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How CRM Can Help You In Increasing Your Sales

How CRM Can Help You In Increasing Your Sales

Do you know Customer Relationship Management(CRM) can increase your sales efficiency and productivity? 

 

Do you have a good CRM solution available for your sales and marketing teams? 

 

Do you know how successful businesses use CRM to drive their successes? 

 

If you answer the third question as NO then CRM will not be of any help and will continue to be a dumping ground for your data. There is no doubt about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) being a difference maker. In this ever growing CRM market, knowing how to leverage CRM to the organization's benefit is key. 

 

Following pointers will help you in leveraging CRM to increase your sales - 

 

1. Better Knowing Your Potential Customers- 

 

Organizations can increase their sales revenue if they know their potential customers. CRM provides insights into potential customers, treats them as leads and integrating with LinkedIn and other customer centric databases. Using analytical tools like Kiss Metrics, Google analytics, and Jaspersoft in conjunction with market data about the customers, sales teams can provide focused product, services, and solutions to their customers. 

 

2. Customer Segmentation & Targeting- 

 

CRM allows sales teams to segment their customers by different criteria like Industry, Revenue, Operational costs, Number of employees, Region etc. Of course, some customers are more valuable to the business than others and not all customers are in need of all products or solutions being sold. It's worth making the effort to recognize the target customer segments earlier in the sales cycle to ensure focused marketing and sales efforts. 

 

3. Increased focus on existing customers by Sales and Service Teams - 

 

By establishing the sales and service teams to concentrate on clients and leads, companies can strategically align themselves towards revenue generation. Client information such as needs and choices could be added and pulled from CRM as required. 

 

4. Help customers make decisions with analytical reports- 

 

With the help of CRM's Dashboard and other automation features, CRM will eliminate the need for gathering information for reporting purposes. 

 

5. Make Use of Smartphone's to Fulfill Sales Standards- 

 

There is no doubt that your sales will increase if your sales team is using mobile with the CRM enabled services. If your CRM is available on mobile devices then your field sales team can use it from anywhere, this will obviously increase productivity, also you can easily monitor your sales team via GPS technology. 

 

6. Boost Marketing ROI With Automation & Online Customer satisfaction- 

 

CRM software contains workflow to automate and email incorporation which will allow you to improve and monitor the delivering of e-mails. This improves the abilities of your sales staff by enabling them to easily deliver out groups of important e-mails as required. 

 

Which is CRM Software Solution Right for You? Have you customized it for your needs? 

 

Last but not the least you must examine all the available CRM Application Solution in the market (Salesforce, SugarCRM, SuiteCRM etc.) and choose which is best for your needs. You may also filter like - your budget, number of users, function of CRM (Sales CRM or service CRM etc.) 

 

Once you have decided which the CRM solution then get it customized for your needs. Every organization has different and Unique needs and CRM customization is very important for getting best results. 

 

Do you have any questions like- How you should use your CRM for maximum profits, which CRM to choose or how to get it customized according to your needs? 


5 Key Challenges of CRM Implementation 

While the importance of Customer Relationship Management in a business cannot be underestimated, the implementation of a CRM solution can be really challenging at times. For some it can seem to be so cumbersome a task that inefficient customer management is preferred instead of implementing a CRM solution. However intimidating it may be, a CRM solution does wonders for your business with minimal efforts. This is especially true for cost effective CRM solutions like SugarCRM. Implementation is a key ingredient of a standard SugarCRM development solution package. If a CRM is not implemented well, it will fall apart. 

 

To guide you through the process, we have listed down 5 key challenges of CRM implementation along with our recommendations on how you can overcome them to derive optimum results from your CRM system. 

 

Challenge 1: Complicated Process 

 

Prima Facie, implementing a CRM might look like eating up the working time of your sales representatives. You might be under the impression that your employees have to keep on jumping between apps to get and feed information or to track their process. But in the real picture, a CRM is designed so as to integrate all the tools that you already use, for example, OneNote, Outlook, Word, Excel, etc. CRM lets your employees work on excel and CRM at the same time. By integrating your spreadsheets to CRM, your salespersons won't require to go into every CRM record and update the sheets. 

 

Challenge 2: Very few Users 

 

Another challenge that businesses face is that not all their interlinked businesses are using CRM so how it can benefit them as their sales personnel won't get it when they need it most? That's not true. Today, all good CRMs support mobile devices including tablets and mobile phones that make it possible for your representatives to have virtual access to it from anywhere. 

 

Challenge 3: No visible results 

 

Many entrepreneurs are concerned that they have been using a CRM solution for a considerable time and still cannot see tangible results. Mostly, it's not a CRM issue. A lack of visible results can be a documentation issue. All kind of data and business engagements are tracked through your CRM. When your executives look at the updated dashboard, they can checkout complete snapshots of how your business processes, communications, and overall performance has improved. 

 

Challenge 4: What to do with all the data? 

 

Everyone is aware that your CRM allows you to collect a lot of data with ease. But the challenge arises with the usability of the data. Often businesses aren't well equipped with data analysis for drawing our conclusions from the data. CRMs often have an integrated analytics solution which helps users in deriving real insights from the CRM data. It further helps businesses to decide on data-driven business decisions precisely and quickly. 

 

Challenge 5: Sales personnel under scrutiny 

 

Sales representatives think of CRM as a medium of keeping a closer eye on them by their executives. But that's not the goal of a CRM. A CRM solution is responsible for managing customer information and making it available to all stakeholders through a simple interface for quick and data-backed decision making. Neither should sales reps misconstrue the real purpose of a CRM, not should their managers misuse CRM. 

 

Maulik Shah is the Founder and CEO of Biztech Consulting and Solutions, a fast growing IT solutions provider specializing in Magento development and SugarCRM development solutions. Maulik is a tech enthusiast and writes about the various aspects of ecommerce technology. 


Choosing the right Customer Resource Management (aka CRM) system for your business should be easy, as long as you follow a few simple do's and don'ts. The below points are all lessons I learned the hard way growing my past businesses. Hopefully, they will help you expedite the process and engage on the path to growth. 

 

1. Do take the time to properly identify your requirements and objectives. 

 

Having the best tools is one thing, but if you haven't properly defined your sales process and playbook, your fighting a lost battle. It's really key to map out your target market or sweat spot, identify how best to reach them and what are the steps to climb before closing a sale. In some cases, identifying the key decision makers and timeline for the purchase is also critical. Your CRM needs to facilitate your process and adapt to it, not the other way around (which is too often the case). Finally, what are your objectives? What KPIs will you be monitoring post-implementation of your CRM to ensure it is helping you grow your business? 

 

2. Don't choose a CRM before spending some time asking questions to your sales team. 

 

In step 1, you took the time to properly identify your requirements. But did you validate these with your sales team? Did you ask them what were their biggest pain points with the current sales process? What they expect from a CRM to be more effective? All their answers to these questions will provide you with better insight and most importantly, get their buy-in right from the start. As you know, any change in an organization can be difficult so getting your sales team involved early in the process will help. 

 

3. Do ask around, especially other successful businesses, what CRM they chose and why. 

 

Getting advice from other successful entrepreneurs can be quite valuable. They might tell you about how they fined-tuned their system or had to change CRMs before they found the right one. Or they may suggest a great consultant who can help you with your CRM implementation and save time and money. 

 

4. Do consider the mobility needs of your sales team 

 

Is your sales team primarily office-bound or road warriors? Mobile teams will need a CRM that provides an easy, customizable and intuitive mobile app in order to stay on top of all of their leads and opportunities. This can be a real game changer for your business so map out how you expect the sales team to interact with the CRM while on the road meeting with customers. 

 

5. Do ensure the CRM supports workflow automation and customization based on your sales process 

 

Your CRM should automatically remind your sales and marketing team to follow-up with a potential lead or opportunity on a timely manner. You should be able to easily define rules for follow-up such as "call this lead 48 hours after he has downloaded our white paper" or "call this customer 7-days before his purchase committee meeting". Every business is different and custom rules for workflow automation is a must in this highly competitive world. 

 

6. Don't forget to consider important factors such as: 

 

Does the CRM support custom reports? This is a must. Having an up-to-date report of the health of your business (e.g. sales pipeline) will allow you to take better decisions and react promptly. 

 

Offer APIs to link with other systems such as email? 

 

Allows easy capture of leads from your website? 

 

Multi-currency support 

 

Role-based user access and auditing 

 

Security features to protect customer data 

 

Real mobile support 

 

Access from anywhere with an internet connection, not just inside the office 

 

7. Do choose a provider with email/phone support or a community of partner/integrators 

 

Time is money. Make sure you can get fast support if any issue arises or to adapt/customize your implementation. This service can be offered by the CRM provider or from partners/integrators who specialized in CRM services. Allocate some support-budget since a CRM implementation is an evolving/iterative process, just like the rest of your business. 

 

8. Don't limit yourself to just a sales tool. 

 

CRMs today are much more than just a sales tool to manage your leads, opportunities and pipeline. A good CRM will allow integration of customer support and marketing activities. Ensuring your sales staff is aware of current customer issues and complaints can be the difference between a great customer visit or a walking into a trap. And actively monitoring your marketing campaign and linking them to your sales process can really give a boost to your top line. 

 

9. Don't choose the least costly solution but opt for a SAAS offer with a monthly fee. 

 

It's always easy to go for the cheapest solution thinking it will be good enough. But you should really take the time to evaluate the real cost of not choosing the right solution. Take the time to calculate how much time the right CRM will save you and your time each week. Multiply that by the average wage. You may be surprised how much you might save vs the cost of the CRM. But even more important, how many more opportunities will you close each month with the right tool? Furthermore, by opting for a SAAS offer with a monthly fee, you are removing the need for a large upfront payment and ensuring you can adapt your CRM easily in time (adding more users, new features etc). 

 

10. Do plan for training of your staff on the CRM 

 Training is an essential part of a successful CRM implementation. Make sure you figure out what training will be required, to who and the availability of training courses or material. In most cases, identifying a key internal stakeholder who will manage the CRM for the company is a good idea. 


Choosing the right Customer Resource Management (aka CRM) system for your business should be easy, as long as you follow a few simple do's and don'ts. The below points are all lessons I learned the hard way growing my past businesses. Hopefully, they will help you expedite the process and engage on the path to growth. 

 

1. Do take the time to properly identify your requirements and objectives. 

 

Having the best tools is one thing, but if you haven't properly defined your sales process and playbook, your fighting a lost battle. It's really key to map out your target market or sweat spot, identify how best to reach them and what are the steps to climb before closing a sale. In some cases, identifying the key decision makers and timeline for the purchase is also critical. Your CRM needs to facilitate your process and adapt to it, not the other way around (which is too often the case). Finally, what are your objectives? What KPIs will you be monitoring post-implementation of your CRM to ensure it is helping you grow your business? 

 

2. Don't choose a CRM before spending some time asking questions to your sales team. 

 

In step 1, you took the time to properly identify your requirements. But did you validate these with your sales team? Did you ask them what were their biggest pain points with the current sales process? What they expect from a CRM to be more effective? All their answers to these questions will provide you with better insight and most importantly, get their buy-in right from the start. As you know, any change in an organization can be difficult so getting your sales team involved early in the process will help. 

 

3. Do ask around, especially other successful businesses, what CRM they chose and why. 

 

Getting advice from other successful entrepreneurs can be quite valuable. They might tell you about how they fined-tuned their system or had to change CRMs before they found the right one. Or they may suggest a great consultant who can help you with your CRM implementation and save time and money. 

 

4. Do consider the mobility needs of your sales team 

 

Is your sales team primarily office-bound or road warriors? Mobile teams will need a CRM that provides an easy, customizable and intuitive mobile app in order to stay on top of all of their leads and opportunities. This can be a real game changer for your business so map out how you expect the sales team to interact with the CRM while on the road meeting with customers. 

 

5. Do ensure the CRM supports workflow automation and customization based on your sales process 

 

Your CRM should automatically remind your sales and marketing team to follow-up with a potential lead or opportunity on a timely manner. You should be able to easily define rules for follow-up such as "call this lead 48 hours after he has downloaded our white paper" or "call this customer 7-days before his purchase committee meeting". Every business is different and custom rules for workflow automation is a must in this highly competitive world. 

 

6. Don't forget to consider important factors such as: 

 

Does the CRM support custom reports? This is a must. Having an up-to-date report of the health of your business (e.g. sales pipeline) will allow you to take better decisions and react promptly. 

 

Offer APIs to link with other systems such as email? 

 

Allows easy capture of leads from your website? 

 

Multi-currency support 

 

Role-based user access and auditing 

 

Security features to protect customer data 

 

Real mobile support 

 

Access from anywhere with an internet connection, not just inside the office 

 

7. Do choose a provider with email/phone support or a community of partner/integrators 

 

Time is money. Make sure you can get fast support if any issue arises or to adapt/customize your implementation. This service can be offered by the CRM provider or from partners/integrators who specialized in CRM services. Allocate some support-budget since a CRM implementation is an evolving/iterative process, just like the rest of your business. 

 

8. Don't limit yourself to just a sales tool. 

 

CRMs today are much more than just a sales tool to manage your leads, opportunities and pipeline. A good CRM will allow integration of customer support and marketing activities. Ensuring your sales staff is aware of current customer issues and complaints can be the difference between a great customer visit or a walking into a trap. And actively monitoring your marketing campaign and linking them to your sales process can really give a boost to your top line. 

 

9. Don't choose the least costly solution but opt for a SAAS offer with a monthly fee. 

 

It's always easy to go for the cheapest solution thinking it will be good enough. But you should really take the time to evaluate the real cost of not choosing the right solution. Take the time to calculate how much time the right CRM will save you and your time each week. Multiply that by the average wage. You may be surprised how much you might save vs the cost of the CRM. But even more important, how many more opportunities will you close each month with the right tool? Furthermore, by opting for a SAAS offer with a monthly fee, you are removing the need for a large upfront payment and ensuring you can adapt your CRM easily in time (adding more users, new features etc). 

 

10. Do plan for training of your staff on the CRM 

 

Training is an essential part of a successful CRM implementation. Make sure you figure out what training will be required, to who and the availability of training courses or material. In most cases, identifying a key internal stakeholder who will manage the CRM for the company is a good idea. 


5 Key Challenges of CRM Implementation 

 

While the importance of Customer Relationship Management in a business cannot be underestimated, the implementation of a CRM solution can be really challenging at times. For some it can seem to be so cumbersome a task that inefficient customer management is preferred instead of implementing a CRM solution. However intimidating it may be, a CRM solution does wonders for your business with minimal efforts. This is especially true for cost effective CRM solutions like SugarCRM. Implementation is a key ingredient of a standard SugarCRM development solution package. If a CRM is not implemented well, it will fall apart. 

 

To guide you through the process, we have listed down 5 key challenges of CRM implementation along with our recommendations on how you can overcome them to derive optimum results from your CRM system. 

 

Challenge 1: Complicated Process 

 

Prima Facie, implementing a CRM might look like eating up the working time of your sales representatives. You might be under the impression that your employees have to keep on jumping between apps to get and feed information or to track their process. But in the real picture, a CRM is designed so as to integrate all the tools that you already use, for example, OneNote, Outlook, Word, Excel, etc. CRM lets your employees work on excel and CRM at the same time. By integrating your spreadsheets to CRM, your salespersons won't require to go into every CRM record and update the sheets. 

 

Challenge 2: Very few Users 

 

Another challenge that businesses face is that not all their interlinked businesses are using CRM so how it can benefit them as their sales personnel won't get it when they need it most? That's not true. Today, all good CRMs support mobile devices including tablets and mobile phones that make it possible for your representatives to have virtual access to it from anywhere. 

 

Challenge 3: No visible results 

 

Many entrepreneurs are concerned that they have been using a CRM solution for a considerable time and still cannot see tangible results. Mostly, it's not a CRM issue. A lack of visible results can be a documentation issue. All kind of data and business engagements are tracked through your CRM. When your executives look at the updated dashboard, they can checkout complete snapshots of how your business processes, communications, and overall performance has improved. 

 

Challenge 4: What to do with all the data? 

 

Everyone is aware that your CRM allows you to collect a lot of data with ease. But the challenge arises with the usability of the data. Often businesses aren't well equipped with data analysis for drawing our conclusions from the data. CRMs often have an integrated analytics solution which helps users in deriving real insights from the CRM data. It further helps businesses to decide on data-driven business decisions precisely and quickly. 

 

Challenge 5: Sales personnel under scrutiny 

 

Sales representatives think of CRM as a medium of keeping a closer eye on them by their executives. But that's not the goal of a CRM. A CRM solution is responsible for managing customer information and making it available to all stakeholders through a simple interface for quick and data-backed decision making. Neither should sales reps misconstrue the real purpose of a CRM, not should their managers misuse CRM. 

 Choosing the right Customer Resource Management (aka CRM) system for your business should be easy, as long as you follow a few simple do's and don'ts. The below points are all lessons I learned the hard way growing my past businesses. Hopefully, they will help you expedite the process and engage on the path to growth. 

 

1. Do take the time to properly identify your requirements and objectives. 

 

Having the best tools is one thing, but if you haven't properly defined your sales process and playbook, your fighting a lost battle. It's really key to map out your target market or sweat spot, identify how best to reach them and what are the steps to climb before closing a sale. In some cases, identifying the key decision makers and timeline for the purchase is also critical. Your CRM needs to facilitate your process and adapt to it, not the other way around (which is too often the case). Finally, what are your objectives? What KPIs will you be monitoring post-implementation of your CRM to ensure it is helping you grow your business? 

 

2. Don't choose a CRM before spending some time asking questions to your sales team. 

 

In step 1, you took the time to properly identify your requirements. But did you validate these with your sales team? Did you ask them what were their biggest pain points with the current sales process? What they expect from a CRM to be more effective? All their answers to these questions will provide you with better insight and most importantly, get their buy-in right from the start. As you know, any change in an organization can be difficult so getting your sales team involved early in the process will help. 

 

3. Do ask around, especially other successful businesses, what CRM they chose and why. 

 

Getting advice from other successful entrepreneurs can be quite valuable. They might tell you about how they fined-tuned their system or had to change CRMs before they found the right one. Or they may suggest a great consultant who can help you with your CRM implementation and save time and money. 

 

4. Do consider the mobility needs of your sales team 

 

Is your sales team primarily office-bound or road warriors? Mobile teams will need a CRM that provides an easy, customizable and intuitive mobile app in order to stay on top of all of their leads and opportunities. This can be a real game changer for your business so map out how you expect the sales team to interact with the CRM while on the road meeting with customers. 

 

5. Do ensure the CRM supports workflow automation and customization based on your sales process 

 

Your CRM should automatically remind your sales and marketing team to follow-up with a potential lead or opportunity on a timely manner. You should be able to easily define rules for follow-up such as "call this lead 48 hours after he has downloaded our white paper" or "call this customer 7-days before his purchase committee meeting". Every business is different and custom rules for workflow automation is a must in this highly competitive world. 

 

6. Don't forget to consider important factors such as: 

 

Does the CRM support custom reports? This is a must. Having an up-to-date report of the health of your business (e.g. sales pipeline) will allow you to take better decisions and react promptly. 

 

Offer APIs to link with other systems such as email? 

 

Allows easy capture of leads from your website? 

 

Multi-currency support 

 

Role-based user access and auditing 

 

Security features to protect customer data 

 

Real mobile support 

 

Access from anywhere with an internet connection, not just inside the office 

 

7. Do choose a provider with email/phone support or a community of partner/integrators 

 

Time is money. Make sure you can get fast support if any issue arises or to adapt/customize your implementation. This service can be offered by the CRM provider or from partners/integrators who specialized in CRM services. Allocate some support-budget since a CRM implementation is an evolving/iterative process, just like the rest of your business. 

 

8. Don't limit yourself to just a sales tool. 

 

CRMs today are much more than just a sales tool to manage your leads, opportunities and pipeline. A good CRM will allow integration of customer support and marketing activities. Ensuring your sales staff is aware of current customer issues and complaints can be the difference between a great customer visit or a walking into a trap. And actively monitoring your marketing campaign and linking them to your sales process can really give a boost to your top line. 

 

9. Don't choose the least costly solution but opt for a SAAS offer with a monthly fee. 

 

It's always easy to go for the cheapest solution thinking it will be good enough. But you should really take the time to evaluate the real cost of not choosing the right solution. Take the time to calculate how much time the right CRM will save you and your time each week. Multiply that by the average wage. You may be surprised how much you might save vs the cost of the CRM. But even more important, how many more opportunities will you close each month with the right tool? Furthermore, by opting for a SAAS offer with a monthly fee, you are removing the need for a large upfront payment and ensuring you can adapt your CRM easily in time (adding more users, new features etc). 

 

10. Do plan for training of your staff on the CRM 

 

Training is an essential part of a successful CRM implementation. Make sure you figure out what training will be required, to who and the availability of training courses or material. In most cases, identifying a key internal stakeholder who will manage the CRM for the company is a good idea. 


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