8 min read
What is Salesforce and What Does It Do? The Definitive Guide
Startups and Small businesses are able to build more personalized relationships with their customers, whereas medium- to large-sized companies usually have specialized departments taking care of customers. Many other departments in these bigger industries have little to no interaction with customers.
In an age where people increasingly demand to hear more from the businesses they engage with, it’s each day more important for huge companies to improve customer interaction. But how can you do this without bringing down the overall productivity levels? That’s exactly what Salesforce specializes in.
What does Salesforce do? Salesforce brings companies and customers together. It is able to assist different teams and divisions in a company to join efforts, to view and interact with their customers as one single entity.
But what is Salesforce? Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform. These words may be confusing to many people, so here is your definitive guide to how Salesforce works, what it does, and how to use the software.
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud-based service that allows entire companies, including all the different departments within, to share a singular, centralized view of their customers.
This service allows companies to streamline their communications with a customer and their marketing campaigns. Salesforce is also useful for customer retention and lead nurturing.
All these nifty features have entitled Salesforce to be considered as the most innovative company in the world according to Forbes.
What is Salesforce Used For?
Salesforce is primarily used as a company’s CRM. Specifically, it provides companies with a 360-degree view of all their customer data, allowing different departments to address each customer at their respective stage, as well as specific needs. It also allows companies to tailor their marketing strategies in a customized way.
How Does Salesforce Work?
Salesforce uses cloud-based technology to ensure that all customer data can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Specifically, it uses three different cloud platforms to deliver a robust and seamless CRM service: the Marketing Cloud, the Sales Cloud, and the Commerce Cloud.
These three platforms are innovating tools for data collection and data analytics. The user sees each customer from different angles, both before and after they make a purchase. This kind of information allows the user-company to act more decisively and make fine-tuned adjustments to ensure that the customer is always put first.
Benefits of Using Salesforce for Your Business
These are all nice and nifty benefits on paper, but what are the real-life benefits of using the Salesforce software? How do all these features translate into concrete results that make a company’s performance even better?
1. Effectively automates repetitive tasks
When managing customer relationships, some tasks are important but better left automated, so your workers can handle more fundamental tasks that require their full attention. Tasks such as email handling, call logging, voicemail, receipts and appointment scheduling do not require much human input in most cases.
By delegating these automatable tasks to Salesforce, the company’s efficiency and productivity levels are increased while reducing your employee’s workload.
2. Makes customer data tracking easier
Since all the data is in the cloud, it’s easier to be updated by significant or minor changes, whether it be individually or as a group. Users can also see the customer lifecycle from a bird’s eye view, making it easy to make adjustments based on real-time information.
Salesforce’s sales contact management software provides a singular interface for all kinds of data — including social data, communication history, and key contacts — on all customers, making it easier to engage with them and provide answers to all their needs.
All data stored is also available on the go. With the Salesforce mobile app, users can keep themselves updated at any time, which can come in handy for those crucial emergency meetings.
3. Improves internal collaboration & communication
With Salesforce, all its customers’ data is conveniently kept in one centralized location — the cloud. That means it can be accessed by anyone authorized.
The best part is that everyone sees the same data, ensuring that everyone is on the same page whenever a customer relationship is being planned and discussed.
4. Enhances customer service
When employees are all on the same page about customer needs and feedback, it is easier to address all issues tailored to fit specific needs. This allows for stronger customer retention and brand loyalty, all while improving the reputation of the company.
5. Better and efficient reporting
Salesforce is not just about centralizing all customer data. It also has options to automatically generate different kinds of reports, depending on the needs of different users.
Whether you need a report on lead status, total sales, or just about anything, Salesforce allows you to get a specialized report in just a few clicks.
Salesforce Business Practices
Even though Salesforce has been recognized as one of the top innovative companies, they still continue to incorporate improved business practices.
The company created and still uses its 1-1-1 Model of Integrated Philanthropy, where they give back 1% of their equity, 1% of their product, and 1% of their employee hours back to the community.
This allows them to keep giving back to the community in a way that is proportional to their size. As their success increases, so does their corporate responsibility.
This approach has allowed Salesforce to give nonprofit organizations and other educational institutions grants, technology, volunteering, and other forms of assistance.
Salesforce Mergers and Partnerships
Salesforce has been steadily growing in size throughout the years, and this growth seems to have no end in sight.
As reported by CNBC in 2018, Salesforce announced their $6.5 billion-dollar acquisition of Mulesoft. In 2019, they acquired Tableau Software, Inc. for $15.7 billion and ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion.
Those are just a few of over 50 acquisitions that Salesforce has made, including Rebel, Datorama, Cloudcraze LLC, and the like.
In 2014, Salesforce partnered up with Facebook to bring data analytics to B2B marketers. In 2018, Salesforce partnered with Apple to bring CRM and the best business devices to mobile apps.
Salesforce Services and Products
Salesforce has an entire array of products and services available for users, some of them were mentioned before, now we’ll discuss each of them below:
Salesforce sales cloud
With the Salesforce sales cloud, everything relating to a company’s sales department can be automated. All sales reps can also increase their productivity by using tools that allow them to collaborate and communicate from any device.
Thus, the company will spend less time on irrelevant tasks and more time actually making meaningful connections with customers.
The sales cloud also allows the user to combine sales and marketing strategies, which increases productivity and teamwork for both departments.
Salesforce service cloud
The Salesforce service cloud allows users to deliver personalized customer support with every interaction. It also offers plenty of tools for convenience, such as service automation and AI chatbots.
Salesforce marketing cloud
The biggest benefit of the marketing cloud is the ability for marketers to match customers with the perfect product. Salesforce marketing cloud puts the customer at the forefront of all marketing communications.
Data can be collected from all kinds of sources. In every step of the process, data analytics all point towards a singular goal: delivering the best product to the customer.
The marketing cloud also comes with an e-book that contains the top 50 practices of the best email marketers, allowing companies to make improvements to their current marketing practices.
Salesforce analytics cloud
With the Salesforce analytics cloud, vast amounts of data can be pulled from different sources. They can all be analyzed together. The results are delivered in a way that is optimized for data visualization and interpretation.
In this age of technology, data-driven metrics is the go-to source of information. A company whose operations are backed by data can deliver faster, more precise actions to improve performance.
The analytics cloud also offers predictive insights, which can be helpful for those who want to know where their current practices will be taking them. This allows for quick, predictive adjustments to be made as needed.
Salesforce app cloud
The app cloud allows companies to create customized applications for customer relationships and customer engagement. The best part is that there is no need to learn and write complex code — the cloud handles all of that.
The cloud has tons of CRM tools for app development like: Force.com, Salesforce Lightning Design System, and Heroku Shield, all of which can be used to the company’s liking.
Salesforce IoT cloud
IoT, or the “Internet of Things,” contains a lot of data from interconnected equipment and technology. Through Salesforce’s IoT cloud, massive amounts of data can be easily and quickly processed. The cloud provides users with real-time results, allowing them to offer better customer service.
Salesforce health cloud
Salesforce is not just for for-profit companies; health providers can also benefit from Salesforce’s services through the health cloud. It offers software for patient management that provides the same benefits as Salesforce CRM, with additional health-related features.
In healthcare, different specialists must know specific information regarding the patients, making the Salesforce health cloud a crucial aspect in delivering quick and urgent responses to patients’ needs.
One helpful result that came with Salesforce merging with Mulesoft is the Integration Cloud. This service aims to streamline and integrate various business processes.
With the integration cloud, data is unified for faster digitization of businesses. Critical projects can all be delivered through a singular platform. Let’s take a look at the various integrations it offers:
Cloud PBX Integration
With PBX, companies are better placed to receive insights into their customers’ data. A PBX phone system, like ULTATEL cloud-based phone system, is easily integrated with Salesforce for those who want to improve their telecommunication and customer engagement.
Through Salesforce, call logs and other pertinent telemarketing data go through automated data entering, which will save time used on data entry.
Social Media Integration
Every competitive organization today needs to develop a social media presence, it’s one of the best ways to engage with customers. Each interaction made on social media offers a treasure trove of data that can be used by the company to improve its CRM.
With Salesforce, all data collected through customer interactions are automatically stored, saving plenty of time that can be better used for building relationships.
Email Marketing Integration
For email marketing, Salesforce has Email Studio. Not only is data entry automated like most cloud services they offer, but it also allows the user to segment all leads and customers according to profile data.
This allows users to increase engagement by customizing interactions based on data about each customer and segment. It also has Einstein, artificial intelligence that focuses on suggesting content to subscribers, which increases conversion rates.
Other Useful Integrations
Salesforce has plenty of other possible cloud integrations, such as apps, systems, and enterprise resource planning. As a CRM tool, it really maximizes its use of cloud-based computing.
Where there is data technology, you can rely on Salesforce to maximize the user’s efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Getting Started with Salesforce
Getting started with Salesforce is as easy as visiting their website. You can have a look at all of the products and services available for different users and suited to different needs.
They also offer a free 30-day trial with no hidden charges and no credit card required, so for those who just want to try the product without commitments, you can do so with no fears or obligations.
Large Companies That Use Salesforce
About four years ago, around 150,000 companies reported using Salesforce, and the list includes Amazon, Adidas, American Express, and many more.
American Express is one of America’s most well-known financial services, and they began using Salesforce in 2010. Right after they did, they began seeing an increase in how their employees connected with one another despite the different locations and time zones.
Activision, one of the biggest names in the gaming industry, consistently uses Salesforce to monitor social media leads and follow up on them.
According to Salesforce, companies that use their software see an average increase in different areas, such as overall sales (27%), sales productivity (32%), and win rates (29%).
Technology has exploded in popularity, and it is here to stay. For businesses who really want to maximize their productivity while reducing their workload, Salesforce cloud solutions are great tools for you to optimize your business.
Salesforce takes advantage of cloud computing benefits to improve businesses’ CRM, one of the most crucial components nowadays. Customer engagement is increasingly becoming a more important part of any business.
So if you think you could stand to improve your CRM, consider opting for Salesforce and assess the many products and service options that fit your business needs.
With 20+ years of experience in software development, telecom and management, Amr prides himself on helping businesses of all sizes become more efficient to compete in today’s corporate world. He recognized the value of great customer service and tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit to found his own telecom company, ULTATEL.