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Salesforce.com and Comcast is a hit! But how much time does it actually save its salespeople?

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Written by Brian Klansky

We recently read with pride that M5 partner, Acumen Solutions has customized salesforce.com for Comcast and their 90 sales reps.  We are also users of salesforce.com and while we are huge fans of any hosted model, I am sure the customization work Acumen did for Comcast will enable them to get significantly more out of salesforce then if they had just bought it off the shelf.  “As- a- service”  has to be easy but getting to the payback from CRM is hard.

One of the reasons for this  is sales rep engagement.  Sales people often view CRM as just another task they have to do for management. It’s terrific that salesforce.com separates different types of agents, sub categorizes, types of season ticket buyers, etc.    Salesforce.com automates and synchronizes calendars, makes email contact easy and trackable, and provides easy dashboards to provide real time funnel analysis.  But what happens when you make a phone call?

The answer is nothing happens.  You can log a call yourself manually but what percent of your reps do that , even if asked to?  It sounds like Comcast’s sales people live and die on the phone, right?  How can they make using CRM as easy as it is to use an IPod?

The answer is to make your CRM “active” by unleashing it’s power.  How do you do that?  Integrate your CEM system with the phone system.  And you’ll see what you can do.  Prepare yourself to be surprised.  Once integrated, your sales people can click to dial right from salesforce.com, saving 10-20 seconds per call.  I’m sure all of you have a super sales rep who is 100% ready when an inbound call comes in.  Their folders are all ready and organized and they are able to get right into selling.

That’s not what my desk looks like!  But when you activate your CRM, inbound phone calls generate automatic “screen pops” with the detailed account information and all communication records in Salesforce.com.    Now your salespeople can answer the phone, “hey Joan, how did that Saturday ticket package work out?   We have an even better one this year.”

CRM has to be easy and it has to drive revenue improvement.  Hosted CRM tools like salesforce.com and Hosted IP telephony from a company like M5 is clearly a much better technology platform

When you combine these two, you have a powerhouse of business intelligence at your disposal.  It’s fantastic to see Comcast take their first step in using these tools for real revenue growth.  For us here in NY, I don’t think even great service like this can help my pathetic Knicks!

Lebron in 2010!