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Salesforce’s flagship product gets a makeover

Salesforce is finally overhauling its flagship product for sales teams.

The San Francisco cloud software giant said Tuesday that would roll out a revamped version of its popular service in October.

The updated service, Sales Cloud, has a new design that the company says will make it easier for sales staff to navigate and track their sales leads. While a user interface may seem like a trivial development, it marks a major push by the company as it tries to steal customers from rivalry Oracle and SAP.

Salesforce’s cloud-based software has gone without major updates for some time. Salesforce co-founder Parker Harris alluded to the delay during a recent press conference, saying about the latest tweaks, “Personally, I felt I have been working on it for about seven years.”

The biggest complaint customers had with the Sales Cloud was that the clunky interface caused them to spend too much time clicking and opening up screens in their web browser, which affected their productivity. The revamped version is intended to cut down on such delays by displaying more information like potential sales leads and business data in a single screen, Harris explained.

Users will also be able to find what the want though a search box.

A new timeline feature will also be available that will let sales staff track the status of their deals so they can know whether they need to send a client a proposal or negotiate over a price. The feature essentially makes sure they don’t lose track of a deal or where they are in the process of closing it.

Additionally, a news feed will now be available that scans for relevant news affecting the companies that a salesperson might be working with. The idea is that salespeople can be kept up to date on the latest happenings with their clients.

And if there are certain features customers don’t want displayed, they can remove them. A company’s development team can also create custom services to plug into the product.

Salesforce (CRM) took years to overhaul Sales Cloud because its didn’t want to make any major change that could hurt customers, Harris explained. Customers can choose to stay with the old version instead of switching.

Companies interested in seeing the new service before it hits the market can sign up for a preview version on Tuesday.

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