Email Logging to CRM – 7 ‘Gotchas’ to Avoid
Sales teams are expensive. Salaries, commissions, travel, overhead, and recruiting costs all make a sales team one of the most expensive investments a company can make. This cost is one of the main reasons that sales productivity is such a big focus. You want your sales team to be building relationships, negotiating, and closing deals with as much of their time as possible. You want them out there selling.
At the same time, you need clear insights into what is happening with each of the deals in your pipeline – the contacts that are involved and the emails and meetings that have happened. Expensive sales professionals should not be spending hours per day manually logging data, so many leading sales organizations implement email logging tools to automatically log email (and sometimes calendar) data from Gmail or Outlook to their CRM systems.
It’s a great plan, and there are a number of different approaches to the challenge. As you go down the email logging path, here are a few potential “gotchas” to avoid, or at least be aware of.
Logging of email and meeting activity is only as good as the contacts you are logging against in your CRM system. If the contacts are missing, you will not be able to log the emails and meetings correctly or at all. Nudge’s research has found that on average 74% of the contacts your team is interacting with are not logged to Salesforce (or whichever CRM you choose to use). To solve for email and meeting logging, the first thing you need to do is solve for contact creation.
Requiring Manual Work:
A second ‘gotcha’ of many approaches to activity logging is that it requires manual work. This can be as simple as a single click, such as the decision to log an email when sending, but as soon as there is any manual work at all, you are required to push for a daunting shift in team behavior and new tool adoption.
The opposite ‘gotcha’ to requiring manual work happens when email logging systems try to automate without intelligence. Without artificial intelligence to detect spam, marketing, and shipment emails, and without the context of what accounts and deals you care about, raw automation tends to create far too much ‘noise’ to be useful.
Overlooking Inbound Emails:
Adding a logging step when a sales person sends an email is the most common approach. However, this approach misses the most important indicator of buyer (or customer) interest – an inbound email. When a prospect or a customer sends your team an email, or replies to an email, those are the most important events to log, and yet the workflow of reading email makes it awkward and easily forgettable to log these emails with manual logging tools.
Not Catching Additions to Email Threads:
Equal in importance to inbound email is when contacts are added to existing email threads. In both prospect and customer scenarios, this is a very good sign. When new team members are being brought into the conversation, it generally can only mean positive things for the deal. However, it’s also something that even the most diligent sales professional is likely to miss if they are working with a manual tool. When they do, the new contact will not be created in your CRM and you will miss the activity.
Not Logging Meetings:
Meetings, whether face-to-face, on a web conference, or just as a one-to-one phone call are also crucial events along the path of the buyers’ journey that need to be logged. They are also extremely easy to miss with manual logging tools, and this ‘gotcha’ leaves a critical gap in your ability to understand the progress of a deal.
Not Including Non-Sales People:
Even though manual efforts to create contacts and log activity is very flawed, sales teams have developed a grudging acceptance of its necessity, so partial results can be achieved with manual tools. This is not the case with teams outside of sales. The chance of having a service team, customer success organization, executive team, or finance group log their activity and create the needed contacts in CRM is close to zero. If you want a complete and comprehensive picture of an account, you need to include all the teams that will be talking with them.
Intelligent, Automated Email Logging – 4 Pillars
To solve for these critical ‘gotchas’, the Nudge approach to email logging to Salesforce is different than manual tools or non-intelligent automatic logging engines. Nudge’s intelligent logging approach relies on the following four pillars to deliver accurate and complete results while avoiding all of the above ‘gotchas’:
Intelligent – Nudge uses artificial intelligence to differentiate signal from noise in the messy world of email. Service requests, shipment notifications, spam, and marketing emails are all filtered out, leaving only the true human conversations and contacts.
Comprehensive – Nudge fully automates the process with the users you select. Zero effort is required on behalf of any user, nothing to click, nothing to type, nothing to do. Contact creation is handled flawlessly and automatically, and the logging of emails and meetings is added to that complete set of contact data. Because of this seamlessness, it’s simple to add all required users in service, support, marketing, and executive teams to pull together a comprehensive view of each account.
Contextual – Keeping logging focused on just the accounts you care about is also crucial. For this, Nudge leverages the context of your sales efforts to understand what is an account that you care about so you are only logging the conversations that matter.
Controlled – On top of this intelligent and contextual automation, Nudge also provides a layer of rule-based control to allow you to specify the business logic for what logging you want to take place and what contacts you wish to capture. Complete, fine-grained control lets you tweak the rules to create the exact structure you need for perfect deal visibility.
Email logging (and logging of meetings) to Salesforce, or your CRM of choice, is a crucial sales productivity effort you need to focus. Any sales leader hoping to increase revenue needs to ensure that his or her team is spending as much of their time selling as possible, and yet, needs to have a complete picture of each account. The only way to do this is to use intelligent, but fully automated email and meeting logging to ensure that the CRM system has a complete picture of reality, with no manual effort on behalf of anyone communicating with prospects and customers.