You’re likely already using Salesforce for the enormous range of functionality it offers for customer relationship management (CRM). Learning about Salesforce Objects — what they are, what they can do, and how you can customize them to meet your unique needs — can help you boost the functionality and efficiency of your data management workflow.

What are Salesforce Objects?

In simple terms, Salesforce Objects are database tables with fields that allow you to store data related to your business. For example, you can use objects to track specific data related to individual customers or store data about the various products offered to your customers.

On the back end, these Objects are set up like spreadsheets, with rows and columns of cells holding information. For the user, though, Salesforce Objects are presented through an intuitive interface, more similar to a web page than a spreadsheet. They’re already programmed with dropdown menus, easy data import flows, and reports and charts to help you visualize data. In short, they’re Salesforce’s main building blocks, helping you organize the multitude of data you need to manage your business.

The most common types of Salesforce Objects are:

  • Standard Objects: This is the default option. These objects are pre-built templates for organizing data commonly used by businesses, such as Accounts, Contacts, and Leads. You can customize standard objects by adding or removing fields, but they provide a quick and easy starting point for entering data.
  • Custom Objects: These objects can help track personalized data and are completely customizable to suit your unique organizational needs. For example, you could create an Invoice object for individual customers to track their payments.
  • External Objects: You can use external objects when you need to track data stored outside of Salesforce, but still want to interact with and search for the data.

Objects have various properties and features, such as custom fields, relationships to other objects, page layouts, and custom user interface tabs. Since each object can contain a lot of information, it’s important to follow some best practices when organizing your data.

  • Use clear and consistent naming conventions for objects and fields.
  • Design your data model to be scalable, allowing your object database to maintain simplicity and usability as it grows over time.
  • Set appropriate user permissions to enhance data security.
  • Use the Salesforce Scheme Builder tool to visualize and edit your data model.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively utilize Salesforce Objects to optimize your CRM workflow.

What’s the difference between Salesforce Objects and Fields?

The key differences between Salesforce Objects and Fields relate to their structure and functionality.

Objects are spreadsheets, or database tables, that store the data that you input into the Salesforce platform. An object can have a relationship to another single object, or be related to many different objects.

Fields are where you input the individual data points that comprise each object. They describe the features and information that are stored as records of the object. Fields can have relationships to fields in other objects, allowing you to look up related data in other objects or view master-detail relationships.

Generally, you’ll organize Salesforce data using both objects and fields. When deciding what to use for specific data, consider whether you’ll store multiple versions of the information or only one. An object is better suited for something like tracking a single customer’s order history over time without writing over previous entries. A field may be a better fit for information like a phone number, which may change over time, but you’ll only need to keep the current one on file.

How does using Salesforce Objects help your business?

As objects are the primary building blocks for your Salesforce data management structure, they serve your business in many different ways. Salesforce Objects allow you to:

  • Customize your data to suit specific business needs, such as tracking client relationships or payment records in a workflow that fits your organizational structure.
  • Centralize your data to improve accessibility and consistency across your organization.
  • Scale your data management model, allowing you to maintain efficiency as your business grows.
  • Automate your data management workflow by integrating with other tools and platforms.
  • Collaborate on data management with other users in your team and organization.

Once you understand how to use Salesforce Objects effectively, you’ll be able to track data that allows you to make informed decisions that will advance your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Salesforce Object relationships?

Object relationships in Salesforce are created via custom relationship fields and show the associations between different objects. Displaying the links between objects helps users view and access related data whenever they view object records, enabling them to have more control over their data management approach. 

What are Salesforce records?

Records refer to all the information that you input to describe objects. Whenever you enter data in an object field, this serves as a record that provides specific information about that object. You can either enter records manually or create record types that allow you to customize a group of records for a specific object.

What are the different types of standard Salesforce Objects?

Here’s a list of standard Salesforce Objects that you can use for your data management needs: Accounts, Account Contacts, Opportunities, Cases, Solutions, Forecasts, Documents, Folders, Reports, Dashboards, Activities, Products, Orders, Campaigns, and Leads.

What are Page Layouts?

Page layouts determine how information is viewed on object record pages. Users can customize the visibility and readability of different fields, buttons, lists, s-controls, and related records according to their individual needs. While Salesforce creates default page layouts whenever you create a new custom object, you can adjust the layout to suit your preferences by using the drag-and-drop page layout editor.

Can I customize standard Salesforce Objects?

Yes, you can customize standard objects by adding or removing fields as needed. If you only need to make a few tweaks to a standard object, this is a quicker option than creating a custom object from scratch. 

Where do I go to configure or create Objects?

After logging into the Salesforce platform, head to the App Launcher and select your desired standard object type. You can customize it later by opening the Object Manager and adding new Fields & Relationships. The Object Manager also allows you to create custom objects and configure them according to your needs.

If you’re looking to optimize Salesforce even further, you can take payments directly in Salesforce – allowing you to link customer data and financial data in a single system. Integrate your customer data with your ERP and financial systems to ensure you have a complete 360 degree view of your business. Get started with a free 30-day trial or contact our team to learn more about how we can improve your payment efficiency and volume with Salesforce.