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5 Ways to Boost Call Center Productivity with Visual CRM Tools

How to Boost Call Center Productivity with Visual CRM ToolsCall centers are all about balancing transactions and relationships. On a daily basis, they are measured by wait times, how quickly calls are handled, call resolution and customer satisfaction of the call outcome.  In addition to these short-term metrics of call center productivity, every transaction sows the seeds for a long-term relationship and increased total customer value.

So what can we do to ensure that both short- and long-term are maximized? Of course coaching and training is one way.  A close second are value-added CRM tools. These can help ensure that the focus shifts from repetition to consistency of outcomes. Finally a sales rep’s experience and familiarity with the business also help a rep to make this short- and long-term balance work successfully.

How to boost call center productivity (and morale too!)

We are visual creatures. Research shows that we process images 60,000 times faster than text. Visual tools can help boost call center productivity in several ways through the use of a call planning and visualization tool. Here’s how:

  1. Define the customer outcome: What is the primary goal you have for the call? We often hear that preparation improves the quality. By looking at preparation as a quality issue, you move away from the transactional (simplistically speaking) to the strategic (focused on customer). Visual tools can help reps to do efficient research before calls and set goals for calls.
  2. Know who you are talking with: Before and during calls, reps should be able to access the most important information in an organized way. Things like information about the lead being called, together with nearby accounts who have a similar product or service, and summary statistics of benefits delivered to customers are some ways you can find data that can help build a connection during the call.
  3. Track intermediate metrics: You can easily track which information is useful to the rep, the info they return to over and over again, and which information improves the connect rate. These metrics can be compared to the final customer outcome, so you can make changes to improve outcomes.
  4. Provide time-saving one-click steps: Often the data is insufficient, inaccurate or simply out of date. A single click for a quick search that gets the current, correct data saves ten clicks. Looking up relationships, directions, etc. can be made simple through one-click buttons on a simple layout.
  5. Arrange all this in one spot: All this info should be delivered visually and simply in a single location, so the rep can get information instantly without distraction.

Okay, so how does this boost morale? Time after time, sales managers have told us that reps work best from a single “go-to” location that empowers them with information. In addition, this can reduce the fatigue of transactional calls, and it helps to elevate the rep to the realm of a relationship, so they enjoy every conversation. And that is the most priceless gift you can give to your reps to increase call center productivity.

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cfMAPP Salesforce Map App – What Do Users Say?

cfMAPP Salesforce Map App AppExchange Reviews

Our cfMAPP app just launched on the AppExchange only two months ago and already has hundreds of users and more than 65 reviews from users! What do they say?

We’re hearing the app does what it was supposed to do – it saves inside sales rep’s time so they can get more done. It does this by pulling critical information for each call into one convenient screen. It streamlines their info visually. It gives inside sales reps a better warm lead call. It helps reps find nearby accounts. Incidentally, cfMAPP is a great replacement for the former Salesforce Lab’s Nearby Accounts app which is now no longer available. (That’s not just us saying these things – these are coming right from the AppExchange reviews!)

One sales rep uses the mapping tool to tell prospects about nearby customers that use the system he sells. This adds credibility and confidence to his conversations with prospects.

Users are appreciating the embedded LinkedIn and Google search buttons so there’s no more cutting and pasting into browser windows to find information. This saves a lot of time.

One user who has tried cfMAPP’s secret sauce says “it’s finger lickin’ good!”

We’re so happy to hear! Of course we thought we were delivering something very useful, and a strong boost for inside sales productivity. But what we think doesn’t mean anything if users don’t agree.

Some users have recommended some changes and updates and we are listening. We’re currently at work on these features and modifications for the next version to be released soon. That’s what we love about the reviews and visiting our customer’s offices – we can hear directly from them.

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New Salesforce Analytics Cloud

Reporting from Dreamforce 2014, San Francisco – The Salesforce Analytics Cloud is announced this week at Dreamforce ’14. It’s a new platform for business intelligence and analytics.

Recently Marc Benioff tweeted a “confidential” agenda that showed an “Analytics Cloud” keynote. Then the tweet was deleted, the name was changed to the “Wave Project” and media outlets have been all atwitter about what that meant. Salesforce sure knows how to get attention where it wants it! We’ve been watching Salesforce’s recent analytics acquisitions. So an analytics platform is not a surprise. In fact an Analytics Cloud would be a welcome addition.

So tonight it is confirmed. If you’re watching the Twitter accounts for Marc Benioff, Salesforce and Dreamforce you might have spotted it already:

Wave: The Salesforce Analytics Cloud

A free mobile app for iPhone and iPad called Salesforce Analytics is downloadable right now from iTunes. So anyone can get a sneak peek at Wave. Salesforce describes it as not just for sales and marketing, but the first mobile analytics platform for everyone. From our initial glimpse tonight, it’s a business intelligence tool that brings together your Salesforce data along with financial data, and even online traffic and product use data.

Salesforce Analytics Cloud and Salesforce Analytics Mobile

We’ve already downloaded it, so yes we are catching the wave! And we will report on what this new Salesforce analytics development means for you. Since 2009 we’ve been helping clients get the maximum value and ROI out of their Salesforce sales and marketing data, and our roots are in predictive analytics. We believe it’s important to be strategic, focused, and ask the right questions so the data delivers action recommendations. We believe while the behind-scenes analysis might be complex, what the users see must be very simple. We’ll review the Analytics Cloud and Analytics Mobile with this in mind.

Meanwhile follow Valgen on Twitter and LinkedIn for developing news during Dreamforce ’14 about the Salesforce Analytics Cloud and Salesforce Analytics Mobile app.

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cfMAPP Goes Salesforce1 Mobile

cfMAPP Salesforce1 Mobile

Within one month of release on the AppExchange, Valgen’s cfMAPP reached a key milestone by getting Salesforce1 Mobile approval. We’re proud to join the apps that have this recognition. Because cfMAPP is designed for visualization and call planning with high-volume sales organizations, you might ask why do we need to be Salesforce1 Mobile ready?

First, we loved mastering the Salesforce1 platform and wanted to push ourselves to achieve this goal early. We are among only 20% of Salesforce apps that have been Salesforce1 certified as of today. We are aware of global trends that users are increasingly accessing apps via mobile — which is a top reason why mobile internet usage is going up — per a recent Comscore report. We want to be where our users are.

Second, we knew that building mobile will also enhance the browser-based software development. We got inspired to move from bulky text-based buttons to recognizable, crisp renditions of symbols and images that are familiar to our users. So mobile is informing browser-based user experiences. It also led us to think about the navigation from screen-to-screen, and how to work on external services like web search while letting the user still be in control. And did I say we were having fun with all types of devices lined up the whole width of the conference table! Laptops, smartphones, tablets … we played with cfMAPP on all of them.

Third, and reflecting our user focus, we wanted to allow both inside sales and field sales within the same organization to collaborate on accelerating business development. While inside sales will gather a lot of info quickly, field sales can use cfMAPP to selectively research further into high-potential accounts, use the mapping feature to scout local areas, and then get directions to plan visits.

As we get feedback, we’ll post more Use Cases of how our customers are integrating cfMAPP Mobile in their sales process, to paraphrase Salesforce, to “run business from their phone.”

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60-Second Sales Call Checklist

60-Second Sales Call ChecklistMuch like how you would warm up before a workout session, you should prep for success before making a sales call. Knowing certain things before calling a prospect will give you leverage during the sales call. If you have the right tools, this important prep needn’t take much time at all.

To help, here is a 6-step sales call checklist which you can do in 60 seconds:

  1. Confirm your CRM contact data: Being armed with the correct information for the lead’s address, website, hours of operation and phone number will make for a smooth call from the outset. If anything is incorrect, you can quickly update it.
  2. Review your lead’s background information:  Knowing the particulars like the lead’s industry, revenues and employee size will show that you did your homework. From their perspective, this shows you are paying attention to them, and they’re not just another number on your call list.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the prospect’s neighborhood:  It’s important to know the local area so you can make a connection during the call. Mentioning other clients you serve in the area can be an icebreaker and an opening for you to show why you deserve their business.
  4. Research the person you are calling on LinkedIn: If he or she is connected to contacts in your LinkedIn network, or shares similar groups or business interests, you can mention it on the call.
  5. Find local accounts that are similar to your lead: Being able to talk about other clients you serve in their region that are similar can indicate how you can also help them.
  6. Reference similar products or services purchased by nearby customers: Having knowledge about which customers have similar pain points (and thus purchased the product or service you are selling) is a great way to help your prospect visualize how your solution will be a fit.

These steps can be accomplished quickly with our cfMAPP app for Salesforce, which provides a local map and links to the above information for leads, opportunities and accounts. Several of our customers have told us about how the app helps inside sales reps to do fast basic research before each call, helping them feel more prepared.

If you have other tips that are useful, share them in the comments and let’s have a discussion. We’d like to hear how you go about your pre-call checklist, and what’s been working for you.

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