Frontiers of Salesforce - Part 2: SalesforceIQ
This is the next blog post in the trilogy on my experiences with some of the newest offerings of the Salesforce product suite.
In this post, I will focus on SalesforceIQ. This is a product from Salesforce.com that enables small and medium businesses (SMB) to interact closely within their teams and with their customers via their email inbox (Gmail / Outlook) as well as an app for laptops and mobile devices. It offers limited capability when compared with the full blown Sales Cloud app and focuses on accounts, contacts, opportunities and reports. With an attractive list price of $25 per user for starter edition, this appeals not only to SMBs but also to large organizations that wish to onboard small teams in business units that are not already on the main Sales Cloud or Force.com Orgs that may exist in the company.
I recently had the opportunity to evaluate this product and determine its suitability for the needs of my client. Here are my observations from that experience:
· Unlike the Developer edition of Salesforce where we can have a trial period as long as we choose, this app is available as a 14 days trial. As our assessment period was over two weeks, we had to use a couple of trial versions to complete our work - not a deal breaker but certainly not as convenient as the Developer edition of Salesforce.
· While the setup via Gmail was fairly simple, the Outlook based setup was a bit more complicated as it involved the security protocol of the exchange server.
· Once in, the thing that caught my attention was the way in which the emails that I exchanged with the fictional contacts and team members I created were seamlessly moving between the contact screen in the app as well as my Gmail inbox.
· Given that this is a relatively simple app, the setup capabilities for the Administrator are limited - I guess the idea is for you move up the value chain to Force.com or App Cloud or Sales Cloud if your business has more complex requirements and the business case can justify the increased spend.
· We had a requirement to enable a parent-child relationship between accounts and tie the same to products. This was achieved albeit with a creative workaround.
· We had a need to automatically merge account records but that was left on the table as no immediate solution was visible.
· The reports that we generated were fairly simplistic. It would be interesting to see how this app can perform if complex reporting needs are to be enabled.
On the whole, I feel that this app is a nice way for SMBs to sample Salesforce if they wish to explore of the capabilities of the platform and are apprehensive about the higher price points of the other Salesforce offerings. On the other hand, for my large clients, I would advise them to consider Force.com as a starting point as you get access a tremendously larger bucket of capabilities that should justify the additional cost associated.
If you are a user of SalesforceIQ or have some experience with it, I welcome your comments / opinion on its effectiveness vis-à-vis your business metrics and outcomes.
In the final blog in this series, I will discuss my experience with Lightning Experience.