A year or so ago when salesforce.com acquired contact data cleansing company Jigsaw, many of us saw it as a natural progression but wondered how salesforce would integrate the product into its own suite and what their approach to selling Jigsaw would be. Well today we have an answer to that question with salesforce releasing Jigsaw fully integrated into the salesforce product.

First a reminder about Jigsaw – their schtick is crowd sourcing contact information. This becomes important when you hear that studies have found 70% of contacts go stale every year – either due to changes in employment, in role, or in contact details. Jigsaw leverages the crowd to clean that data and have it as up to date as possible.

Some benefits espoused by salesforce when talking about Jigsaw include;

  • Jigsaw for Salesforce will be the only cloud service that offers accurate data updated in real-time that is tightly integrated with CRM
  • Salesforce customers will have free access to more than 4 million company profiles and full Jigsaw search functionality
  • The will also benefit from the fact that the Jigsaw community adds 36,000 new contacts and updates an additional 12,000 existing contacts daily
  • Salesforce customers can acquire Jigsaw user licenses then simply have system administrators “turn Jigsaw on,”

This is actually rather a big deal – all of salesforce’s 100,000 or so customers will have access to the community driven data that Jigsaw produces, and salesforce gets a nice customer acquisition strategy – users can search records for free but data cleansing and full-contact information comes at a price – $99 per user per month.

I spent some time at salesforce HQ with Scott Holden from product marketing and managed to strongarm him into giving me a live demo. I was actually pretty impressed with the speed of the Jigsaw app – often re architecting an application onto a new platform comes at a performance cost – in this case contact searches and data cleansing was crisp and fast.

I see the utility in all of this – the Jigsaw integration, alongside the recently rolled out Microsoft Outlook and Gmail integrations, will enable users to clean up their contact lists and keep them clean – but at a price. $99 per user is a steep price to pay for Jigsaw and will limit the adoption within organizations. I put this to salesforce who responded that;

…You get a productivity benefit by empowering your sales and marketing teams with ability to instantly prospect and access data updated in real-time, and that is best achieved by a 1-to-1 seat to user ratio. Our customers have found that having single person as the only “gate-keeper” to clean data is not a scalable solution.

One interesting use case that Holden told me about was with companies running marketing campaigns. He explained the difficulties involved in running campaigns that require visitors to input lots of information beyond name and email address. Apparently Marketo is running campaigns where they only require the name and email address of the visitor, and are then dumping that information into Jigsaw where all the remaining fields (company, position, sector, revenue etc etc) is populated. Marketo is reporting a 20% increase in sign ups in some cases – in an industry where points of a percent improvements are cause for concern – that’s a pretty compelling result.

I like the Jigsaw product, and love the integration with salesforce. But if I were a CEO, I’d be reluctant to stump up the extra cash for it…

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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