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What is Salesforce Lightning?

  • 12 Sep 2018
  • colm_admin

You may be asking yourself, ‘What is Salesforce Lightning?’ and ‘Why would I want to change my Salesforce set up?’. Maybe your company hasn't mentioned anything about Lightning or you haven't read much about it. In this post, we hope to provide you with some clear and concise information that will get you up to speed quickly with the new Lightning Experience.

Salesforce Lightning is not just a new look to the platform, it’s ‘the future of CRM’. Despite being released nearly 2 years ago, Lightning Experience can still be a new concept to anyone using the Classic version. Lightning is packed with tons of new features, a completely redesigned and reimagined UI and was made to help employees make better and faster business decisions.

A Brief History of Salesforce Lightning

In 2013, Salesforce, realising that over half the planet were using mobile phones, needed to transform their offering in order to stay at the top of their game. With this in mind, they put a huge amount of emphasis and focus on mobile development, and thus, the Salesforce1 mobile app was born. Salesforce1 is an accessible app that allowed users to interact with their data and customers on their mobile devices.

Fast forward to 2015, Salesforce noticed there was a large contrast between the desktop browser experience and the Salesforce1 app. By developing a new User Interface (UI), they could unify the user experience and simplify tasks, no matter what device was being used.

What did they call this new UI? Lightning Experience.

Salesforce officially launched Lightning Experience at Dreamforce 2015, and is now the sole option for new customers.

“The future of CRM” - Salesforce

Salesforce is no longer developing the Classic version and will stop supporting many features by January 2019. Many businesses and users will need to migrate their orgs in order to remain up-to-date with the latest features and keep growing their businesses.

What Size Companies Are Affected By This?

Everyone. No matter the size of the company, migrating to Lightning is not just the best option, but the only option. As Salesforce is a fully unified CRM platform, Enterprise companies will be able to take advantage of increased productivity and automation, while SMBs will benefit most from increased sales and communication.

The main purpose of Lighting? To improve productivity by using a simplified UI (User Interface) that is made for multi-tasking and optimised for speed. Using fewer clicks, users are able to achieve more in the same amount of time and reduce inefficiencies.

For SMBs, Lightning helps to reduce downtime and enhances the sales process which in turn increases sales and helps the company grow and expand. For SMB’s, when migrating, there really is little to be listed as a downside, as migration can be quick and less time-consuming.

Enterprise level companies will see significant increases in productivity which in turn can naturally decrease the cost of hiring new recruits and reduce overtime. With automation, a priority for many businesses, Salesforce Lightning, on average, can lead to savings of up to 2 hours per week per employee. On the downside for enterprise-level companies, the transition time for companies with multiple or large, complex orgs is unquestionably longer.

Here’s a quick overview of Lightning Experience from Salesforce:

What Components Make Up Lightning?

When redesigning the new Salesforce platform, the team asked themselves - 

“If we were back in 1999, but had all of the technology available we have today, what CRM would we build?” - Salesforce 

People may think Lightning is just a new UI, however, it is so much more and comprises of multiple components.

Below are some of the key components which help make up Salesforce Lightning as a whole:

  • Experience - This is the user interface, the main interaction most users will have. Experience also includes the Salesforce1 app.
  • Lightning Component Framework - This Javascript framework is what makes Salesforce customisable (in other words, a reusable piece of code).
  • Visual Building Tools - Drag and drop feature for customisation.
  • Lightning Exchange  - This is a section of the appexchange to help your Salesforce development. 
  • Lightning Design System - As Salesforce describe it: “The Lightning Design System enables you to build rich enterprise experiences and custom applications with the patterns and established best practices that are native to Salesforce.”

Want to know more about the components in detail? Check out this webinar on the Salesforce.

What’s Being Left Behind in Classic?

What is Salesforce Lightning? | Pexlify Enterprise Solutions

With good reason, re-implementation for some Classic features will never be possible. While Lightning has a new improved UI, there are still a few features that did not make the cut. Some of these features include Custom JavaScript Buttons, Recycle Bin, the Sidebar, as well as some apps from the appexchange. For everything left behind, there’s either a better alternative or simply no longer a need for the feature within the new setup.

Also, the ability to run Lightning on IE11 (Internet Explorer 11) is also being left behind. While some companies who have elected to extend Support for Accessing Lightning Experience can still use IE11, by Dec 2020 it will no longer be supported at all.

Some other features excluded are: Similar Opportunities, Big Deal Alerts, Opportunity split details in the opportunities list, SOS, Solutions, Customizable Forecasting, Partner Portals, Work.com. For more details, you can see each feature and which version it is available here.

How Can Lightning Help Your Business?

  • Boost productivity and improvement in time management
  • Helping reps to sell better
  • Increase revenue / reduce costs.

The above are just 3 examples of how Lightning can improve your business. Whether it’s your sales team, support team or field employees, Lightning is here to help.

You might have heard people mention productivity over and over again - this is what Lightning Experience was designed for. Increasing productivity and creating a smarter way of working delivers an overall better experience for employees. Happier, more productive employees work better and more effectively.

Lightning Experience was originally designed around the sales process and making it more efficient, and it’s easy to see why. With features like Kanban view (an effective visual layout) and the ability to add a note quickly without interrupting a current task, sales reps can increase their sales and focus on nurturing the right leads and opportunities.

Kanban View:

Kanban View | Pexlify Enterprise Solutions

Take a look at this example of how a sales rep can manage their pipeline better, using the smart, interactive features in lightning: 

Other Key Benefits of Lightning:

From minor updates and bug-fixes to major new features that cut your task time nearly in half, Lightning is full of ways to help your business succeed. In order to better understand this, we have listed some of the key benefits below:

  • Modern UI - The new modern UI results in better activity time using interactive/multi tabs, flexible dashboards and reports.
  • Unified Salesforce Experience - The same responsive platform across different types of devices (computer, tablet or mobile).
  • Mobile Connectivity - Using the Salesforce1 app, users can update customer information from any device.
  • Lightning Ready Apps & Components - Install pre-made apps 3rd party in your Org. 
  • Visualise Your Data - By creating an interactive dashboard and reports. 
  • Pexlify Accelerators - On top of all this, here at Pexlify we have our own unique accelerators around multiple aspects of Salesforce, including Lightning.

“Companies received a 341% ROI in 3 years by migrating to Lightning”

In addition to increasing productivity and boosting sales, Lightning Experience can save your company money, time and expenses. In a recent report by Forrester, companies received a 341% ROI in 3 years by migrating to Lightning. This intensive report studied 7 companies, and the results after 14 months confirmed the system had completely paid for itself.

Some of the key findings from the report are:

  • 50% faster time to market on application development
  • Average of $1,594,426 (€1,376,523/£1,236,014) sales efficiency savings
  • $366,000(€315,914/£283,714) savings in time savings for business sponsors and power users
  • $1,242,487(€1,072,458/£963,293) savings on development
  • $169,106(€145,974/£131,107) in savings on application developer turnover rates
  • Total $3,371,834(€2,910,617/£2,614,638) over three years

You can read the full report here.

Migration - Should You Make the Switch?

If you are thinking about making the switch, then you certainly should. With no more updates due for Classic and lack of support for some features, your business needs to migrate to reap the full benefits and features from your Salesforce platform. If the lack of updates does not convince you to switch, then 3rd party apps, up to 41% increase in productivity, 341% ROI and mobile connectivity are just some of the other reasons that should convince you.  

Key Takeaway Points:

  • Fast, smarter and modern. With Salesforce Lightning Experience, an employee’s activity time is lower. Lower activity time equals a higher feeling of accomplishment, which equals a higher volume of work and productivity.
  • For anything left behind in Classic, it was left there for a good reason - a better,  improved version or alternative is available in Lightning.
  • 341% ROI in 3 years.

In our next post, we’ll discuss how you can prepare your company for Lightning migration.

Interested in switching your company over to Lightning? Take a look at our Salesforce Lightning Migration options or download our brochure to find out more today.

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