Thursday, 28 May 2020

[#Blogged] - Salesforce Summer’20 Release Notes Breakdown

Great News! The Summer ‘20 Release Notes are here! I don’t know about you, but I get really excited to see what’s been updated in each release cycle. There are so many great features this season, and I couldn’t just list a few. Not many people have time to sit down and comb through 537 pages (wow!) so I did it for you. Below, you will find a long list of features, segmented by general topic.
 
Keep in mind, this is intended for you to read through in the short amount of time you may have, so you can get a glimpse of what’s included, and take note of features you’d like to investigate further, as you have time.  The bullet points and images included are courtesy of the Salesforce Summer '20 Release Notes
 
 
General Lightning Changes, Lightning Flow & Lightning App Builder
 
There were a lot of general lightning changes, as well as some interesting Lightning flow and Lightning App Builder changes as well. The Split View for Lists is a big one, as it allows you to navigate much easier without losing your place. Also, Flow Builder had some great improvements, as well as being able to add dynamic actions in the app builder. Don’t forget to check out the Search features as well!
  • Work Through Lists with Ease Using Split View for Standard Navigation (pictured above)
  • Lightning Experience Engagement: Walkthroughs, In-App Guidance Builder, Prompts
  • Salesforce Surveys: Deeper Org Integration and More Tools for the Builder
  • Lightning Scheduler: Automatic Resource Assignment, Anonymous Scheduling, Enhanced Scheduling Experience for Global Users, and More
  • Search: Find Information Faster and Get the Most Relevant Results
  • Flow Builder: Platform Event-Triggered Flows, Record-Triggered Flows That Run After Save, More Debug Options, and System Context for Running Flows
  • Lightning Flow Management: Prebuilt Report for Screen Flows, Resource Consumption in Debug Logs, and Flow Error Emails for Platform Events
  • Lightning App Builder: Add Dynamic Actions to the Highlights Panel for Custom Objects (Beta)
  • General Setup: Record Page Full View Is Generally Available, a New User Profile, and Lightning Page Tab Translation
Sales Cloud
 
Summer ‘20 did not disappoint regarding sales features, either.  There are more Einstein features to assist your sales team by knocking it out of the park, with Einstein Call Coaching, and Lead Scoring with Activity Data. They’ve also included better functionality with Enterprise Territory Management, and improvements with Google and Microsoft integrations.
  • High-Velocity Sales: Einstein Call Coaching (pictured above), Engagement Details, and More Sales Cadence Customization
  • Get a Cleaner View of Sales Cadence Tasks in the Activity Timeline
  • Sales Cloud Einstein: Opportunity Scoring Includes Consistent Labels and Field-Level Security and Lead Scoring Includes Activity Data
  • Use a Higher Split Limit to Make Opportunity Splits More Effective
  • Set Up Alerts for Big Deals in Lightning Experience
  • Enjoy Consistent Field Labels for Opportunity Scores 
  • Orders: Enable Orders Without Price Books
  • Enterprise Territory Management: More Options for Record Access and Object Labels
  • Productivity Features: Email Threading, Tasks to Queues, New Email Insight, and Improved Kanban Views
  • Integration with Google: Track Email Setup Changes, Text Shortcut Improvements, and Lightning Sync Setup Available to More Admins
  • Integration with Microsoft®: Track Email Setup Changes, Text Shortcut Improvements, Changes for Lightning Sync and Retirement for Salesforce for Outlook
Service Cloud
 
I have to admit - I get really excited about Service Cloud changes. It’s very easy to see a path that Salesforce is paving towards more self-sufficient support reps and more efficiency in general.  They included a host of Field Service Lightning Changes this time, as well as making the customer experience more pleasurable, with a Dynamic Channel menu and improved chat headers. Also, Voice is something we heard about at Dreamforce last year and is starting to appear in this release. That is an awesome feature to keep an eye on!
  • Field Service: Enhanced Shift Management, Optimization Insights, Asset Availability, and Confetti
  • Voice: Intelligent Telephony Inside the Service Console
  • See a Live Channel Menu Preview
  • Respond with a Dynamic Channel Menu (pictured above)
  • Enhance Conversations with an Improved Chat Header
  • Transform Chat Sessions from Start to End
  • Add Post-Chat Surveys for Five-Star Service
  • Use Salesforce Sharing with Lightning Knowledge (Beta)
  • Routing: Status-Based Capacity and Prioritized Additional Skills
  • Show Extended Record and Polymorphic Relationships with the Related Record Component
Community Cloud
 
Summer ‘20 has continued to expound upon the Community Cloud, focusing on better organization and security in this release. More personalization, page management and sitemaps are key in helping to make it a better experience. They’ve also made some changes to Guest User security, which is definitely worth checking out. 
  • Override Standard Actions in Lightning Communities
  • Take Personalization Further with Navigation Menus, Tile Menus, and CMS Collections
  • Reset Mission Activity Counts
  • Better Manage Your Community Pages (pictured above)
  • Generate Sitemaps for Your Community Pages
  • Add Dynamic SEO Properties to Content Detail Pages
  • Super Customize Your Community with the Revamped Tile Menu
  • Get Flexible with the New User Profile Menu Component
  • Get More Options for Multi-Level Navigation in Your Community 
  • Guest User: Security Policies Enforced
  • Security and Sharing: Two-Factor Authentication for External Users, Embedded Login
Einstein
 
Just when you think it doesn’t get any better, it does! The development they’re putting into Einstein is really a game-changer, across multiple clouds. Each of these points spans the course of pages in the release notes, but as you can see below, the functionality included is really changing how we do business. I can’t pick a favourite here - they’re all pretty awesome!
  • Use Einstein Voice Assistant on Mobile to Ask Einstein for Record Info, Update Records, and Give Feedback (Beta)
  • Einstein Search: Clearer Setup Process, Natural Language Search Examples, and Better Recommended Results on the Salesforce Mobile App (Beta) 
  • Salesforce Einstein: Better Results in Einstein Search, Detect Text in Images with Einstein OCR, and Better Predictions with More Algorithms and Data in Einstein Discovery
  • Einstein for Service: Reply Recommendations (pictured above), Multi-Language Article Recommendations, Enhanced Bot Event Logs, and Facebook Messenger for Bots
  • Einstein Discovery: Tree-Based Modeling Types, Random Forest Models (Pilot), and Increased Row Limits 
  • Einstein Voice Assistant: Pre-Built Skill Sets, Voice Skill Enhancements, and In-App Feedback (Beta)
  • Einstein Prediction Builder: Define Your Prediction Set, Run Reports, and Enable Predictions from the Scorecard 
  • Einstein Platform Services: Image Recognition and Natural Language Processing
Analytics
 
Salesforce also included some small - but mighty - changes for analytics in general, as well. Although in Beta, you can now (or will be able to soon) attach .csv files to report subscriptions, which is a big help if you pass reports through different departments for tasks like data cleansing, for example. And, you can now build reports on Price Book Entries and use unique fields in row-level formulas.
  • Filter Knowledge Reports by Category 
  • Attach .csv Files to Report Subscriptions (Beta) (pictured above)
  • Enable Enhanced Folder Sharing (Update)
  • Work with up to 5 Unique Fields in Report Row-Level Formulas
  • Build Reports Based on Price Book Entries
Mobile
 
As we saw in late 2019, they did a huge revamp of the Mobile app, which was very much needed and appreciated! The Summer ‘20 release continues to expound upon that with tying in some of the Einstein Voice functionality we’ve discussed above, and generally better organization with reordering navigation menu items. It is also worth mentioning the Mobile Activity Reminders (Pilot), as well. 
  • Salesforce Mobile App Requirements Have Changed 
  • Retiring Salesforce Mobile Web Browser Experience
  • Access All Lists on Android Object Home Pages
  • Clear Your Cache Anytime on Android 
  • Reorder Navigation Menu Items for Lightning Apps
  • Keep Your Reps on Time and on Task with Mobile Activity Reminders (Pilot)
  • Protect Your Data with Enhanced Mobile Security Updates
  • Einstein Voice Assistant: Pre-Built Skill Sets, Voice Skill Enhancements (pictured above), and In-App Feedback (Beta)
  • Notifications: Notification Builder Platform and More Push Notifications
  • Switch Between Testing Modes with the Publisher Playground App (Beta)
Critical/Security Updates & Security-Related Features
 
Salesforce continues to take Security very seriously and has added a host of ways to increase security measures in Summer ‘20. Although not as much of a security issue, I did tie in a great feature in Beta for reviewing org changes with release updates. I can say from experience, that admins and developers are cheering out loud for this one. They’ve also enhanced two-factor authentication and increased security with salesforce sites. Safety is the name of the game - check out how to keep your org safe with some of these features below. 
  • Review Important Org Changes with Release Updates (Beta) (pictured above)
  • Authentication and Identity: Enhanced Two-Factor Authentication, Federation IDs, and Delegated Authentication Enablement
  • Domains: OCSP Stapling, Salesforce Edge, and Shorter URLs
  • Platform Encryption: Scratch Org Features for Testing, and Goodbye to Blocked Events 
  • Event Monitoring: General Availability of Threat Detection Real-Time Events, Transaction Security Support for Threat Detection Events, Legacy Transaction Security Retiring
  • Store a New Contact Point and Customer Consent Information
  • Customize and Store-More Customer Consent Channels
  • Improve the Accuracy of Consent API Calls
  • Other Security Changes: Private Connect (Generally Available), Stricter Security with Salesforce Sites, and Stronger Algorithms with Apex Crypto Class 
Whew! That was a lot! Clearly, this is not every listed feature in the release notes, and I encourage you to explore chunks of the notes in the official release as you feel they may pertain to you. Also, a reminder we’re all familiar with - nothing is official until it is actually released, so it’s best to not base purchasing decisions on what you read here. But, I still encourage you to get excited! I know I’m looking forward to implementing some of these changes soon, and can’t wait until a few weeks from now for the official release!

Thursday, 21 May 2020

[#Blogged]- 5 Cool Pardot Features for Lightning

Salesforce acquisitions are something we are all used to by now.  Part of what makes Salesforce the powerhouse that it is in the CRM world is the constant innovation.  That sometimes means knowing when to purchase already established solutions and making them applicable to the platform. Pardot was a purchase from 2012, but it has continued to improve since that time, in true Salesforce fashion.  So what exactly is Pardot? Isn’t it just a marketing tool? It’s actually more than that. Pardot takes marketing up a notch by its consideration of the sales cycle and is geared towards B2B marketing, as opposed to B2C. This is more than just an email marketing tool, which helps with email sends, tracking responses and reporting. Pardot is actually a marketing automation solution, which makes more of what you do count, and provides metrics for analytics that really stand out in order to help you target your next move. Pardot allows you to generate higher quality leads, interact more meaningfully, and really analyze your return on investment when it comes to campaigns. I could sit here and gab about it all day, but I’d rather just share with you my 5 Cool Pardot Features for Lightning!
  • Reuse Content Across Campaign Emails with Snippets - This feature is fairly recent, and was part of the Winter ‘20 release, but is really a time saver worth mentioning. If you’ve been involved in marketing, you know repeating yourself over and over in promotional emails can get really old, really quickly.  Salesforce heard your cries and delivered a solution to save a lot of time. Now, snippets allow your marketing admins to reuse portions of content that really doesn’t need to be reproduced every time they want to set up an email.  Not only is it quick, but easy to use, as well.  Once the snippet is created on an existing campaign, it is stored on a record in the Snippets tab and can be edited as you see fit.  Then, when you’re ready to use it, select it from your list and it’s pulled into the email or email template. Check your watch - you just did that in record time.
  • Pardot Sandboxes - I like to follow best practices, especially when it deals with customer accounts. One of those best practices is to implement changes in a sandbox (or, ideally, two sandboxes) before pushing those changes to production. Bypassing that step can be really risky, especially when it comes to tinkering with your marketing tools. Not only do you endanger the live data, but can set yourself up for a lot of headaches if you make changes that aren’t backed up somewhere. So, you can imagine my sigh of relief when I saw the Spring ‘20 Release Notes included Pardot Sandboxes! This is still in Beta and currently only available for those with the Pardot Advanced Edition, but I’m very much looking forward to this being generally available, and hopefully soon.  This would allow you to test those changes you wish to make without the gamble of affecting your current setup in production.  
  • Power Engagement Studio and Automation Tools with Einstein Behavior Scores -  Also earlier this year, Salesforce joined the power of Einstein Behavior Scoring with Pardot. This change is for the Pardot Advanced Edition but is still a great feature. For those of you that don’t know, Einstein Behavior Scoring is a great tool that scores prospects in regards to their behaviour. It looks at positive interactions, such as email opens, and form clicks, but also negative interactions, such as if they’ve marked your materials as spam. Also when they interacted with materials is pertinent, as a more recent interaction can provide a higher score than something months ago. You can then feed this information into reports and dashboards to analyze your next steps, and really go after those leads that you know are engaged and more open to what your sales team has to offer. Your sales team also knows the materials they seem to better respond to and can tailor their delivery with materials the prospect prefers. This makes each move more efficient for both your sales and marketing teams.  
  • Pardot Connected Campaigns -  This is a great feature that combines the natural strengths of Pardot and Salesforce together.  Pardot Connected Campaigns are a great way for your company to see how campaigns compare against one another, which ones are more successful, and can guide you to make better choices in the future based on those wins. There’s a feature called the Engagement Metrics Component that is embedded on the campaign record page layout and is visible for all to see. You can also have sales teams use Engagement History List Views to see how a lead or contact has interacted with Pardot. I would say “connected” is the right word to describe this feature!
  • Complex Rule Logic -  As much great information as Pardot and Salesforce can parse together, sometimes there is still a lot of work on the backend to make those analytics lasers focused. It’s common to find multiple rules geared towards grabbing one piece of information that’s really valuable to your decision-makers. Creating multiple rules takes up a good chunk of time. Now, complex rules let you bake multiple rules into one step in Engagement Studio! Akin to Process Builder, the neat layout and “Add Condition” button let you build out your step in an organized and efficient manner that’s easy to understand and put together. You can then see on the editor layout a nodule that identifies your “complex rule” and tells you how many conditions are baked in. What’s not to love about a more streamlined, time-saving process?
Excited about what we’ve shared, but still learning about Pardot basics and how you can use it? I’d suggest starting with the Pardot Lightning App Basics module on Trailhead to whet your appetite. You’ll soon see why there’s so much to love about Pardot! They’ve really increased the impact of marketing responsibilities and decisions while providing metrics that really matter when it comes to sharpening the responses of your sales teams. Sales and Marketing together can be a powerhouse when it comes to propelling your company forward.
Further Reading:

Thursday, 14 May 2020

[#Blogged]- 5 Ways Lightning Dialer Can Help Your Business!

Over the past decade, businesses have seen a drastic shift in how communications with customers are taking place.  Door to door visits and in-person meetings were rapidly replaced with phone calls and still continues to shift into other “remote” forms of contact.  A few years ago, the whole sub-departments of sales cropped up to fill this need, as companies realized business could be continued without the expense of travel and face to face visits. As the drive to become more flexible increased, so did a new crop of issues. Sales management began to realize how much time was spent dialling and recording notes, and how much time would need to be spent on data entry from these calls. It became noticeable how overwhelming it could be for sales representatives to spend hours entering data, and unfortunately, how that task could fall by the wayside, leaving gaps in information that could be very valuable to the company. 
Salesforce took note and released a great solution to these problems with Lightning Dialer. This is a feature of Salesforce that allows reps to make calls without leaving the system, but has a host of other features, as well. They listened to the headaches sales reps experienced and built-in many solutions to help make their job more efficient. There are features, as well, that provide great insight for Sales Management that can help analyze how business is being conducted and allow them to improve training where necessary.  At the end of the day, having a tool that not only improves data retention but also makes Sales jobs more efficient is a win! 
Here are my 5 Ways Lightning Dialer Can Help Your Business!
  • Forwarding Number - One of the great things about Dialer is that it can be desktop driven with a headset, and you don’t have to worry about constant neck cramps from holding a phone to your ear all day.  However, we all know you can’t stay strapped to your desk constantly. Trips to the water cooler are a must, and caffeine is a necessary pick-me-up throughout your shift! Lightning Dialer allows you to forward calls to the main business line or cell phone so you never have to miss a call again. It’s also one of the easiest features to use and can be set up in less time than it takes to grab that cup of coffee. 
  • Voicemail Drop - We’ve all been there: you read over the details of who you’re calling, nervously anticipate whether or not they will answer, and rehearse what you might say to their voicemail if they do not. Doing that over and over again throughout the day can really wear down your mind, and lead to gaffes, such as that awkward pause when you’ve forgotten someone’s name. Or worse yet, why you’re calling. Thanks to voicemail drop, you no longer have to face those stressful moments! You can pre-record voice messages to leave regarding a certain feature you’re upselling, details of a sales pitch,  or a general inquiry of specific customers. Then, with a click of your mouse, you can select that recording to take the place of you repeating yourself 20 times within the hour. Your cubicle neighbours will thank you!
  • Local Presence - It is becoming more and more known that businesses and individuals will pick up the phone for numbers that identify as local, based on area or country codes. Out of state or out of area numbers are a bright red flag that you may not know who is calling, and most people like to ignore that. Speaking to a person will increase the chances of continued communications and closing a sale. The local presence feature can be a game-changer in the way your sales do business and are pretty easy to set up, as well.
  • Fewer Clicks for your Reps - In general, a sales rep has the following experience: they dial the number of the contact or lead manually on their phone, have conversations which are hopefully recorded in some way, end the call, log a task in Salesforce, type up the notes that they remembered, create a reminder task for a follow-up, and navigate to a different contact on a different account and repeat the process for their next call. That sounds like a lot! And, you really hope they don’t get interrupted or have to rush off to a meeting, relying on memory to go back later in the day for their data entry. This scenario is all too real. One of the best selling features of Lightning Dialer is how much easier their job becomes when making sales calls. Features like: a single click on the phone number to place their call, a headset that allows their hands to type notes while they’re focused on the conversation, and an Auto Log checkbox that files those notes immediately to an automatically created task. Not only that, but no bouncing around Salesforce looking for contacts -- they can create a predetermined list that lines up their calls for them. Just like that, they can get through their day focused on selling, all with a lot fewer clicks.
  • Tools for Managers - As a sales manager, with a large team, there’s a lot to keep up with.  Part of your responsibility is making sure your team is doing a great job, but that can be pretty difficult without ways to monitor sales calls. This is especially true when there is a group of new hires.  With Call Monitoring, you can now listen in to live conversations your reps are having, and provide valuable coaching afterwards to help them improve.  This isn’t the only feature for managers - there are also custom reports that give more insight to usage metrics as well, to better understand user adoption and hold sales reps accountable for using Lightning Dialer. 

Lightning Dialer offers an outbound calling product with the option to add inbound calling functionality. You can pay for just the total number of minutes your entire org uses (in blocks of 1,000 minutes).
Lightning Dialer Pricing
Wanna see more? Be sure to check out this video demo for a quick peek into Lightning Dialer capabilities, and learn more in the Lightning Dialer module on Trailhead. 


Thursday, 7 May 2020

[#Blogged] - 5 Basic Features to learn on your Dynamic Dashboard

I recently released my blog post on “5 Features I love about Lightning Reports”, but today I wanted to touch on a few great features of Lightning Dynamic Dashboards. These dashboards (as opposed to Classic) are more user-friendly and have more points of adjustments than the Classic framework. Dynamic Dashboards are specifically dashboards used by more than one person that allows them to see the data as it pertains to themselves (as opposed to creating multiple, identical dashboards for each specific user). They can seem intimidating, but just like learning anything with Lightning, the key is to discover the capabilities of this tool and start practising.
This post will point out those capabilities for you to feel more empowered as you begin putting those reports you’ve created to great use. 
For this post, it is worth noting that I am not including any Einstein Analytics features, but am focusing more on the parts that everyone can use since Einstein Analytics requires a separate license. With that being said, let’s dive into 5 Basic Features to Learn on your Dynamic Dashboard!
1)  Adjustable Components - Picture this: You’ve finally adjusted your source report chart to be “just so”, spending hours to tweak it here and there, and it looks great….until you put it on your dashboard. All of a sudden, that neat bar graph is a cluster of illegible numbers and letters, crammed in the limited space on your Classic dashboard, with no way possible for anyone to make sense of the jumble in front of them. What should have been a one-stop visual for your leadership team now requires them to click into the component just to see the graph and reporting data. That’s not the most efficient use of time, especially if you have multiple graphs, requiring multiple clicks. This is where adjustable components on Lightning dashboards come in. Now, you get to dictate the size of the components you’re displaying, as well as the overall layout. Whether you have a line graph that should headline the top of your dashboard, want to nest a grouping of gauges as four tiles on the right-hand side, or toggle between a 12 column vs. 9 column dashboard, you get to adjust this to your heart’s content.
2) Use a Lightning Table - There are times when tabular data (basically a list or table) fits your needs sufficiently without requiring a visual such as a bar graph or gauge.  Tabular components are good for information such as “Top 5 Opportunities based on Revenue”, or “Top 10 Accounts in Danger of Terminating”. In Classic, the most you could do with tabular information was limit the number of results visible in your component, with a few adjustments available for the columns visible. While Classic does “meet your needs” with this, Lightning takes it a few steps further to make it more customizable. A Lightning Table allows you to show up to 200 records with 10 columns, group data with measures (such as sum, average, maximum, and minimum), and use a summary formula column.  Also, Lightning Tables support two groups and allow you to show subtotals on first level groupings. These are great features to take relatively flat data and make it easier to analyze! 
3) View who people view as - One of the most frustrating points of Classic Dashboards had to be the limited viewing capabilities. It wasn’t an uncommon issue for companies to have a templated dashboard that had to be customized for each Sales user, resulting in hundreds of dashboards over time.  This could create major issues for System Admins responsible for creating, updating, and retiring these dashboards, spending upwards of weeks depending on what needed to be done.  A Dynamic Dashboard puts an end to all of that hassle with the ability to choose who people view the dashboard as. Using permissions and sharing settings, one dashboard can be created for many users. This means there can be just two dashboards for the whole sales department (one for management, and one for sales reps). Not only does this save a ton of time for System Admins, but it also ensures that everyone is seeing the same components consistently over time. There are three options for “View Dashboard As”:
  • Me - people view the dashboard as you (but this is not recommended if you are a System Admin, as they will more than likely encounter permissions issues)
  • Another Person - you can choose someone else for viewers to see the dashboard as
  • The Dashboard Viewer - the data is seen as it pertains to the specific viewer
There is also a setting System Admins can select called “Let dashboard viewers choose whom they view the dashboard as”, but I would suggest using this with caution. If the user has the “View All Data” permission, this could potentially enable a representative to see sensitive data otherwise reserved for management. As a rule of thumb, make sure if you’re a System Admin, you test a few of these scenarios before releasing the dashboard to a public folder.
4) Themes & Color Palettes - One of the facets that makes Dynamic Dashboards so visually interesting is the use of the Light or Dark theme. This isn’t just a great way to save yourself from eye strain by using the Dark Theme; you can also select specific components to display in the opposite theme to highlight a particular section of your dashboard. Also, the color palettes are a great way to make your visuals more appealing, especially if you can find a palette complimentary to your brand or logo. It is worth noting that dashboard subscription emails do not display color palettes and themes, so make sure you try that out in case you receive any questions from your users.
 
5) Keyboard Shortcuts - Some of us are just more accustomed to keyboard navigation, and a computer mouse just slows us down. Well, now you can celebrate the use of keyboard shortcuts to edit your Dynamic Dashboards! A few of the shortcuts are pretty standard, like “Ctrl+Z” for “undo” and “Ctrl+S” for “save”, but you can also use the spacebar and arrows to change component size and “Ctrl+N” for a new component. Definitely take some time to try this out and see if it saves time creating your new dashboard!
If you need some practice for creating your Dynamic Dashboard, make sure to check out the Trailhead module  “Visualize your data with the Lightning Dashboard Builder”.   You can find this and other Trailhead modules to further your Lightning experience in my recent post “5 Lightning Trailhead Modules to Start Learning on Today”. 
Further Reading:
Build a Lightning Experience Dashboard
Edit Dashboards with Keyboard Shortcuts in Lightning Experience
Switch Between a 12 or 9-Column Dashboard Layout
Color Dashboard Data with Themes and Palettes
Show Tabular Information with a Lightning Table

Monday, 4 May 2020

[#Blogged] -5 Lightning Trailhead Modules to Start Learning on Today

 Those of us fortunate enough to use Lightning can agree it packs a punch with both User Interface and ease of use.  As of late 2019, the Lightning framework was rolled out to the majority of Salesforce customers, and while most people are somewhat familiar, there is still a lot to learn. The good news is, Trailhead is updated monthly with modules, trails, and projects that you can do to further your knowledge of what Lightning has to offer. For those that don’t know, Trailhead is the awesome Learning Experience Platform that Salesforce created and maintains to continually release interactive materials for your professional gains!  
If you type “lightning” into the Trailhead search bar, you’ll see over 4,000 results, which is a lot. Luckily, I’m here to save you time and help you focus on the 5 Lightning Trailhead Modules to Start Learning on Today!

  • Lightning Experience Basics


This module is a great starting point for learning what exactly Lightning is, and how it differs from the Salesforce Classic framework.  It also goes into detail on how exactly to switch your instance over to start using Lightning (if this has not already happened from Salesforce automatically), as well as an outline of how different departments within your company can benefit from using Lightning. Even though the rollout has occurred, you should still be able to toggle back and forth between Classic and Lightning, however, we’re here to help you build that confidence and move forward with all that Lightning has to offer! I feel this module is worth a look, as well, because of the reminders for considerations of pieces that do not translate well between Classic and Lightning.  You may need to give some extra attention to your buttons and visualforce pages, for example, before they are fully functional in Lightning. This module can be done in about an hour, and only includes a few quizzes instead of hands-on practice, so it’s great for your morning commute or can be knocked out with a fresh cup of coffee.

  • Reports & Dashboards for Lightning Experience
This really is a great module for a few reasons - not only does it have a video in the first unit for visual learners, but also hands-on challenges for more kinaesthetic learners. Reports and Dashboards are the lifeblood in communicating metrics of your company to everyone from end-users such as Sales and Support team members to C-Level executives looking for a 360-degree view into the company health.  The more comfortable you become navigating through reporting, and understanding the stakeholder needs, the better you can present those metrics, thus aiding your company in their ability to analyze important data to make crucial decisions. This module walks you through step-by-step examples before presenting you with challenges to work independently and, in my opinion, is one of the most impactful modules to help you up your game.

  • Lightning App Builder
This module is a must-do! The Lightning App Builder walks you through the basics, as well as how to build a page for an app, a home page, or a record page. You may recall my post a few weeks back on the “5 Standard Lightning Components You can Use Today with Little Experience” - this module coincides perfectly with that! In under 2 hours, you can really up to your value in the ability to build pages that can really make a difference in your Salesforce org. This will teach you how to make information more organized and user friendly for your teams that just don’t have a lot of time to click around, all by creating a page. 

  • Lightning Experience Customization
In my opinion, the Lightning Experience Customization module packs as much of a punch as the Reporting & Dashboards module as far as intellectual gains are concerned.  Coming in at close to three hours, it is a bit longer than the other modules we’ve discussed, however, this is critical in learning how to make Lightning fit your business in a big way. It walks you through creating a Lightning App, customizing list views, record highlights, record details with page layouts, custom buttons and links, and quick actions. That’s a lot! One suggestion for learning more with this module would be to break it down over a week with a unit or two each day, practising how you can maximize the impact to your company.

  • Lightning Web Components Basics

This module is much more advanced but great for developers, or more seasoned admins who may be interested in development. Lightning Web Components Basics may only take a little more than an hour, but I’d recommend really taking your time with this, especially if you’re learning how to code, or new in a Developer role.  This is a great building block for walking you through how to build a component that maintains compatibility with Aura components, but it does require prior knowledge, like HTML, JavaScript and CSS in order to ensure success with the learning involved in this module.  It also lists out resources to assist with creating Lightning Web Components moving forward. 
Once you’ve done all of the above, don’t let your learning stop there! Focus on working through Superbadges, like the Lightning Experience Specialist or the Lightning Experience Reporting and Dashboard Specialist which builds on some of the above modules. Superbadges are a great way to work through real-life use cases of how to apply this newly obtained knowledge. Plus, they’re a great way to challenge yourself by tying in multiple areas of Lightning and building on what you’ve already learned.

There you have it! In just 9 hours of learning, you can build your skillset tremendously in the Lightning framework.  You can also gain 5 badges, and quite a few points to progress towards the next level in the Trailhead badge system. This is really useful in showcasing your newly gained skills and knowledge to employers or placing on your resume.  
Come back next week for another post on how you can grow with Lightning!