The InsideSales.com Inbound Agent is a small piece of stand-alone software that monitors inbound call traffic. It tracks agent availability, the order of the call queue, and synchronizes with the outbound PowerDialer for doing call blending. This guide will help you get up to speed on how to set up and use our InboundAgent utility and increase your productivity on the phone.
The InsideSales.com InboundAgent installation uses the Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) environment to install the application on your system. This application links to your InsideSales.com system, and to the dialer system tools.
When you receive a call, the application will search through your system’s database for a matching Caller ID record. If Inbound Agent finds a match, it will pop the record on your screen, and log the call for reporting. Calls can be recorded, monitored, and transferred.
To ensure the best possible performance and compatibility, please review the technical requirements below and be sure your system meets them.
To run the InboundAgent app you'll need:
For a download link to the InboundAgent app, talk to your Insidesales.com representative.
Once you have your download url, use it to download the latest version of the InsideSales.com InboundAgent Installer and save it to your computer’s hard drive. For Windows users, the default directory where most Web browsers save downloaded files is C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Downloads if running Windows XP, or C:\Users\Username\Downloads if running Windows Vista/7. If you saved the installer to another location, find it there.
If you do not already have Adobe AIR installed, you will
first need to go to Adobe’s Web site at:
Download Adobe AIR
Download the Adobe AIR platform installer, and run the program.
After installing the AIR platform, go back to the InboundAgent application installation file and run it.
When installing the InboundAgent application, you may receive a warning from your operating system that the publisher of the application is “Unknown,” and that installing the application may present a security risk.
Click Install or Run to override the security warning and complete the installation.
After installation, the application will start automatically if you selected for it to do so during installation. If you did not, click the InboundAgent application icon on your desktop or in your start menu to start running it.
Fill in the fields on the Login window (above) and click Login. The fields are:
Username: This is the same username you would use to log in to your InsideSales.com site.
Password: Again, this is the same password you'd use to sign in to the normal InsideSales system.
Subdomain: This is only the first part of your InsideSales.com domain name. For example, if you go to salespeople5942.insidesales.com to use our system, you would enter only salespeople5942 in this field.
Agent Phone Number: This is the station phone number that you wish to have your calls come to.
After logging in, the InboundAgent tool asks you to choose which, if any, inbound ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) routes, or ACDs, you will be working. Click the check mark for any routes to which you are assigned.
Use the radio buttons under the Queue heading to select a specific ACD. On a later page, the InboundAgent will display your place in the queue for that ACD. (Be aware that it will show your place only in that ACD and not any others you have logged in to.)
After selecting your routes, you’ll arrive at the main information menu, showing you your current call status, how long you’ve been listed in that status, your last inbound call, and your report metrics for that day.
If it’s the first time you’ve logged in for the day, you’ll also immediately get a warning window stating that you are not available to take inbound calls.
You’ll see this warning window any time you are listed as unavailable to receive inbound calls, as a reminder to change your call status to “Available.”
You can control the behavior of this warning by pressing the Snooze Warning button. The warning will always display when you are unavailable, but you can set how long it will wait before moving and playing any sound.
As soon as you’re ready to begin taking calls, set your status to “Available.”
The application will then switch views to update your current call metrics, and your place in the queue for the ACD you selected with the Queue buttons earlier. Be aware that the queue placement number is only for the ACD which you selected for tracking, not all of the ACDs you logged in to.
When a call comes in, the Inbound Agent application will notify you first. The caller ID of the incoming call will be shown. Additionally, if the caller already has a record in your contact database, the app will display the last name linked to that caller ID (if one is available) and the name of the company. By this time your phone should also start ringing at the number specified as your station ID.
Next, if the caller already has a record in the database, it will automatically open a window with the matched record. If there is no record match, the system will instead pop a blank record to input new contact data. Alternatively, if the company settings are configured to do so, you'll have the option to either create a new record or associate the incoming call with an existing record.
When you're finished, save the updated record. You’re then free to close the pop-up window, or leave it open and continue working in your database.
Keep window on top: Click the icon with two boxes next to each other. The top box will change to gray, showing that this setting is enabled.
Settings: Use this link to to change which ACDs you are currently assigned to, or your current station phone number where you’d like to receive calls.
Status Dropdown: If you change your status from available to unavailable, the system will ask you to select a reason for the status change. This status history information goes into the dialer report engine to allow users and management to track how time is being used. Note that if you take an inbound call, your status automatically changes to “Unavailable,” and logs the metrics for call time.
This will bring up this menu:
The following settings are available:
Right click the InboundAgent icon in the system tray and select Check for Update.
If you wish to be logged in for inbound and outbound calls at the same time (known as call blending), we recommend that you close the InboundAgent app and use only the PowerDialer.
That said, the InsideSales.com InboundAgent application can be used in conjunction with the outbound tools -- Click-To-Call, and dialier initiatives through the PowerDialer.
When you are listed as unavailable, whether initiated yourself or because you’ve taken an inbound call, the status will universally update across all portions of the dialer system.
If you are on an outbound call when an inbound call comes in, and the inbound call gets routed to you, the system will notify you that an incoming call has arrived, and give you the option to take the call, or ignore it. Each ACD has a timer assigned that determines how much time you have to either accept or reject the call, so if you do want to take the inbound call, you’ll need to answer it fairly quickly.
Please note that you can not be be set to recieve inbound calls from both the PowerDialer and the InboundAgent app at the same time. Again, if you wish to be logged in for inbound and outbound calls at the same time, it is recommended that you close the InboundAgent app and use only the PowerDialer.
Q. Exactly how long does a caller stay on hold on an ACD? What factors control this variable?
A. The answer to this question assumes that we’re not sending the caller through an IVR (interactive voice response) recording first.
The first variable is controlled within the ACD itself, which is the failover timeout.
Assuming a caller dials a toll-free number and there are no available agents to take the call, the failover timeout is how long the caller stays on hold until the InsideSales.com dialer system acts automatically to resolve the call. After the specified failover time, the ACD will automatically initiate the failover action, usually a transfer of the call on hold to another number. Most teams set this failover number to be an office hunt group, or a number that connects the caller to a voice message system.
However, if agents are marked as available, the situation changes. Calls are routed to the agent who has been set to "Available" the longest. If that agent is on an outbound call, it will give the agent the option to accept the inbound call, and drop their outbound call. This option expires after the period of time specified by the agent ring timeout variable.
If a user is available, but they don’t pick up their phone before the ring timeout variable (usually expressed in seconds), the caller will stay on hold while the ACD looks for the next agent based on the same criteria. If agents are marked as available, but for some reason don’t pick up the phone, the system will keep moving the call between agents on the ACD indefinitely, or until the failover timeout occurs.
Q. Why can’t I set my Inbound Agent application to automatically return me to available status when I finish taking a call?
A. Many clients have asked us why we don’t make this the default setting for the application. The answer is that there’s just too many variables/situations that don’t make sense for this option. What if you’ve just taken a call, and need to meet with a manager? Take a break? Pick up something off of the printer?
If your inbound status changes immediately back to available, and you’re not at your desk, you’re not only NOT taking those calls, you’re preventing calls from being sent to agents who are available, and actually ready to take them.
If you are currently in “Unavailable” status, the Inbound application will show a warning that visibly moves, and produce an audio cue (if you choose to) to remind you set your application status back to available.
Q. If I don’t pick up my phone in time when an inbound call comes in, what happens?
A. This depends somewhat on how the ACD system has been set up. Most of the time, managers will set a time limit for how long the system will ring your phone without you picking up before it will automatically move the call on to the next available agent.
However, if this option is not set up, it’s entirely possible that if you don’t pick up in time, your voice mail system will pick up instead. When this happens, the Inbound application still thinks you, the agent, actually picked up, and will patch the caller in.
This can be good, if you’re okay with the caller leaving a message, but can create problems with reporting, since it will show up as a connected call. The best habit to get into is to monitor your inbound status, and make sure that you’re only marked as available when appropriate.
Q. Where do I go back into the inbound call queue when I take an inbound call?
A. Anytime you take an inbound call, your status is set to "Unavailable." When you are finished with the call, it can be set back to "Available." This generally means that you are now at the end of the queue, but it also depends on how the admin has set inbound call routing priorities to work. For a more detailed explanation of possible settings, see the next question.<
Q. What actually controls my place in the inbound queue?
A. Calls are routed to the agent who has been set to "Available" the longest. If that agent is on an outbound call, it will give the agent the option to accept the inbound call, and drop their outbound call. This option expires after the period of time specified by the agent ring timeout variable.
Q. Do I have to use the Adobe AIR version of the InsideSales.com Inbound application? I know some older versions worked right within the outbound PowerDialer window.
A. To get the most benefit, and have the most flexibility in using the InsideSales.com Inbound telephony system, the Adobe AIR-based version of the application is recommended. Eventually, all older versions will be replaced with the new version.
In some instances, we may still integrate some user interface elements within other portions of the InsideSales.com Web app, but the primary link to the Inbound services will be through the Adobe AIR application.
Q. How can I get help in using the InsideSales.com InboundAgent application if I need it?
A. In addition to online resources such as this guide, you can request assistance by sending in a support ticket through the inbound application interface, or through the support links in your LRM system.
You can also call our toll-free support line Monday-Friday, 7 AM - 6 PM Mountain Standard Time, at 866-593-2807.
Q. Can I just use the PowerDialer for inbound calls instead of the Adobe Air app?
A. You can if you want to. This is recommended if you are using the PowerDialer for outbound calls at the same time (this is known as call blending).
If you're only working with inbound calls, the advantage of the InboundAgent app is that it operates in your computer's toolbar and pops up records when a call arrives. This way it doesn't have to be taking up space on the screen while you wait for calls. It is also a simple one-step process to sign in.
It is not recommended, but if you really want to, you can use the InboundAgent app for inbound calls while using the PowerDialer for outbound calls at the same time. You cannot, however, be available to receive inbound calls through both at the same time. If you try to do this, you'll only be set to "Available" in the place where this setting was most recently selected. This can be confusing to agents, which is why we recommend using the PowerDialer for call blending rather than two separate programs. It's easier to work with only one program at a time.