Latest news cast from the CRM industry

Some great articles in the last couple of weeks although we have had the usual Easter and Mayday lull here in the UK, So now we are back at full steam I have collated 5 of the latest articles that might be of interest.

Also don’t forget If you would like to take a trial on the MyCRM 2013 platform don’t for get to register here


Ok back to the news!!

Almost half of businesses say cloud adoption is a "go"

According to a recent Microsoft-commissioned study, nearly half of organisations are in the process of adopting the cloud.  Additionally, about 33 per cent of companies already have a solid cloud computing plan.

The “Hosting and Cloud Go Mainstream: 2014” study also sought to find the best practises for cloud computing with the top four being having a well-defined security architecture, knowing the end users, training users on access and security, and having a well-defined performance architecture.  The study also indicated that 26 per cent of on-premises spending was on private cloud development.

A majority of respondents – about 70 per cent – also indicated that they secure website hosting, with 64 per cent procuring backup and storage services and 56 per cent paying for dedicated servers.  The findings do indicate that spending on public cloud will likely remain the same for the next two years at about 25 per cent, whilst the spending on hosting for private clouds is expected to rise to about 32 per cent.

Experts believe that hosted private cloud is a natural gateway to hybrid cloud environments for many business customers.  More and more companies have transitioned away from the discovery phase and are moving into deploying cloud solutions.

Cloud deployments are only expected to increase, which leads to security concerns for business owners and IT professionals alike.  The study asked respondents about security, and 60 per cent of them indicated that they would be willing to pay for premium security options.

The report focused on more than 2,000 IT professionals working at a number of companies of various sizes throughout 11 different nations including Brazil, Germany, India, the UK, and the United States.



Thinking of changing CRM platforms?

CRM platforms are very important to the success and operations of any business, but many managers still dread the thought of adopting a new one. 

The time required to effectively research all the different CRMs available and implement a platform may seem like a daunting task to many managers, but this can really pay off.  Once a particular product has been chosen, the next step is figuring out a process for organising all the data and integrating the CRM into daily operations as seamlessly as possible.  A major concern is always the risk of losing any and all information already collected on clients.

Most managers will say that their biggest hesitation about changing from one CRM platform to another is the potential loss of data.

Loss of data can happen during the transfer process from one CRM software product to another because each program maps data a little differently.  More and more CRM providers are actually making this process a lot easier and less painful for businesses.

As CRM platforms that integrate well with other software programs become the new mainstay, business managers could find that adopting a new CRM platform significantly benefits their company.  This means using CRMs as more than just a glorified Rolodex and more as a tool for storing, managing, and analysing data.

It is important to keep in mind that a lot of CRMs have similarities between features and navigation, so once the data transfer has taken place, there will be some familiarity.  It is advisable that managers begin with simple things like task management and calendars before moving on to marketing and workflow features.

Picking a provider like MyCRM can help your business gain that momentum that is required for additional grows, as the team at MyCRM have over 20 years of experience and have prebuilt a number of extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and 2013.



A few considerations for those who need a CRM system

Today, maintaining good industry partner and customer relations is essential to operating a business, which is why a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is so important.  CRMs make it a lot easier to manage such relationships while simultaneously helping managers monitor efficiency and employee productivity.

Luckily, most of today’s CRM systems work really well and can track things like customer contact information, past interactions with clients, invoices, contracts, emails, and even appointments.  Some CRM systems have integrated a bit of project management into their features.  Most even have reporting tools that allow easy monitoring of what actions work and which ones are not getting results.

Although most CRMs are fundamentally similar, they are not all the same and many offer different functionality and price points.  This is why business owners should always take the time to research the options and determine which might be best for their particular company. 

A CRM system must ultimately fit the size of the business, so a more robust CRM system may not make sense for a small business.  Start with a list of functions that are necessary and take it from there.  The amount of functionality one requires will undoubtedly affect price.  Most of today’s CRM systems are operated on a subscription basis.

Something else to consider is how the CRM system will be accessed; there are server-based CRMs, cloud-based CRMs and even web-based CRMs.  Will mobile functionality be a requirement?  If so, it might be worth it to consider a system that works well with smartphones and other mobile devices.  Compatibility is also something to note as there are some CRM systems designed specifically for Mac users while others work only on PCs.  Some have been optimised for both.

It is also possible to customise a CRM system to meet the specific needs of a business.  This could ultimately cost more than a subscription-based product, but it may be well worth it for specialised companies.

The bottom line is that no matter which CRM system is implemented, it will change the way a business operates for the better.

If you are ready to take a trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and work with a provider like MyCRM that can help deliver business excellence then you can get a trial from here or see what our customer have to say here



More data isn’t always better

This is a great article and every manager knows that without enough data, it is virtually impossible to make a sound business decision.  However, there is such a thing as too much data, especially in the world of CRM.

The foundation of any CRM system is to track the interaction between businesses and their customers.  However, more records in a system aren’t necessarily better, especially if that data is not of sound quality.

Some tell-tale symptoms of problematic data might include duplicate contact entries, duplicate lead records, improper lead handling, incorrect routing of leads and contacts, unreliable suppression of outbound email marketing, the inability to generate an accurate customer mailing list, and the excessive use of simple text fields.

There is really only one way to resolve data issues in any CRM system and that is to get everyone who uses the system to use it in the same way.  Managers should not assume this is going to be a quick transition as old habits can be difficult to break.

A good rule of thumb is to keep some guidelines on how to treat data.  For example, a name is just a name – usually from an email blast.  It isn’t a lead until the person has expressed interest in the product or service.  Leads transition into contacts once they have reached the next level in the sales process.  Every business is different, but this should give most managers a good base to start from.

Here at MyCRM we can work with you to get best value and understand your data needs and system requirements.




Keeping the best until last

We thought we would keep the next article to last as it shows and confirms the need for Social Media Integration.  This fits well with all the social integration work that MyCRM are now doing to bring different social data streams into Microsoft Dynamics CRM.   It is easy to add data feeds but the integration has to be done in a meaning full way  


Social media changing CRM’s future

Every day, more than two million people open new Twitter accounts. This says a lot about how important social media is in today’s world. 

Thanks to social media, there are plenty of new challenges as well as opportunities within the world of customer relationship management (CRM).  People are using social media to do just about everything, including providing unsolicited customer reviews.

According to a recent survey, around 70 per cent of customer tweets to companies are ignored, and everyone knows that ignoring a customer can cause irreparable damage to one’s business.

Now is the time for companies to begin embracing the connection between customer service and social media.  Some of the biggest companies, such as Zappos and Delta, have begun using platforms such as Twitter to directly communicate with their customers, and those who do are reaping great benefits.

However, incorporating social channels into one’s CRM plan can be a logistical nightmare for the IT department.  Some of the most prominent challenges include the vast amount of social interactions, a new stream of customer data, and operational efficiency.  All that noise needs to be filtered out in order to use social media interactions effectively.

The CRM workflow should ideally prioritise social messages within the context of a customer’s experience and history.  This will allow for the most important data to be collected and used effectively.  Businesses might also look to cloud contact centre systems, which are traditionally better equipped to meet the scale of social interactions but can be seamlessly integrated with existing CRM systems.

Remember, customers want timely responses and positive resolutions, regardless of how they contact the company.  Companies want customer satisfaction and repeat business.  Businesses that listen and respond through all channels, including social media, will inevitably build a solid and loyal customer base.



About MyCRM

Here at my CRM we offer our customers 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.