These days, organizations sitting at the intersection of business and technology need to move fast to stay relevant. With the rapid proliferation of cloud technologies, for example, it often seems like a constant scramble to implement the latest and greatest features just to keep up.
Of course, with all of these added systems, we often feel the need to make them communicate as efficiently as possible. And one way to do this is through automating the process through which your data moves from one system to another. After all, one of the key features that support a quality CRM — not to mention ROI on that CRM — is the ability to have as much good information in it as possible.
That said, moving fast and breaking things isn’t always the best strategy when it comes to the data you put in Salesforce. There are a few disadvantages when it comes to automation, and it’s worth it to pause and examine these to see if it’s truly the best path forward for your business.
Quantity Is Not Quality
When automation meets the exact need and circumstances of your data entry, it works great and improves workflows. Making sure content, such as emails and other conversations, gets exactly where it needs to go is more reliable than rapid firing and second-guessing.
That said, many automation solutions promise the reliability and discernibility of a sales rep or a knowledgeable assistant. They promise to scan your data, review your interactions and automatically drop everything safely into your CRM.
But where exactly is all of that information going? Controlling every little rule or piece of logic that determines where your information goes in Salesforce is an onerous task. More importantly, determining what goes into it is a challenge all its own. After all, do you really want every single little “thank you” note to be a part of your CRM data? And that’s not even getting started on reporting needs.
Organizations get a lot more out of their recorded interactions when they control where and how it fits into their Salesforce data. Sifting through the endless sea of non-relevant banter that automation adds isn’t doing anyone any favors. Seeing relevant, quality interactions in their proper context is far more helpful and insightful.
Moving data into a CRM is one thing. But there’s a critical distinction to make here: Data without context is not information. It’s simply data. Other than counting the number of interactions your sales team has with prospects, it doesn’t do a lot of good.
Maybe you’re okay with options that move data into your CRM while offering a best guess at the context. But a big part of quality CRM recording is knowing and understanding the context of the data you add. It’s just as important as the “when” and the “who.” For example, consider whether your Salesforce automation can help you answer these questions:
- Did the user have an issue, and what was it?
- Did they find a resolution?
- Did your sales rep offer the right pricing program, and how did the prospect respond to it?
- When your sales team has to take over for a colleague, do they have everything they need to take over the customer’s case?
A lot of automation solutions simply won’t have a personal touch or the right context necessary for your team to do their best work. It’s especially bad for contacts that truly value their personality in their sales efforts. In situations like these, you may need separate files for that personal touch or extra context that your data needs. And once you’re at that point, you have to wonder what the point of automation was to begin with.
How Your Data Moves Matters
Perhaps you’ve found a quality automation solution, complete with highly configurable, intelligent rules that promise quality and context. Great! But have you looked closely at how this solution handles your data?
Not all automation systems store your information in the CRM — especially if they promise concise context. Oftentimes, these solutions move your data through multiple servers or software processes. In some scenarios, other software systems may have access to your company’s information. In fact, quite a few native Salesforce options store content externally, limiting reports and deleting data after a few years.
When it comes to your company’s data, security and access should be at the front of your mind. When looking at automation solutions, it’s crucial to ensure these solutions are simply automating rather than manipulating, storing or accessing your information.
LinkPoint Connect: An Alternative to Automation
At LinkPoint360, we provide a solution that addresses the problems of automation by providing a reliable, seamless link between your email and your Salesforce CRM. LinkPoint Connect includes a wide range of CRM integrations, whether it’s a one-off email recording or finely tuned calendar management.
Quality and context are key to developing your customer relationships and completing accurate assignments. With LinkPoint Connect, you gain unprecedented control and flexibility over the content that goes in your CRM. Rather than having arbitrary, automated data, you gain the ability to capture emails while updating the subject line and bodies to provide more relevant context. And everything is time stamped so you know when they happened and when they were captured.
And when it comes to how your data moves, our solutions are designed with maximum security in mind. You own your data, and you store it where you’d expect — inside Outlook and Salesforce. We have minimal to zero data storage on our servers. The best part: We use Salesforce and Exchange APIs for encryption, and your integration can be configured 100% on-premise for maximum security.
The Bottom Line
Every solution, whether it’s a process or a piece of software, has its own fair share of advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to automation, however, these disadvantages are seldom discussed. When looking at these solutions, it’s crucial to diligently explore what they’re doing with your data. Automation might be helpful in some situations, but is it truly worth the tradeoff based on how these solutions interplay with your workflows and metrics?
For a solution that takes a hard line on security and operates within the context of your organization, our own LinkPoint Connect could be just what you’re really looking for. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.