Salesforce

Salesforce Updates

Salesforce mention · April 19, 2019

How to Create Reports and Dashboards in Salesforce

One of the features that makes Salesforce one of the most powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms is its robust reporting and data visualization. Reports and dashboards in Salesforce help businesses get the most out of their customer and sales data: You can gain granular insights into things like the...read more
Salesforce mention · April 10, 2019

How Zapier and HubSpot Empower Businesses to Do More through Automation

In an ideal world, every business could turn to an all-in-one application to manage leads, emails, marketing campaigns, cloud-based storage, eCommerce—anything their business could possibly need. Since that world doesn't exist, we have the next best thing: app automation tool Zapier, which helps you get the most out...read more
Salesforce mention · March 21, 2019

Salesforce Tutorial

When it comes to customer relationship management (CRM) software, Salesforce is one of the most powerful and flexible platforms on the market. Businesses can manage their entire sales cycle in Salesforce, track leads and contacts, generate in-depth reports about customer segments, and much more. But it's easy for those...read more
Salesforce mention · March 11, 2019

How to Create a Campaign in Salesforce

As a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) tool, Salesforce was originally designed to help businesses keep track of sales-related data like leads, contacts, accounts, quotes, deals, and opportunities. The platform has evolved in scope and functionality over the years to help users conduct an expanding range of activities. Even with...read more
Salesforce mention · March 1, 2019

CRM Showdown: HubSpot vs. Salesforce

Customer relationship management (CRM) software was developed about 30 years ago to help businesses better manage customer relationships and all the data involved with them. Fast forward to today, and CRM software has become more powerful and complex than ever. While having a CRM platform in place has become mandatory...read more
Salesforce mention · June 4, 2018

A Growing Startup Uses Automation to Keep Its Team Small

On the cosmic scales, the benefits of having a growing company far outweigh the negatives. It means your product resonates with an audience, that you're doing something right. But it also means you need to make hiring decisions, sometimes for roles not essential to your core product, but to...read more
Salesforce mention · March 29, 2018

Steal This Workflow: How to Save Hours Every Week with Webhooks

You’ve seen them hiding in your app’s settings, promising to send notifications, sync data, and connect to other software you use. Webhooks. They’re the mysterious extra in so many apps. But what are they, how do they work—and why do they have such long, confusing URLs...read more
Salesforce update · February 27, 2018

New for Our Salesforce Integration: 4 New Features to Manage Campaigns

Campaign tracking in Salesforce lets you measure how trade shows, paid ads, content marketing, and more influence new leads, opportunities, and revenue. The latest update to the Salesforce-Zapier integration adds four new features for campaign management, so that you can automatically add contacts and leads from lead capture tools, event...read more
Salesforce mention · January 8, 2018

How a Consulting Agency Reduced Time Spent Creating Leads by 25%

Navigating a messy API and its documentation is a lot like Indiana Jones' search for the golden idol: One wrong move and you'll be outrunning a boulder. Some APIs have robust, updated documentation. Other APIs were hastily thrown together and have been jerry-rigged since. For account-based marketing firm obo...read more
Salesforce mention · January 5, 2018

How Support & Product Teams at Calendly Save 10 Hours Every Week

How you communicate within your company depends on things like your size, your industry, and your tools. Small startups might talk across the kitchen table to each other. Titans of banking have guidelines on how to share information with other teams. But how does a smaller company—that isn't...read more
Matthew Guay
Written by Matthew Guay · Last updated May 25, 2018
Our Rating:

Salesforce is the 800-pound gorilla of customer relationship management (CRM). Not only is it one of the best CRM apps, it was also one of the first in the current wave of software-as-a-service sold on subscription basis, which is how nearly all the players in this space now do business.

Salesforce first launched in early 2000 as an online CRM where you and your sales team could keep track of information about contacts and potential sales with them. Because it was a web app (common now, but rare in those days), sales teams flocked to it because they could access crucial information to close deals from anywhere they had an internet connection. It was designed to be simple with no fluff, similar to Amazon.com at the time. Additionally, it was one of the first online applications with an API, so you could send information to Salesforce from any other app.

Today, Salesforce is more than just a CRM app. It's really more of a platform comprising several applications. For example, the Salesforce1 Platform is a CRM-centric online database that you can use to power custom apps you build yourself. If you choose not to build your own apps, you can instead use Salesforce's default apps, which are powered by the same platform. One of these default apps, Sales Cloud, is a customizable CRM with contact-tracking, reports, email integration, and other features you'd expect to find in any CRM software. Another default app is the Service Cloud, which helps you provide better support to your customers by giving you important information about their history.

Other apps include Marketing cloud, Desk.com for simple email support, Chatter for team chat, SalesforceIQ (formerly RelateIQ) for simple email CRM, and Heroku for hosting your own web apps. Many of these apps are sold via stand-alone subscriptions.

Still, Salesforce's primary goal is to give and your team tools and information that help you keep a positive relationships with your clients, customers, and potential future clients and customers. The apps are built on the same online database system, and you can customize each one to get the features your team needs. Thanks to API integrations and its inclusion in the Zapier network of apps, Salesforce can be your central storage point for all your data even if you use other apps and services to run your business.

Detailed analytics and customizable reports are included, too, along with forecasting tools that help you plan for the future, based on recent sales and growth. There are customizable permissions and workflows, marketing automation to help you pick out the best leads automatically, and special consoles and dashboards for each of the different parts of your team so everyone can work the way that makes the most sense to them.

While Salesforce takes time to learn and customize, it has a lot of potential for big return on investment in both time and money. If you need a powerful sales CRM app suite and database, Salesforce should be a top consideration, especially for large and growing organizations, as it is expensive for small businesses compared with other options. (Our list of the best free CRM apps has some excellent alternatives for micro-businesses.) That said, Salesforce does offer an approachable basic plan that can introduce a team to the Salesforce system, and you can always upgrade when you need more features.

Have any feedback on this overview, or something we should change? Let us know!

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