Salesforce is not just a CRM platform. It is a brand that defines trends and makes what we refer to as best practices in the field of customer relationship management. With over 150,000 customers all over the world and virtually millions of users, there is a great deal of pressure on Salesforce to remain the leader of the industry and continuously deliver the most stellar experience.
One of the most ambitious updates of the last 5 years was Salesforce Lighting Experience. It introduced great changes in the product’s UI/UX which was more than just new fonts, renewed icons, and fresh color pallets. Lighting was meant to reinvent the way businesses around the world conduct their sales operations. Salesforce’s new interface was intended to increase sales rep output as well as deliver all-new intelligence tools.
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What is Salesforce Lightning?
Salesforce Lightning was a new UI introduced by Salesforce in 2018 with added features and instruments that flawlessly delivers higher degrees of automation and improved personalization services for its users. At its core, Salesforce Lightning is a centralized platform that enables its users to perform a vast number of activities quicker and with higher efficiency.
Special attention must be paid to one particular feature – the AI component with the nickname “Einstein”. This component is able to scan all the critical customer data, customer replies, sales team activities and then predict how new potential customers are most likely to behave going forward. On top of that, it assists companies in making important decisions through its sophisticated sales analytics. Not to mention the numerous time and effort-saving features of Salesforce Lightning that allow your team to better concentrate on more business-critical tasks.
What is Salesforce Classic?
Salesforce Classic at this point barely requires an introduction – for many years, it was one of the most renowned CRMs in the world. For various reasons, the outdated platform UI left a lot to be desired. These reasons included oversaturation with text, massive chunks of empty, unused space, low-res graphics and lack of graphical elements in general.
Ever since the introduction of Salesforce Lightning, many businesses have migrated to this fresher version of the famous software. However, like with any migration, this process may be time-consuming and troublesome. But in the end, it usually proves to be worth it, as the Salesforce Lightning offers a great deal more than Classic.
Salesforce Classic Features
Salesforce Classic has not changed much since its inception in the 2000s and includes some of the more basic, yet still strong functionality:
Classic offers options for modifying the platform to fit your unique company requirements. To automate business procedures and streamline operations, you can define customized fields, objects, and workflows.
With Classic, you can monitor and control sales opportunities at every stage of the sales cycle. You can calculate expected revenue, have full visibility over the sales process, generate and update opportunity data, and keep an eye on important sales-related info.
Classic offers a solid framework for managing contacts and accounts for customers. You will have a full view of customer interactions, on top of being able to track communication histories and organize customer information as you please.
For customer service and problem-solving, Classic offers strong case management capabilities. To address questions and issues raised by customers, you can build cases, assign them to agents, monitor their progress, and collaborate with team members on difficult cases.
Reporting And Analytics
Classic comes with a reporting functionality that enables you to create custom reports and dashboards to better understand your sales, marketing, and customer care operations. You can track vital KPIs, visualize data, and make informed decisions.
Limitations of Salesforce Classic
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Salesforce Classic as a tool, which is only confirmed by its user base still going strong. However, many of the Classic’s features have been massively improved by Salesforce Lightning, which makes Classic relatively obsolete. Classic also stopped getting updates in 2019, while Lightning is receiving the vital quality of life and functionality patched very regularly.
If anything, Classic suffers from slightly outdated security methods – its centralized, single-layer approach may not be good enough in this day and age. Classic is also known as the less visual, less user-friendly and more complex of the two. For example, while it does offer solid lead gen capabilities, it doesn’t provide you with a visual lead activity timeline. Some other key differences between Classic and Lightning we’ll discuss in the following sections.
Salesforce Lightning Migration
For a long time, the typical Salesforce UI was one of the sufficient holdbacks, when it came to the platform’s adoption. And to be fair, the interfaces were outdated, despite the fact that it was backed up by some of the most advanced cloud computing solutions. Ultimately it doesn’t matter since from the perspective of your regular user – what the customer sees is the final product, and there is nothing beyond worth looking at. And, when making a business case, there is some merit to such a mindset.
Migrating to Lightning Experience will provide a sales-and service-centric interface that extends beyond service, apps, platforms, and more, which makes it entirely applicable to other departments like marketing and customer service.
Salesforce Lightning Pricing
Keep in mind that both Salesforce Classic and Salesforce Lightning are not standalone software solutions – they are sets of tools and technologies that come with solutions. That means that you never pay for them directly, you only pay for the Salesforce software you’re using, of which Salesforce has too many to list in this section.
At the same time, that also means that there’s no price difference between Classic and Lightning. Migration from the older to the newer version will only cost you whatever resources are spent to implement the change and to retrain your employees. Moreover, one study shows that migrating from Classic to Lightning can bring your company a three-year ROI of 341% with a payback period of 1 year and 2 months
Salesforce Lightning vs Classic: The Differences
Let’s look at how exactly Classic and Lightning differ: in this and the following two sections we’ll analyze how much Lightning improves Classes and in which ways. We’ll start with the high-level differences:
Lightning Has a Better Interface
Lightning has a better and more contemporary UI than Classic, including a number of cutting-edge capabilities in addition to providing more information on its dashboards. Lightning, for instance, enables Salesforce admins to create or modify Salesforce pages without the help of a Salesforce developer thanks to built-in components. Similarly, its drag-and-drop capabilities enable changes without the need for writing any code.
Additionally, Lightning’s site features headlines, a performance chart, and notable deals while Classic’s does not. You can keep track of your activity for each account or lead using the activity timeline that is also included.
Lightning Has More Powerful AI
Another benefit of the Lightning interface is the Einstein AI, which automatically handles the data preparation, modeling, and infrastructure changes required to keep your analytics up-to-date. It works well with the entire Lightning interface, enabling apps with features like image recognition and natural language processing as well as assisting users in determining the best course of action for a given lead or account.
Einstein integrations are included in Classic, but Lightning offers more. Lightning alone can perform the functions of opportunity insights, account insights, automated contacts, and the Bot Builder tool, which enables customers to integrate Einstein into their bots.
Lightning Has Better Reporting
Yes, Salesforce Classic does enable you to build reports using various templates that are centered on products, opportunities, or campaigns. At the same time, Lightning considerably expands these capabilities with improved charts that allow for more interaction. For instance, you may use filters to view various sets of data without navigating between windows and hide data from charts so that you can concentrate on what matters to you most.
Lightning Has Better Forecasting
Lighting is also far superior in the forecasting department. Classic offers restricted forecasting features that concentrate on product families, quota data, and opportunities. In contrast, Lightning enhances this by offering more functionality and customizability choices that enable you to extract deeper insights from the data of your company.
Lightning Has Better Security
As we mentioned earlier in this article, Salesforce Lightning is more secure. For instance, it offers a feature called Locker Service that separates Lightning components so that they are less vulnerable to attacks, whilst maintaining their ability to communicate with one another.
Additionally, Salesforce Lightning has a distinct way of handling permissions. Users are unable to switch from regular to high assurance levels while a session is in progress. They will need to log out of the Lightning network and sign back in using authentication if they want a higher level of assurance.
Improved Features of Salesforce Lightning
Now let’s take a look at the specific features that were improved. When designing the Lightning Experience the team behind the entire project wanted to improve and simplify the core features that are used by the sales department on a daily basis. Salesforce went through all the trouble of interviewing thousands of sales reps around the globe to find out what was done right and what needs to be added in order to streamline the business workflow.
If we are going to take a closer look at Salesforce Lightning vs Classic platforms, it becomes apparent that the company is aiming towards enhancing the UX. Among the primary objectives in designing the system, Salesforce aimed at building an application that has a point of view on sale instead of merely being a database of customer information. Here are some of the best features that you will find most useful after the Salesforce Lightning migration.
- Customizable Dashboards. When in the past there were only three columns available for building a report in Salesforce UI, now you can go up to nine. This was always one of the most considerable drawbacks to the in-built Salesforce analytics tools, and customers were screaming to fix this for years.
- Improved Navigation. This is not something that a user might request directly, but it can be a root of many different problems in the system. New efficient navigation of Lightning and the quick switch between custom-branded apps available straight in the interface makes the work in a new interface so much quicker.
- Activity Feed. This was far from perfect in the Salesforce Classic. Now with an improved feed, your sales reps can always know at least two things: what just happened in an account and what they need to do next. Which is pretty much half the battle in the sales department.
Salesforce Lightning isn’t simply a user-oriented interface. It extends its benefits to many personas in your company. Your admins can set up pages faster, with reusable pre-built components and intuitive tools, called Lightning App Builder. Also, it provides more flexibility to admins, which is always good, as it accelerates customization work. The system offers many various benefits for developers as well.
Salesforce Lightning New Features
As stated above, Salesforce Lightning retains all Salesforce Classic features, improving a lot of them and even adding some brand new ones, which are more quality-of-life-focused:
Lightning App Builder: With the help of this point-and-click tool, you can quickly create unique apps without writing any code.
Lightning Process Builder: This business process-focused tool helps you easily automate your company operations.
Lightning Schema Builder: Using the Lightning Schema Builder, you can quickly identify and manage the relationship fields between objects
Aura Components: Aura Components are easy-to-integrate, reusable components that can be utilized to build user interfaces and business logic.
Table Fields: Much like an Excel spreadsheet, a table field enables you to enter data into rows and columns.
Action Overrides: This Lightning component can be used to override a standard action’s default behavior for better customization, such as that of a button or link.
Expanded Multi-Select Picklists: With Lightning, you can click on multiple picklist values while holding down the Control (PC) or Command (Mac) key. This lets you choose multiple picklist values from a field.
To provide an overview of the difference in features between Classic and Lightning, we’ve created the following comparison table:
|User interface||Functional, but slightly outdated||Modernized and powerful|
|Performance||OK, but may be slow at times||Fast|
|Security level||Solid, but may be vulnerable||Very high|
|Reporting and analytics||Solid, but at times inflexible||Strong and flexible|
Salesforce Classic End of Life
As of May 2023. Salesforce hasn’t announced any plans for ending Classic’s life cycle as the software, although relatively outdated, is still used by a large number of people. At the same time, Salesforce stopped releasing new updates for Classic back in 2019, which is usually considered the first step toward termination.
With the future of Classic up in the air, companies are strongly recommended to migrate to Lightning at their earliest convenience. Otherwise, they run the risk of having to migrate when the situation requires it, and it may not be the best moment for them.
Salesforce Lightning Migration & Customization Services at OMI
All in all, Salesforce Lightning is a vast improvement over the classic interface in every way possible. It lives up to its name and speeds up all of the core processes, not only for your sales department but for other people in your company as well. And with a new flexibility of development, the customization of the CRM platform opens up completely new possibilities.
If your company is interested in migrating from Classic to Salesforce Lightning and optimizing a new interface to serve your corporate goals better, then you can contact us at Outsource Management Inc. As a Salesforce migration partner and a long-standing player in the area of CRM custom solutions development, we can take your business idea and turn it into a reality with Salesforce Lightning.