Salesforce continues to lead the SaaS industry with its enterprise solutions because they are cloud-based, customizable, feature-rich, integrated, secure, and scalable. As we discuss the platforms with our prospects and clients, we liken Salesforce to buying a race car versus a stock automobile. It’s not the best solution for every company, but it’s amazingly malleable for virtually any process, organization, and industry.
With other off-the-shelf applications, we often have to work within the platform’s constraints. That’s not a complaint, just an observation. For many companies, alternative solutions can be implemented in less time, with less cost, and with less training. Buying a race car requires an entire team to customize, drive, and maintain the vehicle. This is often overlooked in our implementations for organizations… or it’s overlooked in the sales process.
As a result, there are strong reactions to Salesforce in the marketplace… some people believe it’s difficult, expensive, and doesn’t work as expected. Others love it and have built successful careers with it implemented seamlessly into every aspect of their organization. As a consulting firm working with Salesforce for decades, we see both sides. We are often brought in to help frustrated companies turn around their return on technology investment (ROTI) for Salesforce. Our only wish was that we were brought in before the purchase decision to set accurate expectations for the client on resources, timelines, priorities, and expectations.
Salesforce Sales and Partner Processes
A key to Salesforce’s success is its sales and partner process. When a company licenses one of Salesforce’s products, the sales representative typically introduces a partner or partners that can also provide implementation services. This coordination between Saleforce and its partners isn’t unique in the marketplace, but it can also introduce some challenges.
A lot of pressure and expectations are placed on the partner to support the sales process, expand the Salesforce relationship, and help the sales representative meet or exceed their quotas. I’d encourage you to seek out a partner that isn’t beholden to Salesforce, as they’ll look out for your best interests instead.
We work in partnership to ensure our clients’ success… and we aren’t reliant on Salesforce for our leads and customers. I want to be clear that I’m not criticizing all of Salesforce or its partners – they have some exceptional people and a talented partner community. I’m simply providing a better process for ensuring your return on investment with Salesforce.
Salesforce Product Landscape
Perhaps the best independent resource on the web for Salesforce information is Salesforce Ben. Their site keeps you updated on how to get a great return and take advantage of the best of Salesforce’s platforms. Last year, they provided this infographic that organizes the growing array of products.
Another observation… as an enterprise corporation, Salesforce is constantly renaming, retiring, acquiring, and integrating new products and platforms. This is in addition to AppExchange.
AppExchange is a marketplace where businesses can buy, sell, and customize Salesforce apps. It is the world’s largest enterprise cloud marketplace, with over 7,000 apps available. Apps on AppExchange can help businesses with a wide range of tasks, including:
- Sales: Increasing sales productivity, closing more deals, and managing leads.
- Marketing: Generating leads, nurturing prospects, and delivering personalized marketing campaigns.
- Customer service: Providing excellent customer service, resolving issues, and providing support.
- Operations: Automating tasks, improving efficiency, and making better decisions.
AppExchange apps are developed by a wide range of partners, including Salesforce, independent software vendors (ISVs), and Salesforce users. Apps can be purchased or rented and customized to meet any business’s specific needs.
List of Salesforce Products
Salesforce Products for Sales and Marketing:
- Sales Cloud: Salesforce’s flagship CRM product, designed to accelerate the sales cycle and manage leads, opportunities, and forecasting.
- CPQ & Billing: Allows sales users to create accurate quotes with complex product configurations and handles invoicing and revenue recognition.
- Marketing Cloud: A digital platform for automating marketing across various channels like email, social media, mobile apps, and websites.
- Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot): A B2B marketing solution within Marketing Cloud, focusing on email marketing, lead scoring, and reporting.
- Slack: A messaging app for businesses that enables direct communication and collaboration between teams and channels.
- Social Studio: Manage, schedule, create, and monitor posts. You can organize posts by brand, region, or multiple teams and individuals in a unified interface. Social Studio offers powerful real-time publishing and engagement.
- Experience Cloud: Helps create portals, forums, websites, and help centers for customers, partners, and employees to interact with your business.
- Commerce Cloud: Enables retailers to create engaging global online shopping experiences with mobile readiness and integration with other Salesforce products.
- Surveys: Allows the creation of surveys that can be sent from Salesforce and captures responses for analysis.
- Loyalty Management: Helps businesses build and manage loyalty programs at scale, including tiered memberships and points-per-purchase.
Salesforce Products for Customer Service:
- Service Cloud: A CRM platform for customer support teams, facilitating customer communication via email, live chat, or phone and resolving their issues.
- Field Service: Provides workforce management tools for comprehensive field service management, including appointment scheduling, dispatching, and mobile app support.
- Digital Engagement: Enhances Service Cloud with digital engagement capabilities like chatbots, messaging, and social media integration.
- Service Cloud Voice: Integrates telephony systems with Service Cloud for seamless call center operations and agent productivity.
- Customer Lifecycle Analytics: Offers insights and analytics for customer support interactions to improve customer experience and agent performance.
- Salesforce Surveys Response Pack: Extends the capabilities of Surveys with additional features for analyzing and acting upon customer feedback.
Salesforce Products for Analytics and Data Management:
- Analytics Cloud: Provides advanced analytics and data visualization capabilities within the Salesforce platform, leveraging Salesforce and external data sources.
- Tableau: A powerful business intelligence (BI) and data analysis tool that allows users to connect, visualize, and analyze data from multiple sources.
- Marketing Cloud Intelligence: Unifies marketing data from various platforms to provide holistic reporting, measurement, and optimization.
- Einstein Analytics: Embeds AI-driven analytics and predictive insights across various Salesforce Clouds, enabling data-driven decision-making.
- Einstein Data Detect: Uses AI to identify and protect sensitive data within a Salesforce organization.
Salesforce Products for Integration and Development:
- Salesforce Platform: The foundational platform for customizing and building apps on top of Salesforce products, with features like custom objects, automation, and UI customization.
- Hyperforce: Enables storing Salesforce data in public clouds like AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure for enhanced security, compliance, and scalability.
- Heroku: A cloud platform for building customer-facing apps that seamlessly connect with Salesforce data using pre-built connectors.
- MuleSoft: Provides integration capabilities with a wide range of systems and applications using pre-built connectors and API management tools.
- Salesforce MuleSoft Composer: A lightweight version of MuleSoft designed for Salesforce admins to manage API connections and integrations within Salesforce.
Salesforce Products for Industry-Specific Solutions:
- Industry Cloud: Industry-specific solutions tailored for financial services, healthcare, and the public sector, offering specialized CRM functionality.
- Vlocity: Industry-specific clouds acquired by Salesforce, providing solutions for sectors like communications, media, and insurance.
Salesforce Products for Artificial Intelligence and Learning:
- Einstein: Salesforce’s AI layer embedded across Salesforce Clouds, offering AI-powered features like opportunity scoring and personalized recommendations.
- Einstein GPT: creates personalized content across every Salesforce cloud with generative AI, making every employee more productive and every customer experience better.
- myTrailhead: A platform that allows organizations to deploy a customized version of Salesforce’s free learning platform, Trailhead, for employee training and upskilling.
- Quip: A collaboration platform that combines word processing and spreadsheet tools with real-time collaboration features.
Other Salesforce Products:
- Shield: Enhances security and compliance for Salesforce products with features like platform encryption, event monitoring, field audit trail, and data protection.
- Work.com: Helps companies reopen offices safely with features like employee health monitoring, shift management, and contact tracing.
- Net Zero Cloud: A carbon-accounting tool that enables companies to measure and take accountability for their carbon footprint.
- NFT Cloud: Salesforce’s platform for creating, selling, and managing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to engage customers and leverage digital assets.
It’s important to note that Salesforce’s extensive APIs enable virtually any developer, organization, or platform to integrate almost every product or feature within a Salesforce product with their systems. Millions of custom integrations and well-supported third-party products outside the Salesforce ecosystem are robust and affordable alternatives to Salesforce products and AppExchange solutions.
Need Assistance with Salesforce?
Whether you’re looking to develop a productized integration, require a custom integration, or wish to maximize your return on Salesforce investment… we can help!