Salesforce is bringing some needed efficiency to the sales process with the introduction of Lightning Voice, new phone capabilities built directly into its Lightning Sales Cloud.
The feature helps streamline the process of logging sales calls. Typically, a sales rep would use his or her desk or mobile phone, call a number, take notes in some capacity and then later, ideally, log the interaction in Salesforce.
With Lighting Voice, the rep can dial the number from a keypad within the application, or even just click on the number if it's included with a sales lead's information. A note-taking section automatically pops up, and the details of the call (who was called, its length and the number) are logged in Salesforce automatically.
That last step can be a hassle for reps and often is forgotten or ignored. But automating the entire process makes it more efficient: A rep with a list of leads can move right from one call to the next, without leaving the interface.
"The huge benefits we see to sales reps are that, one, it's a great, integrated experience. Second is the productivity factor. And third is the reduction of data entry—everything is automatically entered, so you don't have to remember to do that," Will Moxley, senior vice president of product management and Sales Cloud at Salesforce, told eWEEK.
Incoming calls can be answered in Lightning Sales Cloud, and any information associated with the caller—such as his or her sales history or company news—can be launched with a click. Reps don't need to move between apps, but if they do, their notes won't be deleted. Even if they don't take any notes, the call details still are logged.
When placing a call, a rep can choose to route it from the contact's area code, which Moxley said increases pickup rates dramatically.
According to an October 2015 survey of 590 Salesforce users by Ebsta, a company that integrates Gmail inside of Salesforce to improve data capture and reduce the need for data entry, 70 percent of those surveyed said their biggest challenge with Salesforce is data quality—specifically, notes that don't include all the data they need.
Additionally, 52 percent of the Salesforce administrators surveyed said the most important aspect of their role is improving productivity.
"Our goal was to remove barriers," said Salesforce's Moxley. "With Lightning Voice, with this breakthrough, we're connecting clients to what matters most to them—their customers.
"In the future, we'll do more to analyze the content of the call," he added. "We'll talk about that more at Dreamforce," Salesforce's annual user conference, scheduled Oct. 4-7 in San Francisco.
Lightning Voice is slated to be available in July in the United States and Canada for Salesforce Lightning Sales Cloud users with a Professional Edition subscription or higher. It will be priced at $45 per user per month for outbound calling, with the option of inbound calling for an additional $5 per user per month.
In May, Salesforce introduced software development kit Snap-Ins, which enable companies to add customer service support to mobile applications or Websites.