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The 2020 Salesforce Guide for Beginners

The wide range of functionalities makes Salesforce nothing short of an asset for the organizations. So, if you are starting to work on it, read on to know some of the basics about this CRM solution.

Salesforce is basically a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that helps in bringing customers and companies together. It is an integrated customer relationship management platform that offers different departments, like services, commerce, sales, and marketing, a shared and single view of each customer. Being a cloud-based software, it does not require IT professionals for setting up anything. It has not only changed the way enterprise software is used and viewed, but has also helped in building more meaningful bonds with the customers.

The use cases of Salesforce

Since Salesforce is a customer relationship management platform, all the customer processes are use cases. So, some of the most common use cases of this CRM solution are:

  • Managing and tracking the customers of the business
  • Optimization of the pipeline and the deals that your sales team is working on
  • Generating and steering interested buyers to your products and services
  • Tracking product issues and customer complaints through multiple channels
  • Assessment of business conditions through analysis of data

These are only a few examples, while there are many other uses like management of customers’ journeys and analysis of customers’ sentiments. All in all, when it comes to customers, Salesforce can help in automation, optimization, and analysis.

Setup menu: your one-stop shop for Salesforce

If you are a Salesforce administrator, then you will be spending quite a lot of time using the setup menu. This menu is basically a number of pages that enable you to manage everything from security settings to user information. It is like your one-stop destination for customization, configuration, and supporting the organization. It’s significant to be comfortable in its navigation because there’s a lot that you can do in this menu. There are a couple of ways to go about it, and then finding what you need will not be too difficult once you know your available resources.

You can reach the setup menu from all the pages of Salesforce.org. However, your way of accessing the Setup menu depends on the user interface settings of your organization and the Salesforce experience that you are using. So, at the top of the Salesforce page:

  • In case of Lightning Experience, there’ll be a gear sign at the top of your page, and clicking on that will take you to the setup menu
  • In the case of Salesforce Classic, there will be the Setup menu in that user interface header
  • In the case of Salesforce Classic where the menu is not available in the header, click on the name of your organization, and then on Setup

Navigating the setup menu

The Setup Menu is not the easiest to navigate as there are too many different pages that you get to access. You basically have two ways to go anywhere you want to land up in here:

  • If you know where to search, click on that menu and choose the page that you need
  • If you do not know where to search, there’s the Quick Find option to help you out.

For example, you want to make changes in the user permission settings. So, if you know that user permission settings are under the Users menu in the Administration section, go that option and click on user permission. Otherwise, you can type it in the Quick Find section to find it.

Categories in the Setup menu

The setup menu has three main categories, namely, Settings, platform tools, and administration. Here is a brief overview of all these sections.

Settings

This is the section where you manage organization security and company information. You have the option to make changes in your location and business hours or viewing your organization’s history.

Platform Tools

Platform tools are where most of the customization takes place. You get to view and alter the data model, change your user interface, make apps, and bring out new features for your users. Platform tools are also the place where your codes can be managed if you have decided to go for any programmatic changes.

Administration

Finally, the administration section is where you get to manage your data and users. Here you can change permission settings, add users, make email templates, and export and import data.

These are only some examples of the pages that can be accessed from the Setup Menu. The more you explore, the more you will get to know about the pages here.

Getting an idea of the objects in Salesforce

You must have a basic idea of what a data model is. It is basically a model of the way the database tables are supposed to look like in order for it to be understandable to everyone. It is a lot similar to how data is stored in spreadsheets. For instance, you can have a datasheet for tracking all your properties. Columns can have crucial attributes like cost, address, and so on. Rows have information about all the properties that you are selling. This is what happens in the case of database tables.

Now when you think of all these in terms of Salesforce, columns become fields, rows become records, and database tables become objects. Thus, in place of an account table or spreadsheet, there is an account object with a number of similarly structured records and separate fields. So, by the data model, what is meant is a collection of fields and objects in the apps.

Types of objects

Various kinds of objects are supported by Salesforce. So, you will have platform events, external objects, big objects, custom objects, and standard objects. The last two are the most common kinds of objects, and here is a brief overview of both.

Standard objects

These are objects which come included in the Salesforce. Some of the common examples of standard objects for business are an opportunity, lead, contact, and account.

Custom objects

These are the objects which you will have to create in order to store information which is specific to an industry or business. For instance, if you are into real estate, you might want to have a property object that has all the information about the houses that you are selling.

It is also important to mention in this regard that external objects are a lot like custom objects, except for the fact that the former maps data which is stored outside the Salesforce organization.

Objects are important as storage spaces for information and for the special functions that they come with. For instance, at the time of making a custom object, you will automatically get things such as page layout needed for the user interface from the platform.

Object Manager

The Object Manager is like a streamlined tool that allows you to access and manage the settings for both custom and standard objects. Some of the settings for object management include customizations like compact layout, page layouts, validation rules, and fields. Based on the Salesforce experience that you have, the customizations might be found in different parts of the Setup menu.

Given below are some of the ways to manage objects:

Opening the object manager

  • Go to the gear icon located at the top half of the page and select Setup
  • After you click on Object Manager, the custom and standard objects will be shown as a list.
  • Choose the object that you need to work on. Let’s say that you chose the Account object. You will notice that the details are on your right, and the options for the aspects you can manage are on the left.

Managing a field

  • Choose the option of Fields and relationships. Here you will get the fields which hold the data for the object
  • Make a new field by clicking on the ‘New’ option
  • Choose the Field Name for opening the properties and making changes
  • If you want to remove this field, choose the Delete option from the dropdown menu at the end of a line.
  • Managing the display of the fields
  • Choose the option of Page Layouts, and you will get a detailed view of all the layouts that you have configured
  • Select the layout that you need to work on
  • Now, you have the option of moving fields around your screen, removing and adding sections, adding related lists, and so on
  • Managing functions and the look of search pages
  • Choose the option of Search Layouts, and you will get a detailed view of all the search engines
  • Choose the dropdown list at the end of a row of the layout to be managed and select edit
  • You have the option of choosing the fields that you want to be displayed in the search result list from this Edit section of the search layout page.

Managing external objects

  • Go to the Quick Find box and enter external objects
  • The option for the external object will come up
  • Click on any of the external objects from the list
  • Scroll down to the sections for the customizations you need

Managing the standard objects

Some of the standard objects are not there in the Object Manager because these come included in Salesforce and cannot be changed. The standard objects that come with more specific customizations and purposes can be found in the Setup menu. You will just have to find the object using the Quick Find box and then choose the customizations.

Details of Schema Builder in Salesforce

Schema Builder in Salesforce offers a dynamic setup for featuring relationships, custom fields, and new objects to the schema. It does away with your need of clicking from one page to another for finding the details of a master-detail relation or for featuring a new custom field to objects in the schema.

For example, consider having Schema Builder for looking at the different aspects of your schema. You will be able to add one new custom object, but you will not have to leave Salesforce Schema Builder for that purpose. The dragging and dropping system lets you add new fields or custom objects, along with saving the layout of the schema at any point in time you move objects in Salesforce.

Schema Builder offers details such as required fields, field values, and how objects stay connected by showing master-detail relations and searches. Schema Builder lets you see the details for both custom and standard objects. Schema Builder allows you to add the items to your schema as, and how you need it. Some of the items that you can add here include:

  • Lookup relationships
  • Custom objects
  • Master-detail relations
  • Checkbox
  • Formula
  • Auto number
  • Date and currency
  • Email, and so on

Working Procedure

Given below is the process of using Schema Builder for Salesforce:

  • Click on Schema Builder from the Setup menu
  • Drag and drop the files in your working area
  • After you are done with dragging and dropping the files, start saving the objects along with the details
  • As soon as adding files by dragging and dropping is complete, save the fields

After you have followed all the steps, your work is done, and you will get the final output window on your screen.

Advantages of using Salesforce

Salesforce is popular because of the many advantages it offers as CRM software, such as:

Focusing on customer success

CRM Salesforce fulfills the main objective of being a part of the success of the customers. Being a part of the customers’ success, Salesforce helps organizations to grow and accelerate competitiveness.

Being a cloud pioneer

It will not be an exaggeration to call Salesforce a pioneer in the arena of cloud technology. The cloud aspect of it helps in meeting the expectations of the clients with its increased security and high performance.

Being a secure platform

The users get the assurance of working in a reliable environment because of the high-security standards of this cloud platform. It complies with government regulations all over the world, such as ISO 27001 Certification, PCI DSS Compliance, TUV Certification, TRUSTe, and so on.

So, that is it for all the basic information that you would need about Salesforce as a beginner. You will learn more about the platform as you start working on it.