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For many agile businesses, the secret to success is not having the most IT toys, but having the best services available and being able to use those services anywhere. In his The Right Tool for the Job? blog post, David HM Specter explains how the Salesforce.com CRM solution can help you manage people, customers, and contacts, generate reports, schedule events, automate the sales work-flow process, and more. This gallery shows Salesforce.com in action.
What makes Salesforce special is not the generic components, but how easy it is to load your existing data into the Salesforce CRM system and the hundreds of tools to help you take advantage of the basic CRM underpinnings.
The Salesforce accounts page that can be used to dig all sorts of useful info from your accounts including which accounts you have been neglecting and which accounts are your start performers.
Salesforce has a very complete set of tools, including ones that will help you run a lot of different kids of sales and marking campaigns; they even have workflow management system which will walk you through the setup and execution process.
One of the most interesting aspects of Salesforce’s approach to providing a true hands-off ASP experience is their AppExchange service. AppExchange is where third parties (or even other Salesforce customers) package up tools and utilities and make them available to Salesforce customers. The applications run the gambit from the administrative (such as HR functions and accounting) to 3rd party providers of mass mailing and other direct marketing services. The kicker is that anyone can put programs and services up on the AppExchange — so if your company comes up with a good module that has applicability outside of your own company put it up on the AppExchange and Salesforce will help you make money off it.
If you need a compensation system to automatically figure out bonuses for your sales team (something that is not provided out-of-the-box by the Salesforce tools), you could find several providers of such a service via the Salesforce AppExchange.
An example of the kind add-on functionality the can be found in the AppExchange: HR tools like a vacation day tracking tool to account for employee vacation days.