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Adding a phone number field to Salesforce.com Opportunities

We recently had an InGenius Connector Enterprise customer who wanted to have clickable phone numbers associated with each opportunity.  By default, opportunities don’t have any phone number fields.

The customer’s workflow was that they wanted their workers to go through the opportunities, and call each one every few days, until the sales was closed.

The Solution:

We advised the customer to add a field to the opportunity of type “Phone.”  We called this field “Account Phone.” Since this field is of type “Phone,” it will automatically be converted to a “click-to-dial” field by InGenius Connector Enterprise.

We then added a trigger to the Account that detects any changes, and then loops through all the opportunities associated with this account, and updates the “Account Phone” field in all the opportunities.

This way, the opportunities all have a clickable phone number field that stays in sync with the phone number field in the Account.

The Trigger Apex Code:

trigger UpdateOpportunityPhoneField on Account (after insert, after update) {
  // Loop through all account updates in this trigger (there will generally be one)
  for(Account acct: Trigger.new) {
    List<Opportunity> oppList = [SELECT id, Account_Phone__c FROM Opportunity WHERE Accountid = :acct.id AND Account_Phone__c != :acct.Phone]; // Find all the opportunities for this account.
    for(integer i = 0 ; i < oppList.size(); i++){
      oppList[i].Account_Phone__c = acct.Phone; // Update all opportunities with the new phone number.
    }
    update oppList;
  }
}

Things to be aware of:

  • The solution uses some Apex code to accomplish its magic. You’ll need an appropriate Salesforce.com subscription to use this solution.
  • The code loops through all the Opportunities each time an Account is changed. This could use up your Apex allowance.
  • If the user edits the Account Phone field in the Opportunity, this is not copied back up to the Account. You could add a second trigger for this, if needed. If the user edits the Account Phone field, the changes will be wiped out the next time the Account is edited. Another alternative is to make the Account Phone field read-only in the Opportunity Layout.
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InGenius Connector How-to: setup Windows telephony location and dialing rules

InGenius Connector can create and manage it’s own dialing rules, but it also relies on the Windows Telephony Location rules to tell it how to dial.  You can set these rules up in “Phones and Modems” on your Windows Control Panel, or directly from a link in InGenius Connector’s configuration window.

If you do not see the checkbox beside “Use Windows Telephony Location” where the arrow points in the image above, that means you are not an administrator on your computer and this option is already automatically checked off for you.  Click on the “Edit” button encircled (ensquared?) in red above.

Clicking the “Edit” button will take you to the “Phone and Modem” dialogue box on the left.  If you do not see an area code and location that matches your current location, click “New” to set it up.  If it’s there, or once you’ve created your location, click “Edit.”  This will bring you to the window on the right of the image above.  Double check your settings, and make sure that all of the right numbers are in the yellow highlighted box.  For example, I have “9”s there to access a line outside of my office network.  You probably also want to make sure that “Tone” dialing is selected.  Finally, click the “Area Code Rules” tab at the top of this window.

Clicking on the “Area Code Rules” tab at the top the of the “Edit Location” screen on the left of the image above will let you define rules for a specific area code.  For example, if you want to make sure that your local area code is always dialed, you would select/create the area code from the window on the left, and then click “Edit.”  This will open the Edit Area Code Rule window on the right of the image above.  Make sure these settings are to your liking, and then click “OK” on all of the windows you’ve opened.

As a final test, you can open up the InGenius Connector settings window and navigate to the “Dialing Rules – Advanced” screen, as shown above.  Type in the number you want to dial in the highlighted field above, and make sure the number that appears in the “Dialed number:” box is what you want to see.

If you are located outside North America and need to use our country-specific dialing rules, this screen is also where you have the option to select different dialing rules, or to import new dialing rules.

Finally, if your dialing rules queries are still unanswered, or if you want to know even more, you can read about Advanced Dialing Rules on our Knowledge Base: http://bugs.ingenius.com/default.asp?W19.    Warning:  Advanced dialing rules look scary.

Receive desktop notifications for voicemail with InGenius Connector Softphone

To make sure that you always see your softphone voicemail notifications, navigate to the Advanced settings in your softphone profile:

Click on the General Settings tab in the Advanced Softphone Configuration Window:

Once you fill in the required information, you’ll be able to access your voicemails from the desktop!  Sometimes Windows hides these notifications in the systray.  To make sure that you always see your InGenius Connector notifications, you can do the following:

Click on the little upward facing arrow in the Windows system tray and select Customize…

From here you can select which icons you want to always see in the systray.  If you ‘show icon and notifications’ for InGenius Connector, you will always see whether or not you have voicemails waiting for you:

Let us know if this was helpful, or if you have other questions!

Creating workflow rules in Salesforce

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

A client recently asked about how to automate task creation based on the result of a call in the call center. This is what we recommended.  In order to make these changes and set up a workflow task, you’ll have to be a Salesforce Administrator on your company’s Salesforce.com account.

First, navigate to the Setup under your name in the top right hand corner of Salesforce, and then to Create -> Workflows and Approvals -> Workflow Rules under App Setup on the left. If a splash page appears, just scroll down and click continue. You should wind up here:

Now you’ll create a new rule – this rule is the task creation trigger.

Not all of the objects will give you the option to select “Call Result,” so choose accordingly! Click next to move on to the next page:

In the example above, the call result “Need to follow up” will follow a rule called “Reconnect,” that we’ve just created. Hit Save and Next to move on to the task creation.

In the page above, you will define what action is going to be taken. In this case, I’ve chosen to create a new task. This will take me to the next screen, which lets me define the task.

Here I can select who the task will be assigned the task, when the task becomes due, and other task descriptions.

You can also indicate whether the workflow rule is triggered immediately, or if there are time dependent workflow rules. You can add different actions to the same workflow rule too – this can really ensure that nothing gets missed!

The last step is to head back to the Workflow Rules page and Activate your rule:

So that’s how you make workflow rules and automatic tasks based on the Call Center call result in Salesforce.com.  We’re still experimenting with the best setup here to keep our developers, support, sales and marketing teams connected. If there are specific tasks or workflow rules that work well for your company, let us know.

InGenius Connector and TAPI

TAPI (Telephony Application Programming Interface) is an API provided by Windows computers for the control of telephones connected to your PC. There’s a great overview of TAPI at Wikipedia if you want to learn more.

InGenius Connector, and its cousin Mitel’s Unified Communicator Express can use TAPI in two ways.

  1. InGenius Connector can appear as a TAPI telephony provider to CRM systems,
  2. InGenius Connector can make use of TAPI to control your desktop phone (Connector as a TAPI consumer).

InGenius Connector as a TAPI provider for connecting to CRM systems

 

This is also called the TAPI Plug-in, and is an optional component of InGenius Connector and Unified Communicator Express. This feature is enabled for an existing installation of our product by simply entering a license key. When you’ve done this, InGenius Connector will now appear in the list of TAPI devices that are available on your computer, when you use a TAPI enabled CRM.

This mode is commonly used with CRMs such as Act, Maximizer, and Outlook and many custom CRM systems. From within your CRM, select the InGenius Connector from the list of TAPI devices on your computer, and your CRM will now be able to place calls using the telephone connected to InGenius Connector. You’ll also be able to see the caller ID for incoming calls, and the CRM will be able to pop the appropriate CRM contact automatically. Note that the functionality provided varies between CRM’s. Some CRM’s may not provide the screen-pop functionality, for instance.

On the telephone side of things, the TAPI Plugin is commonly used with Mitel phone systems (using Unified Communicator Express or Unified Communicator Advanced, with the appropriate InGenius plugin), as well as users of Polycom phones, Aastra Phones, Asterisk PBX’s, and Broadsoft PBX’s – systems which are generally quite difficult to control via TAPI.

Using InGenius Connector with a TAPI-enabled phone system

The other way to use TAPI with InGenius Connector is to set up a phone profile within InGenius using the TAPI phone profile (which will be available within InGenius Connector in the first Quarter of 2012). In this case, the customer has a phone system that provides a TAPI interface, and want to use the features of InGenius Connector to control their phone system, or they want to use an InGenius Connector CRM integration with their phone system.

Users will have to install InGenius Connector, as well as the TAPI service provider which is provided by the telephone system manufacturer. In the case of Cisco, this is available for free, and can be downloaded by the Cisco Call Manager administrator.

We are currently developing TAPI support for Cisco phone systems, and will be certifying other phone systems soon.

Our customers generally use this option to connect their TAPI-enabled phone system to Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Sugar CRM.

Starting with the basics: terms for newbies

Integrated CRM and telephony programs can be intimidating for the uninitiated.  Programs are often full of acronyms and may feel overly technical.  The customizable options are exciting for seasoned professionals, but potentially overwhelming to first time users.  So what does someone fresh to the field really need to know about CRMs and telephony to get started and to make the programs work well for their business?

The Basics

CRMs: Customer Relationship Management programs
These help document, monitor, and track a company’s interactions, primarily with its customers.  The most popular CRMs right now seem to be the web-based programs.  There are lots of great CRM programs out there, and we’ll get to those in a later post.

Telephony
A word for a phone system or a bunch of phones networked together.  If your office has a phone system with extensions, or if you need to do something like “press 9 for an outside line” then you something about telephony.

A few important terms and features:

VoIP:  Voice over Internet Protocol
This means speaking through the internet rather than through phone lines.  The most well known VoIP provider is probably Skype, which allows users to download it’s software for free, make calls between web-based Skype users for free, and make calls from web-based Skype users to landlines for reduced prices.

SIP: Session Initiation Protocol
This is a standard internet language for calling via voice and video.  I don’t really think it is important for the lay person to understand.  It might be important to know whether you are connected to a SIP based service provider.

IP: Internet Protocal
Internet language – or – how information is sent and received over the internet.  You may need to know something called your IP Address, which is a string of numbers separated by dots.  This is the location of your machine on the internet, just like your home address is the location of your house in the world.

T1
This is a kind of phone line.

Call waiting
The ability of the phone to signal that another call is trying to access your line while you are on a call.

Conference call
A call involving more than two parties.

Screen Pops
This is like caller ID for computers, except that instead of just the number showing up on your phone’s screen, the contact information about how to make your own websiteInGenius Connector Plugins can help your CRM “pop” screen identify additional information such as your history of calls with that phone number and notes made about that phone number, in addition to the number itself

Toast Pops
Ha!  No really, this is a thing.  Actually, it’s the same thing as above, except maybe the ‘pop’ isn’t the whole screen but rather a smaller window that appears from another application.  Like toast.  Coming out of a toaster.  Get it?

CLID or CID:  Caller ID
Why don’t we just call this  ‘Caller ID,’ which everyone understands?  I don’t know. Caller ID means that you can see who is ringing your phone before picking up.

Call Logs
These are records of inbound and outbound calls, or, all of the calls made from your phone.  InGenius Connector Plugins will help your CRM log calls and attach records or notes to those calls.  This is helpful for remembering each step of the sale or interaction and making sure that tasks do not fall through the cracks.

Cloud Based
When a program is based in the ‘cloud’ it means that there is nothing stored on your hard drive or local server.  People appreciate that they do not need to download or install anything onto their computers, and that their data can be accessed from anywhere.  Salesforce is known for being a cloud based CRM.

–  —  –

Things are evolving fast and different stuff is appearing all the time.  Are there any other terms that you think are important for beginners? Are there other important features that you use currently, or would like to see in the future?

Happy 2012!

Wow!

It’s been a few months since we’ve updated the InGenius blog. That’s because we’ve been busy developing and perfecting some really great, easy to use telephony-CRM integrations.

What are telephony-CRM integrations you say? So glad you asked!  It’s a way to make hard and soft phones connect to  contact managers, (like Microsoft Outlook), and CRMs, (like Sugar and Salesforce).  Your contact managers and CRMs are programs and software pieces you already know and use everyday.  We just want to make it easier to put all these pieces together, saving you time and keeping you from losing track of important calls.

Our InGenius integrations are really smart applications.  Over the next few posts, I’m going to show you the smartest ways to use these smart applications.  If there is anything in particular you’d like to see, let me know.

What a great way to start 2012!