What is Salesforce? Expert Insight on What Salesforce is Used for

February 19, 2024
16 min

Unless you have been interested in the customer relationship management (CRM) software sphere, you probably have no clue what Salesforce is and what it can do for you. However, regardless of whether you are just curious about CRM’s top players or considering deploying the system in your organization, in a few paragraphs, we’ll make you an expert in questions like “What is Salesforce?”, “What is Salesforce used for?”, and “What are Salesforce benefits?”

Just dive into the topic with us.

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What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a massive infrastructure of customer relationship management software products that help marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT teams connect with their customers.

Although Salesforce started as a Software as a Service (SaaS) company, it has grown into a Platform as a Service (PaaS) company.

It means that their customers can buy not only a ready-to-use Salesforce CRM system but also build their framework components (Lightning components) and custom apps on top of the Salesforce Lightning platform (Force.com), become Salesforce partners and then market these software products on its app marketplace – AppExchange.

Also, Salesforce encourages users and companies to know their platform capabilities and features better and join their online training hub, Trailhead where they can get educational resources from learning modules like “Salesforce Platform Basics” or expert support from the Trailblazer Community.

To date, Salesforce has had over 150,000 customers worldwide and is behind the scenes of business behemoths such as American Express, Sony, the Coca-Cola Enterprise, the Charles Schwab Corporation, TD Ameritrade, and others.

Now, Salesforce dominates the CRM market with over 20% market share, and its share prices will only increase.

The company is also famous for its company and product acquisitions. Among the latest and most significant ones are ClickSoftware, Mulesoft, and Tableau.

Why do so many businesses, from start-ups to Fortune 500, jump on the Salesforce train?

To understand it better, let’s dig into the Salesforce and CRM market history and the history of the CRM market first.

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A Bit of Salesforce & CRM Background

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a technology aimed at improving your company’s relationship and interaction management with customers and potential customers. CRM software helps companies stay connected with their customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.

Salesforce revolutionized technology and the CRM world in 1999, being one of the first cloud computing companies. What was unique about it? Salesforce started delivering its software through Internet browsers instead of company-hosted servers, thereby reducing building, installation, maintenance, and support costs.

Also, this platform enabled users to access their software from anywhere, not only from the office building. Salesforce also offered a combination of simplicity, scalability, and online accessibility to data from any point on Earth in its software solution, making them an instant hit and a global leader in the market.

Ok, But What is Salesforce Used for?

Salesforce’s ecosystem hosts a number of various cloud platforms that allow you to interact with different data and service your customers in multiple capacities.

But despite numerous products, customer relationship management (CRM) is still the lifeblood of Salesforce’s entire model, optimized for different business niches in Salesforce Clouds.

Let’s discover these significant products.

Salesforce Product Ecosystem 2024

Salesforce Product Ecosystem | Ascendix

What is Salesforce Sales Cloud?

The Sales Cloud is a CRM platform that was Salesforce’s first and most popular product. This product is designed for the management of your organization’s sales. Originally, this Cloud was created for B2B (Business-to-Business) companies to guide potential customers through a defined sales cycle. However, B2C (Business-to-Consumer) companies can now leverage the Sales Cloud.

Its main built-in objects include:

  • Lead (people who expressed an interest in your products or services)
  • Account (companies that you want to track)
  • Contact (employees of the companies you want to follow)
  • Opportunity (potential deals that might result in a new business your sales team believes in)

So, Lead can be converted into Account, Contact, and Opportunity objects, and Opportunity, in turn, can be scaled by different stages and probabilities. What’s more, the Sales Cloud has out-of-the-box features like quoting and opportunity forecasting.

Besides, all standard objects can be enhanced with custom fields relevant to your business. For instance, if you sell multiple services or products, you can wish to create an area to track the product interest of your Leads.

Task tracking and workflow automation in Sales Cloud can help you automatically create a set of tasks based on specific criteria. For example, whenever you create a new Lead, the system can generate a sequence of tasks for you to call or email this Lead.

Further, Salesforce Sales Cloud can be enhanced with Salesforce Sales Engagement (formerly High-Velocity Sales), CPQ/CPQ+, Billing Growth/ Plus, Sales Cloud Einstein, Salesforce Contracts, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, Revenue Intelligence, Einstein Conversion Insights, Sales Enablement, Salesforce Maps/Territory Planning, Sales Emails and Alerts, Partner Relationship Management, External Apps, Einstein Relationship Insights, Sales Dialer for Essentials, Social Intelligence, Quip Advanced.

Our Salesforce consultants provide advisory services on the best practices of the Sales Cloud implementation. With Ascendix’s expert guidance, you will enrich your organization’s productivity by employing a well-optimized CRM solution with functionality tailored precisely to your needs.

What is Salesforce Revenue Cloud?

Salesforce Revenue Cloud consists of two main products: CPQ and Billing.

Salesforce CPQ, which stands for “Configure, Price, Quote,” was acquired through the Steelbrick purchase back in 2015. Customers may sell intricate sets of Salesforce goods because of its ability to go beyond Opportunities Products & Quotes’ basic capability.

Product and pricing rules, as well as a quote-generating engine, are components of CPQ that assist salespeople in creating proper quotations with complicated product sets.

Salesforce Billing solution enables completion of the customer Order-to-Cash lifecycle. This product takes care of billing, invoice generation, payments, and revenue recognition once the quote has been finalized.

Advanced Revenue Cloud

This cloud facilitates complex Quote-to-Cash use cases that exceed the capabilities of standard Salesforce CPQ, Billing, and Subscription Management products.

This cloud enables advanced approval, standalone order/multi-cloud billing, finance logging, customer asset lifecycle management, tax, and customer storefront integration.

What is Salesforce Service Cloud?

The Salesforce Service Cloud is a service platform from Salesforce for your company’s customer service and support team.

It is designed to speed up customers’ case tracking and resolution via multiple channels like email, live chat, or phone to encourage efficient communication.

In addition, Service Cloud enables users to create self-service customer service portals and offers pre-prepared communication via automated responses for specific outcomes.

Its standard features include:

  • Case Management
  • Ticket Assignment
  • Queue Management
  • Live Chat
  • Knowledge Base

The base functionality can be optimized with social networking plugins for effective online brand reputation management that help to monitor and respond to customers’ posts. Also, Service Cloud is telephony-friendly and allows integration, which is particularly useful for large enterprises with significant customer service centers.

You can boost Salesforce Service Cloud with Field Service, Salesforce Contact Center, Self-Service Customer Community, Service Intelligence, Digital Engagement, Service Einstein, Service Cloud Voice, Salesforce Feedback Management, Customer Lifecycle Analytics, Salesforce Survey Response Pack, Salesforce Scheduler, Appointment/Visual Remote Assistant.

What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

The Marketing Cloud is a powerful digital marketing platform for B2C and B2B marketers where you can connect with your customers, track the customer journey across multiple communication channels, and manage your social media presence, email promotions, digital advertising campaigns, content creation, and data analysis.

Its broad spectrum of features allows you to market to your customers via email, SMS, social networks, and digital advertising platforms and to interact with your customers and particular pieces of content. Moreover, within the Marketing Cloud users can customize their marketing efforts via various built-in creation studios.

This Salesforce platform can be boosted by Marketing AI, Intelligence Reports Advanced for Engagement, Field Level Encryption, and Google Analytics 360 Integration for Marketing Cloud.

As has been mentioned, the Salesforce Marketing Cloud unifies several products, so let’s discuss them separately:

 

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (AKA. Pardot)

Pardot is Salesforce’s B2B email marketing automation tool topped up with the ability to build landing pages and forms. It is used as an email marketing platform for sending emails to prospects on behalf of sales reps and qualifying leads that get passed to sales reps.

Pardot fits smaller databases with higher-value sales better and can be integrated with Sales Cloud or any other CRM solution. The key functionality of Pardot can be elevated with Sales Emails and Alerts, Engagement History Dashboards, and B2B Marketing Analytics Plus.

 

Marketing Cloud Engagement

MC Engagement, formerly known as Core Messaging/Journeys, enables the delivery of tailored cross-channel experiences throughout the customer lifecycle, complemented by sophisticated campaign management.

It ensures consistent messaging across all marketing channels and designs visual customer journey maps, from the straightforward to the intricate, for continuous refinement and reference.

Marketing Cloud Engagement also unites all the features offered in a Marketing Cloud package known as Email, Mobile, and Web Marketing Suite like email personalization, content builder and tagging, and audience segmentation.

 

Marketing Cloud Advanced Cross Channel (AKA. Advanced Cross Channel)

Advertising Studio enables campaign management and targeting solutions for digital marketing campaigns.

Distributed Marketing & Marketing Cloud Connect provides a managed package that is installed in your CRM environment. Thanks to it, distributed teams of advisors, partners, and more can view, personalize, and send the content directly from CRM.

You can install Distributed Marketing content blocks in your Marketing Cloud environment to easily enable powerful content collaboration. All send use the power of Marketing Cloud to help teams of all sizes engage with their books of business reliably and at scale.

Einstein for Marketing gives marketers the tools to make every customer journey and interaction effective and understand customers better with predictive insights. It helps to create personalized messages and content and receive suggestions on when and how to engage with a customer.

 

Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform (AKA. Customer 360 Audiences)

MC Customer Data Platform previously known as Salesforce DMP and Customer 360 Audiences, is another part of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud products ecosystem.

It is a data-first digital marketing platform for unifying your customer data, humanizing every interaction. Customer 360 Audiences allows building segmented lists of your customers and tailoring communication to the exact audience segment you want to target.

 

Marketing Cloud Personalization (AKA. Interaction Studio)

Marketing Cloud Personalization, like any other marketing automation product, elevates customer engagement to a new level. It helps you understand what your customers want, make the best decision automatically, and modify the AI algorithms powering your personalization strategies.

It helps deliver cross-channel personalized experiences at every step of the customer lifecycle with campaign management and aligns your message across every marketing channel.

 

Marketing Cloud Intelligence (AKA. Datorama)

Marketing Cloud Intelligence enables connection, analysis, and taking action on all your data in one marketing dashboard to drive ROI, speed, and growth across your business.

 

Loyalty Management

Salesforce announced the introduction of loyalty management in January 2021 to assist businesses in engaging and rewarding their consumers.

The technology enables companies to create scaleable loyalty programs using clicks rather than coding. Numerous systems, such as tiered memberships or points-per-purchase, might be developed.

For client signup and content delivery, Loyalty Management can be set up to work with Experience Cloud and Marketing Cloud, respectively.

 

Data Cloud for Marketing

The Data Cloud for Marketing aggregates, consolidates, and leverages your audience data to enhance customer experiences with personalized interactions. This platform allows you to integrate all customer data for a holistic customer profile, create precise audience segments through an intuitive interface, and deploy this data across all marketing channels.

What is Salesforce Experience (AKA. Community) Cloud?

The Experience (Community) Cloud is a social platform for external collaboration and custom portal creation. This tool can help your organization centralize and facilitate communication among your employees, partners, and customers. In addition, the Community Cloud allows you to use this platform to exchange documents, images, and other data in real time.

Experience Cloud can be easily integrated with Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and App Cloud and customized to fulfill your business needs. Community Cloud lets you automatically source data and images from your Salesforce and significantly reduces time on content management.

The core functionality of Experience Cloud can be improved with Digital Engagement, Einstein Bots, Mobile Publisher for Experience Cloud, Experience Analytics, CPQ for Partner Experience, and Distributed Marketing for Partners.

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What is Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

The Commerce Cloud offers best-in-class features and functionality to provide excellent customer service and experience irrespective of your customer’s presence (online or offline). It also frees your business from the demands of managing a technical roadmap and enables customer data integration to give your consumers a better experience.

If your focus is on providing your clients with a positive, engaging customer experience, then Commerce Cloud will be the best fit for you.

B2C Commerce helps businesses connect with today’s modern shoppers via centralized marketing, service, and order fulfillment experiences. Companies can leverage a full set of commerce APIs, developer tools, and in-built features.

B2B Commerce enables online ordering, reducing costs with a self-service B2B Commerce portal.

D2C Commerce empowers businesses to expand their reach globally, effectively managing peak traffic surges at any given time with the power of AI-driven merchandising to boost both revenue and customer engagement significantly. It offers Prebuilt Direct to Consumer Templates, streamlining the deployment process and optimizing customer outreach as well as Product Recommendations, utilizing sophisticated algorithms to personalize product suggestions, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and sales efficiency.

Salesforce Order Management is a customer-centric order management system that connects commerce and service to deliver an excellent post-purchase experience. With this platform, businesses can leverage localization, multi-currency, and multi-language capabilities.

Connected Commerce facilitates the effortless initiation of both B2B and D2C Commerce channels, allowing for a smooth and integrated approach to different market segments. Additionally, its  Salesforce Payments feature offers a secure and streamlined transaction process, enhancing the overall efficiency of your commerce operations.

What is Salesforce Analytics Cloud?

Salesforce Analytics Cloud consists of two types of analytics products – Einstein and CRM Analytics for various clouds.

Einstein product family involves Einstein Discovery for the automatic discovery of relevant patterns based on customer data, and Einstein Next Best Action for the display of actions based on unique criteria.

CRM Analytics (formerly Tableau CRM) empowers Salesforce CRM users with actionable insights and AI-driven analytics.

What are Education Solutions (AKA. Education Cloud)?

Salesforce offers a powerful feature set for educational institutions like:

  • Advancement Solution for Education Projects with Alum 360 to create lifelong alumni and donor relationships
  • Marketing & Communications ( formerly Engagement) helps build personalized engagement at scale with Student 36o
  • Recruitment & Admission focuses on delivering a connected journey with Student 360,
  • Student Success is aimed at improving student experience, maximizing engagement, simplifying collaboration, and delivering the right support at the right time.

 

What are Nonprofit Solutions (AKA. Nonprofit Cloud)?

Nonprofit Solutions include products set for fundraising and building relationships and fund impact, volunteer project management, engagement solutions to connect with people across more channels to power more impact, and solutions for grants management.

What is the Customer 360 Platform?

This platform includes a set of Salesforce tools for increased productivity and enhanced security:

AppBuilder – This solution helps develop custom applications with ease on the Lightning Platform, covering Salesforce fundamentals, data modeling, business logic, user interface, and app deployment.

Heroku – This fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) enables developers to build, run, and operate applications entirely in the cloud.

Mulesoft – This integration platform helps connect Salesforce CRM with external systems and processes. Whether on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid setup, customers can integrate applications seamlessly within their IT landscape.

JavaScript Designer – This tool enables building fast apps on Salesforce using Lightning Web Components and modern JavaScript. It includes core JavaScript skills and development skills for working with technologies like the Lightning Component Framework.

Salesforce Mobile – It enables access Salesforce features on mobile devices through the Salesforce Mobile app, which includes standard and custom objects, Lighting app pages, and more. Customize and distribute your app with the Salesforce Mobile Publisher, or build custom experiences with Salesforce Mobile SDKs.

Salesforce Platform (also known as Lightning platform and Force.com) is a PaaS solution for building and deploying cloud applications, with tools for automating business processes, integrating external applications, and providing responsive user interfaces.

Process Automation – This solution utilizes Flows and Process Builder for “clicks not code” solutions to automate processes.

Security & Privacy helps ensure app security and privacy with tools like Platform Encryption, Event Monitoring, and Field Audit Trail. This includes a comprehensive course curriculum covering general security, multi-factor authentication, Shield, DataMask, Security Center, and Privacy Center.

 

Read our Salesforce implementation guide to know the best implementation practices from our experts.

Mulesoft (AKA. Integration Cloud)

MuleSoft’s technology allows you to quickly connect to any system using a variety of out-of-the-box connectors, making it a crucial purchase for Salesforce in 2018.

MuleSoft is replaced by the Anypoint platform, which enables you to manage your API connections, carry out integrations, monitor, and generate reports all from a single cloud-based platform. MuleSoft’s hundreds of pre-existing connections are among its key selling points since they allow you to link with mainframes, ERP systems, and SaaS apps utilizing tried-and-true templated solutions.

A lightweight, Salesforce-integrated version of MuleSoft called Salesforce MuleSoft Composer was also recently introduced by Salesforce.

 

Tableau (AKA. Analytics Cloud)

Salesforce purchased Tableau back in 2019 to enter the wider business analytics market. Tableau product family is represented by Tableau Platform and Tableau Content.

Tableau Platform has on-public cloud (AWS, Azure, or GCP), on-Tableau Cloud, and on-premises options.

 

Einstein

This Salesforce product line comprises:

Einstein Discovery: This tool uses AI to help business users easily find important patterns in their data without needing complex data models.

Einstein Prediction Builder: This AI tool allows you to create custom predictions about future business events without coding. You choose what to predict, the data field to use, and its location. After building your prediction, you can review its accuracy and key factors in the Prediction Builder scorecard, including a detailed analysis of each factor.

CRM Analytics (formerly Tableau CRM): Integrated into Salesforce, this tool provides Salesforce CRM users with insightful, AI-enhanced analytics within their usual workflow. It helps in working more effectively, spotting trends quickly, predicting outcomes, and offering AI-recommended actions, all within Salesforce’s environment.

NFT Cloud

Salesforce’s formal entry into Web 3.0 technology is the NFT Cloud. Salesforce’s own event, Connections ’22, where NFT Cloud was introduced, gave us an early peek at the brand-new platform.

You can build, sell, and manage NFTs using the Salesforce platform with NFT Cloud, producing digital assets to boost client engagement.

Slack

The largest acquisition Salesforce has ever made was Slack, which they purchased for $27.7 billion in December 2020.

Slack is a business-oriented messaging service that lets you send direct messages to your coworkers or use channels that have been set up just for that purpose. You may utilize a channel, for instance, for a project or your regional office.

Slack product set includes Slack Launch, Slack Extend, and Slack Migration.

Quip

In 2016, Quip was purchased, and as a result, the firm now has Bret Taylor as a co-CEO. Quip is a combination of Google Docs and Slack. It offers robust spreadsheet and word-processing capabilities with a focus on collaboration.

The platform has tools like Quip Chat, Quip Slides, and Salesforce Integration to integrate real-time data into the document.

Industry Products (AKA. Vlocity)

By acquiring Vlocity in 2020, a company that concentrated on many additional industry-specific clouds to meet the needs of specific business sectors.

Salesforce Industry Products

Salesforce Industry Products | Ascendix

The scope of industry categories that Salesforce is ready to support with specialized products is quite impressive:

  • Health Cloud
  • Manufacturing Cloud
  • Consumer Goods Cloud
  • Communications Cloud
  • Media Cloud
  • Energy & Utilities Cloud
  • Salesforce Financial Services Cloud
  • Insurance
  • Loyalty Management
  • Net Zero Cloud

Don’t see your industry on the list? Check AppExchange, the Salesforce marketplace, where Salesforce Partners publish and sell their tools. For example, our company sells AscendixRE, focused on commercial real estate companies.

And What Salesforce Benefits Make You Choose Them?

Based on Salesforce statistics, companies using Salesforce generally see a 34% increase in customer satisfaction, a 32% increase in lead conversion, and a 27% increase in sales revenues. What are the key elements of platform success among its customers? Let’s take a closer look.

Key Salesforce Benefits | Ascendix

Key Salesforce Benefits | Ascendix

Flexibility

Salesforce poses itself as an innovative CRM leader and justifies its title by constantly improving its products regarding user-friendliness, customizability, and new features. The platform is fully customizable and can meet the requirements of any business. That’s why over 150,000 companies around the globe have selected it as their CRM solution.

 

Comprehensiveness

Since Salesforce is a holistic ecosystem with its development platform, AI technology, big data processing engine, collaboration portal, and app marketplace, the platform is enabled to meet all the technology needs of your CRM system while integrating other Salesforce-friendly third-party tools.

 

Scalability

Your business is evolving and expanding, and so should your Salesforce. Salesforce platform architecture and functionality allow your CRM to grow with your organization without disrupting your software.

 

Accessibility

The world is becoming increasingly mobile. It is when Salesforce comes in handy and allows you to access your product anywhere. The Salesforce Mobile App enables you to get an equally full version of your product on your phone or tablet to what you have on your desktop.

 

Popularity

Yes, it may sound weird, but the more popular this platform becomes, the better it is for you. Why? So, you don’t have to spend hours searching for tools that can be integrated with your product — plenty of offers already exist. Also, you can easily find any Salesforce expert that can deploy, optimize, configure, or customize your software because there are already many specialists.

Of course, all the benefits are not limited to the above-mentioned, and each Salesforce user can find something special for themselves. Just see what our clients say about positive changes in their work processes after we helped them implement Salesforce-based software solutions.

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The Bottom Line

If you are about to welcome Salesforce CRM into your company and you are a big fan of simplicity, then our Salesforce consulting services will be the best fit for you.

Our consultants will make complicated processes easy for you. We at Ascendix are ready to take on any Salesforce-related challenges and successfully overcome them.

Our broad range of Salesforce services, industries in focus, over 20 years of experience, and the number of happy clients speak for themselves. And all you need is to contact us and share your project ideas or difficulties, and we will be glad to share our expertise with you.

We specialize in the implementation, optimization, and customization of Salesforce products like:

Also, if you’ve been using any CRM software for a while and noticed that it lacks some of the essential features, our professionals can help you with CRM system audit and migration to Salesforce. Need help with Salesforce implementation? Contact us and we’ll help you to implement Salesforce in your organization, train your team, and ensure they adopt it.

What is Salesforce FAQ

What does Salesforce sell?

Salesforce sells cloud-based CRM solutions and applications focused on sales, customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development to streamline business processes and enhance customer relationships.

What is Salesforce used for?

Salesforce optimizes customer management and sales automation, offering lead tracking, contact management, email marketing, and lead scoring to enhance business operations.

Why Salesforce is used?

Salesforce is used to centralize customer information, streamline sales processes, manage marketing campaigns, and provide actionable analytics, thereby improving customer relations and driving sales efficiency in businesses.

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Comments

Dhwani Shah

Well, that’s so comprehensive post. Thanks for sharing with us.

Drop a Pin

Great content you have here. I enjoy every bit of all you put out.

Wenetech

Great content would love to look at more salesforce content.

Alice

Very well explained.

ochuko evidence

Fantastic blog! Thank you for sharing your original thoughts. They seem worthwhile to me.

Martin Goodnews

An impressive share! 
Thanks, I’ve just been searching for information about this topic for a long time and yours is the best I have come upon so far.

Jitendra

Nice content. Can u please share content on each of the salesforce clouds in depth.

sellmymiles

Your blog offers a clear and concise overview of what Salesforce is and its applications. It’s a great starting point for anyone curious about the platform!

Anzhelika Serhiienko

Thank you so much for your positive feedback.

We’re delighted to hear that you found our blog to be a clear and concise introduction to Salesforce and its wide range of applications.

Your encouragement inspires us to continue creating informative and accessible content.

Shiva

Good Content, can you please share more content which is helpful for me to more knowing about salesforce ?

Clare Martin

I appreciate your explanation when you told us that a salesforce refers to the massive infrastructure of customer relationship management software products that are made to help with marketing, sales, and other things that connect with customers.

Anzhelika Serhiienko

Thank you for your kind feedback.

We’re glad that our explanation of Salesforce’s extensive infrastructure for customer relationship management was helpful and informative.

divya solanki

it will be very helpful blog for me.

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