It’s that time of year again: The latest Salesforce release is officially upon us. And, as has become customary, the accompanying release notes are lengthy (476 pages). Not exactly a beach read.
To spare you the hours you’d need to read the entire document, we’ve culled seven updates that — at least in our minds — are some of the most notable. From entirely new features to long-awaited improvements to some older ones, these picks could be a major help to organizations of all kinds.
If your business is using Salesforce, these are the Summer ‘19 updates you need to know.
Salesforce Summer ‘19 Release — 7 Essential Updates
1. Build custom learning modules with myTrailhead
No doubt you’ve heard of Trailhead, Salesforce’s popular training platform. Salesforce users of all kinds use it to learn new skills, brush up on existing knowledge and even maintain their Salesforce certifications. The only thing you can’t do in Trailhead is create your own custom modules. At least, you couldn’t until now.
Releasing in preview, myTrailhead is a user-friendly tool that gives your company the power to create, publish and manage its own content. Now, you can build learning paths for onboarding, growth and development, new processes and technologies — you name it. Think of it as an alternative to traditional learning management systems.
myTrailhead is available (at an extra cost) with Enterprise, Performance (no longer sold) and Unlimited versions of Salesforce. Users will need the myTrailhead Content Access permission to start earning badges, and those looking to create content will need further permissions.
2. Save time and frustration thanks to reports with row-level formulas
This update solves a pain point many members of our client services team had been feeling for a while now. Up until this release, reports in Salesforce only offered the ability to create formulas at the summary level. Meaning that any use case involving a row-level formula required the creation of a custom formula field on the object itself, even for one-off instances. This created unnecessary complication and took more time than it needed to.
At long last, row-level formulas are available (at least in beta, anyway). Let’s say you want to run a report on time-to-close for closed/won opportunities, subtracting “created date” from “closed date.” With a summary level formula, you’d only be able to calculate the average difference (i.e., the average time-to-close for every opportunity in the report). With a row-level formula, on the other hand, you can calculate and view the time-to-close for each record — that is, for every individual opportunity. For admins everywhere, this is a major convenience.
3. See more information with enhanced related lists
As the name implies, Salesforce related lists allow you to attach a list of related records to the page layout of another record. For instance, you could include a list of contacts related to a particular account. Up until now, however, Lightning users have been limited in how much information they can view for any given record on a list (4 columns/fields). That means if you wanted to see a contact’s first name, last name, title, phone number and email, you wouldn’t be able to — you’d have to choose four of five.
With enhanced related lists in the Summer ‘19 release, that limit will greatly expand. Going forward, Lightning users will be able to view up to 10 columns/fields for each record on a related list. They’ll also be able to resize and sort those columns, perform mass actions, and wrap text. Greater visibility and flexibility — that’s the name of the game here.
4. Send free surveys using Salesforce
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably heard us talking up the value of using Salesforce as a platform to run your entire business. That proposition just got a little bit cheaper. Now, you’ll no longer need a license to create and send surveys using Salesforce. As the company notes: “Licenses can be tricky, so we got rid of them.”
Take note, however: You won’t be able to receive an unlimited number of survey responses for free. Each org gets 300 free responses, and then you’ll have to pay for more.
5. Easily deal with duplicate cases by merging them
For a while now, you’ve had the ability to merge duplicate leads, accounts and contacts — a very handy thing if your company’s processes sometimes bear repeat records. But what about cases? If you rely on web to case, you’re very likely to experience impatient customers submitting the same question or complaint multiple times or through multiple channels. Without a way to merge cases, users haven’t had an easy way to save information across records that should exist as one.
Thankfully, this will no longer be a problem for all the customer service reps out there. With this release, users will be able to merge two or three cases into a master record. Here’s more from Salesforce:
“When you merge cases, the master record is updated with your chosen field values. Most related lists, feed items, and child records are merged into the master record. The master record keeps the Chatter feeds, your values for read-only and hidden fields (except Created Date and Created By), related items, and security.”
6. Ease the transition to Lightning with record view options
There will soon come a day when Salesforce finally sunsets the classic version of its CRM, and all users will be forced to adapt to Lightning. Statistics show that this isn’t a bad thing — but we understand many are still wary of making the switch. For some companies, a new version of a long-standing tool creates the risk of confusion and low adoption.
Thankfully, Salesforce understands this hesitation too — and they’re creating features that should help ease some anxiety for those who are nervous about Lightning. Starting with the Summer ‘19 release, for instance, users will have access to two different record page view default options. The current view (now known as “grouped view”) will still be there, as will “full view,” which was designed to look similar to Salesforce classic.
For those clinging to the old ways, updates like this one should make the idea of change easier to accept.
7. Celebrate sales milestones with virtual confetti
Okay, maybe this one isn’t exactly “essential” — but it is a lot of fun. Now when a sales rep reaches a specified path stage — closed/won, for instance — some virtual confetti will fall from the top of their screen. Who wouldn’t want that?
Found other gems in the Summer ‘19 release notes? Let us know in the comments!