Thanks to Salesforce’s No Software model, updates three times a year, and the open-source approach of the Salesforce community, new features and creative solutions to daily requirements are always coming out. The CloudMyBiz team works hard to stay on the forefront of all that Salesforce has to offer, and below are our Top 10 Salesforce features of 2013!
10) Dynamic Report URLs
Have you ever wanted to see a report based on a record you’re working on without having to manually customize another report? Maybe you want to see all open Opportunities for a specific Account, or maybe you want to pull a report of all Cases with the same type as the one you’re trying to resolve. With a custom Detail Page Link, you can create amazing dynamic reports based on any parameter from a record. GreatG has a great walkthrough here for setting up your first dynamic report URL.
9) Embedded Analytics
For years, users have been begging for a way to add charts directly to record detail pages. Previously, you’d have to work with a team of developers to create this kind of functionality, spend weeks or months in development and testing, and if you needed to make any changes, it was back to the drawing board. Well, Salesforce has heard your cries and has added Embedded Report Charts to the Winter ’14 release! Read more in our Tip of the Week – Increase visibility with Embedded Report Charts in Salesforce.
8) Analytics API
In the past, if your developers were trying to create a custom mobile app, a Visualforce page with charts and graphs, or an intricate integration with another system and wanted to include data from a specific report, this required some complex code and a lot of work. In the Winter ’14 release, Salesforce brought us the Analytics API which now allows programmatic access to Salesforce Reports from external systems and via APEX controllers. Check out the Developer Guide (PDF) for more information and full specs, and enjoy all the cool features!
7) Historical Trends
Wrapping up our favorite reporting features from the past year, we’d like to draw your attention to some new features for reporting on Historical Trends.
Historical trending comes with a new custom report type designed to highlight changes between any five snapshot dates. It adds the ability to analyse day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month changes in the Opportunities object and up to three custom objects.
Read more from our colleagues at Bluewolf on this and several other great new features from the Winter ’14 release.
6) Data Loader
The Salesforce Data Loader may not be a new feature, but with its power, versatility, and ease of use for quickly importing, exporting, and mass updating records, it is one of the first programs we open every morning. Developerforce has a great wiki about the Data Loader. If you’ve never used this awesome tool, you should check it out!
5) Email to Salesforce
Yet another oldie but goodie comes to us from Mike Gerholdt, the ButtonClick Admin.
For all of the fancy plugins and connected apps that exist, Email to Salesforce is a great beginner’s way to getting executives and reluctant users to log emails without lifting a finger.
Check out his blog (one of our favorites) for more about Email to Salesforce and a few other forgotten Salesforce features.
4) Salesforce Console for Sales
The ButtonClick Admin wrote a fantastic post about Winter ’14, and among other features, highlighted the Salesforce Console for Sales.
If your sales people ever saw the Service Cloud Console they wanted it immediately. Especially for Inside Sales reps who do a lot of repetitive calling, or list building. And let’s be honest, the Sales Cloud has a lot of clicks- which is ok if you have like 10 accounts, but when you manage hundreds or more you could get carpal-tunnel in a day.
Read more here for his breakdown of this and other new features.
3) Salesforce Side Panel for Outlook
If your team’s primary email tool is Gmail, you may already be familiar with the benefits of bringing the power of Salesforce directly to the email client with a tool like Cirrus Insight. But if your team is using Microsoft Outlook, the functionality was somewhat limited…until the Winter ’13 release. Since then, Salesforce has added some cool new features and tools to the Outlook integration. Watch Salesforce’s intro video to one of these new features below and read more here.
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If you’ve been trying to increase your mobile reach with Salesforce, the new Salesforce1 app may be just what you’re looking for. Salesforce1 aims to bring the platform into the internet of things with powerful new APIs and a full suite of useful tools. Definitely a game changer! Read more here and check it out today!
1) Chatter Publisher Actions
Our favorite new feature this year dropped in the Summer ’13 release, and it has been a hit with users, admins, and developers alike. The biggest complaint we hear from users is that it takes too many steps to log a call, create a case, , and there’s no time to go through that whole process to do one little thing. For admins, this means missing out on valuable metrics, and their requests to make the process faster and easier can leave developers scratching their heads. Well, no more with Chatter Publisher Actions. Read more about this feature here, and enjoy a better, faster, more intuitive Salesforce experience in 2014!
With all the amazing new features and powerful old tools from Salesforce, the possibilities for optimizing your system are endless. It has never been easier to access reports and charts from all over Salesforce and even external systems. Powerful email tools make communicating with customers a breeze. The extension of the Console UI beyond the Service Cloud will make everyone’s job easier, and Chatter Publisher Actions further extend that ease of use to everyone in your system. And the Salesforce1 app will no doubt bring incredible new functionality to your team even while on the go. Keep watching our blog for updates as cool new features start to emerge in 2014! And don’t forget to sign up for the Tip of the Week to get smarter week by week and become a Salesforce expert!
~Jared and the Salesforce Guys