What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is the customer company. We make cloud-based software designed to help businesses connect to their customers in a whole new way, so they can find more prospects, close more deals, and wow customers with amazing service.
Customer 360, our complete suite of products, unites your sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT teams with a single, shared view of customer information, so that your company can become a customer company, too.
Salesforce Inc. is a cloud computing and social enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider based in San Francisco. Founded in March 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff and Frank Dominguez, the company started off as a customer relationship management (CRM) platform vendor.
The concept behind Salesforce is software as a service (SaaS), where instead of client software installed on each user’s computer, they access the service through a web browser. This spares the end-user the hassle of upgrading and managing their client software beyond the browser. All software and user data is in Salesforce data centers and transmitted over the wire to a user’s browser.
Since its launch in 1999, Salesforce has grown to become the leading SaaS powerhouse over time, offering multiple cloud platforms that serve specialized purposes. For its most recent fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2023, Salesforce reported revenues of $31.3 billion — an 18% increase over the $26.5 billion in revenue from the previous fiscal year.
Salesforce offers a wide range of products and services, including:-
- Sales Cloud: This is Salesforce’s core CRM product, designed to help businesses manage their sales processes, leads, opportunities, and customer accounts. It provides tools for tracking sales, automating tasks, and generating reports and analytics.
- Service Cloud: Service Cloud is focused on customer service and support. It allows companies to provide multi-channel customer support, including email, chat, social media, and phone support. It also includes tools for case management, knowledge base, and self-service portals.
- Marketing Cloud: Marketing Cloud is a suite of marketing automation tools that enable businesses to create and manage marketing campaigns, email marketing, social media advertising, and analytics to track the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
- Commerce Cloud: This platform helps businesses manage their e-commerce operations, including online storefronts, product catalogs, order management, and customer engagement.
- Community Cloud: Community Cloud allows businesses to create branded online communities and portals for their customers, partners, and employees to collaborate and share information.
- Platform and App Cloud: Salesforce provides a platform for building custom applications and extending the functionality of existing Salesforce products. App Cloud is a development platform for building custom apps, and Force.com is a part of it, allowing developers to create applications with the Salesforce infrastructure.
- Analytics Cloud: This product focuses on business intelligence and analytics, allowing organizations to analyze their data and gain insights into their operations and customers.
- IoT Cloud: Salesforce’s IoT Cloud helps organizations connect, monitor, and manage the Internet of Things (IoT) data, allowing them to take advantage of data generated by connected devices.
- Heroku: Heroku is a cloud platform that allows developers to build, deploy, and scale applications using a variety of programming languages.
Salesforce is known for its flexibility and scalability, making it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes across various industries. It is often used to streamline and optimize sales, customer service, and marketing processes, as well as to gain insights from customer data to make informed decisions. Salesforce also offers a robust ecosystem of third-party applications and integrations through its AppExchange marketplace, allowing businesses to extend the platform’s functionality to suit their specific needs.
Why is Salesforce used?
Salesforce enables organizations of every size and industry to better understand and connect with their customers at a deeper level and grow their customer base. Businesses typically integrate Salesforce into their ecosystem so employees can share customer views from any device, regardless of their department or location.
Salesforce provides a 360-degree view of the customer lifecycle with streamlined workflows, centralized cloud-based data management and real-time tracking of customer analytics. According to Salesforce, more than 150,000 companies — from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies — use its secure and scalable cloud platform.
For example, Pardot, which was renamed Marketing Cloud Account Engagement in April 2022, is a Salesforce business-to-business (B2B) marketing automation tool that’s designed to help organizations accelerate their sales with better sales intelligence, generate high-quality leads with powerful marketing tools, automate lead qualification and nurturing, and track campaign performance.
Salesforce offers several innovative technologies that help connect customers, companies, developers and business partners.
Apex is an object-oriented programming language that enables developers to execute flow and transaction control statements on the Salesforce platform. Apex is integrated, easy to use, data-focused, hosted, multi-tenant aware, automatically upgradeable, easy to test and versioned.
Visualforce is a framework that enables developers to create dynamic, reusable interfaces that can be hosted natively on Salesforce. They can create entire custom pages inside a Salesforce organization or associate their logic with a controller class written in Apex. Developers can use Visualforce pages to override standard buttons and tab overview pages, define custom tabs, embed components in detail page layouts, create dashboard components, customize sidebars in the Salesforce Console and add menu items.
Lightning is an improved version of Salesforce Classic. Its component-based framework enables developers to build responsive SaaS applications for any device. It enables business users with minimal or no coding skills to build third-party user applications on top of Salesforce apps.
Salesforce Einstein is a comprehensive AI technology for CRM developed for the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. Einstein is designed to give sales and marketing departments more complete and up-to-date views of customers and potential clients. It’s designed to make Salesforce Customer 360 more intelligent and to bring AI to trailblazers everywhere.