Salesforce is a popular CRM (consumer relationship management) product from Salesforce, as is the case with all top CRMs, is updated regularly, mostly to add new features and to fix bugs. One of the most recent, notable releases to the CRM is 2014 Winter Release, which has dozens of features.

  • The Winter Release comes with Enhanced Lookups. With the old lookups, you could only search for a match in a single field type. You can now search across all the fields, meaning, as an example, you can find a person’s records by searching by phone number or email.
  • There is a Historical Trend Reporting feature that is a custom report which displays changes between 3 custom objects for up to 5 days, weeks, or months in Opportunities. This allows you to view trends, which will help you make informed decisions.
  • The all new Embedded Analytics feature will allow you to add 3 report graphs/charts to a standard page layout. Human beings are visual creatures and this will help you better communicate such things as Opportunity stages, meaning you do not have to go through different Excel and Salesforce reports when you want to create a graph or chart.
  • Forecasts will make your employee’s work easier. The new Forecasts include Opportunity splits, which will allow for credit sharing of sales across members of a team. Forecast now also supports Product Groups. This will help you to accurately forecast if you have attained a quota and to better do budget planning.
  • With the 2014 Winter Release, you can now save money and time since you can read (access) Knowledge Base articles free of charge. This has been christened Public Knowledge Base (or PKB) and is available in the Sales and Service Cloud. There is a big volume of articles on tips, tricks, and best practices that you can access. Note that you still require a license for Chatter Plus/Force and if you want to delete, edit, or publish a Knowledge Base article.
  • Case Feeds provide completely new functionality. The new functionality includes ability to use Quick Text and to attach PDF to email from Salesforce’s knowledge sidebar.
  • The 2014 Winter Release of Salesforce feature Chatter, which allows you and other users to communicate. Chatter now includes new Mobile updates, support for chat on records, editing/updating records from handheld devices, and even opening of Salesforce emails from IOS devices using the Chatter app.
  • Collaboration is important in any organization because, as an example, employees who are stuck can get help quickly. The new Chatter Groups allow for better collaboration with the @mention group functionality. This functionality allows for the appearance of posts in both individual feeds and groups.
  • Some members of your staff talk more than others. Thanks to an update on Chatter to support posts of over 5,000 characters, you will not restrict even the most verbose of your team members.
  • One of the biggest criticisms about Salesforce was that it was extremely difficult to track Entitlement and Milestones. With the 2014 Winter Release, you can easily track SLA’s through their Case Lifecycle using recurring Milestones.

With these and older features like Salesforce test data, Salesforce data loader and Salesforce data migrator that are still exciting, Salesforce is indeed headed in the right direction.