Despite the lack of a channel strategy at this time, Salesforce for Quickbooks lets Salesforce users–IT pros among them–pull in data from QuickBooks via Intuit’s cloud integration services.
By James E. Gaskin
The leading small business accounting program, QuickBooks, and the leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, Salesforce, have combined forces to provide data from QuickBooks to salespeople though their Salesforce application. Users of QuickBooks Online, Pro, Premier, and Enterprise versions can pull data through Intuit’s cloud integration services to display customer, sales, and inventory information within Salesforce screens.
“Many of our QuickBooks customers don’t have a CRM,” says Jonathan Meltzer, director of product management for QuickBooks. “More than half use manual systems based on Excel spreadsheets or Outlook, or their QuickBooks customer list. Salesforce is the market leader, so we approached them and they were eager to work with us.”
Since Salesforce is strictly a hosted application, data from QuickBooks must be replicated to the cloud. QuickBooks Online customers already keep their data in Intuit’s hosted data center, but desktop and server-based versions of QuickBooks must add client software to extract data from QuickBooks files and upload that information to Salesforce. The software will synchronize as quickly as “every few minutes” according to Meltzer, and there is a “sync now” button.
New Salesforce customers must laboriously enter customer information, but the QuickBooks sync process will populate Salesforce automatically. Salesforce contacts can be synched with their QuickBooks company information. Salespeople using Salesforce can check customer credit balances and outstanding invoices, which should help them to encourage customers to pay so the reps can receive their sales commissions. They can also track inventory and create invoices within the Salesforce Professional Edition that replicate back to QuickBooks.
“Salesforce for QuickBooks seamlessly connects the front and back office,” says Meltzer. “You get a 360-degree view of your customer, including sales history.”
To date, there has been no reseller or Pro Adviser training provided by Intuit for this product. Sales will be handled by Intuit telesales for the time being, says Meltzer. In addition, existing QuickBooks customers can download the application from the Intuit App Center. Installation and configuration processes are so automated that customers are expected to perform these tasks on their own without third-party support.
“There is not much overlap between QuickBooks and Salesforce customers right now,” says Meltzer. “For those customers who do have both, we offer just the integration portion.”
Promotional pricing for the Salesforce Group Edition is $18 per user per month, while the Professional Edition costs $60 per user per month. Normal prices are $28 and $70 per user per month.
“Our users have asked for more help managing their customers,” says Meltzer. “Fifty four percent report they have a declining customer base, so this should help.”
“Customers are free to reach out to any provider they prefer for support, whether QuickBooks or Salesforce,” says Meltzer. Intuit will adjust course if needed to provide more information on this product to existing QuickBooks consultants.