What is Salesforce? A Comprehensive Guide

You might have heard about Salesforce CRM before, or maybe your company uses Salesforce services from the biggest names on the Fortune 500 list to the newest startups. Everyone is jumping on the Salesforce ecosystem. And with the share prices steadily rising over the past years, there’s no doubt that it’s worth all the hype!

But what is Salesforce exactly?

In this blog, we’ll have a look at what Salesforce is, how it works, why businesses use it, and much more… So, let’s get started!

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM software that revolutionized the way businesses operate. Salesforce helps businesses manage their marketing and sales and lets them provide better customer value than ever before.

Salesforce isn’t just about improving customer interaction with your business. It also helps you find new prospects and use resources more efficiently.

Brief History of Salesforce

Salesforce started its journey 1999 as the first-ever online solution for CRM needs. The company’s founders, including Marc Benioff, Dave Moellenhoff, Frank Dominguez, and Parker Harris, had initiated it as a CRM vendor. Still, it soon became one of the leading SaaS providers in the industry.

  • 2000: Despite challenges from the dot-com bubble, Salesforce launched officially and staged attention-grabbing marketing events.
  • 2001: Salesforce expanded globally and saw substantial revenue growth, appointing Marc Benioff as CEO.
  • 2002: Salesforce expanded its global customer base and predicted future CRM dominance.
  • 2003: Dreamforce, the first event, sForce 2.0, and global expansion marked significant milestones.
  • 2004: Salesforce went public, experienced revenue growth, and expanded its developer ecosystem.
  • 2005: AppExchange launched and made a pivotal moment in third-party app integration.
  • 2006: Salesforce initiated its mobile journey, launched the Power of Us program, and saw substantial revenue growth.
  • 2007: IdeaExchange launched, Force.com was announced, and Salesforce experienced significant revenue growth.
  • 2008: Salesforce became the first cloud computing company to surpass $1 billion in annual revenue.
  • 2009: Service Cloud launched, and Salesforce saw substantial revenue growth and expanded its global customer base.
  • 2010: Salesforce acquired Heroku, achieved significant revenue growth, and received recognition for its ethical practices.
  • 2011: Chatter launched, Radian6 was acquired, and Salesforce experienced significant revenue growth.
  • 2012: Salesforce surpassed $3 billion in annual revenue and introduced Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
  • 2013: Salesforce completed its largest acquisition with ExactTarget and launched the Salesforce1 Platform.
  • 2014: Trailhead launched, Salesforce surpassed $5 billion in annual revenue, and Salesforce Tower London opened.
  • 2015: Salesforce entered the Fortune 500 and introduced innovative products like IoT Cloud.
  • 2016: Salesforce focused on pay equity, expanded its global presence, and introduced Einstein and Commerce Cloud.
  • 2017: Salesforce achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and introduced mySalesforce and Einstein.
  • 2018: Salesforce Tower opened, Salesforce Customer 360 was introduced, and MuleSoft was acquired.
  • 2019: Salesforce acquired Tableau, launched Trailblazer, and achieved significant revenue growth.
  • 2020: Salesforce launched pandemic response solutions, joined the Dow Jones, and acquired Vlocity and Slack.
  • 2021: Salesforce completed the Slack acquisition, introduced Salesforce+, and committed to sustainability.
  • 2022: Salesforce introduced the Customer Data Cloud and Safety Cloud, and they remained #1 in CRM.
  • 2023: Salesforce expanded Einstein AI capabilities, introduced Einstein Copilot, and launched a generative AI fund.
  • 2024: Salesforce continues its commitment to philanthropy and community service through the 1-1-1 model.

What Does Salesforce Do?

What Does Salesforce Do?

Salesforce is a widely used CRM platform that effectively helps businesses manage customer data, sales activities, and marketing campaigns. With Salesforce, businesses can easily segment their customers, manage customer data, and provide top-notch customer support. Besides, it offers several third-party integrations, such as with marketing automation tools, analytics, and social media platforms, making it more versatile and useful for businesses. Well, in short, Salesforce helps businesses improve their customer relationships and achieve their business goals.

How Salesforce Works

Salesforce CRM helps businesses store all their customer data in one place to make it easy to access and manage. This means that sales, marketing, and service teams can collaborate more effectively, resulting in a smoother customer experience.

Businesses can better understand their customers’ interests, preferences, and purchasing habits by using Salesforce. This information can provide a more personalized customer experience, increasing loyalty and satisfaction. With Salesforce, businesses can take their customer relationships to the next level and stay ahead of the competition.

What is Salesforce Used For?

Salesforce is used by over 150,000 companies, including Amazon, Adidas, ADP, American Express, and many more. Its main function is to help businesses understand their customers, communicate with them on various levels, and grow their customer base.

The software provides real-time tracking of analytics, customer success, support, and complaints, along with other CRM functions. Its cloud storage allows users to access data from anywhere.

Companies that have adopted Salesforce have reported an average increase of 27% in sales revenues, 32% in lead conversion, 34% in customer satisfaction, and 56% in faster deployment. This is because Salesforce offers diverse clouds and applications that can be used for marketing, sales tracking, and performance analysis.

Now, let’s have a look at how your business should use Salesforce:

Understand Your Customers Better

As the old adage goes, “the customer is always right.” And while building a thriving business may seem daunting, it all starts with understanding your customers. That’s where Salesforce comes in: offering a powerful solution that combines data from various sources, including the web, social media, email, and more, all in one place.

With Salesforce, businesses comprehensively understand their customers and how they interact with their brands. This insight enables them to tailor their products and services to meet their customers’ needs and preferences. This leads to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, which are essential for long-term success.

Salesforce provides businesses with valuable information that can help them identify key areas for improvement. By analyzing customer data, businesses can uncover pain points and bottlenecks in their operations that may hinder growth.

Better Team Engagement

As a business owner, you know that teamwork is essential to build a productive and innovative work environment. But how can you ensure that your team is collaborating effectively and efficiently?

Salesforce offers a wide range of features that help teams to collaborate more effectively, such as contact management, task tracking, document collaboration, real-time messaging, and much more. With these tools, your team can stay connected and work together by sharing ideas and redefining them into solutions.

Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, Salesforce can help you build a more productive and efficient work environment by promoting collaboration and teamwork.

Better Customer Retention & Satisfaction

Keeping existing customers is crucial for business growth. Getting new customers costs 5 times more than retaining existing ones, and repeat customers are likely to spend 67% more than new customers. Well, Salesforce can help your business in retaining customers. By implementing best practices, you can gain a complete understanding of your customers’ needs and personalize their experiences to make them feel valued. Salesforce also helps identify inactive customers who will likely stick with your business. With marketing automation, you can effectively reach out to these customers through emails, messages, ads, and more.

Improve Marketing Campaigns

Businesses often struggle to identify the right marketing campaigns that are generating more leads and the wrong ones that aren’t performing well. Well, with Salesforce CRM, businesses don’t have to worry about this anymore.

Salesforce offers powerful analytics capabilities that help businesses track, analyze, and optimize their marketing campaigns. With Salesforce, you can easily find out which marketing campaigns work best across different channels, which audience segments engage with them the most, and how many engagements lead to conversion.

You can use this information to make data-driven decisions and improve marketing campaigns for better results. With Salesforce, you can take your marketing strategy to the next level and stay ahead of the competition.

Close More Deals

Did you know that according to a survey by G2Crowd, companies that implemented Salesforce CRM saw an average sales increase of 25%? That’s right! And if that’s not enough, another study conducted by Salesforce with over 1,000 sales professionals found that Salesforce CRM improved sales team productivity by 42% alongside a 24% increase in sales forecast accuracy.

Salesforce CRM offers a range of features, including lead scoring, automated lead nurturing, and lead management, which can help sales teams streamline their sales activities. Lead scoring is particularly useful as it guides sales professionals to leads with higher conversion chances, allowing them to focus their efforts on the most promising opportunities.

What is Salesforce – Platform Breakdown

Starting as just a CRM vendor, Salesforce has evolved into a gigantic infrastructure of many software tools that can assist any business in its operations.

The Salesforce platform is a cloud-based software suite with various services to help businesses manage their operations more efficiently. These services include Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and many more. Each of these services has its own unique features and benefits, making it easier for businesses to customize their Salesforce experience.

Salesforce is the top choice of many companies, from small startups to Fortune 500 giants, due to its flexibility, scalability, and user-friendliness. Let’s learn more about it:

Architecture

When it comes to software architecture, Salesforce is one of the most impressive ones out there. It’s versatile, flexible, and open, so it can seamlessly adapt to your business needs and integrate with other apps.

One of the most impressive things about Salesforce is its multi-tenant structure. This means that every customer uses the same and latest version of the software, and the updating process is automatic.

Salesforce also has a powerful API source that enables developers to integrate programs or mobile apps easily. The metadata-driven model that it runs on helps developers focus on creating the best possible app integration experience.

Salesforce makes introducing new features into your apps a breeze. With precise and efficient updates, you can ensure that your business is always ahead of the curve. Overall, Salesforce is a powerful tool that can take your business to the next level and help you achieve your goals.

Services

Salesforce provides a range of services to its customers that are designed to meet their diverse needs. These services include:

1. SaaS

The Software as a Service (SaaS) model allows users to access pre-built software packages from the Salesforce platform and customize them to create their own applications or programs.

2. PaaS

The Product as a Service (PaaS) model provides users with a platform, framework, and tools to build their websites or mobile apps and customize them according to their industry requirements.

3. IaaS

The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model is a less commonly used but highly effective service that helps businesses and organizations develop their own company models. Salesforce has even used this service to develop its own business model.

Cloud Services

Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM software that offers a wide range of cloud services for various business needs. From Sales Cloud to Vaccine Cloud, each cloud service caters to a specific process, providing well-programmed software for business progress.

Sales Cloud

The Sales Cloud helps teams focus on generating new leads and driving sales, while the Marketing Cloud merges all marketing channels in one place for easier data analysis.

Service Cloud

The Service Cloud provides AI-driven customer care to connect employees with customers via multiple channels.

Experience Cloud

Experience Cloud allows users to develop digital communities, mobile apps, and help centers for effective customer experience.

Commerce Cloud

Commerce Cloud is dedicated to e-commerce companies, providing information about customer engagement and suitable recommendations to improve user experience.

Analytics Cloud

Analytics Cloud helps companies make better decisions by providing answers and solutions to different analytics driven by Einstein AI and Tableau tools.

App Cloud

The App Cloud is for developers to create applications quickly and efficiently without writing a single line of code that runs on the Salesforce platform.

IoT Cloud

The IoT Cloud collects data from customers’ interactions with smart devices, sensors, gadgets, and other equipment to provide presentable and executable customer data.

Financial Services Cloud

Financial Services Cloud helps the financial sector analyze and work on monetary services.

Health Cloud 2.0

Health Cloud 2.0 manages health safety from the first interaction to medical billing.

Integration Cloud

Integration Cloud provides a single space for large data by connecting and analyzing data from various cloud platforms in one location.

Manufacturing Cloud

The Manufacturing Cloud allows manufacturing companies to view data from operations and sales to bridge communication between departments.

Education Cloud

Education Cloud supports different educational services, including student engagement and management, academics, admissions, and other functions.

Non-Profit Cloud

Non-Profit Cloud facilitates fundraising or marketing campaigns and helps in program and team management digitally.

Vaccine Cloud

Salesforce introduced Vaccine Cloud to help healthcare and non-profit centers effectively manage their vaccine programs due to the influence of the coronavirus pandemic.

With Salesforce cloud services, businesses can streamline their processes and improve their customer relationships, taking their business to the next level.

Application

Salesforce is an all-in-one Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that has revolutionized how businesses operate. Its applications come under the App Cloud, which has software, tools, and infrastructures that facilitate app development and mobile management.

Let’s explore some of the tools that make it easier to create Salesforce applications.

Salesforce Platform

Formerly known as Force.com, Salesforce Platform is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that allows users to create new websites or applications from Apex. It provides a powerful and flexible API for easier development.

Mobile App Development Platforms

Salesforce provides third-party tools such as Resco, which enable developers to create mobile applications using Salesforce data. These platforms offer developers a way to create custom mobile apps that integrate with Salesforce data.

Salesforce Shield

Salesforce Shield is an encryption tool that helps create strong app encryption that increases transparency and protection. It protects sensitive data and ensures regulatory compliance.

AppExchange

AppExchange is a platform that allows third-party developers to create their program’s integrations for the Salesforce Platform. It increases the customization and flexibility of their software packets.

Salesforce Identity

Salesforce Identity provides customers, employees, and partners with a single, secure, unique, and trusted identity. It helps to collect, manage, and analyze data effectively.

Salesforce DX

Salesforce DX is a unique tool that enables customers to develop, manage, and modify Salesforce applications throughout their lifetime. It offers a modern development experience, including source-driven development, continuous integration, and version control.

Salesforce Sandbox

Salesforce Sandbox is an effective tool that allows developers to test their application or program in a trustable, controlled, and isolated environment. It makes it easier to track bugs or errors during the development process.

Salesforce Trailhead

Trailhead is an educational tool with numerous tutorials for developers to understand how to code different applications on the platform. It offers a fun and interactive way to learn and develop skills.

Salesforce Connect

Salesforce Connect allows users to connect with other departments, third-party platforms, or sources while staying in their native platform. It makes accessing information from various sources easier without leaving the Salesforce platform.

Conclusion

Are you looking for a reliable and efficient way to manage your sales, marketing, and customer relationships? Look no further than Salesforce, the world’s leading cloud-based CRM platform.

Salesforce has revolutionized how businesses operate by providing a one-stop solution for managing customer data, analyzing customer behavior, and improving customer interactions. With Salesforce, you can easily manage your sales pipeline, track marketing campaigns, and provide top-notch customer service.

Join the thousands of reputable companies who have already switched to Salesforce and experience the benefits for yourself. Implement Salesforce CRM with reputable Salesforce consulting partner Innovadel. With more than a decade of experience, we’ll help you get the most out of this platform and guide you throughout the process. Contact us today!