At Dreamforce in session after session , the theme was user adoption. How do you get sales professionals to use Salesforce.com? Sales reps don’t necessarily like technology and data entry; they like the chase – winning someone over and closing a deal.
Again, in session after session, the solution to the adoption dilemma was the same — get as much information as possible into Salesforce.com. Get that information into Salesforce as automatically and effortlessly as possible. Once your Salesforce deployment is filled with reliable information, it will reach a tipping point and then transform from an occasional ‘viewer’ into a constant ‘doer’. Once a sales rep relies on Salesforce to get something important done, like work the Lead queue, then adoption and daily usage will soar.
Like it or not, email still represents the most important communications channel with prospects and customers. It is the main source of information about what is happening with a deal. Emails tell the sales team a lot more than just the words that they contain. Email frequency and response intervals indicate how ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ the deal is. Email format and word choice gives the reader a sense of the prospect’s personality and level of sophistication. Even with the proliferation of mobile devices and smart phones — read Salesforce1 — voice, text, Chatter and video only represent a small, though important, fraction of client interaction. Email is still king.
But email is the anti-Christ of Salesforce adoption. It retards Salesforce adoption because it isolates the sales team from the CRM system and silos data. When sales reps are working in their mailboxes, they are cut off from the rest of the sales team. They can’t see the holistic sales workflow unfolding in Salesforce. They only see one facet of what is going; the facet that relates to their email, not the larger sales process. They can’t see the emails sent and received by other members of the sales team. When working in email, sales reps can’t be in Salesforce at the same time working the Lead queue. Or see a clear view of the comprehensive Salesforce record pertaining to an account or opportunity.
Manual email integration tools like Salesforce for Outlook, Cirrus Insight and Link360 that import Salesforce data into the Inbox actually make things worse, much worse. These tools concentrate the sales reps effort and attention on the email system, and away from Salesforce. With Cirrus Insight, a sales rep can spend the whole day in Gmail and never log into Salesforce. This is a dangerous and untended consequence of such a tool.
Automated email integration Salesforce apps like Match My Email do the opposite. They redirect the sales reps’ attention back to Salesforce. By automatically adding emails to all right records in Salesforce, using MultiMatch technology, while de-duplicating the email log to eliminate clutter, Match My Email increases the usefulness and timeliness of the information in Salesforce. Because the system is fully automated, the email record is 100% complete and it shows the email correspondence between entire sales team and the external account – not just the emails for a single sales rep. Salesforce becomes the ‘system of record’ containing the most accurate and up-to-date record of client interactions. Because the data is accurate, sales rep acquire the habit of checking the Salesforce record before contacting a client. They actually use Salesforce because it contains information that they can’t get anywhere else. If they need to send an email, they can launch the email client from inside of Salesforce in a separate window by clicking the email address field. With automated email sorting and filing, sales reps never have to leave Salesforce.
In contrast, manual tools undermine the value of Salesforce by making it a manual chore to log email into Salesforce. The sales rep has to remember to push the ‘Add to Salesforce’ button over and over again. And the sales rep then has to decide exactly where to put the email. The process takes some seconds and over the course of the year, those seconds mount up until they equal about 16 hours or two full days of meaningless work. Most of the time that meaningless work never gets done so the email record in Salesforce is unreliable.
Studies show that manual tasks that do not result in an immediate reward tend to get done less and less until the activity stops. The same is true of manual email logging to Salesforce. At first the emails get logged, but then with time they logged less and less and the email log in Salesforce gets spottier and spottier, until it is useless. Incomplete data kills Salesforce adoption and usage.
With an automated app, like Match My Email, the email record gets deeper and broader until it is an indispensable repository of ‘mission critical’ information. Match My Email users get hooked on good email data and find that they can’t do their jobs properly without a canonical email log in Salesforce.
Manual tools also have the problem that they only work when the sales rep is working in his or her email box. If the sales rep is doing anything else, the email just stays in the Inbox out of sight and out of mind from the larger sales team. With an automated app like Match My Email, emails are logged constantly in the cloud – computer to computer, 24/7/365 — regardless of what the sales reps are doing.
In summary, automated email integration apps for Salesforce like Match My Email have been shown to accelerate Salesforce adoption and usage. Many of Match My Email’s customers report a 10x increase in sales rep log-ins to Salesforce in the first few months. When the email log is complete and up-to-date in Salesforce, Salesforce makes a sales reps job easier so they use it more.