Marketing Team Author's Perspective
3 Minute read

What is Salesforce Lightning and How to Make the Move?

Since its launch in 2014, Salesforce Lightning has slowly inched its way into the spotlight with business app developers, sales teams, and marketing teams. Bluewolf and TMobile are a couple of early adopters that have had great success with the platform.

Salesforce Lightning is touted to deliver 341% ROI and 50% faster time to app. It reportedly helps businesses increase user productivity by 41%, conversion rates by 41%, and time to close by 23%. It also makes business processes easier since users don’t have to recreate customizations or important data anymore, and the user interface (UI) is a lot more intuitive and sophisticated. Sounds like a win-win in every way, right?!

However, understanding what Salesforce Lightning is and how to make the move to it can be intimidating for businesses. There are trials, convincing the leadership, getting users on board, all steps that seem like an absolute headache when you’re thinking of getting started on a Salesforce Lightning migration.

To help you understand Salesforce Lightning better, make an informed choice, and plan your migration, we’ve created this article. First, we’ll start with –

What is Salesforce Lightning?

Salesforce Lightning is a component-based framework for app development created by Salesforce, the same company that created the all-popular CRM, marketing cloud, sales cloud, and a whole host of other SaaS products.

The tool makes it easier for business users with no programming experience to create apps for different business processes. It helped Seagate save 5 to 10 sales rep hours per week by improving usability, user experience, and intuitive functionality. It also helped Elements Financial reduce development costs by 43%.

A list of all Lightning-only features can be found in this exhaustive document. However, for those of you not wanting to dive into a 76-page document, here are some highlights of Salesforce Lightning:

Customizable Home Pages: Users can create the home page they want Lightning’s drag-and-drop interface.

Lightning App Builder: A point-and-click tool that makes it easier to create custom apps for users without needing to code or program.

AppExchange: A gallery that makes over 50 partner components available in App Builder.

App Launcher: A central location to navigate to Salesforce apps, custom apps, and connected apps from one view.

More searchable objects: Ability to see results for assets, campaigns, person accounts, and work orders in search results.

Einstein Account Insights: Built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help you and your team stay informed about business developments and other key moments that affect your relationships with customers.

How to Upgrade to Salesforce Lightning?

Making the move to Salesforce Lightning is a multi-step process:

  1. Perform a gap analysis:

    Since we are discussing “making the move”, most probably you’re already using Salesforce Classic. Performing a gap analysis will help you understand which Salesforce Classic features your organization uses currently and what new features from Salesforce Lightning can help your teams perform better.

  2. When performing the gap analysis, try to look for:

    • Business processes that you’re currently performing that an upgrade could simplify
    • Areas where an upgrade could save your team some time and effort
    • Tasks or activities your team can’t currently do with the features they have
    • Business processes that you’re currently performing that an upgrade could simplify

    This gap analysis should give you a clear reason for why your business needs to upgrade to Salesforce Lightning.

  3. Get buy-in from the leadership and users:

    With clear reasons for upgrade and benefits your business could get from it, it’s time to get a buy-in. It’s not just your leadership you need to convince; it’s as much about the everyday user. While the leadership could be happy about increased productivity or better insights, every user would look for things that make their lives easier, save them time, or help them eliminate recurring or cumbersome tasks.

  4. Talk to the leadership as well as the everyday users. Tailor the benefit analysis as per the audience and department you’re addressing. Aim to convince all the parties involved.

  5. Conduct a Lightning Experience Readiness Check:

    Salesforce enables users to conduct a Readiness Check when contemplating an upgrade to Lightning Experience. This Readiness Check helps you evaluate how much effort it will take to switch over and what could be the potential issues.

  6. The report also gives straightforward labels such as The Good Stuff”, “Needs Some Attention”, and “Which Users Are Ready”, to help you better understand your current Salesforce landscape. In case the report states that your business is not yet ready to make the move, it will recommend apt steps to fix existing issues.

    How to get the report? Login to Salesforce >>> Setup page, under the search bar, click Lightning Experience >>> valuate if Lightning Experience is Right for You >>> Check Your Lightning Experience Readiness >>> Evaluate. 

  7. Take the Lightning Experience for a test drive:

    Salesforce has a Lightning Migration Assistant that allows you to test drive the Lightning Experience. This can give you a preview of how Lightning will work for your business, without upgrading all your users. You could put a group of users on Lightning for a few days, then collate all their opinions and thoughts. Next, put a different group of users on Lightning and take in their opinions. Make sure to choose users from different levels in the business, and from different departments, so you can have a plethora of opinions for an analysis.

  8. Use this test drive to try apps, features, and experiment with customizations that couldn’t be evaluated in the Readiness Check. Also use this trial to identify areas where your team might need help integrating, or setting up, or where your users might need training to onboard.

  9. Get the ball rolling on the upgrade:

    If yours is a small or midsize business, you might be able to do your upgrade in one go. However, for a bigger business, with hundreds of users, it might be better to upgrade in phases.

  10. Use your Readiness Check report to identify which groups are ready for the upgrade first, and then get other groups onboard eventually. Moving this way will help you begin your upgrade sooner, support a smaller number of users with each phase, focus on smaller lists of business and technical requirements at a time.

    Also, make sure you set KPIs and measurements pre-upgrade, so that you can measure and showcase your success post-upgrade. 

Avoid Sticky Upgrading Challenges

Even if your business is prepared, upgrading from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. If your business is unprepared, it can be a complete nightmare.

To avoid making any mistakes during your upgrade, get help from professionals like us. Consult our experts today.

Marketing Team Technical Lead | Altudo

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