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bizIf you’re a small business and haven’t heard of Salesforce.com, it’s time you get to know them.  It’s Salesforce that really pioneered “the cloud,” or running your business without a server, and today they’ve made it affordable for you to effectively manage your business contacts on an enterprise-class platform that’s accessible anywhere there’s a browser.  And when your business grows, Salesforce can grow with you.

For years, large companies have managed their business relationships and processes using rather complex software known as Customer Relationship Management, or CRM for short.  While businesses of all size need to manage this contact and relationship data, it was often the more expensive solutions which had the best ways of managing that data and adapt to unique business requirements.  Then about ten years ago, a company called Salesforce.com got started with a goal of eliminating the need for companies to buy software and manage the complex project of upgrading it, just to get marginally useful new features.  Salesforce had a goal of making incremental changes available to all their customers regularly (about three times a year), without disrupting business and without burdening the customer with all that hassle.   What they found was, companies of all size started flocking to their business model.  It make information easily, securely available to the right people, at the right time, to help make the right decisions in business.

As you can imagine though, there’s a cost to managing that infrastructure, developing new features, and making sure that upgrades go smoothly, while still coming up with new and innovative features that help businesses grow.  And while many large companies like Dell, Japan Post, Avon, and Citibank have been able to leverage Salesforce to improve their business processes and effectively manage some of their most important data, other small to medium businesses were able to use lower-cost editions of Salesforce that allowed them many of the core features of Salesforce and grow into Salesforce as their businesses grow.  Though each company may license a different edition of Salesforce, they all run on the same world-class platform that is reliable and secure.

Today, Salesforce has made available it’s most affordable edition of Salesforce yet, still with the key core of CRM that all the bigger companies use, but at a price that small business can manage.  Here are the details.

Salesforce Contact Manager Edition is designed for 1 or 2 users to effectively track business relationships using the core of Salesforce known as Accounts and Contacts.  It’s priced at just $9 per user, per month and here’s what else you get.  There’s built-in integration to Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, or any other email system.  You get a reporting engine to easily see what data you have in Salesforce and slice and dice it as you want.  You also get built-in integration to Google Apps like Gmail, Google Talk, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Docs.

Contact

And if you’re thinking that all that sounds good, but it must be too complex to customize and make it work the way your business works, it’s not hard at all.  Salesforce Contact Manager Edition is designed with easy to understand videos, tips, tricks, and how-to’s to make you successful immediately, without having to read a book, learn about programming, or anything difficult.

GettingStarted

And what happens when your business grows and you need more users to access it or you need more complex applications to manage your sales leads or forecast your sales pipeline?  You just call Salesforce and upgrade to another edition with the features you need.  There’s no need to hire a consulting company or form a six month project to move up; Salesforce grows with your business.

One of the amazing things is, as Salesforce comes out with new features, you’ll see new functionality added to Salesforce and you’ll always be on the newest release.  You’ll always have access to your data.  You’ll always be able to customize Salesforce to meet your unique business needs, and you’ll always know your data is safe, with a company that’s trusted by some of the biggest organizations in the world.  Small or large, Salesforce is meeting the needs of  business.

And now, you can give it a try without even spending a dime.  There’s a 14 day free trial of Salesforce Contact Manager Edition that you can sign up for and after that, it’s just $9 per user, per month.  There are many new videos on YouTube to help launch your success on this new edition of Salesforce.  There’s a community website for you to learn more about Salesforce, get to know other users of Salesforce around the world, ask your questions, get best practices on managing your data, and even give your input on the features you’d like to see added to or changed in Salesforce.  There will also be new applications and enhancements to Salesforce available to you from the AppExchange, Salesforce’s own “iTunes of Business Applciations.”  And if you want to find out how much more you can do with Salesforce, consider attending Dreamforce coming up this November.  It’s where you’ll learn what 12,000 other people are transforming their business with the power of Salesforce.

Trazzler, a startup focused on helping travelers answer the question, “Where should I go?” was an early adopter of Salesforce Contact Manager Edition had this to say about it.  ”At Trazzler we are using Contact Manager Edition to manage thousands of business contacts, each segmented by category, company size, and geographic region. Contact Manager Edition has enabled me to experience the benefits of cloud computing first hand,” said Adam Rugel, CEO and founder of Trazzler.