CIO Magazine published an article providing 13 Tips to Get Business Teams to Use Your CRM System:
Having a great new customer relationship management system won’t be worth much until you figure out how to get everyone to use it. CRM experts provide tips on how to get members of your sales, marketing and customer service teams to actually use that expensive new CRM system.
You can read the full article here, courtesy of CIO Magazine.
Business 2 Community has an article asking Will Cloud-Based CRM Systems Really Improve Your Customer Service?
With cloud-based everything dominating the tech-world landscape these days, it’s reasonable to consider the pros and cons of migrating your CRM systems to the cloud. However, before you start exploring the nuances of cloud-based CRM mobile app options, scalability, or security features, keep in mind the most important question of all: Will cloud-based CRM systems improve your customer service?
You can read the full article here, courtesy of Business 2 Community.
CRM Buyer has an article outlining 5 Things That Kill CRM ROI Dead:
CRM is light years ahead of where it was a decade ago, but if it’s no longer a money pit, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily delivering the most bang for the buck either. Businesses can get better ROI from their CRM if they avoid some common mistakes: creating a siloed CRM system; letting sales and marketing squabble; ignoring reports; blasting messages on social media; and turning a deaf ear to customers.
We also provide these tips and resources for customer success that will help you with your CRM implementation along with our Commence CRM White Paper: Don’t Make a CRM Buying Mistake : 7 Points to Consider Before Selecting Your CRM Solution.
Commence Corporation, a leading provider of online CRM software for automating the sales process, has invited professional sales managers and trainers to share their sales tips and best practices for sales execution. Sales training topics include:
- Fundamentals of key account selling
- How to become the best sales person
- Strategic plans for effective selling
- Are sales people made or born
Check out this library of articles on improving sales performance available for free on the company website.
Selecting a CRM system for your business can be a daunting exercise. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to make a decision about a product or service that you do not feel educated about. You don’t have the time to dig into the details of every CRM product offering, but you may not have to.
Commence Corporation, a leading provider of online CRM software, has created a white paper to help you in your selection process. The paper called “Don’t Make a CRM Buying Mistake – 7 Points to Consider…” outlines seven critical decision points that you should consider before making your selection of a CRM solution. The paper offers unbiased advice and does not put forth Commence Corporation or the Commence CRM as the right solution for all. It has been downloaded by hundreds of people and has received excellent reviews.
To read more visit the Commence Blog or download the paper using the link below:
Image “Ducks on Fence” by ykanazawa1999 on Flickr under Creative Commons license.
Want to improve your marketing and brand awareness, generate more leads and close more business? Of course you do and you can with the right tools and business processes. Today’s online CRM programs offer excellent functionality to help you become a more efficient sales and service organization. But it’s hard to use CRM to automate your internal business processes if the processes themselves don’t exist.
Sales Process Management
Many businesses struggle with managing their sales organization simply because they have no structured sales methodology or process that they consistently follow. CRM software does not invent policy it simply automates it. If you want CRM to work for you, you will have to establish the steps of your sales process first, and then use your CRM software to automate and streamline the process. By doing this you can view where each sales opportunity is in the sales cycle, determine the next steps toward closure and generate accurate sales forecasts.
Customer Service History
The same concept applies to how you provide service to your customers. Many good CRM software solutions offer a customer service module, often referred to as a ticketing system. This allows you to keep track of customer inquiries, complaints or return merchandise and automate the process by which your service team manages the customer interaction. All interactions are viewable in the CRM system so that you have a complete historical record of their service history.
The point here is clear. In order to have CRM software work for you, you first have to put the policies and procedures in place, and then streamline them with your CRM system.
…remember that a CRM system is a tool. What you put into it is what you will get out of it.
Investing in a Small Business CRM
Is CRM Software really worth the investment for your small business? Check out this article from V3 Kansas City Integrated Marketing and Social Media Agency for good points about what CRM can do for your business.
CRM Software is just a Tool
One of the key points “…remember that a CRM system is a tool. What you put into it is what you will get out of it.” mirrors our thoughts in the blog article CRM No Commitment – Means No Results.
Small to mid-size businesses looking to acquire a CRM software solution may wish to visit the Commence CRM Blog.
This site offers valuable information to help you compare the different types of CRM offerings such as desktop, hosted and cloud based CRM.
Several CRM white papers are also available for how to select the right CRM software program, best choices for small and mid-size companies and mistakes to avoid during the evaluation process.
The site also offers a series of best practices and sales tips from sales training expert Dave Kahle.
Images from the Value Story series by Jurgen Appelo on Flickr under Creative Commons license.
CRM has been around for two decades. The term is simply part of the evolution from the days when this software was called contact management, then evolved into sales automation software and now CRM. You can always count on the technology sector to come up with a new name for something people have become tired of hearing.
CRM is that new name, but it too has now become a bit old and tired. Rather than completely change the term, the industry has expanded it into different elements of CRM such as Social CRM, Analytical CRM, and Partner Relationship Management or (PRM). Any way you look at it, it’s all the same.
CRM software is designed to enable you to capture, track, manage and share vital customer information with the people who need it each and every day to do their jobs. This includes account and contact information, notes and history, lead details, sales information and service records. Some CRM software also includes project management and integration with accounting software. Some offer integration with social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The main purpose of CRM software however has never changed, and that is to have one central database of information that can be updated and shared in a real time environment. It’s really that simple.
So why all the fuss about which is the best CRM system, the #1 CRM program or the best CRM solution provider? I really don’t know, but what I do know is that if you have an interest in this type of software which is often hosted in the cloud, you need to pay as much attention to the cloud hosting service and the security of your data than you do the features and functions of these products. You also need to be keenly aware that this is a highly competitive sector and that you are going to get exactly what you pay for. Stay away from free offerings and special low cost promotions that, more often than not, deliver a lot less than you expected. There are some very good CRM solutions from very good companies that are affordable, even for small and mid-size companies. There is no reason to drive yourself crazy reviewing a dozen or more programs.
Commence Corporation has put together a CRM review of four vendors that have been in the industry for many years and are well regarded for the quality of their product and their service. Each company offers a large number of company testimonials and would be a good place to start in your CRM selection process.
Image by Ian Aberle on Flickr under Creative Commons license.
In today’s intensely competitive market the only thing that may differentiate your business from your competitors is the buying experience your customer has with your company. Customers expect their buying experience to be rewarding and trouble free. When it’s not, the first place they go is the internet to post negative comments about their experience. Negative comments about your business can substantially impact the mind set of future buyers who may be searching the internet to learn about the experience others have had with your business.
While Customer Relationship Management software is traditionally used for sales and lead management, smart businesses are now expanding its use. Here are some of the ways businesses are using CRM software to improve their customers’ experience and their buying behavior.
1. AUTOMATED SALES FOLLOWUP
Automated responses generated after an order is processed, to send a thank you note for their business
2. CUSTOMER SERVICE AUTO-RESPONDER
Enabling customers to enter a service ticket 24/7 and get an automated response that their ticket has been received
3. CUSTOMER REFERRAL REWARDS PROGRAM
Identifying customers who have referred other businesses, and presenting a rewards program just for them
4. AUTOMATED E-MAIL CAMPAIGN
Periodically providing valuable information without a sales pitch, with links to an online knowledgebase that addresses questions about your product or service
5. CUSTOMER PORTAL
Enabling customers to directly update their profile such as their billing or shipping address
CRM software can play a role in helping to make your company a more efficient sales and service organization. In addition to maintaining a complete historical profile of each new customer, CRM software that offers automated business processes can help you to streamline the buying process and the quality of service you provide to your customers. Amazon.com has mastered this by instilling a total sense of trust in the consumers mind, but you don’t need to be Amazon.com to offer your customers a great buying experience or impact their future buying behavior. You just need the tools to do it.
Image “Your Amazon Wish List May Need an Address Update” by Chris Messina on Flickr under Creative Commons license.