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Seven features you won't want to miss from the Spring '18 Salesforce release notes

January 17, 2018By

It's that time of year again! Salesforce's Spring '18 Release is just around the corner and with it comes a treasure trove of features and tools to empower users, admins, and developers. It seems appropriate that the loading icon is Codey (the bear mascot) watering a bonsai tree. With this latest release, we have been presented with a number of new features to enhance, tweak, and guide the processes that govern our Salesforce instances - much like a bonsai master coaxes their tree to grow in unique twists and turns. Let's talk about seven of the most exciting new features and how they're going to improve the way that you use the Salesforce platform.

Themes and branding

The Salesforce Winter '17 Release had a new look and feel that came in the form of a blue background and updated banner designs. Spring '18 adds a new layer to this, giving you the ability to create your own themes through “Themes and Branding” in Setup.

Full control over the colour, default user and group icons, as well as logos and banner/background imagery makes this a welcomed addition to any Salesforce instance, and ensures that a vital internal tool can also be on-brand.

Only one theme can be running at one time, but you can have up to 300 custom themes saved for a variety of occasions, such as new Salesforce releases, product launches, or company milestones! These themes enable admins to visually notify employees of key updates through a channel they use every day.

LinkedIn Lead Gen

After robbing us of the ability to pull LinkedIn profile pictures into Salesforce, LinkedIn has finally found its way back to the platform. With native lead generation from your LinkedIn Ad account, you can create clear and reliable reporting by connecting prospective Leads with the appropriate Salesforce Campaigns. Once the LinkedIn Account associated with your ads has been connected to Salesforce, you can map the following to Leads in Salesforce:

  • Default values
  • Custom questions
  • Lead fields

With this feature enabled, Leads are automatically brought into Salesforce and workflows and assignment rules fire immediately. This gives your team all the information they need to follow up quickly and efficiently while the Lead is still hot.

Individual user-customized navigation bar

It's finally here! Every admin likely gets this request several times a week, if not each day. “Can I change my Navigation Bar tabs?” Until now, the answer would have been “ummm no, sorry.” Admins everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief because user-managed Navigation Bars have arrived with Spring '18. This will likely be one of the most useful features for Users who want control over their workflows within Salesforce. This new feature does come with a caveat; users can currently add any Object that they can access to their Navigation Bar, even if it's not available in the App they're working in. This should be clearly communicated with users to ensure that it is used correctly.

Pin Objects, List Views and Records

Not only can users customize their Navigation bars with the Objects they have access to, they can also pin list views and individual records to the Navigation bar. When in a list view, click on the drop-down on the tab, and “Open in New Tab.” This process is the same for individual records - you would just click on the arrow of the record's Object type, and voila! That Opportunity record you're working on to try to close the deal? Now it's front and centre. That list view you check every morning? It's one of the first three tabs you see on your navigation bar. Oh the possibilities!

New Formulas: AddMonths

Have you ever wanted to accurately add months to a formula, only to be presented with a help article or Trailblazer Community post that provides a page-long formula required to calculate the date you want? That formula is now a single function found in the form of ADDMONTHS(date,num). From a selected date, you can add a specified number of months, allowing easy management of date fields opening up a world of options for your workflows.

Community Cloud and Marketing Cloud Integration with Journey Builder

Integration between Marketing Cloud's Journey Builder and Salesforce Communities now allows you to leverage Community data to trigger your Journeys. Instead of sending Community members messages manually, you can create dynamic, personalized and automated emails based on how a customer interacts in a Community. Here are a few places where emails can now be triggered through Community engagement:

  • New Community membership
  • Case creation
  • New Chatter group membership
  • New Chatter post creation
  • New question or new topic on a post

Configure Journeys using Salesforce Community data as an entry source and choose the specific data to use as a criteria.

This allows for greater engagement with targeted community users and a greater degree of dynamic interactions. Greater engagement over time enables our clients to drive customer retention and boost participation within the Community.

Set Up Einstein Opportunity Scoring

Einstein, Salesforce's artificial intelligence offering continues to expand its knowledge, with a number of features becoming generally available as they graduate from pilot and beta programs. Opportunity Scoring has moved into general availability and will enable your sales team to prioritize deals based on how likely they are to close. The setup is easier and allows for the easy assignment of a permission set to users that will be using the new scoring features.

As is the theme with Salesforce releases, Spring '18 is no exception bringing with it exciting new features, promoting tools to general availability, and introducing new prospects into pilot. Get ready for the release by checking out the Sandbox Release instructions and get hands-on with some of the new features ahead of the Production release.

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