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2019

Customer Engagement is a huge word. And when you ask the business owners about what it means to them; they will come up with different responses. Not just that, they will also regale you with stories about their experiences with customers and their struggles to offer impeccable services. Well, just because such stories are enticing, does not mean they are an epitome of offering customer services. In today’s times, it is important to enable your customers to resolve their issues on their mobile phones independently.

 

A study conducted by Microsoft in 2016 (Global State of Customer Service) proved that almost 90% of US customers like to use self-service customer portals. The biggest reason behind this is – they want the solution to their problems at the earliest. And they do not wish to wait for customer executives to get back to them.

 

So, if you adopt a customer portal, it enables your customers to find solutions to their problems on their own. Also, if your resource is apt, it is sure to keep your customers coming back. That too, without any reluctance.

 

CRM Customer Portals: A Perfect Resource for Different Purposes

Let us say you have a SugarCRM system and WordPress Content Management System. You would need SugarCRM WordPress customer portal. It can come of great help as it will enable your sales team to resolve tickets easily and offer an exceptional customer experience. You can also offer your customers with a knowledge base about your products/services and give apt purchasing opportunities. Some of your objectives for offering SugarCRM customer portal could be:

 

  • Displaying information about company
  • Providing product information
  • Sharing service information
  • Offering credit and finance information
  • Giving pricing schedules
  • Resolving queries through tickets

 

As most of the CRM portals come with an intuitive navigation system and user-friendly interface, they make it easy for your customers to find the information they need. Whenever they want.

Offer Excellent Customer Engagement with SugarCRM Portal

Sugar CRM customer portal is a blend of WordPress CMS and SugarCRM. It is a self-service customer portal that enables customers to create customized dashboards, generate tickets, update data, and find the information they want. If you are a SugarCRM user, you and your team can get an access to customer cases, meetings, calls, accounts etc.

 

Here are some of the major features of this portal:

  • Secure Sign-in – Safe login for your customers to the portal
  • Role based accessibility – Manage SugarCRM module accessibility and keep your data confined to WordPress User Groups
  • Module layout configuration – Create portal layouts for different modules in SugarCRM
  • Portal Customization – Give a name to your portal, choose themes/colors, set logo, and add a profile picture
  • Knowledge Base – Share your articles and other content with your customers
  • Access to Invoices and Contracts – Enable your customers to view quotes, contracts as well as invoices. (Downloadable in PDF format)

 

Who All Can Use It?

Customer portal provides customizable options for different businesses to create their portals according to their domain/industry. All you need to do is share the specific requirements of your business and customers and the developers will build it accordingly. Some of its industry applications are given below:

  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality Industries
  • Ecommerce
  • Travel Industry
  • Manufacturing Industry

In today’s DIY era, customer portals can offer huge benefits to businesses and helps strengthen customer relationships. If you want to bring smile on the face of your customers, it is the right way to go. And there is one for every business out there. All the best choosing one for yourself! 

Growing your business is a worthy goal and more often than not, a must - if you aspire to get beyond that barely-getting-by level.

But doing that can be terrifying because so many things can go wrong. That’s why you need great allies in researching and planning your next steps in order to succeed. So what can you do to turn your business into the income-generating powerhouse you envision? 

The most important step in turning your prospective buyers into buying customers has to be generating leads. But this can be tricky! Reaching out to uninterested people that you know very little about and that don’t know you, can become demotivating. But thanks to Social Media and smart CRMs, you can easily build up a customer profile, efficiently qualify your prospects and follow-up in a timely manner. 
 
Here is a list of great ways to help you increase your lead response. All of them are being successfully used by us here at W-Systems and other businesses across the world, and if applied correctly, they can work for you as well.

let's do this gif

1. Integrate CRM with Marketing Automation

As a business owner, you know how important your customer relationships are to your success. The idea of integrating your CRM system with a Marketing Automation software is certainly easy to agree with. But is it that simple?

It’s common knowledge that the Sales and Marketing departments don’t always get along. Sales teams swear by CRM, while marketing departments swear by Marketing Automation. As they’re both critical to business growth, they just need a way to enable knowledge exchange and to do that, they first have to figure out a sales and marketing system alignment. 

By integrating CRM with Marketing Automation, users can transpose marketing leads directly to an actual revenue number. Successfully integrating their unique capabilities can be a game-changer for your company.  Once these systems begin working together, they will provide your sales and marketing teams with lots of powerful factors that will lead to your company’s growth and success.

2. Implement a Lead Scoring System

We mentioned above the importance of aligning marketing and sales. But how can you know the quality and value of each lead? Which leads should be prioritized and followed up immediately, and which need extra nurturing?

Enter Lead Scoring, the missing link between marketing and selling. Lead scoring allows you to assign a specific value to your leads automatically thanks to your Marketing Automation, and then make this information readily available to your sales team via your CRM integration. You can rank prospects using a score that indicates their perceived business value and susceptibility to buy, in order of priority.

Missing piece on puzzle

Lead scoring is only possible when both marketing and sales departments agree on the ideal definition of a customer profile, establish a list of characteristics that are most important for that target customer and assign values to them - like company location, company size, how they interacted with your content, etc.. Once this is done, marketing can focus on generating qualified leads and sales can work to close them. Lead scoring enables salespeople to turn their attention to higher-quality leads and reduce the lead response time. Pursuing qualified leads can increase sales productivity and enable better revenue for your business.

3. Setup Email Notification Workflows

Workflows enable users to automate repetitive tasks to help increase efficiency and ensure business processes are followed. 

email automation animation

You can configure your CRM system to send email messages to users when workflow-related events occur. Here are some examples of how you could use this: 

  • Notify the assigned user when their leads’ scores get over a certain value (i.e. the salesperson gets emailed when a lead's score is over 30).
  • Notify the assigned user when a new lead is assigned to them.
  • Notify an assigned user when their lead participates in a high-value event, such as attends a webinar or downloads a whitepaper. 

4. Automatically Log Calls and Emails in the CRM

In this day and age, communication is everything and everywhere. 

woman checking mobile phone

Figuring out how to use communications solutions with your CRM is going to not only grow your business but also improve your customer success.

Many CRMs come with telephony integration allowing users to make inbound and outbound calls and they also enable voicemail and email automation. You can now record and automate calls, emails, or calendar directly from your CRM allowing your sales team to spend more valuable time talking to customers instead. 

5. Track Lead Response Speed

How do you measure your sales follow-up? Is there a tool that allows you to track lead response time in hours? 

the answer is yes gif

The answer is Business Intelligence (BI)! BI solutions enable users to generate reports that benchmark how long it takes to follow up with a lead that has contacted you either by phone, email or by filling out a form. 

If you want to convert more visitors into leads, it is important to respond to them as quickly as possible while you are still top of mind. By measuring your lead response time in your CRM, you can see how your team is generating more leads, how fast they reply, and which messages convert the most prospects to leads. 

Now that you’ve set up a way to track how your sales team operates when it comes to following up with leads in a timely manner, you can easily adjust their methods. For example, if your team usually generates more leads during morning time or in a certain weekday, make sure they respond to your leads’ messages or calls on those exact hours.

Concluding Thoughts

Give all of these solutions a try and let us know what worked best for you. We are always here to provide you with more information and help you find an effective solution for your company's sales & marketing needs.

Even though we live in a world that’s dominated by rapidly evolving technology, plenty of businesses are still very skeptical about every new advancement. For instance, old-school tactics are surprisingly common in sales. These “traditions” include paper contracts, siloed recordkeeping, and in-person only interactions.

Meanwhile, companies that embrace modern sales technology see results that would have been impossible when using traditional sales tools. As a result, the organizations that insist on sticking to the old methods are quickly becoming obsolete.

If your sales teams is having trouble keeping up with the times, you’re in luck.

Here are 11 technology resources that will help your company greatly improve at sales:

  1. Use Your CRM to Improve Sales Funnel Visibility

 Most sales organizations have poor visibility into their sales funnels. This method can make it difficult to know where any given prospect is in the sales process. While this problem is very significant, an even larger one is that it’s much harder to identify bottlenecks that impact the entire sales process. By tracking the customer’s progress, a well-designed CRM can dramatically improve the overall visibility into your sales funnel.

  1. Level Up Your Team with Virtual Learning

The success of every professional is contingent on continuing education, and this fact is even more applicable to sales professionals. We’re living in a golden age of online classes, workshops, and webinars, and your organization has every reason to take advantage of it. If your team members need a little help with their cold-calling techniques or want to improve their closing rates, why not provide them with access to today’s best virtual learning tools? It’s certainly cheaper than a sales seminar, that’s for sure.

  1. Switch to the Cloud

When it comes to their customer and prospect data, sales teams can be pretty territorial. The idea of sharing that data makes them feel uneasy, as does uploading every detail to a shared platform (where it can be sliced, diced, analyzed, and reported on). But the benefits of a cloud-based approach include collaboration, real-time insights, mobile access, and other integrations. These advancements actually make sales faster and easier, and result in better prospect interactions and more closed deals.

  1. Invest in Data-Driven Insights

By the time most sales reps—or even most sales managers—notice a new customer trend, it’s usually too late to proactively respond to it. But when all sales data is available to be analyzed with the right tools, these trends can often be spotted early. This tactic allows looming catastrophes to be averted, and undiscovered opportunities to be exploited.

  1. Embrace Collaboration

The best people in your sales organization may never have the opportunity to be in the same room—or even the same country—at the same time. But by using collaborative tools, you can create a true brain trust of talented, capable people who can collaborate to accomplish tasks and tackle ideas that were once unthinkable. A well-designed CRM solution can allow your best people to tag-team problems, learn from each other, and improve results across the board.

  1. Lean into Video Conferencing

If you think video conferencing is just for remote workers, think again. By using tools like Slack, Skype and FaceTime, you can fundamentally change your business for the better. Instead of investing thousands of dollars in cross-country and international sales meetings, you can virtually build face-to-face relationships. Your teams can also be anywhere, meet any time, and instantly share documents and resources. Better yet, reps with colds can keep their germs at home, but still contribute to sales meetings.

  1. Refine Your CRM

Most companies treat their CRM implementations as a “one and done” kind of thing. They never take the opportunity to further refine their workflows and processes. However, even the best CRM solutions can benefit from the occasional tune-up. For example, a small annual investment in streamlining the user experience can result in serious ROI improvements, and it steadily decreases the costs for training new hires on an easier-to-master CRM.

 

  1. Adopt Mobile Sales Skills Tools

It’s hard to overstate the impact of the iPad in closing face-to-face sales deals. Today’s reps don’t need to dig around in a briefcase for the right contracts, then laboriously fill in the same details across multiple copies. Today’s field reps have everything they need to close the sale, right at their fingertips. The forms self-populate with customer data, and handy prompts show the customer exactly where to sign. Payment can even happen on-the-spot, which makes it that much faster for the rep to get their commission payment. Everyone wins.

  1. Automate Your Follow-Up Messaging

How many sales have been lost because a rep didn’t promptly respond to an email? By automating your follow-up emails, you can do more than send out the occasional reminder to a would-be customer. You can personalize replies, track response rates, utilize A/B test language, and do countless other things that will ultimately result in improved sales.

  1. Improve Customer-Facing Technologies

If your company has an online customer portal, don’t overlook its potential as a tool for driving sales. By tracking user actions, you can glean valuable insights about their needs. For instance, you can find out which products they’re searching for, and which pieces of sales and marketing content they download. This tactic can create more opportunities to cross-sell and upsell, and it can also help you understand purchasing cycles and buying priorities.

  1. Create a New Center of Gravity with CRM Integrations

Your sales team’s entire workflow is centered around one or two key pieces of software. For instance, perhaps everyone uses a shared Excel spreadsheet, or heavily relies on Google Calendar to manage their meetings. These tools are the “center of gravity” for your company. In many cases, they’re being used for tasks they really weren’t designed to handle. But by integrating these programs into your CRM, you can access all their functionality and use the right tool for the job.

Learn More

Have more questions about the best technologies for improving sales at your company?Contact Intelestream for a free consultation.

A major part of any CRM implementation is migrating data. This process involves getting input from multiple departments, creating processes, and (of course) your data.

Since migration is so challenging, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t fret. You can tackle migration one step at a time.

You’ll be able to navigate your way through the successful migration of CRM data by sidestepping these common pitfalls:

Data Pulled from Multiple Sources

Before you migrate your data, you need to identify where your data lives. So check in with all customer-facing teams, and find out where they store their data. This data might be in a CRM system, Excel files, Google Drive, Desktop, Dropbox, emails, or an old-school file cabinet.

Once you find all the data, you need to determine which location has the most accurate information. If you try to cobble together data from multiple sources, it could be a difficult undertaking.

Consolidation is a major task, and it’s prone to user error. It is possible to successfully navigate migration via this route, but prepare yourself for complications and headaches. Instead, figure out which source is the most accurate, and go from there.

Additionally, don’t make the mistake of setting up the new system like the old one. Remember, you’re making a change for a reason.

CRM Data Migration

No Clean Data

One of the most important goals of CRM data migration is having clean data, which involves detecting and removing any corrupt or inaccurate records from your files. Remember, your CRM migration partner is not responsible for cleaning your data; you are.

To correctly clean your data, you need to have dedicated team members who understand the process and have enough time to complete the task. It’s not just about finding the most accurate data source and transferring it over to the new system.

For instance, some team members may have logged a secondary phone number in the email address field because there was no other place to put it in the old system. If you transfer that information as is, it will end up in the wrong data field, which could lead to more confusion for your team.

So you can save yourself trouble down the road by allocating the time to qualified team members. Then you can take things one step farther by normalizing your data, which will create easier user input, easier filtering with normalized values, and generate more meaningful reports.

Lacking a Point Person

Who’s overseeing your data migration? Who’s in charge of making decisions? Sometimes, it’s the same person. Other times, a point person presents information to the decision-maker. Either way, you need to have a true CRM project manager who focuses on migration. If the CRM data migration is delegated to an undedicated employee, your timeline will keep getting pushed back. Even worse, it may never get completed.

Look for a candidate with the following attributes:

  • A passion for meeting deadlines
  • Appreciation for the project
  • Good management skills (time and people)
  • An understanding of the new system
  • Knowledge about the goals of the new system

Misunderstanding Team Roles

Once you establish who your point person is, determine who else is involved in the migration process. The project manager will be working with designated stakeholders, such as sales members and members of the IT department.

Many project managers factor in every possible stakeholder, but this decision is a mistake because it weighs down the project too much. You need to put a process in place that determines who the decision-makers are, and how much of a say they have.

Not Sticking to a Timeline

While there may be small adjustments to your project timeline, too many companies get into the weeds during their CRM data migration. Instead, go through your process, migrate your data, and go from there. You can keep things moving if you set short- and long-term goals.

Looking for more information on CRM data migration? Download our white paper today!