The first time I encountered Salesforce.com during a due diligence process, I realized that it was a game changer. When we asked for a list of customers, it was produced on the spot. We were given usernames and passwords and encouraged to analyze the data directly. The structure of Salesforce with its Contact records rolling up into Accounts and Accounts into Parent Accounts made it easy to see the touch points between the target company and its customer base. We could see who was involved in the purchase decisions at the customers – name, title, and location.
Salesforce.com Opportunity records made it easy to see the pipeline. Opportunities all had mandatory Close Dates and Expected Values, so we could quickly see the assumptions and key deals making up the pipeline, and by extrapolation the near-term revenue forecast.
Recently, leading edge CRM users have been adopting automated Salesforce email integration apps like Match My Email. These cloud-based email sorting and filing tools log the flow of emails—inbound and outbound– to each relevant Lead, Contact, Account and Opportunity in Salesforce.com. Since they are automated apps – i.e., machine to machine, computer to computer, cloud to cloud – there are no human errors or omissions; the email record in Salesforce is ‘perfect’. In other words, the email correspondence record in Salesforce between the acquisition target and its customers and/or prospects is 100% complete and up-to-date. With automated email integration, there is no more uncertainty about the true tenor of the relationship with a customer or lead, the ‘body language’ can be seen in the exact wording of the emails and their frequency.
It is surprising to me that Salesforce does not offer automated email integration as a standard feature. Salesforce users have to buy apps like Match My Email on the AppExchange. Perhaps Salesforce.com should buy Match My Email. I would be happy to help with the due diligence. Or Microsoft should buy Match My Email now that it has an alliance with Salesforce.com and use it immediately as its new Outlook app for Salesforce.