Salesforce1 Mobile: 5 Things You Need to Know

POSTED BY Stephen Burgess

What I find most rewarding about my job is delivering the “wow” factor to my clients, as finding ideal solutions to streamline business processes is always my end goal. Fortunately, the development of Chatter Mobile and Salesforce1 allows me to accomplish just that. People often want simple solutions to complex problems — what could be more simple than tapping your phone with your thumb?

Below is a summary of our recent webcast on this subject to help you deliver that outstanding solution:

The State of Salesforce1

In our report, The State of Salesforce 2014, we found that:

  • 42% of companies surveyed are using the Salesforce1 mobile app
  • 30% have installed a mobile solution
  • 52% are building custom mobile apps on the Salesforce1 platform

Regardless of whether they’ve finalised their mobile strategies for 2014-2015, half of the participating companies are already mobile on Salesforce1.

A possible explanation can be found in another global survey: of 1,300 executives surveyed by The Economist Intelligence Unit, more than half saw mobile apps as critical for improving connections — yet few had found a way to get started. Of the respondents, only 26% reported that mobile apps were successfully deployed by 2013, compared to the 54% who saw mobile apps as a “key instrument” to driving engagement.

That’s what we call the ‘App Gap’: the gap between perceived necessity and the ability to deliver. Here are five essentials tips to help get you navigate the gap:

  1. It’s a Platform, an App, and a UI
    There are many ways to build and surface mobile apps with Salesforce1; the great news for customers is that the Salesforce1 platform enables users to build custom Native, HTML5, and Hybrid apps, thereby taking care of the backend so you can dedicate resources on perfecting the mobile user experience.
    Generally, when we refer to the Salesforce1 app, we mean the free applications (iOS and Android available at present) that users download onto their device. This means easy installation, a consistent user experience, and managed access by administrators like other Connected Apps. Additionally, there is the new mobile-friendly UI that users see when logging into Salesforce from a mobile browser. Developers and admins can also use this to preview their work, an extremely valuable tool to slash development and testing time. To use this feature, simply enable the mobile browser app, and then append ‘one/’ to your regular ‘’ URL.
  2. It’s a Great Way to Become Mobile — Fast
    In the context of the ‘App Gap’ wherein demand outpaces the ability to supply, Salesforce1 is an ‘Instant-On’, meaning you can mobilize your workforce immediately. The Salesforce1 user experience is driven by the apps in the menu: Salesforce data, Chatter Feeds, and Publisher Actions. The ‘Salesforce1 Philosophy’ is a mobile-first approach around ‘micro moments,’ such as updating an opportunity’s stage, or logging a call. With mobile, these moments of productivity can be integrated seamlessly into your day: while you're getting into a cab, or walking out of a meeting.
  3. It’s Not a Silver Bullet
    Salesforce1 is a great way to get up and running fast, but it won’t necessarily provide a mobile solution for all processes across your organization. It won’t deliver a branded experience, so it may not be the best choice for external-facing apps (customer or partner apps, or employee apps that are shared with customers ‘across-the-desk’), nor will it deliver the graphic or speed capabilities of a 100% native app. At present, it’s online only.
    To evaluate whether the Salesforce1 app is the right tool for your business, count the click path for each user story or micro moment. If this is a key process for you, and it takes too many clicks, then perhaps you should turn to a more suitable tool.
  4. There Are Already Apps Out There
    A host of apps already exist on the Salesforce AppExchange: from user-familiar Evernote and LinkedIn to high-powered FinancialForce and Kenandy. Appexchange apps are road-tested, instant-on, feature-rich, and, to some extent, maintained by third parties.  It’s worth considering all these benefits along with the cost. See which apps are Salesforce1 Ready, the list is continually expanding.
  5. It’s A Single Component of a Comprehensive Mobile Strategy
    Your company’s mobile strategy is your response to the rise of mobile computing. This covers your employees and your customers, as well as every mobile touchpoint along the journey they take with your company. Your goal may be to provide employees and customers a suite of apps for different moments — but don’t forget to incorporate your website, blog, landing pages, social posts, advertising, and numerous other components into your holistic mobile strategy. With a broader mobile strategy in place, you’ll be able to leverage Salesforce1 as valuable tool in a larger toolbox. 

Ultimately, it's all about enabling process in the most streamlined way. Different apps and device form factors will suit different moments. That's not to say that you shouldn't extend the fullest possible feature set to all channels over time, but that your efforts should focus on enabling the highest value moments up front. With this approach, you'll be in a better position to tailor the technology to the use case, one use case at a time.

Companies are already investing in mobile, and they didn't need Salesforce1 to make that happen. Remember the 26% of executives that already deployed apps last year? No doubt that "getting mobile fast" is already a priority. This is precisely what makes Salesforce1 such a disruptor: you can get mobile faster than you’d thought! For many companies, this means re-evaluating existing mobile projects, and potentially redefining their scope. You may still want to build the killer custom app that speaks exclusively to your brand, but Salesforce1 may be the way to put core mobile functionality into your users’ hands — today.

Interested in learning more about how to get the most of Salesforce1 for your mobile initiatives? Watch our webcast to learn best practices, or contact us to speak to one of our mobile experts.

Mobile Application Development