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CRM for Sales: 5 things yours should be doing

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Sales run the risk of reduced productivity and efficiency if they don’t embrace the far-reaching potential of CRM.

On paper, the adoption of CRM by Sales should be a ‘no-brainer’. Its toolset is designed to aid sales efficiency, enabling teams to close more deals, increase sales and improve forecast accuracy.

But there is a very real problem.

Takeaways:

  • Embrace CRM automation to boost sales efficiency and productivity.
  • Boost forecasting and reporting effectiveness.
  • Bring Sales and Marketing closer into alignment to realise their full potential.
  • Allow Sales to access vital information via mobile solutions to maximise their sales success wherever they may be.
  • Offer full and proper training to ensure your sales team buy-in to your CRM platform.

Only 4% of companies don’t achieve ROI from their CRM system within the expected time. Uncover real CRM results, download our 2016 Benchmark Report: Measuring CRM Success.

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Senior Leaders: Improve Departmental Performance with CRM

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The drivers of CRM adoption vary by department – here are some tips for each team leader.

You may be convinced of the case for CRM. But what about the people who work for you?

9 out of 10 companies of over ten people use CRM.

If you lead a team or department, you know it’s the people on those teams who’ll determine whether a CRM effort succeeds or stagnates. But too often, CRM is positioned as a mandatory take-it-or-leave-it to employees… without articulating how it can deliver better outcomes for their working lives.

Here’s how Directors and other C-level people like you can make sure your people know the size of the prize.

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Adopt Microsoft Dynamics 2016 to Improve Your Sales Visibility

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Microsoft Dynamics 2016 updates drive extra sales by offering better sales pipeline CRM visibility and CRM insights.

When business leaders use the phrase “the story behind the numbers”, they’re not talking about the bottom line or the profit margin. Rather, they are asking what delivered those numbers – the actions and practices that led to success.

Why? So the business can do more of them.

How Microsoft Dynamics 2016 brings you the story behind the numbers

In today’s connected business, it’s software that delivers those stories – most frequently, CRM-savvy software like Microsoft Dynamics. The new 2016 updates serve to make the sales team even more competitive … by shouting those stories loud and clear from the sales pipeline. It’s about increasing visibility of your success!

So what are these updates? Let’s take a look.

Cortana integration: a helping hand for important questions

Microsoft Dynamics 2016 hooks up with Cortana – the Redmond giant’s software personal assistant launched alongside Windows 10. If you’re getting flashbacks of Clippy the Infuriating Paperclip, don’t worry – the new software is unobtrusive and general-purpose, answering problems rather than providing in-your-face advice.

Cortana integration lets you ask questions of your sales pipeline CRM in natural language.

A few years back, queries like “Show me all customers who’ve spent over £10,000 in all time but nothing in the last 12 months” needed report-generating skills. Today, salespeople can answer that question in a much more straightforward way, embedded within their everyday sales activities. Making it far more likely that illuminating questions have the opportunity to be asked.

Excel experience: keeping Excel in the loop

The 2016 updates also bring Excel into the mix – recognising that while the sales pipeline CRM in Microsoft Dynamics provides plenty of numbers, tried-and-tested spreadsheets are still widely used across all departments. Whenever you connect data, you add visibility.

The benefits add up wherever sales performance would be improved by information not stored directly within Microsoft Dynamics. Perhaps a shared spreadsheet contains forecasts for a prospect’s sector, or the prospect’s growth curve against its peer group? That information can make or break a sales call.

Marketing automation: linking Sales and Marketing

Sales and Marketing teams always want to strengthen their relationship – and new, tighter integration between Microsoft Dynamics and marketing automation systems help. Other updates let Sales not just connect, but collaborate with Marketing to gain richer insights about their  prospects while prioritising conversion of leads into actual sales.

A June 2015 Sales and Marketing Alignment Survey found that 73% of respondents felt Sales and Marketing alignment was critical to the overall success of their company… and yet only 17% of them were aligned.

This helps both teams achieve greater sales pipeline visibility and deeper customer insight.

On the go: CRM app for outlook

Microsoft’s strategy is to align with how and where salespeople want to work and in the new updates, they are delivering key sales capabilities within Outlook desktop and mobile browser, making it even easier to stay productive.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM App for Outlook makes it easy to track emails, add contacts from within an email or even create new records to track emails against the browser on PC or Mac or mobile browser on the user’s phone.

This helps Sales to achieve greater sales pipeline visibility, wherever they are, whenever they need it.

And that’s visibility for you

Visibility can provide Sales with the ability to update their pipeline more meaningfully, reconnect with cold leads more effectively, and put far more information about their leads and prospects to profitable use.

So if your sales teams aren’t benefiting from increased visibility and integration with marketing, take a lot of what Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 can bring to the party. Even if you’re not using it already!

Takeaways:

  • 73% of a survey’s respondents feel that Sales and Marketing alignment is critical to the overall success of their company.
  • Gain sales pipeline visibility, better quality leads, streamline processes and more with a CRM system that enables improved sales and marketing integration.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 now offers machine learning intelligence with Cortana Analytics integration to enable your sales teams to work smarter while increasing cross-selling opportunities through improved customer insight.
  • A properly integrated and intelligent CRM system will not only encourage collaboration between sales and marketing, but enables sales to benefit from shorter lead conversion times.
  • Track the customer journey, and turn cold leads into hot prospects with a better understanding of what motivates each customer.

While Microsoft Dynamics 2016 updates can help your business, you should always use a system that gives you the best view of your pipeline. Find out how by watching this webinar: One Step Ahead: Getting your CRM Specification Right

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Senior Leaders: Understanding the Board’s Demand for CRM

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Understanding why a CRM system is needed makes it possible to meet your board’s demands for a high level of user adoption.  

Sales, Marketing and IT leaders all want to maximise CRM adoption. But do they share the same reasons? In brief, no. Each of the Big Six job titles has a different reason to drive CRM adoption.

And if you’re involved in the CRM space, it’s useful to define what those reasons are.

So think yourself into the boardroom, and let’s see what CRM adoption means to each C-leveller around the table.

The Chief Executive Officer: make my business a legend

In larger enterprises, CEOs aren’t involved in the minutiae of tech rollouts. That doesn’t mean they’re not interested in the outcomes. Results, results, results… across the whole business, not any one line P&L.

So to the CEO, the reason for CRM adoption is squeezing out inefficiencies along the whole value chain. How better communication shortens the sales cycle; how a single customer database cuts down busywork; how a £50k cost saves £75k a year in existing commitments.

So forget individual departmental worries: show the CEO how CRM brings it all together. He’s all about the bottom line.

The Chief Marketing Officer: let me talk to my customers

CRM adoption fulfills the Marketing Director’s dream: engaging customers in a single managed conversation, from cold suspect to repeat customer, on a one-to-one basis, across all channels, forever.

“70% of those interviewees working in Sales and Marketing said that engaging, qualifying and following up leads is their biggest challenge.”

So to a CMO, CRM’s benefit is in the way it enables institutional memory, continuing the conversation wherever that customer hangs out. Maximising Customer Lifetime Value, and making every customer feel like the only customer.

The Chief Sales Officer: let me prise open their wallets

The Head of Sales’ motivations are like the CMO’s, only more so. The right CRM system enables salespeople to target the most profitable customers, cross-sell and upsell to them to increase customer retention and advocacy across today’s increasingly wide range of customer channels – including online and social media.

“Research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score) shows that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%”, says Amy Gallo in her Harvard Business Review article ‘The Value of Keeping the Right Customers’ – published in October 2014.

That’s the Big Ask from the corner office of Sales: tell them how to make those numbers so they can recognise and reward who’s done it accordingly.

The Chief Operating Officer: tell me how it works

Connecting the parts. Improving the processes. Making things work. That’s the job of the COO. So for that individual, a CRM system’s ideal output is a means to connect and provide feedback about how it’s all functioning.

So show the COO how CRM adoption joins the dots. How a lead from the website becomes a contact for Sales, how that contact connects to order entry and pushes out an invoice later. When your CRM system maps your company processes, you’re in COO heaven.

The Chief Financial Officer: show me the money… and metrics

“I taught you so many things. The value of information. How to get it.”

The world’s come a long way since Gordon Gekko’s greed-is-good attitude. But reports, statistics, metrics and ratios still drive thinking in Finance.

So for the CFO, show off the dashboards and data to which CRM adoption is the key. Show how they connect to accounting systems and support better decision making. Control over costs – that’s how to win the CFO’s heart.

The Chief Technology Officer: save me from pulling all-nighters

The CTO’s last. For a reason. He understands best how much hassle any company-wide IT rollout involves. And while he’s as attuned to sales and profits as any other individual in the C-suite, his hot button is how easy will it be to roll out?

With the implementation of any new technology comes the risk of user resistance to change. Yet user adoption is essential if the firm is to reach its targets… and they’re not solely sales and profits. Without buy-in from end users, any investment in a CRM system will become more problematic and costly than the board expects.

Increasing user adoption

The right CRM system and a well-managed CRM adoption project will address each of these issues. Improving the ability of Sales and Marketing to target the most profitable customers, boosting operational performance and generating a return on investment.

There you have it: from the board’s perspective, CRM adoption is a real opportunity because it offers the potential to improve the business as a whole… as well as its parts. That can only be good news for them, their company and its board. In context, CRM makes complete business sense.

Takeaways:

  • Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
  • The right CRM system will increase customer retention, reduce customer churn, improve sales performance and increase ROI.
  • By creating board advocacy and selecting adopting change agents, staff will more readily adopt the new CRM system.
  • Automating and centralising the CRM system will reduce the need for repetitive manual tasks, reduce costs, streamline process, create efficiencies, improve inter-departmental collaboration and staff performance.
  • Communicate the benefits of a new CRM system in context with the concerns of the board to demonstrate the contextual value of adoption.

Understanding the board’s demand for CRM is crucial for success, but even more important for specifying the right system. Find out more by watching this webinar: One Step Ahead: Getting your CRM Specification Right

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Adopt CRM: your customer engagement journey

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In order to keep one step ahead in the modern marketplace, companies must focus on maximising CRM customer engagement.
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Successful CRM in 3 Easy Steps

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Customers, relationships and management are three core elements of a successful CRM.

Many businesses are reluctant to introduce CRM into their processes. This reluctance to change is understandable when 63% of CRM projects are known to fail. For businesses looking to move forward, CRM is essential, but achieving success with new systems and strategies is key to generating ROI. This slideshare highlights three easy steps that will help you to achieve success with CRM.

Remember that CRM is pretty self explanatory. You need to prioritise your customers, your relationships with them and manage the cycle from end to end. Your customer should always be at the heart of your CRM strategy and getting the most out of your systems, whether that’s through buying more or having stronger communications with you. Once you’ve established the three key steps outlined in this slideshare, you’ll be well on your way to successful CRM.

Discover further ways to get the most out of your CRM by downloading: The Ultimate Guide to: Using CRM for data driven marketing success

The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Using-CRM-for-data-driven-marketing-success

Don’t Fall Foul of These CRM Implementation Mistakes

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A new CRM implementation could transform your business and take it to the next level, but beware – if implemented incorrectly it could end up crippling your bottom line.

CRM can transform your business. It can give you deeper understanding of your customers and boost engagement in your data driven marketing campaigns, transform mere customers into brand evangelists and, as a result, grow your business.

BUT if implemented incorrectly CRM can damage your business, your customer relationships and ultimately your bottom line. In fact 63% of CRM initiatives fail due to companies rushing in, throwing money and resources at CRM implementation without fully considering how they’re actually going to implement it.

However the benefits of CRM implementation far outway the risks. Per salesperson CRM can increase revenue by 41%, three out of four customers spend more money because of a positive customer experience and CRM can improve customer retention by as much as 27%.


With these five critical areas covered, you’re now in a better position to ensure your CRM implementation is as pain-free as possible and, most importantly, successful.

Once your CRM has been implemented you can start reaping the benefits, cross selling, upselling and delighting your customers.

Take the next step in implementing your CRM and download your free eGuide: The ultimate guide to: winning board support

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From disinterested to delighted: creating a customer-centric culture using sCRM.

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CRM is all very well and good, but most of your customers are online, carrying out most of their research. Find out why you need to create a customer-centric culture and how sCRM can help you to do it. Read more

10 best practices for your CRM strategy

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CRM implementations often fail, but you can improve your chances of success by following 10 best practices outlined by Redspire’s Billy Lyle. Read more

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