What is CRM and how can I use my CRM data?

If you have ever asked yourself “what is CRM all about, and why does my business even need one?” then take a read though and I’ll try to explain how you can use the data you accumulate in your CRM system. But firstly - and lots have people have asked me this one - “What is CRM?” In short it is a database you collect information about your customers in.  I’d be surprised if you don’t already have one, although it might not be super effective and it might not be Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You might even have several with different information - some on spreadsheets like Microsoft excel. In this latest article, I try to discuss how CRM data can be us... [More]

Questions to ask before investing in your next CRM system

A CRM system can have a number of positive impacts on almost any company.  However, it is important that before a system is invested in, certain key questions are asked of it: Is it easy to use onboard? It is important to make sure that one, intuitive cross-referencing tool is used in order to allow that offline customer data is used in order to increase the online audience.  This should be do-able in an immediate, genuinely actionable way. How compatible is the system? It is important for a CRM system to be able to link up effectively with other data and tools.  Therefore, whatever particular apps a company considers essential, whether it is advertising click data or shop... [More]

How can CRM software aid different business processes?

After doing some research and reviewing a number of articles including this new piece on CIO.com, I just thought I‘d take the opportunity to cover off some of the key processes and areas that a good implementation of CRM can be used for. The article on CIO talks about 3 key areas and explores the CRM sector in a different way.  Essentially, it looks at three ways in which an effective CRM system can help to improve a company's business processes.  But from experience and understanding what CRM systems can be used for I’ve taken the opportunity to add what is missing. A CRM system implemented correctly is and can be so much more. The first three points below are correc... [More]

What makes data-sets valuable to CRM?

A new article by the smart data collective has sought to analyse what makes certain nuggets of information valuable.  The results are quite interesting, as they argue that size has nothing to do with value.  Here are some of the key takeaways from the piece: Evaluate content Business interactions vary substantially.  On some occasions someone may be a customer and at other times they might simply offer consultation.  That means that context is important in terms of CRM. For instance, to many firms, an insurance agent represents an outgoing but to a few specialist companies, they are a customer.  It is important to remember that there is not one single definition of... [More]

Implementing CRM - Key Questions for your CRM Provider

A new piece in Business 2 Community has explored some of the key questions that a company should ask any CRM service provider that they're considering working with.  We're completely in favour of firms working with only the best companies, so we're going to explore each point:   Do they have a mobile friendly approach?   In the modern business world, the ability to be mobile is essential.  How many executives are genuinely sat at their desk for eight hours a day?  Virtually none, and yet some CRM services aren't accounting for the ability to explore data on the move.  Any CRM system you invest in should be useable on the road.   With the recent releas... [More]

Customers want more personalisation from businesses

A new survey has shed light onto the attitude of modern consumers which highlights an interesting trend, revealing that despite concerns regarding the safety of their private information, many of them still want to receive more personalised data from businesses. This is usually found in the information that is sent to individual consumers. Organisations that used tailored marketing via email or web usually scored better with loyal customers. The SAS study showed that 71% of the 1,260 people surveyed did have some concerns regarding the recent revelations of data observation. 60% still expected businesses to be aware of their preferences and to understand their needs. 59% noted that they f... [More]

Report sheds positive light on CRM sector and growing need for Strong Customer Relationships

A new report from the US has indicated that CRM is becoming more and more popular, with the industry expected to reach around $28.8bn by 2018, with more and more enterprise-level focus on customer-centric business operations. A variety of factors has been contributing to the ongoing growth of the industry.  Some of the main sources cited are the different social media platforms such as user forums, web communities and the various social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  Essentially, there is a whole new world to explore in terms of handling customer relationships.  As well as providing a medium for exchanging messages and files, social provides customers wit... [More]

Tips on migrating to a new CRM system in 8 easy steps

A new piece in Business 2 Community has highlighted some of the key factors that should be considered when making a transition to a new CRM system.  If you are considering making such a migration, then they are well worth taking a further look at the full article which cover 8 steps on having the right key points in the project. Decide on (and stick to) your hard and fast date: It is important to ensure that as part of the migration, you set a concrete date from which the new system starts to be used and ensure that everyone working with the software in any way sticks to it.  If you do not keep to this, you run the risk of a problematic transition period where users are continual... [More]

Microsoft complete switch on of Dynamics CRM 2013 - Online

Microsoft has now completed its staggered rollout of the cloud-enabled CRM management suite, keeping to the release timetable that it first released back in July.  Dynamics CRM 2013 is now fully available worldwide.  As well as the software itself, it is now possible for users to access the accompanying applications on their tablet devices and make use of the cloud.  The relevant smart-phone apps will also be released this month. Simon Hutson, who represents the Microsoft Dynamics Sales team, revealed in a new blog-post that Dynamics CRM 2013 "is now live in our EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] data-centers. (APAC [Asia-Pacific] data-centers went live last week, and th... [More]