In the world of sales, there is never enough time! We are always busy, who has time to keep track of emails and log their hours? We definitely do not have time to constantly switch between different applications! All we need to do is email the client then use a calendar application for scheduling meetings and calls with clients. We live on our smartphones or tablets! But what happens when something goes wrong and the boss asks for records? Ever heard the boss say “if it’s not in Salesforce, it didn’t happen?” A common challenge for CEOs and IT specialists to give sales a way to keep records without reducing time spent on closing deals.
The good news is that this is an absolutely realistic scenario – give your sales people the tools to work in the email environment they already know and love while having direct access to all Salesforce data. Take out the copy/paste process, no more boring data management, and give them a tool that can log everything with one click!
How is that possible? The answer is integration!
You can implement a software application which melds Salesforce into your email and provide you the possibility to perform all required business tasks without leaving your email. Below are just the most valuable features of integration and why it worth setting up:
1. Extend your email contact information with their business information
In Outlook there are only a limited set of fields like name, phone numbers, address, etc. While in Salesforce there is vast data for each contact or lead which should be accessible if you want to turn your Outlook into CRM. Without the additional information sales people might not be able to make the right decision – they should open Salesforce to obtain the whole information on the specific customer or lead. For example, if a lead has already received the installation guide, the sales person would not want to waste time sending them the documents they already have – they would not know the lead received this already if they had not checked Salesforce
In addition, automated synchronization of customer data between email system and Salesforce can save so much time! If all emails to and from clients is able to synchronize to Salesforce automatically, you don’t have to copy it over or attach it manually ever again! Once an email chain is setup to synchronize with Salesforce, all response will synchronize instantly to all devices. View a contact’s responses from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. You can always be sure you have the most updated information on any of device – wherever the job may take you!
2. Sync all calendars
Calendar synchronization is vital – it gives you possibility to view of all your meetings and appointments in your Outlook calendar even though they were created in a remote system! All changes, cancellations, recent updates, etc. will immediately sync to your Outlook calendar from Salesforce and vice versa – if you want to share them of course. You do not need to switch between applications to get an overall picture – you can see the entire life of a lead from your smartphone’s Outlook!
3. Bring Salesforce tasks into Outlook
When you begin to plan your day and prioritizing your responsibilities, you need to access your task list from Salesforce and respond to your emails. If your task list synchronizes between Outlook and Salesforce, you can keep track of everything in one place. As you close tasks in Outlook during the day, you are also automatically updating your task list in Salesforce without entering it directly.
4. Meld Salesforce business tools into your email
It is not a secret that sales people spend up to 40% of their business day reading and writing emails. That is why it is so useful to be able to receive all relevant business information directly from your email application! Microsoft offers a new technology for Outlook and Office 365 that allows users to use mail apps – applications embedded into your personal environment and available from inside your mailbox.
It provides a “window” for the user from an email client to enterprise back-end applications (like CRM or ERP). It takes context-dependent content from inside the email or calendar event and applies it to the enterprise application, retrieving and sharing important information from inside the item. So employees can remain in their comfortable, native email environment while leveraging corporate data at the same time.
You may be thinking “how this is different from usual Outlook add-ons which also extend the UI and give possibility to view/edit corporate business information just from inside the email message?” This technology is much simpler to use – you do not need to install any application to your laptop or mobile device. You activate the mail app once for your Exchange account and then you can use it across ALL your Exchange connected devices! You do not need to maintain or update the mail app, it will do that automatically. You save your time and money by using the powerful tool for leveraging your business data from your email client.
5. Integrate collaboration into Outlook or Office 365
Most sales professionals work in teams and communicate with colleagues from different departments regularly. Since the beginning of the “corporate social collaboration” era, employees can spend much less time on internal calls, meetings, or emails. Salesforce Chatter became the irreplaceable tool for sales managers! By reducing mundane tasks to communicate internally, productivity can improve – therefore making Chatter integration crucial to a successful Outlook and Salesforce integration
6. Customize anything you want!
Since Salesforce is a highly customizable system, you must be able to have the same flexibility in Outlook. If you cannot maintain the Salesforce customization you need in Outlook, you lose many benefits of your Salesforce account. Any custom object or field must be maintainable in your Outlook integration. If not, any change in business data structure or business process flows will lead to breaks in your integration and make it impossible to perform Salesforce business tasks from your email client. All benefits of the integration will become useless if you cannot support your Salesforce changes on the Outlook side.
So now you can decide if you will develop the right software internally with your IT team or get an integration tool from the market. Many vendors are now offering cloud synchronization and mail apps which allows to connect Outlook with Salesforce, but now you can use this article as a checklist!
We would also like to offer you the new Salesforce app for Outlook and Office 365 integration – SmartCloud Connect Lite which addresses those requirements and combines the needed tools to turn your Outlook or Office 365 into Salesforce.
The main differentiator of SmartCloud Connect from other Salesforce plugins for Outlook is that it can work on different devices and platforms sine it needs only Outlook or web browser. Due to its cloud architecture, it does not need installation and support – you can activate it once for your Exchange account and then use it across all Exchange connected devices, whether it is an iPhone, iPad, Android device, MacBook, Windows computer, etc.