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Salesforce is about Recognizing People
A reflection on understanding the nature of Salesforce and the big picture of how it benefits our organization.
While learning the ins and outs of this tool I have found it helpful to keep one key idea in mind:
"Salesforce is about recognizing people - who they are and what they do."
This perspective is central to how we can continue to develop Salesforce to be a genuinely helpful resource. Let's take a closer look at this phrase, piece by piece.
Our daily work at CHR&R involves interacting with people and a critical aspect of human interaction is recognition. We feel valued when we sense that we are remembered. A common theme in historical drama is that a leader, such as a queen or president, has an aide close to them that helps them remember details of the many individuals with whom they speak. In our organization, Salesforce provides that assistance to help us remember and thus be respectful of the people we serve.
Recognizing people - who they are
This refers to the Contact record and this is really the foundational aspect of Salesforce. Salesforce is a platform in the category known as "Customer Relationship Management" or CRM for short. Many non-profits prefer to use "Constituent Relationship Management" to reinforce their mission as one of service rather than commerce.
The contact record is the heart of Salesforce and it is where we work to recall the 'who' of a person. This includes the person's name, location, phone, email and other ways of outreach. This is why the record for a person is named "contact" because it literally describes how we use the information - to contact a person.
It is also common in the CRM industry to refer to outreach with the concept of 'touch'.
By its design, every contact in Salesforce must have an associated Account and can only have a single associated account at any time. An Account also describes the 'who' of a person and in specific, it shows how a person is connected to other people.
Recognizing people - what they do
This is where the true usefulness of Salesforce is revealed. For each contact and account, there are a wide variety of ways that we can make note of what a person does, has done and may possibly do in the future. The records that you will use most frequently to understand what people do are Salesforce Activities which are either Events or Tasks.