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David Carr
September 24, 2015
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How Cresa Saves Time, Boosts Sales with Salesforce.com and RingCentral

When Cresa CIO, Dave Nuss, joined the real estate services firm four years ago, he found 11 different Customer Relationship Management systems in use, as well as a hodgepodge of Voice over IP and traditional PBX phone systems.

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Cresa CIO, Dave Nuss, and RingCentral’s VP of PRoduct Management, Jose Pastor, discuss the value of telephony integration with Salesforce.com at Dreamforce 2015.

As he explained at Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce.com mega-conference, when he began consolidating these systems the reasons he picked RingCentral were very similar to the reasons he picked Salesforce.

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“Everything we do is cloud first, mobile first,” Nuss said. Cresa is a commercial real estate services company, focused helping tenants locate the right property negotiate the best deal for it, and manage the property. The firm has over 50 offices in North America.

Nuss tackled CRM consolidation first, migrating everything from competing CRMs and Lotus Notes or ACT databases to Salesforce. “When it came time to look for a communications product, one of the top considerations was, how does this integrate with Salesforce?”

RingCentral had the right answer: a RingCentral for Salesforce integration that can recognize incoming calls from a known customer or prospect and automatically open a “screen pop” – a display of the corresponding Salesforce.com record to give the salesperson insight about the person they are talking with.

“All the activity, all the account history is sitting right there, so you can see what deals you are doing with them, what activities you have had, and you can work that information into the conversation to make a more personal experience,” he said.

Similarly, for outbound calls, a salesperson can take advantage of click-to-call instant dialing of a number, rather than having to read it off the screen and dial manually. With the latest update to the integration, salespeople can also use their RingCentral to send SMS text messages to a Salesforce contact.

For example, a salesperson can run a report on customers who haven’t been contacted in six months or more and quickly run down that list, making one call after another. “These guys can bang out a lot of calls that way,” he said. Overall, Cresa has seen a 30% increase in sales call volume and a corresponding increase in sales.

Because the calls are automatically logged, sales activity is also documented much better than ever before, Nuss said.

Nuss said one of his primary goals was to eliminate the time salespeople were wasting on fragmented and inefficient systems. For example, in many cases representatives would have to call in to get their voicemail rather than having messages delivered to them, as they now do with RingCentral.

Employees were sharing conference call bridge numbers and too often one group of people would dial in before the last group was finished with the line. That was particularly embarrassing when it happened during a call with clients. With RingCentral, everyone gets their own conference call number, “so no more conference call embarrassment,” Nuss said.

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One of his favorite features is that you can see caller ID for incoming calls and, if you can’t pick up, select “reply with message” to let the caller know you’ll call them back as soon as you are finished with your meeting, or your other call, or whatever has you tied up for the moment.

“The client gets back an immediate response, so they know why you didn’t pick up the call – and just think of the three or four minutes of productivity you get, every time that happens,” he said. Instead of making them leave a message, which you then have to check and return, you can shortcut that whole process.

Employees were also using a confusing variety of web meeting and screen sharing tools, all of which they have now been able to replace with RingCentral Meetings, Nuss said.

He is also intrigued by Glip, the team messaging and collaboration cloud service RingCentral recently acquired, and hopes to integrate it with Cresa’s client portal. “The ability to share documents, markup documents, and track milestones” with Glip’s integrated task management could be a good match for projects Cresa collaborates on with its clients, he said.

While converting all the Cresa offices to RingCentral phone service has been a big project, Nuss said he has been happy with the help he has gotten when things didn’t go perfectly. When the San Diego office ran afoul of some firewall configuration issues, RingCentral “assigned a nice little swat team to us” and got those problems solved. RingCentral has also proven humble enough “to know when its product is close but not perfect – and work to make it better.”