We wrote about this union not too long ago but ShoreTel’s recent unleashing of its sizable partner channels has increased the importance of this new addition to the already robust SF platform.
As much as we would like to think that “the phone”, that old standard method for engaging prospects and customers, has become extinct it just isn’t true. Although the days of dinner interruptions by siding sales folks may be gone the B2B universe is certainly still talking to the audiences they are selling to.
Plus now it’s mobile and VoIP, two platforms that have vast capabilities for tracking and maintaining data, that are still one of the dominant forms of sales engagement. This is what ShoreTel tying their unified communications platforms to Salesforce CRM is all about, harnessing that data and bringing it into their “closed loop” marketing efforts.
According to their February 18th press release on the subject ShoreTel suggested that, “By integrating two mission-critical platforms – the communications platform and a company’s critical enterprise application – businesses now have comprehensive reporting on the effectiveness of all communications and customer interactions. ShoreTel’s single source view provides insights that enable higher productivity and more effective collaboration of sales, support and marketing organizations for greater customer satisfaction and better business results.”
In many ways this plugs a hole in the content driven and marketing automation platforms that facilitate the entire conveyor that moves leads to contacts, contacts to opportunities, and finally opportunities to sales.
“Finally, phone data is aligned with business data in the CRM system. By integrating the ShoreTel communications platform with Salesforce, one of the most valuable business applications, customers gain new insights, more effective collaboration, higher productivity and better business results,” 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.”
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.
As ShoreTel has now given their 600 North American channel partners the nod to start offering ShoreTel’s cloud-based offerings, this integration into Salesforce should be very attractive to both on-premise SF users and those of the marketing cloud. Many companies may find that they need additional input from Salesforce experts on how to maximize the union of these two powerful systems.
Experts like this can be an asset in planning, deployment and training both marketing admins and sales end-users. There are also often unique needs on a company by company basis that can only be addressed by a development team and applications meeting some specific organizational business or customer need.
Nonetheless, the union of ShoreTel and Salesforce will make two already powerful platforms even more important to your sales success if you are one of the many users that now have this critical integration available to them.
Author’s Note: This is an article written for a client in the IT and Application Development industry.