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.
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.
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.
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.
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