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Everything You Need To Know About Using Salesforce

Published September 23, 2021

5 min read

By Sue Peterson

Over 150,000 companies are using Salesforce to grow their businesses making Salesforce the fifth largest software company in the world. Started in 1999, Salesforce offers cloud-based CRM solutions, which free up a company’s server. Salesforce continues to evolve with new products and services to meet the needs of businesses worldwide.

This article addresses some common questions to offer a clearer understanding of Salesforce, helping you make an educated decision about what Salesforce can do for your team.

What is Salesforce? 

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Salesforce is an American cloud-based software company. The company offers customer relationship management (CRM) services and several enterprise applications. The software’s vast capabilities are suited for businesses of all sizes from startups and small businesses to medium-sized and large businesses. The applications help to support customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development.

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What does it do?

Salesforce provides original “classic” services centered around four clouds: the sales cloud designed to help with client management, the marketing cloud to create one-to-one marketing campaigns, the service cloud to support online customer service on any device, and the commerce cloud to help companies build online shopping experiences.

Salesforce has a variety of other services including a development platform for building Salesforce-powered apps, online forums connected to CRM data, and more. The company continues to innovate products and services. For example, the newer Salesforce Lightning software offers an improved interface with additional features that make it easier and more engaging for users. As of 2020, Salesforce has added multiple additional cloud platforms: the health cloud, app cloud, community cloud, analytics cloud, IoT cloud, Chatter cloud, and Heroku engagement cloud. 

Lightning vs. Classic Versions

Both versions, Lightning and Classic, offer Events, Calendars, and customizable dashboards. However, Lightning includes news, key deals, and a performance chart on the homepage. Lightning also has a timeline to help users track their activity history for each account or for each lead. In addition, Lightning allows users to design new types of pages (the App Page, Home Page, and Record Page) while Classic offers one basic type of page. A comparison chart explains the features of each version in more detail.

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Pros

Cons

Pricing

The upfront costs of Salesforce vary depending on the plan selected and the number of users. You can get a direct quote from the company that best meets the needs of your business. Plans range from $25 to $400+ per user monthly depending on the services purchased.

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Is Salesforce a good fit for your company?

Without a doubt, Salesforce can help support complex business processes. Specifically, the software has the potential to play a significant role in increasing the productivity of sales, customer service, and marketing teams.

However, spend some time thinking about you company needs and budget. Consider directly contacting Salesforce to request a demo and discuss what products they offer that might answer a problem your team is having.

Who is using Salesforce?

Tech giants like Facebook and Google, Amazon, Adidas, American Express, as well as your nearby call centers use Salesforce services and products. Instead of fussing over technology, they can concentrate on innovation and providing exemplary customer experiences. Companies that use the software report a 27% increase in sales revenues, 32% increase in lead conversion, 34% increase in customer satisfaction, and 56% faster deployment.

Screenshot: Salesforce

What are some of the other new services provided by Salesforce?

AppExchange

An online application marketplace for third-party applications that run on the Force.com platform. 2,700+ applications are offered with more than 3,000,000 installations noted.

Force.com

Helps developers and admins to create applications and websites into the main Salesforce.com application.

Heroku Enterprise

Offers flexibility for developers to create apps using their preferred tools and languages.

Sandbox

Allows developers to test ideas in a safe, isolated development environment.

Salesforce Thunder

A big data and rules processing engine designed to analyze events to guide personalized actions.

What is the difference between Salesforce and its competitors?

Salesforce CRM is not a unique concept. Many of their competitors offer similar services and products in sales, marketing, and customer service solutions. The most notable difference is that Salesforce is entirely cloud-based. This makes it easier to navigate remotely, use on mobile, and integrate with third-party products. Another distinguishing feature is the market for independent software vendors with available Salesforce integrations. With increased popularity and performance, training is in high demand for Salesforce app builders, architects, consultants, developers, marketing, and specialists.

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Conclusion

Salesforce is the one-stop shop for businesses to manage, maintain, communicate with, and grow their customer base and revenue streams. More and more companies are developing their applications on the Salesforce platform, as the company continues to innovate and release new features and products. It is well worth the time to research Salesforce products and services to see how they can meet your current business needs and those you anticipate the future.   

About the Author

Author

Sue Peterson has over 10 years of experience as a freelance writer and editor for hundreds of clients around the world. She is a part-time instructor in the Graduate Education Department of Concordia University after teaching in Wisconsin public schools and abroad for three decades. In her free time, Sue enjoys the solitude of her Northwoods cabin, as well as sailing and gardening.

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