Capturing the Value of Voice, E-Mail Information

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  November 01, 2011

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 2011 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions

Organizations are losing loads of important and actionable data that is communicated during conference calls and other interactions that never make it into databases, or is stored but is not easily accessible. However, there is a movement afoot to capture such information and put it to good use.

HarQen (News - Alert) is among the companies that recently have unveiled solutions to harness the power of such data. CEO Kelly Fitzsimmons tells CIS magazine HarQen solutions enable businesses to capture and organize voice and related content so they can be interacted with easily over time. That’s important, she says, because voice communications not only convey information, they are unique from other communications like text and e-mail in that they can provide insight into meaning.

The HarQen Symposia solution, which is offered on a software-as-a-service basis, inserts passive and active tags at key points in the audio conversations. Users can tag (News - Alert) certain parts of the audio as action items, inspiration, concern, etc. That way, conversations are organized so all important content is easily findable; the content lives in the CRM as a link, says Fitzsimmons, who adds HarQen is integrating Symposia with Salesforce and other major CRM solutions.

The service, which became generally available Sept. 26 and is initially free, will be sold both as a stand-alone capability and as part of other solutions, such as partner companies’ conferencing services.

A one-year-old company called Yesware, meanwhile, late last month expected to make generally available a Gmail extension that enables salespeople to easily tag e-mails and save them to CRM systems.

CEO Matthew Bellows tells CIS magazine the Yesware SaaS (News - Alert)-based template addresses the big disconnect between salespeople working in e-mail and entering customer and prospect information into CRM systems. Salespeople want to spend their time selling, not entering data into a CRM system, he says. Yesware lets them do business as usual, using e-mail to follow up with customers, while creating a channel from those e-mails into CRM. Managers, meanwhile, can leverage the Yesware solution to add members to their teams, review reports on their teams (to see, for example, how much a particular rep spend on prospecting), and can create templates for the team.

Ultimately, the goal of the Yesware solution, says Bellows, is to help “salespeople close more deals by making e-mail work better, and making CRM work better for your management.”

“For small and medium businesses,” he adds, “the hour a day salespeople spend typing [data] into CRM is a huge waste of time.”

Edited by Stefania Viscusi