Want to juice up your Salesforce deployment? 5 apps to consider

Summary: Social career development and recruitment site Glassdoor, a midsize company with about 170 employees, has used the cloud CRM app for four years. Here’s how it makes the most of the Salesforce application ecosystem.

When social career development and recruitment site Glassdoor began growing more quickly four years ago, it adopted the Salesforce Professional edition to manage customer relationships and outreach to the various sources it uses to cultivate its information database.

In fall 2012, the startup — which now employs about 170 people — upgraded to the Salesforce Unlimited edition, which it uses in conjunction with the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Force.com.

That move was motivated by Glassdoor’s desire to provide an integrated environment that employees can use to get their jobs down, and it was made possible by the rich application ecosystem that has grown up around Salesforce, said Nick Boeka, manager of partner operations for Glassdoor, based in Sausalito, Calif. “The more I can do to keep them within Salesforce, the better,” he said.

As a consequence, Glassdoor has installed more than a dozen different AppExchange services. “I wanted them to complement a need, be easy to use and intuitive enough to get them up and running quickly,” Boeka said. The applications were, for the most part, relatively easy to set up (although one required the help of a professional cloud services integrator).

With that in mind, here are his five favorites (all paid, and listed alphabetically), along with the Glassdoor team’s rationale for picking them:

EchoSign — Using Adobe’s digital signature service, Glassdoor has been able to simplify the quoting process down to a few clicks. The sales team creates proposals that can be sent, signed and executed electronically. 

Hoopla — The application uses gamification theory to provide stats on sales progress, showcasing who is ahead. That’s great for motivating more prospecting activity, but there is also an ulterior motive: the service encourages salespeople to enter information about their calls or list their upcoming appointments, which means managers don’t have to scold them to do this.

Marketo — This marketing automation engine more tightly integrates the activities of a company’s sales and marketing team, providing alerts if a prospect responds to a campaign so that the sales team can follow up more proactively. Boeka refers to this application as “Sales Stalker 2.0.”

NetSuite — Traditionally, there haven’t been all that many links between the cloud ERP system and the Salesforce platform, but Glassdoor is using the Celigo NetSuite connector to provide a tight integration between the two services. This is critical for financial reporting and for calculating sales commissions. “I can’t live without this app… If I didn’t have this, I would have to hire one or two financial analysts,” Boeka said.

Xactly Express — This application helps Glassdoor automatically track quote achievement and progress more closely, without requiring it to rely on spreadsheets. Managers can use it to stay connected with their teams and salespeople can use it to see how closely they are to reaching their targets.