Salesforce is the most popular CRM in the world, and the most fully-featured. It has been developed constantly for almost two decades, and the company has tried its hardest to build every single feature that sales teams need to be more efficient.
However, it doesn’t do everything out of the box…
That’s why the Salesforce AppExchange features thousands of apps which have collectively been installed more than 5,000,000 times. These apps stand in for other software to save you switching between programs, breaking focus, and pasting data over and over.
But, like I said, there’s thousands of apps. How do you know what to choose, and what to avoid? When might you need to turn to Salesforce app development, and when can you get something straight from the shelf?
Salesforce quote & proposal apps
Why bother manually creating documents (or even filling in templates) when the data is already in Salesforce, in full? With these apps, you can generate quotes, proposals, invoices, or any kind of outgoing document without pasting in data or searching for the elusive .docx someone on your hard drive.
A Lightning-ready app made by Salesforce, Salesforce CPQ enables sales reps to quickly spin up branded sales proposals that are consistent with your preset pricing. With support for discounting, add-ons, renewals and reminders, this app handles standard document creation with ease and helps manage all of the surrounding work that comes with it.
Pricing: from $75/user/month
GoCloudz PDF generator
This PDF generating app from GoCloudz lets you generate a PDF for any object in Salesforce. With no coding knowledge, sales staff can pull data in from anywhere in Salesforce and merge it into a custom or preset document template to generate quotes, proposals, or contracts. Its integration with DocuSign lets you send the generated docs out for signing without exporting and emailing.
According the app’s page on the Salesforce exchange, customers report a 7% increase in sales when using the Apptus CPQ solution. Why? Because the app improves quote quality by 28%, reduces rogue discounting by 21%, and improves win rate by 6%! That’s a convincing reason to contact them for pricing (which is the only way to get an estimate). Apptus CPQ is similar to Salesforce’s own solution mentioned earlier, but comes packaged with machine learning that powers quote-scoring and upsell recommendations.
FormFactory Quotes and Invoices
It might not be as fancy as Apptus CPQ, but FormFactor Quotes and Invoices is a free and lightweight solution for small businesses looking to generate documents with Salesforce data without destroying their budget. The app comes with a drag and drop builder that can output PDFs, HTML, or even web forms.
Pricing: from free
Salesforce apps for financial services
The clue is in the product name; Salesforce is traditionally software for sales teams. However, that doesn’t mean the core functionality can’t be adapted and expanded to serve other teams and industries.
For example, for financial services businesses there is less of a focus on closing as many deals as possible — it’s more about deep, sustained relationships with a smaller number of companies. Some of the tools in this section enable that, while some provide simpler utilities.
Salesforce Financial Services Cloud
Straight out of the box, Salesforce isn’t perfectly optimized for client services. The Salesforce Financial Services Cloud fixes that, and offers support for deep customer relationships with greater visibility into the accounts, interactions, and held away assets. With new dashboards that summarize client assets and goals, and support for the little things like contact birthday notifications, the Financial Services Cloud version of Salesforce CRM is a must-have for businesses that want to track relationships deeper than the last date of purchase.
Manage all aspects of the retail banking process from inside Salesforce with nCino. This app powers up Salesforce with support for client onboarding, account opening, treasury management, and more. It is marketed as an operating system for banks, which gives you an idea as to the scope of nCino’s features.
Currency Conversion Tool
Managing assets in multiple currencies? Working with international customers? Add this quick currency conversion tool to your Salesforce CRM, and save your team the time they’d waste switching between apps.
Veo, TD Ameritrade Institutional
Veo is TD Ameritrade Institutional’s core account management and trading platform which provides users account information on real-time balances and holdings. With that information integrated straight into Salesforce, Veo helps financial services teams get a full picture of their client’s accounts and then use that data to automate workflows in other software.
Salesforce apps for non-profits
The work involved in operating and marketing a non-profit is quite different when compared to for-profit organizations. Non-profits focus on publicity that will drive donations, which often means managing events and relationships with patrons. This section of the article looks at apps exclusively with non-profit discounts that help with these areas.
Non-profit organizations often use events to raise awareness and funds. So, what if that was all able to be managed in the same place you manage relationships? Fonteva Events is 100% native to Salesforce and helps manage events with sponsors, vendors, and multiple venues. Plan and track any event, and even provide access to a helpful front end for attendees that shows the agenda, session, speakers, and more.
Pricing: contact (with non profit discounts)
Improve your organization’s fundraising for free with the world’s #1 donor management integration for Salesforce. Classy helps manage donors, donations, campaigns, fundraising pages, fundraising teams, recurring donations, tickets and registrations, and custom questions and integrates directly with existing Salesforce objects while providing custom objects for data like Classy member ID.
Manage patrons with this aptly-named donor relationship management tool for Salesforce. PatronManager unifies your ticketing, fundraising, subscriptions, and email marketing databases in one system used by over 700 arts and non-profit organizations to track and report on ticket sales.
Brickwork, a free payment processing tool from iATS Payments, helps non-profits manage batch, recurring, and one-time payments and donations in multiple currencies. It integrates with NPSP Recurring Donations, and supports Gift Aid, making it perfect for non-profits and charities.
Gamification is on the rise. According to Aberdeen Group, the last two years have seen a 600% increase in gamification being deployed in the workplace. And, the same research paper also indicates that gamification programs increase revenue by 23%, customer satisfaction by 25%, and lifetime value by 15%.
If you want to introduce gamification to your sales team, here are three of the most popular Salesforce solutions.
LevelEleven helps managers boil down the confusing sea of sales metrics and make teams focus on the goals that matter — all in a gamified environment. The app supports real-time leaderboards, sales contests, and achievement alerts to motivate salespeople, along with a coaching feature that helps your team improve. Paycor reported a 55% increase in key account meetings thanks to LevelEleven.
Corsica is a gamification suite for Salesforce that provides your organization with features to manage sales goals, rewards, recognition, reports and feedback on sales activity in the context of a competition. Corsica integrates with Chatter to display achievements on profile pages, and can broadcast sales wins to any screen.
Pricing: from $23/user/month
Encourage reps to focus on targets, work as a team, and keep better records with SalesScreen — a gamification tool that seeks to make data entry more interesting as well as manage sales contests and celebrations. At $10 per user, SalesScreen is an affordable solution for improving sales productivity and motivation.
Pricing: from $10/user/month
Salesforce apps for small business
More so than most, small businesses need to run lean and cut costs wherever possible. This means improving the efficiency of operations, using software rather than humans wherever possible, and opting for free apps instead of costly, enterprise-targeted solutions. Here are three great (and free) Salesforce apps for small businesses that will help keep costs down and productivity high.
MailChimp is one of the popular email marketing and marketing automation platforms for small businesses with more than 16 million users. With this Salesforce integration, you can connect sales and marketing data by matching campaign metrics like opens and clicks with your CRM contacts. You can also check up on MailChimp campaigns without leaving Salesforce, saving your team time that might be wasted switching between tools.
Save your small business time in the area you probably waste the most sales resources — CRM upkeep. Maintaining a CRM manually can cost you $10,000 per year for each of your sales reps, so cut down on that with a tool like DupeCatcher, which helps you clean out your CRM’s duplicate data. It works with preset rules that catch dupes and also lets you configure your own.
Timesheets.com provides a payroll and project tracking platform for Salesforce users that can be set up in just 5 minutes. Manage hourly rates, salaries, project-by-project rates, freelancers, and non-standard payments with ease, without leaving Salesforce or using multiple payroll apps.
Pricing: from free
Free Salesforce apps
Instead of cramming every feature under the sun into their platform out of the box, Salesforce has hidden lots of free gems in the AppExchange. It’s surprising that many of these didn’t make the cut into the vanilla app. Enjoy these free upgrades!
Salesforce CRM Dashboards
Create a range of powerful dashboards and reports for sales, marketing and service teams with Salesforce CRM Dashboards. This tool is intended as a starting point for organizations that need better reporting without wasting time starting from scratch. Get greater visibility with dashboards for salespeople, marketing execs, service KPIs, agent supervisors and more.
Create and send customer feedback forms from inside Salesforce with Salesforce’s Survey Force app. Survey Force has support for three question types — single select, multi-select and free-form text — as well as a drag-and-drop form builder that makes it easy for anyone in your organization to create feedback forms and gather the insight they need to improve.
Social for Chatter
Post to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn from Chatter by simply appending #twitter, #facebook, or #linkedin to the message you want to share. Social for Chatter makes it easy to manage your business’ social profiles and keeps you away from platforms that could be distracting during work hours.
Salesforce apps for admins
With these Salesforce apps, admins can get control and visibility over their organization’s back end. Track organizational adoption of Salesforce with metrics on an easy-to-use dashboard, and monitor your team’s progression through training material. Those kinds of meta Salesforce apps are useful for helping larger sales teams get on board with new techniques and software. On the other hand, Zapier empowers both admins and employees to re-wire their suite of web apps and build their own integrations — both simple and complex. Here are our five suggested Salesforce apps for admins.
Zapier is an integration platform with connections to over 800 popular apps like WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, Asana, and Google Calendar. Set up simple rules (called zaps) that automate tasks when a specific action occurs. For example — “for every new WooCommerce order, add the customer to Salesforce”. Admins can easily set up all kinds of useful rules that automate work behind the scenes and save users a ton of time. Check out our free ebook on business process automation with Zapier for more ideas on how to make the most out of this powerful tool.
Trailhead is an education platform that teaches teams to get the best out of the Salesforce suite with 77 learning paths (courses) on everything from marketing automation to data security and app development. Trailhead Tracker is a dashboard for admins to get visibility over the organization’s progress through these different courses.
Salesforce Adoption Dashboard
Rolling out new software to a team can be one of the biggest pains for managers. Salesforce customer success reps will be on hand to help, but managers might still want an easy way to monitor adoption — especially if the team is a big one. Salesforce Adoption Dashboards makes this simple, with 42 reports, 6 custom fields and 3 dashboard types that can be customized to address your organization’s specific adoption challenges.
Salesforce Inbox Control
Salesforce Inbox combines email and calendar with Salesforce CRM to help sales reps manage their tasks in the same place they manage their calls and emails. Inbox Control is an app for org admins that helps control Inbox access and security settings, and manage Inbox deployment across teams.
Instead of allowing users unlimited access to the Salesforce AppExchange (or totally disabling it because of the lack of control), you can create a private AppExchange with this app. Private AppExchange lists approved apps alongside reviews from other employees in your company. Users can request access from admins, and extend Salesforce functionality in a controlled and consistent manner. Customize the store with branding, and add custom categories that indicate department or team.
Form apps for Salesforce
It’s easy to create forms inside Salesforce — whether or not you can code isn’t an issue. Most form builders allow for simple and complex forms, use a drag-and-drop builder, and can push that data straight back to the relevant records in your CRM. Use these three apps (varying from paid to free) to create stay-in-touch forms, order forms, customer feedback forms, or anything you can think of.
This 100% Salesforce-native app is the #1 form builder on the AppExchange. Formstack enables teams to quickly build powerful forms and surveys with a drag-and-drop builder. Create web-to-anything forms for donations, customer feedback, events, job applications, and orders. Then, store that data alongside the rest of your lead data in Salesforce or automate it with a tool like Zapier. Formstack offers a 30-day trial for free.
Pricing: from $59/user/month
FormAssembly is an enterprise form solution for Salesforce that includes HIPAA Compliance, PCI DSS, and other security features vital to enterprises. Create complex forms with conditional logic, calculations, and integrations to PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.Net. FormAssembly’s deep Salesforce integration supports record creation, record updates, and more.
Pricing: from $99/user/month
If you don’t want to shell out for premium solutions like FormStack and FormAssembly, you can use Youreka, which is a free tool that enables sales and customer service reps to create and deploy internal and customer-facing forms that tie into your Salesforce workflows — no coding required.
Salesforce inventory management apps
For businesses that sell physical products or need to manage warehouse operations in conjunction with sales, it’s a good idea to add inventory management functionality to Salesforce. Instead of getting new software, it’s always preferable to stick to a single central place for your data and add integrations instead. Here are two inventory management apps we recommend, ranging from high-end enterprise to SMB-targeted.
FinancialForce Procurement & Inventory Management
This inventory management app from FinancialForce gives your organization complete visibility over every stage of the supply chain. That includes available and promised inventory, available spend and contract information. Enforce policy and ensure adherence by building FinancialForce workflows into your supply chain, all while getting a comprehensive view of performance and contracts. The Procurement & Inventory Management app is part of the FinancialForce ERP suite, so businesses that already use products from this range will benefit from deep integrations.
Unlike FinancialForce, Matrix Velocity is designed for small to mid-sized businesses, and reasonably priced to match. The tool comprises orders, fulfillment, inventory, tracking, and purchasing, combining these features with the rich data already in Salesforce to give you a complete picture of your business’ supply chain.
Pricing: from $65/user/month
Apps for sales calls
Whether your team is managing a small list of warm leads or a huge directory of cold ones, it’s important that the process is efficient. You can augment Salesforce’s native calling features with a wide range of useful apps that help you reference scripts, track activity, and get deeper analytics.
RingDNA boasts click-to-call, automated voicemail, call recording, call scripts, and a feature called Local Presence that enables reps to call prospects with local area codes and blaze through lead lists. Make calls easier, and automatically accumulate analytics on your team’s sales call performance to make sure they’re on track to hit targets.
VanillaSoft is an award-winning lead management platform designed for companies that do a lot of selling over the phone. With scripting, real-time reports, recording, and next-best-call routing, VanillaSoft transforms Salesforce into a powerful tool for sales calls, all while pushing data back to your Salesforce records to keep information centralized.
Pricing: from $30/user/month
Avoid embarrassment and pestering by making it impossible for your reps to call a lead that has explicitly opted out of contact from your company. Easy Opt helps you manage unsubscribe lists inside Salesforce and integrates with both voice calls and emails.
Salesforce analytics apps
There’s far more data associated with your business than emails, calls, and lead status. Businesses are constantly gathering data from website visitors, marketing automation channels, social media, and more. In a vacuum, this data isn’t as powerful as it could be. By connecting all of your data sources to your CRM, you can get a complete picture of every lead and customer: do they interact on social media? Which emails do they open and click? You could even pull up a list of every lead interested in a super specific set of topics, and design a highly targeted marketing campaign. Here are two analytics apps that will give you the power you need.
With Bizible, you can add attribution from all of your online marketing channels (Google AdWords, organic traffic, UTM parameters, social, retargeting, refferal) to Salesforce to generate better reports on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and monitor how they drive sales. Bizible is compatible with Marketo, HubSpot, Google Analytics, Pardot, and other commonly-used marketing software.
Pricing: from $1,000/user/month
Make better sales and marketing decisions with the Birst BI platform for Salesforce. Birst helps businesses analyze their pipelines, generate historical reports, forecast sales and marketing outcomes, and unify data from your CRM, ERP, and essentially anywhere else you store data. Customers praise Birst for its ability to get the right data to the right people, and for its customer success team’s fast and helpful setup.
Which apps have you added to your Salesforce account? Have I missed any great picks? Let me know in the comments.