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The User Interface

In our experience we've found it helpful for admins to understand the basics of the dialer interface, even if they largely won't end up using the tools themselves. Understanding how your agents interact with the tools will help you design more effective calling and content strategies.

Call "Modes": Click-to-Call vs. PowerDialer

The PowerDialer for Salesforce supports two basic call "modes": Click-to-Call, where you're dialing directly in the Salesforce CRM, and "PowerDialer" mode, where you're calling a list generated from Salesforce records, but using a dedicated dialing interface.

There are benefits to each mode. Click-to-Call gives agents more freedom in choosing their pace of calling, and leveraging agents' familiarity with the Salesforce UI. However, we've found that for doing extended, strategic calling sessions, Click-to-Call is less efficient because it doesn't take advantage of the PowerDialer's native business intelligence to increase contact rates.

PowerDialer mode is the more effective choice when agents want to work smarter and more efficiencly while they're "laser focused" on phone prospecting. The speed and ease of calling through prepared lists dramatically increases agent productivity, while leveraging the built-in analytics tools to increase the likelihood of making contact

"Forward" Navigation

In PowerDialer mode, we've set up the interface to always "move forward" through the designed list. When a user finishes a call, they click to save and automatically move ahead to the next name in the list. We often get asked if users can "go back," or return to a lead they were just working on using the browser "back" button.

By default we disable the standard browser "back" function / button while dialing in PowerDialer mode. This is because the "Back" feature may cause unwanted behaviors, such as the dialer automatically redialing the number, re-sending previous voicemails or emails, and incorrectly adding "dummy" call data into reports.

To reload or revisit a previously dialed record, train your users to use the provided search bar in the dialer panel area.

The Interface

Most of the dialer actions and interface are self-explanatory; your users shouldn't have any trouble identifying basic features. We do want to highlight some of the key features for admins that can potentially impact workflow. For purposes of this tutorial we're demonstrating the PowerDialer call mode interface, but the major principles will apply to Click-to-Call as well. The only difference is the placement of some of the actions and visible metrics.

If you look at the screen shot above, there are three basic elements of the interface:

  • The navigation and setup options along the very top of the screen.
  • The dialer actions panels along the left side.
  • The main data record view.

Top Panel

The top panel gives your agents a visual orientation of their current daily metrics, and which record they're currently working. Notice in the top right corner the tabs for Outbound and Search. Additional tabs may appear if the user accepts inbound calls.

In Click-to-Call the daily metrics are still visible, but they're placed into a side panel, rather than across the top.

The orange Outbound tab shows that the user is currently working in their outbound Seek or Domino list. If / when the user is working inbound and outbound calls simultaneously, inbound calls will appear in a separate tab.

If an inbound call arrives while a user already has another inbound record open (for example, while the user is wrapping up notes from a previous call), the record will open in a new tab as shown below.

Click here for more info on using multiple inbound records tabs.

Dialer Settings Link

The Dialer Settings link opens a "quick update" dialogue box for reps to change some basic settings about their workstation. This includes changing their station number, switching dialer lists and inbound call paths (ACDs), and setting up audio signaling for inbound.

Availability

Also note the checkboxes just beneath the Dialer Settings link for Outbound / Inbound. These are how your agents signal that they are available / working on particular call types. The inbound checkbox also indicates that the agent is available to take inbound calls.

If a user is going to step away from the PowerDialer interface for any length of time, they will need to mark themselves "Unavailable" to prevent inbound calls from being routed to them while they're away, as well as to keep the reporting metrics accurate.

Search Input Field

This search field can look up records in your Salesforce database by first or last name of the contact, company name, phone number, or email address.

To load a record from the search results into the dialer, click the Open action link.

Exit Dialer Link

To ensure you get the most accurate reports on agent's call availability times, have your reps exit the PowerDialer using the (aptly-named) Exit Dialer link. Using the link ensures that all timing mechanisms stop and ends the user's calling session. If your reps simply close the dialer window without using the Exit link, some timers may continue to run for a period of time until the system finally closes the user's session, inflating some of the availability time numbers.

Dialer Actions

The action and activity panels on the left side of the screen control user navigation through the calling lists, and provide options for logging activity.

For a detailed breakdown of the individual dialer actions, visit the User Action List section.

Be aware that the majority of dialer reports EXPLICITLY require the use of call logs. While technically call logs are an "optional" feature, you and your agents will be missing out on some of the most valuable, relevant reporting the dialer tool offers if you choose not to use them.

Read more about using call logs in the Call Logs section.

The Main Record Panel

The record panel appearance is controlled by the layout chosen for the initiative. All leads automatically appear in "edit" mode, so users can quickly enter and update information.

Any time you enter information into record, you'll need to save it, either by clicking Save button, the Save and Next button, or Next Call button.

When using the PowerDialer, the standard dial button will place a call to the phone number in the primary "phone" field. However, many records that arrive in the PowerDialer have additional phone numbers for the prospect, like a mobile or additional office number.

To make it easier to call numbers other than the number in the primary "phone" field on a record, we've included Click-to-Call icons next to all phone numbers on records in the PowerDialer. This makes it easy to quickly cycle through numbers on the record.

Additionally, the display shows the local time of the number's area code, which will help your agents know the time of day in the prospect's area before they call.

User Action List

The tables below detail the various dialer panel actions. Note that some of these buttons may not be available in your Standard Dialer Panel, but can be added into a custom layout. For information on how to do this, see visit the Managing Dialer Panels section of this guide.

Note About Call Logs

Call logs are important enough that we've dedicated an entire section of the administrator's guide to them. See the Call Logs section to get a rundown of this feature.

Dialer Panel Actions

Action Description
Dial Places a call to the currently viewed record. If the user's agent leg is not already connected, this will initiate the agent leg connection first, then call the number.

This action creates a dial activity.

Next Call Saves the currently viewed record, moves to the next record in the list, and automatically dials the default phone number field. If a user's agent leg is already connected, the system will immediately start calling, and the user will instantly hear the call go out.

This action creates a dial activity.

Connect to Dialer Connects the agent leg without actually dialing a number. This helps agents who regularly use inbound to connect to callers more quickly, and take advantage of the inbound call routing and logging features.
Disconnect Drops the currently connected client leg off of the call. If a user's agent leg is connected, it remains connected, and the user can immediately move to the next call.
Hold Press the Hold button to put a call on hold. When you do this, the button remains depressed, and a flyout appears until you click the Retrieve Call button and take it off hold again. In the meantime, it will display a clock showing how long the caller has been waiting.
Transfer Opens the Transfer Call dialogue options. This feature is necessary if a user wants to transfer a call, because the PowerDialer servers must get the signal that the client leg needs to move to a new connection. For example, if a user manually transfers a call using their phone handset, but failed to use the Transfer option in the dialer, the next time they place a call in their list, the previous call that got transferred will get disconnected, because the dialer server assumes that the old client leg needs to be disconnected.

The transfer options are:

Immediate Options:

These options immediately transfer the call and drop the agent off of it.

  • Phone Number — User selects a manual, 10-digit phone number. Instructs the dialer server where to send the call. This does not require the user to use their phone handset to initiate a transfer.
  • Manual — Instructs the dialer server that the user is going to transfer the call using their internal handset/PBX. User then transfers the call using their phone handset functions.
  • Employee — Transfers the call to another user of the PowerDialer for Salesforce. The user must have an active PowerDialer license, and they employee who should receive the transfer must have their station phone number set correctly.

Hot and Warm Options:

These options allow the agent to remain involved with the call until the transfer is complete.

  • Warm Transfer — The caller is placed on hold. The user is given the the option to choose to transfer them to an ACD, Employee, or Phone Number.
  • Hot Transfer — The caller continues stays on the line with the user while the user has the option to choose to transfer them to an ACD, Employee, or Phone Number.

Once connected via Hot or Warm Transfer, the user can choose Drop Off Call to leave the call with the new agent, or Merge Calls Together to join everyone in conversation at the same time.

PLEASE NOTE: When in the middle of a transfer, the dialer panel will "lock down" and refuse further user input in order to prevent an accidental disconnection.

Save Saves any changes/updates to the currently viewed record.
Save and Next Saves any changes/updates to the currently viewed record, and moves to the next record in the list, but does not automatically dial the number.

This action DOES NOT create a dial activity; the user would need to click the Dial action to initiate the call.

Skip DOES NOT save changes/updates to the currently viewed record, moves to the next record in the list, but does not automatically dial the number.
Set Callback Opens the Set Callback dialogue. A record flagged for a callback will automatically rotate into the user's dialer queue at the specified date and time.

Agents can also use a standard Salesforce system notification as part of a callback reminder to help users stay on track for making successful callback appointments. You can activate this option whenever you set a callback. Check the box next to “Reminder” and set the date and time you’d like the reminder to appear.

Leave VM (Voice Message) This action drops the bridged link between the agent leg and client leg, and patches in a prerecorded voice message into the client leg. The user should initiate this action after they get prompted to leave their message (i.e., "Please leave the message after the tone"--*Tone*).

This action creates a Voicemail activity log.

View Pending (Callbacks) Shows the user all of their currently scheduled callbacks, and gives them the option to pull up the record for ones that are scheduled. The user can also change/update the scheduled time for the callback using this option.
View Opens a new window with the current record in the Salesforce CRM.
Manual Dial Opens the manual dial pad, allowing users to input a phone number in the way they would on a physical phone. Push the Dial button once the number has been input to make the call. For your convenience, the buttons also feature letters on the dial pad.
Touch Tones Like the Manual Dial button above, this opens a dial pad that agents can use to manually input numbers. In this, case, however, the numbers aren't used in the process of making a dial. Instead, they are immediatly sent through as individual button presses. Use this function for navigating IVR or voicemail systems. For your convenience, the buttons also feature letters on the dial pad.
Play Recording Agents can use this button to play back a pre-recorded message while on an active call. If your sales process requires you to play a compliance message or other type of notice to the client in the course of your call, all you need to do is press the Play Recording button and choose your message recording.
Send SMS Use this button to send a text message.
Report Call Quality Issue Opens a window used to report technical issues with call quality to the InsideSales.com team.

Actions Panel

This panel duplicates some of the same actions found in the main Dial Actions panel, but includes a few unique activities as well.

Action Description
Send Email Lets the user select an email template to directly send to the current record. This includes any emails in your Salesforce repository, or stored specifically with the PowerDialer tool.
 
This action creates an Email activity in the PowerDialer report engine, as well as creating a standard email task log in Salesforce.
Set Callback Identical to the Dial Action panel.
View Pending Callbacks Identical to the Dial Action panel.
Add Task Opens a dialogue box to attach a specific task follow-up to the current record. Activities will go directly into your Salesforce calendar.
View Calendar Pops open a window with your current Salesforce Multi-user Calendar.
View Salesforce Record Identical to the View option in the Dial Action panel. Opens a new window with the current record in the Salesforce CRM.
Convert Lead Initiates the lead conversion dialogue in Salesforce (i.e., the process of transferring a Lead into an Account).

Release Notes

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Advanced training for the PowerDialer for Salesforce.

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