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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. 

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How Communication Makes CRM Software More Effective

By Steve Stroz on Dec 6, 2018 3:30:00 PM

Communication is key when it comes to using CRM software. Since all your departments - marketing, sales, accounting, customer service, etc. - can use it, it's important that they communicate with each other. 

The importance of cohesion is best understood with an example. A recent Biz Community article explains how your business can use CRM software to increase the value of a returning customer: 

"You have just invoiced a customer, and a predetermined query raises the flag that this customer has not been invoiced in at least 12 months. Furthermore, the value of that customer is extremely high. In simple terms, it is clear that an old customer, who is very valuable to the company, has returned. Such a flag should immediately trigger a personal "welcome back" email from a senior manager, or possibly even a phone call."

If you don't use CRM software or some type of marketing technology, then you'll have no idea the customer is returning unless you remembered his or her name. CRM software makes everything into a process so you can't miss an opportunity like this. 

Once the software sends an alert and tells you that the customer is returning, it's up to your business to make the most of it. Whether you set up a meeting with a sales representative or send a personalized email, it's important to take your relationship management to the next level. 

There are several things you can do to make your CRM software as effective as possible. We recommend improving the communication between your departments to develop cohesion around the software. 

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

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Shorten Your Customer Lifecycle with Contact Management Software

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

Your customer lifecycle can be a huge source of inefficiency. If you don't do anything to shorten it, then you'll be wasting an opportunity. The longer the cycle is, the less frequently customers will place orders. 

You have to take control of your customer lifecycle and engage customers. By interacting with them, you'll establish customer loyalty and encourage them to place new or recurring orders. 

An important aspect is aligning your goals with your customers'. According to a recent Globe and Mail article, this will lead to a more efficient sales process.

"A sales process where the central feature is the buyer’s objectives and the seller’s subject matter expertise can lead to a much more productive discussion, leading to shorter cycles, more wins, and greater client loyalty, because their objectives would be the continuing focus."

It's well documented that marketing to new customers is considerably more costly than marketing to returning ones. Creating customer loyalty and convincing them to choose your business every time is a huge part of your long-term success. 

When you interact with customers after they place a sale, you increase your chances of them returning to your business. The better you are at doing this, the less you'll have to invest in other marketing efforts since you'll have a strong customer base. 

Depending on how well you engage customers, shortening your customer lifecycle can become a competitive advantage. Not only will you increase your business' sales, but you'll also take some activity away from your competitors. By using contact management software (ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, Zoho),  you'll find out the best ways to engage customers. 

Your sales process plays an important role in your business. We recommend trying to make it more efficient so customers will return to your business at a faster rate. Investing in your sales process usually has a positive ROI since it directly impacts your bottom line. 

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

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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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CRM Software: Why Integration is More Important than Interface

By Steve Stroz on Jul 17, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Deciding which CRM software to purchase isn't an easy decision for businesses. There are many different kinds of software out on the market and it's not always easy to know which one is best for your business.

Two things that buyers always look at are interface and integration. A CRM software's interface is certainly important. It plays a major role as to whether employees will be able to figure out how to use the software. In general, the more simple the interface, the better.

Integration is the other side of the equation and is even more important. Before purchasing the software, businesses have to understand how it will be integrated with other programs and apps. Most CRM software, like ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho, can be integrated with other software such as an email client. But you want to be sure before you make any buying decision.

A recent Enterprise App Today article explains why integration and interface are so important when it comes to CRM software. But according to the article, businesses should place more priority on integration:

And then there is integration, an issue that makes many user eyes' glaze over. Yet integration is essential for companies that want to leverage their CRM systems to offer a better and more holistic customer experience. Lack of integration is a particular problem for mobile CRM.

Put it this way: If employees don't like the software's interface, they'll eventually get used to it over time. This is really mostly subjective anyway.

On the other hand, integration has nothing to do with subjectivity. It's either the CRM software integrates with your other programs or it doesn't. This probably won't change, either. If your CRM software doesn't fit in well, then you're stuck with it.

Make sure you sort out your priorities before purchasing CRM software. Focus on integration rather than interface.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us. Thanks.
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Change Your State Of Mind; Consider Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jul 4, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Creating and keeping customer relationships should be one of the top factors in any type of business. If a business has negative relationships with customers, it will be very difficult to be successful, no matter what type of industry your business is in. This is why it so beneficial and important to have contact management software or a customer relationship management system that allows you to run your business operations effectively. 

Your Contacts

Contact management software like ACT!, Salesforce or Zoho, will allow you to add convenient information for every contact that you have. This will allow you to touch all of the bases when it comes to presentations, meetings, conferences, phone calls, and other things. This type of information will be placed with the contact's information. When you are able to pull up a contact and see all of this information, it is certainly effective and highly efficient.

Prepared For Conversations

If a customer or client unexpectedly calls you, you can quickly type in the person's name and see all of the information that you need. You will also be able to see any other calls or conversations that took place previously. When you can see why they have been calling, you can handle the conversation with ease because you will be prepared.

Every department in your office will be prepared for conversations with customers and clients. Once one of your departments receives a call and takes the order of a customer, the other departments in the office will also be able to see that same information. Your customers will be impressed and satisfied with the level of production and efficiency of your business. When you can improve the way you handle your customers and their needs, you will be able to keep those customers and receive recommendations for additional customers.

Even if you have the best technology skills, it may not always be easy to figure out how to use every feature of a new software or platform. You will not be left in the dark whenever you have questions. You will have a support team that will relieve you of any headaches that may come ahead.

Contact us if you are looking for ways to improve your business so you can leave your competitors far behind.

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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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