(877) CRM-8880

Sales Process Improvements: Keeping Marketing Separate from Sales

By Steve Stroz on Feb 6, 2019 3:30:00 PM

Sales Process Improvement

There's no doubt that marketing plays an integral role in the sales process. Moreover, we encourage businesses to align their sales and marketing processes for optimal results. What we don't condone, however, is when businesses rely on one department for both marketing and sales.

Marketing isn't selling, no matter how promotional your tone is. There's always going to be a difference between marketing your product and converting leads with your sales team.

A recent Chicago Tribune article talks about the division between marketing and sales. According to the article, marketers often try to get involved in the sales process, and businesses should prevent that from happening:

"Unfortunately, somewhere along the small- to medium-size business path, salespeople and executive leadership have been led to believe marketing is selling. Maybe this fallacy is the result of marketing firms who attempt to justify their high prices or possibly a lack of understanding the regarding the sales process along with the word sales."

Neither your sales nor your marketing process will be efficient if the two departments overlap. If marketers try to take on the role of sales representatives, then they won't be paying enough attention to the marketing campaign.

Rather than blending the two departments together, your goal should be to keep them separate and aligned. Your marketing and sales teams should work together to provide an optimal customer experience.

Implementing sales software is one way to keep your marketing and sales teams aligned. By collecting customer data, your marketing team can create an effective campaign for your target audience and your sales representatives will understand the customer experience you're offering.

The first thing we suggest to small business owners is to keep their sales and marketing teams separate. To talk more about implementing sales process improvements in your business, or anything else, contact us today.

Topics: Marketing Sales
Continue Reading

Act! Software: Change The Way Your Customers And Prospects See You

By Steve Stroz on Jan 28, 2019 3:30:00 PM

ACT! Software

One of the most intelligent and effective software on the market is Act! software. This software has the right features and the right enhancements that are perfect for your marketing efforts. Your marketing efforts and strategies will easily turn into a successful sale rate.

You will be able to easily connect and grow with your customers and you will be able to obtain new customers. It will be easier to attract new customers because of the integrated marketing features, and you will be able to strengthen your relationships with current customers because you will already have the customer's information in your system.

You will be able to know what the customers like and what they do not like. You will also be able to improve your workforce's productivity and efficiency because all of the customer information and interactions can easily be accessed by the sales team. Since every team member will have access to the information, it will be easier for each team member to log into the system and view all the interactions that have taken place.

When using the Act! software, you will be able to do the following, and more:

•easily access all resources that will allow you to get the most out of the software

•access various features and applications from the marketplace

•create effective campaigns that will allow you to reach your target audience

•know what customers need to receive a follow-up call

You do not have to sit back and let the competition pass you by. You can integrate Act! software into your business and change the way your customers see your business. Contact us today if you are interested in more information.

Topics: ACT! Marketing
Continue Reading

Empower Your Sales Team With The Right Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jan 14, 2019 3:30:00 PM

Contact Management Software

The sales competition is very high, and this is resulting in many companies and organizations taking a deeper look into their sales operations. They want to find more information about their current customers, prospects, their needs, and their wants.

Since there is a big focus on finding information on their customers, being able to properly manage the prospects is certainly a key factor in having a successful sales process.

This is why using the right solutions and resources are so important. Contact management software is important to every operation of your sales department. It is part of a newer movement in sales. In order to effectively manage the contact information, you will need to ensure the contact management software will give you the flexibility you need.

You need the contact management software to track every piece of information that you need, and you also need it to track various activities that occur during the sales process.

When any one of your salespeople logs into the database, they should be able to pick up the telephone and quickly gather important information regarding who the customer is and what they like. You want your salespeople to feel comfortable talking to a potential buyer, and they will not be able to do that with little or no customer information.

The contact management software you choose to use should give you up-to-date access to all of your information. You will also need to have the ability to view and share customer data with everyone on your sales team. If you are interested in using contact management software, contact us today. Purchased on: Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Continue Reading

How to Align Your Marketing and Sales Processes

By Steve Stroz on Jan 10, 2019 3:45:00 PM

Nowadays it's almost impossible -- and certainly not recommended -- to keep your marketing process and sales process separate. In this blog we'll explain why aligning your marketing and sales team is so important and outline what steps you can take. 

Just a few years ago, it was normal for marketing and sales team to be unaligned and rarely communicate with each other. It's always been better to keep them on the same page, but it was never a requirement up til now. 

The reason marketing and sales alignment is now so important is because of the role of data and analytics. Both teams should base their strategies off of sound data, and that data should be the same or at least have similar conclusions. 

This all plays a role in the customer experience. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, the better aligned marketing and sales teams are, the more consistent the customer experience is:

"Your Marketing and Sales groups need to update their internally-focused processes and focus on the needs of the Buyer throughout their online/offline/online purchasing journey. The company needs to have one, and only one, perspective of the buyer that all functions/groups (including Product Management, Customer Service and Finance) can embrace and deliver a consistent customer experience."

So if aligning your marketing and sales teams is so important, what steps can you take to make this a reality? It all starts with the data and analytics we mentioned earlier. 

Your focus should be on gathering and extracting data from dealings with clients. The more data you collect, the more insight you'll get into your target audience's behavior, preferences, and wants. 

Once you have this information, you can plan your marketing and sales strategies around it. As a result, you'll automatically align your two teams.  Using applications like ACT!, Zoho, or Hubspot can point you in the right direction in getting started. 

To talk more about your marketing process, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

Continue Reading

Implement CRM Software for Data and Analytics

By Steve Stroz on Jan 7, 2019 3:30:00 PM

We've already seen how data and analytics have affected sports. It started in baseball with Billy Bean and Moneyball and trickled over to other leagues. There are now teams in the MLB, NFL, and NBA that base their entire long-term strategies on analytics. 

Nowadays, there just no excuse for not incorporating analytics. According to a recent Financial Brand article, this is true both with sports franchises and businesses:

"There are no excuses for a football coach that doesn’t look at game film or know the stats from their team. If you are a C­-level Manager at your organization, there is no excuse for ignoring or not being aware of how your CRM can be used to provide you with reports that can help your team. Making excuses for your team’s lack of use of the CRM starts and stops with the C-level executive team."

Incorporating data and analytics in your business strategy helps you improve your operations. You can find out which practices are efficient and which ones need to change. 

The only thing you need is a way to collect data. CRM software (ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, ZoHo) provides businesses with a heap of information about clients. This way, sales representatives can study up on their clients before meetings. Marketing teams can also use the data to learn more about their target audience before planning their next campaign. 

Data and analytics are ubiquitous now. We've seen what's happened to sports teams that don't take them into account, and the same will happen for businesses that do the same. We recommend implementing a solution like CRM software to get you started on your analytic path. 

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

Topics: ACT! CRM Zoho HubSpot
Continue Reading

Sending Out Surveys with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jan 2, 2019 3:30:00 PM

CRM Software

CRM software has many applications in regard to your marketing efforts. It makes staying in touch with contacts easy and reminds customers of their relationship with your business.

It's ultimately up to you what kind of messages you send to subscribers. You can create a weekly newsletter that informs them about your industry or notify them of upcoming sales.

One thing we recommend all businesses to do is send surveys out to subscribers. A recent Sports Daily article explains how this can improve your customer relations and brand image:

"If you have not heard this the surveys here are the most integral part of a CRM strategy and a great way for the business. Have you wondered what people think about your products and services and your company. Ask customers what they want and if they would require any sort of a help and how things could be improved. All this in turn would show that your care and their opinion matter a lot."

Surveys are important for a couple of reasons. For one, they can give you insight into how you can improve your business processes. If several customers are offering the same suggestion, then you can be sure that others thought the same thing. Having this knowledge can only help.

In addition, sending out surveys shows that you're interested in your customers' opinions. It's a sign that you care about them and their well-being and you're willing to hear them out and listen to their thoughts.

Sending out surveys can be a pain -- unless you have CRM software. No one wants to send out individual emails one-by-one, but with CRM software, you can automate the process. In addition, you can keep records of who responded to your survey and what they said. All in all, it simplifies the process and brings more results.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, contact us today.

Topics: CRM Surveys
Continue Reading

CRM Software Isn't Just for Sales Process Improvements

By Steve Stroz on Dec 31, 2018 3:30:00 PM

An important aspect of CRM software, like ZoHo, ACT!, and HubSpot, is that it's not exclusively used for sales process improvements.  The ability of CRM software to track and manage cannot be understated. What the software is really doing is collecting and organizing data. Businesses can use this aggregated information in several ways. 

It's not just about sales, either. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, CRM can be used for customer segmentation and social media marketing: 

"CRM lets you create, track and manage marketing campaigns effectively. Whether its outbound calls, customer segmentation, email marketing, social media applications or creating customized campaign lists, CRM automates the steps and produces data-driven results to accurately measure your efforts."

So why is CRM software often discussed in the context of sales process improvements? The data organized by the software has a direct impact on sales. Your sales representatives suddenly have a way to quantify their client's behavior, preferences, and wants. They can analyze patterns in their behavior to predict and suggest new product orders. 

There's nothing wrong with that, but we just don't want CRM software to be thought of as one-dimensional. In reality it impacts several processes and aspects of your business operations. But if you go into it thinking that it will only increase your sales, then you won't use it to its full potential. 

If you've already implemented CRM software, then consider how it has affected areas of your business other than sales. See if there's anything you can do to make employees refer to it more to improve their own individual performance. 

To talk more about sales process improvements, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

Continue Reading

Gain a Competitive Advantage with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Dec 20, 2018 3:30:00 PM

The problem with most business' sales cycles is that they focus more on lead generation than they do conversion. Because of this, they get tons of leads through their online marketing efforts, but they rarely convert them to sales. 

According to a recent Forbes article, some businesses research their leads so poorly that they don't even know if the people fall into their target market:

"Finally, the B2B sales cycle has not seen big advances in personalization. Of course, the sales deck the buyer sees has their company name and logo on the title slide, but that’s where the personalization typically ends. This assumes that the buyer even made it that far. Since the initial research stage results in reading generic info on a website that could be targeted at any Jane Doe."

You can avoid this situation by personalizing your sales process. To do this, you need to collect information about each person so you can target them individually. 

With CRM software, you can acquire the data and analytics about your customers that you need to personalize your sales process. Moreover, you'll be able to better define your target market based on the common characteristics of your clients. 

This information will set you apart from competitors. Since most businesses are still behind when it comes to personalizing their sales process, you'll get ahead by incorporating data and analytics in your process. With the data collected by CRM software, your sales representatives will be more informed concerning clients and your marketing team will be able to create more effective campaigns. 

To talk more about CRM software, ACT!, HubSpot, ZoHo, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

Continue Reading

How Contact Management Software Improves the Sales Process

By Steve Stroz on Dec 19, 2018 6:00:00 PM

The most important aspect of contact management software is the data and analytics it provides. Each time your sales representatives interact with customers, the software records the outcome. 

After a few weeks or months of recording data, you can start to identify patterns in your customers' behavior. You'll notice that certain customers place similar orders on a regular basis. Your sales representatives can then anticipate these orders to make sure they're placed with your company. 

Sales representatives aren't the only ones who can learn from the data, though. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, contact management software provides company-wide reports that all employees should refer to: 

"Beyond analyzing prospect behavior at the individual level, CRM software also provides overarching metrics on types of outreach,such as how many outbound calls your sales team has made this month, or which campaigns and offers are closing the most deals. These company-wide reports give you a look into your sales process and pipeline as a whole, plus they can identify ways to retain existing customers or upsell them on other products or services."

Your sales representatives, marketers, and customer service representatives all need to be on the same page. If they all refer to the same data, then they'll anticipate the same actions from customers. 

Compare all of this to your sales process without contact management software. Rather than basing your actions on data and statistics, you're just going off of intuition. Even if your sales representatives have strong relationships with customers, it's always better to add analytics to your sales process. 

To talk more about contact management software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

Continue Reading

3 Steps to Increasing Sales with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Dec 13, 2018 3:45:00 PM

1. Research your target audience

The more data your CRM software collects, the more you'll learn about your target audience. After a few months, you'll start to see patterns in the data form. From this information, you can infer certain things about your target audience. 

2. Build your social media marketing campaign around their behavior

What you do with that data and how you interpret it will determine how effective CRM software is for your business. One way businesses use the information is to improve their social media marketing efforts. 

According to a recent Business 2 Community article, after you implement CRM software, you'll find it easier to connect with customers on various social sites: 

"CRM is a new frontier in customer-centric sales and marketing which is reinventing the customer relationship and creating a real-time landscape for enterprises of all sizes to connect with existing and future customers – leveraging Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and more."

3. Increase sales

And finally, your targeted marketing efforts will eventually lead to an increase in sales. Engaging followers on social media is important, but you really want to see it impact your bottom-line. 

In addition to improving your marketing efforts, CRM software gives your sales representatives more tools. They can study up on clients by referring to the software before meetings so they'll have a better chance at finalizing a deal. 

What makes CRM software so special is the overall impact it has on your company. You can apply the data to several aspects of your business. 

To talk more about CRM software, ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, ZoHo or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

Continue Reading