Having worked as consultants with many clients on Salesforce implementation, and having propelled growth for them through high performing CRM solutions, we have an innate idea of what questions most businesses have when it comes to Salesforce. In this article, we cover the fundamental concepts and FAQs related to Salesforce. This will give you an idea of what to expect with Salesforce, what it can do for your business, and how you can go about getting started with Salesforce implementation.
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce, created by cloud computing company Salesforce.com, Inc. is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) CRM solution. Salesforce connects all required departments of an organization: marketing, sales, analysts, services, etc, through one integrated CRM platform.
What is Salesforce Used For?
Salesforce is used as a tool for Customer Relationship Management in the sales, marketing and customer service departments. It provides a solution to automate processes, and a front-end dashboard for analytics and execution. These are the core Salesforce products:
- Sales Cloud – solution for sales process automation, design and management, contact, lead, and opportunity management, sales reporting and forecasting.
- Service Cloud – solution for omnichannel customer service automation and management, case management, field service management, and customer service analytics.
- Marketing Cloud – solution for marketing campaign automation and management, customer segmentation, social media advertising and creation of customer communication scenarios.
Salesforce also provides industry-specific products, like Health Cloud, Financial Services Cloud, Government Cloud, Nonprofit Cloud, etc. with features and tools specific to these individual business domains.
Does Salesforce Provide an ERP Solution
No, there is no ERP solution proprietary to Salesforce Inc, but there are other cloud-based ERP systems built on the Salesforce Cloud Platform by third-party vendors. You can purchase these ERP solutions and the cost of the ERP and Salesforce is covered under one integration price. You can also hire a Salesforce implementation company who will configure and integrate multiple solutions to give you an ERP solution specific to your needs.
What Procedure is Followed When Implementing Salesforce?
There are 5 core steps most Salesforce implementation companies follow:
- Planning the Implementation Phase
- Schedule and Budget Planning
- Risk & Mitigation Planning
- Salesforce Implementation & Adoption
We recently wrote a comprehensive guide to this entire process. Check it out here: Salesforce Implementation: The 5 Core Steps
What is the Cost of Salesforce CRM?
The cost depends on the Salesforce products and features that are incorporated, and their editions. Different products and editions have different licenses, and hence different costs.
Does Salesforce Have a Free Version?
No, there is no free CRM solution by Salesforce. They do provide a 30 day free trial period for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. There are other providers who provide free CRM solutions, like Zoho, HubSpot CRM, etc.
Is Salesforce Free for Nonprofit Organizations?
No, but Salesforce does provide special prices for Non Profits (Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack NPSP). You can get more information here: CRM Software for Nonprofits – Salesforce
What is the Payment Model for Salesforce?
All Salesforce products and licenses are sold on a per-user basis with an annual billing contract. Organizations can discuss plans with the Salesforce team and look for modified payment models.
Why Customers Prefer Salesforce
Benefits of Salesforce
1. According to a Customer Metrics Survey by Salesforce, Sales Cloud provides the following benefits:
- +38% Forecast Accuracy
- +38% Sales Productivity
- +32% Lead Conversion Rate
- +28% Sales Revenues
- +26% Win Rate
2. A Salesforce.com Customer Relationship Survey showed the benefits of Service Cloud to be:
- +45% Customer Retention
- +47% Agent Productivity
- +31% faster Case Resolution
3. According to a Salesforce Relationship Survey, the benefits of using Marketing Cloud are:
- +27% Lead Volume
- +28% Campaign Deployment
- +30% lead Conversion
- +25% Increase in Marketing ROI
Is Salesforce the Best CRM Solution?
Whether Salesforce is the best CRM solution for you will depend on your needs, current processes, existing infrastructure, and your budget. Most Salesforce users prefer it for the following reasons:
- The numerous products and add-ons.
- Availability of additional software from Salesforce
- The ease of integrating third-party software (there are numerous vendors who build apps and solutions for Salesforce).
- Excellent customer support and online resources
Salesforce is no doubt one of the leading CRM platforms in the market today. In 2019, Salesforce was named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation, for the thirteenth consecutive year, and in the same year was also recognized as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Center for the eleventh consecutive year.
Which Domains is Salesforce Best Suited For?
Salesforce solutions are not domain specific, but rather end result specific. For example, Sales cloud can be implemented in any domain that deals with sales and/or has a sales team and sales processes. We most commonly see Salesforce being used in professional services, IT, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, & banking and finance. To give you an idea of its popularity, top tier companies like Adidas, AWS, Schneider Electric, Canon, Philips, T-Mobile, Toyota, and Marriott use Salesforce as a solution. In fact, more than 150,000 companies worldwide use Salesforce.
How Does Salesforce Work?
Salesforce provides highly actionable insights and analytics, and allows businesses to automate and streamline internal business processes. It achieves this by collecting comprehensive customer information and tracking all interactions at an individual customer level.
Key features of Salesforce CRM:
- 360-degree Customer Profile – Salesforce gathers customer information like the contact person’s name, job title, phone, email, company name, industry, size, etc to provide a holistic view of each customer.
- Automation – Sales and Marketing processes can be automated for higher efficiency and lower errors. Salesforce features like workflow rules, approvals and the process builder for sales, and mass email creating and tracking, campaign management, personalized messaging for marketing are examples of its automation provisions.
- Customer Service Features – Salesforce provides an omnichannel solution, bringing customer cases from different communication channels like email, phone, social media, etc under one easy to use dashboard, routing them to specific departments and agents, etc. Customer service case lifecycle can be automated for higher efficiency.
What Programming Language is Salesforce in?
Salesforce is developed in Apex, an object-oriented programming language with syntax similar to Java. Salesforce implementation partners can be consulted for help with Salesforce development and integration, if Apex is not a familiar language to your team. Once implemented, the use of Salesforce does not require programming knowledge.
What database is used by Salesforce?
Salesforce runs on the Oracle database.
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