Salesforce Sales Cloud® Overview

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What is Sales Cloud?

Sales Cloud is a specific Salesforce application designed to help organizations sell smarter and faster by centralizing customer information, logging interactions, allowing for collaboration across teams, and automating many kinds of tasks. It puts all of your customer and prospect information in one place, giving sales teams the ability to be more productive. 

Built upon the extendable and flexible Salesforce 360° platform, Sales Cloud allows businesses to leverage legacy systems without having to ‘rip and replace’.  In fact, many organizations leverage the Salesforce interface to present data from multiple back-end systems to users improving efficiencies and the overall experience. 

This is accomplished through the concepts of keeping track of Contacts, Leads, Accounts, Contracts Opportunities, Products, Pricebooks, Quotes, and Campaigns. These features are designed to help manage your entire sales process. It takes your teams from order processors fumbling through manual administrative tasks and turns them into strategic advisors—which leads to more revenue for your business.

Why do I need Sales Cloud?

Sales Cloud takes your spreadsheets and business processes and connects it all into one platform so that you can improve productivity with a complete view of your clients. Work and selling has become increasingly digital and the functionality and features in Sales Cloud help improve your team’s productivity and generate more revenue for your business.

Sales Cloud vs Service Cloud®

What’s the difference between Sales and Service Cloud?

There are many similarities between Sales Cloud and Service Cloud—they both share critical features like Accounts and Contacts, and some basic Case Management functionality. Sales Cloud is focused on offering functionality to sales reps and sales managers, with a focus on account acquisition, the sales funnel, and closing deals.

But that doesn't mean Sales Cloud is only about closing deals—it can also support other teams, too. For example, Customer Success teams can leverage cases in Sales Cloud to onboard new customers and manage requests from customers that may not fall in a typical “Customer Support” space. 

On the other side, Service Cloud has tools and functionality that is geared toward providing support teams with advanced case management features. A key feature in Service Cloud is support for Omni-channel, allowing for teams to handle support from customers, wherever they need you.

Read more about Sales Cloud versus Service Cloud here.

Who can benefit from Sales Cloud?

Sales Cloud isn’t just for sales reps and executives. Account management and customer success management organizations interested in driving revenue and delighting customers can benefit from all the features that Sales Cloud offers. Even marketers can use Sales Cloud to drive lead generation and monitor campaign ROI.

Account Management

Account managers can use Sales Cloud as their renewal tool. Account Managers can see early warning signs of a potentially unhappy customer and can leverage Sales Cloud to view their customer portfolios and manage that relationship. Using Salesforce’s powerful features—like Opportunity Management and Activities, account management teams have a 360-view of the customer and are set up for success once contract renewal time comes.

Customer Success

Customer Success teams can use Sales Cloud’s case management tools to onboard new customers. This lays the foundation to collaborate cross-departmentally and different teams now have a full view of the customer. It’s all about breaking down silos!

Sales Executives

Pipeline and forecasting management gives sales executives the ability to react to market changes with real-time visibility right within the Salesforce platform. Salesforce’s powerful Reports and Dashboards provide executives the bird’s eye view of the entire sales organization allowing them to make more data driven decisions.


Can marketing teams use Sales Cloud? You bet. By using Campaigns in Sales Cloud, they can tie prospects back to marketing initiatives to track conversion rates and their campaign effectiveness. Additionally, Campaigns can help track influence on opportunities so marketers can see campaign ROI. Sales Cloud seamlessly integrates with many of the most popular platforms both native to Salesforce (like Pardot) and third parties like Marketo, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and more!

These are just a few of the different teams that can benefit from using Sales Cloud. Other organizations, like Sales Operations, Business Operations, Estimators, and other back-office teams can leverage the platform aligning with the business delivering results.

When would a business need to invest in Sales Cloud?

You may be asking yourself the question, “Am I too small for Salesforce?” Thankfully, Salesforce offers different options depending on the size of your business. The beauty of the Salesforce Platform is that Salesforce can support you now—even if you’re a small business—and help you grow your business even faster. Sales Cloud supports the sales motion and processes, giving your team a complete view of the customer so you’re able to focus on building relationships and increasing the productivity of your team.

How Does it Work in Salesforce?

Sales Cloud lives as part of Salesforce’s Customer 360 platform: an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) platform that unites all the different parts of the business (marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT) under a single, shared customer view.

Sales Cloud Einstein AI diagram

You can choose between different editions of Sales Cloud depending on your business needs. Each edition offers features which can be useful in different areas of your business. Salesforce offers a comparison chart for you to see what features are included amongst the editions.

Essential Edition - Good for teams up to 10, the Essential edition offers basic sales management and automation to track opportunities, accounts, and customer cases. 

Professional Edition - If you are looking for reporting and forecasting capabilities, the Sales Cloud Professional Edition might be a better fit. This edition offers additional features, like the ability to create and track orders and quotes along with customization capabilities. 

Enterprise Edition - The Enterprise Edition of Sales Cloud allows you to tailor Salesforce to your more complex business processes and integrate with any system using web services API. 

Unlimited - One of the biggest benefits of the Unlimited Edition of Sales Cloud is the ability for admins to have access to multiple sandboxes for development and testing. This allows for you to try our different functionality before rolling out to your team—saving many headaches. 

Sales Cloud Features

Lead Management: Salesforce’s lead management offers insight into what campaigns are making an impact on your prospects. An activity timeline gives you all the information of what prospects are viewing and interacting with, so your team can then make their next move in the sales funnel. Campaigns in Salesforce give marketers visibility into the ROI of their efforts.

Reports and Dashboard Drag and drop fields and filters to create robust reports that give you real-time visibility into the health of your organization. Dashboards bring to life any relevant reporting on one screen for a bird’s eye view into the most important information to make data-driven decisions based on market demand.

Opportunity Management: Opportunity Management is meant to help you streamline the sales process. With Path, salespeople easily know what stage a deal is in. You can also track activity of a deal and create tasks to keep the process moving forward. Sales Cloud offers basic built-in quoting capabilities, where you quickly build quotes for customers, and email it to clients directly from Salesforce. If you’re looking for a more complex quoting solution, Salesforce offers a CPQ as an add-on and there are also third-party CPQ apps available on the AppExchange.

Salesforce Mobile Everything you need to know about your accounts and your business is available on the go with the Salesforce Mobile app. You can get account updates, view your dashboards, reports, and even collaborate with the team right from your smartphone. And Salesforce’s Mobile Publisher (an add-on license) gives you the ability to create a custom-branded mobile app that employees can download from the Google Play or App Store.

Sales Cloud Einstein Sales Cloud Einstein is an add-on to Sales Cloud and uses AI to analyze your data and make recommendations to inform your teams. Lead Scoring, Activity Capture, Opportunity Insights, and Account Insights are all focused on helping salespeople identify the best opportunities and build deeper relationships with customers based on data.

Activity Management One of the great things about Salesforce is in its focus on centralizing information. This prevents your team from having to switch back and forth between emails and spreadsheets, making everyone more productive. Email integration between Salesforce to Outlook or Gmail is included with most editions of Sales Cloud and syncs your contacts with Salesforce and allows you to automate follow-ups to help push deals through faster.

Pipeline and Forecast Management Sales Cloud’s standard pipeline management lets you understand exactly where deals are so Sales Managers and Sales Executives can coach their teams to keep accurate KPIs. Forecast management allows managers to predict future sales based on past sales data. With Sales Cloud, you’re given additional flexibility to manually adjust forecasts based on process changes or market demand right within Salesforce.

Process Automation Much of what takes up a salesperson’s time are administrative tasks. In Sales Cloud, you can set up automations that automate manual tasks, track progress that allow teams to focus more on deals and relationship building. Sales Cloud can handle nearly any process, like auto-fill orders, drafting proposals, or automation around sales approvals.

Files Sync and Share Upload important files and access them from desktop or mobile. Salesforce’s file sharing software also allows users to collaborate from any device. Additionally, sharing settings can be configured so you have control over who has editing, viewing, or commenting rights.

Salesforce Security Model Salesforce takes security very seriously. The entire Platform is built with security to protect your data and applications. In Salesforce, data is stored in four key places: organization-wide, objects, fields, and records. These are often referred to as Object-Level Security (OSL), Field-Level Security (FSL), and Record-Level Security (RLS). You can set different controls and permissions based on what’s appropriate for your business. Read more about Salesforce security basics. Trailhead also offers an overview of how data security can be set to give the right people access to the right data.

Enterprise Territory Management (ETM) - Organizations can use ETM to manage and maintain your sales territories. You can create different territory types, build a model, and then assign users and accounts. It is available in the Enterprise and Unlimited Editions in Sales Cloud.

Case Management Sales Cloud offers basic case management capabilities that can be set up to help customers with issues they may be facing. Email to Case brings users back into Salesforce and allows for customers to email their support issues in and they’ll be centrally located in Salesforce and ready to have an agent handle it without having to switch between email and Salesforce. Read more about the differences between Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.

Manage Contracts and Renewals Sales Cloud allows you to create contracts you have with your accounts and prospects. You can set different workflow alerts to remind your salespeople of renewals. Salesforce can also be configured to handle your internal approval processes for contracts.

Contact Management Software: This allows you to to organize contacts, view communication history, and collaborate across the organization.

How do I implement Sales Cloud?

Depending on your business size and processes, you may find that you can implement it yourself. To get started, Trailhead is a great resource for getting started fast. You may also decide to reach out to a Certified Salesforce Partner who can help you optimize Sales Cloud to your business processes, increase user adoption, and make sure you’re using best practices. When considering working with a partner for your Sales Cloud Implementation, you want to look at someone with deep expertise who can help optimize your investment.

Additionally, the Success Community is a community of experts, partners, and customers that can guide you with answers to questions and other Sales Cloud experts.

Sales Cloud Pricing

Sales cloud pricing varies based on the edition you get but all come with a free trial. You can see the most up to date pricing directly from Salesforce.

Sales Cloud Demo

If you’d like a demo of Sales Cloud, here is a short 3 minute video.