How to Use Salesforce CRM – Everything You Need to Know

Salesforce is a tool that allows one to manage relationships with people one does business with. People use Salesforce to manage relationships with prospects, customers, affiliates, advertising partners, vendors, employees, and almost everyone else people interact with while running a business.

How to Use Salesforce

There are four primary record types for managing relationships in Salesforce:


A Lead is a company that one might do business with. Leads can help track the achievement of affiliate administrators in changing open leads into Verified Accounts. The lead is transformed to an Account centered on criteria specific to one’s organization. This article will not be addressing leads, but how to use Salesforce leads as an intermediate step to creating Accounts.

Read more about salesforce import leads for further information.


An Account is a company or organization that one does business with, or one may do business with in the future. When people mention Accounts, this references Affiliates.


A Contact is usually any individual who works to have an Account that allows you to use a resource like the Salesforce cloud.


Opportunities records the parameters of a potential business transaction between one in addition to an Account. Conventionally, opportunities are employed by salespeople to account and predict their possible sales in future (their sales funnel).

Institutional memory

One of the advantages of using a proper CRM like Salesforce to manage one’s affiliates is that one will have institutional memory.

Using Salesforce Accounts

You need to make sure to create an Account for your top affiliates and affiliate prospects. This does not say you need to enter each single affiliate in the Salesforce, however for any affiliate new or old who has a latent to send more revenue; one will need to learn how to use Salesforce accounts to correctly manage the relationship.

Using Salesforce Contacts

Obviously you cannot have a relationship without people. This is where understanding how to use Salesforce contacts comes in. One need to create a contact for anyone on an affiliate’s Account. If it is just one person, that is fine, but if there’s a team or a whole company, you want to log each Contact into Salesforce. This way one can record and manage the relationships with each person as one’s relationship with the parent organization evolves.

Logging Calls & Emails

Logging emails is quite comfortable with Salesforce by using plugins for both Outlook and Gmail along with a host of other email solutions. With a click of a mouse button, one can record an email exchange directly under a Contact in Salesforce.

Advancing & Managing Affiliate Relationships

With the affiliates logged into Salesforce, the users have an institutional memory of the relationship; the user can now take action to keep those relationships moving in a positive direction. For this, we are going to emphasize on Activities.

The three kinds of Activities are the Tasks, Events, and Meeting Requests. For the purpose of this article, people will concentrate on Tasks.

A Task is a notice to take an act at a future time. For affiliates, this could mean envisioning if the affiliate is administrating the clients’ offer. Checking in on a prevailing campaign or following up on Affiliate prospects. The Task is one of the most significant things in Salesforce because it is one’s trigger to take an action at the suitable time to additional the association with the affiliate.

Using Salesforce Opportunities to Measure and Predict Affiliate Performance

Opportunities are one of the most important parts of managing affiliate relationships with Salesforce. An Opportunity is a tool to have on record the foreseen success of Campaigns through affiliates. The use of Opportunities shed incredible light on the future and past performance of one’s affiliate relationships. The goal of one’s relationships is to drive more sales and opportunities allow one to view the feat of these relations on an aggregate besides even per affiliate manager basis.

Using Salesforce Opportunity Reports

Salesforce offers a whole host of forecasting reports made right in the reporting section. It’s important for you to learn how to create a report in Salesforce in order to get the most out of this feature.  One can view pending or closed Opportunities and predict one’s performance in the future over Pipeline reports. Listed beneath are some standard Opportunity reports accessible in Salesforce, which one can use to track or manage campaigns with the Affiliates.

How to Create a Report in Salesforce

People create custom reports to show the type of affiliate, kind of placement, traffic, projected revenue, and a host of other info that lets me prioritize and track the success of my efforts with affiliates. It’s important to spend time looking into different Salesforce tutorials to learn more about reporting.

Creating an action plan

Now that you know the steps for using Salesforce to manage affiliates like a pro, you need to produce an action plan. Beyond just the steps people described here, one has to work on incorporating this methodology into one’s internal operations. You need to get in the habit of recording calls and emails, creating and updating Opportunities, and keeping up with one’s Task list.

Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.