Platform or Tool? What is the Right Approach to Email Integration for Salesforce?

Email messages continue to be a key part of today’s customer relationship. The average business user sends and receives 110 emails each workday. Of these 110 emails, on average 25 are externally facing and need to be added to the right record in the CRM system. Email has not ‘died’ with the rise of mobile devices; it has flourished.

Every Salesforce administrator has to make a decision about email integration. Should emails be considered a ‘nice-to-have’ add-on and handled manually? Or should they be viewed as a ‘must-have’ that is an integral to the sales process and handled machine-to-machine? The answer to that question hinges on ‘business value’. What is the business value hidden in the email stream. How do you get it out and put it in Salesforce.com? For example, do emails contain a customer number that can be matched to the Contracts object?

salesforce-toolFor Salesforce.com, there are two basic approaches to email integration: use a cloud platform or manual software tool. A cloud platform offers many advantages over a tool. It is always on, platform independent, works in real time and doesn’t degrade the performance of Outlook or Gmail. A platform can do more than a tool. Not only can it automate email syncing and logging, it can scan the emails – header, subject line, body and attachment — and extract business information from them – like part or invoice numbers, customer name or address and/or hashtags. That information, in turn, can be used to add or match the email to exactly the right record (s) or field(s) in Salesforce.com automatically – whether that record is a standard or custom object with standard or custom fields. Then the sales rep and/or sales ops can use the CRM system as more than a fancy contact list. He or she can use Salesforce as a ‘system of record’ to track activity, performance or exceptions.

Match My Email is the only email integration platform available on the AppExchange for Salesforce.com. It is different from every other offering because it actually scans the whole email and can find unique identifiers in the header, subject line, body or attachment(s). These unique identifiers can be number(s), word(s), hashtags or email addresses depending on the requirements of the sales process Based on custom algorithms and filters, these unique identifiers can be processed based on business logic and inserted into the right objects or fields in SFDC. Because true email integration will create a 100% complete and accurate email record in SFDC, this ‘Big Data’ can be used for analysis, data mining, reports, evaluations and dashboards.

A tool, on the other hand, — like Outlook for Salesforce, Linkpoint 360, Cirrus Insight — is a software plug-in that helps the end-user manually log an email to a record in Salesforce.com. Tools don’t scan the emails for important data such as unique identifiers that can related to part, invoice, project, customer and/or, case numbers or names. They just show the end-user ‘context’, which is fancy way of saying that they just show the end-user which records in Salesforce.com share a common email address. This looks fancy in a demo, but it doesn’t capture the real business value locked into the emails. It is then up to the end-user to push a button or drag & drop a copy into a folder to log the emails to the right record. Most tools force the end-user to store a separate copy of the email in each separate SFDC record in Activity History. This uses up a lot of memory especially if the emails contain large attachments.

It should be made clear that an email integration platform like Match My Email includes all the convenience features of a manual tool. Match My Email can be operated in manual mode, it has a utility for automatically importing old emails, it has privacy controls called Ignores, a control panel for managing users, a Create function so end-users can create new SFDC standard objects from inside an email, a Forced Match feature to force matches to unrelated objects and Unmatch and Delete for clean up. Match My Email also incorporates comprehensive de-duplication so an email is only imported once to SFDC to save storage. Match My Email can store up to 166,000 emails in a standard SFDC ORG before running out of space.

The best way to get a visual understanding of Match My Email is to schedule a live demo. During the demo Match My Email experts can discuss what business process improvements you want to achieve in Salesforce.com and how they might be achieved using a customizable Salesforce email integration platform.

What do you think?

help desk software