Does your company use Salesforce.com as your CRM? If so, you’re going to want to read this.
CRM, like many other initiatives companies roll out, is often plagued with adoption problems. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because, as valuable as CRM is to sales organizations, entering data into the system can be a pain for sellers. So not only do companies need to pick the right CRM system for their organization and make sure their reps see value in using it, but they also need to make it easy for reps to use.
One way Salesforce.com users are combating this issue is by supplementing their Salesforce interface with apps from Salesforce.com’s AppExchange. Not only can apps (also often referred to as plug-ins) do a lot of the heavy lifting for reps when it comes to data entry, but they can also increase the functionality, efficiency, and effectiveness of your CRM system as a whole.
Here are four of the hottest Salesforce apps that companies are integrating into their systems:
1. Email Integration for Salesforce (Free 30-day trial, $10/user/month thereafter)
What it does: Email Integration for Salesforce, by iHance, integrates any email system (from Outlook to Lotus to Groupwise) into Salesforce, automating email logging and contact creation for reps.
How it helps: Not only does this take the burden of manually inputting data into the system off of reps’ shoulders, but it also saves them valuable time they can spend pursuing leads. Emails that don’t match existing contacts in Salesforce are moved to a pending bin for reps to quickly create new contacts or leads later so emails never fall between the cracks. This app also enables sales teams to review each other’s emails, fostering a social network with better information and strategy sharing.
2. Marketo Sales Insight ($49 per seat, 10 seat minimum)
What it does: Marketo Sales Insight is a native Force.com sales app (meaning there are no new tools to install or additional IT support needed) that helps sellers prioritize and act on leads.
How it helps: One feature that this app offers reps is the ability to send out “smart” email campaigns that automatically alert reps when prospects open their emails, visit the company website, or exhibit other ‘buying’ signals. Sellers can then share information about their leads and contacts with colleagues through Salesforce Chatter.
3. Conga Composer (Free 30-day trail, $60 per 5 users/month thereafter, volume discounts available)
What it does: Conga Composer is a popular app that helps save reps time generating custom quotes, contracts, and/or account plans.
How it helps: It enables reps to gather data from multiple sources using Salesforce or Force.com reports, and then merge them to produce sales documents in Word, Excel, or PDF forms. Reps can then save, print, email, and/or integrate these documents into e-signature solutions, making sales prep less of a burden. The app also automatically logs document related activities, follow-up tasks, and updates fields for reps, helping them save even more time.
4. Adobe EchoSign (Free 14-day trail, $29.95/user/month, minimum of 10 users)
What it does: Adobe EchoSign is one of the most popular e-signature applications available for Salesforce that enables reps to send contracts for legally binding digital signatures.
How it helps: The app makes the contract signature process easier and more efficient, and also logs copies of completed contracts directly into Salesforce. EchoSign also works on almost any device (PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, etc.) and incorporates more than 20 languages. This app can also be integrated with other apps like Conga Composer.
There is a seemingly endless supply of other valuable plug-ins available on the AppExchange, so if you are in the process of evaluating apps to bolster your CRM system, make sure to stay tuned as we will be launching a new web resource in the coming days on this topic.
SEC Members, to learn more about making your CRM easier for reps to use, visit our CRM adoption topic center and read some of your peers’ perspectives on measuring CRM adoption. Also make sure to see what your peers are saying about Salesforce.com apps in a recent discussion featured on our Sales Ops forum.