Acorn Systems Converts 400% More Leads with salesforce.com

Salesforce.com customized and implemented in four weeks to automate lead flow processes online and offline, resulting in a 50% increase in productivity and 60% increase in conversion rates

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — September 20, 2004 — Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), the market and technology leader in on-demand customer relationship management (CRM), today announced that Acorn Systems, the leader in profit and cost analytics, is successfully using salesforce.com to improve lead and marketing campaign management. Acorn Systems selected salesforce.com's award-winning service in August 2003 in response to an urgent need for better coordination across its marketing, inside sales and sales department. Salesforce.com was customized and implemented in less than four weeks for a 400 percent increase in inbound lead conversion within 6 months.

Acorn Systems is one of the 11,100 companies of all sizes, industries and geographies that comprised the salesforce.com customer base as of July 31, 2004.

"A main driver for our CRM decision was to gain visibility into the leads we pass to sales," said Leslie Haight, vice president, marketing, Acorn Systems. "Salesforce.com gives us the tools to assess and analyze the leads, closed deals and revenue that result from each dollar that acorn spends on marketing campaigns. We can float priority leads to the surface, and we can manage the partners that are involved in close to 70 percent of our deals. We have the transparency to know what we are doing right and where we could be more successful."

Acorn Systems software and methodology helps customers such as Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCH), citigroup (NYSE: C), Fisher Scientific International (NYSE: FSH) and Sysco Foods (NYSE: SYY) confidently measure, optimize and predict costs, net operating profits, capacity and resources. Prior to implementing salesforce.com, Acorn's inbound leads were managed via an Excel spreadsheet that was manually updated by the marketing manager, who spent almost 60 percent of her time on administration — without lending any real visibility into campaigns, lead qualification or the pipeline. Seeking to streamline lead management with a state—of—the—art CRM system that could also double for partner management, Acorn Systems began to investigate its options.

"Everyone I spoke to about salesforce.com gave a full endorsement of the product," Haight said. "And, unlike some of the other options, salesforce.com had an offline offering for users on the road that was completely integrated with its on—demand application. The level of functionality, the ease of use — everything pointed towards salesforce.com as the best choice for CRM success."

Acorn Systems' salesforce.com implementation included customization to streamline workflow and elevate quality leads. Incoming leads are automatically ranked with a critical, high, medium or low priority before passing through an eight—step lead qualification process. Marketing can run reports on each stage to asses lead flow and campaign effectiveness in real time and make any necessary adjustments. By helping inside sales better manage lead volume, Acorn Systems estimates that it has increased productivity by 50 percent, with leads hitting the qualification process much more quickly than before. The volume of leads that are converted into late stages of the sales forecast has increased by 60 percent. Meanwhile the marketing team has cut its administrative time by 70 percent.

To build on this success, Acorn Systems is beginning the second phase of its implementation, which includes customizing salesforce.com for partner relationship management. Leveraging salesforce.com's sharing model, as well as the new Contracts tab, Acorn Systems is mapping salesforce.com to its partner-centric business model. The company plans to use salesforce.com to create a detailed forecast with each partner, and provide secure access to relevant customer and contract information as appropriate.

"Over the course of the last year, salesforce.com has gone out of its way to understand our business and our requirements," Haight said. "They give us the same level of attention and functionality as they give to much larger customers. It is a great experience to work with a company that is so focused on our success."

About salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is the world’s largest provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software. For more information about salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://salesforce.com/eu/, or call 00800 7253 3333.