Salesforce: What Is It?

What is Salesforce?

logo for SalesforceSalesforce is a popular customer relationship management (CRM) tool for support, sales, and marketing teams worldwide. Salesforce services allow businesses, organizations, and institutions to use cloud technology to better connect with partners, clients, and potential clients.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension will soon be implementing the processes and tools available within Salesforce to assist us in making our digital marketing, event registration, and reporting efforts easier, more streamlined, effective, and successful.

How can it help your programming area or county office?

Here are some of the more common tasks that Salesforce is used for. However, it’s such a huge and flexible platform that this is not nearly an exhaustive list!

Reporting and Dashboards

Are you ever asked questions like “How many…?”, “Where were the most…?” or “What was the highest…?”? Salesforce can help make answering those questions easy!

Salesforce has strong reporting capabilities so you can look at your data in different ways to better understand what your efforts are producing and how to improve your outreach. Many people take advantage of dashboards which are a series of live charts or graphs which display any data you’re interested in. Data can also be exported for further analysis in Excel.

Ticket and Case Management

Do you or your team respond to emails from customers? Are you sharing a group email and trying to manage who has responded and what was said? Salesforce can make that collaboration cleaner and more efficient!

Salesforce has a robust Case Management feature. It allows you to sync email addresses with Salesforce, so Cases are created automatically from incoming emails. Teams can work together to address questions that come in and can assign questions to different groups for better service. You can categorize Cases, automate email responses to customers and track what questions are most commonly asked. You can also see things like your average time to answer questions which can help you set reasonable expectations for your customers and balance your workload.

Project Management

Do you need to keep track of several tasks that are going on to complete a big project? Salesforce has tools to keep your project on track and make collaboration easier!

For larger projects that don’t fit well within Cases, Salesforce also has a Project Management feature that allows you to track multiple projects and tasks with multiple deadlines and the progression of each project. It has a calendar that shows you all ongoing projects and tasks as well as the ability to assign tasks to certain people or teams. Files, images, videos, etc. can be attached to the project building a reference set if projects are ever repeated or passed onto another person. Project Management can be customized to meet your needs, including automated notifications, automated emails, and automated assignments of tasks.

Event Management

Do you organize any events, workshops or courses that require online registration? Salesforce with its new integrated tool, Titan, can help make that easy for you and for your registrants.

The partnership between Salesforce and Titan allows for data to be collected in Salesforce while providing the excellent interface of Titan for our customers. Email invitations, event reminders and post-event messages can all be customized and automated with Salesforce. Using Stripe as a payment gateway with Titan provides a smoother customer experience during registration.

Web Forms

Do you have forms on Extension’s website that customers can use to submit information or ask you a question? Salesforce and Titan can enhance the quality of that experience both for you and your customers.

The pairing of Salesforce with Titan allows you to present an easy-to-use webform to customers that will allow data to flow directly into Salesforce. This gives you access to the power of Salesforce to manage your web form submissions. You can automate email responses, report on submission data, or assign tasks based on information submitted on the form, to name a few things.

Examples of web forms would be:

  • Forms to subscribe to a newsletter
  • Forms to request information
  • Forms to indicate interest in a volunteer activity

Payments can also be made at the time of submission using Stripe.

Document Generation

Do you ever need to create customized letters or emails based on a customer’s information? Salesforce can streamline that for you!

Joined with Titan, Salesforce can make creating personalized letters and emails more efficient by using data that is in Salesforce to fill in the appropriate text in a letter or email body. Creation of letters can be done in bulk, on a schedule, or one at a time. Because the letters are saved in Salesforce, reprints are very easy to make.

Email Communications and Marketing

Do you send bulk emails to a list of subscribers or have an email template that you copy and paste (and modify) to send to individuals? Salesforce can take a lot of the manual work out of these tasks!

Salesforce can integrate with Mailchimp, an intuitive, efficient email marketing tool. When integrated, the two systems stay up to date with each other and you can leverage the power of Salesforce in your email campaigns while tracking the results of your email campaigns inside Salesforce. For one-off email messages, Salesforce has a robust template-building tool that allows you to create branded templates to easily reuse based on topic or response type.

Customer Portals

Do you ever have a need for customers or other non-Extension folks to see some or all of the data you’ve collected? Salesforce paired with Titan offers highly customizable portals to make sharing and collaborating seamlessly.

Using Titan to create attractive, easy-to-use portals gives you the chance to display data from Salesforce to customers or others that may need access. You have complete control of how and what to show and what actions can be taken by outside folks. Portals are a cost-effective way to have individuals enter data or update contact information without any risk of data security. Also, you can customize portals to your audience making them as simple or complex as needed.

There are many other features that Salesforce offers that can help optimize your work. Please email at any time to chat about how it might be able to help your program area.