Salesforce is listed both on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and also in S&P 500 index. Initially in 2004 in its IPO the company raised about $110 million in funding. You would be astounded to know how much the company is worth now. Salesforce has a market capitalization of $77 billion as of now and is growing much more. It is one of the very few Cloud Computing companies which is growing at such a rate. Salesforce is always innovating new technologies and this is why Salesforce is at the top of its game. Salesforce announced in August 2017 that it reached revenue of about $10 billion becoming the first cloud computing company in achieving that feat. This blog post will touch upon salesforce definition, basics in various areas of sales, marketing, community, and so on.
Below are the topics we’ll be covering in this blog:
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What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud-based platform that provides software and services to create relevant customer experiences. Starting as Software-as-a-service(SaaS), Salesforce is based on a multi-tenant architecture that has benefits such as API Integration, configuration, scalability, free capacity, low-cost ownership, platform support, and more. Salesforce is one of the best Customer Relationship Management(CRM) service providers and also provides Artificial Intelligence(AI) platform for marketing automation, financing, Human resource management, etc.
As a widely used CRM tool, Salesforce benefits both small and large businesses. It breaks down the organization’s operations and allow the employees to have a single customer view of various department. All these services allow a business to use the latest technologies, find potential customers, and provide a better experience.
How does Salesforce pervade itself in various areas?
The entire customer information and interactions happen in one place that is the sales cloud of Salesforce meaning it enables better use of sales data by the sales personnel. Deals are progressing faster as best practices are used along with in-line intelligence. Decisions can be made very quickly based on the latest information as all the data is located in one place. This information is so compatible that it can be viewed from a phone, laptop, etc. Leads can be provided to the right representatives at the correct time. Converting the leads becomes that much easier. You might now get a good idea of what is Salesforce used for in the sales arena.
Koka Sexton who belongs to the social team in LinkedIn says “The future of sales is a social one. Companies that don’t adopt social selling and that don’t find a way to put that social intelligence into their CRM will be at a huge disadvantage in the market.” Clearly his view is right and companies should follow including social intelligence into their sales process.
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There are many ways how optimal a marketing strategy should be. But from those companies which failed severely in marketing one thing is clear. Deluging mistargeted ads to the customers is not the way to go. If you’re an avid online user you might have encountered such ads in your mailbox. If you are in the marketing business then you can make your marketing team smarter and more predictive about each customer. You’ll get an intelligent platform integrating marketing, sales, service, and commerce which makes for a collaborative CRM equipped with the tools and data to make recommendations based on past purchases. This is also helpful in solving issues your customers may have had with a certain product. You can increase engagement through custom communities as specified in the subsequent section below and connect to your customers through any device on any channel from social media to your connected products. Gathering key insights to strengthen your relationship with each customer at every stage will be made very easy with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Easily adjustable campaigns to help drive leads in the pipeline all while you get a complete view of the customer data to optimize your marketing strategy is very much possible with Salesforce’s marketing facility.
“Marketing Cloud allows marketers to build content, leverage that content across a variety of digital channels, and combine messages into automated workflows that deliver content based on time, channel preference, and customer behavior.”
– Brett Brewer, Global Practice Lead for Appirio’s Marketing Cloud practice
Users may wonder what Salesforce does in the community cloud. It has good applications in marketing, sales, and service but what could it have in the community? This cloud lets you directly connect with customers, increase partner success, and drive employee productivity like there’s no tomorrow. Multiple communities can be easily created and accessed for specific needs and customized to represent any brand. You can personalize each customer’s experience with their specific interests so customers can search the community to find information quickly and ask the community to get the answer they need while service representatives spend time tackling the toughest cases. Channel partners can close the deal faster by easily accessing experts and managing leads right within the community. Marketing teams can collaborate with agencies to streamline their campaign creation and gather feedback from potential customers.
Manufacturers can manage distributions by monitoring in-store promotions and placements. They are better equipped in responding to risks within the supply chain with help from the supplier community. Doctors can share their expertise in helping patients to get the optimal medical care they need. Patients from anywhere can access the community and your employees can increase productivity by sharing insights and files instantly. The social intelligence of the community cloud automatically creates topics that help the users instantly access the files, discussions, and experts for the topics they relate to. Community owners possess the ability to create custom badges to encourage members to participate. To measure community success there are built-in dashboards.
Imagine how it would be if you had the power to create apps. Salesforce app cloud is a new kind of platform-as-a-service. We’ll put this simply so it can be said as salesforce for dummies. You may imagine this to be in line with the play store of google but for CRM purposes. It is a kind of ecosystem for building, discovering, and running all of your apps. Developers using frameworks in modern languages and business admins using drag and drop lightning tools like App Builder and Process Builder in Salesforce can all leverage the app cloud. Apps can be created that connect you to customers with highly personalized experiences. Through this platform, legacy data can be modernized into mobile apps for all your employees if you host an organization. These apps will also change the way how you make partnerships with anyone across your business domain. You can design apps to listen to event data from mobile devices, sensors, and websites and then make prudent actions based on it. Thousands of pre-built apps in AppExchange can be discovered. You can run your apps on a secure infrastructure trusted by the world’s leading brands easily scaling across every device from a bunch of users to lakhs instantly. This truly gives out the salesforce features in the development of apps.
Have a look at our blog on the Approval Process in Salesforce to learn more!
This cloud connects you with your customers in a whole new way by letting you create a unified, online, and offline intelligence-driven commerce experience with a mobile-first approach. Engage shoppers with attention-driving merchandise and promotions and build one-to-one in-store journeys that blur the lines between digital and physical experiences. This way your prospects can make purchases whether they’re online or at the store. It’s about personalizing all aspects of the shopping experience from product assortment to price to recommendations making commerce smarter. Customers can buy anywhere, receive anywhere, and get service anywhere. The service managers can stay up to date on store performance right from their mobile phones and all that in real-time.
Using Salesforce, support agents can address customer problems by equipping them with the right tools. Building self-service communities give your customers the ability to solve their issues on their terms. As a service owner, customer opinions ought to be your top concern. Every share, like, hearts, and recommendations make a big difference to customers, and if they’re happy you’re happy.
The service business owner knows all about the issues of the customer and they provide one-to-one conversational service. The business owner knows all about the customer history as what all issues he had previously from what product through this cloud. This makes the service agents smarter, and better able to discuss the details of each sale and case history. They are also able to put forth marketing messages that tweak the interest of the customers. They can better connect to the technicians on the field, making them more productive.
You have been familiarized with various arms of Salesforce but the question as to how salesforce works, and which technology is running behind the scenes may persist in your mind. Just read through to know
Apex – Being a proprietary programming language, Apex is similar to C# and Java provided by Force.com. It is a strongly-typed, case-insensitive, object-oriented programming language that has dot-notation and curly-brackets syntax. The Apex code is mainly used to manipulate data and express business logic rather than supporting user interfaces and interaction. The developers can fine-tune the application as they have a good grip over it because Apex code is closely bound to the execution of the platform. As the packaging model of Apex code is similar to that of Java, reusable code packages can be invoked from each other. Compatibility, scalability, and maintenance issues’ responsibility is completely on Salesforce and not on the user.
Visualforce – Visualforce is a component-based UI framework for Force.com that incorporates a tag-based markup language like HTML. Visualforce utilizes the model-view-controller (MVC) framework, with the choice to utilize auto-created controllers for database objects, giving simple and tight integration with the database. Along with supporting traditional MVC, Visualforce also provides features that promote AJAX interactions, mobile rendering, PDF generation, and much more.
Visualforce can be used to broaden the value of existing applications by making highly interactive and productive client experiences with numerous methods for being integrated inside the standard Force.com application design. Force.com has various salesforce tools like IDE, migration tool, console, lightning CLI and many others. Along with this a robust foundation for the creation of new Salesforce Applications is possible.
Read more: Salesforce CLI
Go through this short video of Intellipaat elucidating on Salesforce:
Lightning – Salesforce Lightning is the frontend platform of Salesforce which it announced in 2014. Salesforce1 mobile app is built on this component-based framework where customers are also able to build on it as well. We have dedicated an entire blog post to this Lightning component of Salesforce.
“Salesforce is like a playground. You can build anything you want with it. I have seen people build apps for recruiting, video games, websites. It’s really upto your imagination.”
– David Liu, an ace Salesforce developer and blogger
Check out our blog to know about the salary of a Salesforce Developer!
Cloud Services offered by Salesforce
AppExchange: Salesforce AppExchange is an app store for marketing solutions provided by Salesforce. It has the two following main purposes:
- Admins or users utilizing the Salesforce platform can access AppExchange for various marketing solutions. It provides access to numerous apps created for different solutions. You can easily deploy the apps according to organizational needs.
- Secondly, it is used for creating and publishing apps on AppExchange. Only if you are a Salesforce partner can you publish your app on the AppExchange. The app is first reviewed and tested for security purposes; it is published by Salesforce on the AppExchange. Companies can provide the apps to potential customers and
Salesforce Service Cloud
When you use an online marketplace and you face any issue on the platform regarding an order or any other issue. You can simply go to the help section and get help through chat or call. If you select the chat box option then you will chat with an AI agent for some time but if the issue is complicated then in the same chat you are connected to a human agent who helps you.
Salesforce Service Cloud is the service that manages such customer service features. It provides a complete 360-degree picture of the customer, i.e. all the details of the customer in seconds. It assists agents to deal with customers easily by reducing time and increasing a good customer experience. Let’s see some of its key features and how they help an organization:
- Lightning Service: It provides all the details regarding the customer case to the agent on the dashboard in just a few seconds.
- Mobile Service: The customer service team can use this service from their mobile device.
- Omni-channel routing: It routes the customer to the most preferred agents depending on the issue. If the agent has solved the same issue or related issue then the agent is more preferred over others. Service Cloud performs this routing for a better user experience.
- Social Media Service: It analyzes the activity on social media platforms regarding the organization and posts about the organization. Also, if any customer
As the name suggests, Salesforce Integration is the integration of other non-Salesforce-based applications or software with the Salesforce platform across the organization. Salesforce is easily integrable and with this feature, companies can easily use Salesforce according to their needs. It increases the usability of Salesforce in the organization. Businesses use certain tools other than CRM software to help them in their day-to-day processes. So to increase productivity and speed, such tools are integrated with Salesforce.
Salesforce Sales Cloud
Salesforce’s Sales Cloud is a tool provided by Salesforce especially designed for sales teams. It stores and presents all the information utilized just by the sales team in one single tool. It makes the tasks of the sales reps very easy by presenting all the information about leads, customers, and sales in a readable and usable form. Its price is based on business size and needs. It can be easily integrated with other Salesforce Cloud platforms such as Marketing Cloud Service Cloud, Community Cloud, and Analytics Cloud. Some of its key features which help sales reps are:
- Insights: It presents key insights about sales on the dashboard.
- Mobile: Reps can use the dashboard from anywhere and anytime.
- Automated workflows: Sales reps can automate workflows in Salesforce simply with a click and drag.
- Management: Reps can easily manage contacts, opportunities, and leads through the dashboard.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
To compete in the current digital era, businesses are required to keep up with giant e-commerce organizations. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an e-commerce-based Software as a Solution (SaaS) offering from Salesforce. To manage the business on a digital platform for a large no. of customers, with high accuracy and efficiency, the organization utilizes Commerce Cloud. Organizations keep track of customer experiences on their e-commerce platforms for high retaining percentages. Commerce Cloud has been refined over many years to provide optimum customer experience. The E-commerce sector includes new features constantly, Commerce Cloud provides best-in-class feature sets. It is used by major retail brands such as Burton, Adidas, Puma, and Lacoste.
Salesforce is integrated with external or internal systems according to organizational requirements. Although the integration of Salesforce with other systems and tools using APIs may seem like the developer’s task only. But it is useful for everyone who is working with Salesforce at higher levels, to know about Salesforce APIs. Let’s discuss the APIs that can be used in Salesforce to provide access to other tools.
- Apex SOAP
- Apex REST
- Chatter REST
Dashboard in Salesforce is a platform for a visual representation of data combined in reports. It consists of different components and each component comprises a report. The Salesforce reports are presented in the form of pie charts, bar charts, graphs, etc. It provides the key reports and performance indicators of the organization on one single platform. The visual representations make it easy for teams to analyze key points such as sales performance, revenue, products, customer experience, etc.
Organizations can easily create dashboards, simply by the drag and drop process. You can also decide what data should be displayed on each dashboard. You can also create dynamic dashboards where you can control the data access on one single dashboard, rather than creating new dashboards.
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP connects financial and operational systems to a central database, it helps organizations manage businesses more efficiently. Whereas, CRM helps in managing the relationship of clients with businesses.
Both serve as vital data repositories. Both also touch on multiple departments and, while they are sometimes built on the same platform, the software is often bought separately and integrated where needed.
Preparing for an Interview! Check out our Top Salesforce Admin Interview Questions.
Why use Salesforce?
- Every customer can be understood by sales, marketing, and customer service teams when Salesforce CRM is used.
- Salesforce is a pioneer in cloud computing and if you are tech-savvy then you might know that CRM is shifting towards cloud computing.
- You can get a higher ROI (return on investment) through the cloud platform and infrastructure of Salesforce.
- Clients can customize the CRM for their business as Salesforce gives total freedom.
- AppExchange is provided by Salesforce which houses a plethora of pre-built business applications not just for CRM but much more.
For further information on the service, cloud sees this video below:
Check out our blog on Salesforce Administrator Roles and Responsibilities!
Which Companies Use Salesforce?
Companies use Salesforce to expand their customer base and integrate the different cloud services into a single platform. Companies from different fields such as education, automotive, healthcare, life sciences, and finance use Salesforce to drive customer services and create new opportunities. Below is the list of such companies using Salesforce for their customer relationship management:
- Pizza Hut has been able to provide a smart mobile experience to its customers through the marketing cloud of Salesforce.
- United breweries are using improved reporting provided by Salesforce to quickly identify issues in about 2 days which previously took about 2 weeks.
- To promote data integrity, HCL technologies at the time of data entry are using Salesforce to put out various levels of entry.
- Mobile technologies of Salesforce are massively used by leadership groups to associates in Schneider electric.
- L’Oreal added a social network through which their stylists and reps plan events and share everything related to hair fashion.
- Nikon Instruments initially used customer relationship management (CRM) of Salesforce but later they also started using their social network which is powered by Chatter.
- Other companies like InMobi, Genesys, Babajob, Urban Ladder, Western union, Activision, American Express, etc all use Salesforce to enhance their businesses.
Salesforce CPQ helps sales teams and overall organization in several ways, let’s see some key advantages of salesforce CPQ:
- Reps may accidentally provide unapproved pricing or products that are not available anymore. Businesses silo data, and it’s difficult for teams to track, analyze, and forecast accurately. Salesforce CPQ organizes data for teams and gives the sales teams a clear understanding of what they can provide to the clients.
- New revenue models: Nowadays customers need flexibility in how they shop so companies are introducing new revenue models such as subscriptions. Salesforce CPQ is the best CPQ software that supports such models.
- Front and back office teams can easily work in sync across the company. Companies can streamline sales data and quote details are easily passed downstream along the pipeline.
- Low Errors: Salesforce CPQ has an easy step-by-step process and it trains the sales reps along the process. It contains all information about policies and changes in prices, hence increasing accuracy.
Preparing for an Interview! Check out our Salesforce Interview Question.
Salesforce Use Cases
Following are some of the popular use cases of Salesforce CRM based on different roles:
The Operational-CRM is focused to improve the business processes, enhancement, automation, and improve their customer experience at the same time. Some of the examples of Operational-CRM include websites, data aggregation systems, and call centers that enhance your marketing princess, internal communication, customer satisfaction, increase the return on investment(ROI), and maximize the company’s sales.
It’s a software application used for contact management, which saves the precious time of salespeople and improves their efficiency. The CRM software and applications have simple and easy-to-use contributing to increased sales operations and converting leads into opportunities.
It helps you stay connected with your customers and track their interactions at different touchpoints. A successful business requires forecasting its priorities and having a clear picture of its future interactions. Well, Salesforce provides 24/7 assistance to its customer and help them resolve their issues in little or no time.
CRM empowers you to track and manage your leads, estimate different projects, estimate their size, protect deals, hold meetings, etc. Also, it is used by managers to assign responsibilities to the team members and effectively manet different teams like sales and marketing.
You can synchronize CRM with the marketing teams and make it easier to find new prospects. The team can use it to collect more data about the customers and analyze their behavior. This eventually helps you to push the potential customers to the bottom of the marketing funnel.
Head to our Salesforce Lightning Interview Questions and excel your next job interview!
The salary structure is not so properly defined for IoT professionals and the field is still at its cradle stage. But Salesforce already has an IoT arm in its various areas of operations. This speaks a lot about salesforce in that it is at the cutting edge of innovation. Both Salesforce and AWS ensure cloud administrations. It doesn’t stop at IoT as Salesforce also includes artificial intelligence capabilities through Salesforce Einstein. Unlike AWS which started first and is at that place in the cloud computing game, Salesforce began too late. But it has trumped its competitors and has achieved the position of top CRM provider. By the way, its business is growing it will remain in that position for a long time.
Check out our blog to learn more about Salesforce Automation System!