What is Salesforce?
Simply put, Salesforce is a cloud based CRM solution. The power of Salesforce lies in its scalable software platforms that companies can customize and segment, according to the needs of different departments or small business units.
Using Salesforce, Sales can manage the entire sales process from the very first interaction to the closed deal. Marketing can leverage various marketing tools, including social media. Customer support can track and respond to cases.
Salesforce was born out of a need to create a more efficient CRM. Before its creation, companies who wanted to utilize a CRM system had to buy or develop one and host it. The purchase or development process was cumbersome, and cost-prohibitive for many companies. Even when a company successfully deployed a proprietary CRM system, that was no guarantee that their sales reps would actually use it instead of, say, an Excel spreadsheet and Rolodex.
Businesses needed a better way to do business, and Salesforce was the pioneer developer that put a stable, full-featured CRM solution within reach for many enterprises, not to mention small and medium-sized businesses.
The Better Way
Salesforce removed these challenges associated with self-hosted CRM solutions by moving all that data to the cloud. With this cloud computing capability came better services at a lower cost. More palatable monthly subscription fees replaced long-term contracts, as well as cost- and labor-intensive custom installations with ongoing maintenance and monitoring. Salesforce delivered all the CRM services while negating the need for a full-time support team.
What does Salesforce do?
Salesforce is the adaptable response to an ever-evolving business ecosystem and ever-growing influx of data. The platform unites teams across various company departments and offers one centralized location for data storage, metrics, business insights, communication, and marketing. Because Salesforce has such versatile functionality, you can customize it for the specific needs of your business. And if you need additional features, chances are, you can find it in the AppExchange, an app store with thousands of third-party apps that sit on top of the Salesforce infrastructure.
Salesforce was one of the first movers, but other CRM solutions have since flooded the market. Hundreds of other options target specific industries and niches—for example, real estate agents or financial advisors.
Salesforce has continued to grab market share for a number of reasons:
- Speed – Salesforce is quick to deploy in most instances. Traditional CRM systems could often take a year to implement, but Salesforce compresses that launch timeline into months or even weeks.
- Ease – Compared to other CRM solutions, Salesforce is fairly intuitive and easy to use. Instead of spending tons of time on setup and deployment, you can actually use the platform to drive sales and growth. Also worth noting is that the application lives in the cloud, which means that anyone on your team can access and use them anytime, anywhere.
- Effectiveness – The Salesforce value proposition looks like this: ease of use + customization + scalability = high ROI. In short, you can use Salesforce to increase sales and make more money.
But wait! There’s more!
Here are some other Salesforce capabilities you may want to harness:
- Marketing websites
- Social Competitive Intelligence for increased win and conversion rates
- Better planning with forecasting tools
- Portability and ubiquitous presence
- Better sales processes with Sales Cloud
- Consolidation of IT landscape and updated capabilities through the elimination of legacy applications
- Streamlined activity logging
- Scalability for businesses with variable and evolving needs
- Affordable “pay as you use” services