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Coastal Explains Salesforce Releases: Spring ‘24 Edition

Coastal Explains Salesforce Releases: Spring ‘24 Edition

Welcome to our blog on the highlights of the Spring ’24 Salesforce release! We’ve got a ton of exciting updates to share, each tailored to different teams and needs. 

Here’s a quick overview of what Salesforce has in store this season. You can also click on any headers in this menu to dig deeper into the topics that matter most to you.

FOR AI ADOPTERS: AI in Data Cloud just got simpler and more powerful. Creating forecasts is now as easy as clicking a few buttons, and you can integrate these predictions into your daily Salesforce tasks. Plus, Salesforce now supports AI tools from big names like OpenAI for creative tasks.

FOR DEVELOPERS: Apex developers, rejoice! Salesforce has introduced the Null Coalescing Operator, making your code more efficient. This operator lets you handle null values easily and is a big win for cleaner, more readable code.

FOR SERVICE TEAMS: The Email-to-Case feature just got an upgrade. Now, you can use the new Email Routing address to streamline case management and enjoy a higher email body character limit for clearer communication. Plus, there are new threading preferences for better email organization.

FOR ANALYSTS: Salesforce’s enhancements to Lightning Dashboards include more filters and new Account and Contact Intelligence Views. This means you get more flexibility in data analysis and a comprehensive view of account health and customer engagement without custom dashboards.

FOR SALES TEAMS: Seller Home is the new dashboard designed to give sales teams a complete overview of their sales landscape in one place. It includes integrated overviews, goal setting, daily agenda organization, AI-powered suggestions, and quick access to recent records.

FOR ADMINS: Managing customer data just got easier, thanks to Salesforce’s updated UI. See all customer info in one spot, enjoy more flexible Dynamic Forms, and customize field visibility by device. Plus, there are mobile-friendly actions for standard items.

FOR CARTOPHILES: Maps Lite is a new feature that allows sales teams to visualize customers and prospects on a map, plan efficient routes, and schedule tighter appointments. It’s easy to enable and helps reduce travel time and increase productivity.

FOR FLOW WIZARDS: The beta Transform Element in Flow Builder simplifies data handling in your flows. Now, adding up or counting items in a data collection is straightforward, saving you time and hassle.

FOR SECURITY TEAMS: Event Monitoring has new enhancements to help you monitor unusual guest user behavior, download event log data, keep an eye on custom components, and extend event log file access for Government Cloud customers.

FOR THE SEARCHERS: Search Answers is supercharged with generative AI, allowing both customers and agents to find answers quickly using the search bar. Plus, creating knowledge articles from closed conversations and cases is now quicker and easier, thanks to AI.

Ready to dive into the latest Salesforce release? Read on or click a specific section above to explore the benefits and new possibilities these updates bring. Want to discuss how they can transform your business? Click below to talk to one of our experts.

TALK TO AN EXPERT → 

For AI Adopters

Salesforce’s newest updates to Data Cloud make using AI a cinch, even if you’re not a tech expert. Here’s what it means for you:

Easy Predictions: Now, creating forecasts for potential sales or how happy your customers are is as simple as clicking a few buttons. No need to write complex code.

Practical Use in Daily Tasks: These forecasts aren’t just numbers; they can directly help with your daily work in Salesforce. You can integrate your predictions in Flow and set up automated actions based on these predictions, like updating records or making decisions automatically.

Get Creative with AI: Want to do more? Salesforce now lets you use advanced AI tools from big names like OpenAI for creative tasks. You can generate summaries of large texts or even have automated chats with customers, all within Salesforce.

In short, these improvements mean you can make smarter decisions, save time on routine tasks, and get creative with AI, all with just a few clicks.

For Developers

Big news for Apex developers—Salesforce has rolled out the Null Coalescing Operator. Say goodbye to clunky, wordy code when dealing with null values.

This sleek new feature, a long-awaited gem from the IdeaExchange wishlist, makes writing and reading Apex code a breeze. It’s a clear win for developers, and we love seeing Salesforce deliver on an idea from the user community. 

Here’s a quick breakdown:

What it does: The Null Coalescing Operator (represented by ??) checks if the value on its left side is not null. If it’s not null, it uses that value. If it is null, it uses the value on the right side instead.

Why it’s useful: It replaces longer, more complicated ways of checking for null values in your code, making it cleaner and easier to read.

Important to know: Avoid errors by ensuring the types of the left and right values match. Also, remember that the order of operations matters—sometimes, you might need parentheses to get the result you expect.

Limits: You can only use this operator in some situations. For example, it doesn’t work on the left side of an assignment, and there are some restrictions with certain query expressions.

For Service Teams

Make your team’s case management smoother and smarter with Salesforce’s latest Email-to-Case update.

The standout feature? The new Email Routing address is now front and center, saving you the headache of sifting through multiple fields to figure out who gets what case. 

They also boosted the email body character limit, which means more info per email, making communication clearer and more detailed. Plus, customizable threading preferences offer better control over email organization.

Looking for a little more detail?

Enhanced Routing: The new EmailRoutingAddress field in the Email Message object makes it easier to direct emails to the right team. This is especially handy when team email addresses are hidden in a distribution list or the BCC field. This field is also accessible via the sObject API, streamlining the email routing process.

Increased Character Limit: The character limit for email body fields has jumped from 32,000 to 131,072 characters. This means you won’t have to worry about hitting the limit or contacting support to increase it for your organization.

Customizable Threading Preferences: Lightning threading now offers more flexibility. When an email doesn’t automatically match an existing thread, you can choose how it’s threaded using tokens, metadata from headers, or a combination of both.

For Analysts

Salesforce has rolled out some practical updates for analysts, especially in enhancing Lightning Dashboards and account management views.

Here’s a rundown of how they’re making data analysis and customer account management more intuitive and efficient in Salesforce:

More Filters on Lightning Dashboards: Previously, you were limited to using just three filters on Lightning Dashboards, but now you can use up to five. This means more flexibility and precision in customizing how you view and analyze your data.

Account Intelligence View: Managing accounts just got easier. Now, you can get a comprehensive view of your account health without building custom dashboards or components. This view includes account activity, opportunity metrics, and information on cases and activities—all accessible in one place.

Contact and Lead Intelligence View: Stay updated on customer engagement throughout the sales cycle. This feature lets you quickly review which leads and contacts are interacting with your company and identify those needing more attention or nurturing.

For Sales Teams

Every sales team knows the struggle: they need a home page that’s easy on the eyes and packs in all the crucial metrics of their sales pipeline in an easy-to-digest format. A page that doesn’t just display data but actually propels them into action. Salesforce has heard this loud and clear.

Enter Seller Home—Salesforce’s latest update for sales professionals. This dashboard is designed to give users a bird’s-eye view of their sales landscape. Here’s what it offers:

Integrated Overviews: Consolidates critical data points—opportunities, accounts, leads, and contacts—alongside your day’s agenda in one accessible location.

Goal Setting and Monitoring: Users can set and track their weekly or monthly goals, providing a clear measure of progress and focus.

Daily Agenda Organization: The dashboard displays today’s events and to-do items, aiding in prioritizing and planning tasks effectively.

AI-Powered Suggestions: Einstein offers contact suggestions based on users’ email interactions and events, adding a layer of intelligence to daily operations.

Quick Access to Recent Records: The dashboard also keeps recent records readily available, streamlining access to the most relevant information.

For Admins

Salesforce has updated their customer data management UI to make customer data more accessible, flexible, and personalized whether you’re on your computer or phone. Now, getting a full, unified picture of your customer in one spot—the “single pane of glass” approach—is much easier.

Here are the details: 

See All Customer Info in One Spot: Now, you can view all the details about a customer in one place—no more flipping through different pages to get the full picture.

Flexible Forms for Easier Viewing: Dynamic Forms have been improved to let you show customer information more easily on different devices and in various ways. This is a step up from older, less flexible tools.

Add Info from Connected Areas: In the Lightning App Builder, you can now pull in information from areas related to your main customer data. This helps you get a more complete view on one page.

Show What’s Needed on Each Device: You can set up which bits of customer info show up depending on whether you’re using a computer or a phone. This keeps everything neat and relevant to what you’re using.

Mobile-Friendly Actions for Standard Items: For those using Salesforce on mobile, you can now customize what actions you see for common tasks. This makes using Salesforce on your phone easier and more personalized.

For Cartophiles

Salesforce has introduced a handy feature called Maps Lite, making it easier for sales teams, especially those on the move, to visualize their customers and prospects geographically. 

Here’s a quick walkthrough of key features:

Visual Mapping Tool: With Maps Lite, sales reps can now see where their accounts, contacts, and leads are located on a map. This visual aid is great for planning both in-person and virtual visits more efficiently.

Efficient Route and Schedule Planning: By seeing customers and prospects on a map, reps can plan their routes to cover less distance and schedule appointments more tightly. This means less time on the road and more productive meetings.

Easy to Enable: You can turn on Maps Lite in the Maps and Location Settings in Setup. Once enabled, reps can plot up to 50 accounts, contacts, or leads on the map at the same time from the Maps Lite tab.

For the Flow Wizards

For the flow wizards out there, Salesforce is making your life easier with a new feature in beta—the Transform Element. This handy tool simplifies how you handle data in your flows.

What’s New: Before, adding up or counting items in a data collection was a bit of a headache—you had to create loops and assignments, which could get pretty complex.

Now, Salesforce introduces a simpler way to do this with the “Aggregation” element in the Transform Element. This means you can build and fix flows much faster and with less fuss.

How It Works: Imagine you’ve got a bunch of data, like a list of different company locations and the number of employees at each one. With this new Transform element, you can easily count the number of locations or add up the total number of employees across all locations. It’s like having a quick calculator right in your flow.

Why It Matters: This tool is a big help if you regularly work with large data sets in Salesforce. It saves time and makes the whole process of managing and analyzing data more straightforward.

Getting Started: To use this feature, add the Transform element to your flow canvas in Flow Builder. Remember, it’s still in beta, so you’re getting a sneak peek at a feature that’s being fine-tuned.

For Security Teams

For those focused on keeping Salesforce secure, there are some exciting enhancements to Event Monitoring that you’ll want to know about. Whether it’s tracking unusual activity or exploring in-depth logs, these tools empower you to keep a closer watch on your Salesforce world.

What’s new in Event Monitoring:

Catch Suspicious Guest User Behavior: A new feature alerts you when a guest user in Experience Cloud might be trying to sneakily take data they shouldn’t. It’s like having a watchful eye on guest users, ensuring they’re not up to anything harmful.

Download and Explore Event Log Data: The new Event Log File Browser (still in beta) allows you to dive deep into your Event Log File data right from the Setup area. This means easier access to crucial data for analysis and reporting.

Keep an Eye on Custom Components: The Custom Component Instrumentation API is now generally available, letting you track how your custom components are being used. You can see what data they access, how users interact with them, and their performance. It’s like getting a detailed report card on each custom component.

Extended Access to Event Log Files: Government Cloud customers now get a bonus—they can query a whole year’s worth of Event Log File data. This is especially handy if you need to dig into data for security incidents or compliance checks.

For the Searchers

Salesforce has just turbocharged its Search Answers feature with generative AI. Now, whether you’re a customer using the self-service portal or an agent using the console, finding answers is a breeze.

Just pop your question into the search bar, and voilà—Einstein will draft an answer for you, pulling information directly from your organization’s knowledge base. It even tells you where the answer came from.

This smart feature means fewer cases to handle and happier customers.

How It Works: Type your question into the global search bar, the knowledge sidebar, or an Experience site. Einstein Search Answers will then pull out the most relevant parts of your knowledge articles to give you an answer.

For those who love the details, this feature currently supports English-only articles and is generally available. Remember to re-enable Search Answers to get these new, enhanced capabilities if you were part of the pilot program.

And there’s more good news! Crafting these articles can be a bit of a chore, but now, with the power of generative AI, it’s much easier.

With just a click, you can quickly create drafts from closed conversations and cases. These drafts summarize the case and how it was resolved. You can then tweak the draft as needed. Once you save it, it goes straight to a knowledge writer for review and publishing.

This neat trick significantly reduces the time and effort required to write knowledge articles, saving you time and money.

That’s a Wrap

That’s a wrap on our deep dive into the Salesforce Spring ’24 Release Highlights!

From dynamic updates for developers to advanced AI tools for everyone, Salesforce continues to evolve, ensuring that every team member can work smarter, not harder.

Do you have questions about how these updates can specifically benefit your organization? Or are you curious about best practices for implementing these new features? 

If so, we’re here to help! Click below to speak with one of our Salesforce experts. They’re ready to help you maximize the potential of these new features for your business.

Talk To An Expert

Coastal Expert Contributors: Matt Houston, Dustyn Foster, Jake Breunig, Jenni Elia, Chris Leavengood, John Crapuchettes, Gray Dowsley, Kevin Enright, Jessica Pokora, Sam Taylor

Coastal is the #1 rated Salesforce consulting firm, 100% focused on customer success. From strategy to platform evolution, we’re the Salesforce consultancy you’ll love working with.

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