Salesforce.com For Dummies
Unlike traditional software, Salesforce is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). You sign up to rent the service and log in through a browser, and the software is immediately available. There’s no purchase, installation, or hardware setup required! With Salesforce, you have a full suite of services to manage the customer life cycle.
Navigating the Salesforce Home Page
When you log in to Salesforce, you begin at the Home page, which looks similar to other users’ Home pages. However, the tasks and events are specific to you:
Tabs: Click the tabs to navigate Salesforce. When you click a tab, the tab’s Home page appears with sections for views, tools, and reports to help you manage your work.
Force.com app menu: Use the app drop-down menu to switch between sets of tabs most used by different types of Salesforce users.
Create New drop-down list: Select an item in the Create New drop-down list to create new records in Salesforce, such as accounts, contacts, and opportunities.
Recycle Bin: Click the Recycle Bin link on the sidebar if you deleted a record in the past 15 days that you want to restore to keep the job.
Calendar: Use the calendar to keep track of your schedule in Salesforce. With the calendar view icons, you can jump to different time periods and view the calendars of other users or resources.
My Tasks: Use the My Tasks section to stay up to speed on your to-do items.
Search: Find information fast in Salesforce by entering keywords and then clicking Search. A search results page appears with lists of records that match your search.
Recent Items: Use Recent Items to open records that you recently visited.
Messages and Alerts: View Messages and Alerts for important communications from your Salesforce project team or managers.
My Settings: Click the My Settings option under the Your Name menu at the top to go to the My Settings page and modify your personal settings. If you’re an administrator, use Setup to customize, configure, and administer Salesforce.
Help: If you need help, click the Help link in the upper-right corner.
Getting Salesforce Help Fast
You have so many ways to navigate Salesforce that you probably don’t need much help getting around the application. If you get stumped, though, get help fast with these techniques:
Contact your system administrator.
Click the Help for This Page link on most Salesforce pages to access the help guide specifically geared to the page you’re on.
For general support from within Salesforce, click the Help link on the Home page, and type some keywords related to your question into the Search bar. You get a list of suggested articles that include Help topics.
To seek opinions from others in the community, search or post a question in the Salesforce Success Community.
Another medium for feedback from the tech community at large is Twitter. If you’re already a Twitter user, use the #askforce hashtag in your tweet to shout out your question.
Using Everyday Salesforce Operations
Salesforce was built by salespeople for salespeople. Here’s how to use the day-to-day Salesforce operations in the most efficient way possible so that you can devote your time to selling:
Track a prospect. Select the Create New Lead item in the sidebar, fill in the record, and then click Save.
Track a company. Select the Create New Account item in the sidebar, complete the record, and then click Save.
Set up parent/child relationships. Create records for parent and child accounts. Click the Edit button on a child account and use the Lookup icon next to the Parent Account field to associate the parent, so you can get a visual display of an organization’s corporate structure. Then click Save to reunite the family.
Track a person. Go to an Account detail page where the person is employed, and select the Create New Contact item in the sidebar. Fill in the record and then click Save.
Establish organization hierarchies. Create records for contacts of an account. Click the Edit button on a contact record and use the Lookup icon next to the Reports To field to associate the manager. Then click Save.
Add a deal. Go to an Account detail page for the related customer and select the Create New Opportunity item in the sidebar. Complete the fields — including the Stage and Close Date fields — and then click Save.
Set up a task. Go to a related record detail page (such as a contact or account) and select the Create New Task item in the sidebar. Complete the fields and then click Save.
Log a call. Go to a related record detail page and click the Log a Call button in the Activity History related list. Complete the fields and then click Save.
Send an email. Go to a related record detail page (such as a contact or lead) and click the Send an Email button in the Activity History related list. Complete the fields and then click Save.
Access sales collateral. Click the Content tab, enter keywords, and then click the Find Document button to search for matching documents.
Manage a campaign. If you have campaigns and the proper permissions, click the New Campaign button on the taskbar. Fill in the fields and then click Save.
Initiate a customer service inquiry. Go to a related record detail page (such as an account or contact) and then select the Create New Case item in the sidebar.
Create a reusable focus list. Click a relevant record tab and click the Create New View link in the corresponding Views section. Complete the settings for the view and then click Save.
Create a report. Click the Reports tab and click the Create New Custom Report button. Follow the steps through the wizard and then click the Run Report button when ready.
Export a report. Go to a report and click the Export to Excel button. Follow the steps to export the report.
Merge duplicate records. On a Lead detail page, click the Find Duplicates button. For merging accounts, click the Merge Accounts link in the Tools section on the Accounts home page. For merging contacts, go to an Account detail page and click the Merge Contacts button in the Contacts related list. In each situation, follow the steps in the Merge wizard for that specific object to complete the operation.
Transfer a record. Assuming that you have transfer rights, go to a record detail page and click the Change link in brackets next to the Owner field. Complete the fields and then click Save.