Salesforce apps extend the functionality and customisation of the Salesforce platform, enabling you to solve unique business challenges and accelerate digital transformation. To quote Salesforce itself, "an app is a collection of items that work together to serve a particular function." Depending on how they're created, they'll work with either the Salesforce Classic or Lightning Experience.

There are over 7000 apps on the Salesforce AppExchange that can be used to improve sales, customer service, marketing and content creation, IT and admin, data analysis, finance, human resources and more. This article details some of the best Salesforce apps for your business needs.

What are apps used for in Salesforce?

Salesforce apps are used to enhance the Salesforce CRM and, in turn, business operations. The most common types of native and integrated apps for Salesforce fall into these broad categories: business messaging, email integrations, surveys, chatbots, eSignature and DevOps apps.

SMS and messaging apps

Salesforce SMS and messaging apps enable businesses to streamline and personalise customer communications. They can be used for high-volume bulk text marketing campaigns, notifications and reminders, customer service conversations, appointment confirmations, and user verification (OTPs and PIN codes).

A messaging Salesforce app can be used by businesses across various industries, including financial services, health and beauty, and retail. Examples include AirCall, Natterbox, Viber and Messente. Uku Tomikas, Messente's CEO, explains more about the Messente-Salesforce integration:

"We’ve had an SMS API for years, which teams have used to connect Messente to their CRMs. And our Zapier integrations have made it easy for customers to integrate Messente’s platform directly into the apps they use on a daily basis. But this integration takes things a step further. It helps you make Salesforce the single source of truth about all of your customer communications."

Email integration

There are many email apps within the Salesforce ecosystem that digital marketers, copywriters, editors, and sales teams will find helpful. Some allow businesses to carry out automated email marketing activities with A/B testing and campaign templates, while others offer more complex, analytical features.

One example, Riva, collects and conditions customer data from calendar and email products on third-party platforms like Outlook and Gmail to deliver a 360-degree view of customer relationships. Other examples include Ebsta, Revenue Grid, and Cirrus Insight.

Form or survey apps

Salesforce survey or form apps allow you to create web forms with question fields, capture customer data, and add it to any object in the Salesforce platform where it can be processed and accessed. Usually, a form or survey is embedded into a website, landing page, or email.

These apps serve three main functions: they gather data, remove the need for manual data entry, and connect separate systems. The data collected can be used to create or update customer records, inform sales and marketing campaigns, and evaluate market research and post-sales feedback.

These apps are particularly useful in the education, healthcare, government and financial services industries. FormAssembly and 123FormBuilder are two examples.

Chatbot apps

Chatbots play a vital role in helping sales and customer service agents qualify leads and resolve questions quickly with text message automation. For instance, Olark integrates with Salesforce, turning passive website traffic into leads. It auto-starts conversations with web visitors based on their actions, e.g., which pages they've viewed and whether they're new or returning. It also captures contact details for follow-ups and offers a link for web visitors to book a call.

Any business using Salesforce that wants to improve its customer journey and capture leads could benefit from a chatbot app. Leadoo, Intercom and Einstein Bots are some other examples to check out.

eSignature apps

eSignature apps, such as Formstack, Conga and Docusign, aid Salesforce administrators with digital document signing. They can easily send a document link to customers, partners or staff on any device and collect their e-signatures via a signing page. Recipients can use an auto-generated signature or simply their finger to sign in seconds. Once signed and finalised, documents are synced back into Salesforce for storage.

As well as Salesforce admins, these types of apps are ideal for human resources, sales and marketing, finance, IT and security departments.

DevOps apps

DevOps is a concept and culture that combines development and operations to bring together people, processes, and technology through the application lifestyle. In the Salesforce environment context, DevOps is a series of practices that help teams build, test, and launch software quickly and reliably.

Examples of apps that support DevOps are Gearset, Flosum, AutoRABIT and Copado. Read this Gearset case study to learn how the company delivered dramatic DevOps improvements for Veolia, which in turn led to a massive Salesforce ROI.

CRM concept

Our top five Salesforce apps to try

Below, we highlight five apps that have made our top picks. Discover their main features, pricing, the industries/fields they're best suited to, and why they stand out on the Salesforce AppExchange.

1. Messente for Salesforce – communication and messaging

Messente for Salesforce is a cross-platform messaging app that you can use to quickly send secure, reliable SMS & Viber messages from Salesforce

Messente for Salesforce main features:

  • Transactional, conversational and promotional messages

  • Multimedia messaging – send texts, photos, videos, voice notes and files

  • Built-in end-to-end encryption for secure messaging

  • SMS and Viber

  • Auto-replies

  • Time To Live (TTL) – specify the duration of message delivery (useful for time-sensitive messages)
  • CRM integration – in Salesforce, you can use pre-built Lightning components to send Viber messages instantly from any record

Pricing: 200 GBP/month. Viber and SMS messaging is based on country-specific minimum monthly commitments and prices.

Best for: marketing, product and customer service functions.

Why we like this app: Viber offers excellent security protocols. Its one-way secure hash scrambles data during encryption, making it unreadable and difficult to hack. Viber Business Messages support bulk texting (ideal for mass promotional campaigns to Contacts, Leads or Person Accounts), group texting, and Viber Communities, which help you connect with audiences far and wide.

2. Formstack – forms and survey creation

Formstack is a workplace productivity platform that lets businesses build secure forms, create automated digital workflows, generate documents, collect signatures, and more.

Formstack for Salesforce main features:

  • Native form builder - build forms directly in Salesforce with a drag-and-drop interface.

  • Prefilled forms with information from Salesforce records

  • One-click documents for automatic document creation based on individual records

  • Multiple document delivery options – upload to the cloud, link to Salesforce records or send to Formstack Sign for eSignature collection

  • Integrate Salesforce forms with payment processing options like Stripe and PayPal

Pricing: Formstack offers a limited free plan, but you must choose a paid plan for increased usage, features or users. The cheapest paid plan is the Starter plan for growing businesses, priced from $225 per month, billed annually. (A 14-day free trial is available.)

Best for: marketing, content writing, sales, finance and account management teams.

Why we like this app: Formstack is the go-to online forms provider app for Salesforce users. It offers multiple plans with the chance to try for free, is mobile-friendly, and is highly compatible with popular file formats (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, and Adobe PDFs).

3. Mailchimp – mass email and contact list synchronisation

Probably the most well-known automated email marketing platform around, Mailchimp has over 11 million users globally and powers over half a billion email campaigns, on average, every day. The Mailchimp Integration App allows businesses to sync Mailchimp subscribers with Salesforce leads and access Mailchimp's marketing tools to send integrated campaigns.

Mailchimp for Salesforce main features:

  • Manage Mailchimp subscribers from Salesforce records

  • Upload Mailchimp contacts as Salesforce leads

  • Syncs Mailchimp and Salesforce data across platforms

  • Create custom lead or campaign member queries

  • Analytics capabilities – view Mailchimp subscriber stats and campaign reports (can share reports from within Salesforce)

  • Custom Mailchimp fields can be added to the Contact and Lead pages

Pricing: you can use the Mailchimp Integration App totally free

Best for: digital marketing and sales teams, plus small businesses on a tight budget that want to connect these functions.

Why we like this app: it's a free, easy-to-install application that enables you to push Salesforce leads and contacts into Mailchimp in bulk or individually. Salesforce users can see Mailchimp activity directly within leads and contacts via the Visualforce framework.

4. Crunchbase – lead researching

Crunchbase is an all-in-one private company research and prospecting platform. It provides sales intelligence about businesses, including who's on the leadership team, funding and investment information and corporate news. The Crunchbase-Salesforce integration enriches leads with actionable company data.

Crunchbase for Salesforce main features:

  • 50+ Crunchbase data fields in Salesforce records

  • Instant notifications when any accounts receive new funding or are mentioned in the news

  • Personalised team dashboards

  • Instantly push new accounts to Salesforce in a couple of clicks

Pricing: The Crunchbase Salesforce integration app is free, provided you're already using the Crunchbase Enterprise product.

Best for: salespeople, entrepreneurs, market researchers and investors.

Why we like this app: it makes researching and prospecting companies much faster, with reliable funding information, investor data, latest acquisitions, recent news, and more available directly in Salesforce.

5. Sertifi – electronic signatures

Sertifi helps businesses around the world finalise agreements securely and efficiently. It offers unlimited eSignatures, collaboration and markup features, payment capture capabilities and more.

Sertifi for Salesforce main features:

  • Salesforce1 and Lightning-ready

  • Work directly in Salesforce

  • One-click agreement sending process

  • Merge and push data

  • Agreement templates

  • Flexible workflows to suit single or multiple signers

  • Payment integration

  • Track and manage deals

  • Advanced reporting

  • Custom branding available

Pricing: The default plan is $30 per user per month. Discounts are available for non-profits, and you can try Sertifi for Salesforce free for 30 days.

Best for: sales and front desk teams in the hospitality and travel sectors.

Why we like this app: Sertifi offers excellent support via a dedicated customer success manager with no extra costs for setup, training or ongoing support. The app itself is good value for money and ensures protection from invalid agreement disputes.

Salesforce AppExchange Screenshot

Apps to enhance your Salesforce experience

Salesforce apps are designed to help you get more from your Salesforce application and improve business functions in all areas, including sales, marketing, customer service and DevOps.

The Salesforce app ecosystem is enormous. With more than 7000 apps listed on the Salesforce AppExchange, and new apps continually being added, it's hard to decide which will work for your business. The five we've listed here – Viber, Formstack, Mailchimp, Crunchbase and Sertifi are a good starting point as they cover communication, marketing, data collection, company research and digital agreements.

Before you go, discover why SMS is a great addition to your Salesforce org, and review our roundup of the top Salesforce-SMS integrations.