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What to expect from the Salesforce Sales Cloud platform

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a CRM platform featuring a number of sales and CRM tools, which help businesses of all sizes manage their B2B and B2C engagement and sales strategies.

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a CRM  platform designed to manage the sales, marketing and customer support facets of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) engagement strategies.

Salesforce Sales Cloud is suited for enterprises of all sizes, providing users with core CRM tools such as account and contact management, as well as enhanced CRM tools for marketing, lead management, sales and analytics. The platform is available as a software as a service arrangement designed to work with today's popular Web browsers. Many of its capabilities are also available in the Salesforce1 mobile application, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The platform features several tools for email marketing and marketing automation. Users can design personalized emails and send and track them directly from the platform. Sales Cloud features Pardot Marketing Automation, which helps users create, execute and manage email and marketing campaigns. To further help with email campaigns, the platform's Salesforce Email Connect tool allows users to sync their Microsoft Outlook email with Sales Cloud, providing them with contact information and calendar syncing. The platform's Salesforce Email Composer tool also lets users access email templates and send email to high-priority contacts directly from Outlook without accessing Sales Cloud. Salesforce Sales Cloud also features Salesforce Engage, a service that helps users with lead management and email marketing needs. Salesforce Engage also integrates with Gmail, allowing users to track and log all Gmail interactions, including clicks and opens.

To aid with new and existing lead management and lead monitoring, users can create custom lead-capture forms, view and access a lead's most up-to-date contact information in an activity timeline and establish automatic lead routing to ensure that customer engagement and sales personnel receive timely notification of hot leads. Users can also track and analyze marketing campaign data and its impact on lead generation. This data can be viewed and used by sales teams and translated into more effective sales performance.

To help with lead and sales generation, Salesforce Sales Cloud includes Salesforce's proprietary Data.com Clean, Data.com Connect and Data.com Prospector tools. Data.com Connect and Data.com Prospector provide users with instant access to company and customer contact information uploaded to the Data.com Connect database, as well as access to millions of Dun & Bradstreet company profiles and information. Data.com Clean will automatically fill in company and customer contact information to ensure that marketing and sales personnel have the most accurate information available.

To assist sales teams, the platform features an inside sales console that helps personnel manage sales tasks and enhance and improve internal collaboration. Sales personnel can view and manage their individual queue and tasks from one place, and users have access to account records and all other related items. This helps these users quickly process leads and move them on to the appropriate stage of the sales cycle. The console features tabs for accounts, campaigns, leads, opportunities, prospects and more, allowing users to easily navigate between this information without leaving the page or jumping between screens.

Users can also communicate with each other in a real-time social feed that allows them to easily post information or ask questions that can be seen instantly, which helps prevents downtime from personnel searching for answers to questions that others may already have answers to. To help track the performance of sales personnel, Sales Cloud also features a sales forecasting tool that allows sales managers to track which members of the sales team have met goals with real-time leaderboards. The tool also allows managers to make updates to forecasted amounts at the rep, period and summary levels and also view information on any prior adjustments.

Salesforce Sales Cloud has five different editions available, all of which are available for purchase directly from Salesforce: Group, $25 per user, per month; Professional, $65 per user, per month; Enterprise, $125 per user, per month; Unlimited, $250 per user, per month; and Performance, $300 per user, per month. A breakdown of each edition's features can be found in Salesforce's Sales Cloud comparison chart. A free 30-day trial of the Group, Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited editions is available on Salesforce's Website.

There are three levels of support contract available from Salesforce: Standard Success Plan, Premier Success Plan and Premier+ Success Plan. A breakdown of each plan's offering can be found in Salesforce's support contract comparison chart. Individuals or enterprises interested in a support plan should contact Salesforce directly for pricing and to determine which edition best meets their needs.

Next Steps

Learn how to improve customer engagement with the proper CRM tools.

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This was last published in November 2015

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Buyer's Guide

A buyer's guide to choosing the right CRM product

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