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7 Key Criteria for Selecting a Salesforce CTI Solution

In today’s competitive landscape, communications have become cornerstone to business success. Customers and prospects expect and demand a personalized experience from businesses and building a tailored customer journey has become a challenge when operating at scale.

Legacy telephony and communications infrastructure has been traditionally relegated to IT, operating in siloed environments with no interoperability with key business data. Furthermost keeping track of all customer interactions and transforming them into actionable data has become a challenge to management.

CRM software like Salesforce has been used by thousands of companies worldwide for years to store invaluable customer data related to Sales, Service and Marketing; combining it to build a complete customer profile. Although the initial value proposition seems great, manual data entry and data consistency has become a huge challenge for CRM adoption. 

Salesforce has introduced computer-telephony integrations (CTI) as a way to allow their customers to “plug” their communications infrastructure directly into Salesforce and reduce the manual workload related to logging phone calls and other communication interactions.  

But while Salesforce has become a vast source of customer data and CTI has enabled the integration of telecom systems with business data, have you ever wondered:

  • Why your calls can’t be connected directly to your AE when you call? 
  • Why your calls can’t be connected directly to the support rep managing your case? 
  • Why isn’t the rep aware of your past interactions with the company? 
  • Why have you been on hold for 15 minutes?

The answer is simple. Most Salesforce CTI solutions offered by legacy vendors have integrated only basic call logging functionality and haven’t truly leveraged the wells of data and capabilities Salesforce has to offer. 

Below we will share the top 7 things you should look for in any Salesforce CTI.

1. Softphone

A softphone is a piece of software that allows a user to make and take phone calls over the internet via a computer. Using Salesforce Lightning, admins can easily enable a customizable softphone that appears to users assigned to a Salesforce call center, located in their utility bar. In order to deliver advanced call controls to agents, a Salesforce CTI must include a softphone as part of their managed package. The softphone itself should include key features like: screen pop, click to dial, caller ID selection, power dialing capabilities, voicemail management, advanced call controls (hold, mute, warm & cold transfer), disposition codes to track call results, call tags, comments and controls to easily assign calls to new or existing Salesforce Objects like Cases and Opportunities.

2. Salesforce Call Routing

An Interactive Voice Response system or IVR is a piece of telephony software that automatically routes callers based on DTMF or voice inputs. Legacy IVR technology is usually set up by IT, silhoed from external systems and kept unchanged for years. Salesforce Call Routing redefines how an IVR works by putting Salesforce at the center of the call routing process, acting as its central brain, and helping route callers in the best way possible. For instance when a call comes through for the Sales department, using Salesforce Call Routing, the caller can be routed directly to the lead owner in Salesforce instead of being routed straight into the sales queue.

3. Automations

Automations are one of the most important aspects of a CTI solution since they can boost rep. productivity through the roof if implemented correctly. Almost all vendors claim to offer “automated call logging”, but you should really be looking for two things: 

a) Can you trigger different events in Salesforce based off different telephony events? As an example you might want to create a case for a missed call, but log a call as a completed for an inbound call that was answered. 

b) Can you create different automation rules to cater to your different teams? For instance a Sales team might want to trigger a different event in Salesforce for a missed call than a Support team.

4. Multi Channel Capabilities

Customers and prospects expect to connect with your business in the most convenient way. Most CTI’s fail to deliver multi channel capabilities and reps must rely on a set of disparate systems to get their job done. By selecting a CTI that provides true, unified communications, reps will be able to easily connect with customers over the phone and then switch to online meetings or text messaging from anywhere without the need of using different software platforms.

5. Advanced Telephony Capabilities

Don’t confuse Dialers for fully fledged telephony platforms. A dialer is a piece of software used to make and take phone calls, but usually lacks advanced telephony features that will help your business scale and deliver a lasting customer experience. The top telephony features you should look for, are: call queueing, call cascading, automatic call recording, IVR, call controls (hold & transfer), extension dialing, business hours and mobility.

6. Reporting & Live Analytics

Objectives should be measurable and decisions should be data driven, that’s why we believe any serious CTI solution must include out of the box reporting and analytics to help managers track KPI’s and overall call center effectiveness. Managers should also look for solutions that offer a “Live View” into their different call centers in order to track performance in real time and empower supervisors with coaching features like monitor, whisper and barge to ramp up reps faster and intervene when necessary.

7. Security & Compliance

Last but not least, enterprise grade CTI solutions must include Custom Permission Sets as part of their managed package in order to help admins manage field level security for sensitive data like call recordings which should be stored as URLs within custom fields. Using Permission Sets admins can easily enable a collection of settings and permissions that give users access to various tools and functions without the need of changing their profile. 

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