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Salesforce Platform

What Does Salesforce Do?

We answer some basic questions about what Salesforce does, what Salesforce CRM software is used for, and how Salesforce works.

Man snaps photo of Salesforce logo

Maybe you’ve heard Co-CEO Marc Benioff speak on CNBC or CNN. You may also recognize our cloud logo, friendly characters, or our very tall headquarters in San Francisco. But, because our work in the world is so varied, we often field the question: What does Salesforce actually do?

What does Salesforce do?

Many companies come to us frustrated or overwhelmed by their customer data because it’s not sharable, readable, and does not tell the story of who their customer is or what they want. For example, sales doesn’t share knowledge or data well with marketing; marketing has no knowledge of when a customer has contacted customer service.

Salesforce creates and supports customer relationship management (CRM) software that helps break down the technology silos between departments to give companies a complete view of their customer everywhere they interact with your brand. When Salesforce technology is implemented, employees in marketing, sales, commerce, service, and information technology (IT) can share a single customer view from any device, anywhere in the world. We call our platform Salesforce Customer 360 because it’s a collection of powerful apps that help you see a holistic view of your customers anywhere they come into contact with your brand.

CRM platforms enable a deeper understanding of customers and also a better experience for customers interacting with your company. We’ll explain more about that later.

What is Salesforce used for?

Another thing about our CRM platform: It’s software, not hardware, and it lives in the cloud. This means your marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT teams can be connected on our platform no matter where they’re physically located in the world. And now with Slack, Customer 360 is the world’s #1 CRM that simplifies communication and information sharing between customers, teams, and partners to power digital workflows for the new way to work.

This digital workplace helps businesses, government agencies, educational institutes, and non-profit organizations large and small deliver exceptional experiences for those they serve. And it’s doing so across industries: from consumer goods, public sector, retail, and manufacturing, to financial services, hospitality, and many more.

How does Salesforce work?

Customer 360 offers apps that unite every team — marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT —  around a single, shared view of customer data on an integrated platform. Employees can access the information they need to do their best work. And they can collaborate and align with colleagues much more easily. This ultimately leads to more connected, personalized experiences for your customers, building stronger relationships. 

How? This holistic view of each customer shortens the time it takes for companies to resolve customer issues. It also eliminates redundancies in communication and allows for highly personalized interactions.

Illustration of Salesforce Customer 360 products and tools.
Customer 360 includes apps for marketing, sales, commerce, and service to help propel business forward — plus Slack to connect customers, teams, and partners.

How can Salesforce be used for marketing?

We can help your team tailor marketing messages to the right person at the right time on the right channel. We can also help you improve lead generation, customer acquisition, and upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

Customer 360 can help you collect and manage first-, second-, and third-party data, and reconcile data from known and unknown customers and prospects. We’re also flexible enough to help you integrate data sources outside of our own.

Artificial intelligence (AI) integration helps your team plan and optimize every customer interaction. You can quickly and easily make data-backed decisions about new customer segments you want to target. 

Salesforce can also help you build connected brand journeys that adjust based on your customer’s interactions, and give them the most helpful personalized experience. Learn more about Marketing Cloud here.

How do you use Salesforce for sales?

Your sales team can spend less time on data entry and more time connecting with customers. Our tools can also help your sales reps and support team develop and implement a precise, repeatable sales process. 

Better still, by connecting sales with marketing, service, and more, your opportunities increase, and your customer experiences feel more seamless and engaged. Learn more about Sales Cloud here.

Can Salesforce also work for B2C and B2B shopping and commerce?

If you want to build simple, seamless business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) commerce experiences that help grow revenue, engage customers, and connect commerce to the rest of the business, Salesforce has tools for that, too.

Easy to implement and adapt, our flexible platform for commerce can scale anywhere. We can help your products and services for both businesses and consumers convert more customers with personalized buying experiences. Learn more about Commerce Cloud here.

What about customer service? Are there Salesforce tools for that?

Deliver consistent, personalized customer service across every customer interaction — from the contact center to the field, and from service automation to chatbots powered by AI. We can help you manage numerous touchpoints, including customer service, self-service channels, field service, and digital channels like chat, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and more.

We have lots of ways to help you resolve cases faster, provide instant support, and make sure that agents have a complete and informed view of your customer at every interaction. Learn more about Service Cloud here.

What about IT?

Whether your team is tech-minded or not, our integrated Information Technology (IT) tools can help your entire organization build modern apps to meet employee, partner, and customer needs. We’ll put you on the path to increase productivity by automating processes that help teams across your organization improve scale, transparency, and security as you need it. Learn more about Salesforce for IT here.

See an example of Salesforce at work

We have many customer stories to share, but let’s look at just one example of Customer 360 in action. 

Beauty brand e.l.f. Cosmetics knew it had to make sure every customer touchpoint online was relevant and consistent across its channels. So the company implemented a combination of Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Service Cloud to transform and connect those functions of its business. The result was giving shoppers the best, most seamless and intuitive marketing, shopping, and customer service experiences possible.

These three solutions worked together to provide a holistic view of the e.l.f. shopper to company leaders, both before and after purchase. This allowed the company to quickly adapt in real-time to customers’ cosmetic needs, enabling e.l.f. communications to speak to each customer in a personalized way.

These innovations led e.l.f.’s ecommerce site to become first in its sector, with an impressive 55% to 65% retention rate. E.l.f. also increased efficiency because they could reassign employees from customer service case resolution to more forward-looking customer loyalty programs.

You can tailor Customer 360’s capabilities to your specific needs. Maybe that means bringing AI, data, or analytics integrations into your processes. Or it might look like training your team with new skills. Beyond the technology, our global ecosystem of experts, app partners, community Trailblazers, and professional services is always on hand, 24/7.

Why is Salesforce obsessed with customers?

A whopping 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, according to Salesforce State of the Connected Customer report. This means it’s not only about what you offer customers, but when, where, why, and how you reach them.

Today’s customers want to trust they’re getting what they need from you, when and where they need it. They want experiences to be effortless, and they’re loyal to brands they can count on. The connected customer experiences Salesforce helps you to create ensure that trust.

The business problems we’re helping to solve

According to a study commissioned by Forrester Consulting, here are some of the challenges facing business leaders today:

  • 58% strongly agree or agree that customer/prospect and account data comes from too many sources to easily make sense of it
  • 58% strongly agree or agree that the lack of an enterprise view of customer/prospect data is a problem
  • 56% strongly agree or agree that organizational silos negatively impact the quality of their customers’ or prospects’ experience

So why, then, is data siloed in organizations? Too often companies take on digital transformation initiatives separately. Over half of the study’s respondents report their CRM systems are at least somewhat fragmented across their company.

While this approach may help solve a short-term business problem, it can make it harder to deliver better customer experiences down the road.

The global problems we’re helping to solve

As a company, we do much more than innovate CRM technology. Since we began in 1999, we’ve placed a major emphasis on supporting the global environment. We launched a new pollution tracking tool in September of 2019. And we’re behind the one trillion trees effort to unleash a global reforestation movement.

Additionally, our 1-1-1 philanthropic model means that we’ve donated more than $240 million in grants, 3.5 million hours of community service, and provided product donations for more than 39,000 nonprofits and education institutions since we started. You can learn more about our philanthropic efforts here.

In summary, Salesforce creates CRM-based tools and solutions for companies of all shapes and sizes. But that’s not all. We also have major sustainability and philanthropic efforts that provide a window into the heart and soul of Salesforce.

Have more questions? Learn how you can make Customer 360 work for your business needs.

 [3:18] Do more, sell more, and spot more demand. See Salesforce Customer 360 in action.

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