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Salesforce Inbox app is getting a calendar feature so that salespeople will be able to better prepare for meetings. Leveraging its acquisition of Tempo AI in 2015, the company is continuing to build up its suite of productivity tools aimed at helping customers be more productive. The updated app will be available starting in September.
Launched a year ago through the company’s SalesforceIQ group, Salesforce Inbox is an effort to consolidate the apps that salespeople use on a daily basis, starting with email. The premise is that these professionals spend all their time using email, but they also need resources from other apps, so why not streamline the process? Calendar integration is the next logical step in that endeavor.
If you’re familiar with the rise of smart calendars such as Tempo, Sunrise, and Fantastical, then you won’t be surprised by what Salesforce Inbox will be able to do. The app does have a calendar feature already, but it was rather basic. Now it offers one-click conference call dial-in, syncing with your Sales Cloud leads and contacts, and imports the pertinent CRM records into every meeting.
“Data is fragmented, and sales representatives have to go out and seek the information,” said Stephen Ehikian, general manager of SalesforceIQ. “70 percent of the time is spent on tasks other than selling.” The company cited a CSO Insights study that stated salespeople are searching as many as 15 data sources to find relevant information on a single prospect or customer.
This is the first reveal of Salesforce’s post-acquisition plans for Tempo. One of the many features to be carried over is the ability to associate emails with contacts. Previously, the calendar app showed you details about who you were meeting, as well as corresponding communications, so you could be fully briefed. Ehikian acknowledged the missing feature, saying that not only is it on the product roadmap, but the ability to include team communications is, as well.
Salesforce pulls data from across multiple networks and services to give you the most accurate information about who you’re meeting, including not only the person’s name and email address, but also their phone number, title, links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
Through the Sales Cloud and Salesforce1 integration, users will be able to create notes, plan followup action items, and add new leads. The feature also offers other post-meeting support, and there are plans to add additional integrations with Salesforce properties.
As Salesforce continues to improve its suite of productivity apps, it’s possible to see where it’s heading in the future, especially following its acquisition of Quip and interest in LinkedIn. We may see Salesforce create a Microsoft Office-like environment or even a Google Apps offering that’s specifically for salespeople. Now you have email, calendar, and CRM, but soon you’ll also be able to compose documents and spreadsheets. We’ll have to wait to see what SalesforceIQ does, but as Ehikian told us, the group’s goal is to “power the world’s relationships and execute [on them].”
Salesforce Inbox Calendar will be available next month on iOS and Android and will be free to those with a paid license.
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