The chapter starts with an overview of the Salesforce CRM and its architecture and takes the discussion forward to the various products of Salesforce.com. We will discuss ways to streamline sales processes and improve collaboration in an organization. By the end of this chapter, you will have learned how to create a Salesforce developer account. The following topics will be covered in this chapter:
Overview of the Salesforce CRM
Architecture of Salesforce
Various products of Salesforce
Streamlining the sales process
Improving collaboration in your organization
What makes Salesforce the most innovative company
Creating a Salesforce developer account
In ancient ages, people used papyrus and wood to maintain their customer information, and eventually, this changed to slate. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, kings used to take help from clerks (also known as Munim); these clerks were responsible for maintaining all the customer information on behalf of the king. From time to time, the clerks used to show this account information to the king. The problem with this system was that it was not secured; the clerk could easily manipulate the data for his benefit, and this may have caused losses to the king's business.
As the time passed, computers were invented, so people used them to save the customer information. In the late nineteenth century, the client-server model came into the picture, which introduced a centralized way of keeping record of the customer information.
In a client-server architecture, the end user acts as a client to the service provider; the service provider has its own centralized system known as the server. Once the user connects to the server, they get full rights to access their data. A few examples of CRM software based on the client-server model are Siebel, Oracle RightNow, and SugarCRM. The following is a client-server architecture diagram that describes this concept:
The following table describes the pros and cons of the client-server architecture:
Any number of users can connect to the server.
Due to the high volume of requests, the server may stop responding or can go down.
This architecture needs technical staff to maintain and upgrade the server.
This architecture requires a dedicated high-speed server and a client's system with high-end graphics and the required software.
There were certain problems with the maintenance and upgrading of the client-server model. So, in the twenty-first century, cloud computing came into the picture.
Cloud computing is the new concept in the computing era, in which customers don't have to worry about server maintenance, upgradation, and scalability. We can say that this is a subscription-based model where we can buy the number of licenses as required and start using the application. A few big names in cloud computing are Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Salesforce.com.
As per the preceding diagram, we see that we can connect with a large number of devices (mobiles, tablets, and workstations) via the same server. Customers only need a browser and an Internet connection to use their applications.
No large startup fee
It's a subscription-based model
No buying, maintaining, and configuring hardware and software
We can scale up with the growth of our business
It's more secure and reliable than the client-server model
We can access it from anywhere, anytime, and via any device; we just need an Internet connection
Salesforce.com was initially founded as a CRM company in the dot com era in 1999 by former Oracle executives, Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez, as a company specializing in Software as a Service (SaaS). In June 2004, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol CRM. Salesforce.com is the leader in the SaaS-based on-demand cloud computing model. Salesforce.com's journey started in 2002 when they launched their first SaaS-based product.
The following screenshot shows the home page of their first product:
The architecture of Salesforce.com is multitenant. In a multitenant architecture, a single system serves to the whole consumer base of the provider. This means that the system resources are shared among all the users. Salesforce.com provides a single copy of an app to all the organizations, which runs on Salesforce servers; the organizations are permitted to customize the app according to their business requirements. The resources are similar for all the Salesforce customers. Multiple organizations encounter the same interface to interact with the Salesforce cloud.
Salesforce also applies some limits to the usage termed as governor limits to make sure that a user/organization does not hit the threshold that might affect the system performance, thus making the system work slow or go down for other users or organizations. The clients of Salesforce.com are termed as an organization. Multiple organizations are called tenants, and these tenants further have multiple users based upon the organization's user base or employees.
ExactTarget Marketing Cloud
Sales Cloud is a product designed to automate your sales process. By implementing this, an organization can boost their sales process. It includes campaign, lead, account, contact, opportunity (deal), product, quotes, report, dashboard, and many other features as well, which we will discuss in next chapter. Salesforce offers various Sales Cloud editions, and as per the business needs, an organization can buy any of these different editions:
The price may change over time; whenever your organization is planning to implement Salesforce Sales Cloud, ask your account executive to contact Salesforce.com or visit http://www.salesforce.com/in/sales-cloud/overview/ for the updated price.
Contact Manager Edition: This edition is for small businesses. It primarily provides the contact management features. By implementing this edition, an organization can track accounts, contacts, activities, calendars, notes and attachments, and reports. Mobile access is also available for users. Users can also access Chatter. For each Contact Manager Edition license, organizations have to pay 5 USD per month.
Group Edition: This edition is for small workgroups or businesses with a limited number of users only. Currently, Group Edition can have a maximum of 10 users per organization. Group Edition contains all the features of Contact Manager Edition, plus some extra features. By implementing Group Edition, organizations can manage their sales life cycle, starting from expression of interest (lead management) to closing the deal and providing customer service. Group Edition offers accounts, contacts, opportunities, leads, and reports. For each Group Edition license, organizations have to pay 25 USD per month.
Professional Edition: This edition is for small and medium enterprise (SME). It is designed for business needs where a fully featured CRM functionality is required. It provides the CRM functionality of marketing, sales, and service automation. Professional Edition is a perfect fit for small- to mid-sized businesses. It includes all the features of Group Edition, plus the organization can manage campaigns, mass e-mail, and a customizable dashboard. For each Professional Edition license, organizations have to pay 65 USD per month.
Enterprise Edition: This edition is for businesses with large and complex business requirements. It includes all the features available in Professional Edition, plus it provides advanced customization capabilities to automate business processes and web service API access for integration with other systems. Enterprise Edition also includes workflow, the approval process, profile, page layout, and custom app development. In addition, organizations also get the Salesforce Identity feature with this edition. For each Enterprise Edition license, organizations have to pay 125 USD per month.
Performance Edition: This edition includes all the Salesforce.com features for an entire enterprise. It provides a new level of platform flexibility to manage and share all of their information on demand. The key features of Salesforce.com Unlimited Edition (in addition to Enterprise Edition features) are premier support, full mobile access, and increased storage limits. It also includes Work.com, Service Cloud, knowledge base, live agent chat, multiple Sandboxes, and unlimited custom app development.
When purchasing Salesforce.com licenses, organizations have to negotiate with Salesforce to get the maximum number of Sandboxes. If your organization wants to have more space, then the organization will have to pay an extra amount. To know more about these license types, visit www2.sfdcstatic.com/in/assets/pdf/datasheets/DS_SalesCloud_EdCompare.pdf.
Service Cloud helps your organization to streamline its customer service process. Users can access it anytime, anywhere, and from any device. It helps your organization to close the deal faster. Service agents can connect with customers through the agent console, which means that the agents can interact with customers through multiple channels. Service Cloud includes case management, Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), Service Cloud Console, knowledge base, Salesforce Communities, Salesforce Private AppExchange, Premier+ success plan, reports, and dashboards with many other analytical features. We will discuss more about Service Cloud in Chapter 5, CRM Functions and Streamlining Business Requirements.
The price might change over time. Whenever your organization is planning to implement Salesforce Service Cloud, ask your account executive to contact Salesforce.com or visit http://www.salesforce.com/in/service-cloud/overview/ for the updated price.
Professional Edition: This edition is for small and medium enterprises. It provides CRM functionality for customer support via various channels. It is a perfect fit for small- to mid-sized businesses. It includes features such as case management, CTI integration, mobile access, solution management, content library, reports, and analytics with sales features such as opportunity management and forecasting. For each Professional Edition license, organizations have to pay 65 USD per month.
Enterprise Edition: This edition is for businesses that have large and complex business requirements. It includes all the features available in Professional Edition, plus it provides advance customization capabilities to automate business processes and web service API access for integration with other systems. It also includes the service console, service contract and entitlement management as well as the workflow and approval process, web chat, offline access, and knowledge base. Organizations get the Salesforce Identity feature with this edition. For each Enterprise Edition license, organizations have to pay 125 USD per month.
Performance Edition: This edition includes all the Salesforce.com features for an entire enterprise. It provides all the features of Enterprise Edition and a new level of platform flexibility to manage and share all of their information on demand. The key features of Salesforce.com's Performance Edition (in addition to the Enterprise Edition features) are premier support, full mobile access, unlimited custom apps, and increased storage limits. It also includes Work.com, Service Cloud, knowledge base, live agent chat, multiple Sandboxes, and unlimited custom app development.
When purchasing a license organization, you have to negotiate with Salesforce to get the maximum number of Sandboxes. If you want to more space, then the organization will have to pay extra. To know more about these license types, visit the Salesforce website http://www2.sfdcstatic.com/in/assets/pdf/datasheets/DS_ServiceCloud_EdCompare.pdf.
Chatter is a social platform that integrates with Salesforce's infrastructure to improve the collaboration in the organization. In other words, Chatter is a way to collaborate with team members at the workplace or with customers. It is basically a combination of Twitter and Facebook. It helps organizations to implement transparency in communication and improve customer satisfaction. It gives users access to real-time information about what is going on in the company. It is necessary to empower the entire organization with tools to communicate quickly and effectively with the right information at the right time and this is what Chatter does. By implementing Chatter, organizations can boost their Return of Investment (ROI). We will discuss more about Salesforce Chatter in Chapter 9, Chatter Configuration.
The price might change over time, so whenever your organization is planning to implement Salesforce Chatter, ask your account executive to contact Salesforce.com or visit https://www.salesforce.com/in/chatter/overview/Various editions of Salesforce Chatter for the updated price.
Chatter: This is a free license for organizations to improve collaboration. It includes basics collaboration features such as Chatter Messenger, status update, activity feeds, group, file sharing Chatter desktop, and mobile applications.
Chatter Plus: For this license, the organization has to pay 15 USD per user per month. Users with this license type can access account (read only), contact (read only), 10 custom objects, one custom app, solutions and ideas, tasks and activities, advanced sharing, Salesforce Private AppExchange, Salesforce identity, and many other features.
For Professional Edition customers, new Chatter users will not have access to accounts, contacts, and custom objects unless they have the profiles and page layouts add-on product previously enabled. To know more about this license type, visit the Salesforce website https://secure2.sfdcstatic.com/in/assets/pdf/datasheets/DS_Chatter.pdf.
Data.com is an online business directory of companies and business professionals. It is maintained and accessed by a worldwide community of over a million subscribers along with Salesforce.com. It allows subscribers to exchange and share their business information. Data.com helps organizations to clean their data, or in other words, it provides you with the correct data whenever you need it. Organizations can perform a real-time cleanup of their accounts, contacts, and leads. Data.com helps you to find the right leads for your organization. Data.com allows you to access a business directory where you can find contacts and company-related information. Data.com is one of the largest business directories that contain business contact information and company information of private as well as public-listed companies. No other business directory provides contacts with both phone and e-mail information. You can find leads or customers for your organization by using Data.com. Two important facts about Data.com are as follows:
4+ million in-depth company profiles from D&B
30+ million highly accurate leads from Jigsaw
Data.com Clean: This is an essential part of the Salesforce's Data.com package. It offers a number of ways to update your Salesforce account, contact, and lead records with Data.com. It compares them with the records from Data.com and links these records that match the criteria, thus providing clean status information on the Salesforce record. For each Data.com Clean license, organizations have to pay 25 USD per month. For each Data.com premium clean license, organizations have to pay 35 USD per month, as shown in the following screenshot:
The price may change over time. Whenever your organization is planning to implement Data.com, ask your account executive to contact Data.com support or visit http://www.data.com/editions-pricing/index.jsp for the updated price.
Data.com Prospector: To make use of most of the features of Data.com, your organization needs to have a Data.com Prospector license. Data.com offers two versions of Data.com Prospector. It will help organizations add data from Data.com: Data.com Corporate Prospector and Data.com Premium Prospector. For each Data.com Corporate Prospector license, organizations have to pay 125 USD per month. For each Data.com Premium Prospector license, organizations have to pay 165 USD per month.
Alignment between different teams
Set personal goals with business goals
Recognize sales and marketing people publically so that they will get motivated
The price may change over time. Whenever your organization is planning to implement Work.com, ask your account executive to contact Work.com or visit http://work.com/pricing for the updated price.
Motivate: This license of Work.com lets you recognize and reward your employees and team members in real time. Here, you can offer rewards such as Amazon.com gift cards. You can use gamification and boost your business outcomes. Each Motivate license costs 10 USD per month per user.
Align: This license lets you use all the features of Motivate license plus have privileges to align your team member's goals with the organization's goals as well as for coaching and monitoring purposes. Each Align license costs 15 USD per month per user.
Perform: This license lets you use both of the preceding licenses plus has the advantage of using the performance analysis features of Work.com. For this license, organizations have to pay 20 USD per month per user.
Organizations can use Desk.com to simplify and make life easier for customer support agents. Data.com is a Salesforce product where you get support from all the social channels on a single platform. Service agents can access Desk.com from their desktop and mobile. The following screenshot shows Desk.com's features and pricing:
The price may change over time. Whenever your organization is planning to implement Desk.com, ask your account executive to contact Desk.com support or visit http://www.desk.com/pricing for the updated price.
Starter Plan: In this plan, you will get three support agents' access, including this application, one multichannel support, last 30 days reporting, and a knowledge base access. It also includes Salesforce integration and community support. Organizations have to pay 36 USD per year.
Plus Plan: In this plan, you get all unlimited features of Desk.com, plus e-mail and phone support with full customization and branded Domain SSL hosting. For this, organizations have to pay 29 USD per agent per month but it will be charged annually.
Salesforce renamed its marketing cloud product to ExactTarget Marketing Cloud after the acquisition of Exact Target in 2013 for 2.5 billion USD. This product is used for marketing purposes; it is a marketing automation tool. Using this product, you can create a campaign with a combination of e-mail, mobile, social media, and the Web. Here, you can listen to your customers with Radian6, publish with Buddy media, and advertise with Social.com.
Salesforce1 was announced at Dreamforce' 13 in order to take Salesforce to the next level, that is, the mobile platform. It is a platform to develop mobile applications, or in other words, you can have one platform for all your customer needs. Using Salesforce1, an organization can connect every employee, partner, product, and device with their customer using the power of social media, mobile, and the cloud. Salesforce1 is built on API-first to enable developers to build the next generation of connected apps. With 10x more APIs and services, developers can now build the next generation of social and mobile apps for employees, products, and customers faster than ever before. Salesforce1 solves the problem of lack of mobile specialists and lagging innovation with a revolutionary approach to app development for the social and mobile-first world.
The price may change over time. Whenever your organization is planning to implement Salesforce1 ask your account executive to contact Salesforce.com support or visit http://www.salesforce.com/in/platform/overview/ for the updated price.
One Enterprise App: This license lets you connect to One Enterprise App. You can access the workflow, approval process, point and click development, Chatter, and Salesforce's private AppExchange. For this license, an organization has to pay 25 USD per user per license.
To find out more about Salesforce1 license types, visit http://www.salesforce.com/platform/overview/.
To understand Salesforce.com's innovation in the CRM industry, we have to go more than a decade back, when other vendors used to provide CRM software as a client-server architecture model. The disadvantage of this model was that customers had to maintain their server (or servers), needed higher resources to maintain their software, and maintain traffic, and so on. In 1999, Marc Benioff came up with an idea of cloud-based CRM software (SaaS); the advantage of this model is that Salesforce.com is responsible for maintaining the server and the resources including the upgrade of all software. The best part of Salesforce CRM is the subscription-based model, which comes included with basic CRM applications such as Sales Module, Service Module, and Chatter, which can all be further customized by the users. Salesforce.com was nominated as the most innovative company of the year by Forbes for three years in a row (2011 to 2013).
Salesforce.com pushed collaboration in organizations to the next level by using Chatter; so, in 2011, Forbes nominated Salesforce.com as the most innovative company of the year. Many companies around the globe changed their way of collaboration by using Chatter. They can access Chatter anytime and anywhere by using the Chatter mobile application.
In 2012, Salesforce.com came with a different strategy to take the lead from other CRM vendors. They acquired Radian6 (the social media monitoring tools) and Buddy Media (by using this you can publish shareable content) by investing $1 billion. These two acquisitions helped Salesforce.com form a new product known as Marketing Cloud. It helps brands to know what is trending about them across all major social networks. This was the reason for Forbes to nominate Salesforce.com as the most innovative company of that year.
In 2013, Forbes once again nominated Salesforce.com as the most innovative company of the year for the third time in a row. Showing its interest towards acquisition and promoting new ideas, Salesforce.com spent more than $2.5 billion this year to acquire ExactTarget (a digital marketing software vendor) and Pardot (a B2B marketing automation company). This year, Salesforce.com announced their new Salesforce1 platform.
Streamlining the sales process, a chain of customer-focused steps, enables sales professionals to fundamentally increase their win rates, build customer retention, and increase revenue production. Each step consists of some key activities and has a predictable, measurable outcome.
There is an uncertainty about information. If the sales processes are not aligned, then you are not able to pass on the correct information to the sales team at the right time. It may cause a loss of business or it may lead you to make the wrong sales decisions.
There is no system to maintain sales. Many organizations still maintain their sales processes on paper or Excel. This means that they are not able to track won or lost causes in the system. Sales representatives are unable to assign leads to the correct team if they are not in an automated system.
There is a lack in forecasting. Many organizations do not have a sales forecasting process, which means organizations do not have forecasting accuracy and predictability.
There is no feedback loop. Feedback from customers is really important to improve business processes, but in older times, people had one-to-one meetings to gather feedback from customers and never had all the gathered feedback in one single place.
For internal collaboration, organizations are still using e-mail services.
The following are the key points:
Use forecasting features to optimize your sales process
Pass a customer's information to the sales team at the right time so that they can know more about them at critical times
Use social media to learn more about your customers
Improve internal collaboration by using a cloud-based system
After the closing of every deal, the system will send a survey link to customers to gather their feedback about your sales process and sales team
Here, you can create different sales processes according to your business requirement (it means different sales process for different verticals and companies)
Automatically assign leads to proper teams and queues based on your business model
Implement the approval process to get an approval from higher authority
Use Chatter to boost collaboration between the teams and team members
Use reports and dashboards to share the correct business status with higher officials
We will discuss more about the workflow and approval process in Chapter 6, Automating a Business Process.
In the past, collaboration in an organization used to happen through letters, spreadsheets, or record keeping. People used to express their views, updates, and reviews through notice boards centrally located in the organization or via e-mail. Notice boards were used to express the latest happenings in an organization. As the time passed, organizations started using telephones, faxes, and telegraph to send the updates from one department to another department/person. The collaboration was a wide and vast process and used to take some days and months to exchange the latest information. The process had many steps and the failure of any step led to problems within the organization.
In the sales process, if any information was missing, it may lead to a wrong decision being taken. Imagine if the sales representatives of an organization are not updated with the latest product or a price change; this might lead to loss of profit/customers. The process was not quick and easy as one department may or may not be having proper information about one or the other. This could lead to serious problems. Likewise, suppose the marketing department is not able to explain the potential interest to a customer, which means that the organization is unable to get new customers, or is unable to get the right ideas for a new campaign.
In CRM, collaboration is the main essence in order to succeed. If any of the steps fall behind, the organization suffers. Salesforce introduced Chatter for productive collaboration in the organization and even enabled users to invite their customers to the platform to share new ideas, exchange information, and so on.
Salesforce Chatter has unique features that help organizations to become more productive. They are as follows:
Invite your customers to Chatter
Comment on status updates
Chatter publisher actions
Follow and unfollow people
We will discuss more about the preceding features in Chapter 6, Automating a Business Process.
To get started with the given topics in this book and to practice them on your own, it is recommended that you have access to a Salesforce developer account. Using Salesforce production instance is not essential for practicing. You can use Salesforce Sandbox or a developer account to practice on the examples covered in this book.
If you currently do not have your own developer account, you can create a new Salesforce developer account. The Salesforce developer account is completely free and can be used to practice newly earned concepts, but you cannot use this for commercial purposes.
Click on the Free Developer Edition link.
It will open Sign Up Page for your free developer account, and it will display the following screen:
Fill in the form and accept Master Subscription Agreement.
Click on the Sign me up > button.
Once you register for the developer account, Salesforce.com will send you the login details on the e-mail ID that you provided during registration. By following the instructions in the e-mail, you are ready to get started with Salesforce. The e-mail will look as shown in the following screenshot:
Once you click on the link, it will ask you to choose your password and set the security question and answer. You can use the security question if you forget the password. If you forget your password, navigate to http://login.salesforce.com and click on Forgot your Password link and enter your username. Salesforce will send a new password to your e-mail address. If your Salesforce account is locked and you are the only Salesforce administrator, then Salesforce will automatically unlock your account after 15 minutes.
If you are logging in to Salesforce production or developer instance, use http://login.salesforce.com.
If you are logging in to the Salesforce Sandbox instance, then use http://test.salesforce.com.
Once the login screen is loaded, provide your username and password.
Salesforce may ask you to enter a verification code depending upon the organization's security and settings.
After verification, you will be allowed to access Salesforce, and next time, Salesforce will not ask for the verification code.
You need to enter a verification code every time you access Salesforce from a different computer or device. We will discuss more about this in Chapter 3, Make Your Salesforce Data Secure – Security Settings in Salesforce.
Once you successfully complete the verification process, Salesforce will redirect you to the home page. The page you see the first time after logging in is known as the landing page, and if you move your mouse pointer to your browser's tab, you will be able to identify which Salesforce edition you are currently using. You can change the landing page, but we will discuss this in the later chapters. To play with your settings, you can click on the Setup link that is available in the top-right corner adjacent to your name on the page, as shown in the following screenshot:
Salesforce provides it free of cost to developers as a playground for their work
A developer account can never expire
You can experiment with certain development activities
You can share your application with peers by creating packages
The developer account comes with a number of preinstalled applications such as sales, call center, marketing, and ideas
Updates are automatically installed in your developer account; these updates include:
Salesforce customer portal
Two Salesforce CRM licenses
Two Salesforce mobile licenses
Three Salesforce platform licenses
Five Salesforce partner licenses
10 Salesforce customer portal manager licenses
For data storage, you get 5 MB and for file storage (attachments), 20 MB. To check your developer account, follow the Name | Setup |Administration Setup | Data Management | Storage Usage path.
It offers 5000 API calls every 24 hours.
You can install any number of applications in your developer account.
A 500 MB bandwidth and 10-minute service request time limits (per rolling 24 hours) for Force.com site applications.
You cannot use this developer account for commercial purposes. I would refer to the article at https://login.salesforce.com/help/pdfs/en/salesforce_app_limits_cheatsheet.pdf to check the limits of each edition.
In this chapter, we went through an overview of Salesforce as well as its architecture. We discussed Salesforce's various products and its available editions on the market. We also discussed how Salesforce improves the ROI experience. We learned different ways to streamline your Sales process and improve collaboration in your organization. At the end, we discussed how to create a developer account and learned its benefits and limitations. In the next chapter, we will go through various organization setup concepts such as setting up a company profile and user management concepts such as setting role and profiles for your organization.