Courtesy of Salesforce
By Heather Clancy
March 10, 2015

Can Apple Watch make your sales team smarter? Salesforce sure thinks so. Next month, it will release a specialized app for existing customers—something that works alongside its existing mobile software. Plus, it is encouraging the more than two million developers that support the Salesforce platform to do the same.

One thing that Apple Watch can provide that traditional mobile apps can’t? Instant gratification, in the form of alerts sent to your wrist.

In a blog post, Salesforce senior vice president Daniel Debow describes several ways that this capability could be used: “For example, sales managers can receive a discount approval request and take action right from the watch. Customer service managers can be alerted if a critical case is escalated or if call wait times are about to exceed thresholds. Digital marketers can be alerted when a marketing campaign surpasses a goal. And employees can receive updates on key topics they follow in their communities.”

These sorts of features earned Salesforce a demo on-stage Monday during the much-watched Apple Watch introduction. The app should be available in April, when the wearable device shows up in Apple stores.

Salesforce is far from the only software developer hoping to exploit the Apple Watch in the workplace.

Startup BetterWorks sees the watch as the key to “quantified work.” Its software, due by the summer, will use the smart watch to track productivity. “The app will make it easy to get a quick snapshot of where current goals stand, add short check-ins and cheer on coworkers achieving their goals,” the company’s co-founder and CEO Kris Duggan writes on the BetterWorks blog.

Expedia and TripAdvisor are both at-the-ready with travel applications, PayByPhone is testing ways to handle parking fees, and Starwood will let guests use the watch as an alternative room key at some properties. Slack also is hard at work (although it hasn’t announced anything yet). Here are some other early applications that deserve attention:

  • Evernote – You can dictate short notes or view information related to an upcoming meeting.
  • Invoice2Go – An app that uses location information to help keep better track of time spend on certain jobs.
  • CommitTo3 – The software sends reminders about team goals and tracks progress toward same.
  • Babble – An early translation app that suggests location-relevant vocabulary.

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