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“Customer profiling” is the tracking of detailed information about customers and prospects, including demographics, previous purchases, email views and clicks and web behavior, i.e. the pages, links and topics visited which give a strong indication of a buyer’s interests and preferences.
Then “Marketing Artificial Intelligence” predicts who are good candidates for your products because they are demographically like your existing customers. This should also factor in if they have already purchased your product, so people don’t receive “irrelevant offers”, which dilute the effectiveness of your messaging.
This also allows you to focus your messaging on the interests of your target audience, so you will have higher response rates to your marketing campaigns.
If you know what a customer has and has not purchased in the past, then you can predict what they need now, and act upon this knowledge. Ratings, or scores can be assigned to leads and opportunities based upon what you know about the buyer.
Empower your Sales and Services personnel with highly targeted and qualified lead and opportunity lists in their CRM dashboards, and real-time, intelligent notifications when people view specific topics on your website.
Contact us today to learn how you can more fully leverage your CRM investment.
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Providing great customer service is a challenge for many businesses today.
Companies like Amazon and Zappos have raised in the bar in terms of what customers expect, and there are an increasing number of tools and technologies that businesses people can use to improve their support.
So, we asked 14 customer service and customer experience experts this question:
What's the biggest customer service challenges today's companies are facing and how can they overcome it?
Here's what they said:
Too many companies focus myopically on the infrastructure and technology to support voice of the customer (VOC), customer experience (CX), and enterprise feedback management (EFM) and neglect their greatest customer experience asset and feedback source: competent, customer-focused, and engaged employees who are both capable and inspired to consistently provide superior customer service.
A majority of companies employ capable workers who possess adequate job knowledge and demonstrate sufficient job skill. These employees know WHAT to do and HOW to do it.
Where most companies fail (and where the consistency of customer service quality routinely breaks down) is they stop there, assuming that employees are now equipped to consistently provide exceptional customer service.
How can they overcome this challenge?
What these companies overlook is the need to define and share the organisation’s purpose, which informs employees about their highest priority at work.
Employees need to know WHY they are doing WHAT they are doing HOW they are doing it.
Instead of just being given something to work ON (duties and tasks), employees must be given something to work TOWARD (purpose).
The result is a workforce that is not only capable of providing superior customer service, but inspired to do so consistently.
For most companies, the biggest customer service challenge today is meeting diverse customer expectations in public on diverse channels – email, live chat, telephone, face-to-face, and social media.
If you think far back in history, interactions with customers were local, one-to-one, and face-to-face, advances in travel brought diverse customers to businesses and companies then had to meet more diverse expectations. Telephone introduced the challenge of understanding people without seeing them.
Email brought the challenge of understanding emotions and communicating well with no tone of voice. Now with social media, companies face all those challenges with the extra pressure of doing it in front of the world.
To meet this challenge:
The degree of change that all service operations are facing is unprecedented.
It is clear that choice, availability, responsiveness and personalisation are all pretty much engrained in customer expectations.
Yet few service organisations have delivered the corresponding responses in terms of omni-channel, 24x7, real time and tailored customer journeys.
Budget allocation, business cases and ability to change at speed are still holding back the mainstream. A few are finding the real start point is about changing mind-sets and behaviours in the first instance.
As has been said before in many other contexts, 'you have to be digital to do digital'. This costs nothing apart from the willingness to leave behind familiar ways and learn new habits. The real challenge right now is us.
The customer’s expectations are changing. They are smarter and demand a level of service that is no longer compared to your competitor, but to any good customer service provider.
In other words, you may be in manufacturing, but you are being compared to the great experience your customer had with the restaurant they ate at last week, or the hotel they stayed at on their last business trip.
So, the first challenge is to meet the every changing and demanding expectations of the customer.
Another big challenge is technology:
Are you keeping up?
Do you connect through channels other than the traditional phone support?
Customers are enjoying “self-service” solutions that go beyond a website with a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
Customers want information fast, which is why they like instant chat, videos, and other solutions that help them get the answers they need without the hassle of calling a company and being put on hold while waiting for a CSR rep.
The challenge is knowing what’s right for your customer and your industry.
1. Many companies are still struggling to achieve a single view of the customer. Customers are walking into stores, placing orders online, calling companies when they have a difficult problem, self-serving and interacting with firms via the web and social media.
In their minds they are having ‘one’ conversation albeit across multiple channels with one organisation.
The challenge for firms is to integrate all of these conversations into one system, integrate that with order and account history as well as equipping staff with the right tools, training and authority to be able to deal with every and any customer problem or question that comes their way.
Companies know this, customers expect this but yet many firms are still struggling to pull this off.
One of the main reasons is that many firms are attempting wholesale and complete transformation and encounter too many problems along the way with legacy systems, culture, management style, staff skills etc etc.
However, perhaps firms should try to go slower in order to go faster and further in their efforts and start with a ‘pilot’ approach in one or two areas of their business where they can trial, test and learn from a new approach, adjust and then scale one they have it right.
2. Re-evaluating the role and value of customer facing staff. If we assume the above challenge is right then there is an additional challenge that comes out of that and that is how we recruit, organise, train and reward our customer facing staff.
In many organisations, retaining an organisational structure that is very silo based, is very focused on risk minimisation and limits the autonomy and responsibility of staff acts as a real hindrance to delivering then sort of service and experience that organisations want to deliver.
BT and Avaya in a recent report: SuperAgent 2020: The Evolution of the Contact Centre stated that:
“The primary function of the Contact Centre will be largely complex problem solving because products and services are becoming more complicated and more customers are using web, social and mobile self-service to do the simple, transactional stuff."
This type of 2020 scenario doesn’t seem to be the domain of employees that are paid, on average, 30 percent below the average UK salary.
Isn’t it time that we re-evaluated the role of customer facing staff, for us to give these roles the appropriate level of respect and value that they deserve and then recruit the right people, equip them with the right skills and tools and reward them well?
Many companies want to be customer-centric, but few actually plan or provide for that. They are challenged by viewing customer service as a purely reactive exercise.
Organisations focus on putting out fires instead of never creating them in the first place.
The best companies see proactive customer service as an important function in their organisation.
Having a customer experience mission is a key part of this. Ordinary mission statements saying things like "to be the best" aren't directing everybody in the organisation with how to delivery exceptional service to customers.
The well-known service leaders have missions that see serving customers as part of their core mission. Zappos and Southwest Airlines missions, for example, don't dwell on products or shareholders at all.
They both focus on providing service to customers.
If an organisation doesn't share this sort of focus, customer service will always remain an afterthought.
Service reps will be left to clean up very big messes again and again. And organisations will never stand out as being customer-centric.
I think a big challenge for customer service is making sure it’s an integrated part of the end-to-end customer experience. Customers don’t like to repeat themselves.
When an interaction starts on the web or an IVR and then transfers to a live agent, don’t require the customer to start from scratch.
Unfortunately, my research finds that about 80% of companies suffer from this “touchpoint amnesia” – forgetting customer information during a multi-touch experience.
The right technology can help, either by using one platform or through integration. However, it’s not just a tech issue.
Most large organisations also find customer-centricity hampered by a lack of cooperation across organisation silos.
Each department or function does its own job but sometimes treats one customer differently in marketing, sales, purchasing, and service.
Senior leadership, sometimes with the aid of a chief customer or experience officer, can help foster better collaboration and an improved total customer experience.
Customer service is about human interaction and solving problems. Often times under very stressful situations.
CSRs are usually under pressure to quickly solve the case which can make empathic interaction a challenge. But, empathy is number one. To be able to understand the emotional issues impacting the customers experience.
An additional challenge to ensuring that you have high-quality interactions with customers is in the area of empowerment.
If you want your people to act like it’s their business, make it their business. Empowering your CSR staff will lead to them never losing a customer over a stupid rule.
The biggest challenge lies with conquering the mindset of trying to drive customer service costs down, particularly using technology.
If the desire is to "win" the customer service wars in a niche (and to profit from the victory), the winners will be those who hire enough PEOPLE, amd train those people properly, recouping those costs through improved sales, lower customer acquisition costs, and better retention.
People CRAVE human contact. The winners will be those who build relationships, even if the process has short term financial hits.
Let's look at this question from the end and work back toward the beginning.
Assume that a problem has been overcome. That creates requirement for success #4: the ability to implement a desired change.
Going backwards one more step lands on #3: having a clear picture of the change you want.
Stepping back one more time gets to #2: finding the sweet spot between what customers truly want and what the business can deliver authentically well.
Finally, we arrive at #1. Its requirement for success are being able to listen to customers accurately and having the corporate will to do so.
In my humble opinion, the biggest challenge is #1 – getting the organisation to truly listen to what customers want and act on it.
Many brands I've worked with (successfully) have a predisposition to use ROI (return on investment) which is biased toward doing things the way that's best for the company – not necessarily best for the customer.
As a result, many cool ideas don't make it pass the first consideration cut because they don't meet a back-of-the-napkin ROI threshold.
That's too bad because I've seen data that shows many customers (especially those of commodity brands) truly want the businesses that serve them to do so differently.
There's lots of opportunity. The first challenge to overcome is to provide inside innovators with the latitude to listen to their customers' needs –then to do something about it!
The techniques to overcome this first challenge are proven and pretty straightforward.
11. John Ragsdale: vice-president of technology and social research for the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA)
TSIA surveys members about top business challenges, and we categorise all of our member inquiries to track which business challenges are generating the most questions.
While there are some interesting strategic and technical issues on the list of “what’s keeping people up at night,” including knowledge management and the retiring workforce, shifting service operations from supporting on premise to cloud technology, optimising renewals, and improving adoption of self-service, the number one challenge by far remains a more tactical problem: understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) for support services.
One of the key values of TSIA membership is benchmarking.
We track hundreds of operational and financial metrics from our members, show them how they compare to their industry peers, and provide guidance on how to improve problem areas.
Understanding which metrics to track, how to calculate them, what ‘best practice’ ranges are for the metrics, and how to move them, continues to be the #1 issue technology support operations are dealing with.
There are a number of underlying problems here.
Though metrics such as response time, resolution time, first contact resolution rate, operating margins and retention rates are common to all support operations, there aren’t any recognised standard definitions.
Most support managers were promoted because they were good support technicians, and as I experienced early in my career, there isn’t always much training provided to new managers on the science of support and the metrics involved.
Add to that the challenge that most technology companies have rapidly grown through acquisition and mergers, and information required for metric calculations may be spread across a dozen or more systems.
In my conversations with support executives about service technology, CRM remains a hot topic.
Not only picking the right solution, but also how to increase adoption by employees, how to standardise processes and data capture across global enterprises, and how to optimise reporting to automate metrics programs.
Having a good metrics program in place is critical to calculating ROI for any new technology purchase, and unfortunately, many companies don’t have a strong enough understanding of “before” metrics to accurately calculate the business impact of new processes or tools.
Here are some high-level guidelines to better understanding of support metrics and improving a metrics program:
Services and products have become commoditised. Competition is stiff and companies like Amazon are consistently reinventing ways to provide better and faster service.
When consumers evaluate your company’s service delivery, they are thinking how quickly and easily it was to do business with the Amazons or Zappos of the world even if those businesses are not direct competitors.
The companies that can deliver personalised service will be able to create and build relationships to positively impact bottom line revenues and profitability.
Organisations can meet these new challenges by employing technology used to enhance, not diminish that relationship.
Make sure any features added make it easier for the customer to do business and help provide a more customised experience.
Training and coaching for representatives must include teaching them to be welcoming, listening to underlying emotions, as well as what the customer is saying, and leaving the customer with the feeling that the company cares about them as an individual.
The right technology, coupled with the human-to-human touch, is a winning strategy.
There is an ever-greater emphasis on improving the customer experience as competition intensifies, margins shrink, and buyers more actively compare suppliers.
In this digital and social age we now live in, based on their last interaction, your customers are probably sharing how your company treated them—positively, negatively, or indifferently.
Instead of just meeting, talking about, and guessing what the customer experience is, make it a point to experience being your customer, so you can better understand your customer experience.
You may be delighted or disappointed with the results, but either way, you’ll be a much more effective champion for the voice of the customer within your organisation.
I think the biggest customer experience challenge organisations face today is getting executive buy-in.
Without company leadership committed to changing the culture and changing the company's focus to make both the customer and the employee experience priorities, there's no moving forward.
Companies might have localised or departmentalised efforts, but those will be silo'd efforts that translate to silo'd experiences for the customer. Without executive commitment, you'll never get resources - human, capital, or other - to execute on your customer experience strategy.
The most effective way to get executive buy-in is to build the business case. Identify your objectives and then align the outcomes and benefits tied to each. Clearly, the stronger the business case, the better.
Your outcomes may be customer retention, account growth, new business through referrals, culture change, etc.
Benefits might include cost savings and other efficiencies. Communicate objectives, outcomes, and benefits to gain buy-in.
To support the business case, show some quick wins, which can be achieved through service or account recovery examples or by listening to customers at a specific touchpoint, making improvements, and showing ROI.
To help build your case, focus on what's important to the customer as well as to the business; use a critical touch-point or moment of truth as your stepping stone.
Providing great customer service means never letting a customer down, and according to these experts it's more important than ever. Great service is what today's customers expect, and it's the key to building lasting relationships that will help grow your business.
If you'd like to learn more about how an integrated CRM/ERP solution can help you, check out 5 must-read reasons why CRM enables better customer service.
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By: Bryan Collins, Originally Posted June 30, 2015.
Reposted from original source here.
CRM software offers an impressive way to nurture and generate sales leads through the sales cycle, but by combining Customer Relations Management systems with content marketing, you can make a significant increase to shorten your sales cycle. A report from DemandGen found that businesses that have successfully deployed lead-nurturing programs showed an “average 20 percent increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads and found dramatic improvements to key conversion stages in the sales process.”
Using sales analytics based on Customer Relations Management system, marketers have the information to accurately create and deliver stage-based content that will help move prospects from one stage of the sales cycle to the next. Here’s how you can power CRM to drive the sales cycle with content marketing.
Content mapping is the process of charting which content should be provided at each stage of the sales process. There will be variances on this buying cycle based on each individual business model, but generally, the sales cycle can be broken down into three phases:
• Awareness: Awareness that they have a need to be satisfied.
• Evaluation: Are your services and products the best fit for my needs?
• Purchase: Take action to purchase
The specific type of information your prospect seeks will continually change as each step of the sales cycle is reached. The key to increasing sales is to provide consistent, stage-based content for your prospects from one phase of the cycle to the next.
Through the each stage of the sales process, Customer Relations Management systems track and store all communications and information in an accessible central data file, providing a complete data history of how the prospects interact with your business. Because of the detailed information Customer Relations Management systems capture, including time stamps, you now have the ability to track how past customers interacted with your content as they moved from prospect to buyer. By examining the pages visited, the white papers downloaded, the emails opened, the offers clicked and the order in which the pages were read, a logical buying behaviour will materialize and give you insights. This give will give you a complete historical snapshot of a buyer’s content consumption, which will probably look something like the below: Awareness, Evaluation, and Purchase.
A prospect is looking for information at the early stages of the sales cycle. The prospect is looking for potential solutions to a problem. A need has been identified, and the prospect is looking for potential solutions to a problem. Education is the primary goal of the content marketing at this stage. This may not be the right time for pricing, but it is the time to show the prospect your insights and knowledge of the specific industry’s needs. Webinars, blog posts, offers for white papers, and articles that show industry surveys are important at this time.
As the leads you have generated interact with your content you have provided during the awareness stage, the prospect’s hunger for more information will change. Finally the prospects will enter the evaluation phase, looking for information that reveals how your solution might work best to solve their problems. This is the ideal time to use content marketing to show how your solution solves the prospect’s problem. Your marketing team can do this by showing the prospects’ proof of how you had solved these problems for other customers. This content could take the form of customer case studies, video testimonials, and even competitive analysis fact sheets.
The leads’ decision to purchase your products and services reflect the power of your content marketing program. Not only have you successfully engaged the prospect with your depth of understanding about their problem, but you have also presented proof that your organization offers the ideal solution. During this final phase, prospects are likely to respond to coupons, free trials, and evaluating pricing sheets.
Customer Relations Management systems help you ensure you have done all you can to educate your clients, moving them on a journey from awareness to completed sale. CRM provides the ability to send personalized content to your leads and clients that matches each phase of the sales process; you have a powerful method to nurture your needs systematically with content marketing. Using Customer Relations Management to fuel your content marketing program allows you to ensure that your content marketing assets are aligned with the appropriate phase of your sales funnel so that you can provide prospects with the information they need and ultimately drive more sales.
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A sophisticated CRM system can deliver enormous benefits, from increasing customer satisfaction and generating sales leads to boosting profits and slashing operating costs. A CRM system works by gathering information from multiple data sources and storing it in a centralized location. Once these sales leads and consumer data sets are integrated, this information is then analyzed to enable tailored marketing campaigns, superior customer service and improved decision support.
Consider, for example, a sales associate in a luxury goods retail store. The moment a customer walks in the door, the customer service representative can access key information from a Web-based CRM app using a tablet PC. Details might include a customer’s buying history, product preferences, marital status and loyalty program membership. Using these data points, the sales associate can then provide a tailored customer shopping experience, as well as take advantage of any up-sell opportunities.
As a result, Radu recommends that leaders take the time to consider what business problems they want CRM to address, what business processes CRM will impact and how the system will grow with the company’s needs. Only by answering these questions can organizations begin to implement a CRM solution worthy of adoption.
The flipside of poor customization is tailoring a solution to a point where it’s no longer recognizable. Most CRM solutions feature three primary applications: sales force automation, marketing and service/support. For the most part, vendors tend to consolidate these three functions into a single, comprehensive suite, along with a string of other complimentary functions. But that doesn’t mean a company has to take advantage of every aspect of a CRM system, from its call center tools to campaign management features, all at once.
Despite numerous hurdles, there are steps companies can take to drive CRM adoption. This blog post explores the top 4 strategies for gaining CRM acceptance.
These days, data lurks in all kinds of systems, from payroll to sales automation. Getting a CRM solution off the ground requires that these disparate data sets be migrated and then integrated into a single CRM system.
“It’s very important for marketing to work with the same data as the sales force,” says Radu. Consider, for example, a marketer who decides to send a “Come back soon – we miss you” promotional email to every customer that hasn’t made a purchase in the past six months.
However, what if a sales team had already contacted 90% of the company’s lapsed customers within the past two weeks as part of a sales initiative to reactivate old accounts? By failing to properly integrate a marketing automation database with a sales database, a company risks inundating customers with repeat messages, all of which can embarrass employees and
impede CRM adoption.
One way to avoid such an occurrence is to hire a systems integrator. These experienced thirdparty providers can help organizations with key integration, deployment and implementation processes. What’s more, a systems integrator can enable a company to develop a master data strategy that determines which systems contain the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Overworked and overwhelmed, many salespeople view the introduction of a CRM system as one more task in an already hectic day. Says Radu: “Salespeople don’t want to sit and punch their information into a CRM system. They see that as administrative work and not as something very important to their job. Rather, they think as long as they have a relationship with their clients that will turn into business.”
Instead of wasting energy trying to convince sales of the business benefits of CRM, many organizations are tying compensation directly to the use of a CRM system. Greater incentives are offered for early and deep adoption, such as higher commission rates and bonuses, whereas laggards are paid less if they refuse to use the system. It’s a simple approach but one that can have an enormous impact on adoption.
A CRM system needs to be where its users are in order to drive adoption. For this reason, many organizations are testing out mobile CRM applications. In fact, according to research firm IDC, 37 percent of the world’s labor force, or 1.3 billion workers, will identify as mobile workers this year. And Gartner reveals that, 80 percent of businesses will suffer revenue loss by not supporting Web-based customer service on mobile devices.
The good news is a growing number of vendors are making their CRM platforms available on mobile devices, including SAP, Salesforce.com, SugarCRM and Sage. These apps work by allowing employees to access and log critical data, regardless of where they are, using a tablet, smartphone or laptop computer.
Case in point, a salesperson in the middle of a face-to-face negotiation can call up information on new product promotions or access updated pricing details to sweeten the deal. What’s more, these in-the-field sales reps can enter information about a client or prospect remotely. Not only does this save them hours in manual account management but it allows marketers with access to the same CRM system to review up-to-the-minute details to better shape campaigns.
Other features include the ability to view upcoming events, access contact information from a single repository and log activities for fast referral.
However, before purchasing a mobile CRM app, it’s important to determine whether it’s best to go with a mobile version of an existing CRM system, create a custom CRM app or purchase a mobile app that integrates with other CRM systems. Mobile versions of existing CRM systems are excellent for tech-savvy workforces that are comfortable handling robust features.
Sales and marketing are often at odds when it comes to determining what they wish to accomplish with their CRM system. But if there’s one thing they can agree on, it’s the value of big data. By crunching customer data, from demographic information to buying behavior, marketing teams can better customize their communications and promotional offers. For example, a marketer may wish to deliver a digital coupon to shoppers’ smartphones the moment they step foot inside an electronics store. By delivering an incentive-to-buy at the precise moment of making a purchasing decision, a retailer can significantly drive sales.
In addition to generating revenue, analytics can also help cut costs. Consider, for example, a marketing team that perpetually sends out email messages offering deep discounts to every single one of its customers. But what if a small percentage of these customers were loyal shoppers, willing to pay full price for products. By diving deep into data, retailers can discover which customers should receive coupons and which customers would be willing to pay full price for a product regardless of incentive.
Leveraging these bits and bytes of information to increase sales and cut costs can spur widespread adoption of CRM among both sales and marketing teams. Unfortunately, a staggering 50 percent of marketers agree that data is the most underutilized asset in their organization, with less than 10 percent saying they currently use what data they have in a systematic way, according to a Teradata Data-Driven Marketing Survey 2013. What’s worse, about half (48 percent) of all marketers are still just using data on an ad hoc basis, while about a third (33 percent) have embedded it systematically or even strategically into their standard processes. That has to change for organizations to glean great value from their CRM systems.
A CRM solution can deliver better customer service, streamline marketing efforts and serve as a powerful sales tool. Yet a resistance to change can cause employees to balk at CRM’s benefits, thereby curbing widespread adoption. Luckily, there are steps businesses can take to earn CRM the respect it deserves. Integrating data silos, compensating employees for usage, deploying mobile CRM apps and introducing analytics are all ways organizations can make CRM a revenue-generating asset.
We can help you accomplish all of these things, and more. Contact us.
Most marketing analysts agree that marketing and CRM integration is vital for manufacturing companies. According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute, three quarters of manufactures use content marketing. But only 26 percent state that their efforts are effective.The reason for the rest of the struggle is targeting right audience and finding the right content. More than 60 percent said that converting web site visitors into prospects was an immediate issue related to their marketing efforts.All of the problems above can be solved with a Customer Relations Management System.
Many organizations only know the surface of what can be done with CRM for marketing. Your CRM is the single most important marketing tool in your business.
Here are some ways to use CRM for marketing advantage:
A Customer Relation Management System is the domain of the sales departments. CRM integration is essential for marketing and sales department to work with coordination. A CRM system will make sure that marketing and sales are in lock-step around the goals, scale and scope of the CRM deployment. It is important that sales and marketing are together. This will enable two departments share information, common data, and have a unified definition of qualified leads.
Many marketing experts would agree on the importance of the shared definitions for sales and marketing.
Sales and marketing must agree on a common definition of a lead and who is responsible for handling specific actions throughout the integrated selling process. Organizations should answer the questions of what is a qualified lead for marketing and for sales.
Making the most of the Customer Relations Management System marriage between sales and marketing requires careful planning to present leads with the right marketing message at the right time in the sales cycle as well as defining the business processes and key features needed by each group. There should be a clear and specific plan in place.Organizations should plan and find out who will have access to specific of the CRM, other systems that will integrate with the CRM, lead qualification, how automation will be executed, content marketing strategy, how to track website visitors.
One of the critical factors on the CRM adaption is the employees’ understanding of the system and how they optimize the use of the system. One of the most common problems with the CRM industry is how often employees underutilize these powerful systems. Employee adoption of a CRM system is critical.
Employee training should include business process training and also technical training. Arguably more important than technical training is process training.
The best place to start is to teach sales and marketing employees on how to set up a lead management process .This includes business processes like how you plan to generate leads, how you will develop and educate leads who are not ready to buy for sales department. Marketing employees need to find out how to create the content you need to inform your leads through each of their buying phases, how you will prioritize, score and disqualify leads. Once the leads are generated there has to be process to pass these qualified leads to sales, and how leads will be routed to partners, distributors and sales people.
A Customer Relations Management Systems is just more than a functional address books. One important function of a good CRM system is automation. For sales departments this means a reduction in data entry, but automation also can play a strong role in lead assignment and marketing efforts.
With a CRM system you can put automation rules in place. You can have your system automate lead assignments so that only the most qualified leads are getting assigned to sales for follow-up. The remaining leads should stay with marketing so that they can be placed on lead nurturing tracks which will nurture them to sales-readiness without any work from sales.
A CRM system should have a clean data .Data integrity is essential when it comes to integrating CRM systems and marketing. A CRM system with quality data is important because it will be syncing with marketing automation software. Marketing automation won’t be successful if the data has duplicate, outdated information.
CRM allows complex marketing processes but that doesn’t mean these processes are right for Small to Medium Size businesses. Not many organizations need complex marketing strategies. Keeping things simple and elegant is cost efficient and the most effective in regards to return for every dollar invested.
So while CRM systems have much to offer the marketing department, the most successful marketing integrations are keeping things simple.
CRM software has been providing the value for your content management, generating leads, improve prospects’ conversion rates, and drive brand loyalty while enhancing the overall customer experience. Customer Relations Management system provides data analytics of your customer interactions that is valuable information for improvement of business processes in organizations. One of the critical values CRM provides is a real-time breakdown of data that can help you boost sales, give you better decision making capability, and empower your sales team to work efficiently. See how Customer Relations Management system can help you improve overall communication, visibility, and profits across your business with these four strategies.
Lead nurturing is a complicated process, easily neglected in favor of clear-cut marketing efforts aimed at prequalified, more valuable prospects, but failing to care properly, lead nurturing can be an expensive practice. Even though persistence and consistency are important for lead nurturing, a smarter tactic is to use Customer Relations Management software to create and send targeted, planned content marketing campaigns that move leads into the sales cycle. CRM can play a big role in lead nurturing. Forrester Research indicates that Companies working on lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads at 33 percent lower cost. CRM software will help your marketing department prequalify prospects so that they can strategically create the type of information to send or schedule a follow-up call when it is necessary. Critical to this process is the use of marketing automation tools to provide ongoing communications, including, surveys, newsletters and links to case histories, balanced by regular offers to connect. Using a Customer Relations Management system in this way allows you to reengage cold leads and nurture new leads while simultaneously reaching prospects in your sales cycle.
Customer Relations Management software presents real time data, providing an intelligent way to investigate customer problems and take quick action to save costs, improve delivery, and keep clients satisfied happy. By collecting data from marketing activities and your Customer Relations Management system, your management team can have an accurate picture that can help you build a tactical and strategic plan to change direction or create an innovative strategies for your business. The dashboard allows a quick scan to drill spot trends, or employees can use lead generation and close rates to build more accurate revenue and sales forecasts. Drill down into category-specific content marketing reports to find parallels between product categories that aren’t selling, and then build a new campaign to reach those categories. Using Customer Relations Management software to gather intelligence leads to the real-time data that give you the flexibility to perfect your systems as business needs change.
A Customer Relations Management system provides a powerful effective system to build collaboration among departments. Using sales-based business intelligence, you can strengthen connections between sales and marketing to narrow the gap between initial interest and purchase. Are content marketing pieces providing the answers that help prequalify prospects? Help the sales team identify missed opportunities and discover areas for potential growth and continued sales. Are there correlations between the number of days for response times and close ratios? Is there a decrease in sales with longer response times? Collecting all this information will help the sales and marketing teams have the data they need to analyze their own results, timing, and effort so that they can map a path toward shortening the time between initial interest and purchase.
Organizations that are intentional about prioritizing customer relationships enjoyed 60 percent higher profits than their competition that wasn’t serious about keeping customers satisfied. Ongoing and persistent communications with current clients should include strategies that position your business as a partner that understands their needs, with the solutions available to help them with their specific needs and challenges. Essentially, communication efforts should focus on maintaining the relationships with existing customers, encouraging new purchases, and generating referrals. One way to achieve this is through the creation of an online knowledge base, using the Customer Relations Management system to track the types of content customers are researching. Then, businesses can use this knowledge to create customer-only webinars and white papers that deliver insight into those topics and demonstrate capabilities of the company’s products and services through case studies that encourage clients to invest more. Eventually analyzing CRM data, businesses can maintain that their customer communication efficiently strengthens customer loyalty.
Customer Relations Management systems are one of the best software to manage customer relationships and automating manual business processes. In essence, CRM systems provide powerful data insights such as historical information of customers and real-time information that your business can use to improve communications implement creative business strategies and increase sales. Start using CRM systems to have the flexibility and knowledge you need to be competitive in today’s market
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CRM systems are the lifeblood of sales organizations today and marketing automation is increasingly used to deliver value to marketing teams. Still, as both departments reap the benefits of automation and analytics insight, greater value can be achieved if they both work together to use the information CRM provides to better fine-tune their processes and optimally support one another’s work. Here are four ways your sales and marketing teams can get on the same page, and then get to the next level using CRM insights.
If marketing and sales are living in separate systems, there’s a good chance that neither side has a complete or accurate view of the lead-conversion process or, on a more granular level, the individual transactions related to a particular lead. By integrating your CRM system with your marketing automation platform, you can provide both sides with the real-time intelligence they need to qualify better leads and close more sales. If marketing has access to CRM social monitoring, its teams can gain valuable insight into real-time dynamics that will shape future campaigns, special offers, and discounts. On a broader scale, both sales and marketing can jointly track their progress on key metrics throughout the month, proactively responding and collaborating as necessary if certain indicators are below where they should be.
If marketing has access to key sales data and vice versa, both sides can provide the personalized, informed service that they need to do their jobs most effectively. Today’s customers expect to have seamless, meaningful interactions with their brands of choice no matter what business unit they happen to engage with. Any sales rep will want to be fully armed with as much information on an incoming lead before engaging with that lead; now, he or she can initiate that conversation knowing that the lead has already attended a webinar, chatted with the business on social media, downloaded several white papers, and phoned in to ask some preliminary questions. All that intelligence will be there for review on demand.
If the marketing team is firing on all cylinders with a fully tuned marketing automation system, it may be delivering large batches of new leads to salespeople, who need them to be at a certain stage before beginning their work. In other words, what marketing considers a fully qualified lead may not be the same as what sales considers a fully qualified lead. By providing marketing with access to key reporting on sales trends in the CRM system, both teams can gain insight into which types of leads tend to convert most often and, in the process, refine the lead scoring process so that it hums more efficiently between the two departments.
All this can happen dynamically, as well: when salespeople close a lead, they can flag it as such in the CRM system. Then, if that system is integrated with the marketing automation software, marketing can go in and analyze the conversion path, gleaning a better understanding of what marketing activities led to the sale. Marketing can fine-tune its strategy, delivering more sophisticated campaigns and better-qualified leads for future sales.
Some businesses are not just integrating their CRM and marketing automation systems, and then encouraging their sales and marketing teams to collaborate; they’re taking the next step of hiring a sales-enablement manager to assume responsibility for more effective ongoing collaboration between the two units. This type of liaison, using data provided by both systems, can intelligently guide the sales team in which materials, marketing collateral, or other resources will be most effective in servicing leads, thereby improving the prospects of closing deals. In turn, the sales-enablement manager can assist the marketing side in optimizing its processes to support sales goals and needs.
As you’ve seen, improving collaboration between marketing and sales is a continual process that relies not only on effective data integration and management but also dedicated partnerships within the business. Are you working on synchronizing your two teams’ efforts for better efficiency using CRM insights? If so, what challenges and opportunities have you identified so far? Feel free to share your perspective in the comments section below.
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