For Salesforce.com, the alliance expands its efforts to tie its hosted CRM software with Google AdWords, following its acquisition last year of privately held Kieden, which had created an add-on to Salesforce's hosted services for purchasing and managing Google-driven ad campaigns. Salesforce.com will expand beyond allowing its customers to launch Google AdWords from a Salesforce.com application to one in which it will act as a reseller of the Google AdWords platform.
The two companies jointly developed Salesforce Group Edition, which features Google AdWords, and will jointly market the offering, said Kendall Collins, senior vice president of marketing for Salesforce.com.
Salesforce Group Edition is designed to allow companies to connect to Google AdWords and have their advertisement displayed on Google.com when related search terms are entered on the site. They can also distribute their ads on Google AdSense, the advertising program that allows Web site publishers to earn a portion of ad revenue by hosting Google-sponsored ads on their sites.
When potential customers click on the advertisement, they are taken to the company's Web site and are encouraged to fill out a form that records their name. This information is then transmitted to a company's sales team as a potential sales lead via Salesforce's technology.
"This alliance was a natural fit for us," said Collins, noting that the two companies are similar in the way they approach delivering services over the Internet, such as leveraging open application program interfaces (APIs).
The Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google AdWords targets midsize to small companies and costs $1,200 per year for five users, although a 30-day promotion is under way that offers the product for $600 for five users for the first year. That promotional price includes a $50-per-year Google AdWords credit.
As part of the nonexclusive deal, Salesforce will receive all proceeds from the sale of its Salesforce Group Edition and share a nominal portion of any Google AdWords sales, Collins said. The remainder of the proceeds from Google AdWords will go to Google.
While the joint-development efforts between the companies has produced one product, Sean Whiteley, director of Salesforce's search marketing, said its customers will drive future development plans.
"We're hoping that as people use these products, it will become evident what we should do next," Whiteley said.