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Salesforce.com Overhauls Sales, Service Mobile Apps

Salesforce1 platform yields focused Sales Cloud 1 and Service Cloud1 mobile apps promising better-informed interactions with customers.
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Last year Salesforce.com introduced the Salesforce1 mobile app development platform and companion Salesforce1 mobile app at Dreamforce. Ahead of this year's annual event, which starts next week, Salesforce on Tuesday announced Sales Cloud1 and Service Cloud1 apps built for companies with mobile-first performance expectations.

"We're getting a bit more granular here and building out an even more-complete set of applications on the Salesforce1 platform," said Mark Woollen, senior VP of product marketing, Sales Cloud, in a phone interview with InformationWeek. "We're building out mobile apps for customer-service agents and sales reps, and we've built intelligence into the apps so they can have better-informed, on-target conversations with customers."

The theme for both Sales Cloud1 and Service Cloud1 is having "smarter, faster, and better-connected" engagements with customers with a personalized touch, according to Woolen. In an example of built-in intelligence, Service Cloud1 includes a Smarter Agent Console designed to deliver recommendations to service reps just as Netflix delivers movie recommendations. If a customer calls with a known problem, for example, the app console pushes suggested articles, knowledge topics, and experts.

[Want more on Sales Reach? Read Salesforce.com Previews Sales Feature To Promote Pardot.]

To promote customer self-service, Service Cloud1 includes "WordPress-like" (read, easy to create) templates designed to let business users quickly set up communities (around specific products or services, for example) that will automatically work on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, according to Salesforce.

Salesforce also plans to bring SOS for Apps to Service Cloud1. Likened to the Amazon Kindle Mayday-button feature, SOS lets service agents see what’s happening on a customer's mobile phone and, if needed, draw on the screen to help them navigate.

Sales Cloud1 mobilizes the Sales Cloud with a battery of new built-in and companion mobile apps:

  • Today, Tasks, Notes, and Events apps: These built-in features are designed to boost sales rep mobile productivity by letting them check tasks, dashboards, and news; add and interact with tasks; take notes that are automatically connected to contact records; and add and interact with events.
  • Sales Path: An optional app that will let sales managers and execs model sales processes in a drag-and-drop environment so sales processes and tips and tricks for each step in that process can be shared with junior salespeople.
  • Sales Reach:  An optional app that will let salespeople create micro campaigns, track responses to campaigns, and get real-time notifications when prospects interact with campaign content such as downloads, event invites, or videos.
  • Sales Data: An optional app that will bring Data.com data-enrichment to mobile devices. Data.com has long included data from Dun & Bradstreet, but a new tie-in with Thomson Reuters adds information including company news, financial summaries, transcripts of announcements, credit scores, regulatory filings, industry KPIs, and research reports. D&B data has been made available by multiple CRM competitors, including Oracle, so Salesforce seems to be upping the ante.

Unfortunately there are a few pre-announcements among these announcements. Sales Cloud1 and Service Cloud1 are both generally available with pricing starting at $65 per user, per month. That's the good news. Disappointingly, the Sales Path and Sales Reach apps aren't expected to be available until the first half of 2015, and Sales Data won't be available until the second half of next year. The SOS for Apps feature is also in the works, but no release date was provided. Pricing for future releases will be set at the time of availability.

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