Salesforce is a top-notch CRM application built on the Force.com platform. It can manage all the customer interactions of an organization through different media, like phone calls, site email enquiries, communities, as well as social media. Salesforce handles all the customer relationships, by focusing on the sales, marketing and support processes.
Force.com is a platform for creating applications in the cloud with absolutely no software or hardware investment required. The apps thus created are data-centric and collaborative. In fact, the data is never lost here, because there are auto back-ups.
Salesforce works by managing the standard objects, and maintaining the relationships between them, and the standard in-built functionalities. It is built on the following different types of cloud:
Sales Cloud mainly works based on Lead, Account, Contact & Opportunity objects. Leads can be further converted into account, contact and opportunity objects -an important built-in functionality of the Sales Cloud. What’s more, if any custom fields are added to the lead object, it is also possible to set the mapping for them.
Opportunities are well managed by giving them different stages and probabilities.
In Service Cloud, the base objects are cases and solutions. A Service Executive can create a case on a customer enquiry or a complaint, and the corresponding solution can be stored in a solution object. There is some standard functionality, like email to case, which will automatically create a new case in the CRM on every customer email.
Marketing Cloud is an application for marketing purposes. It helps in the creation and execution of marketing campaigns, email promotions, and more.
Custom fields can be added to the standard objects, and custom workflows can also be created. For custom views as well as business logic, Visualforce pages and associated apex classes can be used. All of these customization facilities make it possible to fulfill just about any need a CRM user may have.
Every CRM application must be able to present reports with the data stored in it. In Salesforce, the ‘Reports and Dashboards’ feature enables effective analytics.
There are a number of standard reports associated with the standard objects. Each report can be used to create dashboard components like graphs. Standard Reports are placed in the folders available in Salesforce, so finding the reports are easy.
Salesforce automation features include tracking leads, managing emails, assigning tasks, notifications, approvals etc. This CRM will handle all the automation required for the sales, marketing and service processes.
The Salesforce AppExchange is an online application marketplace for third-party applications that run on the Force.com platform. Applications are available for free, as well as yearly or monthly subscription models. Applications available range from integrations with Sharepoint to mobile approval management.
Apex is a proprietary programming language provided by the Force.com platform to developers similar to Java and C#. It is a strongly typed, object-oriented, case-insensitive programming language, following a dot-notation and curly-brackets syntax. Apex can be used to execute programmed functions during most processes on the Force.com platform including custom buttons and links, event handlers on record insertion, update, or deletion, via scheduling, or via the custom controllers of Visualforce pages.
Visualforce is the view control technology on the Force.com. Its is the front end with which users interact. It is similar to HTML and most of the html annotations can be used in this. The page which is created by using visual force is called visual force page.
In 2014, Salesforce made public the frontend of its platform, called Lightning. This component based framework is what the Salesforce1 mobile app is built on and customers are now able to build on it as well. Salesforce built on this framework in 2015 by releasing the Lightning Design System,an HTML style framework with default CSS styling built in. This framework allows customers to build their own components to either use in their internal instances or sell on the AppExchange.
One of the new tools released is known as the Salesforce Lightning App Builder for rapid application development of responsive web interfaces. This interface allows for different screens to be put together based on Lightning components. This can be used as layouts for records or specific applications.
Salesforce has editions for all variety of users. It offers different editions like Group, Professional, Enterprise and Performance (For Sales Cloud). An organization can select the edition they, according their aims, and the features they require. Do note, the editions have price variations too.
Salesforce covers all the areas of customer relationships, ranging from marketing to service. Any organization that wants to manage their customer relationships holistically can come in and use Salesforce without losing time, and wasting money for software development or hardware infrastructure.