The Results: Transitioning to Salesforce Lightning – a Smooth Move?

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There are questions we want to answer. Salesforce Professionals have those answers. Now it’s time to share.

A few weeks ago, we launched a new initiative called ‘Ask the Ecosystem’, our chance to discover general opinion on topics from events, to acquisitions – products, to personal development.

Enough time has passed now, to collect results and crunch the numbers – which was no quick task! Thanks to everyone that responded; we were overwhelmed by not only how many responses we received, but the depth of these responses, with many of you taking the time to comment.

We predicted Lightning would be a hot worth discussing, after Salesforce made the announcement that they will “turn on” Lightning for all orgs later this year. This post shares the collective insight into how community members have found transitioning to the Salesforce Lightning Experience (LEX), or why they are thinking twice about making the move.

How was your own switch to Lightning? Was it worth it?

  • True, moving to Lightning was smooth & worth it.
  • False, moving to Lightning wasn’t smooth
  • We haven’t made the leap!

We received over 200 responses, with over two-thirds adding commentary on their personal experience.

Almost half (47%) agreed that moving to Lightning was smooth and worth it – however, within this segment, there were people that were ‘Lightning Native’. A sizeable chunk (28%) found transitioning a pain*, leaving exactly a quarter of people remaining in Classic for a number of reasons.

*in hindsight, the options were not worded well, we apologise. People did report that although it wasn’t smooth, the transition was totally worth it in the end!

More digging was required, for sure! I began sifting through for certain keywords, that would indicate trends, tips, pains and reasons for remaining in Classic – the following sections reveal all.

Psst. the GetFeedback tool has nice built-in filters which helped me make heads or tails of the rich commentary.

Top 6 Lightning Transition Tips

Tips directly from those who have been there. If you are looking to transition now, you are able to reap the benefits of a more Lightning Compatible reality, compared to the Lightning pioneers, who transitioned in the early days.

  1. Use Lightning “out of the gate”, or start from scratch: “we are using the switch as an opportunity to transform the business, not just our Salesforce implementation, so we are starting from scratch with a setup that is 100% lightning-compatible

Obviously, this isn’t feasible for the vast majority of businesses – so here are some tips, applicable to anyone:

  1. Lightning Enablement Pack and Readiness Report: “The Lightning Enablement Pack was really helpful. We used all the assets – sample project plan, test plan, gap analysis, communication plan, etc.”
  1. Team by Team: move users gradually, to address each teams’ needs and ensure smooth adoption: “we moved in parts, user group for user group…upon request.”
  1. Pitching the Change: Promote problems solved for user acceptance, and less resistance: “if you transition without improving anything, it will be harder to get adoption. Incorporate some wins for the business that are easy to accomplish in lightning. That way, it’s less of a transition for transition sake and more of a demonstration of how you solved a problem that’s been plaguing them.” – ps: here are some tips on how to make announcements in your org (that won’t be ignored!).
  1. Attention to Detail: CPQ got a special mention, but attention to even the small details is a good takeaway, to prep your users for slight changes: “we use CPQ and I am not thrilled about the fact that when saving a quote after creation the quote line editor does not automatically launch. Every extra click is going to be an eye roll from sales.”
  1. Wait and Observe: “it’s smooth if you do the planning and didn’t do it immediately, so you can benefit from other’s experiences”

A bonus, from this Admin/Comedian: “If your org has been using Sales Cloud like a glorified digital Rolodex then the switch is smooth out of the box”

Switching Back & Forth

Significant number of people report switching between the interfaces, whether that be for Classic-only functionality, or personal preference. Whatever the reason, it seemed like every other comment mentioned yo-yoing – but indicate this is happening less frequently than before.

“As an admin old habits die hard”
“Still have to jump back occasionally – but less this year than last”
“I was an early adopter so had to switch back-and-forth often but that is drastically reduced now.”
“I have witnessed Salesforce Support helping me with a question thru Classic.”

Prime Pains with Switching to Lightning

“There’s no such thing as a simple transition to lightning”/“[it] seems like it wasn’t fully baked before serving”. I don’t think this introduction needs more adding…

  • Custom Code and Visualforce Pages: the Lightning Readiness Assessment (mentioned previously) will tell you how far you’re bogged down: “tons of custom code on the org that needs reviewing so not quite ready to make the leap to Lightning just yet.”
  • Unwinding Customizations: savvy admins may have built custom pieces on platform/using apps to ‘plug’ a functionality gap, but now are feeling the burden: “the biggest challenge we are facing is our use of apps to overcome the shortcomings in Lightning…as new Lightning features roll out, we have to unwind our customizations to be able to switch to the new Salesforce standard features.”
  • Custom Object Complexity: “three of my custom objects are too complex (too many formulas, too many related fields) so I can’t make the change until I break them apart into smaller objects. The limit on Classic is 50 related fields, on Lightning, it’s 35 – very frustrating!” – thanks, good to know!
  • Reporting Catch-up: reports and dashboards are the crux of CRM. While Lightning reports were playing catch-up with Classic, users felt like they were missing out: “reports took a long time to catch up in Lightning, which was a real pain point”.
  • User Preference: although not a popular line, there was mention that users were the source of resistance: “we still allow users to switch back and forth. About half the users still prefer Classic.”
  • Lightning Components Kerfuffle: “They are cool, don’t get me wrong, just very frustrating at times.”

Timeless Classic: Top 6 Reasons for Remaining in Classic

Ability over Aesthetics? Capabilities over Cosmetics? That’s how experts feel Lightning prioritises. Some experts seemed disgruntled, but many are relieved that Classic still rules in their organisation.

  • Missing Features: features that have become ‘Classic-only’ while we wait for these to move into Lightning: eg. recycling bin, merging accounts/contacts/cases, scheduled refreshes of dashboards without email, sharing button, and in addition, specific 3rd party app functionality.
  • Performance in LEX is slow: great things come to those who wait…unless they’ve got a job to do, then patience is scarce: “page loads are significantly slower in LEX”/“it really discourages our users and can’t see the advantage of the migration”.
  • Readability: the layout look and feel isn’t cutting it for some: “even with the “compact” instead of comfy, I still find lightning pages harder to read than classic SF pages.”
  • Faster for admin tasks: I guess, this is also down to ‘force of habit’ eg. CPQ configuration
  • Lack of CLI for Developers: “SFDX without CLI and a well proven CI tool with VS Code is needed. No matter what the experts say, it just won’t work.”
  • URL Hacks: “the “workarounds” for the URL hacks are not cutting it for our users’ experience.”

Final Thought

This post shares the collective insight into how community members have found transitioning to the Salesforce Lightning Experience (LEX), or why they are thinking twice about making the move. An audience, split still dramatically between Lightning lovers and laggards – but what is certain, is that this topic sparked a conversation. Thank you once again for taking the time.

Ready for Ask the Ecosystem #2?

Next time, we will be asking about Dreamforce – the new survey will always be available through this link.

Thanks to our great sponsor, GetFeedback, for providing us with their fantastic survey tool. As a Marketing Automation Consultant, I have used a range of survey tools before (usually dictated by the client’s choice, not mine!). I love GetFeedback because of its engaging and slick interface that grabs respondents’ attention.

We’ll be speaking more about GetFeedback functionality over the next coming months, so keep your eyes open for more.

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