Pictures are worth 1,000 words, we have heard that before. So, should we try to make everything a picture? Well, it depends on what you are trying to convey. Understanding data sometimes requires filtering or moving fields around to try and make sense of what you have.
But ultimately if you can leverage visuals to quickly gain an understanding, assess situations, know where to focus and spend more time selling, it would be valuable. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.1 Let’s look a bit closer at what you might gain from a visual in an opportunity.
In the Accent CRM Supercharger visualization of an opportunity, your digital assistant provides a picture of a buying team seated at the table. We can quickly look and see a few things happening with this opportunity:
As a sales rep, you might say this looks healthy as on opportunity or decide to reach out to the more influential buyer to engage them a bit more. But ultimately and regardless of the action – a more accurate assessment can be made of this opportunity while planning with a quick decision on how much time to focus on it or move to the next one.
Without a sales rep having to do anything, the CRM Supercharger digital assistant painted an information-rich picture of the opportunity. This is only the beginning.
Andy - Accent Technologies, Inc.
Whether you’re upgrading from a homegrown customer relationship management (CRM) system or switching from one software provider to another, knowing exactly how to migrate your CRM can be a challenge.
But you can take comfort in knowing that most current CRM systems allow you to export the data from the application. From there, you can import the data, but to make a smooth transition, many steps are still required.
Wondering if it’s time to reboot your system? Find out how to know for sure here.
While the implementation process can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. There are helpful tools out there, and there are experts available who can make the transition less chaotic and stressful.
For a detailed walkthough, download our CRM Migration Checklist.
This tip seems simple, but it can often be overlooked. Whether you outgrew your old system or need a price change, you’re migrating your system for a reason. Before you dive headfirst into a CRM project, understand what you want your system to do.
Talk to your team about the functionalities your old system was missing, and the improvements they’d like to see. And make sure you aren’t duplicating your problems with the old system in the new one.
Migrating your CRM is a big deal. It will affect multiple departments, including all the people in them. There will be changes, training, and more training. So set realistic expectations for your CRM migration
Create a roadmap for the integration, and facilitate buy-ins. Most importantly, make sure everyone involved understands his or her role. If your team isn’t onboard with the migration, then it’s going to be a bumpy road.
One of the best things about CRM systems is that they’re highly customizable. While this perk is extremely helpful for your business, migrating your CRM requires a time commitment.
As you move forward, it’s important to know where you came from. So make a backup plan to ensure that you can always go back if you hit a snag along the way. You don’t want to have to start from scratch.
Before you start migrating your CRM, make sure your data is ready for transfer. It’s the perfect time to do some housecleaning, and get rid of some legacy data.
Migrating additional content (such as attachments, emails, and history records) might not be as simple as entering information into standard fields. If you’re handling the migration yourself, using a migration tool, or working with an outside vendor, make sure you understand how this data transfers over.
Did you forget something? Do you need to export a contact list? Are you missing a functionality you were hoping for? Speak now, or forever hold your peace.
This step might be the most important one. Don’t jump too far, too fast. To make the transition as smooth as possible, you should do multiple rounds of testing with your team. Then you can work out the kinks before you go live.
Even with the most valuable internal resources, migrating your CRM system can still be a challenge. My best advice is to partner with an expert, who can walk you through the migration process and train your team, especially your technical support.
Are ready to migrate? Or do you just have questions about what your next step is? Either way, contact us today!
Most of the time, customers avoid to answer surveys thinking it would eat up their valuable time. Are the organizations sending questionnaires and considering responses on the serious note? When it’s all about the big data, ignorance has no room. Survey can be a game changer if done correctly. Manage the contact list to build the strategies and decisions creating win-win situation!
We have analyzed the market scenario and listed some of the reasons responsible for low response rates of any survey.
In several cases, the ultimate reason of receiving low response rate is, the target market built is either inappropriate or holding incorrect contacts. Send customer feedback survey to helpful contacts by shrinking down the contact list for obtaining accurate survey results. If you are including customer centric questions in the survey, exclude the non-customer contacts like CEOs, managers, secretaries etc.
Involve your customers in the business specific surveys is #rule1 to make any marketing campaign successful. They are the important aspect of your sales cycle. Integrating them in the survey by letting them know your business plans and forthcoming strategies will ultimately help you offer them better customer satisfaction. Integrating customers will boost sales of the organizations seeking extensive growth and better business future.
Have you included the right and helpful questions in your questionnaire? Proper market research will let you prepare effectual survey questionnaire. It will get you the best and effective response from valuable customers. Keep the questions short and easy to understand.
You need to send the survey at the right time as it is important to know your customers when they are at their best. Inappropriate time may get you either wrong or non-desirable results. Considering the target market, set the time to send the survey questionnaire.
Prevent poor survey results affecting the business decision. Avoid making common mistakes to boost your sales with inaccurate customer feedbacks. Identify the reasons that spoil your customer surveys before it increases the count of unhappy customers.
CRM Return On Investment (ROI) is a complex topic. Many organizations are simply using ROI calculations to spice up presentations and aren’t using ROI metrics as a proven, valuable and trackable metric. Earlier this year, we heard Rebecca Watterson, of Nucleus Research, speak about CRM ROI at CRM Evolution 2018. Her organization uses research and innovation to construct a trusted CRM ROI calculation---and her ideas really stuck with us.
So what is the return on CRM? Surprisingly, it’s a flat model. For each dollar spent on CRM, the ROI increases by $8.71 (it doesn’t matter if you’re spending $10,000 or $1,000,000 on your CRM investment). Interestingly, this model changes based on other variables:
So whether you are presenting to your management team to invest in the deployment of a new CRM or you want to invest in an additional CRM project--here are four tips from UpCurve Cloud based on Nucleus Cloud’s research for presenting CRM ROI to your leadership team:
Rather than compiling a long list of all the benefits that your CRM implementation is going to deliver, focus on two or three really strong benefits. The term “less is more” rings true here. If you present more than five values, skeptics in the audience will start to wonder how much the CRM is really going to meet their expectations.
Acknowledge the elephant in the room and plainly state which benefits and savings are direct and which are indirect. Direct savings are those that are those cost reductions that are guaranteed or expected to happen as a result of the CRM implementation. Examples of direct savings include:
Indirect savings are those that are caused by an increased worker or manager productivity. Indirect benefits might include:
The reason this is important is that the believability of these factors depends on whether they are direct or indirect. Your team is more likely to believe direct factors, and by acknowledging their doubt, you can then directly address it.
When you can, use research to calculate your ROI. You may not be able to perform a research experiment directly within your organization--but be creative with how you define “research”. Some examples of credible research include:
If these types of research are unavailable to you, Nucleus Research suggested you should still always do an assessment--use benchmark data, educated guesses, and vendor estimated supplies. Any analysis is better than none.
As an employee at a CRM partner who has done over 1,000 implementations, and interviewed countless successful customers for case studies, I know that productivity improvements are a large source of success for many organizations using CRM systems. But, as Nucleus Research has found in their studies, everyone discounts indirect benefits such as productivity. By using a correction factor, everyone can agree on the initial benefit and then discount it to be conservative. This usually satisfies skeptics and financial managers.
This correction factor is explained by the fact that while a CRM tool does provide an employee with more time, what they do with that time is not always productive. Your correction factor is a number between 0 and 1 that you use to adjust the value of their increased productivity.
Assign a higher correction factor (.7 to .9) to people who are highly motivated to use saved time for additional work (such as sales reps and line workers). Use a lower correction factor for roles who are less likely to use saved time effectively (such as marketers). If you’re not sure, use .5 as an average and conservative measure. You can also calculate your ROI with different correction factors for sensitivity analysis into how productivity changes indirectly affect the total ROI of your project.
We’re curious to see what further innovation Nucleus Research brings to the industry’s thoughts on ROI. Nucleus Research has produced a CRM ROI calculation tool for your CRM implementation. You can download it here or to learn more about CRM financial modeling, reach out to us here.
This article was originally published on UpCurve Cloud's blog.
In 2014, Accent Technologies set out on a mission to build an assistive technology that actually helps reps sell. It wasn’t a mission to build a CRM but rather an extension of Sales Enablement and a dive into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) realm that would ultimately enhance the CRM.
With a few false starts Accent figured out a way to build out an AI system that can be diagnostic, descriptive, predictive and prescriptive (more on this one later). Building out an AI system certainly takes time but a lot of thought was put into the approach we would ultimately take. Here are a few things we discovered:
The approach many AI players take is purely predictive, leveraging only historical data, determining how a business succeeded in the past and how that would indicate what to pursue in the future. This is standard data analysis - that tells you what you should pursue based on history. This approach is short-sighted and there is a very big issue with it. It solely relies on how a business may have performed in the past, but sales is a forward looking game. Sales reps spend a good deal of time identifying what works and what doesn’t work when talking to clients so they know how to better approach the next client. They try to learn as much as they can from a client and position solutions that solve the problems, ultimately, wins that are attained have some common elements and those elements will be repeated. But what if your sales strategy changes or the objectives change? Your reps will follow the same pattern they are used to because they win with it.
So historical data is important but ONLY a piece of the pie for what is required. Historical data doesn’t provide the business with an ability to identify the sales objectives. In other words, it never accounts for the “where we want to go” as a business. Companies often hire consulting firms to figure out who their ideal customers are, what the ideal company profiles look like and that is driven by a multitude of factors like the marketplace, direction of the market, technology and human expertise, just to name a few. So why discredit all that insight by using historical data to predict future business? You can’t. And furthermore, you shouldn’t. The sales leaderships experience, expertise and intent must be injected into the models and algorithms of a good AI technology. Otherwise the technology will fall flat. I know what you are thinking – That costs money and time for someone to inject that information into an algorithm, but have you considered the cost of not doing it?
How does your organization account for the current sales strategy and a future one if you pivot? Meaning, how does the business get there? Essentially, you must operationalize your sales strategy. With Accent’s CRM Supercharger, we help you operationalize the sales strategy. Allowing for input into the models gives a business the ability set the course and direction for the sales team. Now, the prioritized opportunities using AI models are not the ones the sales reps want to prioritize but the ones the business wants to go after.
With Accent’s CRM Supercharger, we take a better approach and leverage historical data, sales objectives and sales strategy. With machine learning algorithms the system can learn from the data it collects but add the ability to inject expertise, experience, intent and operationalize the sales strategy and you end with a winning combination.
Andy - Accent Technologies, Inc.
The definition of gamification is incorporating game-like systems into non-game situations. Gamification makes it possible to turn boring, tedious tasks into compelling jobs for your employees. It’s not about turning work into a game. Rather, it involves bringing in the elements we all love about incorporating games into work: challenges, competitions, and rewards.
Do you have team members who thrive on being “the best”? Are there employees who do their best when they feel appreciated by getting real-word rewards, such as gift cards or long lunches? Do you have anyone on your team who likes collecting things?
Splash for Sugar® incorporates all of these game-like elements into your CRM system. It’s a powerful toolkit for any company that’s looking to incentivize great results, even for the most monotonous and repetitive tasks.
But how does gamification actually work? Challenge workers with leaderboard-driven contests and show them how to unlock “badges” when they complete tasks. Then users can earn “coins” or “points” that are redeemable for real-world, virtual prizes.
Think of gamification in terms of your favorite childhood pastimes:
As a Boy or Girl Scout, there was nothing better than littering your vest with merit badges. In a gamified CRM system, managers can create different badges for users to earn as they navigate the system.
Like singles tennis, this game is one-on-one. Create challenges for your team and have them compete in them. Then you can both reward the users at the top of the leaderboard, and inspire the users at the bottom to step up their game.
Competitions can span from simply logging in each day to closing five deals by the end of the month.
Whether you have multiple sales or customer-service teams in your office or around the world, gamifying your CRM system can create team competitions. You can see which team is winning, and who’s at the bottom of the leaderboard.
As a kid, there was no greater feeling than hitting the jackpot at Skee-Ball or Whac-A-Mole, and seeing all those tickets pour out. Then you’d get to exchange those tickets for a stuffed animal or candy.
In a gamified CRM system, users can level up and get coins they then cash in for real-world rewards. Managers post the number of coins that a challenge is worth and assign coins to rewards. Whether it’s a $25 gift card at a local restaurant or a “free” PTO day, it will go a long way if you customize these rewards to offer what employees care about most.
Selling has always been a struggle and this is truer than ever in today’s highly competitive business landscape. This coupled with the uncertainty, the pressure to meet deadlines and need to always be ‘on’ can take its toll on anyone. Luckily, SugarCRM has got you covered! It comes out-of-the-box with all the essentials salespersons need to take their productivity to the next level without over-complicating the whole affair. Here are 5 ways in particular that SugarCRM is extremely useful for tackling the toughest sales challenges head-on.
If you find prospecting to be the most difficult part of your job, then you’re not alone. More than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process (Hubspot). SugarCRM makes managing the whole affair significantly easier with a dedicated Targets module where you can easily keep track of all calls, meetings, emails, notes, and tasks against each record. Segregating prospects from the more sales-ready ‘leads’ also allows SugarCRM to function as an effective lead nurturing tool where sales and marketing department can easily collaborate and play their roles in the overall sales process. Furthermore, with SugarCRM Hint you can cut down on call preparation and prospect research times. With just a name and an email, Sugar Hint provides you with relevant customer contact and social network information so you may engage your prospects in a more informed fashion. This, in turn, will yield more meaningful conversations and hence conversions.
According to CSO Reps, less than 37% of sales reps actually use their company’s CRM system. Sales Reps are out on the road all day long, taking calls from leads and managing clients as they drive from one meeting to the next. Given these circumstances, It’s really not that hard to fathom why they might be reluctant to learn and adopt new technologies, especially one that aims to get even more work out of them. For your business to truly reap the benefits of a CRM, it’s important that your sales team actually gets around to using it. To get around this and put your user adoption worries to rest, SugarCRM comes with an award-winning and modern UX. It provides a clean, intuitive, and coherent experience that complements and augments the capabilities of its users instead of overwhelming them. This helps drive user adoption and increase productivity.
SugarCRM Advanced Workflow is a robust enterprise-level business process management tool that allows anyone to design and deploy custom workflows in a matter of a few clicks. With its intuitive drag and drop canvas, sales reps can easily automate cumbersome routine processes which would otherwise need to be done manually. This not only ensures increased productivity but also allows them to focus on more important things such as providing value to and forging even stronger connections with their customers.
Sales managers often struggle with effectively gauging rep performance. However, the robust reporting features in SugarCRM make gaining a holistic view of their performance easier than ever by consolidating and summarizing data from various sources. This allows them to unearth critical business insights and trends and gain a deeper understanding of their team in real-time. This way they can quickly identify and target any weaknesses that might hinder progress towards their targets. Similarly, personalized dashboards make it easy for sales reps to track and monitor their activities and metrics against defined KPIs, and strive towards building better customer relationships.
Many find Sales forecasting to be a tedious task but with the statistical and graphical representations readily available in SugarCRM, you can do it all in the blink of an eye. SugarCRM’s intuitive pipeline management capabilities greatly simplify sales management and team collaboration using real-time sales analytics and insights for every deal and prospect. SugarCRM helps identify critical touchpoints and high-value targets allowing you and your team to focus your time and resources on sales initiatives accordingly. You can make data-driven decisions regarding even your most complex sales by customizing SugarCRM for your unique products, services, and sales cycles.
The importance of a mobile CRM for sales cannot be overstated in this day and age. Your sales reps need to be in touch with the right lead at the right time with the right information. This brings about the need for them to have access to critical data at their fingertips at all times. Fortunately, SugarCRM provides a comprehensive mobile CRM solution that enables your sales reps to access, lookup and update customer data on the go, allowing them to stay on top of every deal and ensuring they never miss a moment to engage with the customers.
SugarCRM has everything you need to stay on top of your game and ahead of the competition. It’s perhaps the most complete and well-round CRM for sales that any rep would love to have in their arsenal. Its custom workflows, sales prospecting and forecasting capabilities and the other features mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg. With the right tweaks and customizations, our certified SugarCRM experts can tailor this platform according to your unique needs and help you get even more out of it. Contact us today to get started!
Sales and marketing teams share one common goal – to increase a company’s revenue. However, the similarities stop there, as these two groups are usually very different, both in temperament and in job responsibilities.
Salespeople are relationship people with a focus on the operations and activities involved in promoting and selling goods or services. On the other hand, marketing people are a combination of analytical and creative and focused on the processes or techniques of promoting, selling and distributing a product or service.
The marketing department is also charged with generating high-quality leads for the sales team. Unfortunately, sales will often complain that marketing’s leads don’t meet their standards. This sales-marketing conundrum is a warning sign of what we call a ‘Half-Baked’ sales lead process, where there is no real strategy to manage lead transfers. To solve it, here are three strategies to consider:
According to Aberdeen, 90% of marketers say that lack of sales and marketing alignment keeps them from reaching their marketing objectives. This can be remedied by adopting a ‘Fully-Baked’ leads management system that breaks down barriers in the form of language, technology, and methodology – tearing down the information silos that exist between sales and marketing teams, helping your organization to achieve faster growth and higher profitability.
Need to get your sales and marketing teams more closely aligned?
Download our eBook, “Solving the Sales-Marketing Conundrum: 3 Strategies to Consider”.
The technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherium may not be a household name just yet but it has been gaining traction fast and although the future of the said cryptocurrencies may still be up in the air, the Blockchain itself is bound to stick around for the long haul. It has opened up a world of possibilities and can potentially revolutionize the way existing technologies and business processes function. With that in mind, we will focus on how blockchain is likely to affect Customer Relationship Management down the road.
On the off chance you’ve not hopped onto the Bitcoin bandwagon and are totally unfamiliar with Blockchain, let us help you figure it out. Simply put, a block chain is an ever-growing list of interlinked records or ‘blocks’. These blocks are cryptographically secure and resistant to any external tampering. A blockchain functions as an open, decentralized ledger that effectively keeps track of transaction between two parties in a permanent and verifiable way.
With the basics out of the way, I think we are in a slightly better position to discuss how Blockchain can potentially alter CRM in the years to come. Here are five areas that are likely to benefit the most from this technology:
A blockchain is literally a chain of blocks, where each block contains transactional records. Each block is connected to blocks before and after it and is cryptographically secured such that participating users are assigned network keys in order to restrict unauthorized access.
Additionally most CRM databases are presently hosted on cloud servers. Although cloud security protocols have come a long ways, Cloud security concerns are not completely unfounded. These are mainly centralized systems and thus, have an inherent single point of failure. Comparatively, blockchains are decentralized and distributed across regularly synchronized peer-to-peer networks. This makes tampering nearly impossible as it would require massive computing power to access the entire blockchain. Consequently, chances of fraud and repudiation are also eliminated.
Since it is decentralized, Blockchain can allow your company to securely and transparently deal with your customers without the need for a financial institution such as a bank or a third party broker to facilitate this. The elimination of these ‘middlemen’ will also bring about greater efficiency and speed in all your dealings.
With concerns about personal data security on the rise, CRM systems will have to address them by adjusting how they handle customer data. Owing to its decentralized and secure nature, blockchain gives way to the idea of a self-sovereign identity. It can store and encrypt personal information and verify this upon inquiry without actually sharing any specifics with the concerned parties, granting users greater control over their identity.
Whether it’s due to inept data import tools or human negligence, CRM users all over the world have to deal with inaccurate or duplicate data at some level. With blockchain in place, a customer can have their very own personal block that presents companies with a unified and accurate picture of their personal information, past transactions, subscriptions, etc. Hence, blockchain helps these companies circumvent the issue of inaccurate, obsolete and duplicate data records altogether. This consequently yields better insights into customers and helps businesses engage them more effectively.
Loyalty programs aim to drive profits by adding value to the customer experience. However, due to their variable mileage, volatile value and associated privacy concerns, they prove to be cumbersome for customers and yield a low ROI. However, in a manner very similar to cryptocurrencies, brands can make use of blockchain to reimagine and reinvigorate their loyalty programs.
With blockchain consumers would have a single decentralized wallet, compatible with all brands. They would not be bound by the rules and limitations of individual brands and point redemption would be greatly simplified. The consumer will have far greater control over the whole experience and brands will complete for their wallet by offering them better deals.
Blockchain will not only change how we approach CRM but has the potential to fundamentally revamp business operating models in general. With the technology still in its preliminary phase, this seems like a bold claim to make. However keeping in the view all that it’s capable of, we believe it is a justifiable one.
Rolustech is a SugarCRM Certified Developer & Partner Firm. We have helped more than 500 firms with various SugarCRM integrations and customizations. Contact us today for your FREE consultation session. We will be happy to assist you.
Sales activities do not keep confined to corporate workplaces anymore. And neither are sales executives. It is quite common to see sales professionals working in subways, coffee shops, traffic, parks and in the most unconventional places. Accelerating the targeted sales figure each time, getting handsome commissions, and closing huge deals gives an unmatchable thrill to sales executives and keeps them motivated.
Well, although you may pride in the fact that your sales team is tech savvy and is painting the town red; they do need to update customer data and other details in their CRM. And that is not possible if they do not have the CRM software in their fingertips. This the idea of a CRM mobile App stemmed up. Several CRM users make the most out of these apps to handle customer relationships on their fingertips.
If you are planning to have a CRM app for your company, it must include certain features. Let us know about these features in detail:
Task Assignment & Collaboration
Sales processes in huge organizations can be prolonged and intricate. And if you run one of such companies, it is imperative to have a feature that enables you to work in collaboration. Some CRM apps have features that confine the access to the data pertaining to them and the collaborative functions are enabled on the website app.
During such times, if you have a SugarCRM system, you can make use of SugarCRM Plugins that provide you with activity feeds wherein you can address your colleagues and assign them with different tasks. You can also look for team messaging apps to solve your purpose. By doing so, you can enable seamless communication throughout the team.
Route Planning & Geo Location
As we all know, sales executives do not keep confined to one place. They need to visit different clients and plan their routes accordingly. Now, to make sure that they do not spend a lot on energy resources while visiting clients, a geolocation feature can come of help. Using it, sales agents can map routes between different client locations using real-time alerts. One can also apply custom filters and view different sales territories based on different criteria.
A feature like this not only saves energy resources but also saves a lot of time. Sales executives can prioritize their appointments effectively and undertake different sales activities without any glitches. They can also mark opportunities as pins.
Offline Access and Online Sync
Working from remote locations is quite a common deal for sales executives. Often during such times, updating records becomes impossible. A superior quality mobile app should provide users with the facility to create and assign tasks, view records, and update them even when internet connection is absent. Once the connection comes back, the sync should happen seamlessly.
For example, if one of your team members is working from the subway inside a tunnel, it does not mean they have to stop working in the absence of internet connection. They can keep working and as and when the internet comes back, the data synchronization happens with ease.
While looking for a CRM mobile app, it is quite likely that you might find several apps that are available for free. However, you need to ensure that it is compatible with your CRM system. For example, if you are looking for a SugarCRM mobile App, you can make a list of features you would want them to have and you are sure to find a suitable one. We wish you the best!
SugarCRM’s next product release, known as Sugar 8, is just out and includes all the features from the last two product releases and Spring ‘18. Here’s a look at some of the great new features new to on-site users in this update.
Sugar 8 includes a new user interface that is cleaner, more modern, and more consistent. While the switch from Sugar 6 to Sugar 7 was a challenge for some companies, the upgrade to Sugar 8 should be more straightforward merely because these changes are visual updates only to HTML and CSS. The new appearance is more intuitive than ever and now matches the mobile app design for consistency across devices.
The new Product Catalog Dashlet lets users click on items within a product catalog and quickly add them to a quote or other documents that they generate in Sugar. The product catalog is a visual representation of all your products, available within the intelligence panel.
Another reporting improvement! Users can click on a segment of a chart or graph and see a drill down of the data within that segment. Once users are in the list view, they can modify data using in-line editing.
The old email client (did anyone even use that?) has been deleted and replaced with a much-improved emails module. The new module is built on the sidecar framework (coding speak for the fancy side panel) and allows you to preview emails from subpanels or list views by clicking on the eye icon.
The Sugar 8 release will also include several brand new features from the coming Spring ‘18 release. The details of this release haven't gone public yet--so we can’t spill the beans (or the sugar cubes). Stay tuned on April 27th for a release recap.
P.S. In late 2017 Sugar updated their release schedule--get the scoop on that here. Since then, on-demand users see a product release once per quarter, and on-premise users get a roll-up release once per year.
This post was originally published on www.upcurvecloud.com.
We have extensively covered the top CRM implementation mistakes adopters make that negatively impacts their ROI. It’s good to have a neatly chalked out strategy and some idea of what goals you want to achieve by implementing a CRM. However, this is not all you need to be on the lookout for. Even if you have got your CRM up and running perfectly, it may not be always be smooth sailing from here onwards. There might be some areas where your CRM is being underutilized or some bad decisions or exercises getting in the way of all your efforts. With this in mind, we present the top 5 CRM best practices that will help you get the most out of your CRM.
The primary reason you adopted a CRM in the first place was to save time and make your life a little easier. However, having to spend countless hours manually entering data into the CRM, preparing reports, prioritizing leads and writing emails goes totally against that. Tedious, repetitive tasks are a common feature of most jobs and separating these from challenges that really deserve your attention is essential for taking your productivity to the next level. This is where CRM workflow automations come in to play. They allow you to easily set up business rules, alerts and follow-up triggers, allowing you to streamline common business processes such as managing approvals, lead generations and other sales processes. Moreover, you can set up personalized email templates and send them out automatically in response to a predefined trigger.
Your CRM collects and stores petabytes of valuable customer data. Moreover, most modern day CRMs come equipped with predictive analytics out-of-the-box. Consequently, making data-driven decisions has become both convenient and essential. If you are not using your CRM for analytics and ignoring precious data, you may as well not use the CRM at all. Thus, instead of letting your data gather dust, make use of the tools at your disposal and track the right metrics to gain deeper insights into your customers, make better decisions and boost overall performance.
More data doesn’t always equate to more power. Bad or unnecessary data can bog down your ability to make informed decisions by distracting you from intel that really matters. From inaccurate forecasting to wasting resources to chasing dead prospects, the consequences can be dire. Moreover, storing and maintaining this data can be cumbersome and expensive. Thus, it is a good idea to schedule regular data cleansing and deduplication. Ensuring your CRM data is free from obsolete, duplicate or incorrect data entries, helps your data represent your current state of affairs more accurately and the actionable insights you derive from this are more in line with reality.
Your business might be small right now, but it’s not going to stay that way for long. At least we hope not. Your team size will multiply, your business processes would diversify and become more complex and the rules of the game would change. Not only should your CRM be able to stay on top of these aspects but also grow along with your company. Switching over to a new CRM at a later stage is likely to disrupt all business activities and employee productivity. You can avoid the hassle of data migration and adopting a new CRM altogether by opting for a CRM that is scalable and capable of preemptively accommodating business growth from the very first day.
You probably knew this one was coming. However, it can’t be stressed enough that it is difficult for a common CRM to fully cater to the needs of a unique business such as yours. Moreover, the business landscape is evolving all the time and your vanilla CRM is probably going to have a hard time keeping up with it. Thus, it makes perfect sense to employ CRM integration with the right third party apps and appropriately customize it according to your needs. These will tailor your CRM to your exact business processes and equip it to virtually handle any challenge thrown at it. Our team of CRM experts can help you understand your exact needs and provide you optimal solutions based on best practice. Feel free to Contact us for your FREE consultation session. We will be happy to help!
A few time ago we shared how to save time and improve personal efficiency using a power of SugarCRM platform and TimeLine Viewer, a Sugar 7 add-on for collecting any important events from Sugar database or from other systems and visualising them like a news feed.
Now everyone can use TimeLine Viewer not only on a Sugar desktop application but also on iPhone, iPad or gadgets on Android.
SugarCRM introduced a new version of Mobile SDK in Fall’17 release. It allows extending regular Sugar Mobile and literal moving of key CRM events at Sugar users’ fingertips.
In addition to the power of regular Sugar Mobile, you get an easy way to be informed about all-important CRM changes from TimeLine Viewer wherever you are.
Anyone who needs to work on the move will evaluate the easy way to analyse important changes using usual dashboard’s dashlets like news feeds, configuring them by type and nature of events: funnel changes; leads & customers communications history; key customer cases’ and issues’ changes etc.
Only three touches are needed to receive a full picture by particular object: 1) touch the object you are interested in; 2) select the “Dashboards” tab and 3) touch the “My TimeLine” dashlet to get a full picture on a single screen.
It works for any CRM object (lead, customer, contact, opportunity, case, etc.), both regular and custom.
You will be able to see from one feed the changes of important fields and create new related objects, read emails directly from the feed even if you are not the author and on the list of TO or CC. It’s also possible not only for emails but also for any other event with the description (call, meeting, note, task, etc.)
The collaboration directly from the feed will save a lot of time for you and your teammates. You no longer need to waste time on describing the context of your questions or comments. You just select a particular event from the feed and type a message, question or recommendation. You can add calls for the particular colleagues (they will receive a notification); add active web links or links to the CRM system objects for making your message more focused, informative and useful. In this way, you can use the full power of your team and share team knowledge with all authorised users without any effort.
We hope that Sugar Mobile users and especially SugarCRM partners will enjoy TimeLine Viewer mobile features especially given the possibility to configure new TimeLine events tailored to your unique needs without programming. Logic Builder allows creating new events in minutes and does not require programming.
It is just the beginning of moving TimeLine Viewer features into Sugar mobile. If you have ideas for improving TimeLine Viewer, join us. We would be glad to work together as a team.
p.s. We would like to thank SugarCRM Mobile SDK development team for their help and support.
p.p.s Anyone willing to know more about how mobile CRM allows saving time and improving individual efficiency can watch this webinar.
Who are the dominant players solving data ratio and relationship intelligence problems? Not sure? SugarCRM and Accent Technologies have teamed up to take that title. No matter what you call it, with AI (Artificial Intelligence) or any assistive technology, it’s important to focus on the problems they are trying to solve. Increase output of the CRM, be assistive to the sales rep and ultimately be intelligent enough to help drive change.
Here are a few things we will dive deeper into on AI, data ratios and driving change.
Data sources may grow in size, you may have more of them and maybe more variables that contribute to the big picture, so the more data you get in, the richer the output. But this doesn’t mean manually entering more data, this means automating data entry plays a key role. Being able to leverage various data sources will paint a better picture in the end. This makes it critical to ensure the solutions you look at, are tapping into quality data sources. SugarCRM’s Hint and Accent’s CRMSupercharger do just that.
No one wants to manually enter data. Let’s be real – there is not a single seller today that likes to put data into a CRM. They all do it because they have to—either because of a mandate enforced by leadership or their desire to track customer relationships at that level of detail. Think about what automated data entry, an analytics engine that can seamlessly connect to different data streams, and a tool that brings back a full buyer profile from just an entered email address can do for your sales organization (Hint). It can change the perception a seller has about CRM.
It’s a pretty simple concept, but it’s often overlooked. Organizations are quick to mandate the data entry by their reps, but is that the best approach? We like to think that your reps bring more value when selling, not entering data. Ensure your sales tech solutions are capturing data sources and improving the data ratio problem, not requiring more data entry, which is the case with SFDC’s Einstein. Just look at the release notes. Really? Enough said.
Now let’s look at getting visibility and driving change. What can intelligence do for the sellers?
Experienced A-players know where to focus and what to do next, so make sure you are learning from that. Also, make sure that new sales strategies that come from the top-down are being supported and executed on at the ground level on the frontline. Let me give you an example: One of our clients is experiencing the following:
What do you do? Do you trust sales teams to go down an unknown path of selling services? Do you have weekly calls evangelizing the importance of the services offerings?
Both, but at the end of the day, you can’t affect an outcome. You can only affect the activities and the effectiveness of those activities to meet the objectives. As stated before, the outcome is a result.
Visibility of activities, effectiveness and objectives is important in the realm of AI or assistive technologies. We need intelligence that can guide sellers in the right direction. Accent’s CRMSupercharger in SugarCRM provides visibility and allows you to leverage standard models out of the box to guide and prioritize deals for your reps. But we also give the steering wheel to our clients and work with them to set their own parameters. This allows them to prioritize the right opportunities for the business and subsequently indicate to sellers what are the most attractive opportunities to pursue. You’ve got the sales strategy, but Accent can operationalize it. Now that is big value.
Finally, acquiring new accounts requires time and research to determine who to talk to next, what role they play in the purchase process, how you make a connection to them, etc. If you are missing this, the AI assistance is falling flat. This is where Hint comes in. Accelerate the call prep time and reduce the amount of research you need to make a connection. Then enhance the overall picture with Accent’s CRMSupercharger by visualizing the engagement and the role of each contact. What does that mean? Well, visualize who is at the buying table, who your champion is, who your economic buyer is, who is engaged and to what extent.
Pictures tell stories. Weigh the difference. Do you prefer an analytics driven picture powered by Accent or a 1 paragraph summary of words and notes in an email from your rep? And if I had to bet, I’d say you’re still waiting for that summary from your rep.
As the world becomes more sophisticated and we get more complex, we will be in a great position to adopt assistive technology for more insight and maximizing peoples time. Keep in mind they should always be solving a problem and providing business value.