With The Lightning Experience (LE) UI, and it’s advanced features such as Sales Paths for leads and opportunities, reps can quickly keep their pipeline updated, allowing valuable time to be focused on hunting and closing deals.
As a Salesforce consultant for Statera, I work on the front lines of the ongoing SF Classic vs. Lightning Experience culture clash. It is human nature to resist change, and at a recent SF Users Group meeting in Denver, human nature was on full display. Towards the end of the meeting, an informal survey was taken by a show of hands how many SF professionals had implemented the new Lightning UI for their clients. I was shocked to see less than 5 hands raised in a room with well over 100 attendees. The primary drivers for this lack of enthusiasm for LE ranged from how much custom Visual Force development clients had already invested in their org to dependencies on non-Lightning ready integrations with third party systems. But beyond those specific reasons, there also seems to be a general resistance to the completely redesigned interface that has frustrated many admins who are hopelessly dependent on the old classic layout.
“Resistance is Futile”
I had similar feelings of my own about LE, particularly as a consultant who needed to quickly and efficiently build feature requests for clients in the SF back end. If you don’t know exactly where to look, the location of many of the standard sections of the setup/menu which admins take for granted in Classic, can be maddening to find in LE. Furthermore, the font is much lighter in LE, which for me was definitely a strain on the eyes. So for a time after the initial release of LE, I found myself choosing to work exclusively in the old Classic interface. But as I began to realize just how powerful the advanced features of Lightning are, I remembered the infamous Borg tagline from Star Trek, “Resistance is Futile”. So when recently tasked with the design and implementation of a brand new org for client, I jumped at the opportunity to “be assimilated” into the inevitable by utilizing the Lightning Sales Cloud and it’s unique, cutting edge point and click feature, Sales Paths for leads and opportunities.
Sales Paths funnel users into a small set of 5 or less “key” fields at each stage in the lead and opportunity pipelines similar to the old school method of creating VF pages to show only certain content to specific users. To complement these key fields, SF has assigned a portion of the layout to a text area termed “Guidance for Success”. Consider guidance a scripting function which reveals an exact set of instructions by field and stage for users to execute which virtually no user error.
When combined with validation rules for each key field by stage, Sales Paths act as both a training function and a springboard for user acceptance. By reducing workloads and eliminating errors for sales reps when updating their sales pipeline, now these same reps can spend their time out in the field doing what they do best, generating sales. But I wasn’t done there, because to make the new sales process really pop, I tapped the Lightning Process Builder to create a series of automated tasks for reps to follow at each stage in conjunction with Sales Paths. As each task is completed, certain key fields are updated and validation rules confirm the sales rep is following procedure before moving to the next stage and task. This iterative process reduces the need for building out a time consuming approval process, which in turn lowers development costs and potentially shortens the sales cycle. Sales reps no longer have to wait for management to complete approvals before advancing deals through the pipeline.
If you are not yet convinced the potential benefits of embracing Lightning outweigh the investment in time to learn the new LE interface, then also consider this point. When implementing solutions in Lightning, all of your pages are automatically responsive. That’s right, all you have to do is activate your app in the Lightning App Builder, then make sure your users have downloaded SF1 to their phones from either the Google or Apple Stores, and magically your apps are now functional from either a desktop or mobile interface. Customize your reps mobile experience further by easily uploading the corporate logo to your phone app. I could keep going on about the many benefits of switching to Lightning, but as each new roll out brings new mind-blowing features, are you not better off just diving in now and beginning the journey towards the inevitable?
About Ryan Ingersoll
Ryan Ingersoll is an 8x Certified Salesforce professional currently working as a Business Applications consultant for Statera, currently residing in Denver, Colorado. When he is not busy customizing Salesforce solutions for his clients, he can usually be found either at the rink watching his son play hockey, mountain biking any of the infinite local trails or on the edge of his seat watching his Dallas Cowboys.