Users / Admins / Developers

What Is Salesforce? A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started

By Mariel Domingo

The business world is extremely vast. You could argue that while businesses themselves are vital, customers are what actually drive them. Being organized with managing customers and making sure they’re satisfied are the ultimate keys to success. 

This is where Salesforce comes in – it’s a super-smart tool that helps these businesses keep track of their customers in order to make them happy. If you’re new to this, don’t worry! Let’s break it all down.

What Is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. 

What is CRM? Think of it like a special toolbox for businesses, or a big address book combined with a personal assistant. It helps businesses organize and manage all the information about their customers in one easy-to-access place. Having a full 360-degree view of customers makes it easier to understand them, so services offered by the business can be tailored to customers’ specific needs – which then promotes overall satisfaction. 

In simple terms, Salesforce is like a supercharged customer organizer that helps businesses keep their customers happy and coming back for more. That’s a win-win for both the business and its customers!

Salesforce’s popularity comes mainly from its user-friendly interface and customizable features, along with its scalability and continuous innovation. Here’s what makes it special:

  • It is highly customizable: Businesses can tweak Salesforce settings and features to fit their needs perfectly. 
  • It helps with seeing the big picture: As Salesforce says, it’s like having a 360-degree view of your customer. 
  • Automation: Salesforce has out-of-the-box features that can do cool tricks, like automating tasks or even making smart suggestions. This can ultimately help businesses work smarter and faster.
  • It grows and is ever-changing: No matter how big or small a business is, Salesforce can grow with it, adapting to whatever changes come its way.
  • AppExchange: You can think of this as Salesforce’s “marketplace”, where businesses can search for and install third-party applications or services from other developers to extend the platform’s functionality. This vast ecosystem of apps adds more possibilities for customization.

Benefits of Using Salesforce

Imagine a business offering different products, with lots of customers coming from different parts of the world. That’s a lot of people with various needs! Salesforce gives these businesses the advantage of having centralized data – all customer information is consolidated in one platform. It’s a single source of truth. 

Additionally, Salesforce is a cloud-based platform, which means all the data and tools are accessible online from anywhere with a browser and an internet connection. As a result, there is no longer a need for expensive hardware or on-premise solutions as cloud-based software allows for seamless updates and scalability without the hassle of traditional software installations. 

Alongside this, Salesforce offers automation features that can help with users’ repetitive tasks. This can increase employees’ efficiency and potentially free up their time for other meaningful tasks. And since it’s a shared platform, enhanced collaboration between users is definitely a plus.

The Evolution of Salesforce

Salesforce began as a simple CRM application in 1999 but has now grown into a full suite of cloud services that meet a wide range of company requirements. The introduction of specialized areas of the platform or “clouds” – such as Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and more – has expanded Salesforce’s capabilities beyond traditional CRM functionalities. 

For businesses that need to develop more functionality apart from the platform’s standard capabilities, Developers can get into coding with Apex (Salesforce’s programming language) and Visualforce (the framework that allows developers to build custom user interfaces).

READ MORE: Salesforce History: Your Guide from 1999 – 2022

Salesforce has also made significant strides in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) through Einstein. Einstein is Salesforce’s set of AI technologies integrated into the platform that brings advanced analytics, predictive insights, and automation capabilities directly into the org. It helps businesses make smarter decisions, anticipate customer needs, and automate repetitive tasks.

Salesforce Cloud Services

“Clouds” in Salesforce refer to a particular collection of cloud-based services that are made to meet different business requirements and give businesses access to specialized functionalities or features. Each cloud is tailored to specific industries or different kinds of businesses. 

Here are the most commonly used ones you should know about:

Sales Cloud: Helps businesses sell their products by keeping track of customer information – like who they are and what they buy. Since it manages sales processes, businesses can cultivate sales with tools for lead conversion, opportunity tracking, and sales forecasting. With this, sales teams can close deals faster!

Marketing Cloud: Helps send out emails and ads to customers, making sure they get the right messages at the right time. Marketers can have their own personalized marketing campaigns across multiple channels, so there’s better customer engagement.

Service Cloud: For businesses that have a customer-facing support center, this can help them answer customer queries and solve problems which then keeps customers happy and coming back. It’s best for enhancing both customer service and support as it provides tools for case management, knowledge sharing, and omni-channel.  

Experience Cloud: Almost every business has its own website or page where customers, partners, and even internal workers can find what they need. This facilitates the creation of branded online communities and portals for customers, partners, and employees.

Commerce Cloud: Businesses that use e-commerce or sell their goods online are the main users of this. It enables them to provide customers with seamless, tailored buying experiences across a variety of platforms. This empowers e-commerce websites and digital storefronts!

Analytics Cloud: Salesforce has Einstein, which is the first comprehensive AI for CRM. It’s a comprehensive set of AI technologies built specifically for the platform and is involved largely with Analytics Cloud. It provides complex analytics and visualization capabilities to extract meaningful insights from data gathered across the Salesforce platform and even external sources. With the current rise of AI, this is useful as it empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions.

READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Every Salesforce Product in 2023 [Infographic]

Career Prospects in Salesforce

With more and more businesses adopting the use of Salesforce worldwide, career prospects in the Salesforce ecosystem are progressively increasing. Though the need for specialization has grown more significant, the demand for positions like Admin, Developer, Consultant, Architect, and Analyst remain. There’s always lots of room for career progress depending on where you want to excel (and the pay is pretty competitive too!).

Certification and Training

Salesforce offers a wide range of certifications that validate expertise in various aspects of the platform. A beginner can pick one (or more!) of many paths which include: Associate, Administrator, Developer, Consultant, Architect, Designer, and Marketer. You can check out the full list of certifications here. The Certified Technical Architect (CTA) credential is the highest level of certification in Salesforce, and having it signifies your mastery of the platform’s technical architecture and design concepts. 

While experience and hands-on practices are still the best ways to hone your Salesforce skills, certification exams make sure you’ve mastered theoretical concepts. It’s pretty easy to self-study for certification exams, as a wide array of training resources are available online.

Trailhead is Salesforce’s official online learning platform. Learning here is gamified in such a way that you earn points and badges for every accomplished lesson or module. You can sign up for free!

READ MORE: 9 Free Salesforce Training Resources

Additionally, our very own courses at Salesforce Ben offer comprehensive self-study courses and practice exams tailored to different certification tracks and skill levels. These courses include structured learning paths, expert guidance, practical exercises as well as video tutorials to help you prepare for certification exams and excel in your Salesforce career.


Salesforce is not just a platform but a massive ecosystem that transforms how businesses manage customer interactions and boost growth. In today’s dynamic corporate world, it is unsurpassed for optimizing daily operations and enhancing user experience thanks to its easy-to-learn interface and customizable features.

 It also provides lots of chances for professional advancement via training and certifications. With all of this under Salesforce’s belt, it is hard to argue against its ten-year run as the world’s number one CRM provider.

The Author

Mariel Domingo

Mariel is the Courses Administrator at Salesforce Ben.

Leave a Reply