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Not Lightening… Or Lighting. But Lightning.

If you didn’t know already, ‘Lightning’ is the modernization of the salesforce user interface.

Salesforce Lightning on multiple devices

It’s delivered loads of new features and productivity benefits but it’s not for everyone… just yet.

Could your team be more effective by migrating from ‘Classic’ to the new, supercharged Lightning?

Well, the answer is, it depends.

Imagine Ma and Pa with a couple of kids.

They’re considering whether or not to buy an Aston Martin. It’s stylish, beautifully engineered and will have them lapping the Isle of Wight in less time than the All Other Passports queue post-Brexit.

It’s not, however, great for the school run or junior football at the weekend. So despite the allure and benefits to be had, they can’t ditch the Skoda… just yet.

The point being that your company may still rely on one or more features of salesforce ‘Classic’ that aren’t available in ‘Lightning Experience’ (or at least aren’t fully supported in Lightning).

Salesforce ‘Classic’ and ‘Lightning’ can be used in unison, and users can switch between the two. Whether your company would become more productive depends on how it uses salesforce.

On the face of it this sounds like a reasonable and simple solution. In practice, it can be painstakingly slow. Continually waiting for the Lightning user interface to load can be a real source of frustration for users.

Constantly switching back and forward between the two in some ways negates the productivity benefits derived from migrating to ‘Lightning’.

To highlight this, watch how to switch between the two in the video below.


Another often overlooked factor is that this demands your users to be equally competent navigating and using two different user interfaces.

As with most things, the keep-it-simple-stupid approach is generally the most effective. For this reason your company should ensure that all (or at the very least most!) day-to-day features required by your users are available in Lightning before migrating.

This will provide the best chance of users embracing Lightning’s new features. Otherwise, what you may find is that some users hold onto Classic.

In this post we review a few key features to consider when determining whether or not migrating to ‘Lightning Experience’ would improve your company’s effectiveness.

1. Lightning Reports & Dashboards

These are the mainstay of salesforce and one key reason why companies take the salesforce plunge.

Without a doubt, the ability to customise the size and shape of Dashboard Components has been one of the best features offered by Lightning.

The downside is that whilst switching to Lightning offers greater flexibility in both Dashboard design and appearance, unfortunately not all of the Classic features can be configured in Lightning.

If your sales team requires full control over creating reports and dashboards, then you may want to consider the following limitations before making the switch.

  • Dashboards created in Lightning are unable to be scheduled to refresh automatically
  • Users can’t create additional Reports & Dashboard folders

salesforce dashboard displayed after the switch to Lightning.

These may seem minor points, but can your team be effective if they’re looking at old data?

What if they’re unable to store multiple reports in a single location and quickly share these with other members of their team?

Information is king and if it’s not current or easily located then it’s hard to be effective.

2. List View Restrictions… or the lack of in Lightning

List Views are a quick way to view records that share something in common.

Depending on whether you’re looking at Accounts, Contacts, or Opportunities you may wish to filter the view by a particular country, job title or business unit.

The benefit of List Views is that they can be made available to other users.

If your team relies on List Views to work sets of records, be it Opportunities or otherwise, then you’ll need to consider the implication of Lightning’s new List View visibility before switching.

Unfortunately, salesforce Lightning takes an all or nothing approach to List View visibility.

This removes the ability to grant visibility to users based on their Role or membership of a group. An added complication is that ‘All’ users includes internal and partner users.

The limited options to control List View visibility can result in your team:

  • Not providing certain users with visibility of List Views that they create, or;
  • Needing to sift through a never-ending set of List Views that are visible to everyone

The latter is the more common and inconvenient outcome. This results in many list views, most of which are completely irrelevant to most users. This is hardly a great way to quickly find records of interest.

Opportunity List Views change appearance after the switch to Lightning.

Admittedly, List Views can be configured and have the visibility controlled by switching back to Classic. This may not be an issue if List Views are fairly static in your environment.

If, however, your users utilise List Views to work sets of records and maintain the List Views fairly regularly then, I’m afraid, you’ll be constantly switching back and forth between Classic and Lightning.

12 Must-Have Charts For Your Salesforce Dashboard

Download the FREE eBook from our website today

12 Must-Have Charts For Your Salesforce Dashboard

Download the FREE eBook from our website today

3. Product Schedules in Lightning

At GSP, we advocate the use of Products to almost all of our customers.

Products allow you to see how the value of an Opportunity was determined, check to see that no items (Products) have been forgotten, but one of the best things about Products is ‘Product Schedules’.

Product Schedules provide a way to track the timing of recurring revenue. You can read more about this in our post 5 Killer Examples of recurring revenue forecasts in salesforce.

If your company already benefits from Product Schedules then there’s a slight issue… Product Schedules aren’t available in Lightning.

Classic Opportunity Product with Schedules rather than Lightning.

Opportunity Product in Classic with Product Schedules

Lightning Opportunity Product after the switch to Lightning.

Opportunity Product in Lightning

What this means is if a Product with Schedules is added to an Opportunity, the default Product Schedules will not be created. The impact of this is that these Products and their revenue will not be included in any revenue reports that are driven off Product Schedules.

This is a deal breaker for companies that rely on Product Schedules for revenue forecasting.

The only other alternative, again, is for users to switch back to Classic, add Products that contain Schedules to the Opportunity and then revert back to Lightning.

These additional actions aren’t exactly conducive to a productive sales team.

4. Navigation Menu after Switching to Lightning

Say hello to the new icon-based Navigation Menu.

Get friendly with it, as it’s the only menu you will see.

If you’re a SME business, or have staff that use salesforce for more than one business area (sales /marketing /service), then this will impact you.

The navigation menu, presumably, is designed to speed up navigation.

Gone are the days where you select the Marketing App and the all objects related to Marketing appear on screen and only one click away (think Campaigns, email applications etc).

Apps (or Tabsets) are now accessed from the App Launcher or using the Search bar. When you land on an App all the objects included in that App are listed (see below).

Marketing application after the switch to Lightning.

The issue is that when you navigate away from this page the links to the other objects are no longer visible. Users must either search or navigate back to the App Launcher again.

The implication of this is that the number of steps has increased for users to access what they need.  This only slows you down and quickly becomes a source of frustration.

The alternative is to include all objects in the Navigation Menu. The downside of this is that the menu quickly becomes cluttered and not very user-friendly.

5. ‘Lightning Ready’ AppExchange Packages

If your business has installed packages from the salesforce AppExchange then you’ll want your System Administrator to ensure that all of these are compatible with Lightning.

When you think of packages, think Dupecatcher, Conga, EventBrite and MailChimp etc.

Most of the widely used packages are already certified as ‘Lightning Ready’.

If you happen to use some more niche applications specific to your business, then make sure they’re endorsed with the ‘Lightning Ready’ certification on the AppExchange (see below).

Lots of apps on the Appexchange that integrate with salesforce are Lightning-Ready.

Helpful Resources when Switching to Lightning

There are a number of online resources available to help you determine if the ‘Lightning Experience’ is right for your salesforce environment. Of course, our team of consultants are here to assist you and talk you through any challenges that you face as you move to salesforce Lightning.

If you’d like to discuss your migration or have some further questions, please get in-touch using our Contact Us page.

In the meantime, head on over to salesforce Trailhead and access the projects listed below to find out more about the features, compatibility and roll out considerations.

1. Lightning Experience Features

This project describes the new toys and wets the appetite for what’s instore after migrating to Lightning. One consideration is that a certain amount of additional time and effort will be required if you wish to utilise several new features such as the Sales Tools.

2. Lightning Experience Basics

This project helps to understand the fundamental differences between salesforce Classic and Lightning and whether your environment and licences are compatible. The second module compares the objects and high-level features that are and aren’t available in each interface.

3. Lightning Experience Roll-out

This project provides a methodical approach to planning the migration to Lightning. It covers key project success factors such as project sponsors, process reviews, gap analysis and what next. It also provides some recommendations on how to stage the release to certain groups of users. The benefit of this is that any issues only impact a smaller set of users.

4. Quick Look: Lightning Experience

This project walks through the changes to the user interface. These changes will have the most dramatic impact for users immediately after migrating to Lightning. It could and should be incorporated into your user training programme.

12 Must Have Charts For Your Salesforce Dashboard

Download the FREE App from the AppExchange today

12 Must Have Charts For Your Salesforce Dashboard

Download the FREE App from the AppExchange today

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