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Must Know CRM Hacks for Entrepreneurs

Must Know CRM Hacks for Entrepreneurs

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve likely heard about the fiasco involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. If you didn’t, well, here’s everything in a nutshell – Facebook made it possible for a firm called Cambridge Analytica to improperly access user data.

Needless to say, when things got exposed, there was some serious backlash. So, now Facebook is going to make it impossible for advertisers to access targeting data using third-party services. Instead, if you’re an advertiser, you’ll just have to rely on the data Facebook provides you.

 

Anyway, data access and privacy issues apart, the one thing that entrepreneurs can learn from this episode is that it’s much smarter to collect your own data. It’s smart not just because it’s the right thing to do. It’s smart because you actually have the tools to do it; tools that are far more effective and efficient. We call them CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. Using CRM to acquire customer data is worth the effort and also, cheaper than relying on third-party services.

But, of course, leveraging CRM tools isn’t as easy as it sounds. That’s why the abandonment rate for these solutions is a little high. But, here’s the thing – it’s not the CRM systems that are to be blamed. More often than not, it’s just the inefficiency on the user’s part.

 

If you’re willing to learn the right way to do things, your CRM solution can end up being a highly reliable weapon in the sales/marketing arsenal. So, we’ve decided to help you make the most of your CRM software with a few hacks. Hopefully, these hacks will you get you started on the right track.

Streamline What Needs to be Streamlined

Manual processes are a total waste of time. They take too long and worse, you have to deal with human error. But, with CRM software, you can automate certain processes. You can import information, create smart schedules, and compile related data.

You see, ease of use is something that most CRM solutions offer. One way you can leverage this “ease of use” is by programming the solution to group data according to prospect instead of activity. This makes it possible for your sales personnel to access all kinds of information; right from chat conversations to emails.

 

The end result of this is that your sales teams can track prospects better and develop a clearer picture of how effective or ineffective the sales strategies being employed are.

CRM solutions can also help with creating lists that segment clients on the basis of their role in the industry and their job titles. This aids personalization efforts and results in efficient cold-call processes.

Spot High-Risk Accounts

According to a Bain & Company study, even a 5% boost in customer retention rates can result in a 95% boost in profits. CRM is the ideal tool to track customer engagement because it makes it possible for customer service teams to respond instantly to queries and other issues.

With a CRM tool to keep track of things, several complaints tend to get ignored or even go unnoticed. However, with improved tracking capabilities, businesses can detect patterns and be proactive with regard to their responses.

 

One way to do this is by simply setting up flags for specific queries or types of queries.  For instance, you can flag repeat complaints and have sales personnel alerted to these flagged queries.

Improve Cooperation Between Sales & Marketing

It’s clear that things are always smoother when sales and marketing cooperate. A study by Altify found that businesses with highly cooperative sales and marketing teams enjoyed 26% more profit and 18% shorter sales cycles.

So, ensure that your CRM solutions aren’t treated as the exclusive property of one department. Make sure both of them have equal access to it. Encourage them to leverage the tool to its maximum potential. This will help improve communication. Marketers will be able to develop campaigns that sales teams can work with.

 

So, as you can see – just a few simple, but thoughtful changes in your approach to CRM software can help deliver significant results.

 

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Why CRM Continues to dominate the Software market

Why CRM Continues to Dominate the Software market

So, the results are finally in and CRM is clearly the winner. According to a Gartner study, Customer Relationship Management software revenues in 2017 were much higher than that of DBMS (Database Management Systems) revenues.

In other words, CRM is the largest in the global software market.

CRM software revenue, on a global scale, amounted to around $39.5 billion, last year. In comparison, the revenue generated by DBM systems was only $36.8 billion. According to Julian Poulter, Gartner’s Director of Research, the trend will likely continue in 2018.

He believes that CRM software revenue this year will continue to be the highest in the software market. He also predicts that the market itself will become the fastest growing market. In fact, it already is, with an estimated 16% growth rate.

Factors that will drive further growth

Poulter suggests that most of the growth will be led by “voice of the customer”, lead management, and field service management. Each of these segments is predicted to experience 20% growth or more. Much of the growth in the CRM software market is being attributed to the growing need among organizations to acquire a 360-degree view of the customer.

 

Organizations do not want to establish information silos. Gaining a “complete” understanding of the customer provides more valuable insights. It also allows for the better application of AI, which, in turn, makes users of CRM systems more effective in their functions.

Another interesting event is that the shift to CRM solutions is occurring at a time when there’s a huge movement towards “segment-of-one” marketing, which focuses on the utilization of AI to create customized homepages for each customer.

By 2020, market predictions indicate that around 85% of retail consumer experiences will be shaped by AI.

Challenges

Of course, CRM’s path to dominance will be met by challenges. One of the biggest challenges faced by CRM currently is GDPR compliance. This will definitely cause CRM and associated security costs to go up. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European regulation that aims to boost data protection and hand over more control to European consumers.

Naturally, this will have an impact on CRM solutions and their adoption. CRM systems are designed to collect voluminous amounts of personal data. This data is stored in these systems for considerable periods of time, which puts businesses at significant risk of non-compliance with GDPR.

 

According to Gartner, the cost of compliance with GDPR will increase over the next few years, especially with regard to CRM, CX (Customer Experience), and Information Security. Some of the areas wherein significant investment will be required are marketing technology, security information, event management, data loss prevention, security consulting and so on.

 

According to Bart Willemsen, another Research Director at Gartner, compliance with GDPR is something that organizations should take seriously. The deadline to achieve compliance is May 25th. Today, more than ever, there is a great demand for the protection of customer data. If companies fail to adhere to the new standards, they risk losing tremendously.

For instance, with GDPR, European consumers will now have the ability to close their accounts and even provide false data to safeguard their personal information. This can be a problem for companies that rely on CRM software.

 

CRM solutions are also ripe for privacy violation allegations, which will attract GDPR sanctions on the organization. So, application leaders need to make sure that there is robust control over personal data use across the data lifecycle. They also need to protect processed personal data in order to prevent it from being used beyond the established use cases.

 

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Predicting Customer Orders With CRM

Predicting Customer Orders With CRM

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are known for certain capabilities. One such capability involves maintaining records of customer purchases. These records can be very valuable when it comes to figuring out the customer in terms of their demographic profile, the cost involved in retaining them, and their overall value to the company.

Though ERP systems actually collect the data, the data is stored in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System.

For long, ERP systems have provided top-notch built-in reporting capabilities. Some of them have even offered data concerning the usage rate of a product to help businesses make predictions about when the product will have to be replenished for a particular customer.

In fact, even if the ERP solution cannot offer this capability, the actual calculation can be carried out with the aid of spreadsheets.

This is a data analysis technique that businesses keep revisiting every now and then. The objective (often) has to do with predicting repeat orders. Obviously, there is bound to be agreement on all sides when this happens because repeat orders are never a bad thing.

The Issue

Maintaining the report on the ERP system isn’t going to cut it. Of course, it’s smart to actually hold the information, but the information needs to be made accessible to salespeople, whenever and wherever possible.

This data must be made available to the sales personnel. Otherwise, it isn’t of much use and a total waste considering just how valuable it can be. Sadly, even when the customer order histories and predictions to get to the concerned sales personnel, it is rarely at the right time.

You see, even knowing when a product is likely to run out for the customer is enough. However, the information is of no use when it isn’t being leveraged. Most customers tend to be loyal towards a particular item among a range of options.

However, salespeople aren’t confident about things even when the customer is likely to purchase the same product anyway. This is because they do not have the information necessary to make an informed decision.

This is why efforts to predict tend to fail.

How CRM Can Aid Prediction Effectively

Predictive success lies in being able to communicate the predictions to sales teams at the right time. Only then can salespeople leverage the data and use it effectively. CRM can aid this with a range of functions.

For instance, CRM systems record calls and schedule events. These systems also bring issues to the notice of sales teams, which allows them to keep a track of customer activities before engaging with them.

One such issue that needs to be highlighted is the reordering of products. When this is highlighted, the data immediately becomes available, falling in line with a salesperson’s scheduled activities.

Apart from offering a list of products/items to be reordered, the solutions can even suggest a list of products that have not been ordered by customers that fit the same profile. For instance, a list of “top ten items not ordered” can be communicated to the sales team and included as an action item.

Better segmentation can be achieved through more in-depth analysis. For example, the evolution of the customer over time can be shown via the time series. These models, however, require a live connection to the analysis server since the predictive model cannot communicate as a data file with the CRM database. So, querying must occur in real time.

The end result is that sales personnel have the best analytics to work with.

Furthermore, CRM systems make it possible for such predicted orders to even be shared with customers, who can fulfil the order by simply replying to an email.

It is also possible to create web pages that offer recommendations to the customer.

 

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How CRM Simplifies Your Logistics Business

How CRM Simplifies Your Logistics Business

Strange as it might sound, a lot of companies in the logistics industry don’t actually use Customer Relationship Management solutions for tasks such as shipping control and accounts. They’re still making do with spreadsheets and what not.

If you’re one of these companies, you’re making a huge mistake. We understand that MS Excel probably makes you feel comfortable, but the truth is it cannot rival the sheer boost in productivity and efficiency that comes with a modern CRM solution.

In fact, that’s what we are here to discuss – the clear advantage that a CRM solution has over a tabular editor

Start Right Away

With tabular editors, you are required to create your own databases made up of documentation, competitor profiles, profits, and accounting data etc. CRM solutions, on the other hand, come pre-loaded with such basic functionalities.

To cut a long story short, CRM solutions, unlike Excel spreadsheets, aren’t empty. They save you time and effort by providing the most basic tools.

For example, in most CRM systems, you are provided with a basic set of functions just minutes after you log in. All you have to do is simply start entering in the data wherever necessary. Add cloud functionality and your entered data can now be reviewed by your colleagues.

You can even establish parameters to ensure only a certain group of people have access to the data. In contrast, data entered into an Excel sheet can be viewed by anyone.

Speedy Delivery of Results

Now, both Excel and CRM are effective at handling various tasks. However, CRM offers better performance in terms of time, effort, and quality of the result. This, in turn, has an impact on the efficiency of the worker, as well as the company.

For example, with a CRM solution, you can automate daily tasks. This could include everything from acquiring applications to locating shipping or accounting paperwork.

Excel does not offer automation and everything needs to be carried out manually. Functionality is subject to the tasks established by the user.

Reliability

When you work with a vast number of clients, you end up acquiring a voluminous amount of data. So, managing such a high amount of data can prove to be quite a challenge. CRM makes things simple by storing the data across various data-centers situated around the globe. As a result, even your backup frequency can be increased. In fact, most CRM systems backup data every hour.

You also have technical support available 24×7 and information access via any device.

On the other hand, Excel’s performance is dependent on the performance of the system it is installed in. The information is also stored in the same system, which means backups have to be done manually. The fault tolerance is extremely low as well, meaning, you can risk losing everything.

Cost

When having to choose between free or paid software, decisions must be made on the basis of whether or not the software can carry out certain tasks. Having said that, the effort and money spent working on a “free” version of the program are much higher than the effort and money spent on actually purchasing and customizing a CRM solution.

There are various kinds of CRM solutions and each is priced differently. Some can be had on a subscription basis while others have a preset basic price with an extra fee for add-ons.

If you want customized solutions, the CRM provider or developer will determine your exact needs and provide a valid price.

Excel may be cheaper, but you spend much more in terms of “manual labour”.

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Shape Your Customer Experience with CRM

According to studies, more than 90% of consumers across the globe consider customer service to be extremely important. In fact, it’s so important that it can determine their loyalty and preference for a brand.

Of course, this isn’t to say that product quality or services don’t have an influence. They obviously do. But, even if you’ve got the best product on offer, you still need to provide a good customer experience to ensure that the average customer keeps coming back.

You need to offer an exceptional experience and this requires you to develop a thorough understanding of the customer. Apart from that, you also need to learn how to coordinate engagement via multiple communication platforms.

That’s where a Customer Relationship Management System comes in. These systems can make it easier for you offer memorable customer experiences at every touchpoint.

In fact, here are a few specific examples of how CRM can be leveraged towards providing rich customer experiences.

Support Across Multiple Channels

In today’s multichannel landscape, it is very important to interact with customers via every channel possible. This includes everything from offline platforms to social media or email. Statistics from a Forrester report cite that 45% of customers in the US will abandon transactions if their queries aren’t answered immediately.

So, it’s obvious that you need to be able to connect with your customers in every way possible. CRM solutions make this possible by providing multi-channel support. These solutions can also provide you with access to the customer’s history, service level agreements, and other details. As a result, you can reduce the time taken to offer resolutions and boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Analytics

CRM solutions offer Customer Service Analytics, which can help you develop a better understanding of your conversion metrics and sales channels by providing you with insights on elements such as demographics, characteristics, and the attributes of the customer.

As a result, you gain an ability to identify and even quantify customer sentiment and effectively work towards eliminating churn and boosting the customer’s lifetime value.

CRM solutions provide dashboards that function in real time and offer a consolidated view of the complete workload. The customer service data collected by these dashboards allow you to determine which case requires your immediate attention.

The interactive charts on the dashboards offer a visual representation of various operational items. Priority items are immediately highlighted.

Service Portal for Customers

CRM systems allow you to assist customers 24/7 by providing customer portals, which function as user communities. These customer portals can help customers find answers to their questions by providing access to more in-depth information and solutions.

Customers can use these portals to conduct transactions, send out tickets, and even operate their own personal account.

Another aspect of building effective customer experience is rebuilding broken relationships. For this, you need to inform AI-predictions, process automation, and VOC capture.

CRM can aid this by providing knowledge across the length and breadth of the organization. By doing so, it can fix problems, maybe even prevent them.

Engagement & Retention Opportunities

CRM solutions also allow you to work on social engagement, thereby, enabling your marketing, sales, and service teams to develop healthy relationships with consumers. By doing so, you acquire key insights concerning services, products, and your brand.

Apart from that, you also end up driving social activities such as sharing posts etc. You can also engage in social media monitoring functions, which lead to better retention, sales, and interactions.

CRM is the Way

As you can see, CRM can prove to be a very powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. It can help you manage customer relationships effectively and cater to each customer’s need in a more intimate manner.

If you are planning to implement a CRM system within your organization to manage customer relationships effectively then Get in touch with Cynoteck Technology. We offer our services in the area of CRM consultation and implementation, and able to implement a CRM system within your organization effectively.

 

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Deciphering CRM Buzzwords That Confuse

Deciphering CRM Buzzwords That Confuse

 When discussing all things CRM, you’re bound to come across a few terms that, for all kinds of reasons, might confuse you. It may be that you just don’t use them in your business or maybe, your business is just too small to bother with such technical terms. Well, whatever the reason, it’s always wise to keep yourself informed. So, here’s a list of CRM buzzwords that we’ve “deciphered” for your convenience.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a term that refers to the function of marketing to leads when they contact the business. An alternative term you’ll find in usage is “lead nurturing”, which makes a little more sense than “inbound marketing”.

The goal of inbound marketing is to convert leads by making their interaction with you worthwhile. So, when a prospective customer looks at your advertisement and makes contact, you engage in more marketing by answering their queries and simplifying any process that they might have to follow.

In CRM, inbound marketing involves measuring everything about the lead and educating them about your brand. CRM systems collect demographic and behavioural data throughout the inbound marketing process and offer automation to boost your engagement with the leads.

CRM Buzzwords

Sales Pipeline/Funnel  

The terms “sales pipeline” and “sales funnel” are generally used to describe the way customers are guided through the sales journey from their initial position as leads. However, the terms, though used interchangeably, actually have different definitions.

The sales pipeline refers to a system with specific actions that are executed in a sequence. These actions are executed by the sales team or sales professional with the goal of converting a lead into a customer. There are multiple stages in a sales pipeline and the sales professional is responsible for assisting the prospect at each stage.

The sales pipeline basically makes tracking deals easier and measure their distribution with regards to achieving the final sales target.

A sales pipeline report is published to highlight the value and quantity of every deal at each stage in the pipeline. Now, the exact structure of a sales pipeline may vary from organization to organization, but these are the general stages.

  1. The qualification stage, where the sales professional determines if the prospect has a need to purchase the product or service.
  2. The meeting stage, where the sales professional and the prospect actually discuss options.
  3. The proposal stage, where the prospect is offered the best deal possible based on his/her requirements and conditions.
  4. The closing, where the agreement to purchase is made.

The sales funnel, on the other hand, offers a visual representation of the conversion rate at each stage within the sales pipeline. The term “funnel” is used because it literally represents the process of leads being turned into customers i.e. they enter at the top (wide number of leads) and get narrowed down as they approach the bottom (actual conversions).

To cut a long story short, sales pipelines focus on what customers do at each stage of the pipeline while the sales funnel highlights the conversion rates throughout the process.

Customer Lifecycle

This term refers to the journey that starts with the prospect being a lead, then, a customer, and eventually, an advocate of your brand.

Now, this never happens in a linear manner, as prospects will express different levels of interest at each stage. However, the idea is to track where exactly the prospect is positioned in the lifecycle and respond with appropriate strategies to push them forward.

CRM solutions measure the customer lifecycle by offering information such as the duration of time spent at each stage in the lifecycle. This data can help businesses offer personalized solutions to move the customer further towards purchase and advocacy.

 

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How Real Estate Companies Can Leverage CRM

How Real Estate Companies Can Leverage CRM

Customer engagement is important for any industry. However, having said that, it cannot be denied that some industries require far more customer engagement than others. The real estate industry is an apt example.

There are several reasons for this. For starters, as a real estate company, your objective is to buy and sell the property. In other words, you are dealing with high-value assets rather than just another “product”. Needless to say, you need to earn the trust of your customers.So, how can you make sure you’re always one step ahead of your client? Well, you can start by leveraging CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions.

Today’s real estate market is just as competitive as any other and a CRM solution can really take you forward. But, implementing the right CRM solution isn’t enough. Knowing how to leverage it is what really matters at the end.

Here are a few suggestions to help you out.

How Real Estate Companies Can Leverage CRM updated

Share Information About the Client with Agents/Teams

Clients need to be treated as a priority. In fact, some of them expect that. The best way to do that is by educating your agents and teams about the customer. CRM solutions make this possible. For instance, you can collect and store the most recent bits of information about a client and update your agents when they’re on the field.CRM solutions are designed to collect and hold information securely and in an organized fashion. For example, you can access the client’s call records and learn about their preferences, concerns and even his/her position in the sales pipeline.

Train Your Staff

Before you do anything with the CRM system, train the people who are most likely to rely on it. This would include your agents on the field and the marketing team. You can even include your mortgage brokers as they can help you close deals faster and keep the rates competitive. More importantly, make sure you get everybody’s buy-in before implementing the solution.

Integrate Existing Technology

You’re probably already relying on various technological solutions. So, make the most of things by integrating those solutions with the CRM system. For instance, you can integrate features such as calendar, demographics, contacts, and emails by connecting Outlook or Google Apps with the CRM solution. You can do the same with targeted marketing apps such as Hubspot or MailChimp. By doing so, you’ll be introducing all sorts of abilities that help boost customer engagement.

Track Trends

CRM solutions help you track trends for each demographic. This can help your agents make informed decisions and close deals much faster. You can use the analysis of performance and report tracking along with your sales forecasts to determine the best approach.

Automate

According to a study conducted by marketing firm Outbound Engine, almost 75% of a real-estate agent’s clients are sourced via word-of-mouth and referrals. Needless to say, developing robust relationships with such clients is a wise thing to do.CRM solutions can simplify your efforts here. For instance, you can use task automation functions such as scheduled prompts if human effort takes up too much time.CRM solutions offer a complete view of the client, which makes it easier to determine how “ready” he/she is. You’ll have the information to determine how much engagement is required, thereby, avoiding the dreaded possibility of becoming a hassle.

Reach Out

According to a Realtor.org study, Generation Y makes up around 32% of the home buyer market.  This is a unique opportunity considering that this generation is young, far more technically savvy, and looking to make the right investment. Your CRM solution can make it easier for you to target this particular demographic (or any demographic for that matter) in a more accurate fashion by feeding you with data on their online behaviours.

 

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How to Identify and Implement the Best CRM

How to Identify and Implement the Best CRM

Dilemma ought to engulf you when you are surrounded by too many options, but you need to react quickly and decide how to tackle such situations.

Every business has different requirements and goals. You might settle for a product or a service just because it is popular but if it does not cover the organizational needs, it is a dead investment. Such scenario is really troublesome if you are working with a limited budget and timeframe.

For a sales-driven organization, having the best CRM helps capitalize on the budget and resources as it opens up the door to various lucrative opportunities. However, finding that perfect CRM is a tedious and meticulous task.

Here are some points that can help you identify and implement the best CRM –

Take a Closer Look at Your Business & Analyze Pain Points

Word of mouth is extremely valuable, but blindly following what people say and taking a big decision can just end up being a waste of money for your company. Your business needs differ, so think accordingly. Delve deeper into your business problems and identify the weak areas that are hampering your overall progress.

If you intend to amplify the sales of your company, then have a detailed conversation with your sales professionals and understand the difficulties they face during the whole sales process.

Sales reps normally have a tough time selling because of various obstructions, such as the task of manual data entry. As per a study, 32% of sales reps spend 30 minutes to an hour every day entering data or doing other manual tasks. Such unproductive tasks result in the unnecessary interruption to their actual work, sales!

A study by the University of California, Irvine states that it takes 23 minutes to regain focus on an activity after any disruption. Such problems have been the reason for their poor performance.

Pay attention to your sales rep’s requirements as they are the ones who are going to use the CRM, so their thought about the usability of CRM matters.

Once you have the requirement, you just need to research and find a cost-effective solution for your business.

Conduct an in-depth research & find a cost-effective CRM solution

In a market which already has so many CRM vendors, finding the one that fits into your criteria becomes your sole responsibility.

Examine the market and identify the CRM that serves all your business needs.

  • Read the reviews but also crosscheck the features you are seeking for in a CRM.
  • Don’t fall prey to the belief that expensive and renowned products are always best for the business.

As I said earlier, companies needs vary, so what might have worked for someone else might not necessarily work for you. Moreover, why spend extra when you can get the same features of a popular CRM at an affordable rate in a CRM that is specifically designed to cater small & mid sized business.

That is why Robert Allen, principal – RKA Ventures, LLC, preferred Salesmate as he said “It improved sales effectiveness, it’s got everything we need, works efficiently and it is affordable. The team picked this over all the others, and they are using it. Found it to be a great app”.

There are too many such affordable CRM in the market with excellent functionalities, but you need to find the perfect one in context with your business needs.

Look for the Features that are Beneficial for Your Sales Team

CRM is well known for its multiple features that help in easing the sales process. However, all the features are not essential, you need to figure out which features do your sales professionals require to increase their sales and build a better connection with the customers. Though you might be having your specific needs but there are few essential CRM features that most of the business require such as:

Customization

Look for flexibility in your CRM that helps you customize the features as per your needs.

“An ideal CRM would be easily customizable, easy to pick the tools you use, has an extensive capacity for using your data, [is accessible] from a mobile device, and be properly secured against data loss and [unauthorized] access.” — says Jonathan Hurdman, IT specialist at J & J Automation, a small business IT services provider.

Lead management

Managing sales leads becomes an effortless task with a CRM, that keeps you abreast with every activity of the lead to nurture and close them quickly.

“The perfect CRM software is intuitive, but flexible, so that you can manage leads easily and make automated actions based on client segmentation.” — says Kenny Kline, the partner at JAKK Solutions, an SEO company

Integration

More is always better. Ensure the CRM you choose can integrate and work seamlessly with other applications too.  

“CRM alone only tells our sales team a piece of the puzzle — who they are trying to sell to. It doesn’t say anything about what was actually sold, to whom, at what discount, where, etc. A perfect CRM offering must work seamlessly with other solutions to give a more holistic view into sales.” — says James Mayfield, business analyst for Cascade, a distributor of prosthetic supplier.

Advanced Reporting

Insightful sales reports are crucial for analyzing important data and taking informed decisions.

“The perfect CRM software is flexible, accessible from any device, user-friendly and provides meaningful reporting capabilities.” — says Susan Connor, president and chief CRM strategist at SquareBlue Consulting, a marketing consultancy.

Once you are clear about your implementation needs, put your CRM to use. Investing in a good CRM is futile if your sales reps do not use it. Familiarize them with all its functionalities and benefits so that they themselves take interest in using the CRM. For leveraging its benefit, you need to bring the CRM in action.

Putting the Sales Booster to Good Use

Understanding the CRM

For using the CRM to its full potential, your sales reps need to have a good understanding of the CRM. You must commit adequate amount of time and resources to train your sales team for easing them into successfully adapting a CRM. For making it a part of their daily work process they need to understand how it functions.

So, sit with them while they are trying to use the software and guide them through so that it doesn’t appear like a complicated puzzle that they wouldn’t like to waste their time upon.

Commit yourself to the CRM

For sales professionals, CRM is a powerful sales tool. For leveraging maximum benefits from this tool they must dedicatedly work and learn with it.

Sales reps need to understand the CRM, like when they get a notification instead of avoiding and delaying the task they should do it as soon as possible to ensure they do not miss it.

They need to be active by filling the required customer details on-time as well as systematically manage the sales pipeline by moving the deals according to their present status to get a clearer view of their sales activities.

Tweak your CRM as per your requirements

Any kind of perfection is hard to achieve, but you can tweak your CRM to suit your sales process. A perfect CRM will –

  • give you the flexibility of creating custom dashboard view
  • allow you to view your overall sales timeline and
  • keep the pipeline in front of your eyes, all the time, on the same screen.

You can quickly add tags, create custom fields, develop a customized report and do a lot more with this moldable tool. Just ensure you do not overdo things by starting from the scratch; hit the specific areas to make the tool convenient to use.

Make Most of the Strength of a Sales Automation.

CRM has become a preferred choice for many sales-driven organizations due to its impeccable features. One of the main features that has captured the attention of most of the sales professionals is “sales automation”.

No one likes manual labor especially when you have sales targets hovering over your mind. By setting workflows you can automate most of the tasks and optimize your sales process.

Sales automation allows you to  

  • Automatically update records
  • Send emails
  • Track schedules
  • Assign tasks

With this useful feature, you can prioritize and concentrate on tasks that can drive value. It saves time and helps in boosting sales effectiveness.

Benefits of sales automation

  •        Systemized workflow
  •        Eliminates human error       
  •        Sales reps can focus on sales rather than operational tasks
  •        Managers can concentrate on building better sales strategies rather than losing precious sales time in assigning tasks.

Final Words

CRM can be an asset to your organization; you just need to take the right call. What you choose and how you use it can make a big difference to your company’s overall growth. So, take your decision wisely.

CRM like Salesmate can help you in in your strive to achieve your sales goals. With the excellent features of this advanced tool, you can effortlessly manage your sales pipeline, streamline data, create reports forecast sales and automate your sales process.

Author Bio:

Coreen Menezes is an avid writer who likes to explore new fields and research about interesting subjects. She is a versatile content developer who plays with words to express her thoughts. Calm, carefree and creative are the words that describe her the best. At present, she is associated with Salesmate as an experienced content crafter. Follow her on LinkedIn.

 

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Nurturing Sales form Leads To Order

Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Nurturing Sales form Leads To Order

Dynamics 365 for Sales helps sales team to pinpoint the potential leads, contacts, and opportunities while building the sales pipeline. The built-in processes guide you from one level to another, and easy to-use-dashboard helps in setting the goals and provides an actionable insight, helping closing more deals.

In this article, you will know how Dynamics 365 helps in managing the entire sales process from leads to closing the deal, and beyond.

Stages of Nurturing Sales from Leads to Order

Dynamics 365 can help you close more deals and achieve higher customer satisfaction. It helps you to be more consistent in sales interaction by following sales process as it takes through each step, from creating a lead to closing the sale. This helps to end up with a complete history that can be later on refereed in case of upgradation or management.

A sale begins with a lead. A lead is someone who is interested in your services or products. Dynamics 365 helps in generating leads that might come sources like emails, website opt pages or business cards

Qualify

The sales process starts by initialling a lead and in Dynamics 365 you need to start by creating your lead in the system. After determining the leads who have appropriate purchasing power, qualify them.

Qualifying in Dynamics 365 means – converting them into an opportunity. Qualify future has an option, such as

Create or edit a lead

In Dynamics 365 for Sales, you make use of your leads to tack your business prospects that haven’t yet being qualified through your sales process. A lead can be someone who is your existing client or with whom you have never worked with.

Qualifying a lead and converting it into an opportunity

After identifying time frame, budget, processes, and decision makers, this is the right time when you can qualify your lead

Develop

This stage involves identifying stakeholders, sales team members, competitors, and then coming up with a proposed solution. Develop future has options, such as

Create or edit an opportunity

In this stage, the lead is almost ready to buy.

Closing an opportunity

If the client is all-good to go with the proposed resolution then this is the time to close the opportunity.

Propose

This involves showing the proposal to the prospect.

Create and edit the quote

Dynamics 365 can offer product bundles or families to easy the upsell and cross-sell process. Most of the sales initiate with a price quote and ends up with an order. And for this, you probably need to edit a quote multiple times as the sale progresses.

Close

Have the prospects accepted or rejected your proposal? Either way, you have to close your opportunity. This can be done by filling orders, drafting invoice, following up, all depending on how the sales team handles the end game.

Create or edit an order

In Dynamics 365 for Sales, an order can initiate from a customer’s acceptance of the quote, or an order can be placed without accepting the quote, all depends on the situation.

Note: Once an active quote has been accepted, you won’t be able to revise it.

Create or edit an invoice

After the client places the order, you can create an invoice to bill them according to the sale. However, you can also create an invoice that does not originate from an order.

Cynoteck Technology is a Microsoft gold partner & a leading expert in Dynamics 365 CRM. We are providing cost-effective Dynamics 365 consulting & implementation services. IF you are planning to implement Dynamics 365  within your organization then Get in touch with us.

 

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CRM Trouble: Spotting Signs of Trouble

CRM Trouble: Spotting Signs of Trouble

When businesses invest in a CRM system, they’ve already taken a step forward in the right direction with regard to generating leads and boosting sales. But, here’s the thing – CRM systems are just like any other tool; they’re only as effective as the people using them.

This is an all too common scenario. The business invests in a CRM system and a few months down the line, they don’t see the returns that they once expected to see. More interestingly, most businesses are unable to figure out what went wrong and where it went wrong.

The Real Problem

The actual issue rarely rests with the CRM system. Of course, we aren’t saying all CRM systems are perfect, but, the truth is, most of them are fairly effective. More often than not, it’s the people behind the system who seem to get things wrong.

Now, each business relies on a different approach, but, there are a few key indicators that can tell when and if something is going wrong with your process.

Overdue Tasks

Are there tasks still left incomplete? If there are, this isn’t anywhere near a good thing or even something that can be ignored. Every task that isn’t complete is a missed opportunity; an opportunity that could have very well brought you closer to the customer. To put it simply, it could have been that sale you were looking for.

So, make sure you take the time to go through these overdue tasks. It’s extremely important that you do this because overdue tasks are a sign of a process that’s got problems. When there are too many overdue tasks, it could simply mean that things are just too complicated. So, a review might help you identify what’s making things complicated and clear the bottleneck.

Data Entry

Another area you need to focus on is date entry i.e. how is customer data being entered into the system. A very wrong assumption that businesses often make is that if there’s no data in the system, the interaction did not take place.  This is often noticed with inbound calls.

Customers make calls for all kinds of reasons. Maybe they just have a few questions. Often, in such scenarios, the salesperson or customer service representative simply answers the queries and hangs up. They rarely make the effort to collect the customer’s details or log the conversation into the system.

This is critical information and without any info to rely on, the business misses out on being able to engage with the customer in the future. Instead, it has to go back to square one and market itself to the same customer all over again.

So, as you can see, it’s important to log in every interaction and enter every bit of data that is relevant. Otherwise, you’re just indulging in unnecessary expenditures.

Nobody can actually remember every interaction that takes place. So, don’t expect them to be transparent with the rest of the business. Data needs to be logged and entered into the system. Every bit of it and that’s final.

If you have employees that aren’t doing this, they are a liability. They are damaging the process and an intervention is necessary. They need to be reminded of the importance of logging interactions and collecting data.

CRM is Profitable

Stop blaming the CRM system before you actually find out what’s going on. As we stated earlier, it’s likelier that the users are getting it wrong. So, take the time to review your process and identify issues. CRM systems and the respective processes they facilitate need to be checked, corrected and updated time and again. It’s the only way you’ll meet your goals.