Feeling torn between the Salesforce interfaces? Choosing between Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic is a decision that impacts user experiences, productivity, and adoption rates. In this article, we aim to unravel the key differences between SF Lightning and Classic, equipping you with valuable insights to make an informed choice.
Salesforce offers two primary user interfaces: Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic. For years, Salesforce Classic has been the trusted choice for businesses, offering an extensive set of features. In contrast, SF Lightning takes a modern approach, boasting an attractive interface and enhanced performance.
Curious to explore further? Let us get started.
What is Salesforce Classic?
Salesforce Classic, the original user interface of the Salesforce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, predates the introduction of Salesforce Lightning and has played a significant role in the platform’s history.
Characterized by its traditional and dated user interface, Salesforce Classic features a fixed layout with tabs and page sections that have remained unchanged over the years.
In terms of functionality, Salesforce Classic offers a comprehensive set of CRM features, making it a platform for managing various aspects of business, including contact management, opportunity tracking, case management, reporting, and dashboards. Its stability and reliability have made it the preferred choice for many organizations for an extended period.
However, some features and customizations created in Classic may not seamlessly transition to SF Lightning, which is a consideration when deciding whether to make the shift.
While Salesforce Classic has served organizations well, it can feel less user-friendly compared to Salesforce Lightning, which offers a more dynamic and modern user interface.
This evolution in user experience is one of the factors prompting organizations to contemplate the transition to Lightning, balancing the stability of Classic with the enhanced features and modernization of Lightning.
What is Salesforce Lightning?
Salesforce Lightning represents the modern and dynamic evolution of Salesforce’s original interface, SF Classic, designed to offer a more intuitive and visually appealing experience for users of the Salesforce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform. It was introduced to provide a contemporary and responsive interface that enhances productivity and user engagement.
One of the most striking features of SF Lightning is its user interface. It has a modern and user-friendly design, characterized by responsiveness. This dynamic interface replaces the static layout of SF Classic, making for a more engaging user experience.
Lightning offers an array of enhanced features and components, including customizable home pages, Kanban views, dynamic dashboards, and interactive reports. These features are designed to streamline the management of sales, service, and other CRM-related tasks, improving the user experience.
How Does Salesforce Lightning Enable Advanced Workspace Customization?
SF Lightning provides advanced customization options, allowing users to tailor their workspace according to their specific needs. This includes creating custom apps, page layouts, and record types, with the added benefit of the Lightning App Builder, which enables the construction of custom pages without coding.
The mobile compatibility of Lightning is a standout feature, optimized for use on smartphones and tablets. This mobile version ensures seamless access to and interaction with CRM data, offering responsive design and integration with the Salesforce1 mobile app.
Finally, Lightning is compatible with the Salesforce AppExchange, a marketplace for third-party apps and integrations. This compatibility means users can augment Lightning’s functionality by incorporating a wide variety of apps and add-ons that cater to their unique business needs.
Key Differences Between Salesforce Lightning and Classic
Salesforce Lightning and Classic differ in several key aspects, including user interface, performance, features, and mobile compatibility. The following are the main distinctions between the two:
1. User Interface and Design:
Classic features a more traditional and static user interface. It has a fixed layout with tabs and page sections. Customization is available but is somewhat limited in terms of design and flexibility.
Lightning offers a dynamic and modern user interface. It provides a more visually appealing, responsive, and flexible design. Users can customize the interface to suit their preferences and needs, creating a more tailored user experience.
2. Performance and Speed:
Classic may have slower page load times and responsiveness compared to Lightning due to its older architecture.
Lightning is optimized for performance, with faster page load times and a more responsive experience. This makes it more efficient for users who need to access and update data quickly.
3. Features and Functionality:
Classic provides a comprehensive set of CRM features and functionalities, but it lacks some of the advanced features available in Lightning. While it is a robust platform, it may not have the same level of user productivity enhancements.
Lightning introduces enhanced features, such as customizable home pages, dynamic dashboards, Kanban views, and more interactive reports. It offers a more efficient and productive user experience, making it suitable for organizations seeking advanced functionality.
4. Mobile Compatibility:
Classic’s mobile experience is somewhat limited. It is not as optimized for mobile devices, which can be a drawback for users who need to work on the go.
Lightning is designed to be mobile-friendly. It offers a responsive design and provides a superior mobile experience, making it easier for users to access and update data using smartphones and tablets.
5. Customization and Flexibility:
Classic allows for a certain level of customization, including custom fields, objects, and page layouts. However, the level of flexibility and customization options is more limited compared to Lightning.
Lightning provides advanced customization options, including the ability to create custom apps, page layouts, and record types. Lightning App Builder allows for more extensive customization without the need for coding.
Advantages of Salesforce Lightning
Salesforce Lightning offers many advantages for organizations seeking a modern and efficient Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. These advantages make it an appealing choice for many businesses.
- Improved User Experience:
Salesforce Lightning presents a more contemporary and user-friendly interface, resulting in a significantly enhanced user experience. The dynamic and responsive design simplifies user navigation, data interaction, and task execution.
- Enhanced Productivity:
Lightning introduces features such as customizable home pages, dynamic dashboards, and Kanban views, all aimed at increasing user productivity. These features empower users to access information more swiftly and make data-driven decisions efficiently.
- Integration Capabilities:
Lightning is well-suited for seamless integration with third-party applications and services. Its compatibility with the Salesforce AppExchange enables organizations to extend their CRM capabilities by incorporating a wide range of apps and integrations.
- Advanced Reporting and Analytics:
Lightning offers more advanced reporting and analytics tools, enabling organizations to gain deeper insights into their data. Interactive and customizable reports and dashboards simplify the tracking and measurement of key performance indicators.
- Mobile Accessibility:
SF Lightning is optimized for mobile use, ensuring that users can access and interact with CRM data on smartphones and tablets. The mobile experience is seamless, providing on-the-go access to crucial information and tasks.
- Customization and Flexibility:
Lightning provides advanced customization options, allowing organizations to tailor their CRM environment to their specific requirements. Users can create custom apps, page layouts, and record types without the need for extensive coding.
- Innovative Features:
Salesforce consistently introduces new features and capabilities in Lightning, keeping it at the forefront of CRM technology. Users can leverage the latest innovations and improvements to maintain a competitive edge.
- Streamlined Processes:
Lightning includes automation features like Process Builder and Workflow Rules, empowering organizations to streamline their business processes. This streamlining can lead to increased efficiency and a reduction in manual tasks.
- Collaboration and Communication:
Lightning enhances collaboration through Chatter, Salesforce’s social collaboration tool. It facilitates communication and information sharing among team members, fostering a more connected work environment.
- AI-Powered Insights:
Salesforce Einstein, an AI-powered component of Lightning, provides predictive analytics and data-driven insights. It assists organizations in making informed decisions, identifying trends, and capitalizing on opportunities.
- Community Cloud Integration:
For organizations with a strong customer or partner community, Lightning seamlessly integrates with Salesforce Community Cloud, creating a cohesive and engaging experience for external users.
- Ongoing Support and Updates:
Salesforce actively invests in the development and improvement of Lightning, delivering regular updates, bug fixes, and new features. Users can rely on continuous support and innovation.
Advantages of Salesforce Classic
Salesforce Classic, despite having an older user interface, still offers certain advantages that can make it a viable choice for some organizations. These advantages can be significant, especially for businesses that have a history of using Classic for an extended period or have specific requirements that align with Classic’s features and characteristics.
- Familiarity and Stability:
Many organizations have a long-standing history with Salesforce Classic, and their users are well-acquainted with its interface and functionalities. Classic provides a stable and reliable environment, which can be re-assuring for businesses that may be hesitant to undertake a major transition, particularly when user familiarity and comfort are essential.
- Legacy Features and Customizations:
Classic may have certain legacy features, custom code, or customizations that are not immediately compatible with Salesforce Lightning. For organizations heavily reliant on these features, Classic may be the more practical choice until the necessary adjustments and updates can be made to smoothly transition to Lightning.
- Less Disruptive Transition:
Transitioning to SF Lightning can represent a significant change for users, necessitating training and adaptation. For organizations with limited resources to allocate to extensive training and change management, sticking with Classic may be a less disruptive and more cost-effective option.
- Basic CRM Needs:
Smaller organizations or those with simpler CRM requirements may find that Classic provides all the necessary features without the need for the advanced capabilities and customization options offered by Lightning. In such cases, Classic can serve as a straightforward and efficient solution.
- Cost Considerations:
Transitioning to SF Lightning may involve additional costs related to training and adjustments. Classic may be a more cost-effective option for organizations operating within budget constraints, allowing them to maintain their CRM without significant financial outlays.
- API and Integration Dependence:
Some organizations have extensive integrations or external systems that rely on the SF Classic interface. Migrating to Lightning may require updates to these integrations, which can be complex and costly. For such organizations, retaining Classic can be a pragmatic choice to avoid disrupting critical processes.
- Limited Mobile Needs:
If an organization’s users primarily work on desktop computers and have minimal requirements for mobile access, the mobile limitations of Classic may not be a significant concern. Classic can continue to meet the organization’s CRM needs without requiring a shift to Lightning.
- Data Migration Complexity:
Migrating data from Classic to Lightning can be a complex process, particularly for organizations with extensive data and complex data models. Classic may represent a more straightforward choice for such organizations, allowing them to maintain their CRM without the intricacies associated with data migration.
- Administrative Expertise:
Classic may be the preferred choice for organizations with administrators who possess significant skills and experience in managing and customizing the Classic interface. These experts can effectively maintain and adapt Classic to meet the organization’s evolving needs.
Choosing the Right Interface for Your Organization
Choosing the right interface, whether Salesforce Lightning or Classic, for your organization’s CRM needs is a crucial decision. It should be based on a thoughtful evaluation of your organization’s unique requirements, goals, and resources. Here are some tips for making an informed decision:
1. Consider the Size of Your Organization:
Lightning is well-suited for organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises. Its scalability and modern features can benefit organizations with varying user counts.
Classic may work well for smaller organizations with simpler CRM needs. However, larger enterprises might find its limited customization and feature set less suitable.
2. Assess User Preferences:
Consider the adaptability of your user base. If your users are open to change and are comfortable with modern interfaces, Lightning is likely to be well-received.
If your users are highly familiar with Classic and resistant to change, you might need to invest more in change management and training if you decide to switch to Lightning.
3. Evaluate Customization Needs:
If your organization requires a high degree of customization to meet unique business processes, Lightning offers more advanced customization options, making it a better fit.
Classic provides some customization, but it may not accommodate complex or extensive customization requirements as effectively as Lightning.
4. Consider Transitioning to Lightning:
If you decide that Lightning is the better choice for your organization, plan the transition carefully. Salesforce offers tools and resources to help make the migration smoother, such as the Lightning Experience Transition Assistant.
If you opt to stay with Classic, remember that Salesforce continues to support this interface, but consider staying informed about Salesforce updates and new features that may enhance your CRM experience.
5. Stay Informed About Updates:
One of the advantages of Lightning is the ongoing development and innovation by Salesforce. Regular updates and new features are introduced to keep the interface at the forefront of CRM technology.
While Classic may not receive the same level of innovation, staying informed about Salesforce’s long-term plans for it can help you make informed decisions about its future use.
In the realm of Salesforce CRM, the decision between Salesforce Lightning and Classic is a crucial one that profoundly affects your organization’s efficiency and user experience. To make this choice, it is essential to be well-informed.
Switching interfaces is important, and an uninformed decision can lead to problems. It is vital to research, understand the differences, and get input from your users and administrators. Proper training and change management are key for a smooth transition, especially if you decide to move from Classic to Lightning.
Every organization is different, so the decision should be based on your unique needs. Factors like organization size, user preferences, customization needs, and readiness for change all matter. Regularly assess your CRM solution to ensure it aligns with your evolving needs.
In this ever-changing CRM landscape, making an informed choice empowers your organization to adapt and respond to evolving business needs. Stay informed and make the choice that best supports your CRM success.
If you need assistance in this decision, consider consulting with experts like Cynoteck to guide you through the process and ensure you make the right choice for your organization’s success.
Also, read: What Is Salesforce Net Zero Cloud?
Frequently Asked Questions:
SF Lightning and Classic differ primarily in their user interfaces and feature sets. Lightning offers a modern, intuitive interface with enhanced features like dynamic dashboards, customizable home pages, and improved reporting capabilities. It is designed to improve user experience and productivity. In contrast, Classic retains a more traditional interface and is characterized by a standard page layout and fewer customization options. The key distinction lies in the user interface and the feature enhancements brought by Lightning.
Yes, you can transition from Salesforce Classic to Lightning without losing your data. Salesforce provides tools and resources to facilitate this transition, such as the Lightning Experience Transition Assistant. This tool helps you identify and address potential issues during the migration process, ensuring a smooth switch. It is important to plan the transition carefully, offer user training, and perform data migration to ensure a successful migration without data loss.
Salesforce Lightning is optimized for mobile access and offers a superior mobile experience compared to Classic. Lightning’s responsive design ensures that users can access their data and perform tasks seamlessly on mobile devices. Classic, on the other hand, may not provide the same level of mobile optimization and user-friendliness.
The decision between SF Lightning and Classic should be based on your organization’s unique needs and requirements. Factors to consider include the size of your organization, user preferences, and customization needs. Smaller organizations or those focused on a simple CRM may find Lightning’s modern interface more appealing, while larger enterprises with specific customizations might prefer Classic. Evaluate which interface aligns better with your organization’s goals and consider transitioning gradually to Lightning if it is a better fit. Stay informed about updates and assess how they align with your organization’s evolving needs.