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February 13, 2019

Introduction to Salesforce

Paulina Ołtusek by Paulina

Accenture’s key experts in Salesforce technology, Barbara Wyszyńska (Salesforce Consultant) and Piotr Wyszyński (Senior Salesforce Developer), sat down to talk about the ups of working with this technology.

What is Salesforce?

Piotr: Salesforce is a Customer Relationship Management System, in other words, a system in which we can manage the entire path of each of our clients. From the moment of their acquisition, through selling a product or service, and even everything that happens later like customer service, support, follow-up with the client, marketing activities. I’d even say that at this moment Salesforce is much more than just a CRM, it is a platform that allows us to automate virtually all business processes within our company. Inside Salesforce there are many different products that are completely separate modules. We have, among others, Sales Cloud, which allows us to handle the sales path, Service Cloud for customer service and support activities, and Cloud Marketing for all marketing activities. We also have a tool called Pardot, also for performing marketing activities. And then there’s Community Cloud, that allows building customer portals etc.

Basia: Salesforce is not only a programming development environment but also a declarative one. So just using the mouse, we can build automated solutions that work in the same or a similar way as those built by a programmer.

Piotr: And this is very important because it really means that we can build a really huge system without writing a line of code.

How to start and where to learn?

Piotr: The best place to start learning Salesforce is definitely Trailhead. This is a portal created by Salesforce, which contains thousands of free Salesforce tutorials. They really cover the entire spectrum of knowledge needed to work with Salesforce, both in the role of an administrator or consultant, and developer.

Basia: I think that you can also learn Salesforce from various other sources, for example, YouTube channels and courses on Udemy. There are also private blogs of Salesforce enthusiasts who write some useful tips.

Piotr: What’s important, even Salesforce has its own channel on YouTube, where there are a lot of tutorials and webinars, often lasting even an hour, on very specific topics, so there will be something for everyone.

What skills should you have?

Piotr: On the development path, it will be primarily Java or any other object-oriented language, because the language in which we write in Salesforce, called Apex, is very similar to Java. The second language that can be useful is JavaScript, and various other web technologies, such as HTML or CSS.

Basia: The situation looks a bit different on the consultant path. Here the most important is analytical thinking because we learn technology as it is. Our approach to different technologies and how we solve problems is important here. I think that business or economic studies are also required. And knowing foreign languages, for both paths. English is the most needed one but an additional language is always a plus.

Who uses Salesforce?

Basia: I think we can say that Salesforce is used by everyone. Basically, every company has some processes that can be automated, streamlined and this is the area in which Salesforce is most needed. Salesforce is an incredibly scalable solution, which means we can start with a few users and one product, and as our company develops, we can add additional users or we can include the second and third product offered by Salesforce. These products are synchronized with each other, so we can easily add another product without the need for changes in the previous one. And statistically, there are 150,000 companies around the world, from large global enterprises to small local companies.

Piotr: Salesforce is used by, among others, Adidas, Toshiba, Toyota, Philips, T-Mobile, Canon and many other companies of different sizes.

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