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Part 2: Salesforce Winter '21 Release Notes: Everything You Need to Know

Peter Chalmers September 10, 2020

There is A LOT in the Salesforce Winter '21 Release Notes. A LOT. Every cloud gets something cool. So we broke it down to highlight everything you need to know.

This is the 2nd instalment of the top tips which we covered in this weeks' SFDC Academy Livestream. Watch the replay here for more commentary from Dan & Peter. If you missed part 1, you can go back and have a read here





Einstein Call Coaching: New Automatic Insights, Call Sharing, and More Reporting Features

I got to admit that I was excited when I saw this and it does sound cool but before you get too excited it is available with High-Velocity Sales in Lightning Experience and High-Velocity Sales is available as an add-on on Enterprise and up.. So we won’t spend any time on this one. [sad face]

Enable Einstein Lead Scoring with Less Data

Have you enabled Einstein in your org? If you haven’t is it because you haven;t had “enough” data? With Winter 21 you can now enable Einstein Lead Scoring even if you have a smaller data set. 

Keep in mind that Einstein takes advantage of a global scoring model that uses anonymous aggregated data to allow smaller orgs to score their leads. When an organization generates enough of its own data, Einstein switches to a scoring model built only with that data.

Feels like a smart way to do it and is the best of both worlds. 

Optimise the Opportunity Scoring Model

Einstein is getting smarter - or rather the inputs you provide are becoming smarter. When setting up Einstein Opportunity Scoring, you can choose to have Einstein look only at opportunities that meet certain conditions and if you want to exclude any custom opportunity fields from the scoring model.

Connect Microsoft Office 365 to Salesforce in More Ways

As you will see in the release notes if you use Einstein Activity Capture with Microsoft Office 365, you can now connect to Salesforce with an org-level connection or a service account. Both connection methods provide the security of OAuth 2.0. Plus, Einstein Activity Capture users don’t connect their own account, which simplifies the rollout.

Both authentication options make it easier for you to set up many users because users don’t connect their own Microsoft Office 365 account to Salesforce. Plus, service accounts give you more control over which users Salesforce can access data from.

Create Larger Emails with New Maximum Size of 35 MB

The maximum size of outbound and inbound emails has increased from 25 MB to 35 MB. The size of an email message includes the email headers, body, attachments, and encoding. Email size can also vary depending on the character set.

Lightning Sync Not Available for New Salesforce Customers

If you are reading this then the chances are you would already be a Salesforce customer and therefore this won’t bother you. 

Lightning Sync is being deprecated and not supported for new customers. Einstein Activity Capture is the way forward. It is also a reminder that Salesforce does deprecate some functionality over time and it is best to be across that as well as enhancements.





A few items to note in here. Some of them I would classify as housekeeping. Such as Create Orders Without Opportunities which removes the need to have a Parent Opportunity when creating a Quote.

Another is Sell Add-On Products on Amendments and Prevent Backdated Amendments at the Same Time that allows you to add-on products and enforces the dates ensuring nothing is added with a date prior to the order. It fixes a restriction (or I think bug) from Spring 20.

Understand What Your Customers Have Bought

I love that title as it is the whole reason we use Salesforce. But - this is actually using Customer Asset Lifecycle Management to achieve this. And it provides visibility into products your customers have bought, from initial sale through the end date of a subscription or service. It sounds like we are getting closer to the Holy Grail of customer interactivity (I think I may have made that word up..).

This leverages the Asset object so you must be using that and Salesforce Billing.

Validation Was Added to Ensure Unique Values for Number Field on Quote Lines

Yep, that one sounds exciting hey and yet it is actually a great fix. 

The Number field (API name Number__c, on the SBQQ.QuoteLine object) determines the order of lines in a quote or quote line group. Not only is the order now enforced it is unique which means you can now ensure your quote line items are printed in order. Anybody else pulled their hair out on this one? I know I have previously.

Demonstrate Salesforce Billing Payment Functionality with Test Gateway Adapters

Finally, we can provide payment demonstrations with a test payment gateway adapter that doesn't require a connection to an established payment gateway. Billing with Test Gateways for Testing is a massive step forward. 

Align Cancellation and Amendment Calculations Based on Billing Periods

Billing is simple isn’t it, until you get an amendment or a cancellation and then it can all go a bit pear-shaped. This may be because Salesforce CPQ and Salesforce Billing use different formulas for calculating proration periods.

You can now set your CPQ and Billing proration periods to the same date. With a bit of automation (Flow / Process Builder or trigger) you could set this up so no-one needs to touch it again.



Lots of improvements across the Industry clouds. As this is rather specific we won’t go into them here. Though you can click through the link above to the specific notes and read all about them.



Subscribe to Get Report Results Delivered by Email

Ok this is been out in Beta etc but it is now GENERALLY AVAILABLE! Finally we can again subscribe to report delivery via email. Yep.. now flood your inbox with all the reports (but only if you are on Lightning Experience)!

Snowflake with Sync Out (Beta)

Got Snowflake? No.. keep reading the other notes.. Yes, well you will be interested in this. There is now a Beta for Snowflake that allows you to refresh your data into Snowflake. No more stale data! Contact your friendly Account Exec so you can get onto the Beta and then, once enabled, set up your Data Recipe. 

Improve Insights into Sales Performance with the Revenue Operations Analytics App

This new app does what it says, namely it delivers forecasting analytics with a better user experience, better pipeline visibility, and easier deal inspection and forecasting with the use of predictive analytics. And there is nothing more to add there.

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

Note this is in Beta but now you can view dashboard data in the time zone that matters most to your business. In case you didn’t know, dashboard data is converted to the GMT time zone. That means when your California-based support team creates a case late on Wednesday (in California time), the creation date could suddenly change to early Thursday in their customer support dashboard. With Single Custom Time Zone, you can ensure that time-sensitive data is more precise and relevant to your global audience.

Protect Data in Embedded Dashboards with Locked or Hidden Filters

You know those conversations we have when someone says their Dashboard has different numbers to yours. Well to reduce those conversations you can now with the new lock and hide options for filters there is an easy way to configure embedded dashboards so users see only the data that you want them to see. And, with the updated dashboard reset action, you can now return an embedded dashboard to its initial embedded state.

And remember these changes only relate to Einstein Analytics in Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic.

Emphasiz(s)e Key Metrics in Dashboard Text with Conditional Formatting

Now in addition to numbers, tables, and charts, you can apply conditional formatting to your dashboard text. Conditional formatting is an easy way to make important insights pop when you assign colors based on specific values. For example, change quarterly sales numbers to green when they go above your target.




Lot’s of love has been given to Einstein Disco in this release.

Embed Predictions in Your Dataset During Data Prep (Pilot)

Use the new Einstein Predict transformation for Data Prep to calculate and store predictions in your dataset. You can even store descriptions of top predictors and improvements. When you run a recipe with an Einstein Predict node, Einstein estimates and saves predicted outcomes on a row-by-row basis. Populate your datasets with predictive and prescriptive intelligence to quickly evaluate predictions across a large set of data, assess multiple models before deploying them into production, and aggregate this information in a dashboard.

Build Accurate Models Using Random Forest Algorithms (Pilot)

In all honesty, I don’t even know what this one means but I can tell it’s a great solution for the data peoples out there.

Einstein Discovery now adds a fourth type of model that is based on a modeling algorithm known as random forest. Einstein Discovery uses this supervised learning algorithm to create highly accurate models via multiple decision trees, randomization, and other optimization techniques. You can compare a random forest model with other types of models to determine whether this algorithm provides better accuracy for your story. 


Haven't had enough of the Winter '21 Release Notes?! Don't worry, there's plenty more where that came from! This season's extensive list deserves at least one more instalment to cover SO MUCH GOODNESS.

Join us next week on the SFDC Academy Livestream and check back here for round III on the blog. 

You can watch this weeks' Livestream here:

Peter Chalmers

Peter Chalmers