Salesforce Updates

Salesforce mention · October 23, 2018

How to Use Zapier's Paths to Automate Decisions

How do you automate a decision? Actions are easy enough to automate, especially with Zapier. But a decision? Even a repetitive choice might, in turn, lead to other decisions. So how can you reduce the time you spend making the same decisions that lead to different outcomes? You use Zapier...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
Salesforce mention · December 8, 2017

The Best Software Discounts for Nonprofit Organizations

Running an organization isn’t cheap. With budget and personnel restrictions, it's often hard to get the latest technology approved or prioritized. For nonprofit organizations who are doing the valuable work of improving society, we’re trying to change that, and we’re not alone. Zapier offers a 15...read more
Salesforce mention · December 6, 2017

eCommerce Businesses Leverage Facebook Lead Ads to Connect with Customers

For any business, finding the right audience on social media isn't a simple task, let alone convincing said audience to click to your website, make a purchase, or sign up for a newsletter. But with Facebook Lead Ads, you'll advertise to folks already interested in your product, newsletter...read more
Salesforce mention · November 10, 2017

How The Soldiers Project Trains Its Volunteers Faster Thanks to Automation

Over the past decade, 2.5 million soldiers valiantly served their country in the U.S. military. Teenagers who just graduated from high school, college graduates who just earned a degree, and parents who've just had a child—they're ordinary people. Unlike most Americans, though, they've lived...read more
Matthew Guay
Reviewed 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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Salesforce is a leading enterprise customer relationship manager (CRM) application.