May 9, 2023

What is Salesforce?

Key Salesforce application’s features and benefits, Salesforce products and services that will help your business grow.

I. Introduction

Imagine you have a business, and you want to keep track of all your customers, their contact information, interactions, and the things they've bought from you. As your business grows, it becomes difficult to manage all this information just on paper or in spreadsheets. This is where Salesforce comes in.

Salesforce is like a super smart digital assistant for businesses. It's a powerful tool that helps companies manage their relationships with customers consciously but without extra effort. Instead of using scattered notes or multiple software tools, you can use Salesforce to have all your customer data in one place.

Expanding beyond customer data management, Salesforce serves as a comprehensive business solution suite for sales and customer relationship management. This suite encapsulates functionalities such as lead management, appointment scheduling, email correspondence, and robust data analytics, providing an effective indicator of business performance.

Salesforce offers a range of integrated tools for customer relationship management (CRM), including Service Cloud for customer support, Marketing Cloud for targeted campaigns, Commerce Cloud for optimized online shopping and many more. The platform has greatly impacted the entire CRM and cloud computing industry, changing the way businesses manage their customer information. By the way, companies such as Amazon, IBM, General Electric, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Honeywell, American Express, T-Mobile, Vodafone, and Unilever are among the notable organizations that have embraced Salesforce for their customer relationship management and business operations. In total, over 150,000 companies across the globe are currently using Salesforce to enhance their operations.  Plus, utilizing Salesforce typically results in an average revenue boost of approximately 20% and an average return on investment (ROI) increase of 50% within the initial year of implementation.

II. What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a customer-centric company that helps businesses connect with their clients in a completely new way that goes beyond a simple CRM. Its cloud-based solutions enable users to step up in customer engagement by utilizing Customer 360 — a platform that creates a unified and 360-degree view of the customers. Its innovative suite of products serves sales, service, marketing, and commerce purposes while providing a shared view of customer information.

Facts About Salesforce You Absolutely Need to Know

  • Salesforce dominated the CRM industry in 2022, gaining market share across the board and generating more revenue than any other CRM provider. In terms of CRM share in Q1 2022, Salesforce outperformed SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and Adobe combined!
  • The idea for Salesforce came to Marc Benioff, the co-founder and CEO, while he was taking a rest from his job in Oracle in Hawaii. This is where the initial concept for a cloud-based, customer-focused CRM solution was born, and it eventually led to the creation of Salesforce in 1999.
  • Little did you know that App Store was actually invented by Marc Benioff, a Salesforce founder! Although the term “App Store” is now commonly associated with Apple, Benioff was the one who originally came up with the trademark. In one interview, he confirmed gifting the trademark to Steve Jobs, thanking him for all the support.
  • Salesforce towers are another one of its innovative marketing campaigns. These skyscrapers are owned and occupied by Salesforce, and they are nothing less than prominent, attracting visitors from different locations. Each and every one of their buildings is attention-worthy, but the most breathtaking one is located in San Francisco. It was opened back in 2018, and is now the second tallest building west of the Mississippi. At the top of the tower, there is a 107-foot tall LED light sculpture called "Day for Night." This sculpture is visible for miles around and can display various captivating visual effects, making it a prominent and eye-catching landmark in the city's skyline. All employees can enjoy the breathtaking view from the building's highest floor, with standout sights including the Transamerica Building, Golden Gate Bridge, and even Alcatraz.
  • Salesforce has dedicated special "Ohana floors" in many of its larger buildings, designed to nurture a sense of community and collaboration, while also prioritizing employees' well-being. Rooted in the Hawaiian concept of "Ohana," which translates to "family," Salesforce employs this philosophy to create a unique, family-like experience. Beyond cultivating a positive work environment, Ohana Floors encompass amenities like wellness rooms, meditation spaces, and dedicated areas for relaxation and stress relief. One special example is the floor at the top of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco. It's designed with bright and comfy colors to make everyone feel welcome, including customers, employees, and partners. There are lots of plants and live piano music to help everyone feel connected and contribute to the community. And, coffee enthusiasts can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee in the barista bar.
  • Salesforce Dreamforce is one of the largest and most anticipated technology conferences in the world. One interesting aspect of Dreamforce is its lineup of high-profile keynote speakers. It has attracted an impressive roster of keynote speakers over the years, including famous people such as actor and musician Will Smith, Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz, renowned social justice activist and U2's lead vocalist Bono, as well as esteemed figures like Ginni Rometty, Chairman and CEO of IBM, and the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. These notable speakers contribute to making Dreamforce a truly exceptional gathering that bridges technology, thought leadership, and global impact. This year’s Dreamforce will take place on September 12-14 in San Francisco.
  • Salesforce is renowned not only for its innovative technology but also for its commitment to giving back to communities. The company follows a "1-1-1" philanthropic model, which means they pledge to donate 1% of their equity, 1% of their employees' time, and 1% of their product to charitable causes. This model has led to the creation of Salesforce.org, the company's philanthropic arm, which supports various non-profit organizations and educational initiatives around the world. Through this philanthropic approach, Salesforce strives to make a positive impact on society and encourage other companies to prioritize corporate social responsibility. As part of this initiative, Noltic is proud to be a contributing partner, supporting Salesforce's mission of giving back to the community and making a difference in the world.

IV. Key Features of Salesforce

Service Cloud

Salesforce Service Cloud is a customer service platform that empowers businesses to deliver exceptional support and service experiences to their customers. It offers a wide range of features designed to streamline customer interactions, improve agent productivity, and enhance overall customer satisfaction. Here are some of the main features of Salesforce Service Cloud:

  • Service Cloud provides a robust case management system that allows agents to efficiently track, manage, and resolve customer issues and inquiries. Cases can be prioritized, assigned, and escalated as needed, ensuring timely resolution.
  • Omni-Channel Routing intelligently routes customer inquiries to the most appropriate agent based on skill sets, availability, and other factors. It enables seamless support across various channels, such as phone, email, chat, social media, and more.
  • Service Cloud includes a knowledge base where businesses can create and store articles, FAQs, and solutions to common customer queries. Agents can quickly access this information during interactions to provide accurate and consistent answers.
  • Live Agent is a real-time chat feature that enables customers to connect with support agents instantly through a website or mobile app. It enhances customer engagement and allows for personalized and efficient support.
  • The Service Console provides a unified and customizable interface for agents to manage cases, view customer details, and access relevant information. It enables multitasking and boosts agent productivity.
  • With built-in reporting and analytics, Service Cloud helps businesses monitor key service metrics, agent performance, and customer satisfaction levels. These insights enable data-driven decision-making and process improvements.
  • Businesses can create self-service communities where customers can find solutions, interact with other users, and submit and track their support requests. This reduces the workload on agents and empowers customers to find answers independently.
  • Salesforce's AI capabilities, powered by Einstein, provide intelligent features such as automated case classification, suggested knowledge articles, and predictive insights. This enhances agent efficiency and helps in proactive issue resolution.
  • Agents can stay connected and productive on the go with the Service Cloud Mobile App. It allows them to manage cases, collaborate with team members, and access customer information from their mobile devices.
  • Service Cloud integrates with social media platforms, allowing businesses to monitor brand mentions, respond to customer inquiries, and engage with customers on social channels.
  • Field Service Management (Optional). For businesses with field service needs, Service Cloud can be integrated with Salesforce's Field Service Lightning to optimize scheduling, dispatching, and tracking of field service technicians.

Sales Cloud

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) platform designed to help businesses streamline and automate their sales processes. It empowers sales teams to effectively manage leads, opportunities, and customer interactions, enabling them to close deals faster and boost overall revenue. Here are some of the main features of Salesforce Sales Cloud:

  • Sales Cloud allows you to capture, track, and manage leads from various sources, such as web forms, email campaigns, or social media. The platform helps convert these leads into opportunities and ensures they are assigned to the right sales representatives.
  • Sales representatives can manage sales opportunities through the entire sales cycle. This includes tracking the progress of deals, forecasting revenue, and collaborating with team members to move prospects through the pipeline efficiently.
  • Sales Cloud enables you to maintain a complete record of customer accounts and contacts. It allows sales reps to track customer interactions, communication history, and key information related to each account.
  • The platform facilitates collaboration among sales team members by allowing them to share important data, insights, and updates related to accounts and deals. This fosters teamwork and ensures everyone is on the same page.
  • Sales Cloud offers robust reporting and analytics capabilities that help sales managers and executives gain valuable insights into sales performance. Customizable dashboards and reports provide real-time data, allowing sales teams to make data-driven decisions.
  • Sales Forecasting. With the help of historical data and current trends, Sales Cloud provides accurate sales forecasting. This helps businesses anticipate revenue and plan resources effectively.
  • Sales Performance Management. The platform allows you to set sales targets and track individual and team performance against those targets. This fosters healthy competition and encourages sales reps to achieve their goals.
  • Mobile Sales App. Salesforce offers a mobile app for Sales Cloud, enabling sales representatives to access critical customer information, update records, and collaborate on the go, enhancing productivity and responsiveness.
  • Workflow Automation. Sales Cloud allows businesses to automate repetitive tasks and processes, saving time and reducing the chances of manual errors. Workflow rules can be configured to trigger actions based on specific events or conditions.
  • Integration Capabilities. Salesforce Sales Cloud can integrate with various third-party applications and tools, such as email, calendar, marketing automation, and e-commerce platforms, providing a seamless experience and a unified view of customer data.
  • AI-powered Sales Insights. Salesforce Einstein, the AI technology embedded in Sales Cloud, provides intelligent insights and recommendations to sales reps. It can analyze data, predict outcomes, and suggest the best actions to take for improved sales performance.

Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a powerful digital marketing platform that helps businesses create, manage, and optimize marketing campaigns across various channels. It enables personalized and targeted communication with customers, allowing companies to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. Here are some of the main features of Salesforce Marketing Cloud:

  • Marketing Cloud provides robust email marketing capabilities, allowing businesses to design and send personalized email campaigns to targeted customer segments. The platform includes customizable email templates, automated workflows, A/B testing, and detailed analytics to measure campaign performance.
  • Journey Builder feature allows marketers to create customer journeys based on specific triggers and events. Journeys can be designed using a drag-and-drop interface, and they enable businesses to deliver consistent, personalized messaging across various touchpoints to enhance customer engagement and nurture leads.
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud enables businesses to engage with their customers through mobile channels. Marketers can create and send SMS messages, push notifications, and in-app messages to connect with customers on their mobile devices.
  • With the Social Media Marketing feature, businesses can manage their social media presence and execute social marketing campaigns. Marketing Cloud enables scheduling and publishing of social media content, social listening to monitor brand mentions, and social engagement to interact with customers across social platforms.
  • Advertising Studio allows marketers to create and manage targeted advertising campaigns across various digital channels, including social media, display advertising, and email. It enables businesses to reach their desired audience with relevant ads and track the effectiveness of their advertising efforts.
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides a unified view of customer data from various sources, allowing marketers to create highly targeted customer segments based on demographics, behavior, interests, and other attributes. This segmentation helps personalize marketing campaigns for improved results.
  • The platform enables marketers to deliver personalized content to customers based on their preferences and behaviors. Marketing Cloud includes content management tools that facilitate easy creation, management, and delivery of personalized content across different channels.
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities. Marketers can track the performance of their campaigns, measure key performance indicators (KPIs), and gain valuable insights into customer behavior, allowing them to optimize their marketing strategies.
  • The platform allows marketers to automate repetitive marketing tasks and workflows, such as sending welcome emails, follow-ups, and reminders. This automation streamlines marketing processes and ensures timely and consistent communication with customers.
  • Marketing Cloud seamlessly integrates with Salesforce CRM, providing a holistic view of customer interactions and enabling sales and marketing teams to collaborate effectively.

Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Demandware, is a leading cloud-based e-commerce platform designed to enable businesses to create and manage seamless, personalized, and scalable digital shopping experiences. It allows companies to deliver a unified shopping journey across various channels, including web, mobile, social, and in-store. Here are some of the main features of Salesforce Commerce Cloud:

  • Commerce Cloud enables multi-channel commerce, helping businesses deliver a consistent and integrated shopping experience across different channels. Whether customers are shopping online, using a mobile app, or visiting a physical store, the platform ensures a cohesive brand experience.
  • With the rise of mobile shopping, Commerce Cloud offers mobile-responsive and optimized storefronts. Businesses can create native mobile apps or mobile web experiences to cater to customers who prefer shopping on their smartphones and tablets.
  • Salesforce Einstein, the AI technology embedded in Commerce Cloud, provides advanced personalization capabilities. It analyzes customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history to deliver personalized product recommendations, offers, and content, enhancing the overall shopping experience.
  • Commerce Cloud allows businesses to manage and organize their product catalogs efficiently. This includes product categorization, attribute management, pricing, and inventory tracking to ensure accurate and up-to-date product information.
  • The platform offers comprehensive omnichannel order management capabilities, enabling businesses to manage orders from various sources and fulfill them efficiently. This includes buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), ship-from-store, and other flexible fulfillment options.
  • Commerce Cloud ensures a secure and seamless checkout process, offering various payment options and integrations with popular payment gateways to provide a smooth and safe transaction experience for customers.
  • The platform allows businesses to create and manage marketing campaigns, promotions, and discounts to drive customer engagement and boost sales. Marketers can set up personalized offers and targeted promotions based on customer segments.
  • Commerce Cloud integrates with Salesforce Service Cloud, enabling businesses to provide exceptional customer service. This integration allows customer service representatives to access order and customer information, leading to faster issue resolution and better customer satisfaction.
  • For global businesses, Commerce Cloud supports multi-language, multi-currency, and tax compliance to cater to customers from different regions with localized shopping experiences.
  • Commerce Cloud provides extensive reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing businesses to gain insights into website performance, customer behavior, conversion rates, and other key e-commerce metrics. This data-driven approach helps businesses make informed decisions and optimize their e-commerce strategy.

Analytics Cloud (Tableau CRM)

Tableau CRM (formerly Salesforce Einstein Analytics) is a powerful business intelligence platform with the following key features:

  • Tableau CRM can connect to multiple data sources, including Salesforce CRM, databases, spreadsheets, and cloud-based services, allowing users to bring all their data together for comprehensive analysis.
  • The platform provides a user-friendly interface with drag-and-drop functionality, enabling users to create interactive and dynamic data visualizations such as charts, graphs, and dashboards.
  • Tableau CRM leverages the power of Salesforce Einstein, the AI technology, to provide intelligent insights and recommendations. It can analyze data, detect patterns, and make predictions, assisting users in making informed decisions.
  • Tableau CRM offers mobile apps, enabling users to access and interact with data on the go, ensuring that insights are readily available, even when users are away from their desks.
  • The platform supports advanced analytics and statistical functions, allowing users to perform complex calculations, create forecasts, and run predictive models directly within the tool.
  • Tableau CRM is highly customizable, enabling users to tailor their data visualizations and analytics to meet their specific business needs and preferences.
  • Salesforce maintains robust data security measures to ensure data privacy and protection, ensuring that sensitive information is kept secure and in compliance with relevant regulations.

V. Salesforce’s Other Services and Products

Salesforce Platform (App Development)

Salesforce Platform (App Cloud) is a powerful PaaS offering for custom app development within the Salesforce ecosystem. It includes low-code App Builder, Apex for complex logic, Lightning Web Components, easy integrations, data management, mobile app support, and collaboration. Developers can build, deploy, and manage apps tailored to specific business needs.

Integration Cloud (MuleSoft)

Salesforce Integration Cloud is not a standalone product but a comprehensive approach to integrating Salesforce with other applications, systems, and data sources. It encompasses a range of tools and technologies provided by Salesforce to facilitate seamless data flow and enhance collaboration. The key components include a wide range of APIs, MuleSoft's Anypoint Platform, pre-built connectors, and the Salesforce Data Loader tool for data import and export. Integration templates offer pre-built configurations, while event-driven integrations enable real-time data updates.

Additionally, Heroku provides a scalable environment for building applications that can seamlessly integrate with Salesforce data and processes. Salesforce Integration Cloud aims to streamline integration processes and empower businesses to create a unified ecosystem of applications and data, leveraging the full potential of Salesforce's capabilities.

Tableau (Data Visualisation)

Salesforce acquired Tableau, a leading data visualization and business intelligence platform, in 2019. Tableau is now part of the Salesforce product portfolio and is often referred to as "Tableau CRM." It is a powerful tool that allows users to analyze and visualize data in a highly interactive and intuitive manner.

Mind that while both Tableau CRM and Tableau are focused on data visualization and business intelligence, Tableau CRM is tightly integrated with Salesforce's suite of products and offers AI-driven insights. On the other hand, Tableau is a standalone platform that can be used with various data sources and is not limited to Salesforce data. The two products complement each other and provide customers with a comprehensive set of tools for data analysis and visualization within the Salesforce ecosystem and beyond.

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