Salesforce.com Spring ’14 and the 6 Features That Will Make Immediate Impact

It’s mid-January, cold and snowy (at least, here in Indiana) but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about spring.  Each year, Salesforce.com comes out with three releases. The next in line is the Salesforce.com Spring ’14 release which begins to roll out in the middle of February.  The Salesforce.com  release website as well as the Salesforce Release Community (which is only available to Salesforce.com clients) is full of insights and information to keep you updated on what is to come.  To get a quick overview of the features you can download the 27-page release preview .  Salesforce.com also provides the full feature set in their 319-page document Spring ’14 release document.
With all of these upcoming features, our Salesforce admins have been sharing their comments throughout the office and on our Chatter community.  As we have done with previous releases we wanted to share 6 features that we think are most exciting.

Repeating Tasks

So far, we have identified this as our most exciting Sales Cloud feature.    Up until this Spring ’14 release, when a user marked a task as complete, it was a manual process to create a new task to move the opportunity through the pipeline.  With the Repeating Tasks feature, you have the ability to automate your sales process, call sequence or touch systems.  Essentially, when one task is closed, a predefined task is automatically created for a certain number of days in the future.

Chatter Announcements

As users are updating Chatter throughout the day, each post and comment continues to move to the bottom.  Oftentimes, these are important company announcements which were posted at the beginning of the day.  As a result, these posts get missed. We’ve heard this complaint before from friends and clients. As a consequence, sales managers and company leaders revert back to email when sending out an important announcement.  With Chatter announcements, your post is highlighted to ensure everyone easily sees it.  Although this may not sound like a big feature, we feel this is an important one to improve adoption and consistency.

New Standard Object – Orders

When Spring ’14 is released, the new Orders object will be a feature you will have to enable in your settings.  As defined in the release notes: “An order is an agreement between a company and a customer to provision services or deliver products with a known quantity, price, and date.”  Orders can be associated to a contract or an account.  This will be a much better alternative to the current price books feature.  The benefit that many organizations will experience is the ability to view an order all the way through to completion.  Manufacturing companies who have large ERPs, for example, might start adapting their process to the Salesforce.com Orders object to prevent the sales team from utilizing multiple applications throughout the sales process.

Twitter Profiles in Salesforce1

Last November as everyone was getting ready for Dreamforce ’13, Salesforce released their new mobile platform Salesforce1.  This was a big victory in the mobile space and over the past two months, we have seen widespread adoption of the Salesforce1 mobile apps among our friends and clients.  In Spring ’14, the records of your contacts, leads or accounts will now show the individual’s Twitter profile, meaning, when you are viewing a record in the Salesforce1 mobile app, you can keep up with their tweets as well. This ensures your ability to stay connected and up-to-speed with your contacts.

Task Assignment Notifications in Salesforce1

As I write this, I received a notification on my iPhone from our local news provider alerting me of a traffic backup in my area as well as a notification that someone retweeted one of my tweets. With the Spring ’14 release, you will immediately receive task assignment notifications on your mobile device through the Salesforce1 mobile app. You are probably familiar with the bell icon notifying you of Chatter posts.  Now, tasks will be included in that notification window. Yes, the Salesforce1 mobile app has made us all much more mobile but with this upcoming feature, we will able to keep up with those important deals and tasks that we are working on with our team.

Salesforce Files Sync

In a world of creating multiple versions of files and sharing them among the team, Spring ’14 is greatly improving the Files object.  The Salesforce Files Sync will be able to sync files on your desktop to Salesforce.  Soon, users within Salesforce can access their files from anywhere.  Not only will it sync with your desktop files but it will also upload the latest version and alert others when a new version has been published.  No longer will multiple versions be floating around the office.  Instead, everyone can be assured that they have the latest file.  Please note that this feature will be in pilot mode.  You will have to contact Salesforce.com to obtain access to this feature.  Rest assured though that once it gets through the pilot mode, it will be available to everyone else.

A Few Other Features Worth Noting

While we are most excited about these six features that will come in the Spring ’14 release, there are many more worth exploring. We intend to create more blog posts introducing these to you. For example, we are anxious to learn about:

  • Salesforce for Outlook improvements and the ability to do one-click creation of a case from Outlook
  • Floating headers in our reports that will freeze columns and rows
  • Calibration in Salesforce.com’s Work.com application which could bring more “spreadsheet” capabilities into Salesforce
  • Mobile Communities for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud
  • Login with Salesforce that will use your Salesforce login credentials to obtain access to your ecosystem of apps
  • Badging in Chatter communities for the added ability to recognize your employees, customers or partners.

Are there features that we missed that you and your team are most excited about?  Let us know by providing a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

By |January 15th, 2014|