4 Phases of Salesforce Classic to Lightning Migration

Salesforce Classic to Lightning Migration offers you access to better UI, new features, and more opportunities to scale.

When Salesforce Lightning was launched in 2015, it received a huge backlash from customers. From performance issues to navigation discomfort, there were too many loopholes in its UI that prevented users from fully embracing it over Classic CRM.

With time, the company addressed a majority of these issues and added superior functionalities in Lightning which makes it a truly irresistible move for Classic users. Kanban View, Lightning Path, Activity Timeline, Lighting Dialer, AI-Einstein, and Experience Cloud Communities are just a handful of the functionalities that you will find solely in the Lightning version.

Besides these new features and components, Lightning UI is also better in terms of user-friendliness. It promises faster navigation and a more intuitive user experience through dynamic views, visualizations, and customizable dashboards.

Since Salesforce Classic does not offer new features and updates, it would be wise to migrate to the much more advanced Lightning CRM. By doing this, you can toggle between both versions and make the best use of functionalities in both versions.

While migration to Lightning Experience is critical to bridging CRM gaps, it requires a strategic plan to ensure maximum success. In this blog, we bring you an insight into migration planning by discussing various phases of the Salesforce Classic to Lightning Migration process.

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Key Phases of Salesforce Classic to Lightning Migration

The Salesforce Classic to Lightning Migration process can be divided into 4 phases namely: discovery, planning, training, and optimization. Knowing what each phase requires and what to expect at a specific migration step is crucial to minimizing mistakes and ensuring effective project completion.

Having said that, let’s discuss each of these phases one by one.

1. Discovery Phase

Before you finalize your need for migration, you must know about functionality gaps in Classic, innovation opportunities in Lightning, and the scalability needs of your CRM. For this, you should try to find answers to the following questions.

a) Ask your team about their workflow issues and problems in using Classic?

In the discovery phase, business leaders should talk to end users about their concerns about using Classic. After identifying core issues, one should discuss with experts if those gaps can be bridged with Lightning migration or not.

b) Can migration to Lightning Experience boost your sales and ROI?

A recent report by Forrester emphasizes the importance of Lightning migration for businesses. As per the report, switching to Lightning migration has resulted in increased productivity levels for the average salesperson by one hour per week.

c) Does Lightning Experience match your company’s technical roadmap?

After you have spent a considerable amount of investment and time in customizing Salesforce Classic, you should decide whether the move to migration matches your company’s technical roadmap or not. Do you have the capacity to undergo potential downtime throughout the migration process?

By using tools like Lightning Experience Readiness Check, you can evaluate your company’s needs and answer these questions better. Consider onboarding a Salesforce Lightning Migration expert to do the initial audit and have a better requirement analysis.

2. Planning Phase

After you have discovered your migration needs, it's time to plan the migration process. Project timeline, responsibility assignment, milestones, and rollout plan are key aspects to look at while creating a strategic migration scheme.

Here are some tips to make effective plans for migration:

a) Create SMART Goals

The first step of migration planning is to ensure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). Depending on organizational needs, business goals can vary from increasing sales leads to improving data quality, and so on. You can make use of two KPIs to track your SMART goals i.e. mid-transition adoption metrics and post-migration productivity metrics.

Adoption metrics include time taken to accomplish an action, daily active users in Classic, and no of employees switching to the Lightning interface. Productivity metrics on the other hand focus more on the changes in CRM. A change in the number of calls logged or a change in lead conversion rate can best define productivity metrics.

b) Develop a Change Management Strategy

Once you have identified your goals and KPIs, you can start to work on a change management strategy. The focus here should be to develop a plan that drives your user adoption and boosts productivity levels. For this, start surveying power users about their experience of using Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience.

Based on their feedback, you can map out exactly what the new sales workflows will look like in Lightning Experience. Accordingly, you can create a communication strategy that highlights the main benefits for users.

To develop a best-fit change management plan, you will need to convince the sales team and business leadership as they may resist the need for change. By marketing the project to Classic users, you can generate the demand for necessary CRM upgrades.

c) Run Trials in Sandbox

After change management requests are identified, it is time to conduct trials of Lightning Experience in a sandbox environment. Check the performance tests, and load tests, and see how custom features perform in staging. Try to eliminate possible bugs during the testing stage as it will define how smoothly your process runs post-migration.

3. Training Phase

Before you roll out Lightning on a full-fledged basis, consider availing training services of an on-demand Salesforce firm. Most Salesforce Classic to Lightning Migration partners offers a mix of macro and micro training services where they offer effective documentation, video & call-based support — ensuring employees are confident moving ahead.

If you don’t want to spend on training services post-migration, it would be wise to identify change champions within your organization. These are the employees with higher passion and knowledge of Salesforce Lightning and who know how to optimize the functional performance of your Salesforce license. Give them opportunities to train employees who are not quick to embrace the interface and features.

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4. Optimization Phase

Full adoption of Salesforce Lightning is a timely process. After you implement changes in Lightning, you need time to track the usage rates for each license. To ensure your ‘Classic’ users are optimally using the Lightning features, you can personalize the process with in-app guidance. This will help in addressing usage challenges and ensure maximum business performance.

To further optimize license usage, users should know when to switch between Classic and Lightning. Salesforce offers a ‘Switch to Classic’ button which can be used by employees in the early days post-migration. Once they become fully comfortable, they may reduce dependence on Classic. By giving employees full freedom in using their license features, teams can ensure no user is overwhelmed by the migration process.


Salesforce Lightning offers many powerful features that are missing in the Classic version. Beside these value-additions, Lightning can be updated quite easily, something Classic users are deprived of constantly. To bridge gaps in user productivity and accomplish goals faster, Salesforce Classic to Lightning Migration can be a game changer.

While migration to Lightning can help you add value to your business, it can be a daunting task. As a business, you must have a strategic plan in place that takes care of your business goals, scalability plans, resources, investment, and timeline. Onboarding a migration expert can help you plan your transition in the desired manner while eliminating possible roadblocks in the process.


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