Competitors, Languages, Clouds, Industries, Domains, GitHubs, editions, pricing, features, versions
- Why Salesforce?
- Competitors and Market Share
- Features by Edition
- Versions of Salesforce
- More about Salesforce
Here is reference information for those new to Salesforce to understand how the company structures its offerings.
(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.
This section presents some common concerns which drive organizations to consider Salesforce. I’ll then show you real examples of several implementations.
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.
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 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.
- Trailhead Module: Drucker School—Customer & Market Strategy [1 hr 45 mins] +700 to turn your organization into a customer and market-driven powerhouse with these insights.
- Navigate the Salesforce Advantage [1 hr 20 mins] - Learn about the key differentiators that drive our success: our core values, innovative technology, and vibrant ecosystem.
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.
Another example is AutoRabit which provides an easy GUI to move data and metadata for CI/CD. Their DataLoader provides an automated way to get around complex issues with some metadata and dependencies that Salesforce itself has not yet resolved.
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:
Microsoft Dynamics 365 SaaS integrated with its $26.9 billion LinkedIn acquisition with an initiative called Microsoft Relationship Sales and initial customer Park Place.
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
- 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):
- Analytic Cloud - Business intelligence and analytics software solutions with the “Einstein” brand
- Commerce Cloud engages shoppers for e-commerce, with order management
- Commmunity Cloud - Connect customers, partners, and employees [cert]
- Sales Cloud - Complete CRM customer service solutions [cert]
- Government Cloud app
- Health Cloud for patient care [no cert?]
Integration Cloud Integration Builder includes the Mulesoft Anypoint Platform (bought by Salesforce in an exchange of stock May 2018) [no cert]
- Service Cloud - Sales force automation and CRM [cert]
- Success Cloud [no cert?]
Marketing Cloud was acquired from ExactTarget acquisition in 2013. Build and manage 1:1 customer journeys via email. It has its own query language (AMPscript). No free accounts here. [Wikipedia, cert]
- Philanthropy Cloud [no cert]
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:
- Financial Services
- Government and Public Sector
- High Tech
- Life Sciences
- Nonprofits (including Higher Education)
- Wealth Management (only in Solutions)
- Professional Services (AppExchange)
- Real Estate (AppExchange)
- Retail & Consumer Goods
- Travel, Transportation, and Hospitality
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):
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.
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
- Salesforceiq.com [status] redirects to Salesforce.com, but at this writing the api.salesforceiq.com for Developers and login are still up.
- Salesforce.org for non-profits
- Data.com B2B Prospector: Get More Accounts button to search for companies and import them as accounts, then clean contacts and leads [status] https://www.facebook.com/datadotcom/
- Desk.com - Customer Help Desk support for small business [status]
- Demandware.com acquired in 2016 for manufacturing processes. It is part of the Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
- Heroku.com - free hosting for low-volume apps written in open-source programming [status]
- MarketingCloud.com (formerly ExactTarget) [status]
- Pardot.com [status]
Quip.com “a Salesforce company” enables spreadsheets and word document files to be exposed on the internet. It also has APIs to enable automation of processes, integration, and collabortion with any app.
- sforce.co is Salesforce’s own URL shortener, which also tracks the origin of links resolved.
- https://salesforce.vidyard.com shows videos
Not owned by Salesforce (but they seem close):
- FinancialForce.com provides SaaS for managing financial information. Salesforce invested in this company.
- ATG (Advanced Technology Group) provides SaaS for “Quote to Cash” add-on plus trains on Salesforce Billing.
When Salesforce acquires other companies, it tends to route traffic from their previous websites into Salesforce domains. Examples:
- AppExchange.com redirects to appexchange.salesforce.com
- Database.com redirects to the Salesforce Platform page
- Developerforce.com redirects to
- Site.com is redirected to
- Work.com was retired July 10, 2015. It was a sales performance management solution for on-boarding new reps faster, for coaching reps to close more deals, and for rewarding successful behaviors. It redirects tohttps://www.salesforce.com/products/sales-cloud/overview/
- Salesforce1.com redirects to salesforce.com.
Salesforce employees maintain these accounts within (now Microsoft’s) GitHub.com:
- 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
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”.
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.
Visit the Salesforce Products page and scroll down for a list of products offered.
Click to Watch a demo and get pricing information for each offering.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
- 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
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.
QUESTION: If you know the answer to replace the ? below, I would appreciate you taking a minute to let me know.
|$/user per Month||-||$25||$75||$150||$300|
|$/user per Year||-||$300||$900||$1800||$3600|
|Dev. Pro sandboxes||-||-||?||?||5|
|Data storage/user||-||20 MB||20 MB||20 MB||120 MB|
|Max File storage/org||-||1 GB||?||10 GB||10 GB|
|Max File storage/user||-||512 MB||512 MB||2 GB||2 GB|
|Backup frequency days||29||29||7||7||7|
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 Edition users are limited to 2 users in the org.
Essentials users get
- Lead management
- Account and contact management
- Automatic data capture
- Task and event tracking
- Native sales collaboration
- Email integration
- Mass email
- Customizable reports and dashboards
- Mobile access and administration
Salesforce mobile app
for additonal cost:
- Lightning Dialer
Professional licensees get
- Products and price books
- 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
Only in salesforce classic:
- Campaigns (Campaign Management)
- Quotes and orders
- Collaborative forecasting
- Mass email
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)
- Custom app development
- Custom record types
- Multiple Sales Console Apps
- Enterprise territory management
- Advanced forecasting
- Team Selling (Sales Teams)
- Workflow automation
- Full profiles and page layouts
- Salesforce Identity
- Salesforce Private AppExchange
Integration via web service API
Only in salesforce classic:
- Report history tracking
for additonal cost:
- Developer Pro 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|
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.
- Trail: Prepare for Salesforce Releases [5 hrs 40 mins]
More about Salesforce
This is one of a series about Salesforce
- Salesforce Ohana (about the Salesforce organization and people)
- Salesforce Glossary (of acronyms)
- Salesforce Exhibitors (at Dreamforce)
- Salesforce Onboarding (Trailhead and IDEs)
- Salesforce Offerings (Clouds, Industries, Domains, GitHub, editions, pricing, features, versions)
- Salesforce Certifications (training and exams)
- Salesforce Projects, Superbadges, and Sample Apps
- Salesforce Project Plans
- Salesforce Jobs (within Salesforce, with partners, etc.)
- Salesforce Apps (in AppExchange)
- Salesforce Alexa
- Salesforce Heroku (external apps)
- Salesforce Non-Profit Success Pack
- Salesforce Data Management
- Salesforce Einstein
- Salesforce Selenium (test automation)
Tutorials under construction (listed alphabetically):
- Salesforce Apex programming
- Salesforce Apex Testing
- Salesforce APIs
- Salesforce Automation
- Salesforce Bolt
- Salesforce Customization (objects, fields, page layouts)
- Salesforce Field Service
- Salesforce Inbox
- Salesforce IoT
- Salesforce Lightning UX
- Salesforce Mobile
- Salesforce NPSP (Non-Profit Success Pack)
- Salesforce Reporting & Analytics (Custom Reports)
- Salesforce Security
- Salesforce Selling Success Factors
- Salesforce Visualforce