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Retiring Salesforce for Outlook – What You Need to Understand and How to Discover Alternatives

Salesforce for Outlook, an integration tool developed by Salesforce, synchronizes emails, contacts, tasks, and events between Salesforce and Microsoft Outlook. This integration allows users to seamlessly view Salesforce data within Outlook and vice versa, simplifying customer information management and activity tracking directly from their email client. Inbox extensions, particularly useful for sales professionals, facilitate smooth integration between their email provider and Salesforce, enhancing workflow efficiency and productivity.

However, Salesforce is sunsetting Salesforce for Outlook, gradually diminishing its support and features. This change may hinder your team’s ability to effectively manage and close deals. While Salesforce is offering alternative solutions, they come with their own trade-offs and feature sets. Fortunately, the AppExchange offers numerous solutions with comparable or advanced functionality to Salesforce for Outlook.

Evaluating Salesforce for Outlook Alternatives

Transitioning to a new tool presents an opportunity to optimize and improve your processes. However, with numerous alternatives available, each offering unique features and capabilities, selecting the best fit for your company can be challenging.

To guide you through this evaluation process, we’ve outlined the following steps:

  1. Assess Your Team’s Needs: Dive into how your team currently utilizes Salesforce for Outlook. For instance, if your sales team heavily relies on email tracking to prioritize leads, ensure the alternative you choose offers robust email tracking features to maintain this workflow.
  2. Evaluate Integration Compatibility: Verify that any alternative seamlessly integrates with your existing Salesforce environment. For example, if your team uses custom objects extensively, ensure the alternative supports seamless integration with these custom objects.
  3. Consider Customization Capabilities: Examine the level of customization offered by each alternative to tailor the user experience. For instance, if your team requires specific fields to be displayed prominently in the interface for quick access, ensure the alternative allows for such customization.
  4. Analyze User Adoption Potential: Prioritize user interface intuitiveness and minimal training requirements. For example, if your team consists of members with varying levels of technical expertise, opt for an alternative with a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation to facilitate smoother adoption.
  5. Understand Data Storage and Reporting Limitations: Evaluate how each alternative stores and utilizes captured data within Salesforce. For instance, if your team heavily relies on historical data for forecasting and trend analysis, ensure the alternative stores captured data indefinitely and allows for easy access within Salesforce reports and dashboards.
  6. Explore Advanced Features: Look for advanced features that could provide your sales team with a competitive edge. For example, if your team focuses on relationship-building, consider alternatives that offer relationship intelligence and insights to help strengthen client connections.
  7. Review Data Security and Compliance Measures: Ensure that any alternative adheres to data protection regulations and employs robust security measures. For example, if your company operates in a highly regulated industry such as healthcare or finance, prioritize alternatives with stringent data security and compliance measures in place.
  8. Consider Implementation and Ongoing Support: Assess the level of assistance provided during implementation and ongoing support services. For instance, if your team requires assistance with data migration and customization during implementation, choose an alternative with comprehensive implementation support. Additionally, prioritize vendors with responsive customer support to address any issues or queries promptly.
  9. Schedule a Personalized Demo: Request a demo with your preferred alternative to see it in action. For example, schedule a personalized demo with the vendor to explore how the alternative aligns with your company’s specific needs and preferences, and to evaluate its functionality in a real-world scenario.