Designed with Sales Reps in Mind, Salesforce Lightning is Electrifying

Salesforce Sales Cloud is the world's #1 sales application. Join us to learn how to help every sales team sell smarter, sell faster, and sell the way your company wants to sell on Lightning Experience.

CRM has always been an invaluable tool for managers, executives, and business owners. The data it contains is invaluable to keep deals organized and moving through the pipeline. Traditionally, however, sales reps have balked at having to enter data into CRM. You’ve probably heard all the excuses: It’s hard to come back to the office and enter data. It takes too much time; I’d rather make more calls or visit more customers. It’s cumbersome to go from screen to screen to get information. The information helps management but not sales.

That’s all about to change.

After all, it’s great to have CRM data for management, but shouldn’t a customer relationship management program be the best sales app for the people making the sales? Sales, as business leaders well know, are the lifeblood of a business. It just makes sense to design CRM with the sales rep in mind. After consulting thousands of sales reps, Salesforce has redesigned the look and functions of its CRM program to make its sales productivity software just that: more productive.

It’s called Lightning.

Lightning is the name Salesforce has given its new user interface (UI) design of Salesforce CRM software. User interface is anything that people use to interact with a computer or device. The mouse, keyboard, and screen are all UI. User interface also includes features of software design like screen appearance and how a user is able to interact with the program. Lightning is the new screen designs, the new functions, and the new features of Salesforce CRM.

In 2013, Salesforce reimagined the mobile experience by creating Salesforce1, the CRM for mobile devices. The design of Salesforce1 included APIs and components to interface with Salesforce CRM. In plain English? Designing Salesforce for mobile was the first step to reimagining Lightning Salesforce. The mobile architecture platform Salesforce is designed on allows for views, customizations, and real-time data.

The new Lightning Experience is available to all Salesforce customer and can be activated through the admin settings. Because Salesforce is a Cloud CRM solution, updates are pushed out automatically. Set-up is a point-and-click operation.

The reimagined Salesforce is a product of form and function. Like all good designs, the new Salesforce isn’t just pretty it is also powerful. The design of new Salesforce is intuitive, time-saving, and responsive. It’s quick and electrifying. That’s why it’s called Lightning.

The biggest advantage of Lightning is it is CRM designed for salespeople. Management, of course, will love the fast analytics, the more accurate sales forecasting, the ability to customize apps, and the real-time reporting. But sales reps will truly appreciate how the new Lightning helps them sell faster, sell smarter, and stay on top of deals.

Lightning was headlined at Dreamforce 2015 in San Francisco. “I love seeing the reactions of our customers when the see Lightning for the first time,” says Greg Gsell, Director of Sales Cloud Marketing at Salesforce and presenter. “It’s a brand new experience...designed around productivity.” The Lightning experience allows sales reps to spend less time in the CRM application and more time in front of the customer.

Here are some of the new UI features Lightning offers. Prepare to be amazed:

Opportunity Workspace

The Opportunity Workspace on Lightning gives an in-depth look at every opportunity. Long-time users of Salesforce appreciate the sales productivity software and spend a lot of time in the opportunity screen. Gsell, who started in sales, says, “The opportunity screen is where I live and breath.” The newly redesigned Opportunity Workspace is among the best apps for sales reps. Designed to maximize efficiency, the Opportunity Workspace contains all the information in one space. The Opportunity Workspace shows the Sales Path, Timeline, as well as Files and Notes.

Sales Path, shown as a graphic at the top of the Lightning workspace, keeps track of each account’s progress. Reps can click on each stage of the sales path to get your company’s best practices and deal guidance. Companies can customize Salesforce sales productivity software to show their own company’s best practices and deal guidance. That’s a huge advantage because businesses can program their culture right into their CRM application.

Timeline is another time-saving feature on the Opportunity screen and shows Past Activity as well as Next Steps. This feature is a huge time saver for sales reps because they don’t have to go to different screens to find the information pertinent to upcoming deals. The Timeline feature helps stay on top of deals so details aren’t missed and includes any interaction from members across your team.

Files and Notes is feature on the Opportunity screen lets users collaborate with the entire team. Collaboration is an important way sales reps can communicate with each other and management, and gives the opportunity to create a culture of cooperation. We’ve all written important contact information on a piece of paper or napkin only to lose it. The Files and Notes feature prevents that disaster. Because Salesforce is in the Cloud, reps are able to work on multiple devices with the Salesforce sales app for Android and the Salesforce sales app for iPad, data is instantly updated no matter the device used for input.

Tasks and Notes are other redesigned features. The best sales apps for reps drive organization and help focus information. In the Tasks and Notes section, tasks are fully integrated within the Opportunity Workspace. This feature was designed with sales reps in mind, allowing reps to be “always focused on one single page that is driving their attention to what matters most,” explains Gsell. “Tasks drive everything inside of the application,” sales Gsell. Notes allow sales reps to keep organized with information essential to each account. A huge barrier to productivity for salespeople is taking notes and not being able to find them later. Gsell explains how the Notes feature allows reps to take notes on any device. These notes are immediately available to the entire team instead of being stuffed in a desk drawer.

Pipeline Board

While the Opportunities Board shows opportunities individually, the Pipeline Board shows all opportunities in one space. This sales pipeline app shows the status of deals along the sales pipeline; deals can be easily updated with drag and drop functionality. Intelligent alerts show potential trouble spots or actions to be taken. Users can create custom list views from the Pipeline Board and easily include charts that change as new data is entered. The Pipeline Board contributes to a more accurate forecast. “Tools like the Pipeline Board empower reps to update their pipeline inside of the application,” explains Gsell.

Personalize Home Page

Each rep can customize their homepage to start every day off with the right information.

The Performance Chart visually shows progress toward goals and automatically updates each time new sales are logged for the sales rep. The Performance Chart is another part of the new Lightning interface. A graphical representation of a sales rep’s progress towards goals, this function of Salesforce’s sales productivity software shows the progress towards the sales goal. The sale goal line can be dragged and the goal and corresponding numbers auto-populate.

The Assistant feature of the new Salesforce Lightning CRM interface shows where to focus. Open tasks, hot leads, and potential opportunity issues are listed. The Assistant app also provides Insights by scanning the Internet for relevant news and press releases about clients. With information about a client’s current events, a rep can be informed about potential problems and opportunities a client may need help solving. (And the answer, of course is your product or service!)

Dashboards allow the user to add custom charts and reports to the CRM workspace, allowing sales reps to have the information they want in a display format they choose.

The Lightning experience for Salesforce is available across all devices: desktop, laptop, sales app for Android, sales app for iPad and sales app for iPhone. Salesforce understands how reps sell. Because it was designed with sales reps in mind, Salesforce Lightning offers the most powerful sales productivity tools on the market.


Eric Bloom, Product Manager at Salesforce, also presents in this Dreamforce gives five tips in order to make the most of the Lightning experience:

  1. Take advantage of the Opportunity Page
  2. Understand your business with customizable dashboards
  3. Use Account Insights
  4. Let the Assistant help you
  5. Create your own dashboard

Questions? We’ll put you on the right path.

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