Salesforce Lightning – a force for change

Faster, simpler, smarter. Salesforce Lightning is superceding Salesforce Classic as the premium CRM software application. Over 300 US companies alone ( are already using Lightning and others are planning to make the switch from Salesforce Classic as part of their 2021 activity plan. Salesforce Classic was released back in 1999, so it’s no wonder that it is now looking and feeling its age – the user interface is text heavy and not easy on the eye. By contrast, Lightning is visually more contemporary and boasts an impressive array of new features for customisation and app creation. But navigating around this new interface can feel unfamiliar to Classic users, it’s like learning a whole new system.

Switching from Classic to Salesforce is a business imperative. But the user interface (U.I.) migration will require precision planning, stakeholder buy-in at all levels and continuous communication. But most importantly, the workforce must be match-fit for switchover and engaged with the whole change process from start to finish. Companies planning to switch to Lightning are opting for a full change management plan with staff training top of the to-do list.

What do we mean by Change Management?

“Organisational change happens one person at a time” website

At Bright Affect, our change management specialists say that Change Management is about preparing, equipping and supporting stakeholders at all levels of an organisation to successfully adopt change.

In the context of Salesforce Lightning implementation for example, a proper change management strategy will ensure a successful transition to and adoption of the new platform.

Bright Affect builds its change management strategy on four key pillars of change:

Planning – with the help of your end-users, audit your current system and decide which data or apps you want to migrate to the new system and which are redundant. Map out the timescale, the implementation and crucially the training programme which should run in parallel to all 4 ‘pillars of change’

Persuading – ensure that every employee understands the reason for change and the personal benefits it will bring

Communicating – maintain continuous 2-say communication as the project progresses to create a buzz of anticipation. Positive change is coming!

Monitoring – it doesn’t all end the day after switchover. Change management means monitoring, evaluating, testing and training for up to six months afterwards.

Successful change management programmes focus on the ‘people side’ of change. Migrating without a sound change management plan runs the risk of plummeting productivity and staff morale. Which is why you need an army of champions and cheerleaders to lead the charge, alongside the top brass.

Training an army for change

“The announcement is the easy part; it makes the manager look bold and decisive. Implementation is more difficult, because no matter how good and compelling the data, there will always be active and passive resistance.” Ron Ashkenas and Rizwan Khan

The decision to make a major change such as a software migration usually comes from the CEO and senior management team. The generals. They understand why change is needed and see a clear competitive advantage. They need to communicate that confidently and continuously to all stakeholders.

According to a study by Price Waterhouse Cooper, nearly 75 per cent of all change programmes fail because the generals didn’t have the support of the majority of their employees: the cavalry and the infantry.

In every organisation there are clear champions for change. They are the early adopters of new technology, often sought out by their peers to explain bits of training that didn’t make sense or explain a new feature. They are your cavalry: they will rally co-workers ‘round the flag’. Assigning them special responsibilities in the change management project will be invaluable. Identify them early and get them onside.

Training increases the rate of change management success

But ultimately the success of the campaign depends on the end users – the infantry. A successful transition absolutely depends upon training and supporting them. Switching from a familiar software to a brand-new application is unsettling.

A recent study showed that only 40% of corporate employees are fully aware of their company’s future plans and targets. The more they see the benefits to themselves as well as the company, the more engaged they become. Training promotes employee engagement as well as embedding key new skills. It allows you to reinforce the rewards of the switchover – the ‘what’s-in-it-for-me?’

“Organisations don’t change. People within organisations change”

Training your team – the so-called soft side of change can be the hardest part. But it’s the most crucial to get right. Our third and final blog in this series will focus on building the best training approach for implementing Salesforce Lightning.

A sound change management plan equals a smoother switchover to Salesforce Lightning in 2021 and we are always happy to talk to you about your change strategy. This is one lightning strike that you can predict. And together we can manage.