We are excited to announce a recent partnership with New York-based company, NimbleUser. NimbleUser developed Nimble AMS, which is an Association Management System fueled by the Salesforce platform. Nimble AMS addresses many of the operational concerns that organizations may have that out-of-the-box Salesforce CRM does not address. For example, features for handling Committees, Membership, Subscriptions, and Donations.
In addition, the platform returns a large amount of autonomy to your members through the eCommerce portal, including:
- Account/profile management;
- Company roster management;
- Membership join and renewal;
- Event registration;
- Product ordering;
- Review transaction history/resend order confirmations.
Doextra CRM Solutions partner and app developer, Orchestrate, LLC, has released the highly anticipated ProcessComposer 5.
Following a year of rapid growth and development the app for Salesforce announced another extensive list of enhancements, including:
- Canned reports and dashboard;
- New PCE - Custom Reports tab;
- Completed Date/Time field added to step and process objects to aid in reporting;
- Business Process record type selection page;
- Two built-in processes added to Business Process object;
- PCE – Step deletion;
- PCE – Step setup screen increases the size of the comments field;
- Staging now has the ability to ignore steps in a stage;
- Staging supports the ability to cancel all steps in a stage;
- Data Integrity Trigger on PCE – Steps;
- Data Integrity Trigger on User deactivation.
In addition, Orchestrate, LLC will be pushing major ProcessComposer upgrades beginning with Salesforce Winter 13 - this includes release notes and an automatic upgrade.
ProcessComposer manages advanced processes for Salesforce, overcoming many of the limitations of native Salesforce workflow and Action Plans. ProcessComposer also includes the functionality to create new processes. It is primarily used within Financial Services companies, such as Orion Advisor Services, LLC and Foster Group, Inc.
Image by Matthew Stinson.
For Salesforce users who primarily use Microsoft Outlook for email services - rejoice! Salesforce has announced several enticing new features in their Winter 13 release, including the following:
- Salesforce Side Panel - View up to four Salesforce Contacts and Leads in a side panel that appears in Microsoft Outlook when users select an email. Each Contact or Lead shows open Activities, Activity History and Opportunities.
- Recurring Events - Sync recurring events between your Microsoft Outlook Calendar and Salesforce.
- Simplified Email Associations - Save time managing the My Unresolved Items page when Salesforce encounters unresolved email addresses from emails added to Salesforce.
As an additional note: for sending emails to Salesforce with the new configuration, we recommend using the Side Panel to add inbound email messages to Salesforce (there is a handy envelope icon next to the Contact name); for outbound email messages simply BCC the "Email to Salesforce" address in your communication.
Configuring the New Salesforce Side Panel
If you are not an Administrator of your company's Salesforce org, your admin will need to allow the following User Permissions:
- To display the Salesforce Side Panel in Outlook: "Side Panel."
- To add Outlook emails to Salesforce: "Email to Salesforce" AND "Add Email."
- To add email attachments to Salesforce: "Always save email attachments" in your Email to Salesforce settings.
To Enable the Salesforce Side Panel
- Go to Your Name > Setup > Desktop Integration > Salesforce for Outlook.
- Under Email Settings, make sure the "Side Panel (Beta)" box is checked.
- Re-install the Salesforce for Outlook. After installation, Outlook will open and automatically add the Side Panel (this may take several minutes).
Salesforce Side Panel is now available for Enterprise, Unlimited and Developer editions. Have questions? Experiencing difficulty with set-up?
Contact Doextra's Engagement Manager, Julie Brandt (firstname.lastname@example.org
West Des Moines-based ITAGroup has reinvigorated the Central Iowa Salesforce community with the launch of quarterly user group meetings. These meetings kicked off earlier this week with a presentation at ITAGroup HQ and sponsored by salesforce.com. Topics covered included: Dreamforce '12, Rypple, ISV with AppExchange, and future session planning.
These meetings are beneficial for administrators, technical team members, and general users. Future topics being considered for discussion include: mobile, integration, Chatter, and email best practices.
Make sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming 2013 Central Iowa Salesforce User Group meetings:
- Tuesday, January 8, 2013
- Tuesday, April 9, 2013
- Tuesday, July 8, 2013
All user group meetings will be hosted at ITAGroup (4800 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines).
We will keep you posted with times and RSVP information as the dates get closer.
This year's Dreamforce '12 conference was bigger than ever with over 50,000 attendees - from Salesforce customers to app developers and consulting partners. The agenda was packed with keynotes, new announcements, demonstrations, impromptu networking, and even a Red Hot Chili Peppers performance.
Of course, Doextra sent a team to the big salesforce.com conference - hosting a dinner party at La Briciola for some of our awesome customers and colleagues.
Here's a few of our favorite pictures from Dreamforce'12 (shot by Doextra VP, Adam):
In CRM magazine's 2012 CRM Market Awards, salesforce.com took the number one spot in the categories of "Enterprise Suite CRM," "Midmarket Suite CRM," and "Sales Force Automation." Martin Schneider, a CRM analyst at 451 Research was quoted, "Salespeople are kind of on an island - they're set with a quota and they want to be able to track and manage basics... [Collaboration] does make people better by linking them to other people, but there's a big cultural change in that."
Making the Cultural Shift
Salesforce.com's Chatter is included - to some degree - with each Sales Cloud license; however, in many companies it goes largely unused and unnoticed. Especially when sales teams communicate via email - sending documents, quick notes and information back and forth. This has been the status quo for a decade and unless there is a significant buy-in from executive leadership and upper-level management, it will continue until email platforms (i.e., Microsoft Outlook) essentially change how they operate. Collaboration in the form of Chatter is often met with resistance in that people simply forget to utilize it when they are used to dashing off a quick email.
How is Chatter more effective than email?
Chatter is optimized for mobile. Depending on what mobile device you are using - sifting and searching through email can be a pain and often times limited. The Chatter app helps users quickly post and search their Salesforce database for information. The Chatter Desktop app also comes with a lot of new upgrades and features, including bookmarking posts, re-posting information, and adding favorites to searches (click here for previous blog write-up of Spring '12 features). The curve for learning how to use Chatter effectively is relatively short, considering salesforce.com has tied in a lot of common Facebook- and Twitter-like features into the platform.
Homework Assignment: Create a group for your sales team on Chatter. Pick several active projects or deals and move all related conversations and documents exclusively to the Chatter platform. By using a real world example and practicing on the fly, users will become more familiar with Chatter's functionality and potential.
Image by Miriam Duran.
This past weekend, salesforce.com rolled out a fresh new design and user interface for the high traffic, high volume AppExchange. For those unfamiliar with the AppExchange, it is a broad online directory of applications, consulting partners, developers and jobs. As a salesforce.com Cloud Alliance Partner, Doextra frequently uses the AppExchange to research third party apps to recommend to customers; publish new app listings and resources; and build a centralized listing for our projects and customer surveys.
For users, the Salesforce AppExchange has served as a quick way to find apps that provide extra functionality for your Salesforce CRM system.
Here are a few highlights from the newly re-designed AppExchange:
Click here to visit the new Salesforce AppExchange.
- Categories: Grouped by customer usage. Each app is associated with a category (e.g., Sales, Customer Service, Finance, etc.).
- Industries: Grouped by app functionality and referenceable customer cases (e.g., Financial Services, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Manufacturing and Nonprofits).
- Collections: Grouped by business need (e.g., Small Business, Social Enterprise Showcase).
- App Suggestions: Complementary apps are suggested at the bottom of each app listing based on what similar users installed.
The Social Enterprise is a big theme for Salesforce users. Chances are, it's only going to get bigger as it continues to play a key role in platform development.
Salesforce.com's seasonal releases bring in new updates that are making the CRM platform more capable of supporting social application integration and analytics - meaning Salesforce is now able to handle more social tasks and meshes well with advanced plug-ins.
In this month's issue of CRM magazine, Ed Thompson, a VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said, "In 2012, CRM executives are faced with the challenge of taking 'social' more seriously - not as 'just another channel,' but as a whole new way of doing business."
CRM magazine also reported that the social factor was part of a $12 billion global sales figure for the CRM industry in 2011. The Social Enterprise is going to look very different for a small business compared to a large corporation. The principles for engagement will vary, but there is still a way to make being "social" a natural part of your company's customer service without sacrificing productivity or cohesiveness. If anything, the Social Enterprise, should be embraced as a way to truly understand customers' personalities and preferences. Please don't use new social tools to be a bullhorn for self-serving marketing messages because then the whole online community, including your prospects and customers, will think you are the annoying guy at happy hour who came to collect business cards and hog the guacamole. Focus instead on using the Social Enterprise to learn and become better at meeting the needs of your clients.
Doextra wants to help you figure out this new Social Enterprise. And once you figure out the Social Enterprise basic concepts, there will be new social tools to learn, embrace and deploy. But that's technology and we're all in this together, and the Social Enterprise is not going away. So let's discuss how to master it.
Homework Assignment: Read "Thinking about the Big Shift and the Social Enterprise," an introduction to the Social Enterprise written by JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist at salesforce.com.
Doextra President, Brad Williams, has been slated to present at a featured StartupCity Des Moines Lunch & Learn event on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. The event is called, "Selling Made Simple," and will focus on an easy approach to tracking prospects and winning business using customer relations management (CRM) software.
Guests will get access to more information on the following topics:
- The secret formula for sales success.
- Getting to closed (A date-drive selling methodology).
- How to eliminate prospects that will never close.
- Why sales is not a numbers game.
Want to attend?
Whether you have a CRM system in place or not, this one-hour lunch event will be a helpful refresher to ramping up sales within your organization.
Event is free to attend, but registration is required. Register via Tikly by clicking here.
On Wednesday, Julie
and I hit the road to Omaha for July's Nebraska Salesforce User Group meeting. The Nebraska Salesforce User Group has an excellent reputation for having a super engaged and active group of Salesforce admins and experts. The focus of Wednesday's meeting was maximizing sales through existing Salesforce implementations via new ways of thinking and new innovations.
Sales applications were a hot topic because of the quickly changing marketplace and technology to support sales pros. This included app announcements and demos by ReadyTalk, Backet Labs and our team at Doextra.
CRM Sales App Highlights
- ReadyTalk - Audio & Video Conferencing. ReadyTalk is comparable to WebEx or GoToMeeting, but ups the ante with custom integration into Salesforce. From a marketing and sales perspective, this app offers several unique and handy functions, including... scheduling, collecting registrations and recording webinars within Salesforce; tying webinars to a Campaign; generating meeting member and meeting attendance Reports and Dashboards; and inviting a Contact or a Lead to a meeting.
- Bracket Labs - Campaign Calendar. Bracket Labs was co-founded by Blakely Graham, who has 10+ years experience as a Salesforce admin, integrator, customer and app provider. Graham was behind the development of Campaign Calendar - a marketing calendar built to maximize Salesforce campaigns. Campaign Calendar includes native Salesforce integration, color coding, custom views, collaboration and sharing options, and drag-and-drop functions.
- Doxtra - The Board. (*sorry, shameless plug*) After 25 years in the sales field, Doextra President, Brad Williams, saw a need for integrating a no-fuss, date-driven sales app into Salesforce. This app would help sales pros avoid "Seat of the P.A.N.T.S." selling and stick to a formalized sales process. The Board is available on the AppExchange and to see Brad present the core concepts, check out a quick 8 minute video.
For more information about these apps, click on the company name and title.
Image: Julie presents concepts behind The Board app at the July, 2012 Nebraska Salesforce User Group meeting.