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2017

Overview

Business Analytics seeks to revolutionize the way in which business ventures are streamlined and operated. The motive behind Business Analytics is to analyze, develop and manage technical solutions to business problems that a venture might be facing. Apart from that, Business Analysts seek to augment the sales of a company by scrutinizing certain patterns that the company has pertained in the past.

 

Incorporation of in-house Business Analysts is becoming a norm in today’s industries. Companies are now following the latest trends of hiring more and more analysts. Sugar has always been ahead of the game. Sugar has assimilated and integrated a lot of tools and plugins that can be used that would enhance the performance of a business analytics within a business. Let’s look at a few of them:

 

Business Intelligence

Sugar lets you create reports and generate analytics that will aid in evaluating the performance of your company and productivity of your employees. These reports are based on the activities that have been logged into the CRM system. BI tools provide valuable insights that can help improve product quality and operation processes over time. Thus, the management can make well informed decisions and stay one step ahead of the curve in today’s ultra competitive environment.

 

Predictive Analysis

Sugar is extremely competent in comparison to other CRMs when it comes to handling large amounts of data. With Sugar, your analysts will gain the ability to predict how customers will respond to certain stimuli (products & services) based on their behavioral history and past preferences.  This will enable your analysts to more successfully judge and answer the most pertaining questions that exists in corporations; how, when and where to allocate resources for future investments and products?

 

Upgraded Customer Analysis

Whilst using Sugar, your Sales representatives and marketing executives would be able to thoroughly analyze and examine all the customer touch points. These include social media, web click stream, internet, email and inquiries made via telephone calls. Just imagine how valuable this information can be to business analysts. Your team of analysts will be able to better forecast consumer preferences, envision subsequent requirements and resolve other issues that incorporate various business decisions.

 

Business Forecasting

Every venture dreams to make forecasting as smooth as possible. Sugar allows you to review and manage forecasts of your entire team. Don’t forget, Sugar allows you to intelligently identify factors that affect various aspects of your company’s sales, marketing and productivity. Also, Sugar gives you the ability to manage forecasts of each member of the team through a single worksheet. Assigning quotas, adjusting individual forecasts and analyzing the performance of individuals are no longer considered a tedious task. Sugar also allows your enterprise to keep track of customer activities. If you’re at a managerial level in your company, Sugar will intelligently shift your focus to more paramount issues. Hence, it saves the day at not only the sales level, but at the managerial level as well. Thus, it allows your business to observe patterns without overriding complications and provides your company with some brilliant insights into factors affecting sales and marketing.

 

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Very often, when we consider boosting our CRM, we start from exploring and comparing features of different CRM systems. After some time, we select an understandable CRM solution that is expected to bring good results.  However, when the CRM implementation is complete, it does not seem to be plain sailing at all. Why?

Because, frequently, when we are looking for approaches to business optimization, we tend to speak with CRM providers about absolutely different things (e.g. automation and data collection a.k.a. accounting). In our12-year practice of CRM implementation, we saw it happen countless times.

Optimization, Accounting and Automation. How to distinguish?

All the factors are interconnected and equally important. Yet, you should understand the differences between them and impact that they have on each other.

  • Optimization (or improvements) is a set of changes made to achieve better results with less effort and/or in much shorter time. But are you sure that these changes are in the very well-known processes? Maybe, you need to implement completely new processes or redesign the existing ones?
  • Accounting is a possibility to collect data for decision making or results generation. However, in most cases, implementing new accounting mechanisms increase either your employees’ efforts or your expenses (or even both). Is it really what we need? Can automation help us or do we need to shift data collection from our side to the partner’s/customer’s side?
  • Automation is a possibility to make a computer execute routine repeatable processes instead of human. But the first thing you need to do is ask yourself whether your work processes are stable and predictable enough to benefit from automation straightaway, or whether they need to be reengineered at first. Are you ready to use CRM automation “as is” or do you have to recourse to CRM customization and adaptation for real cost cutting and productivity improvement?

How to prepare for a dialogue with your CRM provider?

Every company and every situation is unique. In order to achieve the expected improvements, you need to identify and remove obstacles on your way to the goal. If you want to find the best CRM solution, you have to speak not about the necessity of automation or data collection but about your business issues and goals. This will allow your future provider to demonstrate not only software features and functionalities but also solutions and approaches suitable for your company and a specific situation.

Do you want to be ready for such a dialog? It’s not that hard, but you have to be prepared. You can read here how to transform your own expectations and wishes into a set of accurate requirements.

In the previous post in this series, we shared highlights of the history of data integration, to set the stage for the breakthrough of automated integrations for marketing, sales, and support business users.

 

Marketing, sales, and support teams need to quickly adjust their processes to adapt to the continuously evolving preferences of their buyers. Their system integrations therefore need to be easy, flexible and self-managed by these departmental users. This allows them to react to ever evolving business conditions and ensure their connected systems are delivering.

 

These users don’t have time to invent solutions - they need to be pre-built. They need to amplify the key features of those systems to help you get more out of both systems, together. And, with more and more systems in play between these departments, the integration platforms need to do this for an ever expanding set of systems.

 

With that in mind, breaking the status quo of integration requires these breakthroughs:

Breakthrough #1 - A wide breadth of pre-built connectors

There are a growing number of systems that marketing, sales, and support teams use to engage customers. A data integration platform tailored for business users requires pre-built connectors to these systems such that integrations can be activated without requiring any code.

 

Automated data integration platforms need to span a wide range of systems including CRM,  marketing automation, webinars, events, data enrichment, power dialing, e-commerce, subscription management, and support.

 

Breakthrough #2 - Deep integrations to enable key features of the connected systems

Automated data integration platforms need to enable the key use cases of the connecting systems. Data syncs limited to only contact data are usually not sufficient to meet the use cases.

 

A key data object for marketing and sales integrations is the opportunity object, as opportunity data answers the question, “What sales results have we driven?” This is key for connecting sales and marketing activities to business outcomes.

 

Breakthrough #3 - Multi-directional integrations enabling continuous data updates

Connecting multiple sales and marketing systems requires multi-directional syncs. As customers engage across multiple touchpoints, data integration can’t simply be a handoff from one system to another. There is continuous interaction with data gathered and updated every step of the way. One day a customer is on the website, the next day they attend a webinar, the next day they speak to sales rep, etc. - and any data updates collected through these interactions need to be kept in sync across multiple connected systems.

 

An important technical breakthrough here is having a mechanism for managing conflicts. What do you do when the data from one system doesn’t match a connected system? An automated data integration platform allows customers to configure a system of record on a per field basis, to determine the winner for such conflicts.

 

Breakthrough #4 - Easy to use, self-guided interface

For an automated data integration platform to cater for business users, it needs to simplify work that has traditionally has been complex. Just a few of the things a user needs to be able to do cleanly and intuitively are:

  • Field Mappings: Mapping fields across two or more connected systems
  • Data Workflow Triggers: Managing rules for when data should sync - for example a marketing system should house your marketing database - without cluttering up a CRM system - and only sync leads over to the CRM system once they are marketing qualified
  • Error Notifications & Management: Provide error notifications to users and provide them a means to quickly review and resolve those errors. An example of an error is a field mismatch - if you have a field in one system that is a numeric field, for example, the field in the connecting system needs to usually match that field type. Another example is matching values to picklists between systems. If one system requires a set of values for a field, then data passed into that system will need to also match those values to avoid causing errors.

 

Breakthrough #5 - “Just works” behind the scenes

Providing an integration platform to business users means “under the hood” operations that used to be managed by IT teams, now need to “just work” so that the business teams can rely on the systems having up-to-date data.

 

A key aspect of this is system performance, including rapid sync times and handling of peak volumes. When sales reps are following up on leads from a marketing system into your CRM, every minute matters.

 

These are the key breakthroughs that allows Bedrock Data to deliver maximum value for Sugar users when connecting various systems to Sugar.

 

In our next post in this Breaking the Status Quo of Data Integration series, we will explore the top use cases for SugarCRM integrations with Bedrock Data that these breakthroughs make possible.

From enterprise-level companies to SMEs, CRM software adoption continues to grow at a staggering rateparticularly in mobile and cloud-based CRM system technology. And with good reason: sales teams with mobile CRMs achieve their sales goals at twice the rate of sales teams without mobile CRMs. In fact, 91% of companies with more than eleven employees now use some kind of CRM for sales, research, and customer satisfaction. However, initial CRM implementation does not necessarily mean complete CRM adoption. In fact, discrete departments (i.e., sales teams, marketing teams) often fail to fully adopt CRM software completely or integrate it into their sales practices, which means that data and research can be largely incomplete. If your sales reps forget to enter data, then the CRM is less useful for the sales, marketing, and research teams, and can affect your business more broadly.

However, enterprise-level companies are uniquely poised to drive CRM adoption. Larger organizations, with a lot of moving parts, multiple geographic locations, and distinct operational units, are best positioned to reap the rewards of a more comprehensive CRM adoption. Large businesses can most effectively benefit from shared data between accountants, sales reps, marketers, insurances providers, and the like. Even after products have been delivered, CRM software can still track communications, contracts, and invoices across distances. 

More specifically, why should your company push for universal CRM adoption? 

B2B and Enterprise Sales

A quality CRM system is the cornerstone of business-to-business sales. A sophisticated B2B CRM can closely monitor your sales funnel and make up a crucial element of your B2B sales strategy. B2B sales have many different strategic elements, from initial research and specialized contacts to contracts to customer relations that join sales, marketing, manufacturing, and management. A universally adopted CRM system can track sales from their first inauguration to long-term customer service. In addition, it can share opportunities between departments, illuminate areas of possible expansion for your sales team, and standardize customer support.

 

In addition, full CRM adoption can support innovative modes of sales. CRM adoption gives sales teams data from which valuable insights and potential buyer motivations can emerge. These insights must be accessible to a myriad of teams simultaneously, without interrupting the sales cycle.

 

Large-scale enterprise sales have a lot of significant variables. Broadly speaking, your CRM should be able to track large transactions for management, everyone who works with customers, and the customers themselves. Enterprise sales CRMs are designed with large, complex businesses transactions in mind. A fully integrated CRM can have a significant mobility function, working outside the office, which can be key for a larger sales organization. Cloud-based, mobile CRMs effectively take the office on the road, to the sales force, and to the customer base.

Full adoption of your CRM is a vote for customer-centricity

Deloitte and Touche found that business that work to be customer-centric were 60% more profitable than those that are not. Companies that adopt a customer-centric approach tend to be more insistent on a positive customer experience and more successful in retaining long-term clients. A universally adopted CRM allows your business to be more customer-focused and provide that positive customer experience. An integrated CRM prevents functional silos, which prevents data management and sharing. More broadly, brands must commit to central analyze, plan, and implement a clear customer policy. In order to create this policy, all of the distinct departments of your company must be able to view the full needs and histories of the customers to provide that better experience.

Increasingly, customers are demanding more seamless interactions across different channels, with web chat, social media, and mobile apps are increasing becoming the mechanism of choice for younger professionals. A sophisticated, well-integrated CRM can provide a cross-channel customer experience that is smooth and consistent.

Enhancing the customer experience even further

A solution like Tenfold which pulls data from all systems of record including your CRM, your digital analytics dashboard, ERP, and support management program into a single unified view can help you provide a seamless and retention-driving customer experience.

However, the quality of service and engagement you can extend to your customers can only be maximally enhanced if your data is complete and accurate. By automatically logging all data, without the need for manual entry, Tenfold ensures that you have the best numbers to base your decisions and interactions on. Your CRM is only as good as your data–and Tenfold helps you not lose anymore data while showing you info as needed. 

Conclusion

CRMs are the most productive systems to manage sales, collaborate between departments, analyze data, and provide a customer-centric experience. However, CRMs can be unproductive or even a hindrance if they are not properly implemented. It is crucial not only to find the right CRM for your company but to assimilate it completely into your large-scale business strategies.

There are several simple but effective strategies that can make this universal integration easier and more effective for your business, including demanding significant employee training, creating guidance materials, and maintaining high-level user involvement. While it may take some time to sync the CRM to your business goals and management style, the long-term payoff will be efficiency and customer satisfaction.