4 min read

Motivate Your Sales Team with CRM: Here’s How…

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Motivate your team to get the most from your CRM and sales department by understanding that it’s about the process as much as the product.

It’s hard to recruit great salespeople. Harder still to keep them great.

It’s important that you get the most out of your CRM and sales team. While CRM can do it, the product is only half the story.

To get the most from Customer Relationship Management, you have to get your salespeople not just using it, but liking it.

Liking the way it delivers sales targets. Liking how it helps them succeed.

Here’s how.

Show them that not all old leads are cold leads when it comes to CRM and sales.

Cold doesn’t mean dead. It just means someone wasn’t ready to buy yet. What if:

  • You know which “cold leads” still click every newsletter?
  • You know it takes 21 calls to get an appointment – and 500 cold leads are on twenty?
  • You know cold leads warm up after their annual trade event?

Many CRM applications can provide such out-of-the-box insights. They’ll get your salespeople warmed up as fast as those unexpected prospects.

Remember KISS – Keep It Simple, Sales.

Complexity gets in the way. There’s no surer way to hamper adoption than to make users think the old way was easier. So double check:

  • Main charts and functions are reachable with a click.
  • Any journey through a task is easy to understand.
  • Everything integrates with the natural application for that task – such as Microsoft’s Outlook for email campaigning.

Today, some of the best lessons in ease-of-use within CRM and sales come from mobile app design.

Get that data to go with mobile access.

Salespeople are big mobile users. So a CRM application that plays well with their phones and tablets – especially those they own at home – will see greater use. It enables:

  • A sense of ownership. Mobile devices are all about the personal.
  • More work hours to be put in as staff can now log in from anywhere.
  • A sense of empowerment – you’re letting them do things their way.

And maybe, just maybe, all that leads to greater sales numbers. Make CRM mobile.

Find the boring bits and take them out of the loop.

A powerful application makes it easy to load up on menial tasks too. So actively look for things to automate. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep in touch. Set follow-up calls automatically.
  • Campaign chasers. Calling people who clicked the newsletter? Deliver lists to salespeople’s desktops.
  • Event dates. Find the big trade days in each sector and automatically schedule appointment-setting calls a few days before.

A great deal of sales can seem quite time consuming. The best CRM practices will save you a vast amount of time.

Show them opportunities in social media.

The formula for happy, successful salespeople is simple: keep them supplied with quality leads that you have found from various places. There are many opportunities for this, such as:

  • Getting your prospects’ social media handles.
  • Connecting not just to prospects, but prospects’ customers.
  • Looking for common denominators in what they click, post, share and follow.

The best CRM applications know social media backwards – but many companies underuse it.

Say it in pictures, charts and graphs.

A good chart or graph can foster understanding in CRM and sales that drives double-digit jumps in conversions.

  • Ask your people what information from the weekly report they use most and give it to them on-demand, in real time.
  • Choose graphics that can be used by easily by both Team Leaders and Sales Executives.
  • Don’t limit yourself to pie charts and bar charts – scatters and circumplexes have clinched many a consultant’s sale too.

When you need to present data, do as much as possible in graphics. A good CRM setup will give you the tools.

Demonstrate the power of all in CRM and sales.

Imagine you have ten salespeople:

  • If two are using CRM, those two will find it hard. Usage will drop to zero.
  • If five are using CRM, that five won’t get full value. They’ll use it under duress.
  • Once six are using CRM, it’ll persuade those who aren’t to get on board.

The outputs of a CRM system – ideas, insights, opportunities, conversions, closes – are only as good as the data you put into it. So take care to get every lead and every action where it belongs and make it easy to do so.

It’s the process, not the product.

Above all, remember CRM isn’t a product.

For the people who use it – nurturing leads, chasing closes, maxing-out conversions – CRM is a process.

So when you choose your CRM partner, make sure they focus on how things are done within your organisation. Match product with process and your results from CRM will be sky-high. Ready to look up?

Once your team is motivated, you’ll need to make sure they have the knowledge to make the most of your CRM system. Discover how to increase your sales with your free eGuide The ultimate guide to: upselling and cross selling

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2 min read

3 Tenets That Make CRM Work

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There are three simple principles behind profitable CRM – customers, relationships and management.

CRM – it’s as easy as 123. The clue is in the name.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management – is built on three principles:

1. Customers.

2. Relationships.

3. Management.

CRM is not so much a tool, as it is an ethos that uses software to help fulfil its goals.

1. Customers

The lifeblood of your business is not just sales, but the customers themselves. All of your activities should be focused on delivering a better service to customers, new and old.

CRM provides a central repository for all customer data, becoming the one comprehensive view of all things customer related – it also helps you to retain the customers you already have.
Increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits between 25% and 95%. – Bain & Company.

2. Relationships

People buy from people. That’s why it’s important that relationships form the core of all your interactions. Marketing establishes relationships and sales cultivate them. Your service team can then learn and grow new opportunities based on those relationships.

CRM gives you a tool to capture relationship data, analyse trends and identify new opportunities.

“CRM almost makes everyone in your organisation a sales person, since they are selling your business in one way or another. For instance, customers often say things to support staff which could be used as a sales opportunity. The support person might not know it but because the information is recorded, a salesperson can see it and use it to follow up. Just the recording of the information has many benefits for other departments.” – IDC.

3. Management

Establishing relationships with customers is one thing, but those interactions need to be managed if they are to be profitable. You also need tools to capture and analyse relationship data to help keep sales, marketing and services on track.

CRM can also be used to automate many of the common account management tasks to improve customer service, such as smoothing the transfer of leads between marketing and sales and giving your company a complete understanding of the customer’s needs and preferences.

“On average, sales and marketing costs average from 15%-35% of total corporate costs. So the effort to automate for more sales efficiency is absolutely essential. In cases reviewed, sales increases due to advanced CRM technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30%.” – Harvard Business Review.

“The average time a sales representative spends on sales: 47%; on administrative tasks; 39%.”– Selling Power Magazine.

Remember

1. Customers.

2. Relationships.

3. Management.

See obstacles to your CRM implementation? For more information, download your free eGuide The ultimate guide to: security in the cloud

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2 min read

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online pricing

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We’re happy to see so many people eagerly expecting Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.

As you already know, the main attraction of CRM 2015 is that it’s going to bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing. So what about CRM 2015 pricing?

In this blog, we talk about CRM 2015 Online licences (for on-premise licences, please refer to Microsoft’s website).

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online Pricing

There are a few different types of licences you’ll be able to get for CRM 2015 Online: Enterprise, Professional, Basic and Essential.

What pricing and features can we expect from these licences? Here’s a summary:

Essential

Price: £9.40/user/month
Suitable for: Users who only need access to custom relationship management (xRM) capabilities created specifically for their use
Main features: custom entities, notes & activities, executing workflows

Basic

Price: £18.70/user/month
Suitable for: Employees who need CRM for areas other than marketing, sales and customer service. These users may need access to accounts, contacts, leads, cases, reporting, and custom relationship management (xRM) capabilities
Main features: Same as above plus basic marketing, sales and service features

Professional

Price: £40.50/user/month
Suitable for: Everyone who needs full access to sales, marketing and service features
Main features: Same as above plus bulk data import, workflow editing and unified service desk

Enterprise

Price: £124.60/user/month
Suitable for: All employees who need full marketing, sales and service features plus Microsoft Marketing and Parature (a help desk software for multi-channel service delivery)
Main features: Same as above plus Microsoft Marketing and Parature

The full Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online licence pricing list including Microsoft Social Listening, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, additional storage, additional production instance, enhanced support and professional direct support can be found here.

Microsoft now offers a great deal on their Sales Productivity Package. It’s a bundle of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 & Office 365 Business Intelligence bundle and includes:
• Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015
• Office 365
• Yammer enterprise social network
• Power BI (Graphic visualisation of data)
• Microsoft Social Listening

Find out more about the CRM and Power BI bundle in this Microsoft Dynamics video:
 

Companies that already subscribe to Office 365 will get the Sales Productivity Package for £28.09/user/month.

Good to know

Companies that wish to adopt CRM will have to purchase a minimum of 5 Professional CRM licences. After that, CRM 2015 is flexible on the rest of the licences. CRM 2015 users will even be able to choose dual use rights, a type of licence that lets the user access both the online and on-premise version – perfect for hybrid CRM solutions.

Current CRM 2013 users will be able to transfer/change their licences by contacting Microsoft or one of Microsoft’s CRM accredited partners: why not try us?

4 min read

Warning: Why the CRM System You’ve Got Is Failing

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Noticing that your business isn’t running as smoothly as it should could mean that you have a CRM failure.

Sometimes your sixth sense feels there’s something wrong, doesn’t it? You get the feeling that your business isn’t working quite as smoothly as it should. Your teams appear on to be on top of things, but then a string of problems arise and you don’t know where they’ve come from.

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

Your CRM might seem up to date. Then suddenly, some dead-cert sales seem to have gone cold. You ask your sales people about them, then they realise they lost track and didn’t put them in the CRM. This CRM failure means you’re no longer at the top of the game.

Maybe you start hearing complaints from customers with unresolved issues. After asking around, you realise emails got muddled and passed around between people. Nobody dealt with this CRM failure either.

According to the marketing team’s reports, there are lots of leads. So why is the sales pipeline slow? You ask around and there seems to be a blockage between sales and marketing. That spreadsheet wasn’t passed across because a member of staff was on holiday for three weeks.

Business growth leads to more problems and complexity.

Whether you have a CRM or not, as your company grows you’re likely to face these kinds of problems more and more. Things will run less and less smoothly, while scalability makes things even more complex. People from various departments face increasing frustrations because of existing CRM failures.

According to a study by the Merkle Group, 63% of CRM systems fail their organisation. That doesn’t include the countless unreported failures from businesses which still rely solely on emails and spreadsheets to keep things going.

So where do these problems come from and what can you do to solve them?

5 common reasons for CRM failure.

1. Lack of sufficient systems in place. Many businesses cope perfectly fine without a CRM for a while. But there comes a stage when problems arise, multiple people juggle difficult problems at once and it becomes more risky.

A good CRM system offers reminders and prompts for critical tasks. It keeps customer records in one place rather than in someone’s inbox. It means that everyone can keep on top of their workflows, while others can step in if there’s a problem, or if someone’s away.

2. Low and slow CRM adoption. According to a study by Gartner, 49% of respondents stated that slow user adoption of CRM systems had prevented their organisation from being more customer-centric.

With personal training that persuades end-users on the benefits, they’re more likely to use a CRM system.

3. Lack of buy-in from board. 38% of executives surveyed by the Merkle Group said that a lack of executive buy-in meant their CRM didn’t meet their business goals. By getting buy-in from the top down, everyone can be behind it. That means that C-level executives have a stake in the success of the CRM software.

4. Loss of sales time. 46% of Sales Initiative magazine’s readers stated that lost sales time is a major issue in choosing a CRM system. A customised sales CRM can minimise the data-collection, “time-wasting” elements of CRM and only ask for the most necessary elements.

5. Managers not leading from the front to get CRM adoption. CRM expert Paul Pitman at Collier Pickard tried all the tricks to get CRM user adoption. Making it look like Facebook, setting up mobile and tablet platforms and making commissions dependant on data entry were among many of his attempts

But then a free tactic did the trick. He used the system himself and his teams followed. Teams see their boss as an example, so if managers lead from the front, they are much more likely to use the CRM and improve the ROI of the system.

It’s important to act now.

You can palm these issues off. But what happens if a strategic client drops out because your team faced a busy time of year and couldn’t handle their support issues, due to a CRM failure? What happens if your CRM isn’t prioritising sales leads – and you lose the hottest ones?

It’s important to get the right CRM system in place before problems escalate and leave your business behind.

Learn more about getting everyone on your side by downloading your free eGuide: The ultimate guide to: winning board support

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4 min read

Top 10 Benefits & Advantages of a CRM System for Your Organisation | What can a CRM do?

Top 10 Benefits & Advantages of a CRM System for Your Organisation

 

The benefits of CRM can be far-reaching, with the huge amount of information that is available on the internet today, it is often hard to select what applies to your business or even what expectations from a CRM you should have. So, what can CRM do for you?

 

CRM saves you time – and money

First of all, it is a good idea to have all customer interaction data centralised in one database, because it saves you expensive data management time. It also means all your teams can see all data in relation to an individual or a group of your customers. This speeds up the decision-making process and your employees can organise themselves better according to the hard data: knowing which leads are hot or cold allows them to take appropriate action, focusing their energy in the right direction.

CRM saves you effort

By offering you analytics and automatically assigning tasks to individual employees, CRM makes it easier and far more straightforward to do your project management. The effort you save on routine tasks now can be dedicated to tasks that actually make you money!

Boost your customer interaction

With the database full of useful data, the insight into every customer account is much greater. So when your Sales or Service & Support team get in touch, they can use all this data to your advantage. This makes your team look really professional and worth doing business with. Moreover, CRM makes it possible to automatically assign prospects to individual representatives, which helps create a tighter relationship between your company and the client.

Increases revenue and slashes costs

So you save time on mundane administrative work and money by focusing your effort where it should be. But it gets even better. By knowing your customers more intimately, you can now predict how much they are likely to spend with you and even who your competition is in each particular case – so you can actually calculate what margin you are safe to charge. Forecasting doesn’t end here, however – there is much more that CRM analytics have on offer.

Forecasting & reporting

From your current service demand, the system can calculate probable future demand trends, as well as guide your strategic adaptation to these. Forecasting lets you see how much money you’ll make this month – so you can plan your expenditures more comfortably.

Operational efficiency

To make sure you work efficiently, Microsoft Dynamics CRM now presents industry best practices, which means you can follow pre-tested ways of closing deals faster and making your customers happy on the way. You can improve your business processes and save money while being more efficient and moving faster.

Better relationships in the workplace

Since everybody has access to the same data, it is easier to agree on criteria that need to be met by Marketing before a lead can be called ‘qualified’ and passed onto Sales. And even when they Sales call a lead that needs a bit more nurturing before closing – no problem – it can be recycled back to Marketing.

Coordination & customisation

When you pick a CRM system, make sure it aligns with all the software you’re currently using. For example, Microsoft Dynamics CRM aligns seamlessly with your Microsoft Office package, making it simple to extract whatever data you need. This CRM system is also very flexible so you can adjust it to your own business processes.

Scalability

Depending on the size of your business, you can decide which features you want to implement first and as these bring results, you can add on more so you gradually increase your turnover. As you grow, you can eventually implement other CRM-compatible solutions such as Marketing Automation, Sales Force Automation and Service & Support Automation, which will leverage your CRM efforts even further.

Advanced security

Finally, you can control which fields are accessible to whom, to ensure your data are viewed and modified only by those who you want to – so you have all the security you need.

Keep reading!

For whatever reason, you’ve read this article – whatever can be improved in your company – just remember CRM is not a one-trick pony.

Download this white paper now to learn more about the 10 benefits you’ve just read – we explain how CRM can help your organisation become more efficient in more detail.