If you’ve been around Salesforce over the last few months, you most likely have heard about Lightning.  Salesforce released their new platform, Lightning, in the Winter 16 release.  Although it has been around for almost 3 years now, some companies are still unsure about making the move to Lightning.  At Englhard Consulting, we are big fans of Lightning and believe companies that have not moved to Lightning are missing out.  Why is that?  Well, the new User Interface (UI) that Lightning brings gives admins so much more power over page layouts.  Lightning brings a new feature, Lightning Pages, which mixes page layouts with the ability to add different components, like different cases for your phone.  Phone cases might be slim and minimalist, some might have a “pocket” for IDs and credit cards, others have a kick-stand to hold the phone upright, while still others might be very big and bulky to prevent against damage from drops and liquid.  Lightning pages allow admins the same sort of customization for their Users, where the standard page layout is no longer just the details and related lists.  This gives each company the ability to customize their UI to the needs of their Users, whether it be minimalist or pocketed, and as a result, help with your Customer’s experience with your company.  Let’s explore Lightning Pages and our top 5 out-of-the-box features that will give your Salesforce implementation a makeover.

Lightning Pages:

Lightning Pages are more comprehensive than standard page layouts.  Standard page layouts don’t actually go away, the field layout still is used as the details section, and as you can see below, there are still related lists.  However, you can see that we have information about the Account at the top of the record, Activity to the right side (calls, emails, etc), a tab for Chatter, and a tab for News.  All of this, by the way, can be customized.  So you can show activities first, remove the header, whatever you’d like.  We’re not going to go into Lightning Pages, Salesforce has a great Trailhead for that.  In fact, it is a fantastic module that will teach you not only about editing a record Lightning Page, but also the Home page and an App page.

Lightning Page - Account

Our goal isn’t to teach you the Lightning App Builder.  We recommend that you take that Trailhead and learn about Lightning App Builder as it is the foundation for this post.  Our goal is to teach you about 5 standard features in Lightning Components that will make the switch to Lightning amazing for your Users.  User adoption is the key to any successful implementation, whether it is in the Classic UI or Lightning, and we want to help make sure your Users are excited to adopt and use Lightning.  There are 5 features of Lightning that will help improve the User interface, things that Users have been asking for, that will make you a hero for making the switch to Lightning.  We’re going to start slow and end with one of our favorite features.

1. Favorites

Favorites are just what they sound like, a favorite record.  Or favorite related list.  Or report.  Or dashboard.  You get the idea.  Favorites are managed by Users, so they can add the Accounts they care about, or their big deal they are working on, or the Case that just got escalated.  And after that deal closes?  They can remove it and add their new big deal.  This gives your Users a way to quickly access the records that they care about the most, giving them less clicks to get to what matters.  An example of a favorite list is below.  It’s the star in the upper right hand part of a Lightning Page.

Salesforce Lightning Favorites

2. Home Page Customization

Speaking of customization that gives Users quick access, the Home Page can be customized.  Did you know that?  If you looked the Trailhead we spoke about in the intro, then you might have stumbled upon it.  But we don’t think the Trailhead does the Home Page customization justice.  Just take a look at the screenshot below.

TaskRay Home Page

Did you see the tab at the top?  It says Home.  Yep, it’s a Home Page with information coming from TaskRay, a Salesforce ISV making Project Management software.  (Interested in Project Management in Salesforce, let us know!)  Now let’s compare it to the standard Home Page from Lighting.

Salesforce Lightning Home Page - Standard

Pretty different, huh?  What does that mean?  Can you add a report?  Yep.  Dashboard?  Yep.  Items to Approve?  Uh-huh.  All Open Cases List View.  You betcha!

Salesforce Lightning Home Page - Custom

WAIT, what?!  All Open Cases List View?!  How does that happen?!  Well, Salesforce built a List View component that allows you to select your Object and then the List View for that Object.  In this instance, we selected Cases and then All Open Cases.  Pretty powerful stuff!  And that brings us to a similar component that goes great on Lightning Record Pages.

3. Related List (without an “s”)

Classic already has Related Lists, Rich, I don’t see what the big deal is.  You’re right, we are talking about Related List.  That means a single Object that is related, like Cases, on an Opportunity.  I know what you’re thinking.  Rich, Cases aren’t typically related to an Opportunity, they are related to Accounts.  I know, the thing is that Salesforce has made Lightning incredibly powerful for an ADMIN.  In fact, showing a related list that is for a related record is a STANDARD Lightning Component.  Let me say that again, it’s a STANDARD Lightning Component.  This is HUGE for Admins and their Users.  Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Let’s say that you’re a company selling software and you work in Sales.  You’re going to contact your customer before their renewal to start the renewal process and hopefully keep them as a customer for another year.  You go to your renewal Opportunity and give them a call, only to get yelled at.  Why?  They have an open support Case and they aren’t too happy at this moment…  So, how could this have been a better CUSTOMER experience?  Well, using Lightning, you could have shown the Cases related list for the Account on the Opportunity record.  This would allow you to see the Cases for the customer and perhaps have a slightly different approach to the call about the renewal, helping you to have a higher likelihood to close the deal.

Salesforce Lightning Record Page - Opportunity with Account Cases

Ok, that sounds great, but what else can you do with a single related list?  What about other Opportunities for that Account?  See the 4th tab where Activity is?  You can show the other Opportunities that the Account has, giving you a better understanding if they have upgraded recently, expanded with new modules, allowing you again to have a better conversation.

What if you’re a manufacturer?  Well, from a Case, you can show all the Assets for that Customer.  In case you’re not familiar with Assets, Assets are things people have bought.  So, if you’re a manufacturer of generators, you’d be able to see that a customer has purchased your premium generator.  So, when you have a support call regarding a question as to what the required voltage is, you’ll be able to know what Asset they have and give them a better support experience without having to go back to the Account record to see what generator they own.  Things like this help you to resolve your support Case faster and give a great Customer experience.

We could continue with more examples, but we think you get the idea.  You can show your Users information that is not directly tied to the record they are looking at, but instead tied to a related record, helping to give better context on a single page view.  And it’s not just a Related List for a Related Record, but it could be a single Related List for that Record.  Perhaps you want to show the Products related list in the forefront, but the rest of the related list can be displayed elsewhere.  Take a look below!

Lightning Record Page - Opportunity with Product Related List

See the bottom right?  It says Products, then All Related Records.  The Products tab is only showing the Product Related List tied to the Opportunity.  This is a great way to show relevant information to your Users.

And that brings us to our 4th favorite feature, another way to show more information to a User that is related to the record they are on.

4. Related Record

We just looked at how to show a User a Related List from a Related Record, but what if you wanted to show information from that Related Record?  Well, Salesforce has a standard component called Related Record to do just that!  It utilizes Quick Actions.  If you’re not familiar with Quick Actions, take a look at the Trailhead for Quick Actions really quick, but make sure to come back when you’re done!

Ok, so how does it work?  Well, Salesforce has a Related Record Lightning Component that allows you to show information about a Related Record.  The information is pulled from the Object Specific Quick Action, which means that you can also update the Related Record from the Record you’re looking at!

Let’s take a look at an Opportunity.  In this example, you want to ensure that for someone to set the stage to Negotiation, that you have the correct information filled out on the Account.  Sure, a validation rule will get the job done, but your User will most likely get caught off guard after filling in the Opportunity record, which means that the information they just filled out will be lost when they navigate to the Account record and fill out the information needed on the Account.  How do we prevent this?  Add the Account as a Related Record to the Opportunity Lightning Record Page and show the fields that should be required before going to Negotiation.  Look at the example below, we’re showing the Account Name, Industry, Annual Revenue, Type, Phone, and Employees fields on the Opportunity record.  Take a closer look, it might be hard to see, but there is a pencil icon next to those fields, which means that you can edit the Account record right from the Opportunity record, on the same page, in a place that is easy for the rep to see, all without code!

Salesforce Lightning Record Page - Opportunity with Account Update

That is truly amazing and powerful!  Thanks Salesforce!  But there’s one thing that might not make 100% sense about that.  What happens when your User has filled in the information and the Opportunity record is now in the Negotiation stage?  That takes up precious space on the page that isn’t relevant anymore.  Well, that brings us to one of the top reasons to move to Lightning.

5. Component Visibility

Luckily for us, Salesforce thought about that too.  In Lightning, there is something called Component Visibility.  And it is just as it sounds.  You can filter a Lightning Component to only show when your filter criteria is true!  In the example below, we’re only going to show the “Update before Negotiation Stage!” when the Opportunity Stage is NOT Negotiation/Review.

Salesforce Lightning Component Visibility

Do you see the orange box in the “Update before Negotiation Stage” component?  That means that Component Visibility has been turned on.  In addition, if you have a complex situation, like using a User attribute to filter, or multiple filters, you can do that too.  Salesforce has added Filter Logic to Component Visibility, giving you even more ways to customize the page.

Salesforce Lightning Component Visibility Filter Logic

What other things can you do with Component Visibility?  How about showing a Flow to your Customer Support team when the Case is in the new status only to walk them through the questions to ask.  Or only showing the related Cases on the Opportunity record when the Opportunity Record Type is Renewal.  Showing a Lightning Component based on the context of the record that you’re looking at is incredibly powerful stuff!

Bonus – Tabs

Wait, this is titled 5 Reasons to Switch to Lightning, why are we looking at a 6th reason?  Well, we’ve been showing tabs the entire time, but didn’t call it out specifically.  It is an underlying piece of Lightning Record Pages and Salesforce uses it in the standard Lightning Page Layouts, so we thought it would be good to talk about it.  It’s one of the most subtle parts of Lightning.  You might have been looking at Tabs and understanding them the entire time, but didn’t realize they are a Lightning Component.

Salesforce Lightning Component - Tabs

Look at the example above.  We see Activity, Chatter, Details, Other Opportunities, Products, and All Related Records.  The Tabs Lightning Component allows you to add Lightning Components inside different Tabs, allowing you to show the most relevant information upfront and allow users to see the other information by clicking on a tab.  This helps to prevent your pages from becoming REALLY long and improves the User experience by showing more information that helps them with a single click.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Hopefully, you’re convinced that the switch to Lightning will help your Users to be happier and more productive!  If you’re ready to get started and looking for expert guidance on making the switch to Lightning, contact us today!

1 comment

  1. Nice post Rich! I’d say my Lightning favorites are Related Record components and conditional component visibility (less rigid than the traditional Record Type to Profile mapping and allows for greater flexibility). Keep the posts coming!

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