Salesforce Lightning: Sales Cloud Extreme Makeover Will Make Sales Teams More Productive
By Jim Lundy
Salesforce announced an extreme makeover for its sales cloud CRM platform earlier this week and it is one of the first redesigns of its flagship service in years. It is clear to us that this has been in planning for quite a while and that Salesforce has learned valuable lessons from its mobile app, Salesforce1.
This blog is about the key things we noticed from the initial announcement and the impact on sales teams. To net it out, Lightning is a winner, but not all enterprises will be able to migrate to it right away.
Salesforce Lightning: Modern User Experience
For a long time, sales reps have had to push a lot of buttons to update deals. Lightning makes it much faster and much easier. While one could argue that this update to a modern look and feel is overdue, we think that by starting with mobile first, Salesforce did the right thing. The good news is that Lightning is here.
Pipeline Board: The New Killer App
The biggest thing that is a productivity-enabler for the sales cloud is Pipeline Board. To us, it looks very similar to another CRM product called Pipedrive, but borrowing great designs isn’t a bad thing.
Pipeline Board makes it easy to advance an opportunity by simply dragging it to the next phase. That in itself is a killer feature that will delight both reps and their managers.
Opportunity Workspace: A Close Second
Opportunity Workspace is also a productivity-enabler for a sales rep—it allows all of the activities for an opportunity to be visible in one place.
This is far better than the old way of looking at an opportunity. We also think that this will enable a rep to start to understand the key next steps they might need to take in an opportunity.
Dashboards: New and Easy
The dashboards in Salesforce—one of the most popular features for managers—are now even easier to use and update.
The biggest feature that people clapped about during the live presentation was the four-column dashboard. That was cool, but the ability of users to also update their dashboards faster is also a productivity-enabler. Salesforce administrators will have fun with the new dashboards.
Salesforce Lightning: Not for Enterprise Edition
Salesforce has spent a lot of time upgrading customers to the enterprise edition. One of the most used features, customizable forecasts, isn’t supported in Lightning. In fact, there are a number of features that aren’t supported in Lightning, including:
- Territory management
Switcher to the Rescue
The good news is that Salesforce allows users to switch back and forth using their new Switcher tool. We have not had a chance to see Switcher in action but that may allow more enterprises to get started with Lightning sooner.
Pre-empting Dreamforce Is a New Marketing Playbook Move
As with other recent announcements of new releases, Salesforce pre-empted its Dreamforce Conference and announced Lightning early. If they wanted more buzz for Dreamforce, this move just did that.