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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.
For some businesses, ERP implementation may not bring the desired results. Some of the ERP projects are defined as “failures” organizations may find that they haven’t meet the obligations of key performance indicators after implementing the ERP system.
In order to see return on investment in one year of purchasing the software, companies should focus on good user preparation, strong organizational leadership, and adequate understanding of your company's needs can all result in financial returns. To help your organization realize the most successful Enterprise Resource Planning implementation, there are list of some factors that will help your company drive positive return on investment.
Organizations need improved employee productivity, stay competitive and transparency in the way they do business. The right software and processes can allow your employees to accomplish more due to:
However, if your employees aren't able to do their jobs due to inadequate training on your go-live date, your productivity is more likely to slow down than skyrocket.
During the planning stages of your Enterprise Resource Planning implementation, business and IT management should include flexibility into training plans. Because there will be unplanned delays and changes during implementation, training date will change accordingly. In case of late delivery of the projects, training date should be changed to make sure that employees can learn the system seamless. The impact of delaying your go-live date is almost never as severe as trying to operate with a system that your employees cannot use effectively.
Change management shouldn’t be the responsibility of your company's IT management team, who are putting the most hours towards your project implementation. It's the responsibility of senior management in both IT and business roles. If your organizations’ preparations and planning don't take human factor into consideration your implementation could face resistance or poor adoption. Employee resistance can be a significant barrier to realizing ROI from ERP implementation.
Business leadership plays an important role in the ERP project from day one. Management team and executives should often communicate with employees about the project and your company's vision for the initiative. By establishing a culture of transparency around the ERP, you can reduce employee fears that it will significantly change the organization for the worse.
Unless your business is building your own Enterprise Resource Solution from the ground up, poor system architecture is rarely the software's fault. A system that works poorly or complicates business processes is more commonly caused by:
Enterprise Resource Planning expert John Graham cautions against being "too focused on features" during your software selection and implementation processes. If you're too distracted by sophisticated software features to consider whether they will benefit your organization, your implementation may not align with your company's needs.
If you're considering purchasing an ERP solution that's "almost right," it may be wise to keep looking. While customizing a solution to fit your needs may be tempting, research indicates that this approach can "break an ERP implementation." Your chances of experiencing cost or schedule issues could be higher if you're planning on extensively tweaking an off-the-shelf solution.
Graham points to a term commonly used to describe failed Enterprise Resource Planning initiatives, which are "bad business processes, upgraded." If there are existing inefficiencies or issues with your workflows, adding software layer won't fix your company. It will only add another tool to the mix. During the requirements documentation stage, take a long hard look at your existing processes.
Ultimately, your business is far more likely to succeed at implementing Enterprise Resource Planning than fail. However, by understanding some reasons companies fail to drive Return on Investment with ERP initiatives, you can ensure that your company is able to realize cost savings and productivity gains.
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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 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.
Surviving and thriving retail landscape is being reshaped by online sales. Companies today have to reach out and engage everyone who touches their brand. Much of the retail sector growth over the next decade will be driven by the Internet; and any business without an e-business strategy loses the chance to connect with buyers looking to interact with a company on their preferred online, mobile or social platform. With multichannel customer relationships becoming more complex, businesses are turning to management solutions capable of keeping track of and in touch with buyers as they bounce between online and real world retail venues.
Early retail Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions used to deal exclusively with interactions in the store. With an array of online channels now available to buyers, retailers have to keep track of customer behavior regardless of where they shop, reinforcing the brand wherever an opportunity arises.
The Internet is a powerful customer management medium, making it possible for a business today to engage with and satisfy every shopper based on their past behaviors, specific needs and preferences and unique product or service requirements. An effective CRM can employ online marketing tools to track the entire sales life cycle from the first ad impression right on through post order satisfaction.
CRM for retail can provide a 360-degree view of every customer in every channel, and that knowledge can improve the customer experience, which builds customer loyalty and increases
revenue. Sage CRM with Sage 300 ERP provides a centralized retail CRM solution that enables retailers to better recognize and reward customers in any store or channel. Using a single data repository for the entire enterprise, any company can track and segment customers to personalize retail marketing at the point of sale, create individualized offers, and offer instant promotions to increase sale size. With this retail CRM in place, management can easily view sale and campaign performance using role based dashboards, manage mobile, search engine, and affiliate marketing, and even monitor sales from anywhere with mobile access on iPhone, BlackBerry, or Windows Mobile devices.
CRM Systems offers a fully-integrated online shopping (ecommerce) module for Sage CRM. The CRM Webstore is also fully integrated to Sage 300 ERP, meaning that you combine the power of CRM, ERP, and the web into one solution. This is a foundation for growth.
Sage CRM with CRM Internet Communicator (by CRM Systems) can even create targeted and personalized email campaigns, and the closed-loop marketing design makes it possible to view revenues, costs, and ROI for all campaigns in real-time. CRM systems are currently one of the fastest growing areas of software technology investment for Western European retailers, driven in part by the explosive growth of online shopping across the entire European Union market. According to Forrester Research e-commerce in Western Europe is expected grow at about 11 percent this year, ahead of both the United Kingdom and the United States.
Online retail across 17 of the largest European Union markets is expected to reach over $154 billion by the end of 2014, with 190 million Europeans shopping online, up from 141 million. Forrester predicts that much of the overall retail sector’s growth in both the U.S. and the EU over the next five years will come from the Internet. At no time has it been more critical for retailers to foster e-commerce marketing and sales, informed and bolstered by an integrated CRM solution.
The right solution can analyze and fold together a buyer’s habits and preferences, real time information about inventory, and details on pricing and availability. This is the kind of information that can improve the customer experience and increase sales, and that is the real power of
Customer Relationship Management.
Questions? We have answers. Contact us to get them!
“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.
LETS GET STARTED — CRM Systems, Inc. Phone: 1-888-344 2652 x 110 or 619-956-9189 x 110
Only 26 percent of businesses are unsatisfied with their CRM after implementation. Some companies face challenges with integration, customization. Dissatisfaction may come from selecting the wrong solution, vendor or trying to drive value with an outdated legacy tool. Dissatisfaction is driven by end users or incorrect attitudes.
Your Customer Relations Management System is only as effective as the data your employees put in. Inconsistent or incorrect data entry processes can lead to a database that is not valuable for sales, marketing, and training or reporting. The source of the dissatisfaction could be the CRM tool or cause by end users. Here are some practices that will help you to avoid dissatisfaction from CRM tool caused by your users or internal operations.
Designated CRM administrators have a crucial role in a company. In smaller businesses a CRM administrator may have this role in addition to other responsibilities. Responsibilities of the administrator should be managing the platform to set effective user roles, internal training and hold departments accountable for CRM best practices.
A Customer Relations System will reflect the quality and intelligence of data input. Establishing rules for CRM data entry standards is among the most important activities a business can take. Data entry standards should address correct formatting of the following:
Names, URLs, Titles, Industry Segment, email addresses, contact information, addresses.
Many Customer Relations Management Systems have built-in tools – workflows that prevent users from entering incorrectly formatted data such as "HR Director" when rules dictate "Human Resources Director" as the correct title. Set of standards, quality tools should be established.
Companies fail to emphasize the "why" in their software training programs. Your users are intelligent, and simply focusing on the "how" of using the CRM might not provide the adoption rates required for CRM satisfaction. Ensure your sales team and Customer Service Representatives understand what is in it for them, and why you're trying to drive uniform rules in CRM.
CRM has advanced reporting and business analytical tools that have become standard feature of CRM tools. If your sales management teams aren't evaluating sales reports on a daily and weekly basis, you could be suffering from sentiment issues that begin at the top. Your management must be among the most dedicated promoters of your CRM solution, and it must lead the quality initiative through regular review of reporting. While your dedicated admin can play a critical role in evaluating input quality and usage, management must also commit.
The key to realizing value from any technology investment isn't especially glamorous: it's to consistently use the application on a regular basis, to designate leadership as CRM champions and to dedicate rewards for internal power-users of the software. Every leader at your organization must be committed to CRM quality through repetitive, consistent use.
The vast majority of CRM solutions offer efficiency tools, including easy mobile entry, automated lead scoring, social listening and other remarkable capabilities. If your adoption of efficiency is poor, your sales force could be rebelling against the CRM since it's unnecessarily challenging to use.
Companies that commit to standardized use of their CRM on a regular basis can realize remarkable benefits. If you're navigating a culture of dissatisfaction with your existing solution, it's certainly worth evaluating whether your solution or your users are the source of the dissatisfaction.
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.
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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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