The Importance of Salesforce AppExchange for Cloud ERP Buyers and Users

By now, you've heard of Salesforce, the world's #1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. You know it has a host of applications that span marketing, customer service, sales automation, and more.

Yet, did you know that you can also customize Salesforce to fit your specific business needs? That's right: Your business-wide operations can all coexist on the same, cloud-based platform.

This is possible via the Salesforce AppExchange. The AppExchange is an online business app store available under the Salesforce cloud platform.

There are more than 2,800 apps available on the AppExchange. Each is designed to expand and enhance the software's functionality. This allows you to seamlessly integrate other operations into your cloud platform.

With more than 3.5 million downloads to date, the platform is seeing a huge response rate. Companies around the globe are combining their operations onto the cloud-based Salesforce platform.

You can even integrate your cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) functions. Utilizing an ERP solution written on your existing Salesforce platform allows you to spread your investment further. You can also help employees get to work on the system quicker and more effectively and reduce downtime. 

You can also help employees get to work on the system quicker and more effectively and reduce downtime. 

Ready to take a deeper look at how the Salesforce AppExchange helps cloud ERP buyers and users? Let's dig in!

Salesforce AppExchange: Integrating CRM, ERP

Apps available through the Salesforce AppExchange are created with one common feature in mind: seamless integration onto the Salesforce CRM platform.

So regardless of the application chosen, or its functionality, it will not disrupt your existing CRM operations. Rather, it will expand and improve them. It will allow your teams across the enterprise to log into to a single platform, and access all the data they need.

Rather, it will expand and improve them. It will allow your teams across the enterprise to log into to a single platform, and access all the data they need.

What's more, they'll have this information at their fingertips in real time, on their preferred device, in the time zone and location they need. 

So how does this benefit ERP users and buyers?

Let's take a quick look at CRM and ERP, and just how they relate:

In a nutshell, CRM is the software your business uses to record and store data related to customer interactions. It's a standardized system, so various departments, from your sales teams to your help desk, can access it to pull client information they need. From customer addresses to troubleshooting requests and feedback, these insights are wide and varied. They can be used and measured to improve customer relationships.

It's a standardized system, so various departments, from your sales teams to your help desk, can access it to pull client information they need. From customer addresses to troubleshooting requests and feedback, these insights are wide and varied. They can be used and measured to improve customer relationships.

While ERP is similar in that it's a standardized system utilized across the enterprise, its intended purpose is a little different. While CRM focuses on customer relationship data, ERP captures internal insights. These can include performance metrics, response times, satisfaction scores, and more. These insights are monitored and analyzed to streamline back-office business processes. 

These insights are monitored and analyzed to streamline back-office business processes. 

So while they're similar in nature, they don't perform the exact same function. This is why companies often find that implementing a CRM system doesn't provide them with the full range of insights they need. That's where an ERP system comes in.

If you're already running your CRM operations on the cloud-based Salesforce platform, an ERP solution that functions in the same space is a natural choice. 

Back to Work: Easing Employee Adoption

Think about it: If your employees are already working on the Salesforce CRM platform, they're familiar with its components. They know their way around its interface and they used to the controls.

Introducing a cloud-based ERP system that runs on a new interface can be costly. It can also be time-consuming, and cumbersome. There are new controls, new data input systems, new communication tools, and more to learn. Now, you're not only investing in the ERP system itself. You have to also account for the time it takes to teach employees how to use this second system.

There are new controls, new data input systems, new communication tools, and more to learn. Now, you're not only investing in the ERP system itself. You have to also account for the time it takes to teach employees how to use this second system.

That's valuable time that could be spent working, not in a training room.

This isn't to say that selecting an ERP solution from the apps available on the Salesforce AppExchange will completely eliminate the need for employee training.

Yet, choosing a solution that maintains their existing interface and keeps the user experience consistent can reduce the time it takes to get them up and running. Now, they'll only need to learn the new processes to use. They won't have to worry about figuring their way around the software itself.

They won't have to worry about figuring their way around the software itself.

More ERP Functionality, Less Headache

We've discussed how Salesforce ERP solutions fit with your existing Salesforce CRM solution. There's still more to the story, though.

Once you're up and running with your 100% native Salesforce ERP solution, that doesn't mean you have to abandon your time on the Salesforce AppExchange. Rather, you now have a new world of opportunity to explore, as there are also apps available to enhance your ERP functionality.

For example, there are apps available to perform several back-office functions. These include cloud-based address validation and correction, sales tax calculations, and invoice recording. 

There are even apps that assist with delivery data. These solutions allow users to process shipments, create shipping labels, and track orders. All built with Salesforce, they integrate effortlessly into your Salesforce ERP solution.

Now, you can control all operations on the same enterprise-wide platform. So there's virtually no limit to the functionality you can squeeze out of your ERP investment.

Changing the Customer Experience, One Investment at a Time

Integrating your operations onto a single platform ensures your clients always stay top-of-mind. Salesforce ERP solutions take the stress out of application integration. This allows employees the time and energy to focus on building and nurturing their audience base.

This is just one of the ways that marketing managers can improve the customer experience. There are also other customer touch points that influence how your brand is perceived.

If you're looking to re-evaluate the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy, we'd love to help.

We're marketing experts seeking to improve corporate connectivity. This means we want to ensure every interaction your company has is interactive, personal, and intentional. 

We offer three levels of marketing service, with something to meet almost every need. Feel free to browse our blog, then contact us or leave a comment below to join the conversation.