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Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Log into Salesforce.
  • Navigate your way around the user experience.
  • Explain the difference between Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic.
  • Access many of the important features available in Salesforce.

Welcome to Lightning Experience

Welcome to Lightning Experience! Lightning Experience is a modern, productive user experience designed to help you do more and be more efficient.

With Lightning Experience, we’ve re-envisioned the desktop experience to support your sales and service processes. The result is a more productive interface, designed to support how sales reps and service agents work on a daily basis.

Opportunity record in the Lightning Experience.

When we’re talking about Lightning Experience, we’re talking about pages in Salesforce optimized for sales and service use. We’re talking about new features that help you focus on the right activities every time you log into Salesforce. We’re talking flexible, interactive tools that you can use to visualize data on the fly and work deals in flight.

Want to know more? Let’s start by getting you logged in.

Log in to Salesforce

How you log in will be determined by how your Salesforce admin has set up your org. For example, you might go to a company-specific URL to log in, where you’ll enter your credentials and then be directed into Salesforce. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) can be required, too, so check with your Salesforce admin for your company’s login process.

For customers logging in through the standard process, the steps to log in are as follows:

  1. Salesforce admin sets you up as a user in your Salesforce org.
  2. You’ll receive an email with a link to log in and set your password.
  3. Click the link, set your password and security question, and click Save. You’ll then be redirected to your Salesforce org.

On subsequent visits, the steps to log in are as follows:

  1. Go to (or the login URL your Salesforce admin provided).
  2. Enter your username and password and click Log in to Salesforce.

Once you’re logged into Salesforce, you’ll be directed to Home. Let’s talk about that first.


Home is the first place you’ll land when you log into Salesforce. It’s a modern, intelligent home page, featuring a number of tools to help you start your day fast. From Home, you can monitor your performance and get insights on key accounts. You can also access the Assistant, a list of things to do and places to be. Your Salesforce admin can create custom Home pages that appear for different profiles, so you may see different features on your Home page.

  • Use the Assistant to identify exactly what you need to be doing today
  • Use the Performance Chart to monitor how close you are to crushing your number
  • Get insights fast with News
  • Focus your selling activities on your Top Deals
Home page in Lightning Experience
  1. Performance Chart: Monitor and update your performance to goal.
  2. Assistant: Stay on track by seeing the leads and opportunities that require your attention.
  3. News: Get insights at a glance on your important accounts.
  4. Upcoming events: See the next five meetings on your calendar today.
  5. Today’s tasks: See up to five tasks due today.
  6. Recent records: Access links to recently viewed records.
  7. Top deals: View your top open opportunities in a convenient list.

Opportunity Workspace

If you remember the definitions that we reviewed in the previous unit, opportunities are leads that are qualified to buy. Whether you’re coming from Home, the navigation menu, Search, or a related record in Salesforce, once you click on an opportunity, you need a powerful workspace where you can get stuff done quickly and focus your energy on selling.

Enter the opportunity workspace. Here, your sales process takes center stage, with customized coaching scripts for each stage in the sales process, at-a-glance insights and activity timeline, and the ability to create records quickly with fewer clicks.

The opportunity record layout, with the details panel, opportunity path, activity timeline, a contact role record, and products and notes related lists.
  1. Highlights Panel: See important information right at the top of the record.
  2. Path: Access customized guidance for each stage in your sales process.
  3. Composer: Quickly log a call, create a task, or send an email.
  4. Activity Timeline: View emails, tasks, and events, grouped by your next steps and past activity.
  5. Quick View: Hover over any linked record to see details without having to leave the page.

Accounts and Contacts

Remember that when a lead is converted, an account and contact are also created in Salesforce. An account is a company you’re doing business with, and a contact is someone who works at that account. Just like opportunities, anytime you drill into an account or contact, you need to find what you need quickly. But unlike opportunities, you’re less likely to need to make updates. Instead, we’ve optimized the layout for these pages for quick reference, allowing you to find information and gather insight at-a-glance.

  • Get the latest news about your customers with integrated Twitter and News
  • Work smarter and keep your data clean with field-level duplicate matching
  • Locate important data efficiently with layout designed specifically for quick reference
  • Review past and upcoming activities at a glance
The contact record layout, with the details panel and related lists including opportunities, cases, campaigns, and the activity timeline.
  1. Highlights Panel: See important information right at the top of the record.
  2. News and Twitter Integration: Stay informed about the latest news that affects your customers and stay connected through social media.
  3. Optimized template: Easy reference to related records and at-a-glance information.
  4. Activity Timeline: View emails, tasks, and events, grouped by your next steps and past activity.

List Views

List views let you see records that are important to you. Using filters, you can create customized lists of accounts, contacts, opportunities, or other records in Salesforce. For example, create a list view of opportunities you own and add a filter on amount to help you find your biggest deals in the pipeline.

List views are more than just columns of text. Power up your productivity with list view charts to visualize your data graphically with a handy chart. And it’s all created on the fly without an admin’s help.

  • Visualize data in seconds with list view charts
  • Quickly slice your data how you want by creating filters on the fly
  • Find a favorite list view fast with type-ahead search
Controls for adding, editing, and filtering list views in Lightning Experience

List View dropdown menu (1) Click Select a List View menu dropdown button to access your list views.

Pin list icon (2) Click Pin this List View button to pin a list view. A pinned list is the default list view for that object. A Pinned list icon icon indicates a pinned list. To pin a different list, select a different list view and pin it instead.

List View Controls menu (3) Click List View Controls gear button to access list view actions, including creating, renaming, cloning, and sharing them. You can also choose which fields to show in a list and editing filters that you’ve applied.

Layouts icon (4) Click Select List Display button to toggle between displaying lists in the standard table view ( Display as table option under Select List Display button) or the Kanban view ( Display as kanban option under Select List Display button). The icon changes to match the selected view. Kanban is a workflow visualization tool. We talk about Kanban in a bit. When working with task lists, you can also use split view ( Display as split view option under Select List Display button) to see all of your tasks on the left side of the page, plus the details for a selected task on the right.

Refresh icon (5) Click List View Refresh button to get a fresh view of a list more quickly than doing a full page reload.

Edit icon (6) Click Edit List icon to update fields in your list. You move to the first editable field in the list. Edited fields are highlighted in yellow to remind you to save your changes.

Charts icon (7) Click Show Charts icon to transform list data into simple and easy-to-understand pictures that show things like percentages, totals per account, ratio of dog lovers to cat owners, and other useful information.

Filter icon (8) Click Show Filters icon to narrow or expand the records that appear in a list view by adding, modifying, or removing filters.

The Kanban View

The Kanban view organizes a set of records into columns to track your work at a glance. To update a record’s status, drag it into a different column. You can configure the board by selecting what fields columns and summaries are based on. And, get personalized alerts on key opportunities in flight.
  • Visualize your work at each stage or status
  • Move records between columns using drag and drop functionality
  • Configure columns and summary fields on the fly
  • Edit or delete records to keep them up to date
  • Quickly create filters to slice your data how you want
  • For opportunities, get alerts to notify you when action is needed on a key deal
The Kanban view of opportunities
  1. The records in the Kanban view are based on the selected list view.
  2. Easily toggle between the list view grid view and the Kanban view.
  3. Filter your records to view a particular subset of your records.
  4. Search for records within the current view.
  5. Select which record type to view.
  6. Columns are created based on the grouping field.
  7. Change how columns are organized and summarized using Kanban settings.
  8. Quickly move a record to a different column by dragging the card.
  9. For opportunities, alerts tell how to keep a deal on track, for example, create a task or event.

Reports and Dashboards

Similar to list views, reports are a list of records that meet the criteria you define. But unlike list views, with reports you can apply more complex filtering logic, summarize and group your data, perform calculations, and create more sophisticated visualizations of your data using dashboards.

One feature you’ll love is the ability to create your own filters on the fly. Dashboards created by your admin highlight the data you need in a flexible layout, with spanning columns so you can see more dashboard components (charts) in different sizes on a single dashboard.

  • Create filters on the fly for reports
  • Make visually awesome dashboards using flexible layout and spanning columns
  • Collaborate with others via feeds
Report with the chart view and filter panel open
  1. Report Charts: Create a quick visualization of your data on demand.
  2. Filters: Add a filter on the fly to slice data as needed.
  3. Feeds: Collaborate on report data.
  4. Simple Layout: Add the columns you want to see and sort them as needed.

The preconfigured dashboards managed package provides ready-to-use dashboards and reports for executive sponsors, managers, and sales reps.

Search for Records

With all the useful data you have in Salesforce, search is the quickest way to find what you need, when you need it. In Lightning Experience, you can search from the top of every page.

This video guides you through searching in Lightning Experience and navigating search results.

What to Do If You Don’t Find What You’re Searching For

  • Check your spelling and verify that you entered the full search term.
  • Check whether the object or field is searchable.
  • Make sure you have access to the record. Search only returns results you have permission to view.
  • If you recently created or updated the record, wait a few minutes for the record to be made searchable. If you can’t find your record after 15 minutes, contact your admin.

Other Rad Stuff

Check out these additional features.

  • Navigate through pages with ease using the space-saving, collapsible left navigation menu.
  • Take notes easily with the notes tool, which includes autosave, rich text capabilities, and the ability to relate a note to multiple records.
  • Switch between user accounts or between orgs from the profile menu.

What About Salesforce Classic?

We’ve focused on Lightning Experience because it’s where all new Salesforce innovation happens. But Salesforce Classic is still available too.

On the surface, Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience look somewhat similar, but as we’ll see later on, looks can be deceiving.

Icons in the top-right means you’re in Lightning Experience The app menu in the top-right means you’re in Salesforce Classic
Lightning Experience user interface
Salesforce Classic user interface

Many Lightning Experience enhancements aren’t available in Salesforce Classic and a few features available in Salesforce Classic aren’t yet supported in Lightning Experience. For this reason, you can move between Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic as needed.

You might discover this on your own if you see something called the Switcher in Salesforce, so let’s take a moment here to explain how this works.

Meet the Switcher

Use the Switcher to move between Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. The Switcher is smart, as you’re about to see. Anytime you switch, either to Lightning Experience or Salesforce Classic, it remembers that user experience as your new default preference.

So how do you get to the Switcher? Just click your photo in the upper right. Then you see the option to switch to Salesforce Classic.

Link in user profile to switch to Salesforce Classic UI

If you click it, remember that you’re changing your default preference to Salesforce Classic.

When you’re ready to come back to Lightning Experience, select your name in the upper right and click Switch to Lightning Experience .

Link in user profile to switch to Lightning Experience UI

Don’t forget that you’re changing your default preference back to Lightning Experience. Welcome back!

Understanding how this works is one less question you have to ask your Salesforce admin. Speaking of your admin, in the next unit, we’ll share best practices for working with your admin to get the most out of Salesforce.

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