Salesforce created the market for Software as a Service (SaaS) CRM tools in 1999, slowly attracting attention from companies looking for a change in their solutions. While its CRM solutions provide many benefits for your sales activities, the company has kept the same basic layout and interface since its introduction. Until now, that is. Salesforce Lightning is a complete redesign of the Salesforce interface, bringing it up to date with a modern UI and adding features based on the feedback they've received from over 150,000 users.
The most immediately noticeable change is the UI redesign. Gone are the dated screens that have plagued Salesforce for years. The navigation and overall design bring a modern look and feel to the platform, with the new style instantly obvious from the home screen.
It now features a visual goal chart that makes it easy for you to track:
- your closed and open deals;
- your sales goals;
- and other vital information from your sales pipeline.
The home screen also displays an Assistant feature, which shows critical tasks, leads and other time-sensitive information.
Another significant feature change is the cross-platform compatibility of Salesforce Lightning. It introduces compatibility with the Apple Watch and other wearables, as well as customizing the experience for each platform. You will now have different sales data priorities when you're on your workstation compared to your mobile phone, and the system is designed to adjust to that.
The redesigned sales dashboard has shifted to a 4-column design that is completely customizable. Salesforce also made the sales pipeline easier to visualize, with an Opportunity Pipeline panel which provides significant information about your leads in the pipeline, potential sales value and other critical information. Drag and drop transfers leads further along in the pipeline, and easy-to-see value numbers let you keep your deal values obvious and easily accessible.
How Does Salesforce Lightning Affect Existing Sales Processes?
Salesforce already had plenty of tools to facilitate the sales process, but it wasn't always easy or convenient to figure out exactly how to use these features in exactly the ways you wanted. Salesforce Lightning now cuts down on unproductive time spent trying to get the CRM to do what you want. Your most important data is front and center, with visual charts and graphs that are easy to understand at a glance.
The customization allows you to cut out any unnecessary features and data, so you can focus on the tools that actually matter to your sales processes. A flexible interface makes it easier to tailor the system to your processes, instead of making your processes adapt to the system. The cross-platform compatibility, particularly with wearable products, opens up new opportunities.
The Social Selling Impact
The primary advantage of Salesforce Lightning for Social Selling is having faster access to essential lead data. The Opportunity Pipeline panel cuts down the amount of clicking it takes to access a prospect's social information, and the customization available throughout the redesign allows you to prioritize the information necessary to move your social sales to closed/won.
Salesforce Lightning is the first major redesign of the Salesforce platform, and it appears that many of the features will now help you to solve your Social Selling challenges. The flexibility of the changes allows you to personalize Salesforce until it's working with your social sales processes, not against them.
Images courtesy of Salesforce.com