Growth and Sustainability are the two most important parameters for everyone to thrive in this world, be it – an individual, an organization, a business or a community. Attaining something is not enough for survival, we have to work really hard to ensure that whatever we are doing has its relevance intact.
Now this holds all the more significance when we are talking about the businesses that have to pander to a certain section of society, create a customer base and then maintain it, all while trying to cater to their needs to the best of our abilities. In order to effectively analyze the customers’ spending trends, track their areas of interests, evaluate their likes and dislikes and customize to their preferences and maintain a sort of tally, a tool to manage the customer relationships became the need of the hour.
Hence, came into picture, the now very popular – CRM or Customer Relationship Management software. It went on to become a separate field of study in itself as it gained so much popularity.
Today, market is flooded with the type of CRM platforms, and just to name a few here –
- Freshworks CRM
- Keap CRM
- ZOHO CRM
We are going to talk about Salesforce here primarily, as not only it pioneered the CRM movement but to this date remains the top contender of this race.
HISTORY OF SALESFORCE
Salesforce was founded in 1999 by Mark Benioff along with Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff and Frank Dominguez. It had the solitary proposition that – the software should be made available to the masses over a global cloud computing infrastructure. Today, it emerges as the biggest CRM giant so vastly popular that not only it provides customer relationship management services but also provides a complimentary suite of enterprise applications focused on customer service, marketing automation, analytics and application development.
INTRODUCTION TO SALESFORCE
Salesforce.com is the most widely used Customer Relationship Management tool with over 150,000 customers worldwide boasting of a clientele of not just a number of FORTUNE 500* companies, but also the small businesses, thus proving its diversity as well as relevance in terms of not just the business size but also enabling different fields like – marketing, sales, service, Commerce, IT to flourish, enriching their customer experience.
Along with providing CRM services, it also offers cloud storage to businesses, thus eliminating the need for physical servers and databases and reducing the costs incurred. Also, it frees the users from the hassle of any hardware and software installations as it uses cloud. It helps reduce development costs and builds applications in smaller time frame, keeping them cost-effective.
SALESFORCE TERMINOLOGIES & TESTING
Salesforce is built on a platform language named – APEX. Even though it is tested as a regular web application, there are still methodologies and built-in features which can be a little complex due to the customizable nature of Salesforce as a platform and also due to the dynamic nature of VisualForce pages that are created in Salesforce to access, display and duplicate the organization’s data and it can be a little tricky to test as the pages update on the fly and a few features could be left untested.
Widely used terms in Salesforce are –
- Opportunity – A potential Sales deal that you want to track.
- Lead – A lead is a prospect or potential opportunity or a person who is expressing interest.
- Account – Refers to any company or organization that we want to manage, including prospects, customers, vendors or partners.
- Contact – A person who works for an account.
- Tasks / Events – Activities associated to an opportunity, contact or account.
- Reports – Real time summaries generated based on information entered into Salesforce.
The process to perform Salesforce testing can be broken down into several steps as follows:
- Application is developed using platform language – Apex.
- It provides built-in user test cases for Developers to test their own code.
- A replica of Production environment is created, known as – Sandbox.
- Developers use Sandbox to test Apex classes and triggers.
- Code is deployed in Sandbox environment.
- Salesforce standard requires a developer to achieve 75% of code coverage with unit test cases.
- Testers test in Sandbox ensuring that they are testing the customized code per application, instead of built-in default Salesforce functionality.
- Code is moved to Production.
- Testers have to aim for 100% test coverage for every test cycle.
TYPES OF TESTING INCLUDED IN SALESFORCE
There are different types of testing approaches that can be used to validate and verify the Salesforce applications, including:
- Unit Testing – Performed by developers to test all units of individual components. This is done to ensure that the components developed are working fine.
- Functional Testing – Functional Testing is performed in order to analyze that the system developed is working as required and it matches the customer requirements.
- Systems Testing – This helps to test how the business processes are working and interacting with each other. Also, an end to end testing is performed for business, functional requirements.
- Regression Testing – This is performed to verify that any new component added or any modification to code does not interfere or affect the performance of the application.
- System Integration Testing – It is done when components and interfaces are integrated with one another.
- User Acceptance Testing – User Acceptance Testing is done at the customer’s end in order to check the usability of the application.
- Role Based Testing – Role based testing is performed by testers to ensure data consistency with various user roles and permissions.
- Compatibility Testing – This is done in order to test the integration of third-party applications with salesforce.
- Load Testing – Load Testing is performed to check the scalability of the Salesforce platform as it is used by a number of users.
- Security Testing – As with all the cloud based applications, it is really important to ensure that the application is not vulnerable to any potential threats.
AUTOMATION TESTING TOOLS USED IN SALESFORCE
- HP Unified Functional Testing (UFT)
- Force.com IDE
- Change Sets
- Ant /force.com
BIGGEST CRM CONSUMERS
- Amazon Web Services
- American Express
Salesforce is undoubtedly the number 1 CRM platform being used across the world with its successful third party integrations, data security, and ease of use. Also, it is much superior to its CRM counterparts as it offers features like – contact management, opportunity tracking, collaboration tools, customer engagement tools and easy to use dashboard and the best part is, it caters to the small as well as much bigger businesses making it a much diverse platform.