If you’ve spent any time working in Salesforce.com, you know how powerful and expansive the platform is.

If you’ve spent any time in Salesforce, though, you probably also know how hard it can be to get the software up and running successfully. And you’re not alone: A quick search for a “guide to using salesforce” reveals guides for beginners, guides for experts, even a guide to other guides.

Is your head swimming yet? Well, I have a little more bad news. Salesforce has its own user guide (just updated for Summer ‘15) that promises to “introduce Salesforce and its key concepts.”

Wait you’re saying, that’s good news, right? Well there’s a catch: the guide is 5,026 pages long.

Want a more manageable Salesforce guide? Get our FREE 60-page version »

What can you do with 5,000 pages?

5,000 pages is a lot of pages, even for a tool as complex and multi-faceted as Salesforce. In fact, once we learned how long the guide was, we started thinking about exactly what that meant. What could you read in the place of that long a guide? How do some of the longest books in history stack up against Salesforce’s daunting user guide?


Obviously, this is just a partial list. The “Lord of the Rings” series (1,137 pages), the King James Bible (1,900), even the Operations Manual for the Boeing 737 (1,506 pages) could all fit easily inside Salesforce’s user guide. Combined!

(If you think of some other famously long books that are shorter than Salesforce’s user guide, add them in the comments or tweet them @InsightSquared!)

Short on Time? Get our FREE 60-page Salesforce Guide »

What did Salesforce do with 5,000 pages?

Now, there’s a good reason Salesforce’s user guide is so long: Salesforce is an expansive and extremely customizable tool. The company prides itself on offering a tool that any business, of any size, and with any structure can use to manage its sales process. Naturally, this means that its user guide (if Salesforce wants it to be exhaustive) will need to cover all types of edge cases and incredibly specific implementation guidelines.

And the user guide does indeed touch on nearly every conceivable contingency. Here are a few of the most interesting things I learned while reading (okay, skimming) the guide:

  • The index is over 100 pages
  • You can run the Salesforce platform in any of 8 English dialects
  • Which is considerably fewer than the 18 forms of Spanish
  • The section titled “Learn Salesforce Basics” is 194 pages

If you take the time to read Salesforce’s user guide, it becomes clear that it is really designed to be an incredibly detailed reference guide. Something Salesforce Administrators and Sales Ops professionals can dip into to find an answer to a specific question or help solving a particularly knotty problem.

Relatedly, 5 minutes with the guide will also show you what it is not. It is not a primer or introductory text (despite what it claims) to help companies get their new Salesforce instance up and running. It is not a handbook that can be used to learn the basics of what Salesforce is or how it can help your sales team fold the software into your sales process (or vice-versa).

There’s Got to be a Better Way

So what can you do if you want to familiarize yourself with Salesforce and its capabilities? How can you understand the best practices for implementing and leveraging salesforce if you don’t have time to slog through 5,000 pages of Salesforce minutiae?

Meet our brand new Definitive Guide to Getting the Most From Salesforce. The eBook is broken into 2 main sections:

  • General best practices of Salesforce
  • Specific tactics for organizing your data within Salesforce

This eBook is not designed to cover every edge case of Salesforce use, nor is it intended to provide assistance for any potential problem that can arise. Instead, it is meant to help you get the most out of Salesforce without making you tear out your hair.

We know how important it is for sales leaders, executives and operations managers to understand the basics of Salesforce, so we created this 60-page eBook to help them hit the ground running.

And, at only 60 pages, you can read the entire thing and still have time to polish off the Harry Potter series with ease.

Download the eBook Now

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