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As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, the two respective CRM and email giants make a dynamic partnership – when configured correctly.
But what about Outlook Calendar and Salesforce?
Yup, they count as a separate pairing. And as you’d expect there are numerous ways of getting the most of the two tools.
Let’s consider the benefits this couple has to offer and take a look at the different ways they can complement each other.
One of the great things about using Salesforce and Outlook is the way in which pretty much every piece of sales information can be captured, linked, automated, and tracked – from a single point of reference: your favorite Microsoft email program.
Not only does using the two in tandem allow sales teams to get a complete overview of their prospects and related information, but with the right integration tools they never even have to leave Outlook – or Outlook Calendar, for that matter.
But, given that the popular Salesforce For Outlook integration tool is being retired at the end of 2020, both sales teams and Salesforce CRM admins are looking at new solutions.
While some of the more obvious candidates – such as Outlook Integration, Salesforce Inbox, and Einstein Activity Capture – all have their merits, most fall down given their incompatibility with other key software platforms: including Office 2010, Exchange 2010, and Internet Explorer 11.
Similarly, given their individual features, often two or more tools need to be used to get the required functionality – making the whole process of getting up and running more complicated and time consuming.
And that’s even before you’ve considered whether or not the tools themselves sync with Outlook Calendar.
When it comes to sales efforts and calendar functionality, what exactly is it that teams and Salesforce admins need to be able to do? With Salesforce For Outlook they had numerous options available.
In these ways and others a whole lot of time and effort was saved – and a lot less work was duplicated.
However, one of the biggest criticisms of Salesforce for Outlook’s calendar integration was the fact it tended to overcompensate in terms of the wealth of information that was visible.
While the aim was to give everyone who needed oversight of contact, prospect, and team activity at a glance; the depth of insight ultimately presented its own challenges.
However, a new generation of calendar sync tools are coming through: offering improved benefits, greater time savings, and reduced admin burden.
While there are numerous platforms and tools offering Salesforce and Outlook Calendar integrations, only a few that are really worth exploring.
These include (but are not limited to):
But what do they each have to offer?
Yesware’s Calendar tool might sound good on paper (or screen for that matter), but closer inspection reveals otherwise.
In addition to what seems to be a cumbersome user experience, the following disclaimer (from their website) does little to inspire confidence:
“If the user does not manually select the Contact or Lead, Yesware will sync the meeting request with the account in Salesforce associated with the first email address listed in the “To:” field of the calendar invite.”
Everything seems to come together nicely in ContactMonkey’s Salesforce/Outlook Calendar tool – such a simple automated syncing tool, a simple user interface, and adding 1-click calendar invites to custom objects.
However, while it’s good for salespeople who want to simplify the way they do things, the functionality appears to be solely limited to their experience. What about customers and prospects? How does it make their lives easier? It isn’t clear.
Ebsta’s Calendar Sync tool does everything its name promises. And that’s about it. Sure, it adds and syncs created events into both Salesforce and Outlook Calendar; but the process of bringing everything together isn’t exactly the most straightforward or intuitive way.
Oh, it does have a meeting scheduler tool – allowing users to send links to customers and letting them see your availability – but it’s more of a separate standalone tool: one that doesn’t seem to be related to Salesforce data integration.
The great thing about Cirrus Insight is that everything is integrated from a single point of sanity – the Sidebar.
Once it’s synced and set up, users have access to everything they need to make the most of Salesforce. No logging in and out of different apps to get the required functionality.
Not only does Cirrus Insight automatically record and sync sales emails, calls, meetings, contacts, notes, and custom objects directly into Salesforce (from both Gmail and Outlook), thanks to the Cirrus Insight Sidebar users can also access a whole host of Calendar-based features too.
Using Cirrus Insight's scheduling tab, users can manage, view, and share their own and individual team members’ availability.
In addition to a clear, concise, and comprehensive overview of their own calendars – they can also search any colleague’s calendar and see when they’re free.
This is ideal for when they need to arrange meetings or call with prospects in their colleague’s absence.
As an added bonus they can send links and invites to prospects too – on their own or even on their colleague’s behalf.
In this way, both salespeople and customers can precisely arrange the best time to meet – be it in person or virtually – completely eradicating the common issue of ‘calendar ping pong’ and instantly reducing the complexity normally experienced.
No more navigating time zones, overlaps, or double bookings – just a clear picture of real-time availability.
Users can also clearly see each meeting type and then simply copy and paste each individual meeting’s unique URL into an email – making it simpler than ever to schedule a meeting.
Cirrus Insight's scheduling tool also makes it quick and easy for prospects and customers to reschedule meetings as needed, by showing them when the sales team’s availability – as everything’s synced with the company’s Salesforce portal.
Cirrus Insight's also great for managing meetings across multiple locations – helping sales team coordinate their schedules with their availability when they’re working in different offices, or when they’re traveling for work.
Customers can easily search the user’s calendar and see specifically when they’ll be in the same location, city, or time zone as them. The user can configure their calendar so that’s all they see – nothing else.
However, a favorite user feature is the ability for customers to arrange meetings directly from an email.
Instead of linking to the company website or even to their own calendar tool, with Cirrus Insight salespeople can embed a user-friendly ‘Book A Meeting’ button into each marketing email.
By clicking this, each email recipient is taken to a personalized booking page, which shows each salesperson’s individual profile information, bio, photo, and, of course their availability.
Simplicity is powerful when it comes to complex sales. Anything you can do to provide that for your prospects will put your company and offer in a favorable light.
That’s exactly what Cirrus Insight offers. If you’re looking for a Salesforce and Outlook Calendar integration that offers all the functionality sales teams need and useful, user-friendly tools that prospects will love, then get started with Cirrus Insight for free today..