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Salesforce Classic vs. Lightning – Why Switch?

Mar 5, 2019

Home » Salesforce » Functional Consulting » Salesforce Classic vs. Lightning – Why Switch?

Why pay for what you’re not using? It’s a simple question, but many companies are only using Classic mode in Salesforce. So if that’s you, I hope you’re sitting down for what we’re about to tell you—Salesforce has decided to phase out Classic mode. It’s not going away tomorrow (so take a deep breath), but the solution’s thrice-yearly updates will only be relevant to the new Lightning Experience. So if your company is still using Classic mode (and only using Classic mode), you’re paying for features you’re not taking advantage of.

Here’s what Salesforce Lightning Experience offers compared to its predecessor.

Say Hello to a Clean UI

The Lightning Experience grew out of the Salesforce mobile app, and the need for increased clarity and ease of use on mobile devices inspired the CRM to figure out a way to bring that feel to the desktop. Thus, Salesforce Lightning offers upgraded UI features like customizable homepages, drag-and-drop status changes, and more columns in dashboards, among other UI and UX choices to ensure that the solution is helping you solve problems, not causing them. (As it turns out, a clean interface helps to make people more productive.)

Useful Features You’ll Find in the Lightning Experience

Lightning offers a host of advantages over Classic mode, with features like lead scoring, Kanban boards, and Guidance for Success to help boost productivity. Here’s a closer look at features you’re only going to be able to find in Lightning Experience, organized by category:


  • Performance Chart
  • Assistant
  • News
  • Key deals

 Accounts and Contacts

  • News
  • Path
  • Activity timeline
  • Account Logos
  • Automated Account Fields
  • Notes
  • “Reference” page layout


  • Campaign member status charts


  • Workspace page layout
  • Activity timeline
  • Path
  • News
  • Notes


  • Workspace page layout
  • Activity timeline
  • Path
  • News
  • Notes
  • Visual view of opportunities (Kanban)

 Salesforce Einstein

  • Sales
    • Einstein Activity Capture
    • Einstein Opportunity Insights
    • Einstein Account Insights
    • Einstein Automated Contacts
  • Service
    • Einstein Bots

 Collaborative Forecasts

  • Product and schedule date forecasts
  • Territory forecasts
  • Forecast sharing
  • Product family forecast choice
  • Better organization of forecast families
  • Timestamps show refresh time and date
  • Adjustable product family forecasts

 Customer Service

  • Einstein Bots
  • Lightning Flow for Service
  • LiveMessage
  • Service Setup Flows for:
    • Communities
    • Email-to-Case
    • Facebook and Twitter
    • Help Center
    • Knowledge
    • Live Agent
    • LiveMessage
    • Omni-Channel


  • Enhanced report charts
  • Hide totals and subgroups from report view
  • Interactive filters when viewing reports
  • Column summaries (i.e.non-stacked) in the Matrix report format
  • Favorites


  • Display more than 3 columns
  • Flexible layouts
  • Themes and palettes
  • Favorites

 List Views

  • Charters
  • Create filters on the fly
  • Search for a list view on the fly
  • View records visually (Kanban)


  • Custom org brand images and colors
  • Custom branding of Salesforce Apps
  • Favorites
  • Activities-related composer windows

 What About My Existing Salesforce Customizations?

By and large, your existing Salesforce Classic configurations and customizations should work seamlessly in the new interface. That being said, some of them aren’t useful in Lightning because new features have replaced them, or the new interface has changed the way users interact with those features.

For example, let’s take a look at the navigation bar. Whether you’re in Classic or Lightning, the nav bar gives users access to objects and tabs. While an app created in Classic will be functional in Lightning without having to make any modifications to it, that app will need to be upgraded to the Lightning Experience if you want users to be able to personalize the nav bar associated with it.

An example of something from Classic that won’t work in Lightning Experience is custom buttons and links that use a JavaScript content source—those aren’t supported in Lightning Experience. However, custom buttons that define the content source as a URL or Visualsource page will work as you’d expect them to, so no worries on that front.

How Can I Customize Apps in Lightning?

Lightning Experience apps can be customized with unique colors and logos, standard and custom objects, Lightning component tabs, Visualforce tabs, and Lightning page tabs, giving users an array of options to help them be more productive.

If you’d like to learn more about making the transition from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning Experience, we can help. Want to know how your org will operate in Lightning Experience? Check out this article. Of course, if you require in-depth help today, don’t hesitate to contact our senior-level Salesforce consultants. Whether you’re trying to determine if Lightning Experience makes sense for your business or you’re ready to dive in, our consultants can tailor a plan to fit your business needs.

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