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Useful InventionSalesforce apps are all the rage these days. The AppExchange is bursting with tools that enhance the popular CRM.

Today, let’s take a look at six apps that boost sales productivity, efficiency and performance.

We think these tools are insanely useful, but we’ve included some common complaints found in user reviews to help you make an informed decision.

1. DupeBlocker 2.0

Is your Salesforce data dirty, grimy and stinky? Yeah, ours neither. But when it comes to sales data, an ounce of prevention is worth three boatloads of cure. DupeBlocker detects duplicates in real time and prevents users from duplicating leads, accounts or contacts.

DupeBlocker is rated highly on the AppExchange, with 28 positive reviews and no negative ones. One of the only drawbacks mentioned is that it takes time to set up certain functions within this tool. But once you’ve set everything up, it seems to work like a charm.

2. Shortcut Ninja

Sometimes you just want to save time. Like now for instance. Or when you’re standing in line for Lady Gaga tickets. And certainly when you’re trying to cruise through your calling list and close more deals.

Good news, Speed Racer, the Shortcut Ninja will make your life a little easier. Let’s face it, trying to remember keyboard shortcuts is usually fraught with frustration and heartache. Use this handy, little app to add hotkeys to your Salesforce sidebar and save time on repetitive tasks.

Reviewers have reported some installation glitches. Apparently, this tool doesn’t play nicely with Internet Explorer. So, just use another browser and stop whining.

3. Countdown

How do you hammer home urgency without coming across as a Jerky McJerkerson? There’s a Salesforce app for that. The good people at Hoopla Software have built a countdown clock that you can stick in your sidebar. Just don’t stick it in your ear with Rosey Grier, because that would be sick and wrong.

What more can we really say about Countdown? It’s pretty self-explanatory. Use it to remind your sales reps how much time they have left before the end of the quarter or year. Sometimes the simplest ideas are also the best.

We couldn’t find any negative reviews for this widget. It just does what it’s designed to do with little hassle or headache. Bravo!

4. Scan210

If you attend trade shows to generate leads, you probably have bundles of business cards in a storage closet somewhere. If you don’t do trade shows, go do some trade shows. It’s one of the best possible ways you can find new business opportunities.

So, whatcha gonna do with all of that valuable contact information you’ve collected? Scan210 makes it easy to directly scan business cards into Salesforce. Talk about a time saver.

The one negative review in the AppExchange seems to make some obscure reference to pricing. The price seems reasonable, though, especially if you go to a lot of trade shows.

5. Bizible Marketing Analytics

Here’s one for all of you data fiends out there. This app connects your Google AdWords with your Salesforce account. It allows you to track the ROI of your AdWords campaigns. Find out which ad copy and groups produce the most sales.

Bizible Marketing Analytics only has two reviews so far. Both are positive. So, you should probably try out this app and do your best to break it. It’s the American way.

6. Dragon

Sometimes a Salesforce app comes along that’s slightly magical. Dragon fits firmly in this category. Simply speak and watch in awe as Dragon adds notes to your call logs and sends emails automagically. Spend less time typing and more time selling.

The big bug being reported in the review section revolves around dependent picklists. Apparently, this tool doesn’t support them very well. So, if picklists are important to you, you’ll want to mull that over.

What did we miss? Clearly, we couldn’t name them all. Use the comments section to tell us about any insanely useful apps we overlooked.

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Photo credit: Buglugs