As a Salesforce Administrator you are a jack of all trades. You are in charge of writing an advanced cross-object formula to the mundane task of helping an employee reset their password. As an #awesomeadmin your toolkit should include knowledge about telephony and computer telephony integration (a.k.a. CTI) in Salesforce. Here’s what you need to know:
The type of CTI app will dictate the setup, but there are two areas that you should be familiar with. The first is the Call Center object in Salesforce. You can get to it by typing ‘Call Center’ in the quick find bar on the left in the Setup menu. Here you can setup a new Call Center record and softphone layout. Then you will need to navigate to the user’s record and assign them to the call center (Manager Users, then User in the Setup menu). Secondly, CTI apps can be a connected app. These are apps that have single-sign on with Salesforce. Depending on the security settings in the connected apps area of Salesforce users authorize themselves, require admin approval, or the admin can have a list of pre-approved users for a particular connected app.
Connected CTI apps for Salesforce typically are a browser extension that your Salesforce business user will install in their web browser. For example, Revenue.io’s CTI app for Salesforce can be installed as an extension in Chrome. The user simply has to login to Revenue.io with their Salesforce credentials, and can begin to click to call anywhere in Salesforce (yes even in reports!). The business user can run the app in the background and app window will present itself when a phone number is clicked in Salesforce or an inbound phone call is incoming.
In contrast, Salesforce CTI apps that use the Call Center object would login to Salesforce, and then to the softphone while in Salesforce. Apps that utilize the Call Center objects can be Canvas apps, or utilize the Softphone Layout. Whether a connected CTI app or an app that leverage the Call Center object, each have their own pros and cons that you will need to assess for your business.
What is clear, however, is that not all CTI integrations for Salesforce are created equal. For example, one CTI app vendor has an integration that will create a Task in Salesforce when making outbound phone calls from their system, but not provide any click-to-call, or even screen-pop a record to give the user contextual Salesforce information from the record. Revenue.io provides a context-rich experience for users by showing the Chatter feed, past Activities, and related Account information right in the app.
Telephony can be delivered in a variety of methods. As a Salesforce admin you need to consider the type of team you have. Are they located in one primary office, or spread out in different offices, or a completely work-from-home environment? These factors include the method of delivery you should choose for your telephony app for Salesforce. Common use cases include plugging in a USB headset to your computer or hooking into a desk phone in the office.
Finding a telephony app for Salesforce that fits into your user’s workflow is critical for adoption. For example, if your sales users have a List View or queue of Leads that they call through at the start of each day, it would be crucial for them to be able to click on the phone number in the list view, or better yet, utilize Revenue.io’s next call feature to bring the next Lead record up in the softphone from the List View, and then click the call button. Whether you are considering a Salesforce CTI app for a sales or customer service team it is critical to start with the business process, and then work your way back to find a CTI app that will help provide leverage for that process.
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As a senior Salesforce Consultant at TCS, Paul Fischer works at the nexus of business and technology to deliver revenue for clients by infusing industry best practices into the Salesforce platform. Fischer's certifications include: Pardot Consultant, Sales Cloud Consultant, Service Cloud Consultant, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder & Administrator.