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The Winter ‘20 Features We’re Most Excited About

9.19.19 By: Christopher Bayerle

Salesforce has its Winter ‘20 release set for early October, and as the last before Dreamforce, this one is jam-packed with valuable updates. There are plenty of features and updates that help admins more easily customize their instances and better report on data. And also a few things where admins will probably think “Finally!”

Here are the eight updates that Idealist Consulting’s in-house Salesforce experts are most excited about—or at least think everyone should be aware of.

1. Don’t Get Struck by Lightning

Accept it into your heart: “Salesforce is turning on Lightning Experience on a rolling basis in Winter ’20.” While our consultants have mixed feelings on making Lightning mandatory, it is something we think everyone should be aware of.

The coming update will turn on Lightning Experience for all orgs that haven’t done so yet. You’ll still be able to work out of Classic, and many will ask what the big deal is. As Salesforce explains, “After Lightning Experience is turned on, users who have the Lightning Experience User permission see the Switch to Lightning Experience link in the Salesforce Classic header. Once a week, Lightning Experience-enabled users who are working in Salesforce Classic are automatically logged in to Lightning Experience.” 

Say it with us now: change management. The most experienced Salesforce users all agree: to think through how your organization can best adapt to change instead of having it forced upon you.

2. The Recycle Bin Is Back!

Ok, the Recycle Bin never really went away. It’s always been available in Classic, but now it’s available in Lightning too. Finally, everything you need to make the transition to Lightning, if you haven’t already!

3. Customizable Opportunity Contact Roles

Winter ‘20 brings customizable Opportunity Contact Roles. That means you’ll be able to create custom roles, custom fields associated with those roles, and build automation on that customization. The release notes have a great nonprofit-focused example of how custom contact roles can be beneficial.

4. Row-Level Formulas, Field-to-Field Filters, and Unique Value Counts

There are some really cool new features coming to Reports and Dashboards in Winter ‘20 (some in beta). The most interesting is probably row-level formulas, which will allow you to run formulas across rows. That means you could use it to calculate the number of days between two dates on the same opportunity record, for example.

With Winter '20, you’ll be able to filter records by comparing two fields. For example, if you potentially had two fields on the Contact record—a Last Donation Date and a Last Activity Date—you could run a report for all contacts that had a Last Donation Date greater than the Last Activity Date to make sure those contacts had been thanked for their donations. This feature is in beta, only available in Lightning, and must be activated by an admin.

And you’ll also be able to easily count unique values in a report, though this is another feature in beta. If you ran a report for all the opportunities won the past two years, knowing that some households or accounts might have multiple opportunities attached to them, you could use this to count the unique value of household or account names—meaning it would only count each account once no matter how many opportunities were attached. Magic! (Also, if you don’t know about the Power of One, you really need to learn this trick.)

5. Lookup Fields, Conditional Displays, and Scheduling in Flow

If you haven’t taken advantage of Flow, you should take another look at the tool. It’s super powerful—the closest thing to coding without actually having to code—and Flow Builder just got updated to be easier to use. And you can do things with it that you just can’t accomplish with Process Builder or Workflow. That being said, using Flow isn’t as easy as Process Builder, but these new features in the Lightning Flow Builder make it easier. 

With Winter ‘20, you can add a Lookup component to flows, which shows users a search field that allows them to search for records, just like they would on record pages. You’ll be able to set conditions for when users see a component in a flow, and you’ll also be able to schedule Flows that you know need to run periodically or on certain dates.

6. Record Details in the Global Search Box

This could be a quick win for users: you’ll now start seeing record previews, Quick Actions, and Related List Quick Links in Search Box instant results when you hover over a result.

We’re used to seeing search results auto-populate when we start typing in the Global Search Box, and most of the time the record we need pops right up. But when you’re not sure quite what you’re looking for, this new Lightning feature will give you and your users a peek into the record without having to load it entirely. This could help you find what you’re looking for faster and avoid frustration.

7. More Flexibility with the Way Communities Look

We always think more flexibility with design and customization is better, especially with what your constituents see. This new Salesforce release allows you to modify to a greater degree the layout and design of Lightning Communities pages.

8. The New Customizable Mobile Experience

There’s a whole new Lightning Experience mobile experience coming in Winter ‘20. Admins can further customize record pages for mobile, and users can personalize the interface more. The app launcher is also now available for users through mobile. Salesforce has a really great post on the Admin blog with five videos that will help you understand and customize the new mobile experience.


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