What is Salesforce?

As a developer, what do you think about Salesforce?

Simply put Salesforce is a cloud computing platform that is made for businesses. There are many different components on this system that can manage your company or organization better. 

You might have heard of the Chatter app, which will allow you to connect with colleagues and co-workers in real-time. Other features include dashboards, reports, data management tools, and more! If you’re interested in learning more about how Salesforce can help your business grow, read on.

In recent years, there has been a big surge in Cloud Computing Technologies. One such technology which has had an immense impact on the world of computing is Salesforce. 

In this article, I will introduce you to Salesforce and will answer: What is Salesforce? Why use Salesforce? Where is Salesforce being utilized? And why companies are looking for professionals with Salesforce Certification Training?

How It All Began?

Before Salesforce, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions were hosted on a company’s server. Can you imagine the cost and time it took for companies to have their CRM solutions? 

It used to take months or even years to set it up, and the cost went up to millions of dollars. Even after setting up, they were extremely hard to use. 

What would be a feasible solution to this? I am sure you guessed it – building an affordable CRM software and delivering it entirely online as a service. 

This was the main idea behind Salesforce. Starting as a Software as a Service (SaaS) company, Salesforce has grown into the fifth-largest software company globally.

What Made Salesforce An Instant Hit?

The answer to this is very simple; it was Cloud Computing. Salesforce wasn’t just about a better product at a fraction of the cost. It was about replacing the lengthy installation process and moving everything online. 

They changed the business model – no more long-term contracts or expensive licensing deals, anyone could use Salesforce with only a simple 50-dollar monthly subscription fee.

Benefits of Salesforce

Salesforce provides fastest path from Idea to App
  • Salesforce provides you with the fastest path from Idea to App. You can concentrate on building your App using Salesforce tools rather than building the infrastructure and tools yourself. This can save you years and millions of dollars.
  • Salesforce customers generally say that it’s unique for three major reasons:
    • Fast – Traditional CRM software can take more than a year to deploy; compare that to months or even weeks with Salesforce.
    • Easy – Salesforce wins in the “easy to use” category, hands down. You can spend more time putting it to use and less time figuring it out.
    • Effective – Because it is easy to use and customizeable to meet each business’s needs, customers find Salesforce very effective.

  • Salesforce is in the cloud, so your team can use it from anywhere using the internet.
  • If you are a rapidly-changing business or a seasoned company that’s been around for years, your business is probably changing too. Salesforce is completely scalable to your growth.
  • Salesforce seamlessly integrates with 3rd party apps. If you want to integrate Salesforce with Gmail, you can do it; if you want to integrate it with your accounting software, you can do that too. On the other hand, integration is tough with other CRMs.
  • Salesforce is affordable, especially if you consider its wide variety of capabilities. Even startups and small businesses use Salesforce.

Statistics that make you choose Salesforce

Salesforce has over 150,000 customers across the world. In the world of CRM, Salesforce dominates with a 19.7% market share. Its closest competitors SAP (12.1%), Oracle (9.1%), and Microsoft (6.2%) are far behind. In addition, the Salesforce AppExchange features over 2,700 applications that have driven over 3 million installations, and more than 70% of Salesforce customers use applications listed on the AppExchange. 

Today, many companies develop their applications on the Salesforce platform or are migrating to Salesforce. This has increased the demand for Salesforce developers and administrators. Currently, “Salesforce Architect” is one of the hottest skills to have on a tech resume.

What Is Salesforce?

I hope I have answered your question on why you should choose Salesforce. Now, let me introduce you to Salesforce and answer the question on your mind: What is Salesforce? Below is an image that shows the power of Salesforce in today’s tech-savvy world. From tech giants like Google and Facebook to your nearby call center, all of them use Salesforce services and products to solve their problems.

Salesforce started as Software as a Service (SaaS) CRM company. Salesforce now provides various software solutions and a platform for users and developers to develop and distribute custom software. Salesforce.com is based on multi-tenant architecture. This means that multiple customers share common technology, and all run on the latest release. You don’t have to worry about the application or infrastructure upgrades – they happen automatically. 

This helps your organization focus on innovation rather than managing technology.   

What is Salesforce Used For?

What is Salesforce used for

Companies use Salesforce to understand their customers, connect with them on various levels, and help grow their customer base. 

The cloud-based Software allows companies to track (in real-time) analytics, customer success and support, customer complaints, and various other CRM functions with the ease of cloud storage and access wherever the users are. 

According to the Salesforce website, companies that use the Software see an average increase in various areas: including an average 27% increase in sales revenues, a 32% increase in lead conversion, a 34% increase in customer satisfaction, and a 56% faster deployment. 

Because of its diverse selection of clouds and applications, companies use Salesforce to assist with marketing, tracking sales & spending, and analyzing performance. Different clouds allow users to analyze various data, maintain communication with customers, implement sales strategies, and more.

Essentially, Salesforce is the “one-stop shop” for businesses to manage, maintain, communicate with & grow their customer base, and revenue streams. 

How Does Salesforce Work?

So, how does Salesforce practically work? 

The company is a service as a software (SaaS) – which means it uses a cloud-computing software distribution model that hosts applications and makes them available online. 

Salesforce hosts numerous cloud platforms that allow companies to interact with different data and service their customers in various capacities. 

As of 2020, Salesforce has multiple cloud platforms – service cloud, marketing cloud, health cloud, app cloud, community cloud, analytics cloud, IoT cloud, Chatter cloud, commerce cloud, Heroku engagement cloud, and more. 

According to the company, Salesforce’s sales cloud gives companies the ability to track contacts, opportunities and manage a team to increase sales. The service cloud allows companies to connect with customers and deliver premium customer service through showing customer activity and resolving issues. With their marketing cloud, Salesforce helps companies track customer journeys while providing multichannel marketing campaigns. In contrast, their community cloud allows companies to interact with their customers directly and allows their customers to interact with each other. 

Additionally, Salesforce has been implementing artificial intelligence (AI) into their Einstein platform, which helps simplify the analytics workflow and produce more accurate forecasting, among other benefits. 

Still, Salesforce’s entire model supports customer relationship management (CRM).

But, what is CRM? 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

According to Salesforce, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is “a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.”

On a basic level, CRM helps companies understand customer needs and facilitates deeper customer development and retention. 

Cloud-Based Software

Salesforce was the first to implement a cloud-based CRM software successfully. As a cloud-based service, Salesforce capitalizes on the benefit of data storage and accessibility from anywhere to draw a customer base. 

Using cloud-based Software allows companies to track live data, community discussions and manage analytics from anywhere – and constantly update speed and accuracy. 

Salesforce Platform Services

Salesforce Customer 360

Salesforce Customer 360

Introduced in 2018, Salesforce Customer 360 is an integrated CRM platform, a set of a united portfolio of services, technology, and APIs, like mobile, AI, blockchain, security, etc., designed to integrate Salesforce apps and data across the entire organization connected personal customer experiences. Salesforce Customer 360 unites customer data across sales, marketing, customer service, etc. by utilizing  MuleSoft to connect to various data sources inside and outside the CRM and put them into a single view, by applying Einstein AI to automate tasks and get predictive analytics, and by using Tableau for data visualization and meaningful insights. 

Salesforce Digital 360

Initiated in 2020, Digital 360 is part of the Salesforce Customer 360. It combines Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Experience Cloud on an integrated platform to connect all customer-related touchpoints and give an inclusive customer view through seamless marketing, commerce, and online experiences. 

In addition, Salesforce Digital 360 includes Customer 360 Audiences, Commerce Cloud Payments, Experience Cloud.

Salesforce Einstein AI

Built into the Salesforce Platform, Einstein is an artificial intelligence (AI) technology that helps users improve their customer’s experience with predictive analytic capabilities. 

Being data modeling-ready and production-ready means AI spares the user’s time and efforts on data preparation and fits easily into an organization or an additional development. It is now available within Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, App Cloud, Analytics Cloud, IoT, and Experience Cloud. 

Salesforce Lightning

Salesforce Lightning is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that allows developers to create add-on applications that integrate into the main Salesforce.com application. A Lightning experience delivers out-of-the-box tools to automate business processes, creates custom business logic, customizes user interface, integrates with third-party applications, and provides responsive layouts, making it easier to build responsive applications for any device.

Lightning includes:

  • Lightning Components with a client-server framework for smoother development and overall app performance.
  • Lightning App Builder for the accelerated design of code-free custom user interfaces. 

Heroku platform

Heroku platform

Heroku™ is a cloud container-based PaaS practicing an app-centric and developer-centric approach for software development. Heroku makes it easier for software engineers to deploy and manage applications with a single command, overcoming the hurdles of compilation, dependencies, etc. The developers can productively focus on the final results – creating the app fitting user requirements.

Anypoint Platform

MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform is a unified hybrid integration platform that integrates SaaS, SOA, and APIs. It provides a set of connectors facilitating companies to connect applications, data, and devices either on-premises or in the cloud with an API-led approach. When applied to a bulky and cumbersome legacy system, it is a perfect solution that needs updates. In addition, the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform enables building APIs to connect apps, data, or devices to Salesforce Customer 360 in an application network to receive a detailed customer view.

The MuleSoft Anypoint Platform is a suite that encompasses the following components: 

  • Anypoint Studio, an Eclipse-based IDE (integrated development environment) for designing and testing Mule applications
  • Anypoint Design Center, a development environment for Mule applications
  • Anypoint Exchange, a library for sharing connectors, templates, examples, and APIs 
  • Anypoint Management Center, responsible for the deployment, management of APIs and integrations in the cloud or on-premise 
  • Anypoint Enterprise Security, a feature set enabling secure operations with Mule apps 

Quip

Quip is a content collaboration platform that optimizes and stipulates the document workflow between departments and teams. Quip works with a single shared document and can embed live Salesforce CRM data and automatically update it, thus ensuring all parties are using current information. As a result, critical data is fully applied for better decisions and a perfect customer experience with a seamless desktop-to-mobile tool.

Pardot

Pardot is a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) marketing automation platform providing intelligent B2B solutions within sales and marketing. The exceptionally user-friendly platform offers tools to process marketing campaigns for actionable results. When in sync with Salesforce CRM, it automates creating digital marketing campaigns, enables lead and customer management, tracks website and social marketing, offers personalized marketing and reach reporting, and rich analytics functionality for better productivity and business outcomes.

AppExchange®

Salesforce AppExchange is an online application marketplace offering cloud-computing applications and consulting services for third-party applications that run on the Lightning Platform. AppExchange gives users a place to create, publish, or install apps and extensions to Salesforce. Applications are available for free, as well as via subscription models. The AppExchange is also where customers can search for cloud consulting partners to help them implement Salesforce technology in their organization. 

Tableau

Tableau platform

Tableau platform is a suite of products, part of the Salesforce ecosystem, to support all-inclusive Business Intelligence analytics and data visualization across data management processes. The Tableau suite consists of several solutions working for various aspects of business operations: Tableau Prep, Tableau Desktop (as part of Tableau Creator), Tableau Server, Tableau Online, Tableau Public, Tableau CRM (part of Salesforce CRM), Tableau Data Management, and Embedded Analytics. They all are designed for robust interactions and visual analytics to receive insights from data across the organization.

Why Salesforce.com? Benefits of using Salesforce

Enterprises are interested in making smart investments that bring value to their customer services and receive ROI for their business brand. With skillfully applied methods and best practices in technology, Avenga provides effective Salesforce services, such as Salesforce administration, consulting, configuration, integration, product development, implementation, customization, training, and support.

Main benefits of using Salesforce platform:

Innovations

Salesforce makes it a point to develop and promote advanced services and cutting-edge technologies like Einstein AI, or mobile CRM, that provides data-driven analytics to stay connected and informed on the go, so smarter business decisions are made.

Connectivity

As a unified, secure, and scalable platform that can be customized and upgraded according to business needs and requirements, Salesforce extends the outreach for core business activities. The point-and-click development language, built-in workflow, configurations, no infrastructure overheads, and integration tools empower businesses to solve their core problems and leave the rest to the vendor.

Productivity

With every single tool at your fingertips and adapted to your professional needs, you as a business professional get improved information organization, a 360-degree customer view, enhanced communication capabilities, tasks and workflow automation, and deeper insights with the Salesforce Mobile and Lightning Platform. This enables you to be more proactive and productive, like closing deals faster, servicing customers, boosting marketing activities, and collaborating at a new higher level on any device.

Integrations

Salesforce.com is a unique ecosystem that can be integrated with the whole set of suits or external systems starting from ERP to custom platforms to social media, etc. AppExchange is an app marketplace enabling two-way data exchange and synchronization, Heroku is a platform for deploying and integrating apps in the cloud, and MuleSoft Anypoint is a platform for integrating apps in a consolidated network.

Salesforce offers several product and service categories: Sales Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Analytics Cloud, App Cloud, Experience Cloud, IoT, and Health Cloud. 

Salesforce Sales Cloud®

Salesforce Sales Cloud icon

With Salesforce Sales Cloud, enterprises get a sophisticated task and opportunity management system that closes deals, collaborates and sell as a team, manages contacts, and tracks opportunities from initial contact to closing deals, all the way up to a unified hub of a company-wide lead-to-cash sales process.

Salesforce Sales Cloud enables the automation of any business process, thus increasing  productivity and streamlining sales for better ROI:

  • Personalize sales journey. 

From prospect to customer, every journey point across the organization by connecting vital data across sales, service, marketing, and commerce.

  • Boost efficiency

Streamline communication, processes, and sales operations, connect on the go and multitask while focusing on advanced analytics.

  • Practice innovations.

Automatically capture data, get instant insights, cooperate efficiently and make better decisions with the help of predictive forecasting.

Salesforce Service Cloud®

Salesforce Service Cloud allows you to deliver smooth, personalized customer services, track customer activity across every channel, increase business productivity and simultaneously increase customer satisfaction. Skillful implementation of the Salesforce Service Cloud makes it easier for enterprises to automate service processes, enhance overview and streamline workflows by utilizing a 360-degree view and connecting with every customer on any device.

Salesforce service cloud features include:

  • Exhaustive customer view for proactive customer interaction.
  • Multichannel targeting for a personalized approach.
  • Opportunity and workflow management for better efficiency.
  • AI-powered solutions and analytics for scaled customer support.

With customized Salesforce Service Cloud integration and implementation services, you can ensure all your data is in the right place.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

One of the most anticipated Salesforce products, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, helps businesses make smarter data-based decisions and drive sales and close deals through multichannel communications.

The evolving platform is specifically designed for marketing professionals seeking business productivity through understanding customers, interacting with them at any given moment, and offering them measured personalized experiences.

Key features of Salesforce Marketing Cloud can facilitate an organization as it integrates data from every touchpoint for personalized, relevant campaigns.

  • We have personalized customer journeys. 

The Salesforce Marketing suite initiates attention through the customer engagement process and gives insights into the customers’ best preferences.

  • Predictive analytics and real-time data management.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides Einstein to augment interactions with data with AI capabilities for deeper customization of the offerings. 

  • Cross-channel connections and aligned marketing and sales efforts.

By connecting data from different sources and devices, the marketing teams obtain a single unified view of the customer and work on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data. 

  • Social media analytics and content management.

Marketing Cloud allows for impact analysis by measuring customer journeys through different channels and devices. 

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud icon

Сommerce cloud is an all-in-one B2C solution built on the Salesforce platform specifically for e-commerce which helps to create innovative and personalized shopping experiences across mobile, social, web, store, call centers, etc., with maximum security and reliability in mind.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud features refer to experience, operations, and intelligence. 

  • Experience helps users to create content and manage products, promotions, and pricing for better customer engagement. 
  • Operations enable broader cross-channel functionality, connecting order fulfilment and back-office processes.
  • Intelligence capabilities empower users with business insights, data analytics and customer personalization. 

Salesforce Health Cloud

Health Cloud is the first cloud-based product built specifically for healthcare, available in Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience. It aims at helping caregivers and patients build strong relationships to understand each other better.

This entire set of features makes interactions smooth and enables personalized end-to-end patient experience by:

  • Comprehensive patient view with a complete profile, healthcare plans and clinical data, and an interactions overview between patients and caregivers.
  • Clinical data management with EHR, HL7, and other integrations, like personalized clinical data modelling, etc.
  • Care team productivity tools with mobile components and Lightning Experience empowered by exhaustive task management and care customization, advanced patient segmentation, survey functionality, risk analysis and analytics options.

Salesforce Analytics Cloud™

Salesforce Analytics Cloud, powered by Einstein Analytics and Tableau, is specifically designed to make smarter decisions faster by turning big data into actionable decisions while uncovering new insights. It delivers a data analytics review via a built-in engine. In addition, it offers several value-added features like being able to explore data, getting AI-powered recommendations, mobile optimization, and a wide array of integration options.

Coming in various pricing plans, Salesforce Analytics Cloud is designed to be used as a separate service or combined with the Salesforce platform kit. 

Salesforce Internet of Things

Salesforce IoT Cloud enables the connection of all vital data in IoT, from any device to the rest of Salesforce, for real-time insights and interactions with customers. This connects the business to customers across every connected device. The Salesforce IoT platform is designed to process the data volumes generated by devices, sensors, and applications for actions for real-time responses.  

What is specific about IoT Cloud is that it provides the capability to cater integrated and exhaustive insights for business users without engaging external technical or data experts.  

Salesforce Experience Cloud

Salesforce Experience Cloud, previously Salesforce Community Cloud, is a Salesforce’s Digital Experience Platform built on Customer360. It helps partners and teams build websites, portals, mobile apps, and other digital touchpoints to cooperate with the utmost efficiency to build enhanced customer services and cross-organizational efficiencies. Combining the Experience Builder, Salesforce CMS, Mobile Publisher, web apps, and a whole set of functionality of Salesforce CRM allows for building exceptional personalized data-powered digital experiences.

Salesforce Chatter

Salesforce Chatter icon

Salesforce’s Chatter is a cloud-based social collaboration tool utilized by enterprises for secure internal cooperation, networking, and update sharing, that functions as an intranet directory on the Salesforce.com platform. Employing broad integrations, Chatter allows for secure interactions between company employees with comfort and flexibility. Additionally, chatter is available in desktop and mobile versions making it even more user-friendly and accessible.

Salesforce App Cloud

Salesforce App Cloud enables business users to create intuitive and highly secure customer-facing or employee apps with the help of development instruments like Force.com®, Heroku™, Lightning, and AppExchange®. The apps run on the Salesforce platform and are automatically connected to all the Salesforce data; and use APIs to connect with external data, enabling security controls to handle the applications and permit users to delete, edit, view, or create only specific applications.

There are a few reasons why Salesforce has stayed relevant for all these years, putting aside their amazing company culture, which often wins “#1 Place to Work In” in various countries. Salesforce is regarded as an innovator globally. Let’s look at a few unique ways Salesforce has innovated in the CRM space…

The Platform

As mentioned before, the Salesforce platform is one single system that enables you to plug in all of their products. Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, you name it. But Salesforce also allows you to build your applications on its platform, using a point-and-click interface (low code), which is very easy to pick up.

Let’s say you want to create an application that onboards customers onto your product (ensuring you have followed the proper steps and collected all relevant documentation). A Salesforce Administrator can build this application on their platform with the existing Sales & Service products. If you’re interested to learn more, the platform is called Force.com.

AppExchange

Another innovative idea that Salesforce has implemented is the AppExchange. Think of the App Store on your iPhone or Google Play on Android. They both allow you to search and install apps to extend the functionality of your phone. This might be an App to monitor your sleep or just play the latest games. The AppExchange has an identical concept, extending the functionality of Salesforce. Do you need a project management App? eSignature? Accounting? You name it, and you can find it on AppExchange. This has allowed developers to create amazing Apps to solve customers’ problems and allow well-known Apps like MailChimp or Docusign to create seamless integrations.

Mobile

As the world is increasingly mobile in how we spend our time, it only fits that Salesforce helps users that need to access their data on the go, cue the Salesforce Mobile App! This isn’t some kind of mobile App that provides you with 5% of the functionality of the full browser application; this allows you to access the same information as the full product. It can also be fully customized to create unique user experiences.

Conclusion

I hope this article has given you an insight into what Salesforce is, how it works, and the features it offers to businesses. If you’re interested in learning more about the Salesforce platform, either as a user or someone interested in pursuing a job, please sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this article. If you have any additional questions, fire away in the comments below…