There are some universal truths about sales:
- you can sell faster and smarter when you have all the information in front of you
- when you can sell the way you want, your productivity increases
With these tenets, Salesforce reimagined their business solutions, offering a Lightning Experience across all applications. This new user interface gives advanced features across Salesforce products, making the CRM applications even more user friendly. Salesforce announced Lightning on August 25, 2015. “Lightning is the Salesforce Sales Cloud completely re-imagined for today's selling cycles with Lightning Experience and game-changing innovations for sales reps and teams,” explains the press release.
What that means for users is that they can have time-saving productivity features at their fingertips, instantly updated across all devices. Lightning Experience is designed to let users work faster and smarter. Based on feedback from more than 150,000 customers, Salesforce Sales Cloud has been rebuilt from the ground up with more than 25 new innovations.
Lightning is designed to make Salesforce users’ experience intuitive and productive. The Lightning Experience combines previous innovations such as the new Lightning Design System, Lightning App Builder, and Lightning Components all on one platform. It is designed to increase productivity, enhance the user experience, and enable anyone to quickly and easily create modern enterprise apps. Because it is integrated on the App Cloud, Lightning is fully customizable.
Last September during a Dreamforce breakout session Greg Gsell and Christina Petersen demonstrated Salesforce Lightning.
In this video segment, Greg Gsell, the director of Sales Cloud Product Marketing shows audiences the features of the new Lightning experience. In the clip, audiences are able to see the powerful tools and visual experience this sales productivity software offers. Gsell has been with Salesforce for 10 years and spent his first 7 years in sales. He explains, “Every time I log in to the new Lightning Experience, it’s so cool, I’m thinking about going back to sales from product marketing just to use the tools.”
Christina Petersen, of Sales Cloud Product Management shows audiences how they can “drill down” into reports, to get a real view of data. In the clip from Dreamforce 2015, Petersen demonstrates the Opportunity Workspace and Pipeline Board view. Charts can be added to listview, giving an intuitive picture though customizable graphics. In the Pipeline Board view, each deal is listed along the sales pipeline. The calculations are automatically updated as deals are dragged and dropped into various stages of the sales pipeline.
Customers and partners alike are excited about the new Salesforce CRM interface. Becky Webster, certified Salesforce MVP partner and Salesforce CRM implementation specialist with Simplus, says, “We are absolutely pumped about Salesforce Lightning and the awesome experience it will ultimately deliver to our clients, partners, as well as our own internal staff.”
Lightning was developed with a focus on increasing productivity at every step of the process. “We’ve built in intelligence and guidance so sales reps can sell smarter--every step throughout their entire deal process,” says Gsell. Lightning is more than just a sales management app, it is a CRM platform available across devices allowing reps to sell faster, sell smarter, and sell the way they want.
While Lightning is an entire customer relationship management software platform, it runs with the ease and simplicity of a sales management app. One important feature is the Task feature where reps can quickly track critical action items.
Because of the user interface upgrades, Lightning feels like a sales management app on your phone or tablet, because it is a place where reps can quickly take notes on every record, update data, look up information. Lightning is part of a platform for applications and instantly updates notes and shares with the entire team across on any device. Gone are the days that sales reps need to come back to the office and update their notes in the CRM system. Lightning lets reps sell efficiently how and where they want.
As explained in the video clip, Lightning makes the powerful sales productivity software of Salesforce even more user-friendly. The personalized home page of the Lightning CRM platform allows progress tracking toward quotas with an interactive performance chart. Lightning helps make sales more efficient and profitable.
One key advantage of Lightning is the Assistant feature which scans the web to provide Insights and personal, relevant news about top accounts and industries. Having this extra knowledge helps connect with clients on a relevant and personal level. With Lightning CRM, the Assistant also shows where to focus with open tasks, hot leads, and potential opportunity issues.
Assistant helps prioritize your day with intelligent alerts, instant notifications of hot leads, and allows you to stay on top of important and overdue tasks. The sales productivity software built in to Lightning helps keep momentum strong with opportunity updates and notifications.
CRM software, used well, is a sales productivity management program. Lightning offers powerful productivity tools. The home page, with the Assistant, is proactive allowing deeper insights into your top customers. The Assistant scans the Internet for relevant articles about your customers so you can have richer conversations with your customers.
Another aspect of sales productivity management is being able to organize information so it is easily recalled. Lightning’s dashboards allow customized reporting all in one place. Using the App Builder lets you integrating apps on the dashboard so you can sell the way you want. Gone are the days of rifling through papers, spreadsheets, and reports for all the information you need to connect with your customers.
Another sales productivity feature of Salesforce Lightning is its ability to focus on tasks and notes to increase productivity. Notes can be taken on any device that is handy: cell phone, tablet, desktop. Those notes are immediately shared with your entire team, making communication seamless.
Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in urgent tasks while forgetting the important ones. That’s where the Lightning Experience comes in. Lightning is sales prioritization software, meaning, the entire Lightning Experience has been designed to make the selling process more intuitive by focusing on opportunities and tasks.
The Assistant lists tasks and to-dos on the home page. On the Pipeline Board view, there are also suggested actions. Reps can receive customized guidance at every stage in the sales process. Companies can include their personalized playbook and suggested next steps in order to fully customize Salesforce to the company practices. The Lightning task management app iPhone and Android features allow easy list and note entries that are automatically updated across devices.
By visually representing important tasks, progress toward goals, and the sales pipeline, Lightning offers the benefit of sales prioritization software to help reps the prioritize and accomplish the tasks that will lead them to increased sales.
Lightning offers an opportunity workspace with everything on one page. That means reps have powerful opportunity forecasting software at their fingertips as part of your company’s CRM solution.
The Opportunity Workspace is customizable; you can add charts if you are visual and choose how you see your data. The Pipeline Board View lets you drag and drop a deal from one stage of the sales pipeline to the next and automatically adjusts the calculations.
One feature of opportunity forecasting software is an opportunity list, allowing reps to keep track of opportunities with potential and current customers with maximum productivity.
Lightning is more than just a sales prioritization application, it is an entire platform for sales productivity. It is a sales app for Android and a sales app for iPad and iPhone. When Salesforce created the platform for Salesforce1 for mobile, that paved the way for the new user interface and allows users to work across all devices: phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop. The new Lightning is Cloud-based, so work done on the train to the office can be picked up where you left off when you open your laptop. Being able to access Salesforce across devices means you can update CRM info throughout the day, taking important notes and saving valuable time.
Beside mobility, another part of the Lightning Experience is the ability to customize the system with the applications you need. Adding a sales prioritization application to your dashboard is available with drag and drop customization. Responding to the number one customer request of Salesforce users, the Lightning design team updated the dashboard to now allow for four or more columns where users can add apps. The customizable dashboards help users quickly understand their business by adding appealing and simple graphics. App Cloud works with Lightning to install apps that save time. Apps can be custom built or selected from a library of pre-built apps. The AppExchange gives easy to install partner apps to meet every business need.
Lightning was designed for sales professionals. With input from over 150,000 users, Salesforce set out to make the best apps for sales reps. Most sales professionals work across devices with their phone, iPad, and computer; the Lightning user interface makes Salesforce sales productivity software available on all devices. The mobile applications and customizable features make Salesforce the best apps for sales reps.
Salesforce is a CRM system but it is also a sales app for iPad and a sales app for Android that make Salesforce not only handy for management to get the data they need, but also convenient for sales reps. And when reps have all the information they need in front of them, marvelous things can happen to the bottom line.