Warming up leads using CRM and social media

This is a great follow on article from my original post about socialising your business, and as social media is becoming more of the norm in business I’ve taken this opportunity to highlight some further points of why social media is a get asset to business. I’ve always promoted positively and discussed the importance of social media to the CRM process.  It is inarguably one of the most crucial ways to engage customers.  Here I’m looking at how it can be used to help generate warm leads for the sales team and how CRM software can help with the process. It helps a company get to know a prospect When used effectively, CRM software really can help a company to understand a potential customer through the extraction of relevant social media data.  The company can monitor their online footprint.  They can also follow and share the customer's content if they have any and share their own.  This remains one of the most effective ways to build organic intimacy with potential clients. Look at the buying cycle Again, CRM software can be invaluable in terms of its ability to extract relevant data and analyse where in the buying cycle the customer currently is.  If they've recently had a trigger event (such as relocating, hiring new staff, participating in a merger, etc.) then they are far more likely to be open to potential sales.  Using social media, it is entirely possible to uncover this information and make use of it. Deeper engagement Where possible, social media should always be about asking questions and shortening the selling cycle.  A company should be ready to share helpful, relevant content and offer genuine solutions to the problem.  CRM software can help a company see when these sorts of questions are being asked. Just a tool in the box or a strand to your bow I’d also like to note that although MyCRM and I are an advocate of using Social media like Twitter and Facebook along with Linked in it should not be seen as the only solution and should be only part of the inbound and outbound marketing approach taken. For more on this subject you can contact MyCRM here www.MyCRMGroup.com or review the source article Business 2 Community 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

Which businesses suit which CRM software and which business functions count?

I found this article recently and it reignited thoughts around questions I have been asked so many times through my CRM career.  Business owners that don’t understand or have a tainted view of what a CRM system is always ask why they need it and this article on Destination CRM covers some very good points. But as I always say, CRM is a much bigger picture and as an organisation you must think about what the end goal or process is as CRM software is great for holding all the information but what is it you really want to achieve. Let’s look at some examples of how CRM can be used to improve business activity:- Marketing: As a business you probably going to want to do some targeted and tracked email marketing, with MyCRM you can do this with integrated eCampaign directly against your data in a single system. Customer Service You may as a business want to run Surveys to see how you rate or what your customs are thinking at any one time and these are all CRM activities. Events If you an organisation that is running events then a CRM system for you should include MAPS to segment data by region and give visualisation on how to select the best invitees, and you need to make sure that the solution come with an event management tool built in, with MyCRM you can go this with tailored solutions. It is important to ensure that anyone investing in a new CRM system takes the time to get the right one.  We've previously looked at some of the main reasons to choose a particular set, but today we're going to look at how different businesses should consider the various options. Cloud or non-cloud? In the days of effective cloud file sharing, it's vital to consider whether or not this type of technology is going to form an important part of your CRM solution.  For some companies, it may be possible to make use of an entirely on-premises CRM system that can't be accessed elsewhere.  This can also be valuable for those who want to obtain total control by paying a little bit more upfront.  However, start-ups with slightly lower budgets might consider it more sensible to take the cloud-based approach.  Users It's also extremely important to take into account the number of day-to-day users who will be operating the software.  The cloud-based programs allow for increased flexibility within this number, which makes them ideal for start-ups where employment is typically a bit more fluid.  Larger companies should, of course, look at the merits of buying an overall license. How will it integrate? CRM is an excellent investment, but it's important to make sure that it will fully integrate with any existing software and data that the company already possesses.  Any firm investing in CRM needs to make sure that their new software can take advantage of the customer information that they already have in place. Source: DestinationCRM If you’re looking to extend you Microsoft Dynamics CRM capability or just need to understand more then visit us here www.mycrmgroup.com If you need help with support then MyCRM offers a range of pre-packaged support options on a monthly subscription. http://mycrmgroup.com/support.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 after registering for an account.

Top CRM buyer trends in 2013 by Software Advice

An interesting set of research results has been highlighted by Software Advice an organisation that typically helps buys of software pick the right solutions You can see the full article here http://www.softwareadvice.com/crm/buyerview/report-2013/ The research was conducted with 5,279 software buyers between January and August this year and uncovers the top deployment model, features and motivation for evaluating new technology. Here are some of the key findings:  · Of companies who indicated a deployment model preference, 96 percent requested a cloud-based solution · Seventy five percent of integrated suite buyers requested sales force automation · Seventy six percent of best-of-breed buyers requested sales force automation · Nearly 90 percent of buyers requested contact management, note-taking capabilities and/or reporting and analytics As we move into 2014 and 2015 the software industry will continue to change and those vendors that are ready with download one use apps will likely prosper along with the solution providers that offer easy access to functionality for download or from within the cloud as a servers also known as Software As A Service. The research goes on to show the views of CRM buyers, and below the commentary from leading analyst Paul Greenberg discusses the points raised. Implications for CRM Vendors  In discussing our results with leading CRM industry analyst Paul Greenberg, we discovered a few implications of this report for software vendors. For one, CRM vendors need to ensure they focus on their products' reporting and analytics features -- companies increasingly expect these features to deliver real-time insights that enable them to personalize the customer experience and not just report on productivity. Additionally, vendors need to make social an integral part of their product; both in reporting capabilities as well as in the information included in contact profiles. In addition to Greenberg’s insights, our analysts see another implication for software vendors in this data. While 91 percent of buyers were interested in a standalone, best-of-breed solution, 25 percent still asked for integration with other critical systems. Vendors need to invest in making solutions capable of integrating with a variety of business programs, including those within the CRM industry, as well as other critical enterprise systems. Analyst Commentary  “In its early days, CRM systems were really good at creating operational efficiencies,” said Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group, LLC. “They still do this today, but now it's also about how effective they can make each interaction in terms of actually growing revenue - not just cutting costs.”  “CRM vendors should focus on adding or improving capabilities that will increase the efficiency of CRM’s bread and butter, sales force automation,” said Ashley Verrill, CRM analyst at Software Advice. “While many buyers are still looking for standalone functionality, there is a significant demand for CRM that works with social and other forms of data to streamline customer service efforts and take action when it matters most.” Methodology  The data presented in this research was obtained through Software Advice’s interactions with 5,279 CRM software buyers between January and August 2013. In these conversations, buyers were asked which functionalities, integrations and applications were crucial in their new system, as well as which deployment model would work best for their organization. Of the buyers included in the sample, 68 percent were currently using non industry-specific software or manual methods to manage customer relationships. About Software Advice Software Advice is a trusted resource for software buyers. The company's website, www.softwareadvice.com, provides detailed reviews, comparisons and research to help organizations choose the right software. Meanwhile, the company’s team of software analysts provide free telephone consultations to help each software buyer identify systems that best fit their needs. In the process, Software Advice connects software buyers and sellers, generating high-quality opportunities for software vendors. Since its founding in 2005, the company has assisted more than 150,000 software buyers. Software Advice is headquartered in Austin, Texas where it employs a team of ~80 (and growing). It has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc. Magazine. If you are looking for some help with the implementation of development of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM then you can contact me here http://www.mycrmgroup.com About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a process can work in business and has therefore developed a number of off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre, with 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 to use CRM software to encourage growth

One of the questions I get asked regularly is will a CRM help my business grow, and done properly the answer would be yes every time. One of the key benefits of using effective CRM data is that it can help to increase growth in the company.  That's why we're going to take a look at a new piece on the web that's highlighted some of the key methods for helping to increase this growth. This IS key to understand what you want out of your CRM and your business and this implemented correctly will drive growth is sales and repeat business. Sales funnel analysis Examining a sales funnel (i.e. the data that shows how many contacts are moving into each stage of the sales process) is an effective way to measure the company's health.  By effectively analysing CRM data, it's possible to use this information to diagnose the health of the company's sales process.  If the company is regularly losing custom at the quotes stage, for instance, then you'll know to explore this area more deeply and to make changes and improvements to the process. Forecast the future A bit of clairvoyance never hurt any business. Accurate data from the sales funnel can genuinely help a company estimate what the sales figures for the next quarter will look like.  By looking at how many leads wind up as genuine closes, it's easy to take the current set of leads and estimate sales during the next month or so. Playing to strengths Even the best teams have weaknesses.  Using CRM data effectively, can help to analyse where the key strengths are, and how to take advantage of them.  The data for instance, could show that one member of the sales team excels at converting leads into sales, but isn't so strong in getting the initial leads. This way, you can move them into their strength areas whilst still developing their other skills. The good implementation of CRM is paramount, the exercise should not be seen as installing a software solution, more over it should be demonstrated across the business that customers are placed at the heart of everything your organisation does. To find out more on how MyCRM and its partner organisation can help deliver effective and managed solutions to help your organisation grow then contact us today. About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a process can work in business and has therefore developed a number of off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity. 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. Source: Business 2 Community

eMap Release Candidate Now Ready for Beta Testing

LATEST UPDATE 6th December :- eMap is released via Download Centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx LATEST UPDATE :- The new demo video is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqLKpkrL3Ws&feature=plcp   It’s been a little while since I blogged about our forthcoming release of eMap which is a full integration with Bing Maps and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  There are a number of reasons for this and below we cover off some of the points on why we decided to delay the release to improve on what was the initial proto-type.Originally we had built a solution in Silverlight that delivered some Bing Map functionality, but after further development we quickly realised that the adoption of Silverlight was probably not the best option for end users.  At this point we decided to hit the brakes and go with JavaScript and below you can see some of the results of how this looks in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.       The one thing we really wanted to achieve was a slick look and feel that complemented the way CRM worked, but extend the functionality of MAPS so that end users could easily work with data as pins on a MAP.    You can easily see from the map pin pop-up on the above screen shot that not only is the data that is shown in the pop-up configurable but there are a number of functions that enable actionsThese include:- 1. Add the pin to the route you are planning2. Create any standard or custom activities in CRM3. Assign a record to another CRM user In nearly all circumstances we have followed the standard design and reuse of Microsoft CRM components so if you wanted to create an activity from the pop-up then you would see the standard screen in CRM      If you then go onto create an activity as you would expect all the data from the record will come across to the newly created entity.      You can see from the side navigation tool bar that there are a number of MAP functions available for working with the data on the different layers. You can also see that you have the option to select different MAPS as within the eMAP solution there is the ability to create more than one map with one or more layers.  This means you could have a Customer map, or a Sales Opportunity Map by territory or a Service case Map, so the whole business can actively see where current activity is.      Currently in the eMAP solution there are 6 main functions to work with CRM data these are:-1. Map Section:- As stated before you can create more than one MAP and this part of the tool allows you to select which map you want to work with.2. View Type:- The view type allows you to select how you see the map either Aerial, Road or the standard Automatic setting.3. Quick Filter:- As the name suggest this allows you to filter the CRM data on the MAP layers  by typing In a name of a company or a contact or related record that is displayed on the Map4. Entity Distance Filter:- This filter enables an end user to quickly find records that are within a distance of each other and in the above example you can see contacts that are within 5 miles of an account record.5. Route Planner:- The route planner is a great way of creating a drive route  or visit plan for a number of listed customers and there a number of way to do.6. List Creator:- The list creator is a great feature for creating bulk actions and from here a user can create a bulk workflow job, add record to a Marketing list, copy data to the clipboard and bulk assign records from the selected list. One of the great features of eMAP is the ability to create lists containing data so that different actions can be taken, the screen shot below shows a range of data that has been selected.     You can see that the data is then displayed in a table and from here bulk jobs can be performed. These tasks include1. Copy the data from the table to the local clipboard so that it can be used in Microsoft Word or Excel or other applications2. Run a workflow against selected records3. Add selected records to a marketing list4. Add the data selected to use a quick campaign 5. Bulk assigns records to a new user or different team or Queue.So far we have only been looking at the Map capability from the left navigation but MAPs can also be included in individual entities giving additional functions The screen shot below shows a typical account with a map  Note that related sub accounts and contacts can be shown at the individual layer and easy to get navigation and driving instructions to a contact can be obtained by using the router planner and adding the contact to the route. This covers off most of the features available in eMAP with the first release with additional features like location sorting and data filtering coming in future releases. eMAP is a practical and easy way to work with Data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and provides a great visualisation tool for Sales, Marketing and Service.There are many features and ways to combine MAP and GIS features into your business. For more information please register with the MyCRM Download Centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ or email sales@mycrmgroup.com    

Creating Surveys in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the all New! eSurvey

Creating Surveys in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the all New! eSurvey Soon to be released is the latest fully integrated solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from MyCRM.  eSurvey is a full functional Survey, Poll and Data collection solution that can be used for Customer and Prospect Surveys, Competitions and even has the option to be used for running online Quizzes and Training, resulting in response scores and total scores. Data capture has never been so easy, as all questions can be created in CRM and all responses to the questions asked if stored against the contact.We have taken the opportunity although there are other no so functional options available to extend Microsoft CRM Marketing even further.With a drag and drop flexible user interface creating surveys has never been so easy the screen shot details the main survey screen in CRM.       With the rise in popularity of Social media and platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs, you now have the ability to track in CRM where the responses came from. So if you were running a Poll or a Competition on Facebook and LinkedIn you could record the success and data from the individual responses, and trend the response rates. All the Survey responses are recorded directly in the CRM and this is a great way to also record prospect data that has contributed to an individual survey or entered a competition.     Each of the responses is stored within CRM can be used in workflow, so if certain questions are answered in a certain way then a work flow could trigger a call or an activity in CRM, increasing return on investment and coherence  between Marketing and Sales functions within the organisation. Each Survey, Poll or Competition will create a landing page for recipients outside of the organisation, this page can be branded to you company colours and you can add a default logo directly from CRM    After configuration the page might look like this, although this is just an example of colour change and adding logo’s     eSurvey will be accessible for demo via the MyCRM Download Centre detailing current on-premise price points for 2012.Please email Sales@mycrmgroup.com for further information        

Event Invitations for Microsoft Dynamics CRM2011

Here is our latest Demo solution for Event Invitation tracking within Microsoft CRM This solution is designed to work with eCampaign to enable organisations to track Events and Event responses directly in #CRM2011 after send the related Accept and Decline Links via an email marketing campaign.    For more information on eEvent and Invitation tracking please contact sales@mycrmgroup.com or register with http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ Thanks Alisatir

Event Invitation tracking in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

We have recently been working with a number of our eCampaign customers to develop a complete solution for Event Invitation Tracking in CRM. So what is Event Invitation tracking, in some circumstances your organisation many want to send customers an invitation to attend a webinar or an event that is being held, and track the responses in CRM to create a list of contacts that wish to attend, We have done this in the following way by adding new entities to CRM for Event and Event responses PIC EV 1   On the creation of an event in CRM, two URL’s are created for the Accept and Decline process and these can be used in eCampaign to send a bulk email with event invitations. When a recipiant recieves the email they will have two options, below is an example of an email for an event in eCampaign PIC EV 2     When a recipient selects the Accept button from the email they will be taken to your event page which details the event and will display a message saying they have opted to attend PIC EV 3   Likewise if the recipient Declines a similar page is displayed with a message saying they are not attending. PIC EV 4    For more information on eEvent and Invitation tracking please contact sales@mycrmgroup.com or register with http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ Thanks Alisatir