One characteristic that all CRM consultants seem to have is that they’re opinionated. They have their favorite airline (Virgin Atlantic), favorite internet browser (not IE), favorite New York cupcake-and-beer place (Sweet Revenge). But if you really want to hear some passionate opinions, ask a CRM consultant about their favorite AppExchange product.
Why are consultants passionate about their favorite AppExchange products? Consulting is a high-pressure job, for one, and any tool that can be downloaded and make their life easier is a good one. So using a scientific approach (OK, I posted a question on Appirio’s Chatter feed), I uncovered some of the AppExchange products our consultants love (our own products excluded).
GeoPointe – According to one of Appirio’s own MVPs, Jarrod Kingston, “Is the best mapping app out there and has world-class customer service.” To me, that’s a strong testimonial because mapping is increasingly important to a lot of our customers, and great customer service is really important in the heat of tight implementation deadlines.
Another function that a lot of our customers often need is the ability to produce rich documents out of their CRM system. To this end, we have consultants that love CongaComposer, and some who swear by DrawLoop. Both are fine tools, that seem to have the same price, so we recommend you evaluate both.
Data loading is often a big part of an Appirio project, so it’s not surprising that tools like Dataloader.io and Provenworks were mentioned. And for both these products, you can’t beat the price (they’re free).
A couple of other products mentioned have Dreamforce Legend Michael Farrington as a common-denominator: RingLead Unique Entry, a very slick duplicate-prevention tool, and Field Trip, a one-of-a-kind tool for analyzing and understanding your data and how your applications are being used. I always recommend Field Trip as a part of any organization’s governance process. And speaking of duplicate prevention, one of our best Business Analysts insisted we include the whole suite of products by CRMfusion, which like Siracha Sauce is both cheap and powerful.
Other “administrator” tools that make our consultants look good include GridBuddy and Rollup Helper. Both of these tools are easy to implement, and puts ongoing maintenance in the hands of administrators, not coders.
So the next time you have see an Appirio consultant at the airport, at a user group meeting,, or at a cupcake-and-beer place, ask them what their favorite AppExchange products are, and prepare to see some emotional testimony from the field.