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Here is reference information for those new to Salesforce to understand how the company structures its offerings.


This section presents some common concerns which drive organizations to consider Salesforce. I’ll then show you real examples of several implementations.

Why Salesforce?

Let’s follow the conversation pattern*


(AxNOT): I appreciate the time you’re taking here. Naturally, you have some questions about Salesforce because of its popularity. Obviously, this page provides you information you’re looking for. Typically, initial discussions would finish with seeing whether there is a fit.

Situation / Pain

How do your salespeople work?

  • How do they get leads? (target potential customers)
  • How do they prioritize what leads they work on? How do they focus on key accounts?
  • What do they have to do to get approval?
  • How much time does it take to do after-sale work like generating contracts and other back-office work?
  • What statistics do sales managers have to make decisions and anticipate customer needs?

Are your people frustrated with efficiency-sapping conditions such as:

  • Losing information written down in scraps of paper
  • New people not getting the conversation history on emails
  • Time-consuming work on spreadsheets and Access databases that can be error-prone
  • Data on local file directories (not accessible by others)
  • Different parts of the organization organizaing their information differently
  • Repetitive manual work to keep several people informed
  • Waiting for approvals
  • Waiting for system changes within in-house systems

Do you relate to these conditions?

Salesforce automation saves time by salespeople so they can sell more.

Use cases

Next I’ll show how Salesforce has structured its services and pricing for use by organizations large and small in many different industries. Among its customers on the Fortune 500 is Amazon, Google (Alphabet), T-Mobile, Comcast, Adiddas, General Electric, Wells Fargo, Philips, American Red Cross, etc.

Salesforce is used by because of its automation out-of-the-box and flexibility. As companies grow, they can use more features.

Salesforce is called the “Intelligent Customer Success Platform”

Customer Success

Customer success is one of what Salesforce defines as its core values, which also include trust, innovation, and equality.

Companies that implement Salesforce CRM see improved sales of 30%+ because Salesforce provides a central data collection system needed to implement a disciplined approach to selling:

  • Lead scoring: the value of each lead can be calculated so salespeople focus on the best leads
  • Leads can be automatically allocated among salespeople
  • Emails can be automatically sent out (by autoresponders)
  • Templates for each step, with each step in the sales funnel defined, but can be adapted
  • “Web-to-Lead” automatically sends web form fills directly into Salesforce Sales Cloud Lead records.
  • “Email-to-Case” integrates with Gmail and Outlook to automatically reads emails into Service Cloud case records.
  • “Question-to-Case” let moderators create cases from Chatter questions.

Data collection also enables Managers to make decisions based on facts.

  • A large number of default Dashboards are available with just a few clicks
  • Calculation of how much is in each part of the sales funnel
  • Since the status of each opportunity
  • Campaigns returns analysis
  • Data enables Sales and Marketing to work together better, proactively

The true power of Salesforce is the ease of customization and, paradoxically, powerful features. Gartner rated Salesforce at the upper-right corner of its Magic Quandrant of systems for “citizen programmers”.

Salesforce provides an easy and fast way to create sophisticated apps:

  • An app can be created in minutes using point and click, selecting sophisticated features that have been built up over the years from features common among all Salesforce customers – features that would not be economical for any single company to fund on their own.
  • Mobile “Salesforce1” apps are generated automatically, making Salesforce the top-rated mobile development platform
  • Internationalization is built-in for languages with multi-lingual forms
  • Free development environments called “orgs” (organizations). (no 7 day trials)
  • Fine-grained access control
  • Extensible UI with clicks or code
  • Contextual field types (such as currency, Email, Geolocation, Percent, Phone, URL, etc.) that are treated appropriately without additional coding
  • Innovation in Machine Learning for personalization, Analytics
  • Innovation in object recognition
  • Use popular UI frameworks like Bootstrap, JQuery (in VisualForce classic)
  • Lightning HTML UI components for user-developed apps

  • API-first to integrate anything with everything
  • Salesforce was designed with a metadata-driven architecture. Everything, including the code, configuration, and apps, is specified as metadata.


The 2018 survey by 3rd-party Bluewolf found that 94% of Salesforce customers say it makes their job easier.


An army of partners and 3rd-party developers create add-on functionality for Salesforce.

An example of a native app (completely within Salesforce) is Internet Creations’ Case Flags which adds color-coded flags to provide real-time visibility to cases requiring responses to customers. Such alerts reduce customer SLA violations.


Although Salesforce does not recalculate foreigh currencies as they change constantly, its “Advanced currency management” calculates and track exchange rates periodically if “Activate Multiple Currencies” is set in the Company Information Profile. After activation, “Currency Setup” appears.

Competitors and Market Share

The top competitors to Salesforce are:

Gartner says “Salesforce leads market share with 16% in 2013 vs. SAP with 13%, and Oracle with 10%.” See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_CRM_systems

Marc @Benioff’s Twitter header picture has this (from Gartner):


Being a popular CRM solutions means it is easier to find sales reps who already know how to use the software

PROTIP: Salesforce/Force.com seem to be more attractive to mid-market customers than SAP and Oracle. And smaller companies tend to more flexible about all work being done on-site.


Small and Medium sized (SME) organizations can benefit from Salesforce because all they need to get organized is an internet connection and a browser. Those companies don’t have server rooms to build, power, refrigerate, and guard. In several places for disaster recovery. Most companies over-buy hardware to cover future growth. So in many cases, we see the using Salesforce saves money versus excess capacity built. With Salesforce, companies pay only what they use for the number of employees. You don’t pay for idle hardware. But when you need, you can scale quickly, globally, without all the effort and time that goes with buying hardware.

Salesforce is completely run on the cloud, with no on-premises option. So all data is in one connected platform to do work, enabling teamwork globally, anytime. That’s why some companies adopt Salesforce because their customers say they will have more confidence with their capability if they use Salesforce. Or they adopt Salesforce to keep up with competitors who are doing more with less people.

Essential features in SalesforceIQ

The Sales Cloud Essentials license provides these basic CRM features:

  • Automatic data capture
  • One list (instead of being scattered among emails and other places), accessible on the web
  • Customizable sales tracking
  • Intelligent follow-up reminders
  • Contact auto-complete
  • Shared address book
  • Sent-email notifications
  • Seamless collaboration
  • Smart mobile apps
  • Webinars and live trainings

Clouds = Standard Apps

Salesforce uses the word “cloud” to brand Salesforce apps (applications):

Expertise on some of the clouds are proven by “consultant” certification exams.


Different lists of 12 industries are listed by Salesforce, such as AppExchange Industry Collections:

Salesforce.com and Force.com

Technically, many of Salesforce’s “cloud” and feature offerings share use of the same salesforce.com and force.com DNS domain names.

Salesforce, as a company, owns several domain names (some product offerings have their own domain, but some don’t):

  • Salesforce.com [status]

    • https://login.salesforce.com/
    • https://appexchange.salesforce.com/
    • https://certification.salesforce.com/
    • https://develop.salesforce.com/
    • https://help.salesforce.com/
    • https://partners.salesforce.com/
    • https://trust.salesforce.com/en/ is for availability status

    • https://_____-dev-ed.my.salesforce.com/ are created from Developer Edition accounts for its pod. So if you’re on the na31 pod, see https://na31.salesforce.com/domainname/DomainName.apex
    • https://custom-brand-subdomain.my.salesforce.com/ are production custom My Domains, which is used for Single sign-on (SSO) with SAML or external identity provider Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter. It is also used (required) by Lightning UX. See this video.

  • Force.com is the “platform” domain used by Trailhead and other segments:

    • https://???.content.force.com/
    • https://???.secure.force.com/
    • https://???.visual.force.com/
    • https://veterans.force.com/
    • https://???.lightning.force.com/

    Instances starting with “cs” are sandbox environments.
    Instances starting with “ap” are producution in Asia Pacific.
    Instances starting with “na” are production in North America.
    Instances starting with “eu” are producution in Europe (EMEA).

Other DNS Domain Names

Not owned by Salesforce (but they seem close):

Rerouted domains

When Salesforce acquires other companies, it tends to route traffic from their previous websites into Salesforce domains. Examples:

Github accounts

Salesforce employees maintain these accounts within (now Microsoft’s) GitHub.com:

  • https://github.com/salesforcelabs/
  • https://github.com/forcedotcom/
  • https://github.com/salesforce-ux/
  • https://github.com/financialforcedev/
  • https://github.com/SalesforceFoundation/ by http://www.salesforce.org/nonprofit/nonprofit-success-pack/ tools to help manage programs, donations, volunteers, and supporters. (YouTube acct.)

Status of productive use

  1. Use a browser to where Salesforce displays the up-time status of each instance:


    PROTIP: The “AP0”, “EU1”, and “NA3” are “pods”, each where Salesforce assigns particular user organizations. Once assigned, users keep using their assigned pod. Several users are assigned to the same pod and thus use the same hardware. That’s “multi-tenancy”.

    https://status.salesforce.com provides availability status by pod on these products: https://status.salesforce.comsf-status-list

  2. Click a product on the left pane, such as “Sales Cloud” and “Service Cloud”.

    PROTIP: Different products use the same salesforce.com domain, but use sub-domain prefixes to differentiate the product being used.

  3. Visit the Salesforce Products page and scroll down for a list of products offered.

  4. Click to Watch a demo and get pricing information for each offering.

  5. Scroll near the bottom to click START MY FREE TRIAL, and fill in your information.

    A Salesforce UX (User eXperience) screen appears with sample data.

  6. Click through the tour (Manage Your Pipeline, Close More Deals, Get Ready to Sell, Sell the Way You Want).

    After 30 days, the sample “org” instance remains active with sample data.

    PROTIP: Notice the sub-domain at the front of the URL address assigned, such as “na53” in “https://na53.lightning.force.com/…”.

    “lightning” in the URL reflects use of the new User experience screen design rather than the “classic” UX.

  7. Click the image at the upper-right and select “Switch to Salesforce Classic”.

    PROTIP: Notice the URL now begins with something like “https://na53.salesforce.com/…”

    PROTIP: When setting up a Community Cloud*, the admin adds a unique name (such as “mypeeps”) to create a separate domain name such as:


  8. Switch back to the Lightning UX by clicking “Setup”, then

    At the top of the page are objects containing data, such as “Accounts”, “Contacts”, “Leads”, “Opportunities”, etc.


  9. Click “More” for additional objects. The Sales CRM system keeps all the data in one place throughout the customer lifecycle: PROTIP: Contacts which show potential turn into Leads. After qualification Leads turn into Opportunities, then after purchase are associated with Accounts.

    PROTIP: By virtue of you filling out a form, you become a Contact to Salesforce and will be getting phone calls and emails from salespeople.

User Product Feature Licenses


Salesforce issues separate feature licenses for a set number of users:

  • Marketing User
  • Apex (Salesforce1) Mobile user
  • Offline User
  • Knowledge User - “Knowledge” is a re-imagining of “Solution Management”
  • Flow user (of Force.com)
  • Service Cloud User
  • Data.com User
  • Live Agent User
  • Site.com Contributor User
  • Site.com Publisher User
  • Chatter Answers User
  • Work.com User
  • Salesforce CRM Content user


  • Einstein, at https://developer.salesforce.com/einstein (covers AI Vision, Predictive Analytics)

  • Salesforce IoT
  • Thunder is a Big Data app that supports Salesforce’s IoT Cloud on AWS servers, to take in massive volumes of data generated by devices, sensors, websites, applications, customers and partners and initiate actions for real-time responses. It uses open-source Apache Kafka, Storm, Spark, Cassandra.

  • Pardot is a B2B-specific marketing automation suite center around email marketing, lead generation, and marketing automation. Pardot started its life in 2006 and in October 2012 was acquired by ExactTarget which became Salesforce Marketing Cloud targeting emails to specific prospects.

  • Pardot - B2B marketing automation, which is part of the Sales Cloud as well.
  • CPQ (Configure, Price, and Quote) and billing workflow

  • Live Agent / Omni channel
  • Quip

  • Social Studio
  • “Lightning Bolt” is the ability to select among page templates for your Community within Site Studio. Community Builder lets you brand your community, create and customize pages, add drag-and-drop Lighting components, create custom navigation, and manage community page content.
  • Lightning Platform
  • Lightning Sync (of contacts, events, emails, tasks) separates unresolved items for reconciliation.

  • Cloud Scheduler, a calendaring feature in Salesforce Classic for requesting meetings and finding mutually convenient times to meet, is being retired in Winter ‘17 to Winter ‘18 Releases

See http://www.salesforce.com/platform/overview/

Governor limits

Since Salesforce processes customer data in a shared environment, it must make sure that any given customer’s process does not disturb others.

  • Total number of records retrieved by a SOQL query – 50,000, so we “bulkify” code
  • Total number of SOQL queries issued – 100 (Synchronous) 200 (Asynchronous), so we avoid querying large datasets
  • Total number of DML statements issued – 150, so we avoid SOQL Queries or DML statements inside FOR Loops
  • Total number of callouts (HTTP requests or Web services calls) in a transaction – 100
  • Maximum CPU time on Salesforce servers – 10,000ms (Synchronous) 60,000ms (Asynchronous)

PROTIP: These and other limits are not negatives of working with Salesforce. They are needed for any system because every system has its limits. It’s just that many sites risk not having them because it’s an effort to put them in and they add some overhead.


Product Editions

QUESTION: If you know the answer to replace the ? below, I would appreciate you taking a minute to let me know.

Feature: DeveloperEssentialsProfessionalEnterpriseUnlimited
$/user per Month - $25 $75 $150 $300
$/user per Year - $300 $900 $1800 $3600
Dev. sandboxes --1025100
Dev. Pro sandboxes --??5
Custom apps109,999255+260+unlim.
Custom objects400502002,000?
Data storage/user -20 MB20 MB20 MB120 MB
Max File storage/org -1 GB?10 GB10 GB
Max File storage/user -512 MB512 MB2 GB2 GB
Validation Rules/user 100100100100500
Backup frequency days2929777

Salesforce editions no longer sold include: Contact Manager, Group, Personal, Performance, or Database.com.

Additional storage space for Salesforce data can be purchased for $125/month for each block of 500MB. That’s $1500 per year.

Additional space for storing files can be purchased for $5/month per gigabyte. This means 1TB would cost an additional $5,120/month.

BTW the above quotes can change anytime.

Features by Edition

https://store.salesforce.com/editions in a PDF

Developer License

Developer Edition users are limited to 2 users in the org.

Essentials users get

  • Lead management
  • Account and contact management
  • Automatic data capture
  • Opportunity tracking

  • Task and event tracking
  • Case management

  • Native sales collaboration
  • Email integration
  • Chatter
  • Mass email
  • Salesforce inbox

  • Customizable reports and dashboards
  • Mobile access and administration
  • Salesforce mobile app

    for additonal cost:

  • Lightning Dialer

Professional licensees get

  • Products and price books
  • Orders
  • Contracts
  • Person Accounts

  • Unlimited apps & tabs
  • Single Sales Console App

  • Limited number of processes, record types, profiles, & role permission sets
  • Duplicate blocking
  • Rules-based lead scoring, routing & assignment

  • Google apps integration
  • Analytics snapshots

    Only in salesforce classic:

  • Campaigns (Campaign Management)
  • Quotes and orders
  • Collaborative forecasting
  • Mass email
  • Knowledge (read-only)

    for additonal cost:

  • Developer Pro sandbox
  • Web services API (included in Enterprise)
  • SalesforceIQ Inbox
  • Sales Data
  • Sales Cloud Engage
  • Steelbrick CPQ
  • Campaign Influence
  • Accelerators (standard with Ultimate)

Enterprise licensees

  • Custom app development
  • Custom record types
  • Multiple Sales Console Apps
  • Multiple sandboxes

  • Enterprise territory management
  • Advanced forecasting
  • Advanced reporting

  • Team Selling (Sales Teams)
  • Workflow automation
  • Calendar all

  • Full profiles and page layouts
  • Salesforce Identity
  • Salesforce Private AppExchange
  • Integration via web service API

    Only in salesforce classic:

  • Report history tracking
  • Approval automation

    for additonal cost:

  • Developer Pro sandbox
  • Full sandbox

  • Opportunity splits
  • Knowledge (read-write)
  • Pardot B2B Marketing Automation
  • Salesforce Engage
  • Salesforce CPQ

Salesforce Enterprise customers can open up tunnels and share data with each other. (EDI for the masses.)

Unlimited licensees get

  • Unlimited custom apps
  • 24/7 toll-free support
  • Custom tabs and objects

  • Multiple sandboxes
  • 100 Developer sandboxes
  • 5 Developer Pro sandboxes (additional charge in other license levels)

    for additonal cost:

  • Partner and Communities

Partner Developer Pro Editions

Only Developer environments can create managed packages.

Developer Edition (DE) is free. But the account is limited to keep 5MB of data on each of 2 CRM environments and 3 Force.com licenses.

Developer “Pro” Orgs can hold up to 1 GB data (about 500,00 - 1,000,000 records). QUESTION: How to get Pro Developer?

Enrolled partners of Salesforce, who pay a minimum of $1,000/year, can get a Partner Developer Edition (PDE) which can keep up to 250 MB of data (to hold about 125,000 records).

But DE Orgs cannot be upgraded to Partner DE Orgs because partners access the Partner Environment Hub.

Partner Test Editions can be at either the Pro Edition or Enterprise/Plaform Edition. Pro Edition users get 10 PE licenses. Enterprise users get 25 full CRM licenses and 20 Force.com Platform licenses. Only Enterprise/Platform licenses can create a Sandbox for pre-prod testing.

There are more differences in limits. Partner Orgs have a 50,000 limit on API calls each 24 hours vs. 15,000 for Individual Developers.


Partner editions can include “Group Edition” (GE), “Unlimited (UX)” and “Performance Edition” (PXE). A GE org has a limit of 5 user licenses and minimal features (does not support record types, role hierarchies). Salesforce is replacing GE with “Salesforce IQ”. See Salesforce Features and Edition Allocations.

QUESTION: What is “Partner Developer”?

QUESTION: Each level license has different support SLAs?

Call 1-800-667-6389 or see http://www.salesforce.com/crm/editions-pricing.jsp and https://developer.salesforce.com/page/An_Introduction_to_Environments

TrialForce” is used for AppExchange Partners to deliver free trails to prospects.

PROTIP: Those with this license test deployments to production by deploying to another free test org.

Trailhead Module: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/modules/premier-success-plans


Salesforce locale settings determine the display formats for date and time, users’ names, addresses, and commas and periods in numbers.*

Single language organizations can change their locale but cannot change their language.

PROTIP: The default sorting of Displayed Languages in the Language Settings dialog under Company Profile is by major and then minor translations. Language codes are not shown but here they are:

  • en = english
  • de = deutch (German)
  • es = espania (Spain)
  • fr = french
  • it = italian
  • ja = japanese

  • sv = swedish
  • ko = korean
  • zh-tw = chinese taiwan (traditional)
  • zh-cn = chinese (simplified)
  • pt-br = Portuguese (as written and spoken in Brazil)
  • nl-nl = Standard Dutch (as spoken in The Netherlands)

  • da = danish
  • th = thai
  • fi = finnish
  • ru = russian
  • es-mx = Spanish (Mexico)
  • no = Norwegian

MEH: Each product record in a Pricebook is for a single currency. So a product sold in several currencies would appear multiple times in a Pricebook.

Versions of Salesforce

PROTIP: Salesforce has three releases per year, named by season (avoiding Fall):

Version Name API Version Release PDF
Spring ‘19 45 218
Winter ‘19 44 216
Summer ‘18 43 214
Spring ‘18 42 212
Winter ‘18 41 210
Summer ‘17 40  
Spring ‘17 39  
Winter ‘17 38  
Summer ‘16 37  
Spring ‘16 36  
Winter ‘16 35  
Summer ‘15 34  
Spring ‘15 33  
Winter ‘15 32  
Summer ‘14 31  
Spring ‘14 30  
Winter ‘14 29  

In addition to releases above, beta releases of Minimally Marketable Features (MMF) go out.

Salesforce launched its first app in 2000. SOAP API (web services) was added in 2004. Lightning HTML components were added 2015.

Certification holders must keep taking certification tests for each release to keep them valid.

Join the Release Readiness Trailblazers community for resources about each upcoming release.

More about Salesforce

This is one of a series about Salesforce

  1. Salesforce index

  2. Salesforce Ohana (about the Salesforce company, offices, mascots, emojis, and store)
  3. Salesforce Glossary (of acronyms)
  4. Salesforce Events (Conferences, local Meetups, ) to meet people face-to-face
  5. Salesforce Exhibitors (at Dreamforce)
  6. Salesforce Onboarding (Trailhead and IDEs)
  7. Salesforce Rock Stars (and influencers)

  8. Salesforce Offerings (Clouds, Industries, Domains, GitHub, editions, pricing, features, versions)
  9. Salesforce Certifications (training and exams)
  10. Salesforce Projects, Superbadges, and Sample Apps
  11. Salesforce myTrailhead for custom Trailhead content

  12. Salesforce Project Plans
  13. Salesforce Jobs (within Salesforce, with partners, etc.)
  14. Salesforce User Roles and Personas

  15. Salesforce Apps (in AppExchange)
  16. Salesforce Alexa
  17. Salesforce Heroku (external apps)
  18. Salesforce DX (Developer eXperience)

  19. Salesforce Non-Profit support
  20. Salesforce NPSP (Non-Profit Success Pack) performance (with Gatling)

  21. Salesforce Data Management
  22. Salesforce Einstein
  23. Salesforce Selenium (test automation)