3 Ways Your CTI for Salesforce.com is Killing Sales Productivity

If you are using Salesforce.com as your CRM chances are you have some sort of computer telephony integration. Let’s face it, sales people make a lot of phone calls  (at least they should if they want to keep their job). So it isn’t surprising that telecom providers across the board have created a link between traditional business phone systems and the Salesforce.com CRM. Here are three things they missed that are killing your sales force productivity:

1. Inaccurate and Piece Meal Reporting

Managers like visibility. Current CTI technology in Salesforce allows basic reporting such as the number of calls per sales rep and talk time. However, often this reporting is inaccurate and obscurely hidden in the CTI report engine and does not relate to the sales information in Salesforce. In fact, many companies continue to report on calls out of the telephony platform such as Avaya Call Manager (CM). This leaves sales managers with an incomplete and often fuzzy picture of why one rep is outperforming another when call metrics appear to be even.

In sales, contextual reporting is key. This includes the ability to review a recording of any given call and also the ability for the sales rep to rank the call, including if they spoke to the right person or decision maker. In addition, it is a best practice to log a call (aka an Activity) in Salesforce and have it associated to the Lead record and any other sales related records such as an Opportunity.

Another key metric to report on is how many times have you tried to call the lead previously. Once you have this granularity in your reporting it will be easy to see that one sales rep might be having better success than another because one is calling fresh leads on the first or second call attempt, while another rep is calling on leads for the 5th time.

2. Lack of Compatibility Across Browsers and Operating Systems

For being so ubiquitous CTIs have raw user interfaces and poor compatibility. Most only work with a Windows based system running Internet Explorer (and few even support IE 9). This prohibits your business from upgrading software and operating systems to stay current with technology. In fact, I recently spoke with one business who had to revert back to an earlier version of Internet Explorer simply to continue the use of their CTI for Salesforce. Not to mention the CTI cost them over $9,000 and was only compatible with the phone service provided by that same company! Needless to say the telecom provider had them between a rock and a hard place.

CTI Vendors using the new Salesforce Open CTI technology enable their clients to use any browser and operating system, since the CTI adapter is hosted in the cloud, and not on the sales rep’s machine. The only exception here is if you are using a WebRTC softphone with USB headset. Then you are limited to browsers that support WebRTC.

3. Insufficient Product Support & Updates

Based on daily conversations I have with frustrated sales managers the level of support for CTI adapters is non-existent. In fact, some companies readily state they no longer support their Salesforce CTI directly on their website, but continue to sell it! And why should they continue support or improve the software?! The company has made their one time sale and has no incentive to support the product. Finally, CTI integration can often be finicky and require advanced technical knowledge to set up.

The good news is that using the Salesforce Open CTI enables easier updates, without having to install a new piece of software on each agent’s computer. This is typically paid in a SaaS subscription model with a yearly contract. If the app if hosted on the vendor’s server (such as InsideSales.com or NewVoiceMedia) these updates are pushed automatically, just like the updates you receive from Salesforce. If the Open CTI adapter is hosted on your own internal server then you simply need to install the updated package once, and it is deployed to your entire team. The best part is that these updates and feature enhancements are included in the subscription price that you pay.

Check out my other post Top Inside Sales KPIs to Measure on Salesforce Dashboards.

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