Have you read the release notes yet for Salesforce's Spring 15 release yet? No? Well you should get in there, its so impressive, all the great new features Salesforce has added . . . I can't remember a release that was this awesome. Can you?
Here's a list of my favorite things that are coming in the next release. . . .its a long list, that's how much Salesforce has delivered:
- Sales Path: BOOOM! How long have you waited for the ability to natively build a guided selling solution for your reps? How many apps on the app exchange did you try before building something of your own, because others systems were too much, not enough, too expensive? Now you can build a process that is easier to follow consistently, providing reps with details and suggestions along the way - in Salesforce1 (the browser version is coming later).
- Google Maps Displayed for Standard Address Fields: How great is it to have a little map near the address fields. I can see some folks not liking the real estate being taken up without their buy-in and ability to decide when this happens - like maybe customer accounts versus partner accounts. Its either on, or its off - there's no in between. And its on for everyone. But, I love it. I am visual, so having a nice little map is a welcome addition to the screen.
- Report Notifications: This little feature really packs a punch for users! Instead of having to remember to go look at a report and run it to check in on your stats - you can be notified of when data meets certain conditions and have the report notification sent. This is nice in that you only get the data when you most care about it. Its not real time, instead it runs on a schedule you choose, but only notifies you of the data conditions at the time its set to run. For example your report is set at 7 am every day IF your pipeline total is above a certain number.
- Lightning Process Builder: This is one of the most exiting features announced at Dreamforce 14. This visual workflow tool allows you to automate processes. "So what", you say, "I can do this with workflow". Well, can you create records beyond tasks with a workflow? No, no you can't. In addition to record creation, you can submit an approval process automatically - BOOOM! Now you don't need so much code. This is HUGE! It means companies can reduce their development costs and system complexity - this is downright ah-maz-ing!
- Duplicate Management & Blocking: This is now generally available after being released in Beta in Winter 15, so its had a bunch of usage and feedback. Finally, a native, non-appexchange non-code way of managing duplication in the system. This one, this is a big one, and it should be enabled thoughtfully. This will impact the way data is imported into the system by other systems and processes like data loading, web to lead, and integrations.
- Action Links: I think what's obvious to me in this release is Salesforce is really upping the game with integration capabilities that us non-code-developers can do on our own. AND we can really, easily start to connect all our systems and experiences. What Action Links do is allow a user to DO something from a chatter post. The example in the release notes is a story of a user who is communicating via chatter and is given information, they can either download more details or go an order. This is soooo cool. There are great uses for this internally and externally and small businesses can really up their game by using this to connect their technology platforms together.
- Chatter Action Tasks: Now users can create a task from a post in the feed. So if your manager at mentions you in a post and asks you to do something, you can create a task from that post so you can remember to do it. To get this started, you do have to enable it by going to Customize | Chatter | Feed Item | Layouts.
- Convert Leads from Salesforce1 (Beta): Beta or not, its better than not being able to convert leads from your mobile device - this was a big pain point for Salesforce1 using Reps, and a big deal. YAY Salesforce for delivering on this.
- CAMPAIGN TAB FOR COMMUNITY PARTNER USERS! Oh Yeah! Okay, well most people don't have a community, and most communities are for customers, but I have a lot of experience in delivering partner communities and this was a painful limitation that really increased costs for customers. Prior to this release, the only way to deliver a tab, was to code a custom visual force page.
- And Drum Roll. . . . The most exciting and anticipated feature ever delivered is CHATTER EMOTICONS!! How tired of the colon parenthesis combo were you?
Happy Release Day to You!