When you ask an IT vendor why their system is the best, they will generally start to list to you all the features and technical aspects of the system, focusing mostly on these. This is not the case with Salesforce. Of course, it is a certain IT platform or system, but, like the concept of CRM itself, it is a centered product to which the technical aspects are supposed to play a supporting role. In other words, just like CRM, it is a certain philosophy of operation.
Orientation to customer needs
All successful business people understand the importance of listening to customer needs. In the case of Salesforce, however, it is particularly visible. An example of this approach is backlog management with significant user participation.
This process is carried out through IdeaExchange. This is a place where any Salesforce customer can submit a functionality or improvement idea that is particularly relevant to him. In addition, the customer also has the opportunity to vote on other users’ ideas. For this reason, especially relevant and customer-needed functionalities have the chance to quickly reach the system development team and ultimately to the user.
Simplicity and a platform for building applications
Besides ready-made functionalities to support processes in areas such as sales or customer service, thanks to its architecture and the possibility of completely declarative extension, Salesforce CRM is not only a CRM system, but also a platform for building applications capable of supporting the specifics of virtually any industry.
Functionalities such as:
- Process Builder,
- Flow Builder,
- Declarative extension of the data model
allow the application to be developed very quickly, and often without knowledge of SQL or declarative programming languages.
AppExchange: something good for everyone
The AppExchange marketplace provides a place where partners can build and offer very specialized solutions to complete the standard functionalities of the system. This makes it possible to improve the system extremely quickly with ready-made features that otherwise not only would take a very long time to build, but their build requires a certain industry know-how that in that case is already incorporated in those products.
A system that takes care of the quality of your code
The platform also provides two elements that strongly support the quality and technical level of the solution being developed.
The first is the test classes which are required before pushing changes to the production environment. Although their creation and maintenance are initially an additional work effort, they ultimately contribute greatly in reducing the number of errors occurring in the production environment, automatically provide regression tests and generally improve the quality of the code.
Another element is the so-called application limits. These are various types of limits that make the number of so-called API calls, i.e. various operations (reading data, writing data, calling an external method) dependent on the number of licenses held. Although they often seem like an annoying restriction to developers, they allow Salesforce to ensure that the system is always running at maximum performance. Based on my experience, it can be concluded that problems with the operation limit are most often indicative of adopting the wrong way of integration or of incorrectly written code.
For users who expect ready-to-use functionality, Salesforce offers products that implement best business practices in given areas. Such products are:
- Sales Cloud – for sales management,
- Service Cloud – to support customer service processes,
- Pardot and Marketing Cloud – for marketing automation,
- Commerce Cloud – for building a sales platform,
- Industry solutions, e.g., Health Cloud or Financial Cloud – containing solutions for different areas.
Apart from these products, Salesforce also offers the Mulesoft integration platform and Slack messenger. At the same time, they are continuously working on integrating all these tools to deliver the greatest possible value for the user.
The cloud and keeping up with technology
Salesforce is the first CRM which operates entirely in the cloud. This comes with many benefits for the user. The provider delivers infrastructure, a security and monitoring level that is difficult to achieve even for large organizations. While this might have been seen as a distinguishing feature only a few years ago, such solutions are now offered by all major software vendors.
However, it is worth mentioning that Salesforce is also able to brilliantly make technological changes to what is underneath, i.e. the technological layer of the application. The smoothness and transparency of this process for the user can only be compared to changing the engine in a running car.
Salesforce was initially written in an interface, named ‘Classic’ over time, then effectively migrated to the Lightning interface. This was a complete change – not only visually, but above all in the technology and the way the application works. To do this without disturbing the operation of custom solutions added by customers over the years is a real masterstroke.
In my opinion, it is the user-centric approach while keeping the concern for technical solutions on the vendor, who additionally constantly follows the best trends and develops the platform technologically, that has brought Salesforce the position of global leader in the CRM market, ahead of SAP, Oracle or Microsoft solutions.
If you’re interested in Salesforce articles, be sure to take a look at posts from our experts.
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