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One Pager - 4 Min Read

Build a better customer experience with Salesforce and Front

CRMs aren’t just for forecasts and pipeline reports.

In the day-to-day hustle of updating opportunity status and logging conversations, we tend to lose sight of why we adopted CRMs (customer relationship management software) in the first place — to better understand our customers and their needs. For Sales teams, the effort required to keep a CRM in order seems to take away from their core job, instead of adding value to it.

High quality CRM data is a key building block in the foundation of a great customer experience. Complete conversation history, context on business challenges, clear action items for strengthening the relationship. We’re caught between knowing the value of this data and the reality of those time-consuming updates.

That’s why Front integrates with Salesforce (and other popular CRMs) to connect your customer records with where you actually get work done — your inbox. With the right tools, keeping your customer data in sync with your team is easy. Here’s how Front and Salesforce work together to give you better data, more efficient teams, and happier customers.

Break down the silos around Salesforce

“Out of sight, out of mind” is true — especially when it comes to Salesforce.

Giving your team visibility into your CRM is a big first step toward making it an essential part of their workflow. When your team isn’t engaging with Salesforce throughout the day, it’s easy to forget about the value of the data that lives in it.

Next to every conversation, Front shows you the related Salesforce leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities, and cases. When you open a message, you know exactly who the customer is, what plan they’re on, and how they’ve interacted with your team in the past. It’s easy to customize which fields are shown in Front (including Salesforce custom fields) for a quick view of exactly what you need to craft a compelling message, instead of spending time switching between tools searching for context.

Reduce the time spent on updates

We’ve all been there. 30 minutes before your weekly team meeting, and what haven’t you done?

Your status report. Your project summary. [Insert other ways your team tracks progress here.]

For Sales teams, that means switching back and forth between your inbox, meeting notes, and Salesforce cobbling together updates. Manually adding Salesforce tasks, logging emails, and editing open opportunities to match your most recent conversations. When making after-the-fact updates, valuable details are often lost in the hurry of sifting through a crowded inbox for highlights and reminders.

Beyond visibility into Salesforce, Front gives Account Executives and Sales Development Reps the ability to update records and tasks directly from the related conversation in Front. Converting a lead or changing an opportunity status is as simple as a few clicks. Making updates in real time suddenly becomes more efficient than waiting until the next pipeline meeting to make them all at once.

With real time updates in Salesforce, everyone wins — your sales team spends less time on administrative tasks, managers’ reports and forecasts are always current, and more details from the sales process are captured for other teams’ benefit down the line.

Transition customers smoothly between teams

Over time, Salesforce becomes a historical record of your entire relationship with a customer: from initial outreach, through their sales process, to ongoing discussions or issues. In an ideal world, it’s a treasure trove of context for everyone who engages with that customer once a deal is closed — Customer Support, Account Management, Marketing, or Product Management.

But we know that the ideal can be hard to achieve. Every field, note, and task in Salesforce is a minute that could be spent on something else. There’s a heavy burden on Sales to capture every customer interaction in Salesforce, when they aren’t always the ones who’ll rely on that data down the line.

The easier it is to make small updates along the way, the more likely there is to be a rich record of the customer lifecycle for other teams to refer to later. Integrating Salesforce with your team’s daily workflow brings powerful downstream effects on your customer experience.

When an Account Manager starts working with a new customer, they have the information they need to tailor onboarding to address that customer’s specific needs. Product Managers can put feature requests into the right context: where the customer is in their lifecycle, what plan they’re on, or what their pain points were that led them to purchase.

Customer Support can spot higher level trends based on the issues different groups of customers are experiencing. All because they have the customer records that enable them to do their best work for your customers.

Your CRM is more than a sales tool

Understanding your customers is key to empathetic and effective communication. Access to great customer data powers a better experience for your customer, regardless of who they’re engaging with. And it starts with your sales team having the tools they need to make saving that data easy.

With your team engaging with Salesforce next to every conversation in Front, you can build a positive feedback loop around adding and updating data in real time. The more you use it, the more you notice when it’s missing or incorrect, and the more likely you are to make those changes so the right data is there for you — and your teammates — in the future.

Keep learning

One Pager - 6 Min ReadUsing Front like a pro: 5 tips for taking your inbox to the next level
You’re assigning and snoozing messages like there’s no tomorrow, leaving comments left and right, maybe even tagging messages to stay organized…sounds like you’re on your way to being a Front pro! Now that you’ve had some time to get your bearings, take your productivity to the next level with these more advanced tips for using Front. We recommend you check these out after you’ve had a chance to work in Front for a few weeks — or if you’re feeling super comfortable with it. If you’ve just started using Front, check out these seven tips for getting started for an overview of the basics before reading on. 1. Automate your work with rules In Front, you can make “rules” to boost your productivity. Rules let you automate workflows you often repeat by using “if, then” statements — guidelines that tell your inbox what to do with certain messages. For instance, “if an inbound message contains "urgent support", then add the tag "Urgent". Individual Rules vs. Team Rules Everyone can make rules for their individual inbox. Depending on the level of permission you have in Front, you might also be able to create Team Rules, as well. Individual rules only work for messages to your individual work email, while team rules can apply to your shared inboxes. Make your own rules Here’s a popular rule you can try setting up for your individual inbox: For any message you receive that’s unreplied for a certain time period, say 2 days, then tag that message as Needs Reply❗️ so you can easily see what you need to prioritize. Want to see some other interesting rules teams have set up in Front? Check out our Rules Directory for a few of our favorites, and read more tips on building rules. 2. Get all the context you need When you’re responding to customers, you usually need to open other apps to get the information you need to reply. Good news! Whether you need to view a project timeline in Asana or grab some customer data from Salesforce, you can access all that information without ever leaving Front. Integrations & Plugins Click the circular button in the top right corner of Front to access your integrations and plugins, right next to your messages. Most often, your Team Admin will choose which integrations to set up for your whole team. Check out the whole list of Front integrations, and if you see one that might be useful for your team, ask your Team Admin about getting it set up. Contact Details Along with integrations and plugins, you’ll also see a section called “Contact Details”. Here you can access every conversation you’ve had with a contact — emails, tweets, live chats, or any other communication channel you have set up in Front. You can also leave notes in your Contact Details, so you don’t forget important information about certain customers. 3. Take control of your work schedule Front has a few different features that allow you to break free from constant email notifications, so you can get time for deep focus, or a little relaxation. You can set up vacation responders like you would with traditional email, but you can also change your status in Front, and specify “Do not Disturb” times for peace and quiet from notifications. Create a vacation responder Under “Settings”, “My responses”, and “Vacation responders”, you can create and save as many vacation responders as you need. Front allows you to get more granular with your responder than you can with Gmail or Outlook: Choose specific channels you want to send to, set a schedule, and attach files. Keep in mind, your vacation responder only works for messages that come to your individual inbox. If you’re looking to create an auto-reply for team inboxes, you can do that using rules. Set your status in Front Find your status in Front by clicking your icon and “Available.” From there, you can choose from three options: Out of Office: When you’re OOO, any shared inbox messages that are assigned to you will be automatically unassigned, so the rest of your team knows to work on them instead. Mute: This will prevent you from receiving any of the notifications you usually get from Front. Mute can be useful for times when you really need to buckle down and focus on your work. Do Not Disturb: Specify a daily time when you won’t receive notifications. When this is switched on, it applies every day. Do Not Disturb is great for building some quiet time into your schedule, whether it’s to get work done notification-free, or just to relax and recharge outside work hours. 4. Work through your messages faster You’re likely already collaborating with your team using comments and @mentions in Front — and maybe you’re snoozing messages and setting reminders too! Here are a few more ways you can breeze through your inbox and never miss a conversation: Share drafts: Work on a reply with a teammate by typing a reply in your composer, then clicking the “Share draft” icon next to the “Send” button. This will allow your team to see a message you’ve typed up, and if they have something to add, they can edit in real time and send. Send options: Click the drop down arrow next to your “Send” button to choose from three different ways to send a message: “Send”, “Send + Archive”, and “Send Later”. To help you work through your messages faster, set a default send preference for all your messages under “Settings” and “My preferences”. Send: When you send a reply, the thread will stay in your “Open” folder, until you archive it. Send + Archive: When your send a reply, the thread will automatically move to your “All” folder, so you know it’s been worked on, and you don’t need to reply. Send later: You can specify an exact date and time you want the message to send. Once you specify a time to send, the message will remain as a draft until that time (so you can go back and edit it if you need.) Search: Front has an Advanced Search bar to help you find messages faster. You can easily access messages using the Quick Filters: Unread, Attachments, or Snoozed. Click the gray arrow at the bottom to view all the properties you can search by, like typing "from:" to search by sender. 5. Keyboard shortcuts Front has keyboard shortcuts so you can work through your inbox faster. To make it easy for you to remember, we always stick to Gmail conventions where possible. Find them directly in Front, all the way at the bottom of your integrations and plugins. Below are a few commonly used shortcuts to get you started moving around Front mouse-free. Basic Front keyboard shortcuts J / Up Arrow - Move to a previous conversation K / Down Arrow - Move to the next conversation / - Navigate to the search bar G + A - Go to all unassigned conversations Shift + X - Force the conversation list to refresh R - Reply to the most recent message Command + Enter - Send & Archive W - Assign conversation to a team member E- Archive the conversation L - Tag a conversation + Delete - Trash the conversation S - Set a snooze/reminder on a conversation Shift + I - See information about current conversation M - Navigate to the comment bar @ - Pulls a list of available team members to mention You can also access the full list of keyboard shortcuts on our Community Page.
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