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Struck by (Salesforce) Lightning!


Nupur Singh

September 04, 2015

Salesforce launched something big last week! In what is being touted as the biggest reengineering in Salesforce history, Salesforce has decided to do away with its existing UI and instead introduce a redesigned Lightning Experience. Here’s a list of 9 most important things you should know about Salesforce Lightning.

1. Navigation Bar Approach

As against the older tabbed interface, Salesforce has opted to go for a navigation bar approach in the newer version, a change I feel quite overdue! This new approach enables Salesforce users to move quickly between functions, enhanced manifolds by the new Search functionality, but more on that later. Undoubtedly more attuned to a mobile and responsive UI, the navigation bar approach is aimed to increase productivity by including newer and varied visualizations.

2. An Interface that Comes Alive

The new look of Salesforce is hallmarked with a clean, responsive interface that is compatible for laptops, PCs, mobiles and even Apple Watch, ensuring its customers can see the important information in a glance. The interface is designed such that it ensures that the user gets pertinent information quickly, therefore boosting his productivity manifolds.

3. New Home Screen

Probably one of the very first changes a Salesforce user will notice is the new home screen. There is a goal chart which shows overall goal, open and closed deals. These goals have key insights to help the Sales reps and with a few clicks, they can also see their progress being reflected in the chart.

There is an Assistant section meant to bring in intelligence to the Sales Cloud, enabling the users to see assigned leads, overdue tasks, and opportunities with issues. The Assistant is capable of alerting the users as required through configured notifications.

4. A Sales dashboard just the way you want

We got what we voted for! Salesforce now comes with a 4-column dashboard, meaning we can now view open and closed sales amounts, as well the deals by closed date, resizing or moving the components in the dashboard. Talk about A-grade UX!

5. Opportunities get a makeover!

It’s a given that if Salesforce is bringing in major changes, opportunities will get a makeover too! You can now get a detailed view of each individual opportunity and also see what you need to do next in the lifecycle of that opportunity. Users also have visibility around the past actions completed for each opportunity, with all emails being logged for simplified tracking.

Furthermore, all of a user’s opportunities are listed in a grid format under the Opportunities section in the My Opportunities tab, where they are displayed under their relevant stage in the deal lifecycle and listed along with their relevant tasks. Each opportunity is now manually movable by a simple drag-and-drop interface, updating the sales forecast automatically in the process. As the icing on the cake, alerts are displayed as yellow-colored triangles for new tasks pertaining to each opportunity. Collaboration and lead management simplified like never before!

6. A brand new app store

Customers can build and deploy widgets and third party integrations built on the Lightning platform and sell it through the AppExchange. Building components was never this easy before, and if you do not have enough time to build one yourself, AppExchange provides a large number of components that will fit your need to the tee.

7. The Pipeline View

Remember how you wanted to see the progress of your deals real-time? The pipeline view turns that wish into reality, with a clear view of all opportunities at a particular stage neatly stacked, along with their business value and alerts, if any. Not only does it enable you to keep a track of opportunities at every stage, but also closely monitor the action items and the commercial value attached with them.

8. Fast and Furious Productivity

As many as 25 brand new features and functions are being introduced by Salesforce to speed up the path to customer productivity.  Sales Path, which was previously available only for mobile, now finds itself as a key element of the enhanced productivity suite. Additionally, you can send files and emails to contacts from within Salesforce and say goodbye to all external apps. And this is just within the Sales Cloud, as Salesforce looks to introduce the Lightning experience to Service Cloud and other products soon.

9. Powerful Search

Built on the collective feedback of 150, 000+ users and an experience that exceeds a decade and a half, the Search functionality within the Salesforce Lightning is more powerful than ever before! Its search bar strengthened by predictive intelligence allows you to quickly navigate to the information that you seek, and is present on every screen that you navigate to.

Although the Salesforce Lightning experience will be fully unveiled in October and customers will be directed towards adopting it, it appears at this moment that Salesforce will continue to support its classic UX indefinitely. So if you fear the change, well, you really have no reason to.  The lightning has truly struck the Salesforce world, and this lightning is all good!

For more information on Salesforce Lightning, you can also refer to this informative post from TechRepublic.

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