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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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Security and Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 14, 2018 3:00:00 PM

When businesses evaluate contact management software, they typically consider its benefits. With contact management software, businesses can organize their client base, get access to new data and analytics, and give their sales representatives a better chance at finalizing sales with customers.

But there's one crucial aspect that businesses forget to consider all too often. Now, consider once more the fact that contact management software helps you tremendously by organizing your clients (ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, or Zoho). Who else would love to have access to that information? What would happen if your client list were to somehow get copied or stolen?

We're talking about security, or course. When you use contact management software, there's also a risk of someone else stealing that data. If your competitors get access to your data and analytics, then what was once a huge benefit would suddenly turn into a colossal blunder.

And that's why you should always ask about security before using contact management software. Here's what a recent Forbes article has to say about the level of security contact management software provides:

"Security is a much more complicated idea for contact management, and this is where many systems have gotten stuck. Do you advocate an open model – where everyone sees everyone else’s data – or something really closed, where you can only see someone’s data given the right combination of a public and private key or other multi-factor auth?"

This doesn't mean that you should avoid contact management software at all costs. The benefits are still the same, but you just have to make sure that the software has adequate levels of security.

Contact management software can have a big impact on a company's sales. But if that software is insecure, then it represents an alarming risk that could destroy a business. Before using contact management software, always ask about its security.

To talk more about contact management software and security, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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3 Major Tactics to Improve Your Customer Retention Using Your CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 5, 2018 5:00:00 PM

Let’s face it, customer retention is a hot objective for any business model. In fact, it is far easier (and cheaper) to retain an existing customer than it is it gain a new one. Repeat customers are essentially the “bread and butter” to creating residual income and a reputable source for word of mouth advertising. In what ways can you improve your customer retention to maintain these loyal buyers that have a huge impact on your overall bottom line?

The good news is that your CRM software (like ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zoho) has the features to help you create an exceptional customer service experience through being proactive in handling customer concerns, keeping your customers happy, and influencing them in a way that they write rave reviews about you on their social networks.

The following are 3 tactics you can implement in your customer service model to boost customer retention.

#1 Be Engaging

Now that your web-based CRM system is integrated with your social networks and email software system, you can engage with customers much faster in addressing complaints, concerns, or even feedback. Take advantage of this feature to be more interactive and involved with your followers. It just shows that behind the company name you are indeed a real person who genuinely cares about the customer.

Here are a few tips to becoming more responsive with your customers:

Reply promptly to complaints with a plan of action of what you will do to correct the issue (or direct them to someone who can)
Try to answer each question/comment…even if it’s a simple “thank you”
Ask questions to get feedback on a certain topic to create involvement
Send birthday wishes …these gestures can make a lasting impression on how your customers view their relationship with you

#2 Delivering Outstanding Customer Service

There’s a lot that can be said in providing incredible customer service. However, the best kind of service is creating a unique, personalized experience that is catered to that individual customer. You know, the kind of treatment that makes someone feel special because you’ve gone out the way to discover their exact needs and pain solutions.

You can deliver amazing service by:

Ensuring your sales force has mobile access to CRM when meeting face-to-face with customers so the details are readily available for retrievable
Having a system in place that all sales members input accurate customer information as it is given to them for fresh, up to date records
Using CRM to email customers when there is an open case regarding an issue or complaint…this keeps customers in the loop on the status and progression
Segmenting high-value customers using groups or list features within your CRM so it is visible to your entire sales team

#3 Reward Team for Excellent Performance

Customer service and retention essentially begins with your sales team. Your CRM system can keep track of individual team members, tracking information such as production, revenue, complaints handled, engagement, etc. Use these numbers to reward your team on a regular basis to keep them motivated and excited about the vision of your business.

Creativity goes a long way with developing staff incentives! In addition to, a great suggestion here is to have ongoing training in the area of customer retention. All sales members (and anyone who has interaction with customers) should be familiar with these strategies to be utilized fully for business objectives.

These simple yet valuable tactics will certainly help improve your customer retention, thus sustaining a loyal customer base and steady residual income. Please contact us for additional tips and tactics on more CRM strategies to retain your customers in your business.

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Why Sales Representatives Are More Affected by CRM Software Than Anyone Else

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


Make no mistake about it, CRM software, like ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, and ZoHo, will make its biggest impact on your sales team. Your sales representatives will have to change their daily routines to incorporate the software.

And that's not a bad thing. Instead of relying on memory to prepare for a client meeting, sales representatives will be able to refer to the data collected by CRM software. So instead of thinking "I think he likes to buy X product during this time of year," they'll know that a specific client places an exact order on the third Friday of every month.

A recent Small Business Trends article talks about the impact CRM software makes on sales teams. According to the article, the software makes sales representatives more effective at closing sales:

"With CRM, your sales team will be effective at attracting prospects, closing sales, generating qualified referrals and managing existing customer relationships. Your business will grow in revenue by utilizing a CRM application that helps you track sales activity, lead generation and customer status — capitalizing on the data management power CRM delivers."

Now, we should also mention that this is only the case if the CRM software is implemented correctly. If it's not, then sales representatives won't make it a habit to refer back to the data. The software will be there, but no one will use it to its full advantage.

If you implement CRM software correctly, however, your sales representatives will be more informed and better equipped than ever. Once your sales increase, you can start to focus on the other uses of CRM software, like its role in a marketing campaign.

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

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