CRM (Customer relationship management) is widely used to maintain business relationships with the customers. By using CRM systems, you can easily manage the customer contacts, emails, sales leads and other important information. One can easily access the customer information as and when required.
Maintaining customer relationships is very important in today's competitive market. It helps you to build long term business associations with the customers. CRM solutions help you provide excellent customer service. A good CRM collects the customer business data and offers new ways to communicate with your customers. Many businesses make use of different types of CRM application to reduce the costs and increase the profits. The sales leads can also be tracked.
The customer relationship management software can be shared by all the employees of an organization. The concerned marketing team can control and maintain a full control over the sales activities. The access to the necessary information can be provided to the team members. This helps the users to follow up the leads on time. High profits can be generated by using a good CRM.
Whether you're a small company or a large organization, CRM can be available as per your requirements and budget. An inexpensive CRM system can be tailor made to fit all the sizes of businesses.
Managing the CRM is simple and easy. It does not require any technical expertise or training. While you build and maintain customer relationships, the customers get satisfied. Custom CRM development stores all the information in an easy to access format as per your requirements. New leads can be generated and managed easily with minimum efforts. CRM software can send automatic emails to the individuals and customers.
Many of the salespeople find it difficult to maintain customer relationships. With the help of a good CRM system, the customers can be followed up easily to ensure future sales. Once you communicate with the customers, you can fulfill their demands and requirements.
Benefits of CRM:
Stores all the information
Instant reporting facility
Cost effective solution
Easy to manage
Saves time and money
Whatever information you may require from the CRM, it can be instantly available. The sales trends can be observed and it helps you to move in the right direction. You would never miss an opportunity with a CRM. It can be used by businesses of all the sizes and type, even you can develop mobile CRM. Custom CRM Development are considered to be cost effective and time saving option for all the type of organizations.
Naresh Parmar, is a CRM developer, working with leading CRM development company, ZenGo! Web Services since 2009. He has special interest in process of Business CRM implementation and system integration. Also publishing blogs and writing articles on business application trend.
Critical Factors for Choosing Successful Mobile CRM Solution
In the recent years, we have seen rapid advancements and a significant growth in mobile technologies and their usage worldwide. Mobile Customer Relationship Management has emerged with many benefits to the organizations, simplifying business tasks as well as saving operational cost and time. Companies are realizing the need of mobility for attaining higher value from their existing investments in CRM systems, allowing faster and precise data collection and enhanced decision-making.
Mobile CRM enables enterprises explore business through their workforce on field like sales and service teams, to access key information through mobile devices like smartphones and tablets on their move. It also helps the top level executives and senior managers to access business critical information like order details, operational stats, performance reports, etc; and to approve requests on their mobile devices round the clock.
With such significance attached to a mobile CRM system, companies need to consider the following critical factors to employ a successful mobile CRM solution:
Support Device Diversity
The usage of a diverse range of mobile devices by employees of organizations poses a challenge for the IT departments while deploying enterprise mobility solutions. An ideal mobile CRM solution should allow employees to use any mobile device like an iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Windows based phone or tablets. It should be flexible to support any device Operating Systems to carry out seamless transaction. However instead of offering a common layout for all devices, it's better when they adapt to the look and feel of device that users carry.
Access to customer data, product information and documents at the right time has become a crucial reason for every customer-centric business. Sales professionals and business managers use mobile CRM solution on their handheld devices every time they need it-meetings, events, travel, etc regardless of time and convenience of internet.
Mobile CRM should provide access to customer data or other information whenever and more importantly wherever needed. They should be designed such that users can always access to the right information at the right moment be it online or off-line. This improves the customer interactions, business decision-making and the productivity.
Open Standards Support Integration
Field professionals not only need access to customer information but also to various other support aspects like product information, sale promotions/offers, service requests and order status. Thus selecting a system which supports integration with a variety of back-end systems like ERP, intranet, legacy, database and e-mail is imperative. It is also wise to opt for the ones that support open standards and be flexible to keep-up with the ever changing device landscape.
Security is Key
Mobile CRM data is a company's critical asset. It has confidential information of the company's customer relationships, partners, suppliers, sales data, product details, some legal documents and crucial data subject to government regulations. Such information is accessed by sales professionals and other workers and is to be totally secured.
With the field professionals having to travel all around and facing severe security threats, mobile CRM applications must make sure enterprise level security through validation, encryption and central, policy-based control.
Mobile CRM Applications serve their purpose by being user-friendly and easy to use while accessing data. If the application is hard to use and doesn't respond swiftly on the handheld devices, it will be of no use during a client interaction.
Mobile CRM applications must be easy to navigate and respond promptly to any queries, with little or no training to the users. User interface of such applications make a huge impact with the users and it must comply with the organization's unique process and workflow.
Mobile CRM helps to increase business sales opportunities and lead generation by interacting with customers anywhere anytime with valid data at a single touch point. Applications help users even better when they are constantly updated. Employees must be able to revise their visit reports, add new findings of customers and make them up-to-date on their mobile devices.
Latest Technology Upgrades-Social & Location CRM
Social CRM is the best way to connect and engage customers in the CRM process. Instead of marketing messages to customers through email blast or mailers, it is better to update them on social media within CRM. In the current social trend, social media helps to build stronger customer relationship and acts as a medium to offer solution to customers' needs.
Another trending aspect in mobile CRM is location-based intelligence. Social and location-specific data help professionals to gather and access more details about their customers. Integrating these advanced technologies on one unified environment provides new insight into the profile of customers and prospects on the spot, thus adding more value to CRM process.
CRM Software Implementation - Culture Part II - The CRM Champions
I'd like to start this article by striking a little fear into everyone. It is estimated that over roughly 50% of all CRM software implementations fail. Yikes! That IS frightening! CRM software for any business is a significant investment. With a 50% failure rate you might as well take that significant investment to Vegas and throw it all on either black or red at the Roulette table, right? Wrong. There are very specific reasons that CRM software implementations fail. Knowing those reasons BEFORE implementation, and avoiding those pitfalls, is the key to ensuring you are on the right side of that 50%. It is not about chance or the odds being in your favor. This is an outcome you control.
Let me start by saying that CRM implementations don't fail because of the software. They fail because process and culture don't align with the tool (software). "So," you ask, "how do I make that alignment happen?" Fair question. There is not just one single answer to that question. I could answer it by going down many paths, but the path we are going to talk about today is the one that is the FOUNDATION for achieving all the others. The answer to that question that we are going to be addressing today is: "You choose the right champions to be on the CRM implementation team."
In my previous article, Culture Part I - The Top Down Directive, we talked about how important it is for senior management to lead by example. Few will dispute the importance of the macro to micro form of leadership and the necessity for it at every company. However, CRM software is about so much more than just macro to micro management. CRM software has so many layers that it can be many things to many people. Let's face it, in many companies senior management may not even KNOW what a lot of their employees do daily so they couldn't possibly begin to define how CRM software could help that individual on a daily tactical basis, right? That's not being critical. It's a reality of how businesses function.
That's where champions come in. As you select the CRM implementation team for your company you are NOT just looking for higher up decision maker types. They are only one component of that team. You also need the doers. You need representation for the departments that really make the company function at a tactical level on a daily basis. If a department comes into direct contact with the customer they need to be represented. CRM software manages all customer facing activity. Start by defining what that is and who, internally, that represents.
Let's dive just a little deeper into who the champion of that department might be. In addition to having an intimate understanding of their respective function in the organization, and that of others in their representative group, the champion needs to have a specific personality type. All individuals fall into four basic personality types; Victim, Bystander, Critic, and Navigator.
The Victim is the person that is always terrified. They are terrified of change. They are terrified they won't be able to cut it on a daily basis. If your prospective department representative "expert" bears this personality type, they should NOT be on the CRM implementation team.
The Bystander is the person who stands by, hopelessly hoping things won't change, or if they do change, will wait and see what everyone else has to say about it before developing their own opinion. If your prospective department representative "expert" bears this personality type, they should NOT be on the CRM implementation team.
The Critic is the person that not only resists change, but rallies others to resist change. Now here is the interesting thing about the critic personality. They are typically the loudest person in the group so you are inclined to think that if you had them on your team they could make some big waves quickly, right? You only have to win them over... Oh they can make waves alright. They will crush your optimistic belief they were going to support change and send negativity through the company like a smoke bomb. Resist all inclinations to put a critic on your CRM implementation team. Think about this one carefully, because critic personalities are sometimes hidden behind smiling faces.
The Navigator is someone who assesses change and accepts the value of it. The Navigator is the person who will quietly contemplate the pros and cons and discuss both in an "educate me" style. The Navigator is someone that others respect because they know this person does not make rash decisions or harsh judgments. They may not be the fastest or most efficient person in the group, but they are the most methodical and the most respected. That is the person you want on your CRM implementation team.
The objective is to find a Navigator for each customer facing department in your organization. That is your CRM implementation team. It is often interesting, when considered from this perspective, who surfaces as the representative choice. It could the one with the most seniority or the one with the least. It may not be the first person that comes to mind when you think of a specific department in your organization. Here is something to consider... put the definition of the Navigator out to each department and have them select the one person in the group who best fits that personality definition. You may be surprised at the result.
The secondary qualification for being on the CRM implementation team, of course, is their knowledge of their respective function and the functions of others in their department. Personality type is qualification factor numero uno, however. What they don't know about process they should have the capacity to collect from those that do.
Choosing your CRM implementation team is the first factor to a successful CRM implementation that you control. You control them all, and recognizing that and planning appropriately will ensure CRM implementation success. The implementation team is one of the most powerful tools you will have to manage the culture aspects of the implementation and ultimately of the long term success of your organization. Choose wisely.