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Highlights of the Salesforce Winter ‘19 Release

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8 Cool Features We’re Excited to Use

Three times each year, Salesforce delivers new, innovative features to its users via their seasonal releases in Spring, Summer and Winter. With every new installment, people like me get excited to test out new functionality and deploy into our org(s). For some Salesforce orgs, the Winter ‘19 Release has already arrived, but for others, it will depend on your instance. The main release dates are on September 8th and October 6th and 13th.

As a result of the new release, I recently watched the live webcast “Get Ready for the Winter ‘19 Release” and was inspired to put together a short post with my favorite features from this release.

Here’s what I’m geeking out about…

Lightning Enhancements

In a strong attempt to get the Salesforce Classic user to switch over to Lightning, Salesforce released plenty of new improvements to make a compelling case. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Search in list via across all objects, including quick search for reports and dashboards
  • Share list views with groups of users or an entire org
  • Change your view with display density settings to show more on screen data
  • Visualforce custom code for Lightning Console Apps for added customization
  • Edit joined reports with Lightning Report Builder

Sales Cloud – Salesforce Email Integration for Outlook

I’m not an Outlook user, but many of the clients I work with are. For them, these updated email integrations are pretty damn useful. Now you can work with Salesforce, in a way that is helpful to sales reps, directly from Outlook. Here are the major upgrades:

  • Email tracking, so you can know if customers or prospects opened your emails or clicked on a link.
  • Email scheduling, so you can have your emails go out when you want them to. Instead of sending an email late at night, you can make sure it’s the first email your customer sees in the morning.
  • Link any email to any related Salesforce record, including an account, opportunity, contact, or any custom object.
  • Create entirely new records from an email. As an example, if you were emailing with a prospective customer, and they CC’d an executive, you could create a new record for them.
  • Easily log calendar events in Salesforce without having to navigate away from Outlook at all.
  • Leverage existing Salesforce email templates, using predefined text to help ensure complete and consistent messaging.
  • Ability to insert your calendar with available meeting slots, synced directly from Salesforce into emails.

Pardot in Lightning Experience

As a Certified Pardot Specialist, and someone who is in Pardot every day, my work will significantly benefit from this update.. The main goal with this update is to have one single platform experience for all sales and marketing teams to utilize. The major highlights include:

  • Ability to view and sync Pardot campaigns with Salesforce campaigns, resulting in a more efficient campaign management process, increased reporting functionality and higher level of insight into your campaign health.
  • Increased visibility for prospect engagement history, allowing for a more streamlined view of a prospect’s activities.
  • Reporting on Pardot from within Salesforce, unlocking the ability to use customizable campaign influence on all of your campaigns in Salesforce, allowing you to fully leverage Pardot attribution models.

Service Cloud – LiveMessage in Lightning Experience

Most live chat tools already have Salesforce integrations, which can push conversations directly into a Salesforce record. But for those who use the Lightning integrated LiveMessage experience, this feature should prove to be a game changer. Now you can communicate through a seamless and integrated experience, across digital engagement channels right from within the service console. You can even add new message channels like Facebook Messenger and SMS.

Marketing Cloud – Social Studio: Real-Time Reports

I know lots of companies invest big money in brand monitoring tools. In an effort to supplement, or perhaps replace those tools, Salesforce has released new Social Studio functionality. You can receive real-time and scheduled alerts, so you can get notified when specific criteria have been met.

Marketing Cloud – Journey Builder: Journey Testing

This feature is one on which I’ve already relied heavily in Pardot Engagement Studio. Now you can take advantage in Journey Builder too. With this update, you can ensure your drip programs are firing correctly, before activating the journey. If they aren’t, you can make any adjustments you need to when in draft mode.

Einstein Analytics Updates

There are a lot of new features here, including the Einstein Discovery experience in the Analytics UI, enhanced sharing security, drill-down capabilities, mobile push notifications and file-based connectivity for Amazon S3.

Check a Field’s References Before You Edit It (Pilot)

This is one of the updates shared in the release webinar I watched, and is arguably one of the most anticipated new features. Until now, if you wanted to check where a field was being used, admins would attempt to delete the field, and if it was referenced somewhere else, Salesforce would return an error message. Now admins can use the “Where is This Used?” button for custom fields instead, allowing you to see all the references to that field, such as in a report or formula.

Get Ready for an Overall Better Experience

As you can see, there are some new useful settings and configurations with which to mess around. I only covered a small portion of them though. As always, Salesforce does a top notch job documenting release notes, which are super easy to navigate and will give you all the information you need to keep your org running smoothly.

For those looking to understand the release process in a little more detail, take the time to complete the Understand the Release Process Trailhead Module. You can also take the Winter ‘19 Release Trailhead Module for a more in-depth look of all new features, but not have to read through all of the release notes.