By Katie Levy
Summer is coming, and that means it’s Salesforce release season again. With new features, enhancements, community ideas delivered, and more, the Salesforce Summer ’23 release marks an exciting milestone in the year. And this release is a big one.
What is a Salesforce release? Over three sets of weekends each year, Salesforce delivers a release to existing customer orgs. This means all Salesforce customers use the same version of the platform with the same features at the same time, though features vary with Salesforce products and editions. For the HigherEchelon team, releases are exciting; we get to try out new features for our own org and look for ways to help our clients make the most of their investments.
How can you prepare for the release? One of the most important steps is to figure out when your org gets the release by looking up your instance on the Salesforce Trust website. (Not sure what instance you are on? In your org, visit “company information” within the “Setup” menu.)
Next, review release notes to understand what enhancements and changes apply to you. Finally, it’s always good practice to test new features in a sandbox. Sandbox upgrades typically happen 4-6 weeks ahead of a Production release, and for Summer ’23, upgrades occurred May 5th and 6th. The weekends of May 6th, June 3rd, and June 10th are the big release weekends, depending on your instance.
How do you know what features to focus on? The release notes are packed with important announcements, and using the navigation sidebar within the release notes can help you explore. It’s tough to choose announcements we think are the most important and exciting, but we did our best. Still need more information? Check out Release Readiness Trailblazers Community.
Dashboards can be one of the most effective and efficient ways to quickly illustrate key data in Salesforce. But with Summer ’23, Salesforce provides the ability to add different types of widgets that include rich text in Unlimited Edition. This means adding images, dashboard instructions, and even animated GIFs.
The ability to reuse dashboards across business units and teams can be challenging without filters. Prior to Summer ’23, dashboards could only accommodate three filters. But with Summer ’23, it’s possible to add up to five for customers on Unlimited Edition, making dashboards even more powerful.
A better experience for everyone using the internet starts with accessibility. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to support this concept. Guidelines include good color contrast for non-text items, generally helping all users see content more easily. To make object icons, borders, links, edit icons, and messages easier to see, Summer ’23 brings improved color contrast features to support users with low vision. Click the title link for this section to see examples.
If you are accustomed to seeing the News component, automated account fields, and automated account logos, these retire on October 13, 2023 as part of the Winter ’24 release. This means users will not be prompted with suggestions for account name; company logos along with other fields will not populate automatically; and the News component will be removed.
Multiple Sales Engagement Enhancements
For Salesforce admins and end users working in orgs with Sales Engagement enabled, Summer ’23 is packed with important announcements:
These two announcements go hand in hand, particularly for cadence builders using wait steps to space calls, emails, and other activities out in cadences. New “Start This Step,” “Due Date,” and other fields let cadence creators specify how much time passes between the previous step and the current step, the time of day the step starts, when a step is due, and more. This effectively eliminates the need for wait steps, making cadence building faster, and giving users more control over step timing.
A new “Engagement History” field coming with Summer ’23 allows users to see which leads are engaged, when engagements occur, and how often. Prior to Summer ’23, users could see the number of engagements, but not the timing, making it more challenging to reach out at the right moment.
Though cadences are a fantastic way to standardize steps in a prospecting or other process, and ensure users know what to do when, users may not be working with cadences and their work queue 24/7. This can result in an accumulation of overdue tasks during periods where users may be focused elsewhere. With Summer ’23, after the new “Cadence Assignment Availability” feature is enabled by an admin, users can quickly set their Cadence Assignment Availability on their user profile. This ensures cadence step tasks are only added during those hours.
Revenue Intelligence is a suite of analytics designed to help organizations drive forecast accuracy in the flow of work and make better data-driven decisions to address gaps in the pipeline. With Summer ’23 comes the Sales Rep Command center, designed to help reps see if they are on track to achieve goals. This includes highlighting stuck opportunities, overdue activities, progression of opportunities, and amount changes without having to click through different dashboards.
This one comes as no surprise for admins aware of the announcement that Salesforce plans to retire permissions on profiles. And it’s a great example of community ideas delivered. Though it will not be default on, and admins will have to choose between using profiles or permission sets for field level security, it is a step in the right direction.
Prior to Summer ’23, adjusting the salutation picklist for Individual, Lead, Contact, and Person Account objects had to be done from Salesforce Classic. With Summer ’23, switching to Classic will no longer be required; picklist values can be managed in Lightning Experience.
Beta features are those that may not ultimately be delivered by Salesforce but can be worth testing out; this is one of them. The Highlights Panel on Lightning record pages can get crowded with standard actions such as “Edit,” “Delete,” “Printable View,” and more. Add your own actions to that list and the clutter can cost users valuable time searching for the right button.
With Summer ’23, users will be able to test actions that create or update records on a specific related list. For example, users can select multiple contacts to update at once right from the Contacts related list, rather than having to expand and search through the Highlights Panel. Quick actions on related lists can be added using the Dynamic Related List – Single component in Lightning App Builder, or in the page layout editor.
The perfect alignment of fields on a page can be elusive for admins, but (hopefully) elusive no more with Summer ’23. Alignment across columns is achievable using new feature on the Dynamic Forms Section component. Upgrade your Lightning pages to take advantage of Dynamic Forms, add a Field Section component, and check the “Align Fields Horizontally” checkbox.
If your org uses a guest user, beginning in Summer ’23, sending emails from an unverified email address will be blocked. If you have a verified organization-wide email address, the “sent from” address will default to this address. To learn more, enter “Release Updates” in the Quick Find box in “Setup” and follow the steps for “Restrict Emails Sent from the Guest User.”
Speaking of org-wide email addresses, with Summer ’23 comes more control over which users can access and use them. From the Organization-Wide Addresses page in Setup, admins can add an organization-wide email address to a permission set, rather than using profiles to control access.
These are some of our most notable features, but there’s SO MUCH to explore in this next release! Learn more about what new features are available with the Summer ‘23 release through the release notes, and contact us if you’d like to learn more about how HigherEchelon partners with organizations to help quickly and successfully implement Salesforce. (We’re good at improvements in existing orgs, too!)
Katie Levy is a 9x certified Salesforce Consultant with HigherEchelon, Inc. and has a passion for finding and sharing the latest and greatest Salesforce features.
Client Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
HigherEchelon’s team is extremely professional and high caliber. They are very knowledgeable on the Salesforce platform, while offering solutions to business problems. That’s a hard mix as most partners tend to be over indexed in one particular way. HigherEchelon knew how to leverage the platform to solve our business needs.
– Client, Financial Services Sector, public review on Salesforce AppExchange