Salesforce Review, Features, Use Cases + How To Get Started

Salesforce review

Table of Contents

Salesforce Inc was founded by former Oracle executive, Marc Benioff and the cloud-based software company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Salesforce happens to be one of the largest tech companies in the world, and as of September 2022, it was the 61st largest company in the world by market cap with a value of nearly $153 billion.

The software company provides Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and applications that are focused on application development, sales, marketing automation, customer service and analytics.

The company’s total funding amounts to $65.4 million. Salesforce’s main forte is tools for customer management. Other products enable customers to create apps, visualize data, integrate data from other systems and also offer training courses.

Salesforce has international offices in Sydney, Israel and Hong Kong. Throughout Salesforce’s history, they have acquired a number of companies. In 2006, Salesforce acquired Sendia – a mobile web service firm – for $15 million and also Kieden – an online advertising company.

In 2007, they acquired Koral – a content management service. In 2008, they acquired Instranet for $31.5 million. In 2010, Salesforce acquired multiple companies including Heroku, a Ruby application platform-as-a-service for $212 million; Jigsaw, a cloud-based data service provider for $142 million and Activa Live Chat, a live chat software provider.

In 2011, Salesforce acquired Dimdim, a web conferencing platform for $31 million; Randian6, a social media tracking company for $340 million and Rypple, a performance management system company. Rypple became known as Work.com in 2012.

In 2012, Buddy Media, a social media marketer was acquired by Salesforce for $689 million. They also acquired Golnstant, a browser collaboration start-up for $70 million. As of 2019 – 2021, Salesforce made 2 of its largest acquisitions with Tableau, a data visualization and analytics software company for $15.7 billion and Slack Technologies for $ 27.7 billion.  

They also acquired ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion, consulting firm Acumen Solutions for $570 million, CRM firm Vlocity for $1.33 billion, Phenneas for $16.5 million and robotic process automation firm Servicetrace for an undisclosed amount.

Salesforce                        Ratings
Ease of Use4.5
Pricing4.0
Automation4.2
Integration4.5
Analytics4.5

   

Getting Started With Salesforce

This is a detailed walk-through on how to get acquainted with Salesforce.

1. Click on Start my free trial and input your first and last name alongside your job title to enjoy the free trial. When done inputting, select Next.

2. Indicate and input the number of employees, company name and country or region. Select Next.

3. Input your phone number, and email and agree to the Main Services Agreement. Then select Submit.

4. A drop-down onboarding form displays and you select how familiar you are with CRM. You can skip it and do it another time.

This is your Salesforce account.

Pricing

Salesforce pricing plan caters to businesses of all types.

1. Industries

a. Financial Services

b. Health

c. Media

d. Energy & Utilities

e. Communication

2. Commerce

a. B2B Commerce

b. Order Management

3. Small Business

4. Sales

5. Service

6. Marketing

a. Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform

b. Loyalty Management

c. Marketing Cloud Account Engagement

d. Marketing Cloud Engagement

7. Platform

How Salesforce Dashboard Works

1. The home option gives you an overview of all your activities, tasks and events.

2. The leads option lets you know who has interacted with your brand/posts.

3. The account option lets you store information about (your) customers or individuals.

4. The contact option gives you an overview of all customers.

5. The opportunities option refers to deals that are in progress. It has a record that tracks details about deals that include amounts of potential sales accounts they are for, who the players are, the stage of the deal and the deal close date.

6. The cases option is a tool that administrators and agents use in interacting with customers to get their problems solved.

7. The tasks option allows you to track activities as a to-do list. Tasks can be viewed in the Kanban or Split view.

8. The calendar option helps you track meetings with colleagues, customers and prospects.

9. The reports option which is displayed in rows and columns is a list of records that meet the criteria you define.

10. The more option gives you access to your dashboards.

Features of Salesforce  

1. Lead Management

With Salesforce lead management feature, you are able to measure the impact of your marketing activities across all channels.

How It Works

1. Ensure you’ve clicked on the leads option and select New.

2. A pop-up form is displayed for you to input lead information. Inputting a new lead is like saving a contact on your mobile phone. You select the lead status, input their address information, website, lead source (word of mouth, employee referral or in-store advertisement) and their industry (chemicals, construction, media or hospitality).

3. When done inputting, select Save. New leads can be added with the process above. You can follow each step and edit and convert if need be.

4. By the right side of the screen, you have the option of Activity and Chatter.

5. By selecting Activity, you can initiate conversions, and conversations by logging in on a call or an email.

6. By selecting Chatter, you share an update.

7. Under every lead are sections that indicate the level each customer is at. If a potential lead makes progress (ie is either contacted, working, unqualified or converted), you indicate by marking the status as complete.

8. To add a new lead, select the drop-down arrow beside lead and select New Lead.

2. Contact and Account Management   

With this feature, you store information about your customers and contacts.

How It Works

1. Make sure you’ve clicked on the contact option and select New.

2. Input the contact information, address and additional information.

3. When done inputting, select Save.

4. Your new contact is viewed under details. Select opportunities to name a deal you’ll want to initiate with the new contact. Select New beside opportunity and fill out the New Opportunity form. Input opportunity name, type of business, close dates, stage of the deal and additional information. When done, select Save.

5. Select Marketing to create your campaign history. Click on add to campaign, select New Campaign and input the campaign name, campaign status, campaign type, description, planning details and costs and expected responses. When done, click Save.

6. Your contact is now your campaign member. Select Save.

7. With your campaign history, you have an overview of your campaign and contact.

8. Selecting case helps you reach out to your contacts and help with their issues. Select New and a contact and account name is already displayed, input their web email, case status, case origin, case type, case reason and priority and the necessary description. When done, select Save.

9. Select Notes and Files to assign notes to contact and upload files. Beside Notes, click on New and input some words and choose a contact it will be assigned to. The notes can be in bullet form, numbered or in the middle. Images can also be added. The notes can be shared or added to records. When done, select Done.

When you select Accounts, your contact can be viewed.

3. Opportunity Management   

This feature gives you the tools you need to close more business deals.

How It Works

1. Ensure you’ve clicked on opportunity to see opportunity names, their stages and closing dates.

2. The opportunity you created (Alaska Real Estate) is also noticeable while the other opportunities are samples.  

3. Select any opportunity from the list before you (in this section, I chose Trailhead Outdoor Supply). This case is at the negotiation/review stage.

4. To get the ball rolling, initiate this conversion via a call or email.

5. Select update next steps to indicate what stage you are in the case. When you pick a stage, select Save.

4. Task/Activity Management   

This feature helps you to reschedule tasks and activities, prioritize your tasks and also assign tasks to other team members.

How It Works

1. Select the drop-down at the end of the bar and click on New Tasks.

2. Fill up your task information by indicating who you’re assigning the task to, who the task is related to (contacts), subject, the due date, an option to set a task reminder, and the status and priority of the task. Select Save when done.

3. The calendar-like icon beside the undo option gives you the option of viewing your tasks in a number of views.

Table View

4. Change Recently Viewed to All Tasks.  

5. Either select a task from the samples available or use the one you just created.

6. No matter the task selected; you can select Mark Complete if you’re done. Choose to edit the comments, and change the due date and status.

5. Reports & Dashboard

This feature is a suite of reporting tools that work together to help you understand and act on your data.

How It Works

1. Ensure you have clicked on Report.

2. You can pick any report available to you (Public Reports, Created by Me or All Reports). Or you can click on New Report.

3. Select any report available to you – I chose Average Case Age under Created by Me.

4. Select Edit to add/remove group rows, and columns and to also add some filters. Click on the search bar under Group Rows, and Group Columns to select and add an item. For every item you select, you click on Refresh by the side of the screen to see it reflect. I added the following items – Birthdate & Title. You can also choose to update the preview automatically.

5.  Select the Toggle chart icon (looks like a clock), and select the settings icon to choose a display option to view your reports.

6. Select a display option (I chose Stacked Bar), scroll down and edit your chart attributes, name your chart tile, and select what goes as your X- and Y- axis, how it should be stacked and the legend position.

7. When done selecting, click on the settings icon and select refresh to see your latest edits.

8. When done, select Run to see it go live.

Dashboard:

1. Select the more option after Reports and click on Dashboards.

2. Select Sales Results to view the details in the dashboard. Each chart can be downloaded and edited and components can be added.

3. Select New Dashboard, input name and description. And click on Create.

4. Click on +Components to add various reports and charts. Select one report and click on Select.

5. Select how you want your report to be displayed and your component theme. Select Add.

6. Select +Component to add more reports to your dashboard.

7. Select Save to save your edits and click on Done to see it live.

Note: each report can be expanded and downloaded.

  

6. Integration

On Salesforce, you can integrate more than 2500 apps. There are 3 types of Salesforce integration and they include Data Integration, Business Logic Integration and User Interface Integration.

7. Navigation Bar Personalization

How It Works

1. Select the pen icon at the right end of your screen.

2. Click on Add More Items, click on All and scroll through till you find items you think will be a great addition.

3. Select Add (number of nav items).

4. A pop-up informs you that the number of items you selected has been added to your list. Select Save.

5. The items you added are accessible when you click on More.

Salesforce Ranking & Why We Recommend This Product

Now that we are aware of Salesforce being a CRM, does it stack against specific user-centric parameters? These are what we found.

1. Ease of use/ User Experience

The Salesforce platform is easy to navigate around – even for a first-timer user. As soon as you set up your account, there’s an onboarding message that gives you guides and tutorials on how to get started on the platform.

On a scale of 1 – 5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.5

2. Integration

On Salesforce, you have the ability to integrate more than 2,500 apps.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.5

3. Team Productivity

With Salesforce tasks management feature, you are able to create, assign and update tasks as soon as they are done. This puts the whole team in check.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.5

4. Document Management

Salesforce allows you to upload and share documents on the platform. contact leads and cases are also shared and can easily be assessed.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.5

5. Reporting

Salesforce allows you to use pre-made report samples for reports and also has the flexibility for you to create customized reports.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.7

6. Freemium/ Free trial

Salesforce has a 30-day free trial that lets you test-run the platform before deciding to go for the premium pricing plans.

On a scale of 1 – 5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.8

7. Industry Specific

Salesforce is a CRM that caters to different kinds of target audiences and industries. The platform has different solutions for all kinds of industries including Automotive, Consumer Goods, Education, Financial Services, and Manufacturing.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.8

8. Customization

Salesforce gives you the flexibility to customize certain features to your taste.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 5

9. Mobile App

Salesforce is available on iOS and Android devices and it meets both platform requirements.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.5

Comparative Analysis: Salesforce Review vs HubSpot CRM

This section takes a look at HubSpot CRM as an alternative CRM tool. We’ll cover HubSpot CRM’s pricing plan and features.

HubSpot is a cloud-based American platform and marketer of software products that are used for inbound marketing, customer service, and sales. The platform also assists in sales, marketing, and content management, by providing customers with better strategy and resources.

HubSpot launched HubSpot CRM Free in 2014 and it tracks and manages interactions between a company and its prospects and customers.

HubSpot CRM Features & Services

1. Customised Dashboard

2. Task management

3. Gmail & Outlook Integrations

4. Email Marketing

5. Lead Capture Tools

6. Segmentation

HubSpot CRM Pricing

1. Starter Plan

It goes for $50 monthly ($45 when paid upfront) and it comes with Marketing Hub Starter (starts at 1000 Marketing contacts), CMS Hub Starter, Sales Hub Starter (starts at 2 paid users), Service Hub Starter (starts at 2 paid users), ad management, list segmentation, conversational bots, ad retargeting, email and form automation, blog, Standard SSL certificate among others.

2. Professional Plan

It goes for $1700 monthly ($1600 when paid upfront) and it comes with Marketing Hub Professional (starts at 2000 Marketing contacts), Service Hub Professional (starts at 5 paid users), CMS Hub Professional, Sales Hub Professional (starts at 5 paid users), forecasting, calculated properties.

3. Enterprise Plan

It starts at $5000 per month and it includes Service Hub Enterprise (starts at 10 paid users), Marketing Hub Enterprise (starts at 10,000 contacts), Sales hub Enterprise (starts at 10 paid users) and Operations Hub Enterprise.

Benefits That Make Salesforce Stand Out

1. Salesforce is more customisable.

2. Salesforce has more advanced features.

Conclusion

We’ve come to the end of this article and have covered Salesforce and some features that make it a product worth trying out. Do try it out and we’ll be in the comment section to hear your feedback(s).

Charis Raji
Charis Raji
Profile
Share this article:
  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Be first to hear of the big tech and software updates … Join hundreds more and subscribe to our newsletter today.

    Got a Product?

    get it listed on Product Curve. we have got the reach so why don’t you take advantage of it?