Salesforce is the world’s leading cloud-based CRM solution with a 20% market share. It is a fast, easy to use, customizable, secure, scalable system with all the necessary functions and a large number of integrated business applications (web, desktop, mobile).
Salesforce allows you to develop and improve customized solutions, automate business processes, integrate with external applications, and more. Salesforce clients include Adidas, AWS, Canon, Philips, Toyota, American Express, Western Union, Cisco, KLM, and even the US Visa Application Center.
This guide will help you delve into the world of Salesforce and get a clear picture of what it is, what it does, and what it is used for, find out its key benefits, check out its main competitors and pricing.
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a CRM system, packed with features like no other CRM solution such as: contact management, workflow creation, task management, opportunity tracking, collaboration tools, customer engagement tools, analytics, and an intuitive, mobile-ready dashboard.
What does Salesforce do?
Salesforce allows all company departments (marketing, sales, commerce, service) to work as one from anywhere, gain a single and easily shared view on each customer, understand their intent better, connect with them on a variety of levels and, as a result, help grow the customer base.
According to the company’s website, the product helps companies to increase a number of important indicators, namely: sales revenue (by 27%), lead conversion (by 32%), customer satisfaction (by 34%) and time to deployment (by 56%).
What is Salesforce used for?
Engaging potential customers with the most relevant, empathetic digital marketing.
- Attracting customers with an ultimate marketing solution
- Leveraging customer data from various sources
- Triggering personalized messages based on customer behavior
Selling more effectively and growing business faster.
- Clearly understanding customers’ concerns
- Offering expert advice and solutions specific to each customer’s situation
- Automating multiple routine tasks
- Closing deals faster
- Increasing sales and revenue
Launching and scaling eCommerce built around customers.
- Unifying B2B & B2C buying experiences
- Connecting commerce to other company’s departments
- Personalizing shopping with the help of AI
Providing excellent personalized customer support.
- Resolving customer issues faster
- Improving support agent response time
- Unifying various channels of support (phone, social, chat)
Going digital and working effectively from anywhere.
- Leading transformation by joining forces of multiple departments
- Automating and digitizing business processes
- Creating apps with reusable, low-code components
- Recommending next steps using AI
The Salesforce CRM platform helps companies target different audiences, set scores and alerts based on an individual lead or customer’s activity, proactively work with contacts, and maintain relationships. Best of all, a CRM system can be used across departments to ensure that all customer-facing teams are empowered with the right data to create incredible customer experiences.
Salesforce CRM benefits a company in a variety of ways. While the benefits vary by department or industry, the main benefits of this CRM platform that affect every user include:
- Cloud-based CRM software that allows you to run your business from anywhere you are
- A simple and intuitive interface
- Convenient user settings
- Huge possibilities for customization (individualization) and a powerful user access control system
- Cutting-edge reporting and analytics tools
- Integration with social networks
- Integration with third-party applications
- Built-in AI
- System stability
- Omnichannel support service
- The possibility to save up to 30% of the company’s budget (when purchasing a Salesforce license, you no longer need to buy servers and hire system administrators)
Most popular Salesforce products
Sales Cloud is an all-in-one sales tool and CRM, a functional part of the system and a separate Salesforce product, which allows sales managers to maintain a database of potential and actual customers, interact with customers and other members of the sales department, issue invoices, close deals, conduct marketing campaigns and analyze the results, and segment the customer base.
Service Cloud is a part of the ecosystem created for managing customer support processes. It helps to effectively provide service and support, build improved communications between customer service specialists and customers, maintain a knowledge base, develop a unified service base for the call center (as well as its own self-service portal), and gain tools for analyzing the effectiveness of service processes.
Marketing Cloud is a powerful platform for building one-to-one customer communication. The platform offers a wide range of personalization options for each segment, lets you set up automatic notifications for abandoned carts, as well as pre-configured mailings for special occasions in customer’s life, real-time analytics, and interaction with the customer via email, web, and mobile devices—all in one place.
What is Salesforce Lightning?
Salesforce Lightning (formerly Force.com) is a component-based framework that makes it easier to build responsive apps for a specific business. Developers can build and release applications directly and on-demand, without the need to install the software.
Lightning includes several features:
- Streamlined experience: a modern user interface optimized for a fast and flexible design for all devices
- App Builder: drag-and-drop development tool for easy creation and customization of applications
- AppExchange for Components, with 50+ partner components available
- Lightning Component Framework: a set of tools and extensions that allow the development of reusable components and standalone apps and customization of the Salesforce1 Mobile App
- Design System: style guides and user experience (UX) best practices for app development
- Lightning Connect: an integration tool that makes it easier for Force.com apps to consume data from any external source that conforms to the OData specification
What is Salesforce Appexchange
AppExchange is a marketplace that brings together cloud-based applications created by Salesforce customers, partners, and ISVs. They empower businesses to extend the functionality of Salesforce across every department and industry. With 5,000 ready-to-install solutions, there’s something for every business challenge!
You can test apps before installing them. The AppExchange collections (top solutions in a particular area, sorted by industry or product) is a good place to start.
- Sales Essentials Edition (Out-of-the-box CRM for up to 5 users): $25/user/month
- Professional Edition (Complete CRM for any size team): $75/user/month
- Enterprise Edition (Deeply customizable CRM for your business): $150/user/month
- Unlimited Edition (Unlimited CRM power and support): $300/user/month
Salesforce competitors and alternatives:
- HubSpot CRM
- Vtiger Sales CRM
- Zoho CRM
- Agile CRM
Let’s summarize: Salesforce is positioned as the best CRM software for business, offering all functionality needed to close sales easier and faster. And yes, it may be the best, but still, it isn’t perfect.
Sometimes an alternative, simple, out-of-the-box solution might be more appropriate for users that need CRM that meets specific business or industry needs.
As you already know, Salesforce has extremely rich functionality, as well as many built-in integrations. But that’s not all: the platform makes it possible to develop external integrations and they are often better than built-in ones.
These solutions are very easy to integrate and significantly improve the workflow in CRM.
To work with your customer base more effectively and conveniently, easily optimize business processes, and achieve better results faster, you should try Revenue Grid. It is an AI-powered Guided Selling platform created to provide sales teams with consistent guidance to win key deals using full sales data along with your proven strategy and expertise. Revenue Grid has a powerful Salesforce and Email & Calendar integration with Salesforce that is worth your attention. Salesforce has its own email client, but you can use a more advanced solution that allows you to:
- Capture and save 100% of customer-related data to Salesforce automatically
- Access and use complete Salesforce data directly from your Inbox
- Sync your Calendars so they actually work and simplify scheduling and availability sharing
- Get insights on your deals, engagement, and team activity right in Salesforce Dashboards
Here are a few of the benefits that sales teams that implement Revenue Grid plug-in for Salesforce receive:
- Dive into key deals and team activity with 44% more data in Salesforce
- Engineer and control the sales process for 37% improved velocity
- Guide reps to closed-won and get 25% higher closed-won ratio
- Save 10h+ per rep per week