It’s Time: Switch to Salesforce Lightning or Get Caught in the Storm


follow our 3-step process to make the switch to salesforce lightning.


Salesforce Classic has been the face of the software since its launch in 1999. 15 years later, the company began promoting its new Lightning platform, identifying it as "the CRM we would have built in 1999" had the right technology existed at the time.

While Lightning does add a fresh new look to the Salesforce user interface, the changes aren't just window dressing. Lightning Experience includes new and updated CRM features that meet the technological needs of a changing business landscape.

All this sounds great on paper, of course. But while everyone likes the idea of staying on the cutting edge, real business practices can be slow-moving and resistant to change. Employees are used to their daily processes and would prefer not to re-learn them. Even the switch to a shiny new UI can confuse and frustrate your team, instead of getting them excited to explore.

It's not ubiquitous yet, but Lightning is without a doubt the future of Salesforce.  Are you prepared to make the switch?


Follow our 3-step process to find out: 

Step 1

Look for internal buy-in from end users and executive or senior-level stakeholders such as corporate officers and managers.

  • Identify key stakeholders and meet with each to discuss why Lightning is the best move for your company. Be open to concerns and find ways to alleviate each one. Remind them that Lightning is the new face of the software; staying ahead of the changes will be essential to a smooth transition (See our Internal Communication blog post for more details on this).
  • Prioritize user concerns and present yourself as a helpful expert. Identify specific ways that the switch will make your users’ daily processes easier and point out each benefit.
  • If you have a large group, focus your efforts on three or four power users who seem ready to get excited about a big change: these users should be your “watercooler evangelists” who encourage other users along the path to Lightning adoption.
  • Sometimes bringing in a fresh face to help facilitate the change and train the team can help. An outsourced partner needs your support to be successful with your team, but they can often carry some of the load when it comes to problem-solving or fielding concerns. Check out our sales consulting page to learn more.


Step 2

Conduct a gap analysis. This involves a full-scale examination of your entire org. There are a huge number of items to consider. We find these to be the most commonly encountered hurdles:

  • Apps in your org that are not Lightning-Ready. You can identify apps in the AppExchange by looking for the small lightning bolt icon in the “Features” list. Most Apps have been updated to accommodate Lightning, but some older and no-longer-supported apps won’t transition. You’ll need to identify workarounds or replacements for any non-Lightning-ready apps.
  • Changes to data access and analysis. If your company is using Notes & Attachments instead of Files, you may encounter some hang-ups in the transition to Lightning. Reports and Dashboards also look and feel very different from Classic, although major upgrades to features and usability make this well worth the adjustment. Keep in mind – you're going to have to switch at some point! If it seems like it will require a lot of work, you're better off making a plan now.
  • Feature replacement. Some old features that were available in Classic have been replaced in Lightning. In Sales Cloud, “Related Contacts” no longer exists, and has now become "Account Contact Relationships", a completely revamped way for the two objects to interact. Many of the functions that were possible with Related Contacts are no longer available, because the focus of the relationship between these two objects has fundamentally changed.
  • Feature deprecation. Salesforce is no longer supporting some old functions. Homepage alert banners, built-in Mass Delete functions, and the ability to respond to Approval requests via the Chatter tool are just a few examples of these discontinued features. While most things that existed in Classic still exist in Lightning, remember that the tool is going to continue evolving. Switching now will keep your company from getting left behind as outdated features begin to go dark.


Step 3

Join the Lightning Experience group in Trailblazer. The Trailblazer Community is a collection of users, admins, developers and students of all ages and experience levels.  It’s filled with useful information, written primarily in question-and-answer form. This is a great place to see how other users are handling Lightning and identify common roadblocks to adoption. It’s completely free, but you’ll need to use your Salesforce credentials to join.  Don’t have any? No problem! You can easily sign up for a free Developer org and use that login to access the Trailblazer site.


Do you need an outside perspective to help you design a plan for lightning? Lightning Experience will be auto-enabled on a rolling basis beginning in the Winter 2020 release, so now is the time to get started on managing the change. If you’re not ready yet, don’t worry! Contact us for an assessment and personalized guidance on how to make the switch.


Not sure where to begin? Utilize our CRM planner to start your plan.

  Download CRM Planner