Sales Amplification: Marrying CRM, Contact Centers & Potentially Other Systems Can Drive New Business


Sales Amplification: Marrying CRM, Contact Centers & Potentially Other Systems Can Drive New Business

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  December 11, 2014

The idea of more closely integrating CRM and contact center solutions in an effort to increase sales conversion seems to be getting a lot of new energy of late.

"2015 will be the year sales acceleration technology crosses the chasm to become mainstream,” said Nick Hedges, president and CEO of Velocify. “In the past few years, many SaaS (News - Alert) and technology companies have embraced sales acceleration to build inside sales teams very quickly and scale successfully. Now we are seeing businesses from a wide range of industries, including services, manufacturing, and financial services beginning to adopt sales acceleration technology as well.”

The average conversion rate today is in the 3 to 5 percent range, said Sam Aparicio (News - Alert), CEO of Ringio, a provider of hosted PBX and call center solutions.

“Those conversion rates are truly atrocious,” he added.

When people are reaching out to a business, he continued, they have more data in their hands, so sales reps have less control. At the same time, he said, most people don’t like phone calls. As a result, sales reps and managers need to better predict what they need to spur conversions, and they need the tools so they can respond to inquiries that come in via social networks as easily as they can respond to phone calls.

“We are very focused on helping sales forces amplify the conversion rates they have,” Aparicio said, adding that early in the first quarter of 2015 Ringio (News - Alert) will unveil a new “sales conversion amplification” solution.

The upcoming news, Aparicio explained, will leverage Ringio’s power dialer and also bring some major socialized components to the mix. The idea with this product, and the Ringio product development roadmap in general, he said, is to enable companies to truly start using the data they already have about prospects in innovative ways to engage them in various social media channels.

The October news that the company has rolled out the Ringio Power Dialer for Zoho (News - Alert) CRM is one proof point of that strategy, he said. The solution brings to small and medium businesses an affordable solution ­– as low as $35 per seat; or $55 per seat with power dialing – that enables calls to be initiated and recorded quickly from the CRM so reps can be more productive and sales managers can quickly review calling information so they know who’s doing the best job, and who needs coaching, for example.

Sales and customer support people live on the phone and on the CRM system, generally speaking, noted Ian Wenig, vice president business development at Zoho, so if you can bring together these two key systems in a simple and affordable way, it’s a winning combination.

In another partnership along these lines, OptifiNow recently integrated its sales optimization platform with Cisco’s business phone system. As a result, OptifiNow President John McGee told CUSTOMER, sales reps can reach out to consumers within seconds of their submitting a website request for more information on a particular product or service.

That’s important, he said, given studies show that the first company to contact a consumer about a stated need has an almost 70 percent higher chance of the closing that deal than do those that reach out to the consumer at a later time.

Many users of the OptifiNow sales optimization platform, which includes both CRM and lead management functionality, are already users of Cisco phone systems, McGee said, so it made perfect sense to do this integration. He added OptifiNow already has integration with phone solutions from a variety of companies, also including 8x8 (News - Alert), Asterisk, Avaya, Five9, Vocalocity, and Vonage.

As a result, he explained, as the OptifiNow platform routes leads and related information to sales reps or teams, the phone system can begin dialing the customer. 

“That’s happening in less than a few seconds,” McGee explained.

As discussed in the May cover story of CUSTOMER magazine, OptifiNow brings together CRM, content management/marketing, and sales. Its offerings are delivered as a modular solution set. OptifiNow software gives sales and marketing team members the ability to view company sales processes, see what marketing content should be sent to a customer at what points in that customer’s lifecycle, get that content, and send it in any format to the customer.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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