Salesforce 101: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet (Part 2)

In our last post, we gave you the ballpark view of the Salesforce ecosystem, its technology and products. Today, we’re going to take you more in depth into the rabbit hole that is Salesforce operations, and teach you how to easily orbit around the platform.

Okay, so now you’re a Salesforce user. Welcome!

#1: First things first, let’s talk about Salesforce Profiles & Roles.

Within the Salesforce platform, there are different types of profiles and roles assigned to each user in your spaceship or organization. The difference between profiles and roles is that profiles determine what a user can do within the org whereas roles define the data visibility a particular user has.

Okay, let’s break that down–
Profiles = what a user can do within the org
Roles = what data a user can see

These roles follow a hierarchy and have certain permission settings to ensure that the right people have access to the right data. The users in the highest level of the role hierarchy are those that require visibility to the entire organization. Assigning a profile to a user is mandatory, but a role is optional.

#2: Let’s dive into the standard profiles and what their permission settings allow for.

System Administrator
The System Administrator is one or more individuals in your organization who can configure and customize the application. Users assigned to the System Administrator profile have administrator privileges. Think of this like the Commander-In-Chief of your spacecraft.

Standard Platform User
The Standard Platform User can use custom Salesforce AppExchange apps developed in your org or installed from AppExchange. In addition, they can use core platform functionality such as accounts, contacts, reports, dashboards, and custom tabs.

Standard Platform One App User
The Standard Platform One App User can use one custom AppExchange app developed in your org or installed from AppExchange. The custom app is limited to five tabs. In addition, they can use core platform functionality such as accounts, contacts, reports, dashboards, and custom tabs.

Standard User

The Standard User can create and edit most major types of records, run reports, and view the org’s setup. They can view, but not manage, campaigns. And they can create, but not review, solutions.

Customer/Partner Community User

The Customer or Partner Community User can log in via a community. Your community settings and sharing model determine their access to tabs, objects, and other features.

Customer Portal Manager

The Customer Portal Manager can log in via a Customer Portal or a community. They can view and edit data they directly own or data owned by or shared with users below them in the Customer Portal role hierarchy; and they can view and edit cases where they are listed in the Contact Name field.

Solution Manager

The Solution Manager can review and publish solutions. They also have access to the same functionality as the Standard User.

Marketing User

The Marketing User can manage campaigns, create letterheads, create HTML email templates, manage public documents, and add campaign members and update their statuses with the Data Import Wizard. They also have access to the same functionality as the Standard User.

Contract Manager

The Contract Manager can create, edit, activate, and approve contracts. This profile can also delete contracts as long as they are not activated.

Read Only

Read Only Users can view the org’s setup, run and export reports, and view, but not edit, other records.

Chatter Only User

Chatter Only Users can only log in to Chatter, and access all standard Chatter people, profiles, groups, and files. Additionally, they can:

  • View Salesforce accounts and contacts
  • Use Salesforce CRM Content, Ideas, and Answers
  • Access dashboards and reports
  • Use and approve workflows
  • Use the calendar to create and track activities
  • View and modify up to ten custom objects
  • Add records to groups

#3 Now, that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about navigating this new planet, we’ll call it SpaceForce.

The first page you’ll see once you log in is the Salesforce mothership aka the home page, which is customized to you. Here you’ll find some variation of the following galactic elements.

Tabs help you navigate Salesforce. When you click a tab, the tab’s Home page appears with sections for views, tools, and reports to help you manage your work. Examples of tabs include the Home tab or Object tabs such as Accounts, Opportunities, Campaigns, etc.

App menu
You can use the app drop-down menu to switch between sets of tabs that are used the most by different types of Salesforce users.

Create New drop-down list
Choose an item in the Create New drop-down list to create new records in Salesforce, such as accounts, contacts, and opportunities.

Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin link on the sidebar allows you to restore a record if you deleted it in the past 15 days.

You can use the calendar to keep an eye on your schedule in Salesforce. With the calendar view icons, you can jump to different time periods and see the calendars of other users or resources.

My Tasks
You can use the My Tasks section to stay on track with all the items on your to-do list.

The Search bar allows you to find information fast in Salesforce by entering keywords. A search results page appears with lists of records that match your search.

Recent Items
You can use Recent Items to open records that you recently visited.

Messages and Alerts
Watch out for Messages and Alerts for important communications from your Salesforce project team or managers.

My Settings
You can modify your personal settings by clicking the My Settings option under the Your Name menu at the top to go to the My Settings page. If you’re an administrator, use Setup to customize, configure, and administer Salesforce.

If you need help, you can click the Help link in the upper-right corner.

#4 Okay Trooper, so now that we’ve covered the homepage, let’s run through your everyday Salesforce operations.

Track a prospect:
Click on the Create New Lead item in the sidebar, fill in the record, and then click Save.

Track a company:
Click on the Create New Account item in the sidebar, complete the record, and then click Save.

Set up parent/child relationships:
First, create records for parent and child accounts. Click the Edit button on a child account and use the Lookup icon next to the Parent Account field to associate the parent, so you can get a visual display of an organization’s corporate structure. Then click Save to unify the two.

Track a person:
Go to an Account detail page where the person is employed, and click on the Create New Contact item in the sidebar. Complete the record and then click Save.

Establish organization hierarchies:
First, create records for contacts of an account. Then select the Edit button on a contact record and use the Lookup icon next to the Reports To field to associate the manager. Then click Save.

Add a deal:
Go to an Account detail page for the related customer and click on the Create New Opportunity item in the sidebar. Fill in the fields (including the Stage and Close Date fields) and then click Save.
Image result for salesforce set up a task.

Set up a task:
Go to a related record detail page (such as a contact or account) and select the Create New Task item in the sidebar. Fill in the fields and then click Save.

Log a call:
Go to a related record detail page and click the Log a Call button in the Activity History related list. Fill in the fields and then click Save.

Send an email:
Go to a related record detail page (such as a contact or lead) and click the Send an Email button in the Activity History related list. Fill in the fields and then click Save.

Access sales collateral:
Click the Content tab, enter keywords, and then click the Find Document button to search for matching documents.

Manage a campaign:
If you have campaigns and the proper permissions, click the New Campaign button on the taskbar. Fill in the fields and then click Save.

Initiate a customer service inquiry:
Go to a related record detail page (such as an account or contact) and then click on the Create New Case item in the sidebar.

Create a reusable focus list:
Click a relevant record tab and click the Create New View link in the corresponding Views section. Complete the settings for the view and then click Save.

Create a report:
Click the Reports tab and click the Create New Custom Report button. Follow the steps through the wizard and then click the Run Report button when ready.

Export a report:
Go to a report and click the Export to Excel button. Follow the steps to export the report.

Merge duplicate records:
On a Lead detail page, click the Find Duplicates button. For merging accounts, click the Merge Accounts link in the Tools section on the Accounts home page. For merging contacts, go to the Account detail page and click the Merge Contacts button in the Contacts related list. In each situation, follow the steps in the Merge wizard for that specific object to complete the operation.

Transfer a record:
Assuming that you have transfer rights, go to a record detail page and click the Change link in brackets next to the Owner field. Complete the fields and then click Save.

Tired yet? We get it. Salesforce is a lot to digest, especially at the beginning. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all the ins and outs.

Need Help?

Here are some helpful tools & resources to help you find your way around Salesforce like a true Trailblazer.

Well that’s it for now! We hope this guide helps you understand how to get started using Salesforce. And if you still need help, don’t hesitate to contact us by calling (305) 814-7597 or emailing As a Salesforce Consulting and Appexchange partner, our experienced team will be delighted to help you along your Salesforce journey.

Trusted by great companies.

From start-ups to Fortune 500s, we help businesses of all sizes get the most out of their Salesforce experience.


What people are saying

Five Start

Five stars on customer satisfaction and Salesforce appexchange ratings.

"Excellent Consultants. During the training I received by the SkyPlanner team, I was lucky to better understand the powerful capabilities of They were very effective, straight-to-the-point, and with a solid knowledge of the CRM and the platform. Definitively they showed us how to streamline the business process within our company. Great group of people spreading valuable knowledge to make businesses grow. I highly recommend them."

Ramiro Allen — Chief Software Engineer @ TurboPay Limited

"Excellent partner! We have been working with SkyPlanner for almost one year now. It has been a pleasure working with their team. If it wasn't for them we would have not been able to go-live with our platform when we did. They understood our needs and were not only able to execute but guide us in our decisions. We continue using them for our on-going projects. They have a deep understanding of the overall platform. Their team is always ready, willing and able to help."

Ivan de Moya — VP Innovation Technology @ SunStreet

"SkyPlanner was professional, creative, reliable and extremely accommodating. From the onset of the project, it was clear that we had found the right partner. Our project was complex and every time we hit a roadblock, SkyPlanner was helpful in identifying and implementing a solution. Jorge Fernandez [SkyPlanner's Co-Founder & Managing Director] was our primary contact and we cannot say enough about what an asset he was in bringing our project to resolution."

Ryan Borcherds — Marketing @ Deliver Lean

"On time, on budget, great quality on every project. Whenever I get asked to recommend a partner, I do not hesitate on my reply: Go with SkyPlanner. I had the privilege to have worked with many teams over the years, none have brought to the table the enthusiasm the SkyPlanner team has. This combined with their professionalism and expertise are the reasons I ONLY recommend one partner: SkyPlanner. In every project (and we have done many) they have consistently delivered on time and on budget with significantly superior quality."

Juan Meza — Strategic Business Development Director @ Sony Electronics Inc.

"Outstanding Service! Happy to have them as our partner! SkyPlanner is by far the most experienced and reliable Salesforce partner. We almost gave up on Salesforce thanks to our previous partner, fortunately we found SkyPlanner and they came to the rescue! They took their time to understand our needs and complexity of our organization. Highly talented, professional and dedicated team. I cannot stress enough how happy we are to have them as our partner and we look forward to continue building our relationship."

Nolan Pereira — Project Manager @ BLU Products

Go to top