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SalesforceIQ: Three weeks in, and I’m Addicted

Before diving into some of the features of SalesforceIQ, I want to outline my experience with the application. First, it’s important to point out that I use Salesforce Sales Cloud to run Red Argyle operations. My day-to-day tasks include scheduling lots of meetings, reading a ton of emails, and working multiple deals. I really have to figure out how to make every day, every second count–some days, there are hundreds of emails, tasks, and other things to process. I use Gmail on Chrome, and I have an iPhone, so my comments here on SalesforceIQ are related specifically to those two items: the Chrome plugin and the iPhone application.

 

The Chrome Plugin is Golden.

If you use Gmail on Chrome, get SalesforceIQ. Period. Install the plugin, authorize versus your Google account, authorize versus your Salesforce Account, and you’ve connected SalesforceIQ with your email, calendar, and CRM in about 2 minutes. Seriously, that’s all it takes. And…it’s FREE (for now). Here’s a rundown of some features and how they save me time and help me do a better job:

 

Note – I’ve been a Cirrus Insight subscriber for years. I LOVE their application, and I still think it does a lot of things great, especially the way it opens up the ability to read and edit a lot of data from the Gmail web application. It’s awesome. But for my usage these days, SalesforceIQ does what I need just a little bit awesomer. However, if I was working with a lot of custom objects, cases, or other heavier data processing–related interactions, I’d stick with Cirrus.

 

Read Receipts

Kinda freaky, kinda awesome. I’ve never been a “read receipt sending” kind of guy. Maybe I’ve done myself a disservice, because knowing the speed that people are reviewing my carefully crafted messages helps me determine the speed of my next move and how long I think it should take for them to respond. So anyone I’m emailing, consider yourself warned, I’m watching. 🙂

 

Delayed Send

Great for workaholics like me. I often work the “night shift” after my kids are in bed, trying to squeeze in a little bit more hustle at night. I like the CONTENT of my email to get the attention, not the time that I send it. When I read emails that arrived late at night, the send time always grabs my focus–the fact that I feel something about the send time can be a distraction from the content. Since I’m working at night a lot, the ability to write and queue messages for delivery–so my messages appear to have been written during the day–is a big add to my process.

 

Scheduling

I really like the calendar integration. So much, in fact, that I even canceled my subscription to ScheduleOnce. I liked ScheduleOnce, especially for its awesome GoToMeeting integration, but the utter simplicity of SalesforceIQ trumped it, and now I just deal with the GTM details as needed. One thing to note: Some of my clients have higher levels of security in their email browsers, which block the email widget. I hope at some point we can send plain text links, and I’ve even posted an idea on it here–vote it up!

 

SalesforceIQ Calendar Integration Screen grab

Calendar integration is clean & straightforward in SalesforceIQ.

 

Tasks

A nice-to-have feature. I’m working on getting better at adding these to my workflow, and I think it’s going to take more time and behavior modification to really get the SalesforceIQ tasks flexing their muscles.

 

Text Parsing

This feature shows a TON of promise. With text parsing, the program picks up follow-ups from stuff in my inbox, then gives me a quick review of what I need to queue up into my task list. The best part–it’s a one-click process on my part. I think that (like the tasks feature) I haven’t exactly figured out how to work this into my flow. But, I know that text parsing will only increase in value and hopefully turn into the primary thing that I can look at vs. the inbox. I think that’ll take just a little while longer.

 

Logging to Records

This feature works great, and since Cirrus did it well, I’ve just continued right along. Since SalesforceIQ overrides the send button, with just one more click I’m able to log the message to Salesforce. There are two caveats: 1) no dialogue options for managing attachments, and 2) when there are multiple deals associated with someone, it shows them all, even closed/lost ones.

 

Overall Presentation

Since I’ve used Cirrus for so long, I’m used to seeing the sidebar.  Overall, it was not intrusive and didn’t cause any undue headaches. The SalesforceIQ UI is easy to understand, and I never even had to RTFM to pretty much figure out all of the above–I just clicked around and got it working. I had a few graphical/resize glitches depending on how I scaled my browser, but it feels like there may have been a few updates since I loaded and those glitches went away after the first few days.

 

TL;DR: If you have Sales Cloud, Chrome, and Gmail–GET THIS NOW.

iPhone App

Meet my new inbox.

I still mostly work from my PC (Well, Macbook). However, I did load SalesforceIQ on my phone to see how the experience is. It’s actually my first “alternative” mobile email client vs. the native iPhone mail app, so I’m leaving my comfort zone here.  

My primary use case on the phone is to browse email and make sure nothing is on fire when I’m away from the desk. The SalesforceIQ app does this very well. I love that I now have a dedicated app for my work email and can just use the native email app for my personal messages. It’s easy to see how many updates there are to review and keep up with what’s going on.

One feature that I’ve turned on is push notifications. Push notifications aren’t usually my thing, but I figured I’d give this feature a try for the purposes of this test (again, leaving my comfort zone). The notifications are quite verbose and communicate well what’s going on. Unfortunately, I have a lot going on and my phone is “blowing up” all the time. I’m probably going to shut them back off, not because of the app, but just because there’s too much going on, and it’s just become a racket. I do think these push notifications could be very useful to someone who likes that kind of thing. And, in my opinion, the “email opened” notifications were particularly insightful.

SalesforceIQ Push Notifications

My phone blowing up, thanks to SalesforceIQ push notifications.

Within the app, I also like the feed view, which shows notable activities. The email open events even include maps that show where each email was opened from. Probably doubly freaky, but insightful. The feed also shows some of the parsed tasks, similar to the desktop version, which let you create tasks and quickly manage what SalesforceIQ deems important. I’m looking forward to seeing how this matures over time. I think the feed *could* become the primary inbox some day.

SalesforceIQ Read Receipts Screen Grab

Read receipts tell me who read what, and when..and from what location.

Tasks view lets you quickly review suggested tasks and swipe right or left to act on scheduled tasks, marking them complete or rescheduling.

SalesforceIQ text parsing feature screen grab

Tasks view telling me what’s due.

Files view lets you see all the attached files to recent emails. This is REALLY handy. I just stumbled on this viewing option a few days ago and realized that all of my recent attachments are available for quick access. A contract draft, a voicemail .wav file, a meeting agenda, etc.

I also drafted a few brief notes–nothing too earth-shattering here, but the interface is tight and any normally needed functions are present. This includes all the SalesforceIQ features, like “Remind me if I don’t hear back,” “Send later,” and tracking. It has a nice bridge that enables you to quickly open a related Salesforce1 record to review data there. I think this can now work a LOT nicer on iOS 9 with the “Back to SalesforceIQ” UI feature.

 

Screen grab showing transition between Salesforce1 and SalesforceIQ

Moving between Salesforce and SalesforceIQ is quick & easy with iOS 9.

One thing I had to get used to: When swiping on this app, things just disappear. Be careful with this. I’m so used to the usual iPhone swipe and click gesture that this feels like a hair trigger!

Overall, I have to echo my statement from above. If you have an iPhone and Salesforce CRM, just GET THIS APP. It’s free (right now) and really could be THE INBOX REPLACEMENT for anyone on the run who’s drowning in email, like me.

 

In conclusion, I have to say: This tool is dynamite! To me, it’s going to be a big productivity enhancer, and I’m sure it’ll only get better. It’s the bridge between my CRM and inbox that’s been missing for a long, long time and can also facilitate so many email-centric improvements for me. So, when it comes to SalesforceIQ, I can’t urge you strongly enough–GET IT!

 

Well, what are you waiting for?

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