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3 Posts authored by: Aki Merced

We always talk about the value and necessity of data, but there’s one caveat that rarely gets mentioned. Whenever we say “data,” we mean clean and relevant data. We refer to data that offers real value to reps—not the 30% of rotten data that experts say accumulate yearly in your database.

It’s rotten data that has given CRM a bad name. While it’s true that CRM adoption has had exponential growth and that investment in the business has steadily increased, CRM failure remains a major concern, with as many as 1 in 2 businesses saying that the CRM is no help at all.

A CRM fails a business when it contains contaminated, irrelevant, useless, and dated information about customers. As a relationship database, the primary function of a CRM is to help marketers, sales reps, and support reps understand a customer better.

That’s not possible if your data is five years old and hasn’t been changed since. Or if your CRM is full of old contacts that are no longer considered as customers or prospects. Or when looking for a contact is creating more problems because you have multiple entries with different information in data fields.

All these problems will get in the way of using your CRM, and eventually affect your service. To avoid getting knee-deep in decaying data, try the following tips and start keeping a tidier, more effective CRM.

  • Keep everyone on the same page about CRM use.

Invest time and effort into training everyone with access to your CRM on the proper data protocol, from data collection to verification. This would ensure that everyone appreciates what clean data is, and the difference it makes to CRM and customer care. It will also help cultivate a culture of data awareness and raise the skill level of your employees in terms of handling customer information.

 

  • Integrate your system.

CTI can help you maintain clean and accurate data in your CRM. Integration will ensure the accuracy of data by automatically capturing data and logging it into your database, removing the intervention of human reps who may or may not follow the standard procedure of data entry.

 

A great example of how this works is the Tenfold and Sugar integration. Sugar is praised for its intuitive and simple design that’s different and better than the usual enterprise-level CRM. With Tenfold’s enterprise assistant technology, inputting data into Sugar and accessing that data during customer interactions become a breeze. Tenfold logs calls, and offers additional features like click to call and pop-up notifications.

 

  • Institute routine data health checks.

People change—that’s the reality of life. If you can’t keep up with the changes in your csutomers’ lives, you’ll have low-quality data that will just be a hindrance to your business objectives. One way to counter this is by doing data verification with your customers every not and then. If you fear that routine data verification will be tedious, then use automation tools to lessen the time and effort. You can also automate communication with your customers regarding data confirmation.

Data is only good for business when it’s clean and accurate. For optimum data health, choose an integration solution and have trustworthy data at your fingertips any time of the day.

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See how Tenfold works in action with Sugar: Tenfold Demo (SugarCRM) on Vimeo 

Tenfold @ SugarExchange

You know that one of the most frustrating experiences is when a company's customer-facing rep calls you–doesn't matter if they're from sales, customer support, or marketing–and they don't have a clue who you are. For us who work in the world of business know all too well that shooting in the dark rarely results in anything meaningful.

 

From the first touch with a prospect to the last phone calls to finalize a deal, ensuring that the customer experience is top-notch exponentially increases the chances of acquisition and retention. 

 

However, there are many hurdles that keep customer-facing reps from actually delivering thoughtful, personalized outreach and conversations despite knowing that it is crucial.

 

For teams using SugarCRM, integrating your system with all other customer databases and records you have will allow you to personalize, target, and tailor your conversations to get to your goals. Whether you're in sales, marketing, or customer support, customer-facing functions require an incisive view of the customer. This incisive view is only possible if you have all data unified and easy-to-access. 

 

Here are three ways integrating SugarCRM with your marketing automation tools, help desk databases, and other systems of record and points of contact allows you to win more.

 

  1. Updates customer records in real-time 

    Customer information, conversation details, and other pertinent particulars in the world of any customer-facing team are ever-changing. Entry fields on SugarCRM and other systems of record like your marketing automation tools and other databases need to be consolidated to give you a full customer view. Not having your data up to date will net you some losses. The time cost and opportunities lost because of outdated data can't be understated.
  2. Unlocks more opportunities

    Data powers you to not only bring the best out of the current customer stage. Especially in B2B sales, deals are long and complicated–they definitely don't end after the first call. Having access to all customer history and information from marketing, customer support, IT, and other departments gives you the edge in planning and forecasting your opportunities and unlocking more channels.
  3. Supercharges analytics

    Analytics is the oil that greases the wheels of business. When you're stuck or having a business issue, looking at the numbers and the dashboards allows managers and top-level execs to see the whole picture and build deeper insights to formulate a plan of action. Having information all in one place makes it easier to spot causations that permeate different areas of the business.

 

Most businesses these days still suffer from the "problem" of too many tools. You can't let go of them because they all serve their unique purposes. However, having data all over the place is throwing a wrench at your productivity and streamlining efforts.

 

Tenfold connects your phone system to SugarCRM and unifies it with all your other systems of record, allowing you to acquire, maintain, and create long-lasting customer relationships.

 

Interested in how Tenfold works with Sugar? Here's a video! Also, please check out the data sheet attached to this blog post to get more details on how Tenfold supercharges SugarCRM.

 

 

Click here to schedule a consult with one of our integration specialists.

Sales have always been about building relationships and adding value. Sales acceleration and automation tools truly help streamline selling activities, but nothing will replace the impact of authentic interaction and building trust over time.

 

This is why sales organizations must always seek to level up their connection with prospects, leads, and customers. Letting them know they’re valued should be top of mind in all interactions with sales reps.

 

To keep this chain of value-giving rolling beyond the initial call, a way to level up meaningful conversations and continuously add value is by taking down detailed notes.

 

This is key especially when you’re working with larger accounts in B2B sales that would require multiple touches before getting to the closing stage. Coordinating efforts to build trust and add value can only be done if call notes are accessible to everyone, keeping the team on the same page.

Value of note-taking in sales

Sure, sales reps might say that they are able to retain all important details from calls and diligent note-taking is another blocker that hastens their process. However, looking at note-taking as an insignificant activity puts your team in threat of dropping potentially long-term clients and larger deals which would need multiple follow-ups -- and follow-ups are where these notes shine.

 

Any sales rep who knows that phone conversations trump other channels of communication will attest that in order to warm up calls, you need to have at least some information from the prior call, even if it was brief. A single piece of information–even the prospect’s previous comment about the weather–can change the mood of a call, impacting its outcome.

Important notes to take:

  • Actionable follow-ups

  • Changes in the lead’s contact record

  • Key pieces of contextual information

  • Feedback on product, sales, or customer support

 

Connect Sugar to your phone system for better call notes

 

Updating entries on Sugar can be drastically improved by bridging the gap between your phone and your computer. Computer-telephony integration tools like Tenfold connect SugarCRM to any existing phone system you might have, allowing you to take call notes right on a floating UI (screen pop) that appears each time there’s an outbound or inbound call.

A lot of information often falls through when a rep has to transfer notes to the CRM because they manually took them down on Notepad or TextEdit, not to mention the lost time spent on manual data entry. CTI solutions automatically log call data on Sugar and also allow reps to not have to pull up a separate application when a call comes in or is made. 

 

To see how a solution like Tenfold can help you take better notes among other benefits, you may schedule a free demo with us.

 

Final thoughts

The importance of note-taking in driving the sales process cannot be overstated. As a tool to make it happen, CTIs let your team leverage the details and efficiencies of saving all prospect and customer information combined with the strategic change of ensuring the whole team is up to date on the status of a deal. Taking notes and doing it efficiently at scale will turn more prospects into customers.