COVID-19 and the subsequent pandemic that followed has hit everybody hard, but nobody more than small business owners.  Many have been forced to close their doors permanently, and those that haven’t, have scrambled to pivot and retool their business plan.

In an attempt to help mitigate the fallout, Salesforce is using their wide reach, financial backing, and extensive toolkit tailored to help small businesses.

In addition, Salesforce has decided to put profit maximization on hold temporarily due to their desire to achieve the common goal: supporting small businesses through the use of technology.

Salesforce Care Small Business Grants

Salesforce is currently offering small business loans of $10,000 (called Salesforce Care Small Business Grants) to help replenish materials and inventory, pay employee wages, and adapt their business models in accordance with these critical times.

Grant applications opened up to US-based businesses in mid-April, and Salesforce has committed themselves to giving $5 million to help their client base get through this pandemic and see the other side.

Free access to Salesforce Essentials

Additionally, Salesforce is providing free access to their Salesforce Essentials toolkit in an effort to help small businesses interact, engage, and support their customers in a meaningful way remotely.

The Salesforce Essentials toolkit provides you with 6 key functions that work together through an easy-to-manage interface so you can streamline your business operations and increase productivity in less time.

Through leveraging the now free Essentials toolkit, small businesses are able to keep up (or even improve) their relations with customers without infringing on social distancing protocols.

Effortless organization

Running a business is next to impossible when you are not organized. Between random spreadsheets, aging memory, and countless ledgers and notebooks, it’s never been harder to keep track of everything.

Essentials makes it easy to store, manage, and edit all of the working parts that go into your business (think client contact information, account numbers, vendor details, etc.).

All it takes is a couple of clicks to get the information you need. No more searching through your notes for hours for a crucial phone number or account information.

Track sales

Essentials takes your preexisting sales funnel and breaks it into several, easy-to-manage sections. Through these sections, each individual deal is split up further into all of its individual parts (many people call these interchanging parts “sales stages”) so you can closely monitor your progress and relationships as they build and grow.

This is especially useful when building up to a big close, as it highlights and houses all relevant information you’ll need throughout negotiations.

Customer service

No matter what business or industry you work in, you’re always going to have customers with questions. Essentials walks you through using their “cases” feature (customer feedback) and “queues” their system for managing open cases.

This support spans across email, chat services, phone calls, social channels, and a self-service help center dedicated to helping your customers no matter where they happen to be located. In a socially distanced world, this is an especially useful feature.

Mobile integration

As a small business owner or person who manages one, chances are that you’re always on the go. By using Salesforce Essentials, you can utilize all the features you’ve become accustomed to at your office computer without ever having to crack open your laptop.

Just click on the app and you’re ready to go. And the best part is they don’t favor Apple, Android, or any other OS—no matter your preference, you’ll be apple to access your Essentials account.

Trackable metrics

A successful business is more than just numbers in the green. It’s important to see things in dollars and cents.

Essentials gets you started with prebuilt reports and dashboards that you can customize as much (or as little) as you’d like to help run your business as smoothly as possible. With one simple keystroke, you can view how much your revenue and deal projects are worth.

Integrated workflow

Perhaps the best and most useful feature of Salesforce Essentials, is its seamless integrations with other commonly used business-related apps and services.

Say you like storing files in Dropbox, or signing contracts in DocuSign. Essentials was built in such a way that you can easily work with these other programs (and many more). Their interface allows you to effortlessly jump between apps to streamline your workflow on a day-to-day basis.

Dedication to the client

The Salesforce Essentials package typically costs $35 per month ($25 per when purchased annually), but, in lieu of the current situation, they’re offering nationwide completely free of charge. In addition to offering small businesses their Essentials toolkit for free, Salesforce has also created a small business resource page and database, filled with featured articles, webinars, and other useful resources from industry experts.