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Should Your Business Implement Marketing Software?

By Steve Stroz on Nov 21, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Implementing marketing software is one of the best ways businesses can improve their processes in terms of efficiency. In this blog, we'll talk about three important aspects concerning marketing software

Why businesses need marketing software

Why a business or an organization needs marketing software depends on their own specific needs. As a result, there are many reasons businesses cite for needing marketing software. 

A recent Advertising Age article reports the results of a survey which asked businesses why they need marketing software. Here are the results: 

  • 27% said they need marketing software to improve lead management
  • 15% said they need marketing software because they were unhappy with their current system
  • 13% said they need marketing software for better/more features
  • 10% said they need marketing software to increase company growth
  • 9%  said they need marketing software for better integration
  • 8% said they need marketing software to automate their processes
  • 4% said they need marketing software to for an upgrade/update

Depending on your situation, one or more of these cited reasons may apply to your business. 

How marketing software improves your processes

Marketing software helps businesses to organize and improve their marketing processes. The idea is to automate certain aspects of the process and gain access to data and analytics. By using marketing software, you can identify possible areas of improvement in regard to your marketing strategy. 

Is marketing software right for your business?

First, you need to understand that any business can implement marketing software. There's no requirement in terms of size, sales, or your budget. 

The most important thing is that you analyze the aforementioned needs for marketing software and see if any of them resonate with you. If you need to improve your lead generation, automate your marketing process, or increase your company growth, then you should seriously consider marketing software. 

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

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Essential Business Applications of CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Nov 12, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Business owners are always looking for ways to improve their sales process and better target their marketing efforts. CRM software can help you achieve both of these things, as well as introduce continuity between your marketing and sales teams. Here are three things you can do with CRM software: 

Prepare for leads

Converting leads is one of the most important tasks in regard to the sales process, but sales representatives aren't always as prepared as they should be. With CRM software, they can inform themselves about specific clients before meeting with them. 

According to a recent Small Business Trends article, sales representatives can build deeper relationships by incorporating CRM software into their preparation: 

"For instance, if you have a sales call scheduled with a valuable lead, CRM software would send you an email in advance so you remember to make the call.  Whenever a customer has an upcoming birthday, you or a sales rep would be notified so you promptly send out birthday wishes. Consequently, you can make customers feel more valued and build deeper relationships."

Align your marketing and sales teams 

Moreover, marketing teams can also benefit from CRM software. In particular, they're more in touch with the sales team since both parties are referring to the same data. As a result, the two teams are better aligned and can work together, rather than compete against one another. 

Improve your future marketing efforts

Users often relate the data collected by CRM software to the sales process. But does information concerning your target market have other important applications within your business? Marketing teams can learn from CRM data to better target their next marketing campaign. 

By implementing CRM software, businesses can improve their lead conversion, align their marketing and sales teams, and better target their future marketing efforts. To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

Topics: ACT! CRM Zoho HubSpot
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How Do You Know When It Is Time To Invest In Marketing Software?

By Steve Stroz on Nov 9, 2018 3:45:00 PM

If your business has not considered the transition to marketing software, you are now at the risk of being behind in the competitive race. You may be dealing with a boss who is a little hesitant about making the transition, or you are probably afraid at how much it may cost you to implement the software. You may also think that you already have enough resources to get the job done. 

Whatever the reason is for not using marketing software, you may need to think differently about it. Businesses that are using marketing automation or marketing software to develop prospects are seeing a significant increase in leads. It is highly important that you think about all the opportunities marketing software will present for improvements and growth.

If you are not quite convinced, here are some signs that your business may need to transition to marketing software.

You Do Not Have Enough Time For Anything

If your office has been using a disconnected set of tools and resources to try to accomplish something in your marketing department, it is highly likely that you probably feel the odds have been stacked against you. Well, honestly, they probably are.

The disconnection of putting information in and information coming out, having to learn new things just to remain proficient will take everything out of you. You will do this all day, and you will have missed opportunities to do other important things. With marketing software, you will have a tool that will provide you with all the resources and tools you need to be successful. 

You Have No Idea How You Got Those Leads

If you do not know which of your marketing platforms or efforts helped you get those leads, then you are definitely missing out on a huge opportunity to optimize and improve your traffic. If you have the right marketing software, you will never have to make guesses about leads. You will be able to quickly break down where everything came from. You will not have to feel like you are walking around in darkness. 

Knowing where your information is coming from and how you can improve from it is critical to the success and improvement of your business.

If you do not have the necessary insight to what is or is not working for your business, contact us today for help. 

Topics: ACT! CRM Zoho HubSpot
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Why the Entire Company Should Use CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Aug 2, 2018 3:00:00 PM

CRM software will improve many companies' business operations, but there are a few things they can do to take it a step further. One of which deals with coordination across departments within the company.

CRM software, like ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho, will have the most powerful impact if all employees are using the system. This keeps employees informed not just about the company, but also about current clients.

This is particularly important for sales representatives. It's crucial that they know the most recent customer interactions from all different perspectives. A recent Forbes article explains how collaboration can improve the experience for representatives:

“It’s about more than just sales and salespeople. Have you ever called a customer to talk about your new offering only to find out that they are having a major problem right now? Most of us have had that happen. Ensure that your entire organization uses the platform to document customer interactions. Of course, your salespeople need the discipline to check the system before contacting the customer.”

Sales representatives should be using CRM software to constantly stay informed and updated about their clients. This makes the sales process more efficient, as representatives know their clients' patterns and when they'll be ready for their next order.

But with coordination, all of the weight doesn't fall on the shoulders of sales representatives. They certainly have the responsibility to use the software, but that doesn't mean other employees shouldn't use it as well. When the entire company is contributing to and keeping updated with CRM software, the employees are more informed and in touch with the sales process.

Keeping track of all customer interactions on CRM software leads to future customer loyalty. Clients know that the company cares about them and they feel more like a respected client than a source of money.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
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Integrating CRM Software with Marketing Automated Software

By Steve Stroz on Jul 27, 2018 4:30:00 PM

When it comes to their function and use, CRM systems are very flexible. Their features could benefit businesses in several different ways. Innovative business managers will find ways to use their CRM software to its full potential.

CRM software, like ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho, is also compatible with other software. It won't interfere with other applications and in some cases, it may even be able to integrate with them. This helps businesses stay organized with their software and applications.

In particular, CRM software works especially well with marketing automation software. The combination of the two be can the perfect link between customer service, sales, and marketing teams for small businesses.

A recent Tech Target article explains how CRM systems can be integrated with marketing automated software. According to the article, businesses can even motivate marketers to use the system:

“To drive home the use of CRM for a marketing department, create enthusiasm about its use by creating custom objects when necessary. A ticketing system that allows sales and others to make marketing collateral requests via the CRM system has had great success in not only improving marketing integration, but also user adoption. This enables marketing to track the requests it receives, how long it takes to answer these requests, and who handles them within a department.”

Marketers should be encouraged to use CRM software, but they're not always motivated to do so. If this is the case, businesses need to think of ideas on how to get them to willingly use the software.

To do this, businesses need to offer incentives and give marketers a reason to check the CRM software. As suggested in the article, businesses can implement a ticketing system to make marketing collateral requests. Marketers are then encouraged to respond to the requests on the software and interact with other employees in different departments. This strategy can help businesses organize their company through CRM software.

If you would like more information about CRM software or anything else, contact us.  Thanks.

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Improve Customer Win-Back Rates with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jul 23, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Over the past decade, businesses have been investing more and more in customer analytics . This investment has been proven to be effective in improving communication with clients. CRM software can assist businesses with their customer relationships and has a good ROI.

New research shows that companies that invest in customer research outperform ones that don't. Here are the results of a recent report conducted by Aberdeen Group (the percentage symbolizes the year percent change):

19.7% customer win-back rate for users, 9.0% for nonusers
6.8% cross-sell and up-sell revenue for users, 2.6% for nonusers
6.2% customer retention for users, 3.6% for nonusers
3.7% improvement in average customer care costs for users, 0.7% for nonusers
3.3% revenue from customer referrals for users, 1.6% for nonusers
3.3% customer lifetime value for users, 0.9% for nonusers
As you can see from the statistics, customer analytics have a major impact on sales and customer relationships. In just about every major statistic, companies that use customer analytics outperform companies that use a more traditional approach.

If your business is considering CRM software, like ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, or Zoho, but is not sure if it's worth the money, then take another look at the statistics and compare it to the costs. If you're looking to increase customer win-back rates or up-sell revenue, CRM software can help you finish the job. For companies with these needs, CRM software will almost definitely have a positive ROI.

In addition, compare the cost of CRM software to other steps you would take to increase your customer win-back rate. Inbound and outbound marketing may be useful in this area, but they aren't free services, either. One way or another, businesses are going to have to pay to increase their win-back rate. CRM software may be the most cost-effective solution of the bunch.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
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Make Sure Your CRM Software Data is Accurate

By Steve Stroz on Jun 29, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Data and analytics are the bread and butter of CRM software like ACT!, HubSpot, Saleslogix, and Zoho. They're what the software does best and are the reason why so many businesses now invest in CRM.

There's just one tiny problem. Some businesses don't check their CRM data for accuracy. It would be nice to assume the data is always 100% correct, but the reality is that errors can happen along the way. To stay on the safe side, you should regularly check and revise your CRM data.

A recent article by Smart Data Collective explains what happens when CRM data is inaccurate. According to the article, inaccurate CRM data starts a negative domino effect that can ruin the consumer experience.

"Without this data, the sales team cannot use the CRM to close deals. The marketing team cannot segment its data accurately. The customer is frustrated that they’re receiving multiple copies of marketing messages, complete with mis-spelled names and email addresses that should have long since been removed. The IT department is becoming irritated with the requests to fix the data it cannot change."

If employees are making the most of CRM software, they'll be using it everyday. Sales representatives won't even talk to a client before referring to the CRM data and reading the client's file.

This is great and it's what we encourage. But if you're going to base your entire company's operations off of CRM software, it makes sense to check the data for accuracy once in a while.

This isn't exclusive to CRM software, by the way. Accountants check their numbers and percentages from time to time. Engineers check their work to make sure there are no inconsistencies.

Chances are that your data is fine. But if you're reading this, don't just assume that every figure is accurate. Check them every now and again.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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How to Implement CRM Software Effectively

By Steve Stroz on Jun 27, 2018 3:00:00 PM

For CRM software to be effective, we often stress that businesses have to train their employees. At first, they may not be so eager to learn new software and change their daily routine. Managers have to get the point across that CRM software will make their job easier by automatically taking care of simple tasks.

If you've never purchased new software before, you'll be in for a surprise when you introduce CRM (ACT!, HubSpot, Saleslogix, Zoho) to your employees. There's a disconnect between the excitement managers feel and the reluctance of sales representatives to learn how to use new software.

This isn't a technological disconnect, it's a mental one. All of your employees can learn to incorporate CRM into their daily tasks. The question is if they'll be willing to do so.

A recent Business 2 Community article explains that in order for employees to use CRM software, they have to see it as a useful tool. According to the article, businesses have to invest in CRM data quality to support their employees.

"CRM software must be seen as a useful tool rather than a hindrance, but it can only be successfully implemented if data quality is prioritized too. The business simply must invest in data quality software that supports employees in their work, without creating new challenges or time drains. The use of data quality tools must be a proactive and ongoing process if it is to stem the tide of manual errors and natural decay."

We've seen both the successful and unsuccessful implementations of CRM software. More often than not, it depends on how the company introduces the software and trains their employees. CRM software will work if the entire company is on board. But if you're struggling to get employees to use it, you'll have to rethink your strategy.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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Understanding All Costs Related to CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 25, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Before purchasing CRM Software, you should be aware of all of the potential costs. We try to be as transparent as possible when it comes to pricing, and we make sure that every client understands how much he or she will have to pay.

CRM software requires a one-time initial investment and occasionally recurring costs. The recurring costs depend on the client, the number of users, and what type of software they purchase.

A recent Tech Cocktail article mentions CRM software-related expenses. Here's a list of the potential costs of CRM:

One-time costs include customization, set-up and training.
Recurring costs include licensing per users. per month.
Potential add-on costs include data migration.
Don’t forget to estimate the projected gain from managing your database.
The overwhelming majority of the expenses comes at the very beginning. Businesses have to customize their software and train their employees. Depending on the business, it may have to train its employees from time to time to remind them how to make the most of the software.

Besides the cost, we also like to inform clients of the return on investment (ROI) of CRM software. In order to do this, however, clients need to first know how much they're paying.

It's sometimes difficult to calculate the ROI of CRM software because its impact isn't just limited to financial bottom lines. It helps align the entire company, specifically the marketing and sales teams.

Still, businesses should be able to calculate the increase in sales that comes with the implementation of CRM software. Sales representatives have more success because they have access to new data and analytics related to clients. Businesses can calculate how much sales increase and then compare it to the costs of CRM software.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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The Difference Between CRM Software and Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 22, 2018 3:00:00 PM

CRM software and contact management software are often confused for one another. While the two software are similar, there are still significant differences between them. We find it important that business owners are aware of both the differences as well as the similarities.

Contact management software is perfect for companies who want to organize their client database. If you're having a hard time keeping track of names, phone numbers, and email addresses, then you should consider using contact management software.

CRM software such as ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zoho goes a step further. It's not only used to store contact information, but also to organize data relating to marketing and sales. Businesses can use CRM software to stay organized and align their marketing and sales teams.

A recent CRM search article talks about the differences between CRM software and contact management software. According to the article, CRM is a more complete solution while contact management software covers more basic functions:

"For some small businesses contact management may be sufficient, or may be a segway to a longer CRM journey. However, confusion persists in the tangible differences between contact management programs and CRM applications. The two program types are differentiated by customer strategy, application scope, business purpose and software utilization."

Just because CRM software offers more features and functions, however, doesn't mean that it's the better solution for every business. Your company may well benefit more from using contact management software.

But this is rarely the case. For this to be true, a company would have to have a truly excellent marketing and sales strategy. If not, then CRM software can help improve communication between your marketing team and sales representatives.

At the end of the day, both software will help improve your sales. But the effect of CRM software will be more direct and profound.

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