Thursday, 12 November 2020

[#Blogged] - Salesforce Winter ’21 Release Notes Summary

 It’s here! The Winter ‘21 Release Notes are here, that is! In this crazy year of remote work, Salesforce has managed to bring us rays of joy in their releases, even if that means they don’t happen exactly on the dates we’d all hoped for. Just like I did in the Summer ‘20 release, I’ve gone through the notes to bring you headlines from the upcoming Winter release, so you can take time to plan out and schedule how you’d like to dive in. 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 Winter ‘21 Release.

General Changes

As usual, Salesforce does include a “general changes” section, which encompasses those that don’t pertain to just one cloud. They’re now offering one place to drive your multi-factor authentication implementation, and a new release for Salesforce Anywhere (as of September). You can also search for Trailhead documentation in the help menu! Take a look at some of the other great general changes being made in this release.

  • Drive Your Multi-Factor Authentication Implementation from One Place

  • Smarter Natural Language Searches (Beta)

  • Salesforce Anywhere: Plan and Accelerate Your Business in Real Time (Beta)

  • Add Custom Theme Colors to In-App Guidance

  • Search Trailhead from the Help Menu (pictured above)

  • Display Survey Pages Based on Your Data

  • Check Resource Availability Directly from External Calendars

  • Interactively Create Engaging Email Templates


Salesforce included a good handful of updates for High-Velocity Sales, and I know we’re all celebrating the new, larger email deliverability size! There are also changes to Einstein Opportunity Scoring and it is now easier to assign a territory in Enterprise Territory Management. Check out the Sales Cloud changes below!

  • Amp Up Sales Cloud with Voice

  • Control Who Can Access Sales Cadences (High Velocity Sales)

  • Stay Focused with Session-Long Work Queue Filters (High Velocity Sales)

  • Choose Which Number to Dial for Click-to-Call (High Velocity Sales)

  • Find Changed Deals at a Glance (pictured above)

  • Enjoy Improvements to Einstein Opportunity Scoring

  • Get Forecasts on the Go

  • Update Opportunity Stages on the Forecasts Page in Lightning Experience

  • Enterprise Territory Management: Assign a Territory to a New Opportunity in Fewer Steps

  • Einstein Activity Capture: New Connection Options, More Control Over How Data Flows, and a New Email Insight

  • Easily Coordinate When to Meet with Insert Availability in Lightning Experience

  • Create Larger Emails with New Maximum Size of 35 MB

  • Streamline Contacts and Leads with Default Bounce Alerts


I’ve decided to break up the Einstein changes into functionality vs. analytics. This section takes a look at the plethora of changes that are happening in Einstein. Don’t let the limited number of bullet points fool you - there are multiple changes across multiple clouds. You can use Einstein Recommendation Builder to deliver personalized recommendations, and utilize the natural language search improvements. Really take some time to dive into these awesome features - you’ll be glad you did!

Populate the Recommended Items Object (1), the Recipient Object (2) and the Interactions Object (3) to utilize the Einstein Recommendation Builder.

  • Sales Cloud Einstein: More Control of the Opportunity Scoring Model, Global Models for Lead Scoring, and Big Improvements to Einstein Activity Capture

  • Einstein Discovery: Custom Improvements Text, Predict Outcomes in Process Automation Formulas, High Cardinality

  • Einstein Bots: Everyone Can Bot with Intro Template, Intent Model Enhancements, and New Permissions

  • Einstein Builders: Deliver Personalized Recommendations (Beta), and Show Confidence Range and Top Predictors on Records for Numeric Predictions

  • Einstein Vision and Language: Image Recognition and Natural Language Processing

  • Einstein Search: Personalization (Generally Available), Easier Setup at the Org Level, Smarter Natural Language Searches (Beta), and Searchable Renamed Objects Using Natural Language Search

Reporting & Einstein Analytics

Although there was not a long list of reporting changes to standard reporting, the one they did release is a big one: you can now automatically add custom fields to custom report types! Whohoo! The Einstein Analytics release changes aren’t too shabby, either - a lot of Beta and Pilot features in this one, including reusable dashboard components, and utilizing your local timezone for your insights. Check these out now!

  • Avoid Stale Salesforce Data in Snowflake with Sync Out (Beta)

  • Build Calculated Formula Columns with More Functions in Data Prep

  • Calculate Dates with Click-Not-Code Date and Time Transformations

  • Quickly Calculate Statistics with Aggregate Functions

  • Freeze Some Table Columns, Scroll Through the Rest

  • Expand or Collapse Grouped Columns Faster

  • Add Accuracy to Your Insights with Date and Time Data in Your Local Time Zone (Beta)

  • Protect Data in Embedded Dashboards with Locked or Hidden Filters

  • Save Time Creating and Managing Dashboards with Reusable Dashboard Components (Pilot)

  • Embed Predictions in Your Dataset During Data Prep (Pilot)

  • Implement External Models in Your Salesforce Org (Pilot)

  • Build Accurate Models Using Random Forest Algorithms (Pilot)

  • Jump-Start Story Creation Using Templates

  • Auto add fields to Custom Reports Types (Beta) (pictured above)


Just like with Sales Cloud, the Winter Release offers a lot in the way of Service Cloud, as well, for 2021. There is now a faster way to set up the Service Console, and they are now offering (drumroll, please…) a Microsoft Teams integration! Another amazing platform to keep your team connected! I was really impressed with some of the features in Service Cloud for this release, but don’t just take my word for it!

  • Service Setup Assistant: Go from Zero to Console in Minutes (pictured above)

  • Spend Less Time Setting Up Voice with Improved Setup

  • Kick Off Lightning Flows, Processes, and Workflows Based on Voice Call Records

  • Work More Efficiently on Voice Call Records with Macros and Quick Actions

  • Transfer Callers to the Right Agent with a More Intuitive User Interface

  • Get Warnings to Avoid Ending Calls Accidentally

  • Facilitate Training with Service Cloud Voice Transcript Monitoring

  • Dial Phone Extensions with the Built-In Keypad

  • Streamline Bot Responses for Screen Readers

  • Knowledge Enhancements for Channels (Including Voice)

  • Use Omni-Channel Skills-Based Routing Rules to Route Chats and Messages to Agents with the Right Skills

  • Monitor Service Cloud Voice Transcripts in Omni-Channel Supervisor

  • Microsoft Teams Integration: Bring Salesforce and Microsoft Teams Together for Service Reps (Pilot)

  • Improve Agent Interactions with Prebuilt Flows


The Community Cloud brings forth a really awesome Build Your Own (LWC) template option in pilot mode for the Winter ‘21 release this year, and as they’re always on top of Guest user abilities, allow you to reduce object permissions, and allow users to authenticate via SMS. Learn more below!

  • Manage Your Pages and URLs with the Pages Menu

  • Apply Audiences to Record Detail Pages with Record-Based Criteria

  • Print Lightning Community Record Details and Lists with Printable View

  • Build Fast, Efficient Experiences with the LWC-Based Template (Pilot) (pictured above)

  • Reduce Object Permissions for Guest Users

  • Let Users Authenticate by SMS

  • Customize Notifications for Changing Email Addresses

  • Enable Article Sharing for High-Volume Community Users

Field Service

Wait, shouldn’t this be called “Field Service Lightning”? Nope! As part of the Winter ‘21 release, Salesforce has changed the name to be more succinct and efficient. But, that doesn’t mean they left out any great features. Field Service is still the great tool you’ve come to know and love, and with this release, you might even love it just a little bit more.

  • Record Product Warranties

  • Improve Preventive Maintenance with Advanced Recurrence (Beta) (pictured above)

  • Get the Total Price on Service Contract Line Items

  • Target Work Priorities Using Service Appointments

  • Shape Up with New Tests in Health Check

  • Send Meaningful Messages Using Custom Notifications

  • Never Miss a Message in Notifications

That wraps it up for Winter ‘21! As you know, there are a lot of other features that are still great, but I just wasn’t able to fit it all in! I look forward to taking advantage of all that Winter ‘21 has to offer soon, and know you’ll be right there with me!