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Posted March 7, 2011 By Vangie Beal     Feedback
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Boost Salesforce Functionality with Chatter and Jigsaw

The one feature that has set Salesforce apart from its competitors in the last year has been the Chatter collaboration service, now built in to Salesforce CRM. (SAP released a similar tool last week in its new Sales OnDemand service.)

Chatter is inside the sales cloud. The real-time corporate social platform can also be extended to your entire company — completely free. One of the first things you're likely to notice as soon as you log in is your account profile picture placement, which makes the whole platform feel more approachable.

In Chatter, you extend invitations within your organization and then follow people (like Twitter) to see real-time feeds. Within the Chatter tab, you can use @reply mentions or even #hashtags to see trending topics. Chatter makes good use of the basic functionality of popular social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter to create an interface that most users will already be comfortable with and know.

You can think of Chatter as a "private collaboration space" where you create groups based on your work team or for specific projects. What is unique about Chatter is that it not only allows you to follow people, but you can also follow data. For example, if a contact or co-worker were to make changes to a dashboard that changed data is pushed out to you via Chatter. Changes to files (e.g. a marketing presentation) are also noted in your feed in addition to any comments about the file. Another unique aspect of the Salesforce Spring 11 CRM release is the result of the company's acquisition of Jigsaw. completed its acquisition of Jigsaw in May 2010, marking its own strategic entry into the cloud-based business contact data services market.

The result is that customers can leverage Jigsaw's Wikipedia-style real-time business contact data on more than 24 million contacts. Basically, Salesforce has pumped the business contact data into its cloud solution, letting customers bounce Jigsaw data off their own contact list. When a difference is realized between your contact information and Jigsaw's data, you can update fields in your contact management such as email, name or address with a single click to clean your own information.

Another important feature of integration with Jigsaw is that the contact data provides a way to tap new prospects when looking for a contact within a company. For example, you may have a contact at "Company XYZ," but in reality you need the IT contacts and not the person in your own list. Using Jigsaw, you can import IT titles from within that company as leads or contacts. CRM Pricing offers several editions from which customers can choose what best fits their business needs. Paid editions of Salesforce start at $5 per user per month for Contact Manager. Based on per user per month rates, pricing is $65 (Professional) and $125 (Enterprise). A free 30-day trial is offered on the website.


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