Heal your business pain with Dynamics QuickStart CRM

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When it comes to business pain, at Redspire we’ve seen it all. And help our clients UK-wide solve theirs, via our Dynamics QuickStart CRM package or phased CRM implementation.

As one of the UK’s leading CRM consultancies, we are experts in resolving the digital and data pain points that all businesses face.

Our client base share similar internal challenges, but we understand that the internal approach to resolving them may vary from business to business. Time constraints, changeable budgets and operational capacity all impact the ability to undertake a CRM implementation project, even when it’s badly needed.

That doesn’t change the fact that we are living through the 4th Industrial Revolution. Consumer expectations are at their highest, radically transforming the way businesses interact when they sell, promote and provide service. In this digital age, personalisation and customer connectivity are a fundamental business priority. And the only way to achieve them is with a fit for purpose CRM system that will unify data, streamline processes and improve productivity.

Introducing Dynamics QuickStart CRM…

Dynamics QuickStart CRM is a fixed scope, fast implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365, built to fit your business need, type and budget. Implement a new CRM, upgrade a current CRM or entirely replace your existing system fast, for maximum impact and little business disruption.

Perfect for busy businesses who want quick improvements and results, and suitable for all organisations of all shapes and sizes – from Banking and Financial Services to Manufacturing, Government and the Public Sector – QuickStart CRM from Redspire is a quick and simple CRM solution that delivers immediate results.

If you’ve heard your c-suite leaders and department heads make any of the following statements, your business will benefit from Dynamics QuickStart CRM…

PAIN POINT 1: “There’s no single version of the truth!”

Also known as the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

It’s surprising just how many large multi-national businesses are operating with outdated data silos and no single view of their customer across various departments. Which begs the question, how can you understand your customer, predict sales propensity and provide great service, if you can’t view their interactions with your business holistically?

If your customer, sales and service data sit on multiple databases and spreadsheets, you’re undoubtedly only skimming the surface of your sales capabilities. Whilst delivering poor service to your client base. Yet you can optimise operations fast with Dynamics QuickStart CRM. Your teams and your bottom line will benefit from a single customer view that accelerates sales, personalises service and increases customer engagement.

PAIN POINT 2: “What are the salespeople doing?!”

Also known as the boss is getting twitchy because there’s no visibility of what the moneymakers are up to.

Digitally optimised workplaces and effective data and pipeline management have been proven to make teams much more productive. Yet workforces often resist the serious benefits of a transparent CRM system for fear of big brother watching, measuring their performance and finding it lacking.

With a collaborative, visible pipeline, the improvements to the workforce, customer and management are immeasurable. Put your hands on real time reports with ease, review an up-to-the-minute pipeline status and automate business reports at the click of a button with Dynamics QuickStart CRM

PAIN POINT 3 : “Excellent – sales are up…but where are they coming from?”

Also know as winging the sales process rather than using an evidence-based approach

If you aren’t tracking customer buying patterns, sourcing lead traffic and attributing your sales to marketing touchpoints, how can you understand your sweet spot? If you don’t track the customer journey and how you win or lose, you’re undoubtedly leaving money on the table. Which makes your salespeople’s lives harder and returns poor ROI from your marketing spend. Integrate Dynamics QuickStart CRM with your existing systems to see the bigger picture and find your strengths and weaknesses. And then watch your sales grow.

PAIN POINT 4: “I’m sick of the ‘them and us’ – they’re supposed to be part of the same team!”

Also known as sales and marketing blaming each instead of working towards shared goals

Despite being part of the same organisational family, with shared business goals, Sales and Marketing teams are notorious for being the warring siblings of the business world. How often are you hearing ‘what are marketing doing, there’s no leads coming through, and when they are, they’re awful!’ Or marketing complaining about lack of sourcing and poor conversions from the sales teams?

The issue is typically lack of visibility, reporting and communication. A CRM that works for all departments, tracking campaigns, leads and opportunities will encourage a positive workforce, working together with shared vision, and MI that fosters a collaborative, data-driven approach

PAIN POINT 5: “Where’s the paper trail for this complaint?!”

Also known as lack of customer information management

We’ve all endured the customer frustration of a poorly handled complaint. It’s often just as challenging for agents trying to manage customer services issues if their organisation isn’t managing data properly. Customers need to repeat themselves each time they call or email, and your employee is on the back foot from the outset, not knowing what decisions have been made previously. With QuickStart you can automate and aggregate customer service information, so that your people always have what they need to hand, when they need it.

PAIN POINT 6: “Reporting shouldn’t be this hard. Can’t we automate it?”

The simple answer is yes. And you should be! Free up your key people’s time from hand preparing reports and get them back to their day job. With QuickStart, you’ll access management information, sales, marketing and customer satisfaction reports as and when you need them, even when you’re on the go.

Ready to find out more about QuickStart CRM?

At Redspire, we specialise exclusively in Dynamics 365, helping clients across different industries – from Government to Financial Services – transform digitally. Working with world-class tools from the Microsoft universe, Dynamics integrates seamlessly with existing operations to unify whole businesses into a single, intelligent system. Get quick installation, rapid delivery and faster return on investment with Microsoft Dynamics QuickStart CRM. Read more today or get in touch for a no-obligation chat with our consultants now.

Public Sector: Digital Transformation through Microsoft Dynamics 365

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Can public sector organisations afford not to take advantage of digital tools?

It’s a slightly controversial statement but nevertheless true, that whilst commerce and industry advance at speed towards great digital change, the public sector in the UK is in danger of being left behind. Potentially, at great sacrifice to public health, wellbeing and economic wealth. It’s indeed an uncomfortable truth that our most visionary, forward thinking public sector leaders are challenged every day in a drive to make UK public services world-leading again.

Digital transformation in the public sector

In the UK’s Institute for Government’s Manifesto for Changing Public Services it’s estimated that up to £46billion could be saved across UK public sector year on year with digital transformation that eradicates out-dated legacy systems and the need for costly suppliers. Which equates to an additional 1m frontline public servants.

Which begs the question, can public sector organisations afford not to take advantage of the digital tools available today?

Innovative public sector leaders value digital change

Innovative leaders in the public sector continue to push the mandate in a positive direction, encouraging their boards and final decision makers to engineer the digital change that will steer the UK and its people in the right direction. All the while, commercial private sector businesses, innovative third sector organisations and manufacturing, banking and financial services leap ahead with digital transformation that’s energising their business, boosting their bottom lines, massively slashing costs and increasing customer satisfaction tenfold.

Deploying an innovative digital toolkit has the power to solve much of the organisational pain our local authorities and service providers face, whilst correcting the disconnect that so many of our citizens feel from our elected leaders and public services. Saving heaps of money from public funds in the process.

CRM for citizen engagement

As the demographic make-up of our country ages and shifts, it has never been more important to reach citizens at a time that suits them, where they naturally consume their media and messages. Our culturally diverse and digitally switched on nation demand personalised multi-channel, multi-lingual interactions. Keeping citizens informed, engaged and aware in a cost effective, timely manner, and in a way that speaks their metaphorical language is invaluable. Yet a difficult operation without the right digital tools.

CRM solutions for the public sector

Enter Redspire and Microsoft Dynamics 365, with the tools and expertise you need revolutionise your organisation. Bespoke solutions built to your organisational needs, these purpose-built Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications work seamlessly to help manage specific business functions across the organisation including Customer Service, Operations, Finance, Field Service, and Marketing, and all contribute to Customer/Citizen Insights.

CRM in simple terms simple terms is a category of integrated, data-driven solutions that improve how you interact and do business with your clients. CRM systems and applications are designed to manage relationships, track engagements and sales, and deliver actionable data, all in one place.

The next generation of intelligent business

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organisations to grow, evolve and transform. As technology continues to transform the world, Redspire are a driving force that will help public sector organisations optimise operations, reach and engage with the public and empower employees to deliver services and the most personalised and powerful ways

Digital Transformation is here. And it isn’t only for corporate, digitally focused businesses. The tools must be deployed for public sector organisations. Our public services can, and should be as accessible as Amazon, as easy to use as Google and as exciting and flexible as Uber and AirBnB. And all delivered ethically to deliver front end services, in the public’s best interests and with the ability to save millions in public funds.

AI for the Public Sector

Artificial Intelligence has become ‘The New Normal’ and touches many aspects of our everyday life. Early adopter public sector agencies like Enfield Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council are already seeing the transformative value for services and citizen engagement, investing in AI chatbots to improve customer service, simplify internal processes and to guide residents through various form fill processes.

Constantly learning from previous conversations with residents, these revolutionary bots have the power to improve response times to generic service queries in areas like benefits and council tax queries, refuse collection requests and so much more.

Future planning with CRM

What does the future hold? The certainties are improved efficiencies, reduced demand on services and employees, a holistic citizen view that creates a better client experience and improved insights that lead more effective service provision. Digital tech provides a tremendous opportunity to improve all citizens life, for the common good of our country, and with ethics, security and privacy at the forefront of all decision making.

The fourth Industrial Revolution is here

We are now part of the 4th Industrial Revolution. The McKinsey Institute has stated that AI is contributing directly to a tremendous transformation of society, “happening ten times faster and at 300 times the scale, or roughly 3,000 times the impact” of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800’s.

What does this mean practically? Digital learning and skills development will be a core component of literacy and basic life skills. From pre-school to higher education, our education system must revolutionise and ‘keep up’ with the constant digital developments to ensure we don’t face skills shortages or challenges with talent acquisition.

What is certain however, is that change resistance within the public sector is beginning to break down. The opportunities for cost and efficiency savings, shared resources and joined up processes are too phenomenal to be ignored. Case in point, the Smart London plan, in which the City of London sets out the bold yet achievable ambition to become the smartest city in the world through mobilised services, data innovation and Artificial Intelligence. Improving the lives of some 30 million visitors, residents and workers.

Accelerating Digital: An Interactive Forum for Public Sector Leaders

Redspire has been a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner for over 15 years, helping all types of organisations across the UK transform through digital innovation and improvement. Our ever-expanding team of Microsoft certified consultants bring Dynamics 365 to life, with a bespoke solution that overcomes unique organisational challenges with a straightforward, customer centric approach. Our clients stick around, partnering with us long term, every time.

If you’re a digital leader who’d like to be part of the discussion on advancing digital transformation for the greater good in your organisation, reserve your spot at our interactive forum for public sector leaders today.

This not to be missed forum on 30th May, chaired by Dr Jim Hamill – in association with Microsoft, Bridgeall and Exactive – will inform, set the tone for the future of digital innovation in Scotland, and provide invaluable tools and support to persuade stakeholders and key decision makers on your future vision.

Full details can be found here – Accelerating Digital: An Interactive Forum for Public Sector Leaders. Sign up today.

10 Things to Know About Your CRM Partner

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Why does CRM sometimes fail to deliver? Why does any relationship?

Here are ten ways to make sure you have the right CRM software partner.

  1. Know their strengths. Are they dedicated to the CRM platform you have chosen? Are they working with it day in/day out?  Have they worked within a business like yours before and if not, how well do they know (or get to know during pitch) your sector’s challenges?
  2. Know their structure. It’s all too easy to give the contract to a CRM partner on the basis of price, proposal and the people you met at the pitch. But those are all fleeting moments and what you need to know is the day-to-day reality of working with them. Who are the team working that will work day in and out on your project and what are their roles? How do they communicate with clients, and with each other? What processes do they follow to make sure nothing slips through the net or is misunderstood? What are their individual competencies and experience? What additional value will they bring to the project?
  3. Know what you’re getting. What level of system detail can you expect to see before being expected to sign on the dotted line? Make sure it’s what you’ll need bearing in mind the different stakeholders who will have to sign off on your final decision.
  4. Know their wider business knowledge. This might seem obvious. It’s all very well having a partner who knows the CRM platform inside out but they have to also have business sense. You want them to understand the current customer experience challenges that technology, legislation and your sector are throwing up, as well as then quickly understanding the process challenges from within your business. Do they understand how to be GDPR compliant? Can they help you get there?
  5. Know their capacity. What else they are working on during the timescales you are planning around. Do they have capacity? Should you wait until they do? Will you be a priority?
  6. Know their skills. Don’t just ask how many clients they have, who they’ve helped or the results. Know what kind of modifications they’ve made to make the CRM platform work with client’s existing infrastructure.
  7. Know their aftercare approach. Once you’re up and running, how do they stay in touch with you and your team? What does support look like? Is it as and when? Proactive? Reactive? Are they providing value all the way through?
  8. Know their honesty. Just how clear are they about what can and can’t be done? Do you sense there are things being said to secure the deal? Trust your instinct and push for commitment if you’re not sure.
  9. Know your own project team. Are they and the potential partner team compatible? They are going to be working closely together and it would be far more beneficial to have a mutually respectful relationship rather than supplier/client.
  10. Know their current client list. Don’t be put off by where they don’t already have a business in your sector. It means there will be no conflict of interest and with any good partner, they will be party of their platform network and as such, have access to shared knowledge and practice that will only add even more to the balance of skills, technical know-how, business aptitude and team relationship.

Our CRM discovery webinar series was set up to help you own each stage of the CRM journey so that you can arrive at the right software and partner for your organisation.

Catch up on our free webinar series ‘Your 8 Steps to CRM Implementation Success’

 

Want to know more about Redspire? Here’s our MD Billy to give you a quick summary:

Why CRM Doesn’t Instantly Create Customer Experience

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Every year, at around this time, we like to reflect on the year that’s passed and what the key learnings have been for us as a business and for the wider CRM landscape.

This year, unsurprisingly, one of the main themes is the blurred line of customer experience and customer service.

With much of our new work this year coming from the insurance and financial services sector, we’ve been at the coal face of one of the most commoditised markets, and each and every one of those projects has been a salient reminder of the enormity of customer experience.

Regardless of the sector that your business is operating in, customer service and customer experience are two different things.

Customer service is about those individual moments when employees are providing direct interaction to customers, what happens prior and what happens next.

Customer experience is so much wider than that. It encompasses every single aspect of how a customer perceives your organisation. Website, packaging, events, marketing campaigns, sponsorships, blogs, product delivery, going beyond the necessary, knowing customers so well you can predict what they might be interested in next, knowing when to back off, knowing their price.

So, even with the best efforts of every single department to provide excellent customer service every time, if they are not joined up, your customer is left with just a snapshot, and that’s not enough to evoke the positive feeling you need to create customer loyalty. It’s enough to satisfy their need in that particular transaction but nothing more.

That comes down to emotions. Yes, even in B2B.

Emotions shape the attitudes that drive decisions. More than 50% in fact according to the Journal of Consumer Research.

Customers will be loyal because they remember how they feel dealing with you. If you get it right once, well done. If you get it right twice, not bad at all. If you get it right across the whole journey, you’ll win their loyalty. I know if I think about the businesses that we deal with, and those I interact with personally, I know I could go anywhere at any time. I have to like them. I have to think they make my life easier or better in some way. And for our insurance clients where prices can always be matched, it’s been even more critical that they don’t slip up, ever.

In one department such as claims handling, everything could go beautifully. But if I’m the customer and I’m contacted at the same time about a fantastic new product and it doesn’t recognise I’m currently dealing with another claim, I’m going to wonder why departments aren’t talking to each other! Separate decisions in separate departments all impact on customer experience so it MUST be joined up.

Businesses starting their journey with CRM generally always want to know how it will help create customer experience.

It won’t. It will, however, facilitate it.

It will bring together all of those excellent customer service efforts into one place meaning that the overall effort can be overseen and future needs can be predicted before the customer even knows they have the need. You can be attentive and proactive without wasting their time.

With 60% of customers willing to pay more for a better experience (according to American Express) and the increase in customer loyalty that comes with it, look beyond the functionality of the CRM systems you are looking at, and really get to grips with the very first stage of how it will inform your overall experience.

 

Want to follow up on this?

We’ve broken the CRM journey into key chapters. Find the full series overview here.

In the spirit of customer experience, we also like to talk. Every conversation leads to more knowledge so feel free to get in touch!

The Truth About Your Customer Service

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All successful businesses have one thing in common. They ‘get’ their customers. Not only do they make sure the product/service is meeting their needs, they make sure that their relationship with them is unshakeable by providing the best possible customer service. So, what does that look like?

Well, here’s what it’s not. It’s not keeping your customers waiting for information, it’s not being passed around multiple people, it’s not missing deadlines and only explaining after the event, it’s not when the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, it’s not blaming other departments when things go wrong, it’s not incentivising new customers and taking the existing customers for granted, It’s not providing information only when it suits you.

Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Yet UK firms that aren’t getting customer service right are losing £234 billion a year.  So what gives? Why is it proving so hard?

First of all, the service you think your customers are experiencing and the reality can be two different things and it won’t be because you’re not trying. One of the first things we do with our own clients is look at their existing processes. Yes, we’re IT driven but every piece of software and every application have the potential to enable or disable your team’s best intentions.  So we ask questions like:

  • How do your processes look?
  • Are teams able to communicate effectively with one another?
  • How easy is it to access and share information between departments?
  • How quickly and effectively can a client’s query be answered?
  • How easily can you spot a pattern in complaints or in product issues before they happen?
  • How do your customers want to interact with you?
  • What are your customer satisfaction rates?
  • What areas do your customers need you to work on?
  • Every process you have should be removing the barriers that prevent all of these happening.

How would you answer all of these? At the end of this month, we’re holding a webinar to look into exactly how Dynamics365 removes the barriers to gold standard customer service.  Not that long ago, CRM was a means to collect and store data, identify your best customers and prospects, send customer communications and to look at buying patterns.  Dynamics 365 has responded to the new age of customer expectations and has changed the customer service rules significantly.

Find out more information by watching on our Dynamics 365 for Customer Services webinar.

Marketing Wins: Keep Your Customers Coming Back with CRM

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A new blog on how the right CRM customer experience can retain customers, not just attract them. Read more

Why CIO-CMO Alignment Is The Key To Contented Customers

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Discover how breaking down Marketing and IT silos can lead to high levels of customer satisfaction and improved data-driven Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Today’s marketing is data-driven. Marketing and IT therefore need to remove any departmental silos that exist between them and put aside any arguments about who owns what. Their joint endeavour now has to be about delivering on the data-driven marketing, IT and business goals of their organisations.

Data-driven marketing campaigns become more successful when CIOs, CMOs and their associated departments collaboratively work well together. Data is the fuel of any organisation – large and small – as it can inform a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and its users about customer preferences. The insight gained from it enables Sales and Customer Service Representatives to up-sell, cross sell or simply to help customers to solve their queries.

In other words if you put fuel into a car you can drive forward. Both engine and fuel need to work together in order to go anywhere. This principle applies whenever a company wants to use data to increase customer satisfaction levels, or if it wants to sell more products and services to either existing or new customers. Conversely if CMOs and CIOs (the engine) aren’t present the business (the car) just won’t move forward.

Nicole Laskowski, Senior News Writer for Techtarget’s Search CIO writes in her article, ‘Strong CIO/CMO alliance paves the way for [a] data-driven marketing strategy’: “IT and Marketing executives illuminate the need for building a strong CIO/CMO alliance…” Her article supports the view that CIOs and CMOs need to connect more than they have done in the past, and it offers some suggestions about how collaboration can work effectively.

In essence, collaboration is about winning in today’s digital and increasingly mobile age. It has changed the role of the CIO, for example. The role of CIOs today has become more strategic, and they can help organisations to increase their sales by developing new mobile applications, for example, that deliver a new opportunity to capture and analyse customers’ buying and browsing habits. Mobile applications can be designed by CIOs team with the help of captured marketing data in order to develop new revenue streams and to improve customer experience.

The bridge between the CIO and CMO divide then has to kick in because mobile applications, for example, won’t always sell themselves. Marketing has to promote them to raise customer awareness of the issues they can solve or about the new services they offer. By doing so it will drive customers down the right sales funnel. Marketing and IT are still integral to the completion of this customer journey because CMOs need to work with CIOs to either develop new products and services, or to develop improvements to existing ones by using customer insight from their organisation’s CRM system’s data.

In summary effective data-driven marketing and CRM is about mapping the customer journey through the sales funnel, and CMOs need to work with their CIOs counterparts to ensure that the CRM system and other related solutions are designed in such a way that encourages the breaking down of departmental silos, while allowing each other to share data and customer or even technical insights. As a result of achieving this goal your organisation will improve its customer satisfaction levels leading to an increased ROI per customer and sales volumes.

Remember now is time for collaboration not disconnection.

Takeaways

  • Identify CMOs as chief experience officers (CXOs).
  • Accept IT as a strategic partner with Marketing, not just as a platform provider.
  • Agree on key business levers for Marketing and IT alignment, such as access to customer data vs. privacy and security.
  • Change the skills mix to ensure that both functions are more marketing and tech-savvy.
  • Develop trust through collaboration.

Find out how you can take advantage of the benefits of improved CIO and CMO collaboration to drive your data-driven marketing campaigns and sales: Download our eGuide ‘The Ultimate Guide to: Creating customer centricity with CRM’

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Why Customer Satisfaction Should Be Your New Metric

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Discover how an effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can enable your business to measure customer satisfaction in order to boost sales and increase customer loyalty.

Customer satisfaction has become an increasingly important metric. Happy customers are more loyal and therefore more likely to invest more in your products or services. Whereas dissatisfied customers can cause brand damage, customer churn and lose you opportunities to earn more revenue. Furthermore, Gallup Organization has long recognised the correlation between happy employees and contented customers. Whatever your Sales staff do, or how your Customer Service Agents and other customer-facing staff react whenever they are dealing with customer queries or engaging with prospects will have an impact on your business.

That’s why it’s important to put in place the right organisational culture, people, processes, and metrics; as well as the most appropriate means of analysing customer data with the help of an effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

The Ultimate Guide to Measuring Customer Satisfaction’ by Gregori Ciotti, adds that customer satisfaction can also help organisations to improve how they support their customers as well as informing their product and service development.

“A satisfied customer is one who will continue to buy from you, seldom shop around, refer other customers and in general be a superstar advocate for your business”, Ciotti states. The problem is that it’s hard to measure customer satisfaction. He rightly asks: “What should be measuring?” Indeed, what are the key performance indicators that can help you to define whether one customer is satisfied while another one needs more support?

 

Fundamental measurements

Ciotti recommends author Prof. Scott Smith’s methodology, which considers the fundamental measurements of:

  • Perceived quality: This looks at whether customers felt that product or service fulfilled their needs, wants and desires in a way that met their expectations.
  • Customer loyalty: Customer loyalty can be measured using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Net Promoter Value (NPV). An unsatisfied customer is unlikely to make referrals, and so it’s reasonably accurate (but, for example, customer loyalty can’t simply be based on how long a customer has remained with a particular bank. Sometimes customers just prefer the devil they know, and so more qualitative research is often required to support quantitative metrics such as NPS, NPV, the number of years a customer has been ‘loyal’, ROI, etc.).
  • Attributional satisfaction: What feature did the customer like about a product or service? Conversely customers can be asked what they didn’t like, and about what could be improved to increase their levels of satisfaction. Satisfaction can lead to attitudinal loyalty, but while customers may be positive about your products and features, they may not necessarily translate to future sales. Effective use of CRM will take develop their attitudinal loyalty to behavioral loyalty, leading customers to a desired action, thus increasing your sales.
  • A customer’s intention to make new and ongoing purchases: A happy customer will in most cases tend to return to buy products from you time and time again, and yet there are exceptions to this rule. Customers will, to a certain extent, forgive organisations for a few minor misdemeanours and so they may continue to purchase from them. While some may not have an option to buy the same kind of product or service from elsewhere. Yet in both cases your goal should be to fulfil their needs and meet their expectations.

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) can train their customer-facing staff to ask short and simple questions each time they interact with customers and then record and collate this kind of data in their CRM system. CMOs can then use data insight tools to form a single view of each customer. This analysis can then be used to inform Customer Service Agents and Sales about what interests each customer, their purchase history, any issues that have arisen and so on.

The CRM system’s data analysis would most probably also use some or all of the above metrics to form a complete picture of the value of each customer to the organisation. It enables CMOs to segment each customer according to buying habits, needs, demographics, value to the business, and other insightful variables in order to improve customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and profitability. To achieve this, use CRM to know your customer.

Learn more about using CRM systems to make customer satisfaction the soul of your business by downloading our free eGuide: ‘The Ultimate Guide to: Creating customer centricity with CRM’

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The Top 5 Best Complaints from a Sales Team

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Nobody likes hearing sales complaints but handled well, they’re a great indicator of how your team’s performing – and how you could improve it.

Let’s face it, sales people don’t have the easiest of jobs. How many times have you had to deal with sales complaints about cold leads and phone numbers that don’t provide any results?

This blog lists some of the big sales complaints from salespeople. While some complaints may seem insignificant, there is a serious side: happy salespeople are productive salespeople. Remember: complaints are your friend. A complaint from your sales team is a trouble ticket that shows you where your process needs tweaking.

#1: “But my phone day’s Tuesday!”

Having a weekly plan of activity can be a good thing: leads prospecting on Monday, phoning on Tuesday, appointments on Wednesday and so on. But what if your prospects don’t follow the same schedule? What if they’re always in on Monday but Tuesday is used for travel?

If your team members work in patterns, is there any way you could work with their preferences? For a large enough database, yes. Many CRM applications can slice analytical data.

Suppose you discovered that the engineering sector tends to answer its phones on Fridays, while IT workers prefer Wednesdays? Armed with such insight, assigning leads becomes an exercise in increasing productivity and satisfying both staff and customers.

#2: “I’ve already made my targets this month.”

Studies show a marked slowdown in activity, per head, once targets are hit. If a big sale on the 15th takes Fred over his goals, he’ll tend to slacken off for the rest of the month.

Very often, this is tied to commission structures. Some sales departments limit the total commission pot, or reduce the percentage above a certain sales volume. Neither of these are exactly an incentive for your salesperson working the phones, although it limits your risk on paper.

There’s the clue: on paper. What else looks good on paper? A good CRM consultant can set up your purchase funnels and conversion probabilities to show you where increasing commission rates might be a good idea. For example, a 3% commission for the first £50,000 in sales each month might be worth upping to 5% after that level is reached, if it’d deliver an extra £35,000 in turnover.

#3: “But I’ve already sent him an email!”

As time goes on, you’ve probably heard sales complaints about how Generation Y (let alone Z) is harder to reach by phone. (In the mobile world, usage of voice minutes is actually going down.) Many salespeople think an email is just as good.

Today’s sales are made via a variety of contact touchpoints, building trust in bits and pieces over time. Here’s the thing: Customer Relationship Management applications that connect different channels (like phone, email and SMS) can show you which sequences work best.

So take your salespeople aside and show them the sequence of contacts that tends to produce results most often. Perhaps the first touch is indeed an email, but in 70% of successful sales, they received a phone call within 24 hours. Your salespeople may even have kept a cold lead warm by sending them a text message every two weeks.

#4: “That list’s been done to death.”

When your list has been contacted over and over again, it becomes a common sales complaint that there’s no life left in it. But studies demonstrate that an “old” but well-targeted list pulls far better than a fresh but untested one.

If a lead has stalled, it may be your customer journey that’s missing a few stages. Your CRM dashboard may be able to show you where the pinch-points are – and what actions (perhaps a new script, a side offer) can get the funnel moving again. Getting together with your marketing team may generate some ideas.

#5: “If I make those calls, I’ll have to put them on CRM.”

Last comes the real buzzkill – and it’s valid. If your CRM system makes it hard to add names or contact reports, wouldn’t you be tempted to “store up” notes to add later instead of keeping records updated in real-time?

This one plays hell with your weekly reports. So look at how people really use CRM, and redesign your dashboard and processes to make it easier for them. (Difficulty of use is a prime reason many CRM implementations fail.)

So for an antidote to all the complaints, remember: CRM serves your people, not the other way around.

Takeaways:

Counteract your sales team’s complaints with these important points:

  • If your salespeople have patterns, see if there’s advantage in working with them.
  • Offer incentive schemes to make things better for everyone.
  • Show your salespeople the sequence that leads to a sale, not just the script.
  • Sales people respond to hard data. To change behaviour, always back up with evidence.
  • Updating CRM should be seen as a core part of sales success.

Discover how to keep your sales team happy by increasing the potential for profits. Download The ultimate guide to: upselling and cross selling

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5 High-ROI Marketing Tools That Rescue the Customer Journey

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Only 2% of customers buy on their first visit – these marketing tools will get them to complete the customer journey.

Let’s be honest. It’s very rare that you visit a website and want to buy something straight away. A customer journey just doesn’t happen that quickly.

Most of us simply want to browse. Only 2% of people who visit an online shop make a purchase on their first visit. That’s even lower for considered, high value purchases or B2B services.

The problem that we face as marketers is losing these visitors, and having dead customer journeys. Our challenge is to get details from our website visitors, so that we can retarget them, nurture them and make those sales. Thankfully there are a few tools that we can use to bridge that gap so we can reach our targets.

1. Email collection pop-up

Business and internet marketing blogger Matthew Woodward found that his conversion rate of collecting emails increased 44% with these types of pop-ups. Padiact is a particularly useful tool as it feeds into all the major ESPs. It means you can capture details to target potential customers with a nurture campaign and your newsletters, encouraging their customer journey to last longer.

2. Live chat (excellent in high value sales)

The thing with high-value, complex sales is that customers often have several pain-points and lots of questions. If you offer a chance for people to ask questions, and get them answered almost instantly, you can win their loyalty and details. Live chat is perfect for picking up customers directly from your site, who may have disappeared forever because that page didn’t answer their questions. Live chat solutions can help you to retain your customers and help them along their customer journey.

3. Cut downtime and slow-loading websites

Slow-loading websites cost online retailers £1.73 billion per year. 38% of UK shoppers said that they abandon websites or apps that take more than 10 seconds to load. That’s even higher on mobile devices where 74% of customers said they abandon sites that take more than five seconds to load.

To stop needlessly losing customers, it’s important to ensure your website is always spic, span and speedy! MonitorHub notifies admins if the site becomes slow. This means that your technicians can fix any slow-hosting problems and cut website abandonment. You can also change your website’s design to speed up loading.

4. Exit-intent offers

Many customers abandon purchases before leaving a site. If you can capture their details, and make them a special offer before they leave – then you have a better chance of them becoming a customer. That’s the aim of Picreel, a tool that monitors mouse movements to look for signs that a visitor is about to close a window. Then when a customer is about to leave, they suddenly have the option to leave their email address and get a discount. This is perfect for e-commerce sites.

5. Remarketing

Some find it creepy, some find it powerful, But there’s no denying that retargeted ads are effective. Retargeting boosts ad response rates by 400% and improved conversion rates for Kimberly-Clark by over 50%.

For e-commerce companies, Adroll is one of the leaders in the space. For B2B businesses, Resonance lets you retarget customers with a content funnel.
You’re always going to lose some website visitors along the way. But if you can use these tools to engage them and extend their customer journey, you can reap the rewards.

Now you’ve got customers, you need to  make the most of those relationships! Download your free eGuide: The ultimate guide to: upselling and cross selling to maximise your returns.

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