. Finally, Flow now supports the Translation Workbench.
- Classic Features now available in Lightning Experience – A few updates to Classic features that are now supported.
- Territory Management – This was one of the last big hold-outs. You can now do Territory setup in LEX and your users can now view the Territories in LEX.
- Opportunity & Account Teams – These are now supported with a pretty slick page layout.
- Person Account Merge – You can now merge Person Accounts (also, enabling Person Accounts is now a lot easier. Just click a checkbox to tell support to do this versus having to log a case).
- Task Notifications – LEX now has Task Reminders but with some enhancements. Instead of a pop-up, it’s a notification card in LEX. I’m assuming this won’t be blocked by a browser, but not sure. Up to three cards pop at a time, and even once the user closes it, the reminder will remain in the notifications tray. Also, in Task views or the Activity timeline, you can see visually which Activities have reminders. Nice improvements here.
- Clone List Views – Clone is now an option from LEX for List Views.
- Filterable Task Components – The homepage task component now can be filtered to show Today, All Overdue, Completed within Last 7 Days or My Tasks – similar to how the Classic component did.
- Report Folder Management – You can now manage report and dashboard folders directly from LEX instead of needing to drop into Classic.
- Conditional Highlighting in Dashboard Tables – This can be set within LEX now as well.
Well, that’s it for Winter 18. Some great new features, in particular with reporting and ease of use. As I mentioned above, it’s time to figure out a plan to move to LEX if you haven’t already for Sales Cloud. If you’d like help doing this, we offer Lightning Assessment services to guide you through not only how to get onto LEX, but also what features you should focus on rolling out. If you’re interested, please Contact Us and someone will be in touch quickly. Next up is Service Cloud!