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2019

CRM is one of the most prominent assets for a business. It streamlines operations and reduces human errors with its systematic approach. But with the desktop version, you can only use it in the office. Because nearly every aspect of the product has been digitized, employees are no longer tied to their desks; especially sales, marketing, and customer support teams. They are always on the go with meetings, client visits, product demos, etc. And they will need to access certain information from your CRM while working on the field.

 

That’s where Mobile CRM comes to the rescue. According to statistics, global internet traffic coming from mobile devices grew from 0.7% in 2009 to 52.99% in 2017. Hence, having a Mobile CRM allows your road warriors to work anywhere because of easy access to data. And of course, their clients also expect real-time information for quicker decisions.

 

If you are also considering such a solution to increase the efficiency of your team, make sure it has these features:

 

      
  1. A Native App with Necessary Features

 

A recreated version of Desktop CRM functioning in a mobile device might make your business suffer a lot. An ideal CRM phone app could help you capitalize on the strengths such as features offered by a CRM mobile app. Simple things like push notifications, voice notes, and a mobile-optimized interface will make work that much easier. 

 

      
  1. Import Call and SMS Records, Contacts, and Call Log

 

One of the most tedious tasks related to CRM is data entry. Your team members will not want to transfer their daily call logs, records, etc. from the desktop to a mobile version manually. Being able to import call logs, SMS records, contacts, and other data from their mobile to CRM saves major of time. It is effective for maintaining the quality of data as well.

 

      
  1. Offline Access, Online Data Sync

 

Working in the field means sometimes working from areas with no internet. So, if any of your employees want access to CRM records it might be a problematic scenario. The offline access feature is a boon as they can access and make changes to CRM while offline. As soon as they come online, these offline changes get synced with the CRM. 

 

      
  1. Access to Maps with Route Planning 

 

This feature enables your employees to set their route between client locations and get real-time traffic alerts, gas stations, meeting points updates, etc. It can save a lot of their time and help them to manage their schedules according to real-time conditions.

 

 

      
  1. Live Tracking and Check-In / Check Out

 

One of the most important features for sales managers is to be able to track where sales reps are at any given time. Managers can also get an update of their team members as they can check-in and check out of meetings, tasks, and appointments. It helps you monitor their total time spent for a meeting, task or appointment with necessary details. 

 

      
  1. Business Card Scans to Add New Contacts Directly

 

During meetings, seminars, and conferences, your employees meet new prospects. While networking during these events, they can use the business cards scanner to scan them into the CRM app. The information directly gets added as a new contact into your CRM system, saving time and effort. 

 

      
  1. Electronic Signature

 

When your employees need special additional signatures of other members while closing the deal, the electronic signature feature can save the day. With the help of it, they can close the deals easily as they will have the required signatures available in the CRM app itself.

 

      
  1. Interactive Dashboards

 

With so many tasks running in the background, dashboards provide you with a quick glance of all your important tasks. They give you an overview of what is currently going on and help to prioritize tasks accordingly. 

 

      
  1. Support for Custom Modules

 

We make frequent changes to CRM fields and modules to make the most out of it. And it is important to have those updated fields and modules working in your Mobile CRM system as well. Hence, you can utilize your CRM data at its full potential. 

 

Does your Mobile CRM App have these Features?

 

When opting for a solution with a vision to make your business better, it is important to choose a CRM platform which supports the above operations. You’ll be glad you did!

Although there are several factors that affect your overall email campaign performance, the basics start with design. Let's focus on the important design decisions that you need to make for each message to drive maximum results. There are three specific details that make a huge difference; we’ll cover them here:

HTML vs. text emails

HTML is perfect for a formal webinar or an event invite, but when you want to take a more personal approach, try a text version. Don't forget your email must be mobile responsive since so many people open emails while they're on the go.

Reply-to address

Something that is often overlooked is from whom an email is sent, and what the reply-to address is. Unless you're sending an email newsletter, it's best that you use someone's personal email address if you're sending out a standard email rather than a typical generic email or info@ email address.

Personalization

When you use an individual's actual personal email address, research has shown that people are twice as likely to open the email as opposed to a generic one - and if you're trying to drive meetings with sales, an email that appears as a personal outreach from the representative is definitely the way to go. Don’t forget that the “reply to” address must also be the representative.

Before you jump into sending your next email campaign make sure you’ve chosen the right format. While these tips may sound rudimentary, they’ll go a long way with your customers—remember, sometimes less is more!

For a video version of this blog post, click here.

Technology is revolutionizing the way manufacturers run businesses day-to-day in the digital era. CRM systems can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT; a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines that have the ability to transfer data over a network with no human interaction)  to enhance end-to-end processes by connecting products, devices and equipment. IoT has the ability to drive insights throughout sales, customer service and marketing departments. The intelligent coupling of IoT and CRM have the ability to help manufacturers elevate customer experiences by enhancing efficiency and heightening visibility.

 

Let's look at the impact of IoT and CRM on manufacturing companies.

 

Optimized Customer Experiences

 

Customers always want to save time. Providing efficient services is key to business success. Research has shown that many customers will move to another brand due to a lack of efficiency and a unique experience; IoT and CRM can make it possible to enhance customer experiences in various ways. Manufacturing firms can identify errors and fix them before customers even notice - when issues are solved promptly and accurately, both sales representatives and customers can benefit from this seamless experience. Once the issue is identified, it can be resolved and prevented from happening again. Having all customers’ order history and account information in your CRM system can enhance customer service by speeding up processes. These are some of the improvements manufacturers are already seeing when they connect IoT devices with their CRM systems. 

 

Smart devices are used to collect data on where and when your product is used by specific customers, which helps manufacturing firms deliver personalized interactions. Having scattered or unstructured data can be challenging for manufacturers. Even smart organizations struggle to make better operational decisions if data is siloed within separate ERP and CRM systems; organized data leads to better decision-making. Experts have developed a solution app called Commercient SYNC, which takes data that is spread on-premise and in siloed data systems, synthesizing it into a system that can help organizations discover, manage and integrate data over its entire lifecycle.

 

Increased Sales

 

Customers value unique and efficient experiences more than anything else when engaging with brands. The enhanced capabilities of CRM systems, when connected with IoT, can lead to increased sales. IoT can detect customer dissatisfaction, assisting sales reps to put together a tailor-made strategy for each customer. It can also provide predictive analytics on when to reach out and which channel to use when offering discounts or vouchers to retain their loyalty. Marketers can also leverage these insights to deliver content to the specific target audience at the right time.

 

Utilizing IoT and CRM enables manufacturing firms to become more connected enterprises, and enables a business to discover innovative ways to engage and connect with customers.

To Grow Your Business, Invest in CRM Software First for a Great Customer Experience 

Your business can grow without Marketing but will die without Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Exceptional customer experience is the key to cultivating customers for life and successful business growth.

Let’s Talk Marketing

Digital Marketing is all the rage these days. Inbound marketing, social media marketing, SEO, PPC, the list goes on…

Then there is your website, content, email campaigns, blogs, videos, and much more. Marketing is always evolving so that even the ‘experts’ have a hard time creating and maintaining the best strategy.

I should know - I have spent tens of thousands of dollars with marketing agencies without significant results to show for it.

This year, I spent hundreds of hours learning and testing best practices. I have utilized platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Medium, and many more.

Closing business with Marketing is Harder than we Think

The investment of time and effort does not guarantee success.  All your hard work, effort, and money can go to waste if the right strategies are not applied.

Marketing, when done right, connects with and engages people who are looking for the products and services you offer.  Success means a steady influx of new leads.

The thing to remember is that these are leads - and converting them to business is a different endeavor.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Another tool for sales and marketing teams is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.

CRM helps businesses manage and improve lead conversion, customer relationships, and customer service. It is an essential tool for managing leads and closing opportunities. It is also critical in onboarding customers and fulfilling their needs.

Exceptional Customer Experience Delivered via the Best CRM Creates Customers for Life

With the right CRM, excellence in upselling, reselling, and customer service is possible. It helps your users to stay organized, efficient, and effective. Consider:

Customers for life bring revenue and profit growth opportunities for life.

Repeat business is a significant source of growth and profit for any company.

Upselling to current customers bears fruit with less investment of time and effort.

Trust, rapport, and institutional knowledge earned from serving customers makes future sales less work.

It takes 5-6X less effort and expense to sell to a current customer as opposed to a new prospect.

Generating new opportunities does have to not cost thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of marketing. These opportunities are won by providing exceptional customer experience.

Another benefit of providing exceptional customer experience is referrals, which have a high close rate. Referred leads are warm introductions. They help remove the barrier to entry in meeting decision-makers and assist in gaining vital inside information about the job. CRM helps manage relationships with referred prospects to win opportunities.

Networking is another source of new business that does not cost much; it brings social and intellectual benefits as well. CRM enables management and nurturing of network relationships.

A company can grow and thrive without a significant marketing effort. But it cannot succeed in the long term without a robust CRM.

CRM is a must for every business.

When investing in marketing, your CRM has to be ready to nurture and close the opportunities created.

Any CRM won’t do; it has to be the right CRM for your business.

The best CRM supports well planned and executed business processes enable business growth for life and create organic sources of new business.

Surviving and thriving are hard without investing time, energy, and resources in the right CRM.

Features of the Right CRM

Let’s take a few minutes to review some essential elements of the right CRM for your business:

  1. Collect, secure, and store leads, prospect, opportunities, customer, product, vendor, contracts, and other vital customer data
    Every business is different, and each one has different needs. Any CRM that limits how many contacts, fields, or processes you can create is not scalable, whereas the right CRM serves your business needs without arbitrary limitations.
  2. Provide various integrations to enable automatic data update and entry from different areas of business or online data warehouses
    Data entry is time-consuming. Today, the average salesperson spends one hour a day doing data entry. That’s one hour less time they are spending closing business.  The right CRM allows you to integrate with other business applications and your website to automatically update data. It helps the sales team work efficiently.
  3. Manage and report on lead-to-close sales cycles for an increase in business
    Reporting provides vital information to decision-makers, and Business Process Automation (BPA) helps save time and avoid mistakes in the sales cycle.  The best CRM has robust reporting and extensive options to automate business processes.
  4. Scalable as your business grows and evolves
    Today, businesses evolve at a faster rate than ever. Tools supporting enterprises have to be scalable and adaptable. CRM is no exception.
  5. Readily available and reliable support, training, and service providers
    Support, user training, and other specialized services help keep CRM relevant and useful over time. The right CRM has a healthy amount of options available for support and other services.

Conclusion

All the hype around marketing these days would have some believe that it is the only way to generate good quality leads to grow a business.  In reality, it is a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive exercise.

Investing time, effort, and money into the right CRM for your business will bring better ROI, long-lasting growth, and loyalty of your customers.

Your CRM has to fit your business needs. Choose carefully and then commit to making the culture shift to support it being used. Successful companies often say: ‘If it is not in the CRM, it did not happen.’

Click here to learn more about the CRM solutions we offer.

In case you haven’t already heard, Sugar just received some major upgrades and the company has fully reinvented itself to bring forth key innovations in the CRM industry. At the core of this reinvention lie Sugar’s three new products, Sugar Serve, Sugar Sell, and Sugar Market and we’ve brought details about them straight from SugarConnection San Francisco where all was unveiled. So, what are these products that come with the new Sugar? 

 

To quickly summarize, Sugar Market is a rebranding of Salesfusion for Sugar and Sugar Sell is an enhanced version of Sugar Enterprise minus the customer service features. What is entirely new and warrants a more detailed breakdown however, is Sugar Serve. Staying true to their mantra, “Making Customers For Life,” SugarCRM has made sure to provide a comprehensive set of customer service tools that allow businesses to build meaningful, long-term customer relationships with Sugar Serve. 

Why the Emphasis on Customer Service?

Customer service is often overlooked by businesses and the general perception is that resources spent on customer service are wasted if a given customer is already doing business with the organization. However, in today’s hyper-competitive market environment, customers are spoiled by choices for anything they want to purchase! Given the overwhelming amount of alternate options that are often equally great, it only comes down to one thing that can help push businesses over the edge and break through the noise - quality customer service. 

 

When customers feel valued by you, they are more likely to come back to you for business without you having to redo all of your sales efforts from scratch, and that is exactly why SugarCRM has created an entirely new product. Let’s take a look at what Sugar Serve can do for you.

What Does Sugar Serve Bring to the Table?

Sugar’s philosophy with Sugar Serve is fairly straightforward; to equip business with all the right tools to provide fast, personalized, and informed customer service. To do so, Sugar has identified key areas where customer service suffers and designed key objectives for Sugar Serve accordingly.

Improved Efficiency

One of the primary goals of Sugar Serve is to streamline the support process by improving the overall efficiency of support agents. It achieves this by providing them easy access to information and key customer insights so they can focus their time and effort on delivering informed customer service, all under a single pane of glass. 

Reduced Costs

One of the major arguments against investing in customer service is the cost associated with it and whether the ROI is good enough. Sugar Serve doesn’t just ensure that the relationships it helps build drive business; it also aims to cut down on the costs that accumulate in providing quality customer care by automating key processes and making service simpler, easier and much more cost-effective.

Ability to Build Relationships

As the tag line itself might already have given away, Sugar Serve serves (literally) as a means for businesses to conveniently build relationships with their customers for long-term retention and, consequently, an improved likelihood of recurring business from them. 

 

That covers what Sugar aims to accomplish with Sugar Serve. So, what features does it offer to do so? Let’s find out!

The Features

Case Prioritization

Sugar Serve prioritizes cases by service level agreements and there are a number of dynamic values that go into determining the priority level of any given case. This means service agents don’t have to go through the cumbersome process of identifying which cases they need to pay immediate attention to, because Sugar Serve does that for them! As a result, agents can improve their response times to high priority customers and, therefore, make them feel valued.

Intelligent Case Management

SugarBPM ring a bell? Sugar Serve leverages the automation features provided by SugarBPM to ensure all customer service requests are automatically routed to the right agent. This includes mechanisms to reassign cases that have been left unattended for too long and also escalating cases that require further attention. This has huge implications for the customer service process because it not only ensures that all customer requests are catered to in a timely fashion, but also that service agents save on the effort that goes into manually going through each request and determining who it should be assigned to. 

Knowledge Management

The key to quality customer service is access to previous information and that is exactly what Sugar Serve provides. With quick availability of customer history, activity, and relevant insights, Sugar Serve makes sure your service agents can provide informed and personalized service to each customer. Sugar Serve essentially consolidates all the relevant information for any given case on a single screen so service agents can provide quick solutions.  

All the Reports You Need

Sugar Serve arrives with more than 60 out of the box reports, each of which can be customized according to what kind of insights your service agents require. That’s not all either! You can have entirely new custom SugarCRM reports created too, so your business processes are fully captured by the insights that Sugar Serve generates. This means you will have access to all the data you need to identify and understand problem areas in your customer service process before they escalate.

Intuitive UI

These are all immensely useful features that will undoubtedly facilitate customer service beyond measure, but what good are they if they aren’t easily accessible? That is where the real strength of Sugar Serve comes into play. With a kanban view of cases for supervisors, simple click to view functionality for case details, and the ability to interact with users with multiple correspondence options on the screen, Sugar Serve doesn’t just ensure that you have all the right tools at your disposal but also makes certain that they are available to you at all times without any difficulty!

 

With the convenience that these features are capable of adding to your customer service processes, delivering high quality, personalized service to each of your customers is now easier than ever. As a result, you can truly build customers for life with Sugar Serve.

In the past, marketing technology was looked at as a quick fix solution. However, a quick fix can never solve all of your problems and provide you with sustainable work solutions. Rather, a marketing solution will be much more successful if it is incorporated into the way you work.

This means that while marketing automation is a great tool that can do the heavy lifting, it is still your responsibility to incorporate a robust marketing strategy to inform your marketing automation. You want to nurture your customers through their buyer journey in order to provide them with exactly what they need when they need it and convert as many leads as possible to customers. So, when you invest in a marketing automation tool, be prepared to play the long game to maximize your results.

Here are eight tips that maximize your marketing efforts to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing automation system:

1) Structured Marketing Campaigns

Make sure that your marketing campaigns are structured from the outset but don’t try to do everything at once. Start with the basics and build upon that over time as your audience expands. Even with just the basics, you should be seeing ROI in no time.

2) Optimize Everything

You need to optimize every single stage of your campaign. Think about your data, your processes, your messaging. If they are weak they won’t engage your audience and move them along the sales funnel - and they definitely won’t convert leads to customers. Optimization will insure that you always put your best foot forward.

3) Sales and Marketing Collaboration

Your sales and marketing teams should be working together. They should be collaborating on your messaging and content creation for customers as well as parameters for lead nurturing and scoring. This way, marketing will be able to send sales more qualified leads.

4) Marketing Guidelines

Make sure that you are following the established marketing guidelines. Research best practices for all marketing- related activities such as segmentation, form creation, CRM integration and compliance. Once you know what these guidelines are, train your staff to follow them so that you get the best possible results from the start.

5) Customize

You will want to customize your marketing efforts. The best marketing is customized to reflect the user based on comprehensive user personas. A great user persona will not only provide you with descriptors but also attributes and behaviors which you can use to guide your marketing efforts. This way you can make informed decisions rather than assuming.

6) Don’t Blame the Tech

When we don’t reach our expected levels of success we often look for someone or something to blame and often times our technology takes the brunt of this. However, the technology is not to blame; it's usually the marketer. But don’t be discouraged, it is likely that your team doesn’t have the knowledge to operate the tool effectively. To remedy this invest in some training to get your team back on track.

7) Business Case

When you invest in a new marketing automation software, create a business case to go with it, given that your company just spent quite a bit of money on this new piece of tech. In order to keep stakeholders happy the business case can illustrate the value of the platform and how it is accelerating your marketing efforts.

8) The Three A’s

The three A’s are; Adopt, Adapt and Achieve!

Adopt: Make sure the platform is being used to its fullest potential.

Adapt: Adapt the tool within reason. The technology is not as flexible as the people using it so adapt it for your needs.

Achieve: This flexibility will allow you to keep your marketing philosophy intact most of the time with the occasional compromise. As a result, you will be able to achieve your goals.

Marketing automation isn’t as complex as it seems. With the proper implementation and execution, you can look forward to sustainable success and a great ROI. If you are just starting out and you are struggling, don’t give up! Stay with it for a few months and invest in some training for your staff. The right implementation and execution make all the difference