Two of the most important products a nonprofit will use are its email system and its contact relationship manager (CRM). The first represents much of your communication with the outside world, and the second controls how you capture and archive that communication for actionable analysis inside your organization’s walls.
These two systems are probably where you spend most of your computing time, because until recently it wasn’t very easy to get information from one system into the other. Most CRMs just don’t sync up well with ANY other system, and the ones that do offer integrations usually do so at a handsome price – making them just out of reach for most nonprofits.
Other less expensive integrations offer few features and often result in less than desirable results like duplicate entries, poor syncs, broken links, bad reporting, or worse – the old time killer – continued need for duplicate entry!
That’s why I get so excited when products come along that revolutionize the systems we currently use. In this post I’m going to tell you about such a product. One that has done wonders for my online workflow, and has made me better able to accomplish my mission online.
The product I’m writing of is the Cirrus Insight Gmail to Salesforce Integration – and it does exactly that – integrate your Salesforce CRM and your Google Apps Gmail account. It allows you to flow information back and forth between Salesforce and Google without needing to switch between the two, so if you exist mostly in gmail you’ll see your Salesforce info right at your fingertips, and if you exist mostly in Salesforce you’ll see your gmail info right there too. It’s the most brilliant integration out there, and a fantastic, must-have product for any nonprofit executive using these two systems.
And, after I tell you a little bit more about the product, I’m going to give you the ability to get a nonprofit discount – 50% off the price – not just one-time – but forever – as long as you use it.
Gmail to Salesforce Integration
The Gmail to Salesforce application is a browser extension that you can add onto Chrome and Firefox. A Safari extension is on the way. It places a contextual tab in the right sidebar of your Gmail window.
When you are viewing any email in Gmail, the Cirrus tab takes the email address from that contact you are viewing and matches it to your Salesforce CRM auto-magically, then displays your CRM contact information right there in your Gmail sidebar.
It shows all that contact’s important information, and, really, any information you can track in salesforce can be shown in Gmail – the product is very customizable and easy to use. I’ve set my system up to track the person’s industry, grant-making ability, and other custom notes I can refer to when I email back and forth.
Other Important Features
There are a bunch of other cool and important features of the plugin. They include the ability to:
- Save emails and attachments directly to Salesforce as activities
- Ability to sync Google and Salesforce Calendars
- Create salesforce records on the fly
- Create and manage tasks in Salesforce directly from the Gmail interface
- Use Salesforce templates from within Gmail
- Show custom fields and objects from Salesforce in Gmail
- Create Salesforce cases, opportunities, events, and more right from Gmail
The list goes on and on and on.
You might ask…“My Salesforce system is very customized. Will it work with this plugin?” The answer is YES! The plugin allows for custom objects and fields to be displayed and edited right inside Gmail. That means even if your system is a finely tuned and tweaked custom installation of Salesforce, all your custom fields and even custom buttons can be made to display inside the contextual window of Gmail.
Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the integration is the calendar sync. I’ve used other apps to sync my Google Calendar to Salesforce with mixed results. Cirrus gets it right every time. No duplicates, no issues, no problems.
The calendar sync will even record guest attendees and invites. If you invite them via Google calendar it records them as attendees inside Salesforce. If you create the calendar entry on the Salesforce side, it will show them as attendees inside your Google Calendar. It just works.
The images show what my weekly calendar looks like in Salesforce. Notice the meeting with local CPA Dennis Piper on Wednesday.
The next images shows what that looks like in my Gmail window. As I’m responding to an email from Dennis – my contextual windows shows I have a meeting with him too. The integration is perfect, and it helps remind me of meeting no matter which system I am currently in.
Editing inside Gmail
The application goes a step further. It doesn’t just allow you to view information in each system – it allows you to edit it.
For example, while in Gmail, I might get an email from my contact Dennis whereby he tells me that his address changed and is shown in his new email footer. In the past, without this integration, I’d have to copy and paste that information from gmail, navigate to Salesforce and then enter it. Arrggh. Double entry. Now, with the Cirrus Insight plugin, as soon as I look at Dennis’ email the contextual Salesforce window pops up with his info. I simply click edit, and can change the Salesforce info directly in my Gmail application. Every field that is available to me in Salesforce is available to me in Gmail. It’s an amazing time saver.
You’ll also notice that information is updated immediately in Salesforce and you can confirm that by clicking the cloud button in the top right of the context window to open Salesforce in another tab.
One of the things I love about Salesforce is the related list functionality. This gives me the ability to create relationships with contacts. For example, I might have a contact who is part of one organization but also a board member of another organization. This is information I want to know when speaking to that person.
Another example is cases. I help nonprofits with their websites by providing support through a ticketing system. When a client submits a ticket it creates a case in my Salesforce system. That’s a related list, and it shows up inside Gmail. So when a client emails me, I can pop the context window up, look at related lists (in this example: cases), and see exactly what that person has submitted to me.
When I hover the mouse over the case it gives me additional information in a modal popup window and get all the details I need right inside Gmail. I never have to leave that one screen. I don’t even have to click the mouse to get the info I need!
Opportunities and Grants
As a nonprofit, I track grants as opportunities inside my Salesforce System. This information is also viewable directly in Gmail with the plugin. Again, as I’m viewing the contact in Gmail the window pops up and shows me any opportunities I might with that person.
In the example shown below, you can see that just hovering over the example pops out a modal window with more details. This allows me to reference opportunity information directly in my email response back to that contact without ever having to leave Gmail or look at Salesforce in another window. It’s an amazing time saver.
Get the Cirrus Insights Plugin Now
Cirrus Insights offers a 50% discount to nonprofits. You can go to their website and submit a whole bunch of information and get access to that discount. OR, you can get your code right here from us.
As a premiere nonprofit tech company, we were one of the first organizations to use the plugin. We even helped Cirrus develop the program through beta participation. As such, we have a direct code you can use to get started today. The best part is, when you use our special code you’re also helping OrgSpring.
As you know, we are a nonprofit too, and Cirrus sends us a small fee when you use our code. There is no extra cost to you – the fee comes from the company directly. Using our code helps us to make free articles and tutorials for you and other nonprofits, like the more than 60 nonprofit tutorial videos we have on our YouTube page that you’ve watched for more than a quarter million minutes.
Of course, you don’t have to use our code. You can contact Cirrus directly. They’re a great group and will take care of you.
But if you want to get started right away, even if you just want a trial, fill out the short form below and you’ll get instant access to the special code that will get you 50% off.
Cirrus has asked us not to put this code on this post or to give it to the general public. Normally, you’d need to send paperwork to them to get a confirmation code, but since we have functionality in place to check your nonprofit status, we can save you a step. The form below will ask for you your EIN. We run that EIN directly through the IRS system to confirm that you are in fact a nonprofit org registered with the IRS. It’s the same functionality that Foundation Center and Guidestar use to confirm EINs. That confirmation happens almost instantly and your code will be revealed right here. You’ll also be emailed a copy for your records.
If you have any questions at all about the system or how to use it, please leave a comment here. We’d be happy to help. We use it ourselves and we love it – if you can’t already tell from our glowing review in this post.