Salesforce unveils a new CRM tool for 'relationship intelligence'

Tapping RelateIQ technology, SalesforceIQ comes in separate versions for SMBs and enterprises

Salesforce is diving deeper into what kind of customer information it can surface to help salespeople manage their relationships, with a new tool designed to bring in a richer array of data.

"Sales reps today spend too much time managing the data inflow to their teams," said Tim Fletcher, vice president of product for SalesforceIQ. "It just needs to be there instantly."

With that goal in mind, SalesforceIQ taps technology gained as part of the company's $390 million RelateIQ acquisition last year to offer a new tool focused on what it calls "relationship intelligence."

The technology captures, analyzes and surfaces information that is relevant for customer relationships from email, calendars and more. From there, it seeks out predictive patterns and proactively recommends actions, Salesforce said.

"Instead of being reactive, I should have something that tells me which customer is most likely to pick up the phone right now," Fletcher said.

Targeting enterprises, SalesforceIQ for Sales Cloud offers iOS, Android and Chrome apps designed to help sales reps sell right from the inbox. Emails are enriched with all the relevant Sales Cloud data, for example, while an intelligent feed including suggested tasks is designed to help reps stay on top of every deal.

"Salespeople live on email," said Elise Bergeron, vice president of marketing for SalesforceIQ. "This takes all your email and attaches rich CRM context."

Also included is integration with Salesforce1, Bergeron added, giving reps the ability to drill into an opportunity or account from their mobile device.

SalesforceIQ for Small Business, meanwhile, aims to guide SMBs through the sales process so that they can focus on closing deals and building relationships with customers. It's designed in part to serve as an entry point to the Salesforce portfolio for small businesses that haven't been Salesforce customers before, Bergeron said.

The quick-setup tool tool automatically captures data from email, calendar, marketing automation and more and generates reports that can accelerate the sales process, Salesforce said.

A "suggested tasks" feature recommends specific actions sales reps can take to help ensure prospects' questions don't go unanswered, for example. The tool's "closest connection" feature, meanwhile, reveals who within the company can provide the best introduction to a target contact or firm.

SalesforceIQ for Small Business is now generally available in the United States, Canada and Australia starting at $25 per user per month. SalesforceIQ for Sales Cloud is currently in beta and free for all Sales Cloud users in English. General availability is expected in early 2016; pricing will be announced at that time.

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Katherine Noyes

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