Anyone that has deployed one of these systems, whether it is ACT, Salesforce.com, Siebel, or a “home-grown” CRM is familiar with their greatest weakness. The systems are passive. If staff doesn't enter notes, the system is useless. Sales teams scramble at the end of the month to enter client records so their managers can update forecasts. And that’s if you have excellent adoption.
When you do connect phones to CRM, it can become an “active” app. The record of the call is automatically entered into the system. The data becomes real-time. Staff loves the efficiency of clicking to dial. Clients are impressed that you know who they are before you pick up the phone. Managers get their data. The system becomes powerful.
It has been hard to connect office software to office phones. Phone systems were designed by the phone company to connect phones and phone lines, not to business applications. As both software and the phone system move to the cloud, the two are finally, easily, connecting once and for all.