The number one request from small to mid-size businesses evaluating CRM software is ease of use. This is because CRM systems have traditionally been over engineered and simply too hard to use. Delivering the right combination of functionality and ease to use has been a challenge for many CRM software providers, but according to customer testimonials Commence CRM seems to deliver the right balance of functionality coupled with a simple design and navigation.
Commence CRM is a robust offering that rivals many higher end solutions. In addition to the standard account and contact management, sales, leads and marketing modules, Commence CRM adds optional applications for project management, customer service or help desk and integration to disparate software programs. Even with this level of functionality customers report that the product is extremely easy to use. What makes this possible is a clever design and use of a digital dashboard that enables the end user to perform 90 percent of their daily tasks without ever leaving the initial screen.
The CRM dashboard can be configured by each user with a click of a button and may include all or a subset of the following features or portlets:
- Today’s Calendar
- Monthly Calendar
- Today’s Activities and To-Do’s
- Overdue Activities
- Company News
- Favorite Reports
- New Leads
- Project Tasks
- Sales Performance
- Sales Pipeline
- Schedule Opportunities
- Support Tickets
Sample Dashboard Used by Sales Staff
Each portlet enables you to perform that task right from the dashboard and even provides a shortcut to additional functionality. The Leads portlet for example allows you to enter a new lead right from the dashboard. You can view all the leads you are currently working on by clicking a button labeled more … it’s that simple.
With Commence CRM you can add a new account or contact, a new lead, a new sales opportunity, schedule follow-up activities add or update a project or a service ticket; even view your favorite reports without ever leaving the screen. Learn more with an online CRM demo or free trial of the CRM software.
Businesses both large and small have gone way too long without the ability to properly manage their sales cycle. Every company that sells a product or service has a sales cycle. Some are short-term sales with only one or two steps, while others require a lengthy sales cycle with multiple steps that may take a year or more.
Sales tracking software enables sales representative and sales management to track every step in the sales process. Sales managers can review the sales opportunities of each representative, to see if the opportunities are moving through the cycle as anticipated or if immediate action needs to be taken to get the process back on track.
The sales cycle is traditionally tied to a sales pipeline or sales funnel which provides a graphical representation of where every new sales opportunity is in the selling process. The value here is substantial, beginning with the ability to assign the right resources when required and perhaps most importantly for management to more accurately predict monthly, quarterly and annual sales revenue forecasts.
Use CRM Software for Customer Service
When most people think about CRM software as a tool for their business they are almost always thinking about improving sales and the management of the selling process. While CRM software has indeed been a catalyst for lead generation, lead management and sales pipeline management, businesses should also be looking at CRM software as a vehicle for improving customer service and the customer’s buying experience. If you are not, you are missing an opportunity to better manage and communicate with your customers.
I can remember as an account executive for large accounts driving to a customer site and getting blindsided by a problem that occurred a day or two prior. Because CRM software was not available 15 years ago I had no access to my client’s information and as such spent a good portion of the day trying to smooth the emotions of the staff and get the relationship back on track. My main purpose of the visit however, was to introduce them to other products and services offered by my company. That never happened back then, but today through the use of a CRM system I am provided with access to a complete 360 degree profile of my customer information and I can access this via a PC, Apple Mac or my mobile device while on the road.
CRM Software for Pro-active Customer Service
The value of this real-time customer information is immeasurable. I can see the clients order history, notes, e-mail correspondence, past activities, future or pending activities and perhaps most importantly their customer service history and any active service tickets that are being addressed and by who. Armed with this information I am now able to take a proactive approach to customer service, calling my clients about a potential issue before it becomes a major problem and an obstacle to future sales.
Of course I use my CRM system to manage new leads and the selling cycle, but I am realizing additional value from using it for customer service.
Small and mid-size businesses struggling to maintain their traditional IT infrastructure are tuning their attention to on-line Customer Relationship Management software to address their contact management, sales and marketing automation needs. One of the CRM solutions they are turning to is Commence CRM, a web based CRM solution that offers a comprehensive suite of CRM applications for contact management, lead management, sales pipeline management and forecasting, marketing, customer support and project management. Commence CRM software also integrates with accounting solutions such as Intuit’s QuickBooks and runs natively for Mac CRM. Commence CRM also supports popular mobile crm for devices such as the Iphone, Ipad, Blackberry, Palm and Windows Mobile devices.