Salesforce Spring ‘21 Release: Remote Work Features and More
For better or worse, 2021 has arrived. Many of us felt the New Year could not come early enough while also struggling to wrap our heads around how quickly the days and months seem to have passed.
In a concerted effort to focus on gratitude, I will do my best in this blog post to avoid using the platitudes we’ve all grown weary of in our current environment: “the new normal,” “unprecedented times,” “more than ever,” “Zoom fatigue,” “dumpster fire,” etc., etc., etc.
If there’s a word I will use to describe the current era, it is: adaptability.
All businesses, including Salesforce, have been forced to adapt to conduct business in new ways. For the essential workplaces and professions that require in-person presence, Work.com has been gaining notable improvements since it was first released last summer. Improvements have been made in the Workplace Command Center, Wellness Check, and Shift Management, and with the introduction of the Employee Workspace.
Check out the full Work.com Release Notes.
New Salesforce Features for Adapting to Remote Work
With the abundance of features in the Spring ‘21 release, I wanted to highlight specifically how Salesforce has been investing resources to adapt its products and services to benefit the multitudes of sweats-clad, crawled-out-of-bed, haven’t-showered-since-my-last-Zoom-meeting remote workers.
From Meeting Studio to Call Coaching support for video calls to addressing time zone challenges in Lightning Scheduler, we are seeing many features announced in the fall come to fruition with this release. I’ll also call out a handful of new automation capabilities and core functionalities requested for years and, of course, name changes that will indubitably ruffle some feathers.
As always, check trust.salesforce.com for the exact date Spring ’21 will land in your org and sandboxes.
So without further ado, these are Salesforce Spring ‘21 features that will support remote work trends and aid in adapting to new challenges in 2021:
Rather than building its own video conferencing platform to contend with the behemoths in the space, Salesforce is taking the clever approach of building a value-adding, complementary product to help with some of these small annoyances from virtual meetings we’ve learned to live with.
First, Meeting Digest is an easy way to see important information at a glance before your meetings begin. See the attendee list with their job titles and roles linked to lead or contact records (1), key insights on declines or forwarded invites (2), a timeline of all related activities and opportunities (3) and relevant documents in Salesforce Anywhere (4).
Thinking back to my days as a sales rep, I sure would have found Meeting Digests valuable and would have saved countless hours with the “Add to Salesforce” button.
Secondly, the “Launch Salesforce Meeting” button navigates to Meeting Studio, which is a nifty presentation tool that helps smoothen transitions from slide decks to documents to other content types. It also helps the presenter shift focus from the shared content to their camera view and vice versa.
I’d encourage you to spend 90 seconds to watch the demo.
Suffice to say, I’m excited to see what version two and beyond bring to Meeting Studio, and I imagine adding a way to seamlessly transition to screen share in Salesforce is on the roadmap.
Please note that Salesforce Meetings is currently limited to Unlimited and Performance editions only. More to come on when it’ll be ready for other editions.
Lightning Scheduler gets some updates to help solve your time zone issues. Now you can set the default time zone for appointment time slots, override the scheduler’s time zone for the Review Appointment page, and let external users schedule appointments in the time zone they prefer.
Other minor tweaks such as a new default order that lists service resources by earliest availability and resource prioritization come in handy to improve the overall customer experience with booking appointments.
With video calls now supported in Salesforce, call coaching allows users to gain visibility into the call details including key sales information such as:
Mentions of competitors
This feature is currently only available for Zoom meetings.
Create and Share Call Collections
You can now organize calls into collections and share for easier review between reps and managers. For example, you can create collections for “One-Call Closes” or “Pricing Calls” to gain insight into sales rep productivity.
Video Call Data
Data for video calls are now supported with the Conversation Type of “Video Call.”
A few small things that add up to improve the overall experience of emailing in Salesforce:
Track when an email soft bounces
Creating a meeting using Insert Availability automatically adds Zoom link.
Schedule emails to send later on Threaded Emails.
A new tab in the Lightning Usage App allows you to monitor user login activity by login method. This is useful for checking user adoption of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or Single Sign On (SSO) and those in your org who are not compliant. Switch to the Optimizer App to dig into detailed user usage and find the perpetrators!
Bonus Salesforce Spring ‘21 Features for Admins
The focus with the Salesforce Spring ‘21 release is on adapting to challenges we’re facing while working remotely. However, Salesforce gave some love to the awesome admins out there in the form of the following features and enhancements.
Track Accounts as Campaign Members (beta)
Accounts can finally be added to campaigns, kinda. It’s a beta feature only available to Salesforce orgs using the Salesforce-Pardot connector.
That said, it’s encouraging that 24k points on the IdeaExchange has caught Salesforce’s attention and that they’ve decided to begin tackling this challenge and functionality gap for many businesses that need to tie Accounts to Campaigns.
Salesforce Automations now support Lightning Email Templates
In Winter ‘21, the Lightning Email Template Builder was introduced as covered in a previous post about my favorite features.
Now, automation gurus will be giddy with glee to find out that Lightning Email Templates can be used in Email Alerts, Flows, Workflow, Process Builder, Approval Processes, and more. With this update, it’s fair to say that Salesforce has clearly pointed in the direction to leave behind Classic Email Templates and the company is listening to customers.
One caveat being that “Send Test and Verify Merge Fields” is not yet available, but the idea is gaining traction. Feel free to add a vote!
Major firepower added to the increasingly powerful functionality of Salesforce Flows:
Reference Prior Values that triggered the flow.
Split up immediate and scheduled actions.
Send and schedule Surveys.
Send rich text emails.
Create multicolumn screen flows (beta).
With every Salesforce release, it’s more and more clear that Flows are the HTML5 of Salesforce automations while Process Builder and Workflow are doomed for the same fate as Adobe Flash. While several areas still exist where feature parity has not quite been established, the gaps are quickly narrowing as described in a recent blog post from Salesforce architects.
At the current pace of development on Flows, I wouldn’t be surprised if 2022 marks the end of life for Process Builder, Workflow and other declarative automation tools.
Add images, including GIFs to your prompts.
This could be dangerous in the wrong hands but also tremendously helpful to quickly guide users through new features.
Multi-field Selection for Report Creation
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
If you couldn’t tell from above, Ctrl + Click (Cmd on Mac) and Shift + Click are now supported for selecting multiple fields at a time in Report Builder. Game changer!
Field-Level Help Text
Just because the character limit has expanded from 255 to 510, does not mean you need to use all 510 characters. Concision is underrated.
What’s in a Name?
Lastly, I’ve provided a list to serve as a refresher of new terminology for all of us stubborn Salesforce “Classics” to start the process of retraining our brains. Perhaps the first piece of muscle memory to unlearn is where to navigate to access Communities Sites: under “Digital Experiences.”
New Salesforce Terminology in 2021
Old Name: New Name: Source:
Community Cloud → Experience Cloud Release Notes
Communities → Sites Release Notes
Lightning Community → Experience Builder Site Release Notes
Lightning Community Template → Experience Builder Template Release Notes
Lightning Flow → Salesforce Flow Release Notes
Lightning Dialer → Sales Dialer Release Notes
Identity Confirmation → Device Activation Release Notes
Quip for Customer 360 → Salesforce Anywhere Advanced Release Notes
Contact CRM Science Salesforce Consultants
The CRM Science Salesforce Consultant team was already equipped to work remotely at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re thrilled to see the innovative ways our clients and other companies are joining us in the remote work revolution.
The team is eager to start implementing these new Salesforce features and enhancements for our clients, and many of these features will streamline the already efficient processes our team employs while completing projects.
Which new features pique your interest the most? Contact CRM Science Salesforce Consultants to chat with us.