Following on from my latest post I have found a number of other news articles that grabbed my interest so in the second of our round new offering you can find 4 of the more topical CRM pieces.
1. Fostering an effective CRM solution
CRM systems remain an excellent way to help improve the effectiveness of any company's customer service operations. There are several challenges involved in ensuring that it works as planned, however, and these are some of the most vital:
Too many companies invest in a quality CRM system without actually being sure what the investment is for. Unfortunately, if the company is unsure what the product is meant to do, there is no effective way to measure whether or not it is actually working! It's important that everyone using the software knows exactly what it can do.
It is the responsibility of both the service provider and the senior staff member at the company to ensure that any CRM systems invested in are fully useable and that employees know exactly how to make use of them. A lack of usability and skill in using the software will lead to weak results.
Ensuring everyone is on board
One of the most common oppositions to CRM software is people within the company who do not want to make use of it. It is important, therefore, to make sure in advance that absolutely everyone in the company is able to voice any opposition and that the benefits of the software are properly explained.
It is important that the CRM software is adapted into the company ethos. Any company that sticks religiously to "just the way we do things 'round here" is usually one that ends up failing because of a lack of adaptability.
Source: Business 2 Community
2. Ensuring CRM integration does not affect the customer
One of the most important aspects of managing CRM software is ensuring that it can be integrated effectively into the existing systems. We've covered this before. However, it is also important to ensure that the integration does not affect the customer experience in any way. Today, we're going to take a look at how this can be avoided.
Understanding and mapping out systems
It's important to make sure that the customer's journey through the sales process is mapped out. This is to the benefit of the customers themselves because they receive a more streamlined process and also benefits the staff because it lets them know exactly where they should be going.
Ensuring the right technology is in place
It is also extremely important to make sure that every tool the company makes use of has a reason to be there. Any wastefulness should be avoided, and every piece of software should make a positive contribution to the customer service process.
Ensure that there are one or two staff members who are charged with optimising the CRM process. This "centre" of operation will mean that any changes being made can be fully vetted by those in the know. This, in turn, is ideal for ensuring that the system doesn't become too clogged up with irrelevant open source tools.
It's always a good idea to ensure that different departments get involved with planning the system. There is a wide range of CRM software out there, and it is in the company's interest to make sure that the one chosen works for everyone.
Source: Destination CRM
3. CRM for solo entrepreneurs
We have talked a great deal about CRM benefits for small and medium companies. As a general rule, these are typically the firms that make use of the technology most frequently. However, there are also a multitude of benefits for solo professionals and consultants. Here are a few of the most important.
One of the most important aspects of building success as a consultant or industry expert is to create a genuine brand around your name. Larger brands tend to take on more engagements. CRM software can help to build up industry expertise in terms of how to develop sales and build customer relationships, which are both vital parts of brand building.
The more knowledge consultants are able to provide, the more valuable they will be to the company paying them. Consultants who are highly valued by their clients are able to command higher rates. Once the overall fees increase, the solo operators will be able to increase their fees for group consultations as well.
Generating more leads
One of the most commonly cited benefits of CRM is that it is a great tool for helping to make the user aware of where potential leads have appeared. Again, data remains invaluable for building an audience, and CRM software will enable any consultant to obtain information on potential customers, their optimum reading time, their previous purchase history regarding any products, and a host of other factors. As ever, relevant information is power, and CRM helps to provide this information.
4. What are the main CRM problems a business might experience?
Recent research has revealed that some businesses are struggling to realize the greatest benefit from their CRM projects. So what is the problem?
In some cases the technology is not performing as it should; employees are not using it at all, or if they are it is being used incorrectly; the CRM software is not suitable for the business that is using it and in some cases changes in management has negatively impacted its use.
Obviously the creators of CRM systems design them to work efficiently; however, there can be a problem if a system is not easy to access or use. Employees can quickly become disillusioned with a system if they have trouble accessing it, or using it as and when needed.
In general, employees are an adaptable bunch and will do their best to come to terms with new systems as quickly as they can. When employees shy away from using a CRM system the reason could well be that management is not fully committed to its use. It will soon become apparent to an employee if management are not making full use of the data, and he or she will conclude that inputting is a waste of time. This is quite rare but it has and does happen. Most management personnel now appreciate the value of CRM and it is essential that to encourage employees to do their best with it everyone in the business should be seen to be using it.
If a system is not doing everything that a business requires it is most likely because the business itself has changed, expanded and moved on. Sometimes this problem can be difficult to address without major changes to the system that can of course be expensive, as replacement projects are usually more costly than the original system.
CRM systems can be of great value to a business, however, managers must remember that to ensure success everyone must be committed to its use.
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.
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