With only 40% of all companies achieving company-wide CRM adoption, the challenge of getting all information into Salesforce is ongoing. And while email is one of the key means of business communication nowadays, the support for this in Salesforce is still very low. In this article, I will explain why I believe the current setup will provide a problem in the near future.
Manually registering equals incomplete data
If you are not using any email integration solution (e.g. from the AppExchange), your sales employees are probably adding the Email2Salesforce address in the BCC of their emails. With this you only capture outgoing emails, giving you a significant blind spot. In addition, with each email that is sent, the employee has to consider if this email should be added to Salesforce or not.
Letting your sales reps decide which emails get registered in Salesforce distorts the quality of your data, even if you use one of the outlook plugins like Salesforce for Outlook. There can be many different reasons why an email does not get synced to Salesforce. An email could be assessed as unimportant, an employee could forget, or might even want to keep information to himself to strengthen his internal position. And then this will differ per employee.
ALL emails should be in Salesforce
Many companies have implemented email integrations to relieve their sales reps of the manual email registration in Salesforce. A number of these tools provide a front-end interface to interact with Salesforce, for example as a browser extension on top of Gmail. The email sync to Salesforce can then be activated and deactivated by the sales employee.
While these solutions save your sales reps quite some time, they don’t solve the data problem, because the decision to sync is still made by the employee. If you think about it, all emails should be registered. Of course, not all emails have the same importance, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be registered. Generally speaking, every customer contact moment should be somewhere in your CRM.
Why you should care
The possibilities of Sales Analytics have increased tremendously over the past few years. With technologies like Machine Learning it will soon be possible to automatically figure out how you can increase your sales. That is… if you have a unified and complete dataset. Some companies will make this to their competitive advantage, while others will stay behind trying to figure out where they missed the boat.
An example: A sales rep might only save the emails on contract negotiation, and not the ones regarding the technical implementation. The reasoning is that else there might be too many emails saved under the account and you lose the overview. However, it is a realistic possibility that the number of emails sent around implementation influence how much value this customer will have. How will you find out if you don’t register the emails?
The limitations of Salesforce
This is also one of the bigger issues I see in the current Salesforce system, where emails are still being saved as tasks, without email header information and with no relationship to each other. Every email is saved as a separate item, resulting in tens or hundreds of emails under one contact, which could actually be summarized in 3 conversations. This naturally also makes it impossible to do an in-depth analysis on the performance of your email conversations.
The quality of any artificial intelligence is dependent on the training data. The training data in this case being the information of emails in Salesforce. And it is exactly this information which is incomplete, not unified, and lacking detail.
I believe that this problem will have a strong influence on the success of sales organizations in the nearby future. This is why I have founded FunnelFox, a fully automatic email integration for Salesforce, which we are offering for free. Since it is such a fundamental functionality, we want to give every Salesforce user access to automatic email syncing.
Do you recognize this problem, or do you disagree? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.