ShoreTel Tying to Salesforce CRM for Better Business Intel
What do you get when you cross ShoreTel's unified communication systems with Salesforce.com? The result should be a 360-degree view of your company's sales, service, and marketing efforts. Used together, the two platforms can help generate actionable business intelligence and a better customer experience by aligning call center data and sales call data with the business data already in your CRM system.
The applications -- ShoreTel for Salesforce and ShoreTel Sky for Salesforce -- provide integration between Salesforce and the ShoreTel on-premises IP-PBX system, the ShoreTel Sky cloud-based phone system, ShoreTel Workgroups, and ShoreTel Sky Contact Center. That means users can handle all of their business communications within a single application while having the ability to collaborate in real-time.
It also means that customers using ShoreTel’s systems for unified communications can now tap into deeper reporting to discover how effective their customer interactions really are. Specifically, the single source view now offers insights that promise to drive more productivity and stronger collaboration between sales, support, and marketing organizations. The intended result: greater customer satisfaction and better business results.
Phone and Business Data Aligned
"Finally, phone data is aligned with business data in the CRM system," said David Petts, senior vice president of worldwide sales at ShoreTel. "Automatic logging of all sales activity, regardless of a sales person’s location or device, together with prompts for agents to schedule follow-up actions can lead to closing deals faster and higher overall sales team productivity. For example, a road warrior using a mobile phone with ShoreTel Mobility software will still have the activity logged."
Unique to ShoreTel Sky for Salesforce, the company said its customers can automatically log all calls, voicemails, and SMS activities for more transparency across all channels of communication. Another promised benefit is first-call resolution for customer service, accomplished by providing employees a history of previous customer interactions from across the company.
As customers are transferred to the departments that can best help them, records of their interactions go along with them. That means customers don't have to repeat their issues each time they talk to customer service agents. Similarly, the integrations allow users to measure the ROI effectiveness of marketing campaigns by tracking all customer touchpoints during the buyer's journey.
Taking Unified Communications Further
We turned to Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his take on the integration. He told us it’s worthwhile for ShoreTel and other unified communications vendors with any interest in CRM to work with platform vendors like Salesforce because it creates a more holistic customer view.
"This is important because Salesforce is offering a platform-as-a-service. It is basically a cloud-born application ecosystem that is populated by an extremely diverse and sizable channel, [with] partner-type vendors, all building their own solutions," Shimmin said. "By connecting with Salesforce, ShoreTel is opening itself up to a number of opportunities that simply wouldn’t have been available [otherwise].”
As Shimmin sees it, the cloud is an area in which unified communications has struggled because it has been tied to equipment that lives and breathes inside an enterprise for so long. By partnering with Salesforce, Shimmin said, companies can spread their wings to provide a better view of their customers, one that’s more representative of what their customers are doing.
"From Salesforce’s point of view, this is also important. Obviously they are not going to play in this space against ShoreTel," Shimmin said. "This deal allows Salesforce to broaden the capabilities its platform can bring to customers. It’s a win-win," for the two companies and should bring important new benefits for sales and service organizations using their platforms.