Salesforce Terminology Explained

computer with salesforce logo on screen

Salesforce is the world’s number one Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. And while it provides a number of different services applicable to businesses across a range of sectors, it comes with terminology you’ve likely not heard before.

With this in mind, we at Purus have compiled a comprehensive list of the more common Salesforce terms. As well as saving you the time and effort of consulting the gargantuan unabridged Salesforce glossary, our intention is to make sense of these terms and shed some light on exactly how Salesforce works.

Salesforce Product Terms


Salesforce is the name of the company and the CRM application. Initially launched as basic CRM software, Salesforce has evolved over the years by identifying and catering to various business needs. It is this that has made Salesforce and its platforms the world’s leading customer relationship management system.

Salesforce Apex

Apex is the programming language used to create applications on top of the Salesforce CRM platform.

Salesforce AppExchange

AppExchange is a business app store offering paid or free apps that users can add to their own CRM implementation. This allows you to customise Salesforce to your own specific needs.

Salesforce Connect

Connect is a Salesforce feature that provides users with access to data and records that are stored on  non-Salesforce systems. This can also be used to connect Salesforce to other Salesforce instances.

Salesforce Lightning

Lightning is essentially the Salesforce platform, but with an updated user interface and a powerful operating system. Lightning allows you to customise and deploy applications in the cloud with rollout across your entire enterprise.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud / Pardot

Marketing Cloud is a service that offers email marketing and marketing automation (originally this was ExactTarget, before being acquired by Salesforce).Marketing Cloud is for B2C organisations, and Pardot is designed for B2B companies.  Pardot is a similar marketing automation platform used for marketing services and analytics.

Sales Cloud

Sales Cloud is used by sales organisations, and focuses on supporting and streamlining the sales process. This includes everything from campaigns and accounts to managing leads and opportunities.

Service Cloud

Salesforce Service Cloud is customer-facing and is used as a support to organisations, offering functionality like knowledge bases and case management. It is intended for thousands to millions of users, meaning large numbers can access required content without this affecting any performance.


DreamForce is Salesforce’s annual event, showcasing their new developments to developers, partners and users.


VisualForce is a feature designed to make development within Salesforce more user-friendly. It uses a single tab to embed all web-based languages, controlling what is and is not visible on a page.


Communities are customisable public or private spaces that are hosted on the Salesforce platform. Organisations can use Salesforce Communities to collaborate on best practices and business processes.

Connect Offline

As the name suggests, this is a product that allows users to access Salesforce to update their data. This can be done remotely, from anywhere, at any time.

Commonly Used Salesforce Terms


An account is an organisation related to your business that you’d like to track. This can be a company or an individual, such as a competitor or partner, or a consumer.


An API (application programming interface) is software that enables Salesforce to integrate and communicate with other non-Salesforce systems, whether external or custom built.


Apps are a collection of related functions, such as tabs and dashboards. Salesforce provides standard apps like Sales and Service, and there are additional apps that can be installed from the AppExchange.

AppExchange Publishing Organisation

The AppExchange Publishing Organisation (APO) is the master organisation used to publish app listings on the AppExchange.

Bi-Directional Sync

This is a third-party tool that enables another system to write information for and pull information from Salesforce.


Any marketing initiative, and the functionality to track leads, contacts and campaign responses.


Ideal for service organisations, a case is a description of a customer’s question, complaint, issue or general feedback. It is used to track and resolve these customer critiques.

Closed-Loop Reporting

Closed-loop reporting is lead management functionality. It transfers key lead and contact information to the marketing platform for data analysis.


Your contacts are the individuals linked to your accounts.


Content is where documents related to your sales and service ventures are stored.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management is a business strategy that applies to (almost) all businesses across any industry. It centres around building and maintaining relationships between companies and their customers.


Dashboards are visible on your home page, making them one of the first things you see as you log in. They give you a snapshot of key information and performance indicators. Salesforce dashboards can be customised, with each one displaying up to 20 components.

Formula Field

Similar to Microsoft Excel, formula fields calculate values of merged fields to populate displayed data. These fields can be customised to calculate specific necessary company information and insights.

Full Sandbox

A full sandbox is a replica of your implemented Salesforce, including documents and any customisations. It can be used to test any updates and changes before going live, as well as to train your team without any risk of negative impact on your live environment.

Global Search

Global search is located in the header search box and allows you to enter a search term across all Salesforce records. Your object use frequency is tracked, so search results for the objects you use regularly appear at the top of the list.

Home Page

Your home page is visible when you login to Salesforce. It shows your dashboard, and upcoming events and tasks. Home pages are completely configurable, meaning you can tailor yours to your business.


Salesforce provides access to a knowledge base where information like frequently asked questions are addressed and used internally to help answer customer queries efficiently. .


A lead is a potential customer or prospect that has shown an interest in your company or service.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a feature on the Salesforce marketing platforms that denotes the quality of your lead with a numeric score. The criteria and weighting for scoring can be fully customised.

List View

A list view is simply a list of records based on your criteria parameters.


An object is the term used for a stored record within Salesforce. Leads, Accounts and Opportunities would all classify as Salesforce objects.


Opportunities track your potential and pending sales or customers. Each opportunity includes specific details, making them easy and user-friendly for sales agents to work with.

Opportunity Stage

The opportunity stage refers to the status an opportunity is assigned based on where they are in the customer or sale cycle.


The product module is where an organisation’s products and services, along with details such as price points, are stored.


Every Salesforce user has a profile. Different profiles grant different permission levels and determine what users can do.


The queue is a transitional holding area for unassigned records and unprocessed items. Queues are used in a number of different Salesforce features.


Quotes are proposed prices for services or products offered, and can be generated from your opportunities.

Related List

Related lists are related or linked to detail records, and are shown on the detail record page. An account detail record, for example, could have related lists such as opportunities and contacts.


Salesforce offers significant reporting capabilities across all areas of the platform. Reports can be filtered, grouped, displayed in chart format and, of course, completely customised.


A role is an optional assigned responsibility to a user, giving them specific access or visibility to records. Salesforce administrators can define user roles in Setup.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a service is as it sounds. A platform or app is offered as a service and provided via the internet. The benefit of SaaS is the external maintenance, relieving consumers of the necessary installation, configuration and upkeep on their own software systems.

Standard Object

Standard objects define the built-in Salesforce storing features, such as account objects or lead objects.


Tabs are your basic interfaces for navigating around Salesforce. They are displayed at the top of the page and give access to accounts, contacts, web pages, or any custom objects you may want to include.


A task is any action linked to an object.


A trigger is a piece of Apex code that allows for an automated action to be taken in response to an event.

Web to Lead

This tool enables you to create web forms with the intention of landing leads. Information compiled on these is automatically populated into your Salesforce platform.

Putting Salesforce Into Action

Many companies opt for a Salesforce implementation and consultation partner to help with the challenges and mapping out before anything goes live. At Purus, our Salesforce consulting services include:

For assistance with any Salesforce products or services, speak to a Purus Salesforce consultant today.

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