As the CRM Manager with a team of amazing Salesforce admins, it’s our job at Dot Foods to make the business run as smoothly as possible — and that means handling a variety of challenges. Each day is different. As a company that takes pride in providing innovative solutions, we also want to continue to move our organization forward and allow Salesforce to run at top performance at all times.

So I was excited when Salesforce introduced the Lightning Experience — its more modern user interface optimized for speed — mostly because my management is always challenging us to find ways to reduce clicks for our sales teams and allow them to be more productive in the office and on the road. The fresh, more intuitive experience allows us to keep moving fast.

But change is hard.

So how would this rollout affect our day-to-day business — and my team’s priorities?

Although we’re in the process of rolling out Lightning at Dot Foods, I want to share three tips I’ve learned along the way to help others as they get started on their journey.       


1. Understand the lay of the land, and know your users

It’s important to know what’s available in the Lightning Experience, and understand how new features and functionality can impact your users. For example, we’re heavy Sales Cloud users, and Lightning provides benefits including kanban views, mass editing, improved email integration, guided paths on opportunities, and more robust analytics. The drag-and-drop capabilities and the Lightning Components Library also simplify our day-to-day tasks as admins.

If you’re in your initial discovery stages, I’d recommend thoroughly researching your use cases, aligning those to an effective rollout strategy, and getting buy-in from your leadership. At Dot Foods, that buy-in meant our rollout was prioritized because executive sponsors were behind it and excited about the transition. And the users knew that it wasn’t optional — so adoption has probably been faster than it otherwise might have been. However, by understanding the needs of your users, it fosters that buy-in and becomes easier to map out benefits that each user persona will get from Lightning.


2. Ask the experts          

When we started discussing our migration to the Lightning Experience, my admin team was eager to take the leap. Our developer team, on the other hand, was a little more reluctant. To align our teams and address initial concerns, we took advantage of a Lightning Configuration and Customization Accelerator — an offering included with our Premier Success Plan — and that proved key to the success of our transition plan. A Salesforce success specialist carefully guided us through the Accelerator — a series of virtual meetings across a six-week time frame — and helped us understand the impact our Lightning transition would have on our teams. We knew it involved more than the flip of a switch.

As part of our Accelerator, we walked through the Lightning Experience Readiness assessment, which helped our admin and dev teams prepare for our move to Lightning. That report contained recommendations and prioritized specific next steps based on our org’s current functionality. In total, we were looking at about 300 hours of work.

My initial thought was with all of the priorities we need to keep the business running, where are we going to find the time? The Salesforce success specialist helped us review that assessment line by line.

And that assessment was really my aha moment about Lightning. I realized that we could not only manage the changes effectively — but we could actually cut our workload for the changeover from Classic to Lightning in half by understanding how to analyze our technical readiness.

Yes, half. And we had a TON of customizations. (Yes, I was surprised too!)


3. Collaboration is key

We needed to ensure full collaboration in order to make this switch — not just internally, but more broadly as well. The Salesforce Trailblazer Community and our local user group have been great resources to connect with other customers and discuss best practices as questions come up. Understanding what’s worked for other Trailblazers on their Lightning migration journey has really helped us as we continue through the transition process.

And finally, collaboration with the end users meant that we set ourselves up for better success. From the beginning, we established pilot groups to test and provide feedback on the Lightning Experience, and we started a Lightning-specific Chatter group for our users to share ideas, ask questions, and access resources. We kept our dev teams up to date and they were able to prioritize and respond to questions and feedback.

This 1-2-3 has been our North Star in the rollout, which is expected to launch for all users by mid-year. I’m very excited for the organization to experience the speed, flexibility, customizations, and new features Lightning offers. And I know that with the resources Salesforce provides through the free communities, the user groups, Trailhead, Lightning enablement packs, and Premier Accelerators, we’ll be in good shape to hit our rollout target. I’ll provide an update on this later this year.

Want to hear more about how Dot Foods accelerated their move to Lightning? Watch the on-demand webinar recording here.

Brooke Haynes is the CRM Manager at Dot Foods, the nation's first and largest food industry redistributor, serving all 50 states in the USA and more than 25 countries worldwide. For more on Lightning adoption, visit this calendar of Lightning events.