I just saw a demo of a really cool and powerful extension to the Salesforce.com CRM system (see links below). The extension was provided by MindManager X5 Pro from MindJet, a product that was reviewed in a Network World Gearhead column.The reason why CRM systems matter to enterprises is that they capture the sales expertise and current situation of the salesforce. Conversely, for the individual salesperson, CRM is a pain in the butt as it usually doesn't make selling more effective.What MindManager X5 Pro does with Salesforce.com is to access data stored under Salesforce.com using Web services to populate a MindManager diagram. This diagram can show the relationship, for example, of the contacts in a company that is the focus of a sales effort. And from within MindManager you can also access the Web front end for Salesforce.com so that you can call up the native context of all CRM data items.MindManager uses additional Salesforce.com data fields to store extra information generated by users with Salesforce.com to describe the roles for each sales contact, sales activities with each contact, notes for each contact, and the informal relationships between sales contacts.One large organization that has adopted the system is reported to have achieved a much better reporting and analysis methodology that halves the time required for managerial review of the status of individual sales projects.But the real benefit comes from making CRM valuable to the actual salespeople. The graphical presentation of the selling environment makes it easier to visualize relationships and formulate strategies for moving the selling process forward.Note that the MindManager data interchange services can be applied to both Web services and other data sets. In fact, MindManager X5 Pro supports XML transformations using industry standard XSLT scripts for input, output, and content conversion, and has a macro editor for add-in scripts.The MindManager for Salesforce.com Preview r1.0 is currently a no-cost add-in and MindManager X5 Pro is $299.