Skip to Content

What Does Salesforce Do?

Man snaps photo of Salesforce logo: What does Salesforce do
Salesforce’s customer relationship management (CRM) software breaks down the technology silos between departments. Our tools power the “wow” moments that delight customers and create lasting relationships with them.

We answer some basic questions about what Salesforce does, what Salesforce CRM software is used for, and how Salesforce helps businesses lower costs, increase productivity and drive efficient growth.

​​Maybe you’ve heard 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? In short: Salesforce is the customer company. We’ll break down what that means below.

What does Salesforce do?

Okay, so you’ve got some customer data. But what do you do with it? How can you use that data to grow lasting relationships and your business? Many companies come to us frustrated because they can’t easily answer these questions. Sales doesn’t share data with marketing. Marketing doesn’t know when a customer has an open service ticket. Commerce doesn’t have transparency on marketing campaigns. You get the picture. Data silos are real. And painful.

With customer expectations at an all-time high, plus a challenging economy, you need to be as efficient and effective as possible. Salesforce’s customer relationship management (CRM) software breaks down the technology silos between departments. 

We call our entire portfolio of products and services Customer 360. It’s how you can unite all of your teams — marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT — with a single shared view of every customer, so your employees have all the relevant data they need to create incredible customer experiences and grow relationships. 

The result? Customer information from tech support chats, recent purchases, website behavior, and more flow throughout your company in real time. Your sales team knows exactly what products to offer. Your service team helps customers faster. Or better yet, customers are empowered to resolve issues on their own with self-service automated tools. The ability to automate and unify millions of data points in real time creates a special kind of customer magic. Customer needs are exceeded and their trust in you grows.

Customer 360 helps you lower costs with your entire organization using one trusted platform, it increases productivity with built-in automation and intelligence, and it drives efficient growth by empowering your employees to exceed customer expectations. 

Want to know the best part? Customer 360 works for every industry, every size of business at any stage of growth. And it is flexible, which means you can customize the apps and tools you need to meet the needs of your business today, and scale as you grow or needs change.

Deliver success now

Learn how Customer 360 helps you lower costs, increase productivity and drive efficient growth.

How does Salesforce work?

Another thing about our CRM platform: it lives in the cloud. This means all your teams are connected on one platform no matter where they’re physically located. Our platform is built on Hyperforce, our next-generation infrastructure, which allows Salesforce applications to scale rapidly and enables you to choose where in the world your Salesforce apps run.

On top of Hyperforce is our latest innovation, Data Cloud, which helps you make the most of all your data. Data Cloud helps you connect your historical, web, mobile, API, CRM, and even real-time data so all your teams have a complete picture of customers and their interactions with your business.

And now with Slack, Customer 360 simplifies communication and information sharing with customers, teams, and partners to power digital workflows for a new way to work. All in all, Salesforce Customer 360 is your solution for success right now. 

Customer 360 includes apps for marketing, sales, commerce, service and IT to help propel business forward — and with Data Cloud, our apps are paired with automation, intelligence, and real-time data so you can create customer magic from one trusted platform.

How can you use Salesforce for marketing?

Marketing Cloud helps you save time, increase efficiency, and meet customers on their preferred channels — email, web, social, mobile, ads, or any combination. And with the help of unified analytics and AI insights, rest assured you’re getting the most out of every dollar and optimizing campaign performance. Marketing teams that use Salesforce estimate a 31% average increase in customer engagement and 27% average decrease in costs to acquire new customers.* 

With Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform, you can understand your customers through real-time data and engage with relevant messaging to deliver hyper-personalized interactions everywhere. Remember when marketers used to daydream about delivering the right message, at the right time, on the right channel? Well, now you can.

Learn how Customer 360 helps you increase efficiency, improve results, and lower costs.

How do you use Salesforce for sales?

Did you know that Salesforce was originally made for sales teams? Our goal is to help sellers reduce costs, increase productivity, and win more deals. On average, our customers have realized up to 32% cost savings**, 29% increase in sales productivity, and 27% increase in win rates after implementing Sales Cloud.*

How does this happen? We created a single platform to simplify and manage the entire sales cycle — from prospecting to deal close to upsell and cross-sell. With Sales Cloud, you’ve got the full sales tech stack ready to automate and scale all your manual sales processes, inspect your pipelines and forecasts with precision accuracy, connect all customer touchpoints for the best buying experience, and more. 

Sales Cloud provides sellers with real-time insights and recommendations to help them spend less time on busywork and more time closing deals. And better still, by connecting sales with marketing, service, and more, your opportunities increase, and your customer experiences feel more seamless and engaged.

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

Sure thing! 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, Commerce Cloud can help you maximize revenue by creating personalized shopping experiences across channels and removing friction from the buying experience, even if a customer starts their shopping journey on one channel and completes it on another.

In fact, Commerce Cloud customers see a 26% decrease in costs to place orders and a 29% increase in online revenue.* That is why our commerce tools are trusted by industry-leading brands.

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

Absolutely! With Service Cloud, Salesforce customers decrease their support costs by 27% on average.* Our leading customer service tools help you scale service that customers love while maximizing ROI and driving efficiencies from the contact center to the field — all on a single platform. Today, customers expect to interact with your business through their preferred channels. We can help you manage those critical touchpoints to provide seamless customer experiences including customer service, self-service channels, field service, and digital channels like chat, SMS, social messaging apps, and more.

With automation and intelligence, your agents can resolve cases faster, provide instant support, and have a complete and informed view of your customers at every interaction. The opportunities for time and cost savings are limitless when all your teams are on the same page. 

What about IT?

Whether your team is tech-minded or not, our integrated Information Technology (IT) tools can help your entire organization automate processes, build more intelligent apps, and secure data across Customer 360. 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. With Salesforce, organizations see a 25% decrease in IT costs.* 

See an example of Salesforce at work

We have many customer stories to share, but let’s look at just one example of how Customer 360 helps deliver success. 

L’Oréal, the world’s number one beauty company, has always combined the best of beauty and technology. And with the help of Salesforce Customer 360, it is forging deeper customer relationships with unique beauty journeys tailor-made to each consumer’s taste, budget, and shopping habits.

With Marketing Cloud Personalization, L’Oréal builds individual consumer journeys from real-time and historical data, delivered through the channels each consumer prefers, such as email or social media. ‘‘Messaging based on shopping habits and use of Salesforce services powers our quest to bring greater personalization, relevance, and satisfaction to our consumers in this ever-evolving and complex beauty consumer journey,” said Asmita Dubey, chief digital and marketing officer.

Throughout L’Oréal’s 200-plus websites, the beauty giant has integrated Commerce Cloud with Einstein Product Recommendations to deliver AI-powered product recommendations based on a consumer’s browsing or purchase history. So if a customer adds a lightweight sunscreen to their cart, for example, Einstein may recommend SPF lip balms or moisturizers at checkout. This powerful AI capability has enabled L’Oréal to generate double-digit increases in average order value (AOV) from its websites.

L’Oréal also uses Service Cloud to consolidate data across brands and channels, such as SMS, chat, and email, into a single view of each consumer. From a single dashboard, agents can pull up consumers’ service and purchase history, view the status of their orders, and even see activity updates in real time. Not only does this provide more seamless experiences for customers looking for help, the employee experience is also better.

“Service Cloud reduces case processing time because agents don’t have to struggle with so many different systems,” said Dubey. “This allows us to better care for our consumers, and therefore drive better consumer satisfaction.” As a result, agent satisfaction scores are up by 70%.

By connecting their customer data, utilizing the power of AI, and uniting their teams with Customer 360, L’Oréal can deliver ultra-personalized consumer experiences on a global scale for its millions of customers.

Why is Salesforce obsessed with customers?

Salesforce has always been customer-obsessed, which is why customer success is one of our core values. While we know our customers are facing economic challenges, supply chain challenges, staffing shortages and more, we also know businesses can’t be successful without putting their customer at the center of their business. Every company must be a customer company. 

A whopping 88% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, according to Salesforce’s 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. Salesforce’s connected customer experiences help you ensure that trust.

How can Salesforce help me cut costs and drive ROI?

Businesses today are facing numerous financial headwinds. Inflation and workforce instability are affecting future plans. Companies need steady, predictable operations. With the right technology investments, companies can cut costs, reduce complexities by consolidating systems, and maximize their success now. Here are some ways Salesforce helps companies drive efficient growth while cutting costs.

Lower costs with one trusted platform

Customer 360 helps companies manage all of their customer relationships from one platform, consolidating the number of tools and vendors needed to help run your business. Fragmented systems block innovation and tie up budgets. With Salesforce, your entire company can work on one trusted platform with industry-leading apps, united by a single, shared view of your customer data. Plus, following a cloud-first approach for customer relationship management (versus on-premise software) allows companies to lower maintenance costs, follow a pay-as-you-go model, and more efficiently enable remote or hybrid work.

Increase productivity with automation

Customer 360 delivers automation, intelligence, and real-time data across every team to boost productivity, accelerate collaboration and focus on the highest value activities to drive efficient growth. Manual processes that used to take days can be automated to take minutes, or even seconds. Salesforce also offers the Workflow Library, a collection of more than 900 pre-built, industry-specific workflows to help you automate your most critical business processes. And with all that time saved, teams can focus on the most strategic activities that create value for your customer.

Drive efficient growth by wowing your customers

Customers want to be more than just 1s and 0s. They want to engage with you on their terms, on their schedule, in real time. And that means moving beyond transactions and prioritizing relationships. With Customer 360 you’re able to put your customer at the center of everything you do. Every employee has the apps and real-time data they need to create experiences that wow your customers and grow lasting relationships. 

Did we mention we’re customer obsessed? We are! And that’s why we’re committed to helping you make the most of our technology. We have an entire support ecosystem to help you reach your goals fast — whether it’s collaborating with industry experts, accessing any of our thousands of apps in the AppExchange, or empowering your workforce with Trailhead, we have everything you need to help you deliver success. In fact, 89% of Salesforce customers achieve positive ROI in nine months.* To learn how to accelerate speed-to-value and achieve long-term success, make sure to explore The Salesforce Way.

The global problems we’re helping to solve

As a company, we do much more than build great products. We believe that our greatest resource is our values, and that businesses big and small can use their platforms for change to build a better future.

We’re doing what we can to tackle the current climate crisis, trust crisis, and the crisis of inequality. Since we began in 1999, we’ve placed a major emphasis on supporting the global environment. We launched a comprehensive pollution tracking tool, and we’re behind the one trillion trees effort to unleash a global reforestation movement.

Companies can create welcoming environments for all employees by seeking diversity and teaching inclusivity. We have an equality at work module on our Trailhead learning platform with more information. We also have training anyone can access on how to build ethical and inclusive products. It’s part of a movement to build technology with intention.

Additionally, our 1-1-1 philanthropic model means we’ve donated more than $543 million in grants, 6.9 million hours of employee volunteer time, and provided free or discounted products to 55,800 nonprofit and education customers 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.

Do more, sell more, and spot more demand. See Salesforce Customer 360 in action.

*Source: 2022 Salesforce Success Metrics Global Highlights study.

Data is from a survey of 3,706 Salesforce customers across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, Australia, India, Singapore, Japan, and Brazil conducted between June 8 and June 21, 2022. Results were aggregated to determine average perceived customer value from the use of Salesforce. Respondents were sourced and verified through a third-party B2B panel. Sample sizes may vary across metrics.

** Based on average costs of comparable solutions. Information purposes only.

Jody Farrar Senior Director, Product Marketing

Jody Farrar is a Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce. She’s equally obsessed with all things marketing as she is with her two adorable kiddos.

More by Jody Farrar

Get the latest articles in your inbox.