12 Helpful Salesforce Apps for 2012

Jennifer Schiff

Updated · Jan 03, 2012

EnterpriseAppsToday.com asked CRM managers and Salesforce.com experts what their favorite Saleforce apps were. Then we narrowed down the list to a dozen of the most useful apps. (Click on the hyperlink to view the app on AppExchange.)

Email to Case Premium. Email to Case Premium, which allows support reps to respond faster and more efficiently than using standard email to case, is the highest rated app for agent productivity on the AppExchange, said Chris Federspiel, sales operations manager, Internet Creations.

Field Trip. “I’m sure many CRM administrators have experienced data concerns: Are the fields we’re adding being used? Are they being used correctly? Do I even need these fields anymore?” said Brian Kwong, CRM architect, Pharmacy OneSource. Enter Field Trip. It allows users to report on their fields and identify how often they’re being used, so administrators can identify fields that should be removed or users who require more training to ensure fields are being used properly.

S-Drive. Marina Martin, owner, The Type-A Way Efficiency Consulting and a Salesforce.com consultant for the last six years, suggested getting around Salesforce’s low file storage limits by stashing your files on Amazon’s S3 storage cloud via S-Drive, an easy, secure and unlimited file storage and distribution platform. “My favorite part about S-Drive is its effortless integration with custom fields, so my end users can upload documents and indicate/update custom information without my having to write any complex workarounds,” she said.

Cloud9 Sales Forecasting and Pipeline Management. Cloud9’s sales forecasting and pipeline management app for Salesforce enables sales managers to see changes in their sales pipelines, which facilitates more accurate forecasting, explained Jim Burleigh, CEO of Cloud9. Moreover, Cloud9 integrates data not only from the CRM system but from other systems, such as ERP or individual spreadsheets. “This gives users a very broad view into everything that is happening with any given sales opportunity,” he said.

DupeCatcher. With DupeCatcher, you can “set up complex (or simple) filters to stop your team from entering duplicate leads, accounts or other records,” said Martin. “You can decide if you want to display a warning that displays matching records (such as other leads with the same first/last name) or if you don’t want duplicates created at all (such as on matching email addresses).”

DreamTeam Project Management. Andrew Schrage, co-founder, Money Crashers, tapped DreamTeam Project Management as his favorite Salesforce app, because it gives his geographically dispersed employees “an awesome way” to collaborate on various team projects.  “To have a real-time, collaborative tool that integrates seamlessly into our everyday lives has been invaluable, especially in this day and age when speed and reliability are more important than ever,” he said.

LinkPoint Connect. “We all know Salesforce’s latest attempt at Outlook integration leaves much to be desired, and it took them until December 2011 to officially support Outlook 2010,” explained Martin. However, with LinkPoint Connect, you can achieve better integration, choosing “exactly what you want to sync and what you don’t.” This reduces the risk of reaching your Salesforce file storage limits without realizing it. LinkPoint also allows users to create custom buttons to drag-and-drop information to create or update custom object records.

Geopointe. Heather McGowen, senior marketing specialist, AtHomeNet, said her company’s account managers use this app, which integrates Salesforce with Google Maps, to efficiently plan trips to their territories. In addition, she said, salespeople “can map clients and leads in a specific city or zip code in their territory. It helps them plan where their next client visit should be and plan for multiple meetings in one day.”

Get Satisfaction. This app brings customer conversations from Facebook, Twitter and users’ websites directly inside Salesforce for quick resolution and increased sales. “These conversations can be accessed anywhere from iPhone or Android mobile devices and help customers get instant resolution to questions and queries on the Force.com platform,” said Wendy Lea, Get Satisfaction’s CEO.

Timba Surveys. Timba Surveys is a free method of creating and collecting surveys directly in Salesforce. Pharmacy OneSource uses it to automatically email its clients a satisfaction survey when their support cases are closed. Another perk: You don’t have to rely on Dataloader. “Users can see which customers we sent a survey to and review the responses. Timba Surveys provides excellent functionality for the price we paid for it,” said Kwong.

Sales Contest Builder. EPrize’s Sales Contest Builder app for Salesforce allows sales managers and salesforce administrators to create sales contests in six easy steps. “Within the app, managers have the ability to influence positive behaviors by motivating sales staff to generate new leads and close new business,” said Bob Marsh, senior vice president, Sales Strategy, ePrize & Sales Contest Builder. This can be done through building a sales pipeline; advancing opportunities through the sales process; following up on sales leads; pitching specified products; contests focused on closing sales; or driving Salesforce adoption.”

Conga Composer. Using the Conga Composer app for Salesforce, users can generate complex Word documents or PDFs with a single click. “If you can grab the field in a report, you can insert it into your document, including entire related lists into a table,” said Martin. In addition, CongaComposer offers “fantastic documentation to help you integrate with other apps, such as one-click PDF integration with DocuSign or EchoSign,” two other popular and useful apps.

And this app just in: Businesses that rely on iPhones and iPads may want to consider GroupLogic’s new mobilEcho app, released in late November. Todd While, vice president of Mobility Solutions, GroupLogic, said mobilEcho allows IT organizations to rapidly install and provide simple, secure and managed mobile file management for corporate iPad and iPhone users. “As a result, employees are able to securely access the corporate file server from anywhere in the world, allowing them to retrieve up-to-date files and information that is crucial to their jobs,” he said.

Got a favorite Salesforce app we didn’t include? Let us know about it in the Comments section.

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff is a regular contributor to Enterprise Apps Today and runs a marketing communications firm focused on helping small and mid-sized businesses.

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