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Introduction to Salesforce

You might think that Salesforce is just a CRM. It stores your customer data, gives you processes to nurture prospective customers, and provides ways to collaborate with the people you work with. And it does all those things. But saying that Salesforce is “just a CRM” is like saying a house is just a kitchen. There’s a lot more to it than that.

Salesforce comes with a lot of standard functionality, or out-of-the-box products and features that you can use to run your business.

Get to Know Objects

Salesforce supports several different types of objects. There are standard objects, custom objects, external objects, platform events, and BigObjects. In this module, focus on the two most common types of objects: standard and custom.

Standard objects are objects that are included with Salesforce. Common business objects like Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity are all standard objects.

Custom objects are objects that you create to store information that’s specific to your company or industry.

Objects are containers for your information, but they also give you special functionality. For example, when you create a custom object, the platform automatically builds things like the page layout for the user interface.

What are Accounts and Contacts in standard objects?

Great businesses are built on great customer relationships. Building those relationships takes time and care, and it also requires information. You need to know who your customers are, where to find them, how to contact them, and how you can make them happy.

In Salesforce, you store information about your customers using accounts and contacts. Accounts are companies that you're doing business with, and contacts are the people who work for them.

Accounts and contacts are related to many other standard objects, which makes them some of the most important objects in Salesforce. Understanding how to use accounts and contacts is key to getting the most out of Salesforce.

If you’re doing business with a single person, like a solo contractor or an individual consumer, you use a special account type called a person account. Person accounts are similar to business accounts, but because they’re meant to record information about an individual person, person accounts don’t have their own contacts.

For the purposes of this module, we’ll assume you’re selling to businesses only, and your accounts are all business accounts. But almost everything you learn here can be applied to both types of accounts.

Let’s make an account.

  1. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and click Launch. This action opens your Trailhead Playground in a new tab.

  2. After you’ve logged in, click the Accounts tab

If you don’t see the Accounts tab, select Sales from the app

  1. Click New.

  2. Add these account details.

    • Account Name: ABC

    • Phone: 6115031264

    • Account Number: 111

    • Account Site: Single Location

    • Type: Customer - Direct

    • Industry: Construction

    • Ownership: Public

3. Click Save.

Use Business Contacts to Track People at Companies

One of the most important things you need to know about a company is who works there and how to reach them. In Salesforce, the people who work on your accounts are called contacts.

Your contacts at ABC Construction are Ria Singh and Andy young.

In Salesforce, you have a contact record for Ria, listing her employer (account), email address, and phone number.

You have a second contact record for Andy, listing his employer (account), email address, and phone number.

  1. Scroll down to Contacts, and click New.

  1. Add a contact record for Alan Johnson.

    • First name: Ria

    • Last name: Singh

    • Title: Sales Manager

    • Phone: (720) 444-1229

    • Email:

3. Click Save & New.

4. Add One more contact record for Andy Young

  • First name: Andy

  • Last name: Young

  • Title: Marketing Manager

  • Email:

5. Click Save.

Now that Ria and Andy have records in Salesforce, you’d find them by clicking the Contacts tab and locating them in the Recent Contacts list. And because both Ria and Andy are contacted for the account ABC, you’d find them both listed below that account’s record details.

Click Ria or Andy's name to view the full contact record.

Like an account record, a contact record can have its own related lists of information, such as cases that each contact has filed, meetings you’ve had, or logs of calls to that contact.

Track Your Customer Interactions

Salesforce records are only as useful as the information you store in them. It’s great to store contact information, phone numbers, and names. It’s even better to keep a running record of your interactions so that you know exactly when you last worked with a customer, what you talked about, and what you have scheduled.

The related information listed for each contact ensures you and your coworkers are all up to date on the latest with that account.

You just got off the phone with Andy—keep your record accurate by logging the call.

  1. View Andy Young’s contact record.

  2. Locate the Activity Timeline.

  3. Click Log a Call.

  4. Log the details of your call. (You’re the only one who knows what you just talked about, so only you can know what to enter here!)

  5. Click Save.

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