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Most Phase I CRM implementations are configured with a “land and expand” approach by design. Start out simple, get up and running fast, and get the users familiar with the system. But what about Phase II?
Sales teams supporting different product lines need to capture completely different information, and the stages in their sales processes are completely different. If you force these multiple separate sales teams to share screens, fields, dropdowns and workflows, then the system doesn’t fit anyone’s business perfectly, and what happens next is inevitable: everyone stops using the CRM system!
Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, the vast majority of CRM installs end up this way. Not due to faults with any given software program, but due to lack of focus, commitment and ongoing care and maintenance.
If your company has separate sales teams selling separate product lines, or if you’ve had acquisitions over time bringing in related but independent business units, then it is inevitable that CRM users will stop using the system unless you correct for this situation.
It is also critical to engage senior sales people in the CRM design process, so the system is not designed by management alone. This will improve the design, but it will also leverage a sense of ownership and responsibility by CRM users, which will lead to better user adoption. You need internal leaders and CRM champions to evangelize use of the CRM system.
And CRM system design is an ongoing process, not accomplished all at once. So it is equally important to allow for the system to evolve over time along with all other aspects of your business. Ongoing light end user refresher training is important, as well as to train new people when your employees turn over.
So alternatively, it is possible to set up separate interfaces for each of the separate sales teams. Each user only sees the fields and workflows that relate specifically to his or her business. So people will use the system, continue to make suggestions for ongoing improvements, which will help employees, management and the company to be more successful.
What is CRM Business Process Optimization?
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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.
There are Customer
Relations Management features that sales management loves, and there are
features that your sales management team appreciate.
Sales management team benefits most from lead tracking and
effort activity monitoring; keeping the focus on the pulse of the sales
pipeline is the key. Sales employees have a slightly different perspective.
The important part of Customer Relations Management features
for sales people is that how CRM can make them faster, better and smarter so I
can get more clients with less work.
Your organizations sales representatives may end up spending
too much time googling prospects, organizations and entering data in Customer
Relations Management System. Some sales people may spend sixty percent of their
time doing non-sales activities.
While there are many important CRM characteristics, here are
five that are particularly important for the actual agent closing a sale.
Among the Customer Relations Management features that help
sales reps get more sales with less effort is automation.
Automating all of the daily routine marketing activities
allows the Customer Relations Management system to work for you, freeing up
time to focus on more strategic activities. It enhances the processes, saves
time, effort and money and lets you focus on the most valuable asset of your
organization—your customers. A Customer Relations Management system without
robust automation cannot be called a sales-friendly CRM.
Automation is a key component to managing customer contacts and
the prospects information and conversations required by modern sales professionals.
The salespeople need sales intelligence automation to enrich leads with people
and company insights. Your sales team knows how and who to reach out to. Then
they need some type of templated email tracking system to help them automate
the process of reaching out and tracking responses.
Intelligent automation will help sales employees bring context
requires good analytics integrated into Customer Relations Management software.
Consumer behaviour has changed significantly due to
professional networks, social media and easy access to product and company information.
The only way sales professionals can meet these new trends is to have a system
that can gather information about the buyer and provide intelligent insights in
what needs to be done to sell to them.
A Customer Relations Management system will help sales teams
sell effectively is one that knows how to collect customer data and provide
insights for your business without much in the way of manual intervention.
In order to make the sales process easier is guiding agents
in the right direction and reducing wasted effort. A good sales-oriented Customer
Relations Management system will guide sales professionals through an
organization’s sales process and recommend the right and qualified prospects to
pursue and the recommended next steps.
The process will guide a user through the necessary steps to
achieve desired result, freeing a sales representative time for more gainful activities.
Helping sales team refresh on the details of a prospective
sale is one of the critical functions of Customer Relations Management software.
Data and communications need to be pulled together in one view to avoid sales
people having to search different sections of the CRM system to find different
pieces of information. The system should be easy for sales people to use.
Pipeline management should be easily accessible. A good Customer
Relations will remind your sales people where they are in the process of a
sale, their progress toward giving proposals and keep the documentation in CRM
software. Ideally this pipeline management will be visual.
They should be able to see at a glance where each
opportunity is in the pipeline, what the value of their pipeline is, and what actions
need to be taken to move opportunities forward.
CRM is not just useful for sales management but also your
organization needs CRM in marketing and customer service department.
For many companies sales is both at the core of business and
at the center of their Customer Relations Management system. A CRM system will
help sales agents make more sales.
For more information please contact us.
Sales and marketing departments are considered as separate departments but they are both equally important for the survival of the businesses. But in many organizations unfortunately sales and marketing departments operate on their own ways with minimal interaction. Sales and marketing may even work at cross purposes.
To get the most of your organization’s resources, marketing and sales departments should be closely coordinated. A Customer Relations Management can achieve this goal by providing easy way to handle daily operations of marketing and sales. This combined and coordinated operation will bring a united effort to achieve your sales quota with improved bottom line in your company.
What is the definition of a lead? Ideally marketing and sales departments should have the same definition of what a lead is in the sales cycle. Unfortunately this simple definition is more often omitted from the business strategy of the companies. In marketing, a “lead” is someone who has shown any interest in the products you sell or services you offer. In sales a lead is someone who is ready to buy the products of your organizations or to pay for your services.
This leads to sales and marketing working at contrary to each other and eventually sales department complaining about the low quality of the leads marketing department pulls in. On the other hand marketing department complaints about qualified leads they provide aren't followed up and those leads have fallen in the cracks.
A Customer Relations Management system can end this friction by getting both sides to agree on the definition of a lead and making sure those real leads are followed up on and ensuring a lead tracking system created. This practice will eliminate a source of contention; it also increases the efficiency of the sales process and shortens the sales cycle. A CRM system will enable marketing and sales department share information and coordinate the same shared information for the benefit of both.
It is important marketing and sales departments share information, but it isn't always easy to have an effective system of sharing because of the differences in the way both departments organize and use the information. When presenting the same information to marketing and sales there is some work to be done. Simply putting the same information won’t be useful for the other department. Each screen has to be tailored to the individual departments in the format they can use and benefit the most out of CRM software.
A CRM will provide your business can develop a coordinated sales and marketing campaign that coordinates the functions as well as related customer-facing functions such as service. By delineating each department's roles in relation to the others it becomes easier to keep everyone focused on the same goals and using the same strategies.
Coordination makes it easier to pass leads and other information between sales and departments. This practice will eliminate the time needed to follow up on leads as well as making sure nothing gets dropped. Marketing campaigns can be brought into line with sales goals, extending their effectiveness. CRM will help your organization analyze sales and marketing information therefore your departments will able to tie things together.
Many modern Customer Relations Management systems come with a suite of analysis tools built in to facilitate the job. In addition, third-party tools are available that tie into popular Customer Relations Management systems to perform more complex analysis.
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.
Questions? We can answer them. Contact us.
Your company’s operations are unique to your own specific business and therefore your sales workflow is based on factors such as your overall technology infrastructure and your target audience and customers. But many customer relationship management solutions in the market use the same workflow for each company and don’t have unique and flexible workflow capabilities.
Modern Customer Relations Management solutions such as Sage CRM use customization and personalization features to allow sales marketing teams to put the most useful features front and center, create interfaces that enhance productivity and end up with a CRM perfectly fitted to your needs. Here are areas your sales team can customize CRM software.
Each sales team employee has their own way of taking a lead through the sales process. Instead of forcing the entire sales employees and management team to go through an identical workflow, they can personalize their Customer Relations Management on an account-specific level to have workflows representing their personal sales styles. You can provide an overall workflow template as the basis for your sales and management team allow them to adjust it or give your team the capability to handle it from scratch. A highly experienced and sophisticated sales team appreciates the freedom to use what works best for closing sales.
Ideally, all sales processes that don't require a person should be automated. Their primary job task should focus on using that time to reach out to prospects and existing clients to create more sales. Process automation includes into a personalized workflow, so each sales team member has repetitive tasks handled by the Customer Relations Management. As new business processes get added to the company, you can create process automation to manage the workload.
Sales team managers and other sales team employees don't need access to the same information. Poorly optimized Customer Relations Management solutions provide collections of information on the entire team which may be unnecessary for every team member. Information overload makes it difficult to find relevant data, which can decrease sales and agility. Role-specific information assigns sales team members a role and customizes the available information. Your sales managers get a top-down view of sales performance, while each team member can focus on particular prospects.
Your sales representative is on site giving presentations to prospects, attending to trade shows and on the road or airplanes on a regular basis. Mobile Customer Relations Management features are starting to show up in many solutions, but not all mobile app access is created equally. The information your sales team& management needs to know on mobile is enormously different from the information on a workstation. Customizing mobile CRM functionality lets you ensure your field teams are getting what they need without loading them down with a lot of useless features and data.
An unintuitive CRM interface makes it difficult to use the solution productively. Instead of dealing with an interface that gets in the way of daily tasks or requires many clicks to get to needed functions for employees’ tasks, you can customize the user interface of CRM. Some customization options are slight, such as changing the interface colors, but some CRM solutions empower you to change virtually every aspect of the interface.
Customer Relations Management solutions shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all solution. Customization and personalization let your sales team take total control over their CRM use so they can improve productivity, get the information they need and untether from their workstations.
CRM Systems is a full-service professional service provider of end-to-end ERP and CRM solutions for the SMB business market.
We are experts at what we do.
Contact us today for more information.
CRM Systems serves all of the United States and Canada with particular emphasis on the south-western USA, Ontario and western Canada.
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