Mid-Week MyCRM News and Article Round Up.

Welcome to this week round up of some of the great CRM news and business articles of the week. I’ve had the opportunity to summarise some of theses but the links are included and always.  It’s been quite a busy week this week at MyCRM as we have been working on the release of some of our new Social Integration tools along with a number of new platforms and solutions This week we have 4 great articles that are all CRM related, so let us know what you think in the comments below   CRM best practices Even companies that have had CRM systems and practices in place for years can benefit from some reminders about techniques that can turbo-charge their CRM initiative. Having a CRM system in place is an excellent first step, but that isn’t the only thing managers must do to help boost their bottom line and make the most out of their investment.  Here’s a look at some CRM best practises that every manager should know. Gather only needed information.  If there are fields that are no longer necessary, remove them from the CRM system.  Clean up unused menus and consolidate forms; the sales team will be able to work much more efficiently this way. Stop relying on Excel.  The CRM system is there for a reason.  Use it.  Stop relying on Excel worksheets so much and start focusing on how to use the reports from the CRM system more effectively. Talk to everyone and find out what they think about the CRM system.  This means having a conversation with those who use the system and those who do not.  Get everyone on board.  Once everyone is using the same system, the benefits are undeniable.  Review the CRM system and learn more about it.  Many managers only use about 20 per cent of their CRM system and are unaware of its true potential.  Take some time to really look at it and find out what is not being used.  Is there an opportunity to improve production?  If so, take it! Clean up the data.  A major problem that many managers have is that they have old data.  Every year, take some time to clean it up and get rid of bad information.  The savings on things like outbound mailings will be shocking. Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list of all the best practises one can observe in order to make the most of a CRM system.  The key is to stay on top of it, learn as much about the system as possible, and use it to its fullest potential to garner the best results. Source: http://www.successwithcrm.com/blog/bid/95171/14-CRM-Best-Practices-for-2014-Start-NOW   The "Internet of Things" and CRM There is no question that customer relationship management (CRM) will be at the heart of most companies’ operations in the very near future.  CRM is a cost-effective and efficient way of building a brand, generating sales and maintaining customers.  With millions of devices now connecting to the "Internet of Things", it may become even more essential. Today, it is commonplace to spend a significant amount of time and money to enhance customer experience.  The demand for modern technology is a major driving force in the expansion of CRM software and platforms.  As buyers focus more on technology, CRM systems are becoming even more effective and savvier than ever before, making them a requirement for any business hoping for success. As it currently stands, areas of CRM investment tend to focus on social media, mobility, ecommerce, and web analytics.  However, that is all about to change. The "Internet of Things" is soon going to join those ranks as more products become connected.  Cars, chairs, buildings and even bodies are getting connected, and this is changing almost every industry.  A shift in sales, customer service, and marketing will be at the forefront of these fundamental changes. By the end of this year, connections to the internet via smartphones and other mobile devices will exceed PC users significantly, having a direct impact on the way in which businesses will interact with their customers. Source: http://www.cio.com/article/750847/How_the_Internet_of_Things_Drives_CRM_Investments?source=CIONLE_nlt_entapps_2014-04-07    Enhancing the CRM experience Almost every manager knows that focusing on revenue will help to drive project objectives, but how can this be done effectively? Customer data plays a powerful role in improving operational efficiency and selling effectiveness.  Payment histories, product shipment analyses, and customer satisfaction surveys are all excellent resources for nurturing strong customer relationships, taking advantage of every upselling opportunity, improving support issues, and even helping in the collections department. Perhaps most importantly, when a salesperson does not have to search for customer information, he or she can close that deal even more quickly.  That’s where the CRM system comes in.  This type of system offers an all-encompassing snapshot of the customer and can be a great tool, but it can also set teams up for failure if every department has not integrated the system into their daily routine. Here are some great tips for enhancing the CRM experience and making the most of it: Bridge the data and processes.  A good CRM system will have an infrastructure of data that bridges all departments and customer experience.  The system, when used properly, can cleanse, parse, profile, and standardise information to create useful reports and customer profiles. Allow for multichannel access.  In an effort to drive CRM adoption, many managers neglect other systems that are also important.  Allow authorised users the chance to collaborate on ideas and make mobile part of the strategy.  Using innovation is a great way to build customer trust, loyalty, and brand value. Listen.  A key to success is paying attention to both the customer and the process.  The principle of any CRM system is to enhance customer experience and therefore improve business performance.  Listen to what the customers want and need and apply those points into daily operations. Different CRM systems have different characteristics, but they all will inevitably lead to an improved portal experience and improved productivity.  However, in order to make the most of any CRM system, commitment, time, and a little legwork are required. Source:http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/Web-Exclusives/Viewpoints/5-Tips-for-Making-CRM-an-Enterprise-Portal-95552.aspx   Using CRM data effectively There is no question that implementing a CRM system will help maintain positive customer relationships, bring in new business, and boost that bottom line.  However, if one is not prepared, the data garnered from the CRM system can be overwhelming. How can one use CRM data effectively?  The trick is to dig a little deeper and learn how to make a correlation between business activities and levels of productivity.  Sometimes, this can be difficult to do, especially when a team is new to the CRM system. It is important to understand that the CRM system is where all the customer data lives.  Managers must consider what they want to do with this data and what they want to learn.  Otherwise, it is simply a lot of data and nothing more.  Data can help give the sales team some more tools in getting – and keeping – customers.  The CRM data can also help track service interactions, identify profitable customers and locate problems. Deciding what to do A lot of the time, figuring out what one wants to learn from data is retrospective – that is, based on past experience.  Use CRM data to see which offers have gotten a good response, and then generate similar offers to that.  You could also track how many times a lead needs to be contacted before converting to a sale.  Look for patterns that can help mould the way staff handle certain situations in the future. Just remember, the CRM system will speak for the customers and let managers know what is really working and what is not.  The trick is to really pay attention and use that data to make informed decisions. Source:http://www.crmbuyer.com/story/80180.html   About MyCRM Here at my CRM we offer our customers http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx the best solutions to help them drive business forward and gain real benefits from implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We are in our 5th year of trading as a business and have seen incremental growth year on year in profits, our team are based in the Isle of Wight, UK and we maintain relationships with customers in 26 countries. If you need help, support or advice with your Microsoft CRM then we are waiting for your email. Sales@mycrmgroup.com  

Mid-Week CRM round up from MyCRM

Again this week I have had the opportunity to browse soe of the latest news articles that relate to our industry and thought I’d continue to share a number of these as I know they are quite popular Today we are list 3 article that cover Small Business Big data, How outsourced CRM platform are best and a case study on CRM success for DirecTV.   Do small companies benefit from Big Data and CRM? It emanates almost ubiquitously – seeping from the internet, business applications, machine logs and data logs.  Big Data can help all sorts of businesses grow, making them more profitable and more strategic.  Do small businesses really benefit from Big Data? Big Data, often described as variety, velocity and volume, is a term that encompasses the massive amounts of information businesses collect from different sources.  With the proper tools, businesses of any size can benefit from Big Data.  A driving force behind the benefit of Big Data is applying algorithms and predictive models to draw value out of the data, which can then be used to solve specific business problems. That’s where customer relationship management, or CRM, comes in.  A CRM system helps to manage how a business works with both current and potential customers, and it is used primarily by the sales staff and managers.  This type of system helps a company become more profitable by helping the sales staff close more deals while helping to create loyal, happy customers. Those not familiar with CRM often think it is the same as Big Data.  Although they aren’t the same thing, they are very closely connected.  A CRM system can help extract value from Big Data.  In other words, it helps to take all of that information and translate it into smart data that decision-makers can actually use. The bottom line is that even the smallest of companies can benefit from today’s advanced CRM systems that integrate easily with Big Data to mine out what really matters.  CRM helps businesses cut through the noise and levels the playing field, which allows for businesses – even small businesses – to compete on a wide, if not global, level. Source: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6053-big-data-vs-crm.html   Outsourcing data analytics with CRM in mind Many CIOs have turned to outsourced solutions for handing a number of IT issues such as maintenance and infrastructure in hopes of reducing spending and freeing up in-house staff for more desirable projects, including the perfection and integration of their CRM system.  Until recently, CIOs have not really included data analytics on the list of things to outsource.  Businesses are now starting to enhance their in-house analytics with external providers. These providers help to bolster the data businesses already have from their own efforts, such as CRM system data, with their own data consisting of observations from a number of sources across a wide range of demographics.  They then apply predictive analytics to this combined data to get a clearer picture of how to understand, find and keep customers.  Predictive analytics include a range of scores including those forecasting potential fraud, wealth, churn, social influences, shopper type, and recommendations. Businesses may opt to use such services while they build their own internal capacity for gathering and analysing data from their existing CRM systems or instead of doing just that.  The car rental giant Hertz is one example of a company successfully using outside data expertise to supplement their existing system of data collection and interpretation.  In short, the analytics outsourcing done by Hertz has allowed the company to give their customers a voice and to really hear what they are saying, which is a key to successful and effective customer relationship management. Companies just starting up or those modifying their existing CRM scheme may consider outsourcing analytics services to speed up the delivery of new products and services as well as to provide upgraded technology to their client base.  It can be a short-term solution to help figure out a more permanent data analytics strategy, or it can be the ideal solution for companies that have limited time and resources.   Source: http://www.cio.com/article/749877/Why_CIOs_Should_Look_Outside_for_Data_Expertise?taxonomyId=600010   DirecTV enjoys massive sales success thanks to CRM Thanks to integrated sales and an effective CRM system, DirecTV has been able to capture more customers than ever. In the past, handling DirecTV sales calls was a real juggling act – one in which agents would be constantly referring to cue cards, punching numbers, toggling between applications, and jotting down notes.  The company also had three outsourced call centres, all using their own customer records. Back then, nothing was consolidated and it started affecting productivity and DirecTV’s £18 billion bottom line. "If you started the sales process and then hung up to check with your [the customer’s] wife, the next time you called in, you'd be routed to a different call centre and a different agent and none of that original information would have been captured," explains Mike Benson, DirecTV’s CIO. With a little legwork and planning, DirecTV officials are happy to say that their new CRM system, which is completely integrated, works seamlessly with all their call centres and office locations globally.  Sales agents now have a real-time, whole view of the customer at any given moment. This new CRM system has garnered some pretty fantastic results.  Call-handle times have been reduced and the percentage of calls that convert to sales has increased.  Furthermore, agent training has been streamlined, making it possible for new hires to hit performance goals within a week or so of getting on the floor. Real-time guidance similar to that of DirecTV is growing in popularity among businesses, especially those with call centres across a number of locations.  End-to-end CRM tools improve productivity and cut operating costs, which are two very important factors in success. Source:http://www.cio.com/article/749846/Integrated_Sales_and_CRM_System_Lets_DirecTV_Capture_More_Couch_Potatoes?page=1&taxonomyId=3005   If you would like to find out more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and take a trial for your business then you can register here http://www.mycrmhosted.com/demorequest.aspx   About MyCRM Here at my CRM we offer our customers http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx the best solutions to help them drive business forward and gain real benefits from implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We are in our 5th year of trading as a business and have seen incremental growth year on year in profits, our team are based in the Isle of Wight, UK and we maintain relationships with customers in 26 countries. If you need help, support or advice with your Microsoft CRM then we are waiting for your email. Sales@mycrmgroup.com    

Sales Force Automation Software Buyer Views 2014

  Every year, Software Advice talks with thousands of professionals looking for the right sales force automation (SFA) software for their company."  This provides us with unparalleled insight into the needs of SFA software buyers across a wide range of industries.      Software Advice BuyerView: Sales Force Automation Report from Software Advice   About MyCRM Here at my CRM we offer our customers http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx the best solutions to help them drive business forward and gain real benefits from implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We are in our 5th year of trading as a business and have seen incremental growth year on year in profits, our team are based in the Isle of Wight, UK and we maintain relationships with customers in 26 countries. If you need help, support or advice with your Microsoft CRM then we are waiting for your email. Sales@mycrmgroup.com  

MyCRM Weekly News Round up

Hi and we are back, with the latest rollup of CRM news articles that has been doing the rounds this week Our first article this week is from Dynamics Business gives the 7 points of why you need a CRM system and covers some very good points, see below We then follow on with a compelling article about Software subscriptions from Search CRM which being a provider of subscription based software made interesting reading, and finally this time we are looking at an article from Tech Radar. When a company really needs CRM When a business first starts operating time and money can be short and all hands really do need to be on deck. In those early days, things often get done any way they can, but how long can that effectively last? A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application can really make a difference in managing critical customer information and streamlining everything.  Here are a few signs that a company really needs to consider CRM. ·         Multiple information sources. Having information in multiple systems and a general air of disorganisation can impact customer service and employee productivity. Everyone should have the same single view of customer history. ·         Tedious reporting. Getting business data and pulling reports is never fun, but it shouldn’t be painful. With CRM, it becomes a lot easier to see sales forecasts, business data and performance reports ·         Data loss. If there isn’t a single source of information, then there is no question that data is being lost.  This can cost time and money. Make sure that data is kept safe and secure, no matter who is working. ·         One-size-fits-all approach to customers. Not all customers are created equal. Targeted marketing and savvy sales approaches can drastically improve the bottom line. A good CRM platform can help to ensure this happens. ·         Hardly any visibility. As the company grows, it can become more difficult to gain insight into customer interactions and outcomes. It is important to understand exactly how the team is performing. A good CRM application really is necessary for any growing business. It helps to maintain critical customer information and provides a more detailed and insightful look at the business as a whole. Source: http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/sponsored/seven-signs-you-really-need-crm-18032014.html Do CRM software subscriptions make sense? In recent news, several CRM companies are reporting significant revenue coming from subscription models, but do these really make sense for the average small- to medium-sized business? In short, the answer is yes.  Lots of companies can benefit from the CRM subscription model because it is a cost-effective way to deliver solutions to their customers. Using a subscription model allows companies to gather customer use, billing information, and feedback data, to name a few, all of which can be used to identify trends and patterns, ultimately resulting in happier customers.  Everyone knows that happy customers lead to money in the bank. The secret to succeeding with the CRM subscription model is to make sure that the business also develops metrics to gauge progress and performance.  Essentially, these can be used in analytics to determine negative situations that could potentially affect the revenue stream.  Such metrics allow managers to see how staff is performing, which customers might need help, and can ultimately prevent customers from becoming frustrated.  Thanks in part to technology, instant gratification is a huge factor in today’s society, which means that subscriptions have begun to permeate the CRM culture.  Consumers now expect a certain level of service, and the flexibility and accessibility of a subscription model definitely affords that.  Many vendors who do not offer subscription-based CRM solutions may find that they are at a disadvantage. As the CRM subscription model becomes even more prevalent, the business world will likely see big players such as Microsoft making a more aggressive push into this new arena. Sources: http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/podcast/CRM-software-subscription-models-Do-they-make-sense http://cdn.ttgtmedia.com/rms/editorial/sCRM-Subscriptions-Pombriant-031014.mp3 http://searchexchange.techtarget.com/news/2240178709/Microsoft-continues-subscription-push-with-new-Office-365-versions MDM essential to CRM optimisation According to a recent study by research firm Gartner, master data management (MDM) plays an integral role in the success or failure of customer relationship management (CRM). In order to successfully interact and serve customers, businesses need to know their customers. CRM has been an effective tool for doing accomplishing this task.  However, before switching to a CRM platform, many organisations store their data in several different places.  MDM helps to check for duplicated information during integration.  It is only after the possibility of duplicates has been eradicated that businesses can truly understand their clients. MDM is basically a large-scale approach, and it will likely become critical to businesses in the very near future.  In conjunction with a CRM platform, MDM will provide a multichannel view of customer activity and employee performance, and it will open a whole new realm of possibilities for improved marketing, sales, e-commerce and customer service. The research also suggests that any company operating without MDM between now and 2017 will likely get misleading results that could aggravate customers, resulting in a reduction of 25 per cent in potential gains.  In essence, not having MDM means a very low bottom line. In the last few years, overall IT spending has been overshadowed by CRM software sales, which means CRM leaders must start to consider the importance of MDM and its benefits and make it part of their strategy. Source: http://www.techradar.com/us/news/world-of-tech/management/master-data-management-vital-to-crm-optimisation-1226759   Latest Updates from MyCRM We have now launched our MyCRM 2013 version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 as a managed service and are actively taking trials and migrations.  To find out more please visit MyCRM. http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/about.aspx  About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in helping small to medium sized businesses understand and implement CRM as a technology and CRM as a process.  We can help drive adoption and ROI in businesses and organisations that are implementing a marketing solution through a CRM like Microsoft Dynamics.  You can read our customer testimonials here http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx.  MyCRM don’t only provide a managed service but also off a range of product solutions which are off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity, along with dedicated support packages to meet business requirements. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for your Microsoft CRM Solution. You can get access to a range of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the MyCRM Download Centre here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/

MyCRM Weekly News Roundup

In our latest series of the MyCRM News roundup we have a number of interesting articles from the various news feeds and the world of CRM.   1.Microsoft launches its Social Listening tool 2.Big data, small world 3.NatWest using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.When a company really needs CRM     Microsoft launches its Social Listening tool   At Microsoft’s Dynamics Convergence conference the software giant announced Microsoft Social Listening, a new tool that is to be a free add-on for professionals already paying a licence fee.   Kirill Tatarinov, the executive vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions, went so far as to call the feature “revolutionary.” It will form a part of the Dynamics CRM platform within a few weeks.   This initiative arose as a direct result of Microsoft’s buyout of Netbreeze in Q4 of 2012. The monitoring and social analytics software platform used by Netbreeze has been utilised by Microsoft to create its Social Listening software.   Tatarinov told the media at the conference: “Netbreeze have done something revolutionary. It listens in to a broad range of [social] channels, and Microsoft can give them access to even more. They build listening technology that can generate sentiments by listening to innate languages, of which it supports 28."    Microsoft obviously hopes that businesses will welcome this new software, as it is sophisticated enough to measure sentiment in social conversations. This will allow fast responses to changing situations.   Overall the tool will assist users to monitor events in real time relating to brands, products, and other elements relating to online business. This should lead to a better understanding of customers’ wants and opinions.   The big question is, does business really want this tool? It is clear that some major UK retailers are less than convinced that social analytics is worth the bother. To assess likely demand could be the reason Microsoft are initially offering use of the tool free of charge    Source:- http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/analysis/2333627/is-microsoft-just-testing-the-waters-with-social-listening      Big data, small world Information, information, information.  It’s coming out of our ears and seems to be everywhere we look.  Big Data is like the Big Bang of information and can be just as dazzling, but is it just too big and unwieldy for the small to medium size businesses?   The plethora of data gathered from the internet can be overwhelming, but it can be put to good use whatever size marketing budget your company has.  Javier Aldrete, director of product management at sales software provider Zilliant, explains: “The benefits of the Big Data movement has more to do with driving action and value out of data by applying algorithms and predictive models to solve specific business problems.” Even small businesses can tap into this data explosion by using certain types of business applications, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) being the prime example.   CRM is a system used by businesses to manage their relationships with current and prospective customers, usually with CRM software.  The software can provide a place to store and organise customer information. As they have developed, CRM systems have gained the ability to track the health of accounts and sales pipelines.  CRM can benefit small businesses by helping them obtain sales and develop closer relationships with customers.  It gives businesses a “bird’s eye view” of which industries, company sizes and other types of targets are most profitable so they can focus their energies on the most efficient course of action.   The amount of information to be deduced from CRM systems is invaluable.  In this world of Big Data, even small businesses can benefit from streamlined information gathering.   Source: http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/sbc/2014/03/11/big-data-vs-crm-how-can-help-small-business/       NatWest using Microsoft Dynamics CRM   NatWest bank decided to replace its out of date CRM facility with a Microsoft Dynamics CRM system during 2013.   The bank’s old system was under some strain and was not providing the functionality required by the major high street bank. It became apparent to the bank that to keep up with the demands of customers, particularly business clients, change was badly needed. The bank considered other suppliers and systems but decided that the Microsoft option was best for the organisation.   NatWest is of course owned by Royal Bank of Scotland and the head of CRM for the business and commercial arm of RBS, David Russell stated that, “a consolidated view of all customer touch points” was required. The overall objective is to streamline processes to release employee time to maintain a fuller relationship with clients. He also stated: "We also sought powerful analytics capabilities that would allow us to further improve those customer relationships while driving cross-selling opportunities through value-added customer interactions." He went on: "CRM helps us to deliver a personalised service, which supports customers in achieving their ambitions."   One of the main concerns of the bank was that staff would be able to quickly adapt to a new CRM system; it had to be easy to use and quick to learn. The new system had to be seen as part of the solution the employees already had.    Another feature that attracted the bank to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system was the on-premise option offered. Not all systems are available with this feature that NatWest saw as being essential for its needs.   This move by a big-player like NatWest further highlights the importance and the need for an effective CRM system for all businesses that regard customer care as being of major importance to the success of the organisation.    Source: http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2330582/natwest-selects-microsoft-dynamics-crm-ahead-of-salesforcecom-and-oracle     When a company really needs CRM When a business first starts operating time and money can be short and all hands really do need to be on deck. In those early days, things often get done any way they can, but how long can that effectively last? A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application can really make a difference in managing critical customer information and streamlining everything.   Here are a few signs that a company really needs to consider CRM. •Multiple information sources. Having information in multiple systems and a general air of disorganisation can impact customer service and employee productivity. Everyone should have the same single view of customer history.   •Tedious reporting. Getting business data and pulling reports is never fun, but it shouldn’t be painful. With CRM, it becomes a lot easier to see sales forecasts, business data and performance reports.   •Data loss. If there isn’t a single source of information, then there is no question that data is being lost.  This can cost time and money. Make sure that data is kept safe and secure, no matter who is working.   •One-size-fits-all approach to customers. Not all customers are created equal. Targeted marketing and savvy sales approaches can drastically improve the bottom line. A good CRM platform can help to ensure this happens.   •Hardly any visibility. As the company grows, it can become more difficult to gain insight into customer interactions and outcomes. It is important to understand exactly how the team is performing. A good CRM application really is necessary for any growing business. It helps to maintain critical customer information and provides a more detailed and insightful look at the business as a whole.     Source:http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/sponsored/seven-signs-you-really-need-crm-18032014.html   If you looking for help in either the Public or Private sector with the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM then find out more here http://www.mycrmgroup.com/    About MyCRM  MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in helping small to medium sized businesses understand and implement CRM as a technology and CRM as a process.  We can help drive adoption and ROI in businesses and organisations that are implementing a marketing solution through a CRM like Microsoft Dynamics.  You can read our customer testimonials here http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx.  MyCRM don’t only provide a managed service but also off a range of product solutions which are off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity, along with dedicated support packages to meet business requirements. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for your Microsoft CRM Solution. You can get access to a range of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the MyCRM download centre here: http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com after registering for an account.

Some of the latest News Articles and Research notes on CRM

It has been a very busy week this week at MyCRM with a number of great new opportunities and a lot of product design meeting for new enhanced marketing packs and product solutions.  We have also nearly launched our all new CRM 2013 hosted offering and are looking at new Data Centres in the USA and Australia. As usual I have been search though all the latest articles that help keep me informed of what is happening in the world of CRM and business and below are a selection of 4 of those that I found to be most interesting.   You can read more as the associated links:- CRM continues to integrate with cloud technology In today's world, technology continually evolves in order to take advantage of new abilities.  When one piece of software enables another to improve its functions, the combination can be very powerful. This is interesting, as a new report indicates that CRM is becoming more and more entrenched in the world of the cloud. The data, which comes from renowned industry analysts Gartner, shows that more and more income in the CRM market is being generated through cloud-based software rather than the in-house variety.  Indeed, the CRM market is predicted to hit $23.9 billion this year alone, which is a year of moderate growth. It is also predicted that the cloud will continue to play a very active part in the CRM industry.  The report expects that cloud-based CRM solutions will account for around half of the overall revenue by the close of the year.  Cloud-based deployments are also expected to rise from 40 per cent to 50 per cent during the year. In a way, the statistics are not surprising.  The cloud market in general has continued to grow, and its ability to offer those managing CRM solutions the means to do so whilst on the move and from different locations has proved extremely popular.  Moreover, cloud offers a sense of mobility that many other solutions can't match.  This is ideal for smaller businesses that have to evolve to meet their markets. In this sense, cloud represents the ideal platform for CRM data overall. Source: Midsized Outsider   Developing consistency within the CRM field The keys to obtaining success in any field are consistency and skill, with the latter taking time to develop.  Today, we're going to take a look at some of the different ways to help improve both aspects. Be patient CRM software is a serious investment, so it is important to bear in mind that it might take a month or so before the investment begins to bear fruit.  This is standard for any substantial change in the sales process, but it's still important to keep in mind and be patient. Ensure that there are specific targets No matter which set of software you personally choose to invest in, it's important to ensure that you know exactly which statistics you are hoping to improve on by using it.  In some cases, this will be an increase in lead generation.  For many people, it will be conversion.  Either way, it's important to ensure that those statistics are focused on.  There are a lot of useful aspects of CRM software, but not all of it is 100 per cent essential to every business. Be responsible CRM can completely transform the way a business operates day to day.  It can change the way that clients interact.  It can change the way that they are approached.  It can completely alter the social media process.  That's why it is important to ensure that everyone involved is held responsible for the results.  There should be one member of the team who is responsible for improvement in all of the main statistics that the company measures. Source: Cloud Computing   Four key customer service attitudes Part of improving your usage of CRM software is developing and furthering your skills in customer service.  Today, we're going to take a look at some of the key attitudes that anyone working in customer service needs to adopt. Attitude one: Care With many of today's customer service processes supported by technology, it's sometimes hard to remember that customers are real people.  However, whilst everyone has the technology, genuine personal care still makes all the difference in terms of achieving success. Attitude two: Treat everyone the same It's understandable that, in a competitive business world, companies often feel the need to prioritise the most important customers.  Indeed, it's often sensible; they are, after all, financially more important to the firm's stability.  However, that extra priority should never come at the expense of other companies getting the service they still deserve.  Remember, small customers can become big ones in today's ever-changing market. Attitude three: Go above and beyond Another aspect that will always set one company apart is acting above and beyond in terms of their customer service duties.  After all, stories of exceptional customer service can genuinely become viral.  If customers actually remember the way they were treated by your company, they will not only come back but also tell their friends. Attitude four: Ask others in the company Everyone in customer service and sales gets the odd tough question.  Always ask someone who knows, and never be afraid of admitting that's what you're doing. Source: Business 2 Community   Achieving CRM success within SMBs No one will dispute the fact that CRM software represents genuine value to larger companies. However, it's important to remember that it can be just as valuable for SMBs. Today, we're going to take a look at how to obtain CRM success when running an SMB. Quantify In smaller companies, there is no room for dead weight. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that there are firm definitions of success in place so that it can be determined whether or not the new system has worked after a period of time. For each company, this definition of success will differ; for some SMBs, it will simply be increased sales, whilst for others, it could mean a rise in leads generated. In any case, the standards must be firmly in place. Let the standards define the place Once the SMB knows what their CRM goals are, they can then use this data to best manage the process. The plan could be, for example, to obtain a certain number of sales within a set time period.  This allows the rest of the team to plan the process so their goals can be achieved. Integrate cross-selling Within smaller companies, cross-selling and marketing can be invaluable. It is therefore important to ensure that the CRM software is used in one of its most helpful capacities: as an administrative aid capable of keeping all the company's marketing data in one place. This enables the company to cross-reference different sales channels and customer demographics to see where the biggest sales and best results are being achieved. Source: IT Pro Portal About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in helping small to medium sized businesses understand and implement CRM as a technology and CRM as a process.  We can help drive adoption and ROI in businesses and organisations that are implementing a marketing solution through a CRM like Microsoft Dynamics.  You can read our customer testimonials here http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx.  MyCRM don’t only provide a managed service but also off a range of product solutions which are off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity, along with dedicated support packages to meet business requirements. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for your Microsoft CRM Solution. You can get access to a range of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from    

Forrester’s Top 10 CRM Trends in 2014

Obtaining success within an industry relies heavily on staying on top of the latest trends.  That's why we're going to use today to look at some of the key trends that are emerging during 2014. From the original post by Kate Leggett on February 23, 2014 Trend 1: Companies Strive To Be Experience Driven. In 2014, we predict that an increasing number of organizations will adopt a more-disciplined approach to customer experience transformation. You can advance your organization's customer experience maturity by following a four-phased path: repair, elevate, optimize, and differentiate. To help enterprises excel at CX, leverage Forrester's framework that outlines 40 essential practices across six disciplines: customer understanding, measurement, governance, strategy, design, and culture. Trend 2: Enterprises Will Embrace Tools That Create An Outside-In Perspective. To make meaningful improvements, organizations must align their customer experience ecosystems. That requires understanding customers' deep needs, viewing interactions from the customer's perspective, and socializing customer insights - and organizations will embark on this journey in 2014. Trend 3: More Organizations Will Become Digital Disruptors. Digital disruption occurs any time a company uses digital tools or platforms to deliver better product experiences to customers in less time and for less money. In our digital disruption readiness survey, 89% of executives agreed that digital disruption is headed right for them, yet only 32% believe that their policies and practices will enable them to adapt - practices that must mature this year. Trend 4: The Mobile Mind Shift Will Force CRM To Evolve Quickly. Mobile CRM solution support will continue to rapidly evolve, and every CRM vendor has a mobile offering. But assembling the components of an effective mobile CRM solution to meet the precise use case for a specific type of mobile worker, or customer interaction, requires navigating a complex set of technology, process and people decisions. Trend 5: Big Data Will Turn Into Customer Insight. We expect more organizations to ramp up their efforts to turn big data into business insights. But most organizations don’t know where to start. Use Forrester's framework to help measure the maturity and guide the improvement plan of customer data management capabilities, as you capture, analyze, share data and evolve an organization to support your CRM strategy. Trend 6: Social Will Connect At All Stages Of The Customer Life Cycle. Social technologies have changed the way businesses interact with their customers. Yet, nearly 10 years into the social media boom, many executives are still reactive about adopting social media technologies, instead of focusing on the goals they want to accomplish. We predict that more companies will use a strategic approach, such as Forrester's approach, to leverage social technologies across all stages of the customer life cycle. Trend 7: Rapid Adoption Of CRM SaaS Solutions Will Continue. SaaS CRM deployments are here to stay, with over 70% of enterprises of all sizes having deployed all or some CRM, or planning to deploy CRM as a SaaS solution. And organizations don't choose SaaS only because its typically less expensive. In many cases, it gives organizations the much needed agility to quickly react to changing business pressures. Trend 8: More Companies Will Aspire To Become Agile Enterprises. All companies aspire to have a single, consolidated version of "the truth about customers," and they continue to rely on structured processes, transactional systems, and packaged apps to do this. Yet, over time, these systems have developed inflexible architectures and have become aligned with silos built around business functions that now present a serious barrier to many fast-moving companies. In 2014, we expect to see more companies to break down these technology, process, and organizational barriers to become more agile, and as a result, more competitive. Trend 9: Marketing Leaders Will Put Customer Insights To Use. Most companies treat marketing technology as a set of tools to buy and use rather than as a core competency to exploit. Marketers gather a great amount of data that can yield insights which can be leveraged across the organization. In 2014, we predict that this data will be used to enhance contextual marketing programs for greater personalization. Trend 10: Enterprise Will Support Employees To Embrace New Technologies. In our recent survey of over 600 organizations, more than two-fifths stated that their problems with CRM technologies were the result of "people issues," such as: slow user adoption, inadequate attention paid to change management and training, and difficulties in aligning the organizational culture with new ways of working. The result? Underutilized CRM investment and unmet business objectives. We predict that more organizations will apply the lessons learned from past failures to successfully deploy CRM technologies in 2014. If you are looking for some additional support with Microsoft Dynamics CRM or need help and advice on how to get stared then contact us today www.mycrmgroup.com About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in helping small to medium sized businesses understand and implement CRM as a technology and CRM as a process.  We can help drive adoption and ROI in businesses and organisations that are implementing a marketing solution through a CRM like Microsoft Dynamics.  You can read our customer testimonials here http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx.  MyCRM don’t only provide a managed service but also off a range of product solutions which are off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity, along with dedicated support packages to meet business requirements. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/   As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for your Microsoft CRM Solution. You can get access to a range of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the MyCRM download centre here: http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com after registering for an account.

Email retains its position as the number one marketing channel

In a recent survey carried out by Experian Data Quality, it was revealed that in 87 per cent of the companies contacted email marketing campaigns remained the most popular option.   "Email is still a hugely important channel when it comes to marketing," noted Beatriz Santin, Experian Data Quality’s senior director of marketing, adding: "Though email marketing has had to adapt to changes within the channel and the growth of other channels such as mobile, it remains one of the best ways to reach customers and marketers are continuing to rely on this evolving yet effective method.”   Nurturing customer relationships is essential, especially in smaller businesses and sending personalised promotional mailings has been found to result in a 41 per cent higher unique click rate than other forms of ‘non-personal’ marketing. However, for this form of marketing to be successful Santin stressed that: "For personalisation to be as effective as it has the potential to be, the data that's being used to personalise campaigns has to be accurate. Our results showed that out of the 87 per cent of companies that use email marketing, 67 per cent report deliverability problems."   It is clear, therefore, that CRM systems have an important part to play in ensuring that customer contact information is current and that outdated or inconsistent data is deleted without delay. Thanks to the centralised data storage features of CRM systems the cost of ensuring such information is constantly monitored and updated is minimal.   If you are looking for some additional support with Microsoft Dynamics CRM or need help and advice on how to get stared then contact us today www.mycrmgroup.com About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in helping small to medium sized businesses understand and implement CRM as a technology and CRM as a process.  We can help drive adoption and ROI in businesses and organisations that are implementing a marketing solution through a CRM like Microsoft Dynamics.  You can read our customer testimonials here http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx.  MyCRM don’t only provide a managed service but also off a range of product solutions which are off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity, along with dedicated support packages to meet business requirements. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/   As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for your Microsoft CRM Solution. You can get access to a range of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the MyCRM download centre here: http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com after registering for an account.

How CRM Software can help: manage customer complaints

I have been researching a number of really good articles this week and this one on Business 2 Community highlighted some very good points.  This article initially about the tour industry applies well to all organisations as if a customer has a complaint about a product or a service they need it to be dealt with quick and efficiently. One of the key ways to ensure that customers stick around and for you organisation to build loyalty is to deal with any complaints quickly and efficiently.  Today, we're going to take a look at how CRM can be used to put an efficient complaint response system in place. Ensure that the complaints policy is set out firmly It is important to make sure that your company has a firm policy for dealing with complaints and that this is clearly set out and that all employees understand the process and complaint policy.  A customer complaint must be dealt with efficiently and this is where a CRM system like Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help.  Using the CRM system you could create a configured case and track the defined complaint process, help your organisation collate all information gathered from the customer and act and resolve the situation quickly. Ensure that your staff are fully trained Again, this is an important factor in getting the best results.  Just as CRM software ensures that all sales letters and responses are uniform, it can also provide the same service for complaint responses.  It is important for customers to feel like they are being given a committed response.  If they don't feel this way, they are not likely to return to the company any time soon. With the rise of social media it is extremely important to get this process correct as a disgruntled customer can quickly let their feelings known on the likes of Facebook or Twitter.   Ensure that a little bit of communication continues afterwards Whilst most customers do not want to engage in repeated conversations with a company after making a complaint, there is still a lot of value in touching base once to see if the problem was sufficiently resolved, assuming that this wasn't established in the initial conversation.  Touching base can also present the company with the opportunity to offer the customer a gift or discount to increase the likelihood of future business. The act of regular communication, reaching out or touching base also shows that the company truly values the customer. Source: Business 2 Community If you are looking for some additional support with Microsoft Dynamics CRM or need help and advice on how to get stared then contact us today www.mycrmgroup.com About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in helping small to medium sized businesses understand and implement CRM as a technology and CRM as a process.  We can help drive adoption and ROI in businesses and organisations that are implementing a marketing solution through a CRM like Microsoft Dynamics.  You can read our customer testimonials here http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx.  MyCRM don’t only provide a managed service but also off a range of product solutions which are off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity, along with dedicated support packages to meet business requirements. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for your Microsoft CRM Solution. You can get access to a range of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the MyCRM download centre here: http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com after registering for an account.

How CRM Software can help: avoid classic customer service mistakes

To follow on from our last “how CRM Can” http://blog.mycrmgroup.com/post/2014/03/03/How-CRM-Software-Can-Help-improve-customer-service.aspx here are some points on what things can go wrong and that need to be addressed even if a CRM is in place. The purpose to customer relationship management is keeping the customer happy, and CRM software is one of the most effective tools for this purpose.  Even when organisations implement the technology correctly there are a number of mistakes that can occur and here we look at some of the common mistakes and how to avoid them. A lack of empathy You need to remember that many companies today just don't seem concerned about the customer's needs.  In this age where customers can access the same services as yours elsewhere within seconds, it is important to ensure that the website is fully functional, customers' calls are returned quickly (CRM software can help with scheduling these calls) and that staff are all able to discuss products without having to pass customers around too much. But remember if you’re getting this wrong then maybe one of your competitor is getting it right and any amount of technology and software will not help if the ethos and organisational goal is to deliver excellence. You can use the reporting features in Microsoft CRM to make sure your teams are completing the actions as part of the process, but getting your team aligned with the goal of the organisation is critical to customer success. Making promises that are not kept Companies often make promises that they either cannot keep or simply don't have any intention of keeping.  Needless to say, this is a sure way to lose business.  Consistency is vital in terms of pricing, language used, speed of calls and a number of other factors.  CRM software can help deal with a number of these factors, and although pricing is key it is not always the deciding factor, make sure you understand your customers goals and needs and help they achieve what they want to achieve with your product, solution or service. Not treating people well It is important to ensure that customers are treated with the respect they deserve.  This is a classic error that many financial institutions make: offering all the perks to new customers whilst older, loyal ones leave and work with someone else.  If a customer is a loyal and regular one, which is something that CRM software will help show, it is important to help reward them for continuing to work with you.  Failure to do so verges on neglect. Source: Business 2 Community If you are looking for some additional support with Microsoft Dynamics CRM or need help and advice on how to get stared then contact us today www.mycrmgroup.com About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in helping small to medium sized businesses understand and implement CRM as a technology and CRM as a process.  We can help drive adoption and ROI in businesses and organisations that are implementing a marketing solution through a CRM like Microsoft Dynamics.  You can read our customer testimonials here http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx.  MyCRM don’t only provide a managed service but also off a range of product solutions which are off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity, along with dedicated support packages to meet business requirements. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for your Microsoft CRM Solution. You can get access to a range of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the MyCRM download centre here: http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com after registering for an account.