We'll be pitting Salesforce Lightning vs Classic head to head throughout this article. Still unsure about Salesforce? Make sure you don't miss out on the best price possible, by checking out our comparison table of the Best CRM Software Deals, below.
Free Trial Version
Cheapest paid plan
Price quoted is per user, per month
Popular option with a modern, easily customizable interface and a great Free Trial
Core CRM features with appealingly flexible pricing plans
A solid CRM platform with scaling price plans and powerful features
A highly intuitive CRM that is packed with plenty of features and even has a free plan option
A market leading CRM for good reason and a great all-rounder – with tailored pricing plans available, it should always be considered first.
A strong CRM system with an attractive free tier and great marketing features
An inexpensive, simple CRM tool that offers the best service features available
A robust CRM platform that embeds brilliantly with Microsoft products
Flexible, friendly and effective, Zoho also starts at low price plans and has a great free trial
A decent choice for email marketing that falls behind in some other areas
A great all-round CRM with a great, easy to understand dashboard
Salesforce is one of the biggest names in customer relationship management software. That's thanks to its ease-of-use, its app marketplace, and its customizability. In recent years, Salesforce has taken that customizability a little further by allowing customers to choose between two different versions of the software: Salesforce Lightning vs Salesforce Classic.
The primary difference between Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic is the interface. Salesforce Lightning offers a new and improved interface with additional features that make it easier and more engaging for users, whereas Salesforce Classic offers the original, albeit updated, interface that is lacking in some key areas. Generally speaking, Lightning just offers more.
If you don’t already have Salesforce, you should definitely pick the Lightning version, as it offers the most modern features. If you already use Salesforce, you'll likely still want to upgrade to Lightning from Classic, as the learning curve should be outweighed by the intuitive interface and smoother workflow. Some may chose to stick with Classic, however, if it's working great already and they don't want to risk losing some functionality.
Unsure of which Salesforce plan to go for, or what it may cost? It only takes moments to get a personalised quote – click our simple CRM Software Quotes Tool to get started.
What is Salesforce Lightning?
All of Salesforce's new features are now built for the Lightning UI. Salesforce Classic exists largely in an “as is” state for those companies that cannot yet make the switch. This may be due to customized interfaces, workflows, or just the general difficulty of making a big switch with thousands of users.
A few years ago, it made sense for smaller businesses to stay away from Lightning, since the feature-set wasn't as fully-formed as what you could use via Classic. That's becoming less and less the case, as most key features have now migrated to Lightning from Classic.
Salesforce Lightning vs Competitors
Looking for the perfect CRM provider for your business? Salesforce (Lightning or CLassic) is the obvious choice- but might not be the best for your needs. Click the links below to explore what monday.com and Freshworks could offer your business, instead.
Salesforce Lightning Benefits
Comparing the major feature differences between Classic and Lightning is like hitting a moving target, with new updates happening all the time. Here's a quick look at a few of the biggest benefits Lightning offers over Classic:
- Home features — Both interfaces offer Events, Calendars, and customizable dashboards, but only Lightning includes news, key deals, and a performance chart on the homepage.
- Activity timeline — Lightning includes a timeline to help users keep track of their history of activity for each account or each lead, but Classic does not.
- Workspace page layout — Lightning enables users to design new types of pages, from App Pages to Home Pages to Record Pages, while Classic just offers one basic type of page.
Those looking for even more in-depth guidance should check out Saleforce's feature comparison chart – spoiler alert, it's very favorable towards Lightning.
Comprehensive sales data
Duplicate accounts, contacts & leads
Workplace page layouts
Einstein opportunity insights
Einstein automated contacts
Einstein bot builder
Salesforce Lightning and Einstein Integration
The Einstein AI is a big selling point for the Lightning interface: Einstein automatically tackles data prep, modeling, and infrastructure updates needed to ensure your analytics are constantly updated in near-real time. It integrates well across the entire Lightning interface, from powering apps with abilities like image recognition and natural language processing to helping users predict the next best action for a specific lead or account.
Classic includes some integrations for Einstein, but Lightning has more. Opportunity insights, account insights, automated contacts, and the Bot Builder feature that lets users incorporate Einstein into their bots are all Lightning-only abilities.
Does Salesforce Lightning Cost More?
No, Salesforce Lightning doesn't cost more than Salesforce Classic. The interfaces cost the same. Long-time users of the Classic version will be able to switch to Lightning without paying for a new license. Meanwhile, new customers will be recommended the Lightning interface by default.
However, the act of migrating from Classic to Lightning will include some additional costs, as users will need additional training and the company may need to audit its needs to ensure that Lighting still offers the features they'll need.
Click the image gallery below to see some of the differences in action:
- Tailored pricing plans
- Wide feature set
- Frequently updated
- Robust support & training
- No free plan
- On the more expensive end of the industry
- Basic plan caps data at 612 MB/user
Salesforce Classic End of Life
Salesforce Classic won't be around forever. However, we don't yet know when it'll be completely phased out in favor of Lightning.
After all, it was a massively popular interface during the 2000s, and remains widely used. But the fact is that most of Salesforce's updates are designed for either Lightning only or for Lightning and Classic together, rather than for Classic only, by a ratio of about 20-to-1. Eventually the Classic interface won't be updated and Salesforce will stop supporting it entirely to put their resources to better use. However, that won't happen for years or even decades.
Lightning also comes with improved features such as an activity timeline and workplace page layouts.
Classic, by contrast, stopped receiving new features in 2019 and is slower.
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