In January 2020, Salesforce officially enabled the new Lightning Experience (LEX) for all customers. And while they aren’t retiring Salesforce Classic (yet), the CRM giant is only releasing new features only for LEX. That means one thing: It’s time to build your Salesforce Classic to Lightning migration plan.
When Salesforce Lightning launched in October 2015, performance issues and general discomfort with the new user experience limited implementation and adoption rates. Salesforce has addressed the vast majority of those performance concerns—but LEX adoption is far from universal.
Companies with complex Salesforce Classic configurations continue to resist Lightning rather than manage the challenges that come with upgrading a CRM. However, the Salesforce Classic to Lightning migration doesn’t have to be so daunting with the right approach to change management.
Companies that avoid the upgrade to Salesforce Lightning miss out on a new UI and a growing library of exclusive features. And, more importantly, they could be putting themselves in a difficult position to migrate as Classic support disappears.
Salesforce built LEX to improve the user experience. Lightning has a modern interface that, because it was built on top of Salesforce’s mobile application technology, is more responsive across devices. Salesforce Lightning promises faster navigation and a more intuitive user experience thanks to features like a Kanban view, native data visualisations for reporting, and customisable dashboards.
But Salesforce Lightning isn’t meant to only improve the experience for end users. A new back-end design system and set of components offer low-code frameworks for developers to easily customise their Salesforce organisations.
In addition to a new UI and streamlined developer experience, Salesforce has committed to updating Lightning with more innovative features compared to Classic, including the following:
The reality is that the longer LEX is out, the bigger the difference between Salesforce Classic and Lightning will be. And even though Salesforce allows users to toggle back and forth between the Classic UI and the Lightning UI, the initial migration can be long.
According to Salesforce’s migration timeline, rolling Lightning out to all users could take companies anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months—and that’s without any speed bumps along the way.
The best thing any enterprise on Salesforce Classic can do is make the move now. You don’t want to find yourself in a difficult position when Salesforce eventually decides to phase out Classic.
There are four distinct phases of any Salesforce Classic to Lightning migration process: discovery, planning, training, and optimisation.
One of the great things about Salesforce is that it allows you to customise it to your company’s precise CRM needs. But that also means that no two Salesforce Classic to Lightning migrations will look the same. Knowing what each phase requires and what to expect along the way can help you avoid costly mistakes as you upgrade your CRM.
There are four important questions to answer to decide whether Salesforce Lightning can properly replace your Classic organisation.
It’s not enough to simply ask whether the Salesforce Lightning experience will suit your organisation or whether the new features seem valuable. Rather, you need to dig deeper to understand whether Salesforce Lightning is the right CRM option for you. Ask yourself:
Tools like Salesforce’s Lightning Experience Readiness Check can help you evaluate your company’s needs and answer these critical questions. They’ll help you identify potential feature gaps between your current Classic organisation and what you should expect from Lightning. And they’ll also map compatibility issues that need to be fixed before the migration process.
With all of this information at hand, you can build a business case for LEX to convince leadership it’s time to migrate. Explain how there won’t be any business disruptions during the migration. Show which features will be most beneficial for your sales team. Identify the benefits of more advanced reporting capabilities.
Once you’ve made the business case and leaders accept the Salesforce Classic to Lightning migration, you can move on to the planning phase.
The basic steps of a Salesforce Lightning migration are no different than any other tech implementation project. You need to set timelines, outline responsibilities, identify key milestones, and create a rollout plan.
Set SMART goals
The first step of migration planning is to set starts with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) transition and adoption goals. Depending on your business needs, your goals can range from improving productivity and reducing support ticket volume to improving data quality, increasing sales leads, boosting opportunities, and streamlining account creation.
There are two types of KPIs that will help you track your SMART goals—mid-transition adoption metrics and post-transition productivity metrics. Adoption metrics can include time taken to successfully complete actions within Classic, daily active users Classic, and number of employees switching to the LEX interface. Productivity metrics focus more on what happens after the LEX transition—time taken to complete actions in Lightning, change in number of calls logged, change in lead conversion rate, etc.
Develop a change management strategy
When you’ve set your goals and KPIs, you can start to develop a change management strategy that will drive adoption while keeping salespeople happy (and productive). Start by surveying your Salesforce power users to get an idea of their pain points in Classic and which features they’re most excited about in Lightning. Then, map out exactly what new sales workflows will look like in Lightning, and craft a communications strategy that highlights the key benefits for users.
Remember that you’re trying to get the sales team to buy into the migration process. That means you’ll have to market the project to Salesforce Classic users and generate demand for the CRM upgrade. To do that, you could:
Your change management strategy could have a massive impact on the success of your Salesforce Lightning migration. Research from Prosci found that projects with excellent change management were six times more likely to meet objectives and deliver cost savings.
With a strong change management strategy in place, you can start to run trials of Lightning in the Salesforce Sandbox environment. Check performance tests, load tests, and see how custom features look in staging. The more bugs you can work out in the testing environment, the smoother your eventual launch will be.
The last aspect of planning is how you’ll phase the rollout. In most cases, it’s best not to migrate all users at the same time. In fact, your best option is to create a pilot group of handpicked users to test Salesforce Lightning, identify blockers, and help you finalise a seamless process for wider implementation. From there, taking an incremental approach helps you stay in control of the process and limit the impact of challenges as you progress.
The most effective way to make employees comfortable without Salesforce Classic is to offer on-demand Lightning training with a DAP like Whatfix. We believe on-demand training in the flow of work—a mix of micro and macro learning—is the best way to address challenges during Salesforce Lightning adoption.
Every employee’s experience and training needs will be unique, but there are certain common challenges for many new Lightning users. First, Lightning presents a steep learning curve due to the significant UI change. Salesforce has always been a complex tool. And while Lightning aims to simplify the interface, it’s always difficult for employees to get comfortable following such a jarring change.
The second challenge is the fact that Salesforce continues to supply a never-ending stream of new features for employees to learn. With as many as three updates per year, Salesforce releases new features at such a rapid pace that continuous training is essentially required.
Training new Salesforce Lightning users in the flow of work might start with traditional methods, such as using an LMS to distribute presentations, PDFs, and videos and give employees onboarding lessons. These traditional materials can cover the big-picture impact of the new CRM, while informal training tools like Salesforce’s Trailhead platform provide more granular support. Trailhead offers interactive learning materials like quests, quizzes, badges, and guided paths to make the training process more engaging.
But, ultimately, on-demand training is the most effective method because it allows users to practice using Lightning in the live environment with the help of contextual, automated, bite-sized lessons.
Here are some of the Whatfix training features that can help in a Salesforce Classic to Lightning migration:
Each of these features supports a training process that shows users the exact steps for completing tasks within the CRM—without taking them out of the app and hurting productivity. This kind of seamless learning experience will keep your Salesforce Lightning migration from falling into the implementation dip.
Source: Big Think
The last thing to think about regarding Salesforce Lightning training is the power of change champions. You’ll inevitably identify a group of super users—the employees who are truly passionate about the new CRM. As they learn more about Salesforce Lightning features, give them opportunities to train others who aren’t as quick to embrace the new interface and features.
Full adoption of Salesforce Lightning will likely be a slow process, which is why you need training materials and tools that can track usage rates throughout the migration process and beyond.
If you’re using a DAP like Whatfix, you can leverage the tool’s usage analytics and embedded survey features to gauge the adoption of individual Lightning features. That data unlocks the insights necessary to start personalising Salesforce Lightning training. Especially as the transition becomes more permanent, you’ll need to make every effort to ensure that all employees are up to speed. Personalising the processes with in-app guidance increases adoption by addressing the granular challenges that hold individual employees back.
Perhaps the most important part of the optimisation phase is remembering that Salesforce still has a “Switch to Classic” button for every user. In the early days of the transition, let your employees switch back and forth between the Classic interface they’re comfortable with and the Lightning interface they’re still getting used to.
Giving employees that freedom to learn at their own pace maintains accountability while ensuring that no user is overwhelmed by the migration process.
Salesforce Lightning is only as powerful as your ability to help employees take advantage of its features. Don’t let a seemingly daunting migration process keep you from starting the shift to Lightning. We have migration experts who can help you plan your transition and make the move as seamless as possible.
But what really matters is how smooth you can make the adjustment period for your employees. That comes down to the training strategy, which is why DAPs are so valuable in a Salesforce Classic to Lightning migration process.