As I get older it is funny how you make those kind of comments your parents made. You know the ones like “back in my day” or ”when I was a kid” or maybe even “I used to walk 50 miles to school and only wore one shoe”... well maybe not so much the last one but you know what I mean.
You may be asking what has this got to do with technology or business? Well whilst some things don’t change there is a lot that needs to. From the time I started helping customers implement and build solutions on Salesforce we have gone from building everything from scratch to now leveraging apps from the Salesforce AppExchange to deliver a solution in a more efficient and timely manner.
Tying these apps into your project and adapting your processes ensures you have a happy and engaged team who will think you are the best thing since sliced bread (oops that is another one of those phrases).
So here’s my list of the must have apps that you should consider for your Salesforce instance.
Document Generation: If you are manually creating a word or excel document using any data from Salesforce you need to stop this and use apps like Drawloop or Conga to do all the heavy lifting for you. These apps ensure you create consistent documents which are on brand and can be produced via a workflow/trigger or by pushing a button. Simple!
Electronic Signatures: In this day and age we all want things to be done easily and the concept of writing or using a pen is becoming foreign (well it is to me). If I need to sign something I would rather receive this electronically, click a button and know it is done. Tools such as Docusign or Echosign are so simple to use you will scratch your head and ask why you weren’t doing this ages ago.
Training and Onboarding: We’ve all been there when you roll out a new Salesforce instance or a new process and you train everyone up. Everyone jumps in and is using it but then you have a new person start next week and you need to roll out the same training to them. Apps like Improved Apps or CrowdGuide can be used for onboarding and training. Improved Apps also allows you to embed “how to” information at the field level. For me these apps are a no brainer and should be included for every single Salesforce instance.
Sales/Team Gamification: One of the best apps available is Ring My Bell. This app does what is says - it rings a bell whenever a sale is closed. The amazing thing about this is how effective that is to drive a sales team. It is the most effective app and given it costs 99 cents a month per user you would be mad if you didn’t install this.
De-Duplication: You need to ensure you keep your data clean in Salesforce and this should be considered from day one. My favourite app is DupeCatcher as it does what it says and it’s free. Yes that’s right it’s free so why wouldn’t you install it and give it a go. My suggestion is to start with DupeCatcher and then consider a paid app like the suite from RingLead.
Email Integration: One last one to consider is Cirrus Insight. We use Gmail at Morphate and we couldn’t survive without Cirrus Insight. This app is so simple to sync your emails into Salesforce but it also allows you to create leads/contacts/accounts and even opportunities all from within your Gmail. Recently Cirrus released an upgrade that tracked when someone opens your email and how many times they opened it. It is such a great addition to their product.
The beauty of using apps is that, like Salesforce, you receive updates for free meaning you will always have the best of the best solution. This is a lot better than building a bespoke solution and engaging a developer to update it as you need changes.
Nothing stays the same in the world of Salesforce and in a few weeks time #DF14, the annual Dreamforce conference, kicks off in San Francisco and one of the main reasons I am excited about going is that I will have the chance to walk the floor and talk to a lot of the exhibitors and find out what new apps they have and how we can use them to transform business. I promise I will blog again about my next recommendations for Apps you simply cannot do without.
About the Author:
I have been involved in Salesforce implementations for over 7 years and was acknowledged as a Salesforce MVP in 2013 and again in 2014.