Like many long-time Salesforce users, I had to learn to love the Lightning interface.
In part, that’s because the Classic interface is burned into every blood vessel in my retina.
I can navigate it with my eyes shut.
So, like you, at first I had to work hard to adapt to the Lightning layout.
But, here’s what happens when you learn something new:
You approach it with a fresh perspective.
That means finding ways to make it better; ways to improve the Lightning experience.
That’s exactly what happened when I studied the salesforce Lightning interface. I found simple ways to make Lightning better for salespeople.
That means improved usability, increased user adoption and superior visibility of the sales pipeline.
Since then, I’ve applied these Lightning best practices to dozens of companies.
Now you can do the same.
Here they are:
13 Easy Salesforce Lightning Tips That Will Please Salespeople.
1. Set every lightning page to default on Details.
2. Add Related List Quick Links to Lightning page layouts.
3. Use Lightning Paths to move Stages.
4. Update opportunities using the Kanban view.
5. Make it easier to add products to opportunities.
6. Customize Dashboard components to highlight key information.
7. View report details more easily.
8. Customize Duplicate Matching Rules in Lightning.
9. Decide whether Notes are right for your business.
10. Modify the Lightning page Highlights Panel.
11. Customize the Lightning App menu.
12. Decide if the Quarterly Performance Goal is for you.
13. Put regular functions on the Lightning Utility Bar.
Continue reading to learn how each of these tips can help to improve your lightning experience.
1. Set every Lightning page to default on Details
The Default tab on any Lightning page is Activity.
In other words, when you click on a record, you land on the Activity tab.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
However, here’s what I find:
The first thing most salespeople do is click on the Details tab.
So, make it easier for them.
Lightning Tip #1: If you only do one thing to improve the Lightning experience, set the default tab on every page to Details.
This means salespeople will first see the Details tab when they click on any record in Lightning.
One other thing whilst were on Lightning page tabs:
Make the order of tabs consistent across all page layouts.
For example, Activity, Chatter, Details.
The order doesn’t matter. Just make it the same on all Lightning pages.
2. Add Related List Quick Links to Lightning page layouts
The Related tab clutters Lightning pages.
That’s because the right-hand side of the page also displays Related records.
In other words, the same information is in two places on Lightning pages.
Therefore, Lightning Tip #2 comes in two parts:
First, remove the Related tab. Second, add the Related List Quick Links to the right-hand column.
The Related List Quick Links makes it easy for salespeople to jump straight to the relevant section.
A cleaner user interface.
That means salespeople find the information they need quickly and easily.
3. Use Lightning Paths to move Stages
Lightning Paths provide an easy-on-the-eye way of viewing a picklist-based process on any object.
The most obvious, and most used, example is the Opportunity Stage.
However, not everyone realizes that you can hover over the current stage and see how long the opportunity has been there.
Businesses that have complex sales processes can also provide salespeople with additional information about each Stage.
Lightning Tip #3: Use the Lightning path to help salespeople navigate through essential processes.
4. Update Opportunities using the Kanban View
Robust pipeline visibility relies upon salespeople keeping opportunities up to date.
That means the Close Date, Amount and Opportunity Stage are always our best assessment of the current deal situation.
The Kanban View makes this much easier in Lightning because salespeople can drag and drop Opportunities between Stages.
In addition, there’s a warning flag to highlight opportunities that have no open activities.
And the drop down arrow makes it easy to edit Opportunities directly from the Kanban view.
Lightning Tip #4: Teach salespeople how to use the Kanban View to quickly and efficiently update opportunities.
5. Make it easier to add products to opportunities
It was never very easy to find Products to add to Opportunities in Classic.
Now, some people think it’s even harder in Lightning.
Products you’ve recently used get in the way; and the pane for reviewing available Products isn’t big enough.
It’s like trying to select products through a letterbox.
Here’s one other challenge common to both the Classic and Lightning interfaces. There’s no way to picture all the Products together, grouped in a logical way.
Lightning tip #5: Use the GSP Product Selection Wizard.
It becomes much easier for salespeople to find Products and add them to Opportunities in Lightning.
The wizard groups Products in a logical way. For example, here it’s by Product Family.
However, your system administrator can decide the best way to group the products, with nested levels of product grouping if necessary.
Quantity and Price details are entered in the top right. The salesperson sees a running total of the selected Products on the Opportunity in the bottom right.
There’s a video and more details here: GSP Product Selection Wizard app.
Add Products To Opportunities Quickly and Easily
Interested in this app? Get in touch with us today
6. Customizable Dashboard components to highlight key information
With Classic we are stuck with three columns.
And often, it’s hard to quickly spot the really important chart on the dashboard.
That changes with Lightning.
Lightning Tip #6a: Use the 12 Column version of Lightning Dashboards. It gives more flexibility to organize the dashboard in a user friendly and logical way.
After that, use the customizable dashboard features to draw the eye to the most important information.
For example, in this case the Sales Forecast report.
Lightning Tip #6b: Use shading and layout to draw the eye to the most important elements of each dashboard.
7. View report details more easily
A key benefit of Salesforce is reports and dashboards that deliver pipeline visibility.
Both salespeople and managers need to drill down to an underlying report and then easily see the details that make up any given number.
The way this works in Lightning is definitely an improvement over Classic.
For example, view a report of opportunities by Close Date and Stage.
Clicking on any number in the report reveals the opportunities that make up the number.
This means it’s much easier to manage by exception. View the report. Spot the number that catches your eye.
Then check the details that make up the number.
Lightning Tip #7: Teach users how to view the details that make up any report number.
8. Customize Duplicate Matching Rules in Lightning
Duplicate records have a big, bad impact on Salesforce user adoption.
They also reduce the effectiveness of many processes. For example, it’s difficult to identify high priority Leads if you have duplicates of the same records.
There’s no magic wand. However, Lightning gives a useful way to reduce the number of duplicates and stop new ones being created.
Lightning Tip #8: Implement and customize duplicate rules.
Here’s the Duplicates function in action on a Lead record.
Click View Duplicates to see the individual records and merge them.
However, I’ve found the standard matching rules not to work that well. In fact, Leads that have a matching email address but a different Name are not identified as potential matches.
This often happens, for example, if you have content on your website that people only need to enter an email address to obtain. These people are created as Leads when the fill in the form.
Here’s how to fix this.
Create a custom matching rule, based only on email address.
Then associate it with the Standard Lead Duplicate Rule.
That way your duplicates are picked up much more readily.
9. Decide whether Notes are right for your business
Recording notes on calls, meetings and discussions on opportunities is essential.
Of course, they’ve got to be easy to find in the future. Not only for the person that wrote them; but anyone else with an interest in the deal.
However, that brings a dilemma in salesforce Lightning.
Lightning tip #9: Decide upon the best place to record notes in Lightning. Then do it consistently.
Unfortunately, that’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds.
There are three options.
One: create an Activity. The Log A Call button is one easy way to do this. It automatically sets the resulting Task to Completed.
Two: create a Chatter post. This has the advantage that you can proactively share the information with another person.
Three: create a Note. This is new to Lightning.
My advice, having worked with many businesses on Lightning migration: be careful if you decide to use Notes.
Here’s the issue.
You now have three places to enter information on calls and meetings. Activities and Chatter work well. Users tend to look there first for information.
Use Notes and you risk ambiguity. Salespeople become uncertain about the difference. Other people tend not to check Notes.
In addition, there’s one other challenge.
If you are migrating to Lightning from Classic, it’s likely many people will have stored important documents in the Notes & Attachments section.
Lightning Notes replaces the Notes part of Notes & Attachments. Files replaces the Attachments.
Therefore you’ll need to migrate your Notes & Attachments into Notes and Files respectively.
Of course, if you’re new to salesforce and going straight into Lightning, that’s not an issue.
Either way, be clear and unambiguous about how you want salespeople to record information about conversations and meetings.
10. Modify the Lightning page Highlights Panel
It’s important to see important information easily and quickly.
However, the key fields may be well down the page. Or separated into various logical sections of the page layout.
Lightning Tip #10: Modify the Highlights Panel on each page.
Adding key fields to the Highlights Panel means it is easier to grasp essential information.
For example, on Opportunities, these fields are displayed in the Highlights panel by default:
- Account Name
- Close Date
- Opportunity Owner.
However, you can have up to six fields in the Highlights panel. Here, we’ve added two pipeline quality metrics:
The number of Close Date Month Extensions metric counts how often the Opportunity has slipped from one month to another.
The Days Since Last Stage Change shows when the Opportunity Stage was last updated.
In many businesses, these are important metrics for robust sales forecasting and pipeline management.
By the way, you can get both these pipeline quality metrics and many powerful pipeline management charts by installing the free GSP Sales Dashboard.
Awesome Pipeline and Sales Performance Visibility
Download the FREE Dashboard from the AppExchange today
11. Customize the Lightning App menu
A Lightning App allows salesforce users to see different combinations of tabs.
The matrix of nine dots at the left-hand end of the tabs is where you select the relevant Lightning app.
However, the result can be confusing.
Clicking the matrix reveals a list of hard-to-distinguish Lightning apps.
What’s more, many of these apps (Service or Community, for example), may not be relevant to salespeople.
Lightning tip #11: Create an App that contains the tabs your salespeople need. Give it a meaningful logo to make the app easy to identify.
Whilst you’re at it, remove irrelevant apps from the menu selector.
For example, here’s what the screen above can look like. In fact, it’s taken from the Lightning environment in our own salesforce environment.
There are fewer highlighted apps; and those that are visible, are easy to identify.
12. Decide if the Quarterly Performance Goal is for you
All salespeople want to measure their sales against target.
For managers, tracking sales versus target is a fundamental aspect of driving team performance.
Consequently, you have a decision to make:
Decide whether the Lightning Home page Quarterly Performance Chart is right for your organization.
If it is:
Lightning tip #12: Decide whether the Quarterly Performance chart on the home page is right for your business. If that is the case make sure salespeople know how to set their Goal and adjust it each quarter.
However, I’m not a massive fan.
That’s because the Quarterly Performance Chart is a broad-bush tool. It gives limited insight on whether the pipeline is big enough to meet this quarter’s target.
Also, never mind the size. There’s no information on whether the quality of the pipeline is good enough to meet target.
If the Lightning Quarterly Performance Chart is not right for your business, then you have three other options for tracking sales versus target.
- One: use the standard Forecasts tab. That will suit some businesses. However, in my experience, not many. It’s a challenging piece of functionality to apply correctly.
- Two: replace the Quarterly Performance Chart with your own dashboard chart. However, it’s still a challenge to provide the detailed insight necessary for robust target management. That’s because there’s nowhere to store the salesperson target figures.
- Three: use the GSP Target Tracker app. We think (not least, because we built it and customers love it) this is the ultimate way to measure sales versus target in Lightning. The app delivers detailed information on the contribution of won and pipeline deals to target; together with other metrics and insights on target performance.
This blog post explains the 3 Ways To Measure Sales Versus Target.
For more information on the GSP Target Tracker, watch the video and see more screenshots.
13. Put frequent functions on the Lightning Utility Bar
The Utility Bar is the strip that runs along the bottom of any salesforce Lightning page.
Customize this bar to make it easy for salespeople to access important functions.
This might be as simple as an important pipeline chart.
However, Utility Items can also include Process Builders, Dashboards, CTI SmartPhone, Visualforce Pages and more.
Lightning Tip #13: Customize the Utility Bar. It’s a simple but effective way of speeding up use of Salesforce.
Lightning tips for salesforce
So there you have our 13 Lightning tips that will please salespeople.
You can see many of these tips demonstrated in our video below. Of course, if you need more help then use our Contact Us page to get in touch.
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