Ok wait. How can automating something be a bad thing? One of the main tenants of an exceptional CRM (and exceptional CRM ROI) is to get as much quality data into the system as possible, and wouldn’t automating processes help this?
Sure. But in consulting with current and prospective clients for our email integration portion of the CRM world, I have found that there can be quite a few disadvantages of automation and Salesforce. The key is to diligently explore not just the automation tools but also how they interplay with your workflows and metrics.
1. Quantity is not quality.
Many solutions tout that they can do the work of a sales rep or an assistant (or both) for you. They can scan your data, review your interactions, and automatically fire that information off into your CRM. But where exactly is that information going? Can you control the (undoubtedly numerous) rules and logic sets that must be in place for the software to know (or think it knows) where to store your data?
Automation works great when it can meet exact needs or circumstances. And making sure content (like emails, for example) goes to the right records can be much more valuable than rapid-fire, best-guess auto recording. Do you really want every single interaction with someone captured back in Salesforce? Even the “Thank you” and “No, Thank YOU” emails? Does it matter to you where they land for reporting purposes? We find that our customers get more out of their interactions when they can control where and how they make it to Salesforce. And speaking from personal experience, seeing relevant contextual interactions that our reps and support team have with our clients is much more helpful to me than sifting through repetitive or non-relevant banter. That’s why LinkPoint Connect includes options ranging from one-off email recording to more automated but fine-tuned management of calendars (i.e. sync specific items, sync only certain folders, sync only one way to Salesforce).
2. Context is just as important as when (or who).
Getting data into the CRM is one thing. And maybe you’re okay with options that do their best guess to capture it. But other than counting the number of interactions that individuals or teams have with your prospects and clients, managers and CRM admins should consider the actual purpose of the emails, tasks, and events. Did the user have an issue? Did they find a resolution? Did your sales rep offer the right pricing program and how did the prospect respond to it? Are you covering for a colleague and wondering where they left off with a customer case?
Context is key to developing relationships, completing accurate assignments. Of course, LinkPoint Connect gives users flexible control over the content that is recorded. You can capture the email, update the email subject and body so it is more telling inside the CRM, and all items are timestamped so users know when interactions happened and when they were captured. Looking at your pipeline or the health of your retention efforts depends on the content and outcome of each interaction, not just the total touch points.
3. How your data moves (and where it moves to) matters.
Great! You found a solution that will get your data where you need it going. But have you looked into how the data moves? How many servers it hits? Which systems have access to your company’s information? Where is it actually stored and how long do you have access to it? Not all email recording or activity capture solutions store your information inside the CRM. In fact, quite a few native Salesforce options store content externally, limiting reports and deleting data after a few years.
Security and access (or access prevention) should be front of mind when looking at how automation services work. This is why LinkPoint360’s solutions are designed with minimal to zero data storage on our servers, can be configured to be 100% on premise, and use Salesforce and Exchange APIs for encryption (just to name a few security perks). You own your data. You store your data where you would expect (inside Salesforce, always). And you can report on, analyze, coach based on, and oversee your company growth with reliable and secure interactions. The best part? Your teams can keep working inside Outlook with easy-to-learn tools that match exactly what, where and how you define your data needs.