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Every business relies on tasks, calls and meetings as well as key dates and deadlines to develop successful and profitable relationships. Sugar is a fantastic tool that helps to collect and manage all your customer data.

 

The flexible structure of Sugar data allows for creating tasks, calls and meetings related to any CRM object, both standard (Account, Contact, Task, Quote, Opportunity, etc.) and custom.

 

Sugar Studio allows easy adding of new date-time fields into regular or custom modules where needed. In addition to standard fields such as “Opportunity/RLI expected close date” and “Quota valid until”, you can add a set of useful key dates such as the following:

  • Return to target – Renewing the contact with a prospect who asked you not to disturb them for a set period of time
  • Opportunity postpone until – Do not disturb the customer during the requested period of time
  • Covenant check date – Ensure all agreements were completed in the agreed time
  • Invoice due date – Receive money according to contract terms
  • Subscription renewal – Continuation of subscription with an existing customer
  • Contract renewal - Renewal of the contract for a new term
  • Expected NPS survey date – Collection of important customer feedback

 

Of course, every company is unique and has its own set of key dates and deadlines. However, each company faces the same challenge: the more of these they utilize, the more they need to see all these dates in a serial stream alongside planned activities. This is regardless of what CRM entity they were planned with or placed in or which CRM user or information system have issued them.

 

All of the above drive one key immutable aspect of our daily lives: when we plan our day or a particular visit to the customer, when we review our pipeline or prepare a marketing campaign, and, of course, when we answer an unexpected customer call, we need the right data. The Sugar add-on Need ToDo Viewer makes this simple by monitoring activities and deadlines of all related entities at any level where you need them: the main dashboard, a list view or record view.

You can see not only key dates but also a business-oriented description that helps you to derive maximum information without digging into details. This may be the status of a task or a meeting address with an active link to Google Maps, a sales stage of opportunity or its total amount. It’s up to you; the configuration options are numerous.

 

Better awareness leads to fewer mistakes; fewer mistakes lead to more efficient planning. All of this together contributes to higher overall efficiency in CRM users’ work. Automatic display of data-related entities significantly saves time and facilitates their work, which positively impacts user adoption.

 

See? Isn’t that simpler?

 

Would you like to see the above in action? Click here for the webinar replay.

Surely by now, you’ve conducted many surveys using trial and error. Every time you send one anticipating a certain number of responses, more often that not you end up disappointed. The bitter truth? People don’t like filling them out. Even if they start a survey, most of them abandon it halfway if they find it long. After all, what’s in it for them?

 

But for you, their responses are crucial in achieving your sales targets. Asking the right questions in a survey can enhance solutions as well as your brand value, but to turn this scenario into a reality, increasing survey response rates is a must.

 

Let’s look at how you can do just that.

 

Maintain Transparency

 

There is nothing wrong with displaying the final outcome of your survey. We’d actually suggest doing so. This way, you provide an opportunity for customers to better know you and your brand in depth. This works best if you are planning to conduct a series of surveys to improve your services or product. Responders would be happy to help you out by filling out surveys knowing they are getting better products as a result.

 

If you are using Sugar, then you can directly send surveys from your CRM using the Sugar CRM survey module. Using this tool, you will be able to create interactive reports to better comprehend and utilize your data.

 

Include Incentives

 

Let’s be honest: incentives work. Everyone likes getting something in return for helping others out. Incentives are a great way to work cross-sell or upsell your products, too. Offer them a free membership, an extended product usage period, free access to your other products, or even financial rewards such as gift cards if your company policy permits and you are in a position to do so.

 

Respect their Privacy

 

A year ago, GDPR took effect, and it changed our perception of how we can collect customers’ data. Now more than ever, customers are concerned about their data and privacy. Even more reason to use the SugarCRM survey tool, which offers GDPR compliant survey forms. This way, users know their data is safe and can not be used anywhere without their consent.

 

Reduce their Hurdles

 

When conducting a series of surveys, it is important to use a data pipeline feature which is provided in major SugarCRM survey modules. Using this feature, you will be providing users with pre-filled survey forms, reducing data entry on their part. For example, if your survey has five questions and two of them are their names and numbers that were provided in a previous survey, then you can send them pre-filled surveys.

 

Less equals more!

 

Maintain Relevancy

 

Your responders don’t want to answer questions that are not relevant to them. A simple example might be when you pose a question for finance as well as the IT industry in your survey. If the person identifies as finance, the next question should be finance-related. You can apply skip logic here which helps you set the chronological order of questions and assists in making your surveys more relevant and interactive.

 

Mobile First!

 

It’s widely known that people spend most of their consuming content via mobile devices. As a result, your survey needs to be mobile responsive. It doesn’t have to be extensively graphical to be appealing to them, either—keep it simple and easy to use.

 

Conclusion

 

Surveys are meant to be simple. A good survey response rate is 85% (43 responses for every 50 surveys sent.) Keep the surveys short and on-point to up your response rate. And to really take your survey game to the next level, utilize Sugar CRM survey tools and plugins with features like data-piping, skip logic, etc.

Good luck!

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) was built with an intent to keep all the customer data at one place. Aiming to make some of the business operations smoother and streamlined. But we all know how CRM has become more than just customer data storing software. Now, you can conduct almost all of your business operations with CRM and there is no bar set for its advancement.

 

Sugar, a CRM which is widely adopted by approximately 2 million users around the globe, is continuing the advancement in the CRM industry one step further. Sugar recently hit a major milestone with the release of Sugar 9. All the new advancements are developed with one goal in mind: Business-Acceleration. They want a smooth for their users and provide them with a powerful platform to collaborate. Their users will now be able to understand communicate effectively with their customer data resulting in better, informed and quick decisions.

 

Sugar developed Sugar 9 keeping these three business accelerators in mind: Collaborate More, Know More, and Do More. Sugar 9 sounds really promising and is worth upgrading to. But first, let’s dive deep to understand this launch properly.

 

Here is what’s inside it:

 

Collaborations:

Communicating is critical. Especially when it is with your customers. In the new Sugar 9, you can now leverage their enhanced email features and make use of group outbound emails. On the other hand, there’s a comment log which enables you to have searchable conversations associated with specific CRM records. Plus, they have introduced the emoji support throughout Sugar in order to enhance the way you communicate with your customers and vice versa.

 

Deep Analysis:
To help make decisions faster, Sugar 9 has increased the number of re-usable reports which you can as the basis for your personalized reports. You can include a ton of visuals in your reports to present data more accurately. Plus, you can export these reports as CSV as well. Additionally, they have integrated Pendo. It helps to make decisions easier based on the whole data without any direct access to customer’s confidential data.

 

More Opportunities:
In the new version of Sugar 9, you can manage and customize quotes, their description, and shipping information with their all-new upgrade-safe capabilities. Secondly, sellers can utilize Product Catalog Quickpicks Dashlet to add their most frequently quoted line items to quotes. Other than that, you can fill out and send email templates on updates records with SugarBPM engine’s newly added features.

 

Other than these, other updates include added platform support, and most importantly the developers have improved the overall performance of Sugar that allows you to access your information more quickly!

 

To leverage the new capabilities of Sugar 9 you can make use these products which are already compatible with Sugar 9.

 

Survey Rocket: This Sugar CRM survey plugin help you modernize your way of conducting surveys. It’s a one-stop survey solution as you can manage and run your survey campaigns from the CRM itself.

 

Trash Bin: With this product, you can easily restore the deleted CRM data whenever required. Other than that, it sends you notifications whenever there is an event of deleting the data.

 

Dynamic Login Screen Pro: To get customized login screens on your CRM login screen, you can use Dynamic Login screen pro which is now compatible with Sugar 9.

 

There are many other upgrades offered with this update which you can check out here.

The modern Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System is becoming increasingly more prominent in today’s workforce. It stores and analyzes your data providing you with insights into your next steps so that you always put your client first. To do this, remember that a CRM isn’t just a tool for the sales team, it needs to be adopted by all departments to be most effective. That means sales, marketing, customer service and management should all be collaborating and contributing to your CRM. However, when it comes to customer service a lot of companies have a huge blind spot. It exists in their business process and even their CRM data. It’s the call centre.

The call centre is a central part of customer service. Not only does it have the most contact with your customers but it has customer contact at pivotal moments. Customers call when something goes wrong, when something isn’t working, when they have a grievance of some sort or simply when they need some information. How these calls are handled are vital to overall customer satisfaction and retention.

As a result, it goes without saying that such a key role should be provided with every tool necessary for success in order to keep your customers happy. However, this branch of most companies often gets neglected. Stop that today by applying your CRM to your call centre.

Here are some ways in which a CRM can keep your call centre on top:

Customer Profiles

CRMs arrange your captured data into profiles. They list customer information all in one place:

  • contact information
  • social media accounts
  • purchase history
  • engagement activity
  • communications with your company

It stores a wealth of information and this pertinent data becomes increasingly valuable with each customer service interaction. When a customer service rep knows exactly who they are talking to as well as their history they can anticipate needs and arrive at a solution much faster. This data driven approach eliminates the need for customers to re-enter information that your company already has thereby increasing customer satisfaction.

Tickets

With a CRM you can implement a ticketing system. This means that every issue is logged under its own unique ticket. From there every communication, action and resolution associated with that issue can be logged under that specific ticket. That way call centre reps know exactly what the issue is and what was done before so that they don’t repeat steps and instead can quickly get to the next solution. It is also a valuable tool for historical purposes. Tickets can be logged under a customer’s individual profile to keep account of all of the issues they have had in the past.

Mobility

Mobile phones have revolutionized the way we do business. Not only does it allow customers to purchase from wherever they are, but businesses have had to adapt to provide messaging that is compatible with these devices. Further to that, mobile devices have allowed businesses to implement multimedia into their customer service platforms. Customers can now provide images and videos when contacting customer service. By leveraging the actionable data that smartphones provide companies can then enhance the conversational experience between them and their customers. The potential that comes with the mobile phone is so great that many companies have even opted to include a customer service feature in their own mobile apps.

Automation

We have all heard the keywords associated with CRM like machine learning, artificial intelligence and even deep learning, but the goal of each is to provide intelligent automation. With this you can increase your call centre’s effectiveness and identify opportunities where your call centre can improve. For instance, something as simple as queuing customer calls. Getting calls routed to the right queue the first time gets your customers helped, and on their way, faster. You want to ultimately guide your customers to a resolution as fast as you can and automation is the way to do so.

Your call centres shouldn’t be a blind spot, they are opportunities to turn a negative customer impression into a positive one and should be handled with care and attention. Implement a robust CRM that keeps your call centres operating at maximum efficiency.

CRM aka customer relationship management software enhances your brand's relationship with your customers.

 

In today's information hungry and want everything on fingertips age, it's important to understand your customers first. Because then only you will be able to serve to their delight otherwise you wouldn't be able to keep your customers for a longer time.

 

Once you understand your customers and their behavior, you can utilize your CRM to manage all customer-related information including their personal information, all sorts of interactions, etc.

 

With every shred of data stored at a single place, it will be easier for you to automate and personalize campaigns, nurture the lead cycle, enhance the communication between your customers, etc.

 

Whatever you strive to accomplish, it's dependent on how well you know your customers.

 

And surveys can be the best way to know your customers and take advantage of your CRM systems. CRM and survey is the best combination for enhancing the capabilities of CRM and expand your market reach. It helps you build strategies to make a win-win situation for business and customers.

 

Here is how a survey plugin can help you get the best out of your CRM and its data:

 

Lead Capturing & Enhancing:

 

Ever wonder why customers show interest in your products/services? What exactly caught their attention?

 

Surveys can be the best way to get such answers.

 

While conducting surveys you could ask some of the basic questions like personal information, their company size, budget for your services, their position in the company, areas of interest, and other predefined questions which might indicate their stage in the sales funnel.

 

This is also a smart way to keep your CRM customer data up-to-date which is one of the essential elements for any business. Moreover, any additional data on customers can help you bifurcate your customers in various segments of the sales funnel. Plus, it is easy to cover the users who are not into your CRM with the sharable surveys. This way, you can brodern the survey reach and can add new customers your business bubble.

 

CRM Survey tools can help you shorten the duration of your sales cycle and hence increasing the profit margins.

 

Pro Tip: While you send surveys to your customers to update their personal information and their requirements, objectives, make sure that you send pre-filled surveys with already available data using data piping feature in survey modules.

 

Optimized Feedback System:

 

There are important touchpoints in the customer lifecycle where you need to seek customer’s response. And surveys are the best way to do so. Surveys have been a huge hit with the companies which give more weight to customer satisfaction. These surveys can be a great way to generate fruitful results from the collected feedback.

 

By integrating SugarCRM survey module to your SugarCRM, you can define a set of questions for various types of surveys to be sent at major events. Those touch points can include post-purchase, after customer service, upon renewal, and even after cancellation.

 

When you pay attention at multiple points you can enhance the quality of the customer journey. It might strengthen the weak points your customers face which can add delight to their satisfaction. This step would allow you to create personalized plans for sales, customer success, support teams, and marketing teams to understand and target the customers efficiently.

 

With such feedbacks, you can easily set performance benchmarks for your teams to achieve making your organization an effective ecosystem where everyone is on the same page.

 

Transparency on Customer Behaviour:

 

A smart and automated approach to tackle your customers’ response is through surveys. If you get a negative response from your customers, you can send an automated email which says “How can we help you?” The sooner you respond to their negative feedback, the easier it is to reconstruct your brand image with them. Also, the customer would think twice before leaving your brand.

 

You can set key indicators to help you bifurcate them before sending out surveys. When a customer is done filling out the contact forms or surveys based on the gathered information, your sales team can send out a personalized response. And if the data indicates towards the bigger budget client, you could simply make some extra efforts to identify the possible business opportunities.

 

In short, when there is a sensible data in your CRM, your customers feel like you are conversing with them every step of the buying cycle.

 

Accurate CRM Data:

 

When it comes to Surveys, it helps you declutter your data at a larger extent. To do so, the key here is to conduct net promoter score surveys from your CRM. It is a great way to quantify your efforts and make sure to identify opportunities within your existing customer base. In Net promoter surveys, you identify any company’s happy as well as frustrated customers and further you can take actions accordingly.

 

You can collaborate with your support team & pre-define the emails/messages that go out to your customers based on their responses. For example, if the customer had a negative experience, your sales team can send them a support email. The same way you can ask customers to post a review if they had a satisfactory experience with your services. This way you’ll get great data to help you understand the quality of your services and how your business is doing in the market.

 

By sending NPS surveys through your CRM software, you can easily detect the promoters and detractors and set an action course accordingly. If a promoter is identified, your CRM can automatically request the customer to post a positive review on the site of your choice. In addition to setting internal benchmarks, the ubiquity of NPS surveys means you get to chase industry benchmarks.

Get the most out of your SugarCRM

Every company’s need is different. To make sure you manage your data in a better way, combine your business with SugarCRM survey module to effectively gain insights and opportunities for your business.

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!

The first-ever survey was a census conducted in 3800 BCE in the city of Babylon. We’ve come a long way since then. Surveys give us measurable statistics of public opinion which would otherwise be difficult to make sense of. As business practices become more and more customer-centric, surveys become integral parts of decision-making.

Online surveys have optimized the methods of surveying to be better suited for the internet age. You can obtain critical information by offering small incentives to the person that you’re surveying. Surveys impact everything from the market research to day-to-day decision making.

Even a simple survey can be beneficial in many ways. Increased ROI, enhanced customer experience, a better understanding of targeted customer segment, and proper knowledge of customer buying habits and current trends. It is possible to gather all this data and take an informed decision based on it.

Why you need the proper tool to conduct online surveys

Did you know, you can add a survey plugin to your SugarCRM?! This lets you use your CRM database to conduct surveys. A survey tool is more than a fancy toy for your analysts. The right survey tool will enable you to get specific details dynamically.

It can be an overwhelming experience to choose correctly from such a wide range of tools. To ease the process for you, we have listed out 8 must-have features in an online survey tool.

 

8 Must-Have Features in an Online Survey Tool:

Skip Logic:

 

Skip logic lets you ask questions based on the previous responses of the prospect. This makes the survey more dynamic. You can collect information that is specific to a particular customer segment. It may even help you to identify new customer segments.

For example, you may ask the gender of the customer. After that, you can use skip logic to ask gender-specific questions. It is an elegant solution for when you’re surveying a diverse set of individuals.

 

Real-Time Feedback: It is important that your survey tool updates all information in real time. This enables you to take prompt decisions.

It is necessary, particularly in today’s time and age, as clients have come to expect instant response from companies. Delayed feedback may lead to unsatisfied customers which in turn leads to poor rep among your prospective clients. Prompt action will take you a long way.

Data-Piping:

 

Data piping to and from CRM are important features. Data-piping from CRM lets you fetch data directly from the CRM and fill it in the survey automatically. Similarly, data-piping to CRM automatically updates the data in your CRM based on information acquired through surveys.

Data-piping makes it convenient for both your users and you to manage information. A person is likely to abandon a survey form midway if there are too many questions. Data-piping helps you avoid that by reducing the number of questions asked to a certain extent.

Advanced Search Filters: Once you have acquired the required data, you need to be able to analyze it in detail. You can use the same survey to understand multiple areas of interest. All you need is a search filter that lets you search and sort the data based on different factors.

 

This may include partial searches or searches for entries without a specific value. This way, you can easily navigate through the large records. Which is near impossible in some cases where the number of people taking the survey is huge.


Net Promoter Score:

 

When you ask a customer to rate you on a scale, there are always going to be an ambiguity in the data. NPS allows you to categorize the customers into three segments based on ratings on a scale of 0 to 10. People who gave a rating of 0 to 6 are Detractors, 7 and 8 are Passives, and 9 to 10 are your Promoters.

This helps you get an idea of network effects by putting a number on how likely a customer is to recommend your product.

 

Exportable Data: You may need to have the data handy in specific formats or print when documenting or presenting it. It should be easy to export the data in the required format from the survey tool itself. It is a simple feature that makes life much easier for anyone involved with the analysis, reporting and decision making that goes on in the firm.

It is equally important that you’re able to update the exported copies with up-to-date information from the real-time values in your CRM.

Survey Automation: Any competent survey tool will allow users to schedule surveys or trigger them based on certain user actions. For example, you might want to take a survey about quality and experience when a customer makes a purchase. This is only possible through CRM survey tools integrated with the CRM.

Survey automation is a must when the number of people signing up for your survey is large. If you try manually sending each and every survey form, you’ll probably end up in a huge mess.

Multiple Question Types: Based on the question, you may require different formats for answers such as text, radio buttons, check boxes, rating scale, etc. It helps keep the survey interactive while extracting the required information in formats that are easier to process.

A text response might be better suited for certain responses such as subjective messages but it may not be suitable for gender or food preferences where a multiple-choice question would be more appropriate.

 

Conclusion:

If we tried to make an exhaustive list of features, it would probably be endless and as such a vain exercise. However, the above-listed features are absolutely necessary for a modern survey tool. Without them, your surveys might become difficult to handle, particularly in large numbers. So, make sure that the survey tool you choose has everything on the checklist.

Another important thing to keep in mind before investing in any CRM survey tool is that there should be no 3rd party integrations required to operate the survey tool. There are many survey modules in the market like SugarCRM Survey Module specifically designed to integrate with your CRM.

According to Gartner, there will be more than 25 billion connected things by 2020. It means the Internet of Things is going to be a huge connected network between people-to-people, people-to-things, and things-to-things. It is not only connecting with us more, it is also changing the way we live. Whether we prefer to notice it or not, yet IoT is transforming our surroundings and will keep on doing it.

 

Now, let’s talk about CRMs. In earlier days, the focus of CRMs was to reduce the cost around customer acquisition, retention, and servicing them. Now, it has customer portals that look after saving time and resources along with cost cutting. It also strives to provide quality of services to customers. Sugar CRM facilitates enterprises by enabling them to build customer portals to better their engagement.

 

Blending Automation with Convenience
So, IoT is changing the way people live and Sugar CRM is changing the way enterprise work. Now what if they both work together? This synergy will create an environment of predictive and preventive functionalities that send alert for future actions. Such a system will notify your customers in advance before they face any problem and provide a service or solution to the issues they might face in the near future. IoT will decode the buying pattern of the customer in real-time, and it will help the SugarCRM Customer Portal or application to include them in the right marketing campaign.

Is it possible?
Yes, it is possible to use 'Internet of Things' and integrate it with SugarCRM Customer Portal and applications. The major three components of IoT can generate huge benefits for organizations if it works in sync with CRM. These three important components of IoT that your Sugar CRM solution can optimize are:

  • Sensors
  • Wireless Internet Connectivity
  • Computational Capability at the Device i.e. Data Processing Capability

3 Different Scenarios Where IoT is Taking the Customer Experience to The Next Level.

  • A customer’s hearing aid instruments battery is malfunctioning. There is a need for it to replace that within next few days. Here IoT will notify about the status of the machine. This will allow the staff to inform the customer proactively and update him. They can communicate with them that the instrument’s battery is having some issues, and it needs replacement soon. It will help a customer to replace the battery, and they will not face any problem while using the product.
  • A customer’s hearing aid instrument is under warranty period and not working properly. Again, IoT will help the company to know about this issue. Hence, the customer service representative can call the customer and talk about it. Or they can straight away replace the instrument since it is not working properly and it is under warranty period.
  • The customer is not using certain new incorporated features of an instrument because of some reason. Here, IoT analytics will come into the role and will raise an alert. Now the support team can call and ask for a session or training. So that he/she will get awareness of those new features and customer can start using it.

How SugarCRM Takes These IoT Alerts for Next Level Customer Experience?

  • Company can design their Sugar CRM application to share this data. It can also trigger informative information that certain features of the product are in use for a one time. SugarCRM application will integrate this information and will send a notification to the team.
  • The flexibility of Sugar CRM will also allow to render this information in another manner. It also drives the system to generate a service case where the system will register a support call automatically to the customer. The system will assign it to a service representative automatically, who will make a call to the customer to update the problem, or ask for other services.

In any of the way, a customer will be happy that the Product Company is taking a preventive action, and providing service promptly before they face any issue. It will help you to gain the customer’s confidence in your services, products, and increase their satisfaction level as well.

IoT with SugarCRM can also help sales and marketing functions in multiple ways. Real-time data generated by IoT will you to help understand in numerous ways. It will tell you usage of the product, buying patterns of the customer, opportunities for cross-selling and up selling, deciding flexible pricing, etc. Your sales team can analyze the IoT generated data to decide future campaigns by knowing the right customers.

It will help them reduce the cost in terms of market research. This data can also help the marketing function to identify those customers, who are not using your products anymore. For such customers, you can run separate campaigns, or invite them for trade shows and product launch programs, and try to retain them.

So, why wait? Leverage the power of IoT and Sugar CRM and get the best out of your business. It will make the work flow faster and user friendly. This will also stay helpful for your staff and assist them to boost their productivity.

View Source: Sugar CRM and IoT: The Synergy That Will Drive the Next Level Customer Experience 

When it comes to software, every business has a unique set of needs. In an attempt to create the perfect solution to those needs, most companies end up cobbling together a collection of products that includes a CRM, an ERP, a sales and marketing suite, and an email solution. While these individual pieces function just well enough to get the job done, the companies who use them don’t realize just how inefficient it can be to switch between these tools.

In the course of an average day, salespeople switch from their CRM to their email hundreds of times. Each time, they lose a few precious seconds of productivity while the software is loading and they’re reorienting themselves to a different layout. When you multiply these seconds by dozens of employees, those seconds quickly become hours (or even days) of needlessly lost time.

But when you connect your company’s most essential tools through software integration, you’re doing more than streamlining workflows. You’re saving your company serious amounts of money. So how do you fully integrate these tools to yield the greatest possible benefits for your business?

Make It Fit Your Needs

Combining your software should make things easier, not harder. Connecting two platforms isn’t that helpful if your ultimate result isn’t a simplified workflow. Ideally, you should integrate your software in a way that allows your team to share and update between both tools.

Any platform integration should start with a thorough examination of your company’s processes, and you should look for opportunities when integration makes the most sense. Once you know where the disconnects are, it becomes easier to identify the integrations that will provide the best results.

Streamline Your Processes

If you want to understand the least efficient parts of your company’s software setup, here’s the best place to start: Find the people who have to deal with that software every day. Then ask them about the most frustrating issues they encounter when using these platforms. Since they know exactly where the cracks and roadblocks are, get their feedback about how their workflows can be improved.

If the current workflow requires them to manually enter the same new customer information into two systems (for example, your ERP and CRM), they will be the first people to point out how inefficient this process is.

Get the Most from Both Platforms

When it comes to integrating your company’s most-used software, boosting worker efficiency isn’t the only benefit you’ll get from integrating your company’s most-used software. You can also improve your operations across the board, which provides your employees with new insights and tools. By removing the barriers between these various systems, your teams will have everything they need in one place.

One great example of this consolidation involves integrating a CRM solution (such as Sugar) with a sales-and-marketing platform like HubSpot). Need to see which types of marketing initiatives are resonating with a specific customer? If you simply select a HubSpot dashlet within Sugar, all of that vital marketing data is right at your fingertips.

In fact, we offer this exact integration here at Intelestream. It’s called HubSpot for Sugar®.

Conclusion

By utilizing software integration, you’re doing more than just improving the efficiency of your workflows. You’re changing the center of gravity for your business. You’re helping your teams succeed in ways that would never have been possible before. And that’s a smart investment for your business.

The more you know about marketing automation (MA), the better it sounds. What’s not to like? It’s a software solution that takes care of the most repetitive and mind-numbing parts of managing your company’s marketing work.

Marketing automation provides you with real visibility into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, which allows you to pinpoint exactly what works (and what doesn’t). So for any company looking to maximize their results, it sounds like the perfect solution.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that every marketing automation solution isn’t the perfect fit for every company or use case. Since your company’s needs and goals should inform your decision-making process, we’re going to zoom out a little, and explore some of the finer points of marketing automation you might not have thought about.

Get the most from both your CRM and your marketing automation software. Read our Total CRM whitepaper.

  1. There’s more to marketing automation than email blasts.

The best automation tools allow you to fine tune every part of your marketing process—from A/B testing every element of your communications to writing content that targets prospects along specific stages of the pipelines.

  1. It delivers great results for businesses of every size.

Even relatively small businesses with specialized products for niche industries can benefit from MA. Are you worried that your company just isn’t big enough to see real benefits from marketing automation? If so, think again. Some marketing automation tactics actually work more effectively with small and midsize businesses.

  1. Automation doesn’t mean your marketing is on autopilot.

Marketing automation is about eliminating tedious tasks, not letting a machine captain your ship. It allows a marketer to have more time to test ideas, explore new options, and scale operations. But there will always need to be a human hand at the helm.

  1. Time is money, and marketing automation saves you both.

Marketing is a detail-focused job, which requires extensive planning skills and a strong creative streak. The more people they reach, the better the company’s bottom line will be. If a technology helps streamline workflows and other processes, it will directly translate into more revenue.

  1. The more streamlined your marketing process is, the more efficient your operation becomes.

Many companies don’t prioritize their marketing technology. While the rest of the company is using modern ERP and CRM technology, the marketing team is stuck using tools that date back to the days of print media and slow everything down. By fully integrating a new marketing automation solution with the tools used by other teams, the entire company gets a major efficiency boost.

  1. Marketing automation takes the headache out of both tracking and targeting.

Without the right tools, it’s hard to identify customer segments. It’s basically impossible to follow prospects as they move through the funnel. So if you have a properly-designed marketing automation solution, you can accomplish both of these goals right out of the box, and you’ll have deep insights into every aspect of your customers.

  1. It scales with your business.

Before the advent of marketing automation technology, scaling your marketing operation was a challenge. The only option was to hire new people and give them a bigger budget. Today, one skilled marketer can handle the same amount of work that used to require a dozen or more people. MA makes it exponentially easier to scale the marketing side of any business.

  1. Lead qualification becomes a stress-free process.

The less time your sales team has to spend on qualifying leads, the more time they have to make sales. By automating the first several interactions with potential customers, marketing automation software essentially allows leads to qualify themselves.

  1. Real-time monitoring allows you to quickly respond to changes and challenges.

When something isn’t working with your marketing, you need to know about it as soon as possible. By properly setting up the alerts and dashboards on your marketing automation software, you’ll be able to see and respond to trends and changes long before they become serious problems.

  1. To learn more about your customers, test everything.

Even tiny tweaks to an email or social media post can result in double-digit changes to conversions. By using your marketing automation tools for A/B testing, you can discover exactly which messaging, images, and CTAs generate the best responses from your customers.

  1. Great results require quality content that is delivered at the perfect time.

When a new prospect enters your company’s marketing funnel, he or she actually takes a guided tour through your company’s most compelling selling points. Marketing automation allows you to target exactly what these prospects learn during each stage of the funnel. This benefit weeds out the prospects who aren’t ready to buy. It also sends the ones who are ready to the sales team.

  1. Results are only as good as the quality of your data.

For any marketing automation solution to work as planned, clean data is essential. If you have dirty data in your CRM or related databases, it’s imperative that you work with your software implementation partners and scrub it until it shines. As your marketing operations bring in data about new leads, that information must also meet the highest possible standards, cleaning it up before it passes to other teams.

  1. Your competition is already doing it, or they will be soon.

Every company is looking for an edge, particularly when it comes to winning new customers. For companies that rely on emailing, digital advertising, retargeting, or social media to bring in new business, marketing automation tools are huge advantages. If you aren’t using marketing automation to drive your results, you’re only making it easier for the other guy to reach them first.

marketing automation

Twitter has revolutionized the way brands engage with audiences across the world. It’s inclusive algorithm lets you identify and reach out to numerous customers across the world, thereby increasing brand awareness and engagement in leaps and bounds. According to a recent study, Twitter was one of the most lucrative outlet when it comes to increasing website visits through social media. The fact that tweets appear everywhere irrespective of whether or not a consumer is associated with your brand helps this cause, and the added SEO juice it brings is just the cherry on top.

But the true benefit of Twitter lies in how it helps businesses offer world-class customer service. Customer experience has cemented itself as the number one priority to drive business growth and businesses left, right, and center have hopped onto the bandwagon, making customer service an absolute necessity for companies looking to float. But how do you make the most of Twitter and its capabilities to ensure it makes a positive impact for your business? Well, with a Twitter Integration with SugarCRM.

Social CRM is no secret, and you can take a look at our comprehensive take on Social CRM and its benefits. But for today, we’re going to focus entirely on how a Twitter Integration with SugarCRM can help you revolutionize customer support and consequently improve customer experience. Let’s begin!

Quick Response Time

The constant mainstay in every customer experience strategy is the response time. Integrating Twitter with your SugarCRM will help you churn out all brand mentions and conversations inside your SugarCRM, from there you can automate a number of tasks i.e. initial contacts via direct messaging, replies, and more to improve your response rate. Let’s say someone has a below average experience with your brand, integrating your Twitter with SugarCRM will help the latter track and identify when a user talks about your brand and help improve the customer experience. This information will be fed through SugarCRM to you in real-time and you can then take necessary actions to retain or reward the customer based on the situation. You can also use chatbots to automate this initial process if you’re serving to a range of audiences. In this particular case, the chatbot takes care of the customer by analyzing his problem and giving him the satisfaction of knowing that the brand took the issue under consideration. While the chatbot contains the customer, you can work on finding the right solution to his problem. However, if you go about doing this without integrating it with your SugarCRM, you’d have multiple queries every minute and absolutely no mechanism in place to organize and deal with them.

Monitor Brand Mentions and Engagement

With SugarCRM, you can fetch out brand mentions, keywords that are associated with your brand, as well as phrases and comments. This might not seem so much but when you factor in the fact that these mentions could be in the hundreds of thousands, you begin to see the picture that all this data could be directed into the CRM to find meaningful insights and details about customers and their experience with your brand. Perhaps some customers might be having an issue with your website layout, which is something your web team might not consider as an issue. Monitoring these conversations and mentions of your brand can help you identify issues with your product, services, and support that you might otherwise be oblivious to.

Connect with Influencers and Brand Advocates

You can also use all this customer data to good use by identifying brand advocates in your customer base. These are everyday people who are regular users of your products and services. With meaningful insights into their behaviors, you can up-sell and cross-sell to them in ways that seem natural and convincing. You can also monitor industry experts and leaders and engage with them in real-time when they mention your brand.

Over to You!

Twitter Integration with SugarCRM can help you make considerable strides in your attempt towards a more improved and inclusive customer support and experience. The features of this integration highlighted above make for a compelling case in this regard. As 2/4th of the customer base find their footing on social media, it’s only logical that you put a system in place that lets you gather insights in your customer’s perception of your brand.

According to Gartner, CRM hit a major milestone at the close of 2017 when it became the largest of all software markets. While projections show that this won’t be changing anytime soon, companies struggle to find value in their CRM, thus concluding they invested in the “wrong one,” and begin to search for the right CRM. It’s a lot like Goldilocks and the three bowls of porridge – but the just right option doesn’t seem to exist.

 

Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

 

 

I regularly speak with companies that are on their second or third investment while searching for this just right CRM solution. What they don’t realize is that they may already have it. Oftentimes, taking a closer look at processes and other internal factors can improve the value of your current solution. But there are instances when it really is time to make a new investment.

Here are five common reasons we hear from organizations considering switching CRM systems and what you should consider before switching, too.

  1. “Everyone hates our current CRM solution.”

This one is a popular complaint – particularly, from salespeople if they’ve never used technology as part of their sales position.  They often feel like CRM is intrusive and time-consuming. Senior leadership needs to decide whether you should put a stake in the ground and make CRM required.

 

However, you also need to consider people and their processes. If your current solution doesn’t align to your team’s process, or if they don’t even have a process, then you might have missed the first step of implementing a solution: mapping out your team’s sales process.

 

 

It’s not as hard as you might think to map out your sales process. That first step is so worth it! You can then look to how a solution can make you and your team more effective. There’s gold in the hills – if you’re willing to do this work upfront.

  1. “We have very few people using our CRM solution.”

Let me guess: the sales leader hasn’t bought into the solution. Or if they have, they aren’t holding the team accountable for using it. If you’re thinking about switching CRM systems, and none of your team is using the old one, what will change when you move to a new one? Is this really going to motivate employees to use CRM?

 

 

There are instances whereby the mere mention of a specific solution’s name will leave a bad taste in your mouth. In these cases, maybe switching is the right move. But before you spend another dollar, let’s consider how to get your sales leader to hold the sales team accountable for using your current solution.

 

 

First, you need to sell the value of CRM to your team. This means that you need to show them how your current solution can make their jobs easier and how they can save time by automating tedious tasks.  You also need to make sure your solution works with your team’s other technologies such as email or marketing software and accounting software. Regular training is the key. Make sure your team is getting the training they need and remember that everyone learns differently. 

If you’re looking for an incentive carrot, take, for example, BrainSell’s spiff program. If one or more BrainSell salespeople close a sale in less than the average days it normally takes, then they get a spiff.  The only way to track your average closing period and get that spiff?  Use CRM.

 

 

We have a saying here at BrainSell: if it’s not in CRM, it never happened. We can’t claim a commission if it’s not recorded in our solution.

  1. “Our CRM solution is too big for us and we don’t use all of the features.”

Believe it or not, this happens. Someone wanted a fancy Mercedes and they only needed a Chevy. Either they were over sold (a good vendor won’t let that happen) or they over bought. You need to know your true requirements before buying.

 

 

Sometimes it’s better to spend a little money upfront and have an expert review your requirements, your process, and even your CRM users, to make sure you know what you need from a solution. It depends on your business’s unique current situation which solution is right for you.

 

 

If your solution is too large for your business’s needs, you need to check if it has a downgrade option, where some features can be turned off.

 

 

But first, you need to reevaluate your business. Maybe the features you don’t use can have a big impact on your business’s improvement? Those features were designed for a reason. Often times, if you take a closer look, you might find a hidden return on investment in those features.

  1. “A new person is leading our projects and they want to switch to a CRM solution that’s more familiar to them.”

For businesses with clients in place with your current solution, switching poses a big risk of losing a client that has a new stakeholder. If your solution is operating as expected, then switching for the sake of one person’s familiarity strikes me as a potential financial hit for the business as a whole. Consider these ramifications:

  • Users will need to learn a new system, and thus, a change in management is likely.
  • The risk of bad data migration is a cause for serious concern. Data can be corrupted or lost during this process.
  • The cost to migrate data from one solution to another is usually expensive, even when done right.
  • You may have to use and pay for two different solutions for a period of time while migrating data, which adds to the ultimate cost of the switch.
  • Users may end up rejecting the new solution anyway and this may put current business processes in peril. Yikes!

Of course, there are good reasons for why a new person would want you to switch! They may have concluded that you’ve outgrown your current solution, that more CRM horsepower could advance the company, that the current solution is too old, or that it’s time to follow the crowd to the cloud.

 

 

Companies in this position need an objective third-party resource to help with the decision to switch or not.  Partners who have multiple products in their portfolio can be an excellent resource. An independent consultant who has no allegiances to any one vendor is also an option – but this is hard to find. Even the large consulting houses have partnerships with the larger CRM vendors. (You know who you are!) Yet, smaller consulting companies probably have limited experience with multiple solutions.  

  1. “Our CRM solution is too expensive.”

If you simply don’t have the funds, then that’s that. But in the business world, “too expensive” should be directly related to return on investment. If you are only looking at the cost of the solution without considering how you can create a return on investment in the solution, then switching CRM systems or dumping it is short-sighted. It’s likely that businesses in this position need to review their financials and then determine how they can achieve the return they hope for.

 

 

With more than 25 years of experience, our unbiased approach to CRM consulting can help you decide if switching CRM systems is the right choice or if some reevaluation is all that’s needed. Struggling with finding your just right option? Contact us!