Depending on where your company sits choosing the right iPad app for your sales team, we recommend starting with Why companies deploy iPads? or the Guide to Launching iPads; two free ebooks that will get you primed and ready.
Last year, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff spent an hour of his keynote speech at Dreamforce talking about the iPad as a mobile sales tool.
And we constantly answer questions about how FatStax integrates with Salesforce as well as who our competitors are that integrate with Salesforce.
So, it begs the question: What iPad sales apps work with Salesforce?
Mobile apps and CRM
First, let’s define iPad sales applications as the tools/apps your sales reps use on their iPads to present product and service information to customers and prospects.
I don’t want to confuse apps that are selling tools with the apps you use to access your customer data in Salesforce. That’s Touch. There’s a difference between the two.
What most prospects talk to us about is the ability to bridge the gap between a mobile sales app and their CRM. Specifically, they want to send lead contact information from the iPad to Salesforce and have the ability to log “touch points” with leads and contacts. Touch points might include:
- Brochures sent from iPad
- Videos shown on iPad
- Soft quote delivered by iPad
- Service Manual emailed from iPad
For us to create our integration to capture these data points in Salesforce from our iPad sales app we had to build a connector service and make it available on AppExchange, Salesforce.com’s app marketplace.
The process of approval requires an extremely thorough security review process designed to protect both Salesforce.com and you, their customers. So, any iPad sales app in the AppExchange has essentially been through Salesforce.com’s security process.
Based on this, we highly recommend your iPad sales app is approved on AppExchange before integrating into your Salesforce instance.
iPad Sales Apps and Appexchange
If you go to AppExchange and search for “iPad” or “sales app” only three apps appear. In addition to FatStax, there is Aptus and Digital Sales Aid. Aptus CPQ (Configure.Price.Quote) is integrated with Salesforce.com at the product level–but it’s only for existing Aptus customers.
Digital Sales Aid, owned by salesforce.com, integrates with Salesforce Libraries, but not Products (for full review of Digital Sales Aid see this article).
The difference between Digital Sales Aid and Aptus is that Digital Sales Aid is designed for brochures, PowerPoints, and videos. Whereas the Aptus iPad app is designed for a scenario like, “let me make you a tricked out new car.” So, it comes down to CPQ versus more of a presentation app.
Given the importance of Salesforce.com as a CRM, I was blown away there are so few sales apps approved for AppExchange.
Sales people use their CRM every day, so they’ll want their iPad sales app to work within the parameters of Salesforce to log activities during their daily meetings with customers. This trend will grow as the iPad for business grows as a tool and as more companies adopt Salesforce as their CRM.
In our experience, we’ve seen several companies endure lengthy projects integrating their iPad sales tools with salesforce.com. So, we highly recommend you work closely with your Salesforce administrator and understand what it takes to make the project successful within Salesforce.com from a mobile perspective. Of course, we are always willing to share our experiences so you can avoid some of these issues. Just drop us a line or comment below.