This is the first of a monthly series highlighting some of the best applications available on the salesforce.com Appexchange. Salesforce.com pioneered the concept of business applications delivered via an online store, creating an entire ecosystem dedicated to extending the core functionality of salesforce.com, everything from marketing automation, electronic signatures, content management and over 1,700 other applications.
My first app of the month is OrchestraCMS (CMS stands for content management system and is the administration “backend” which manages what you see and can do on a website). There is no better way to start the new year than by re-assessing how effective your website is at finding customers for your business.
- Is your website delivering what you want?
- Does it engage your audience and drive leads into your sales pipeline?
- Is it fresh and easy to maintain?
- And how well is it integrated with your customer database (CRM)?
Once a year is just about often enough to take a step back and look at your website objectively. Website design can become tired quickly even if you are adding content regularly. So the next time you evaluate your web presence I highly recommend you take a look at OrchestraCMS as your content management system.
Whether you are a salesforce.com customer or not, there are significant benefits with OrchestraCMS being built entirely on the force.com platform, from not having to worry about hosting because your site is running on salesforce.com infrastructure to the inherent security benefits this brings.
But the biggest benefit is that OrchestraCMS integrates your CRM (i.e. salesforce.com) directly with your website. Viewers’ actions on your website can trigger processes in your CRM automatically without having to move data between the two systems. This means your partners can place orders with you directly in a branded portal, your customers can update their own details or add more information to a customer service case. Any type of form on the website – newsletter, contact, software demo, event registration or lead generation – is automatically entered into salesforce.com, reducing the need to manually rekey or copy over the data.
A list of features can be found here.
Specialist recruitment company Hydrogen chose OrchestraCMS to record how often visitors returned to its website and turn these statistics into marketing data for prospects in salesforce.com. Hydrogen’s non-technical staff could add content and make changes to the website using OrchestraCMS’s user-friendly interface. And the CMS used Amazon’s S3 cloud storage service to store a large collection of documents and videos used on the website and elsewhere.
Other customer success stories demonstrate how a website, intranet or portal working in step with your CRM and customer service application can be a powerful addition to your suite of systems.
Next month: Conga and generating single-click templates from salesforce.com.