As Salesforce has grown exponentially over the years, so have the number of third party vendors hoping to come along for the ride. The Salesforce App Exchange, now having over 3,000 listings that provide an extension to their platform, is the world’s largest business application marketplace. Pretty impressive. But as a customer, especially a small to medium size business, how do you begin to sort through 3,000 apps to find the ones that are right for YOUR business?

Thankfully Salesforce has provided some order to their App Exchange by grouping apps into categories such as Service, HR, ERP, and Popular apps. You can also do a search out on their app exchange by key word or for a specific app. We thought we’d share some of our favorite salesforce apps in hopes of making your search a little easier:

  1. App Exchange Dashboard Pack by Salesforce Labs
    • This free app developed by Salesforce themselves is a dashboard pack that includes management and rep level reports and dashboards. Installing this dashboard pack in any new org is a no brainer. You may end up with extra reports and dashboards that you don’t need. Simply delete them because the time you will save building the ones you keep will be well worth it. The pack contains sales, marketing, and service reports and dashboards. Once installed it’s a matter of customizing them to your business by adding filters and saving, rather than building from scratch. So many great reports in this pack. It’s a must have Salesforce app!
  2. Conga Composer
    • Conga has been one of our favorite apps from the start. And by from the start we mean back when they were a start-up of 5 people and their CEO would answer support calls. Conga is the best document generation tool around. If you need custom quotes, proposals, or any type of document Conga is the way to go. They have a powerful merge engine that takes data from Salesforce and merges it onto beautifully designed templates. You have complete control over the template design and Conga handles the merging of the data. There is some set-up and configuration involved, and you have to create merge fields in all of your templates (or hire us to help you with your Conga project). The end result is a professional looking document that can be sent directly from Salesforce and attached to the record. It’s pretty seamless. As Conga has grown, so have their capabilities (and their cost), but we still feel the value they provide is worth it!
  3. Roll Up Helper
    • Ever face a limitation when trying to create a roll-up field in Salesforce? There’s a Salesforce App for that! Roll Up helper allows you to create roll ups across all fields and objects, alleviating the frustrating limitations we encounter at times when trying to create roll-up summaries. This app has saved us countless times from having to write an Apex trigger to summarize on objects. And the best part is that it is free, or at least the first 3 roll-ups are. Check out the details of the app to see what’s included in the free version.
  4. Docusign
    • If you work with documents that require signature, Docusign is one of the best Salesforce Apps around. It allows for seamless electronic signature capture at the click of a few buttons. Picture this. You want to send a SOW to client. On the Salesforce Opportunity record you click “Send with Docusign”.  Attach the document, select designated signer(s), and SEND. You receive an email notification when the document has been signed AND the signed document returns to Salesforce attached to the Opportunity record. You also have the ability to set automatic reminders to the Contacts and expiration dates. Of course this one is not free, and like Conga there is some set-up and configuration required (we’re here if you need us).
  5. Milestones PM
    • If you have Project Management requirements and a small budget, Milestones PM is the way to go. Milestones PM is a native Force.com Salesforce app designed to help you track and manage your projects and tasks. The app comes with some pretty sophisticated custom objects and roll up summaries to manage Projects, Milestones, and Tasks. The pro’s – it’s FREE and it’s open sourced so you have the ability to modify and further customize the app. It also comes with some nice report charts and Gantt chart with task / milestone drag functionality. The cons – the app is not supported so you are on your own if you encounter any issues. There are also many related/intertwined data sets so trying to delete even a single field can be a daunting task. If you’ve got pretty basic PM requirements and a solid comfort level with Salesforce customization (or a trusted Salesforce partner to lean on ;), we think this is a great Project Management app.

These are just a handful of Salesforce apps that we’ve grown to love over the years. As overwhelming as the App Exchange can be, it’s worth checking out. You could be missing out on something really good for your business. If you have any questions about a specific Salesforce app or would like recommendations for your business, give us a call.

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