Posts from October 2012.

Top Reasons Why CRM Fails at Times

Although the advantages of a CRM system are undeniable, many times businesses have to face the bitter reality of failure. The promised advantages and efficiency do not appear, and in some cases the workflows become harder to manage. In this post we look at the issues deeply and examine the most prevalent causes of implementation failure. Hopefully enterprises will find something of value here.

Top Reasons Why CRM Fails at Times

Top Reasons Why CRM Fails at Times

  • Not developing a business case: Remember that CRM is not an add-on. It impacts everything you do in a fundamental way, so it’s important to get the business side clear first. How can you do this? Make a strong business case clearly highlighting the advantages and high-level overview, and win the top management over.
  • Forgetting a trial run: Note that some tweaking is always necessary, so the best way to test a CRM system is by actually running it and letting your everyday users work on it. It’s only when real people do real work on the system that minor flaws can be detected and annulled.
  • Not having clear metrics: It’s a given that you want a CRM implementation to be successful, but how would you measure success? That’s where the importance of having crystal-clear, credible metrics kicks in. Know what parameters are mostly used in the industry, and then set conservative targets for your own implementation.

It’s because of nuances like these that CRM has been termed an art more than science. All the stakeholders need to be involved in the implementation and work out creative ways to deal with possible roadblocks.

What are you doing to ensure zero-failure in your CRM implementation? Let us know in the comments section!

The Acid Test for Any CRM System

How can the success of a CRM system be determined? Is an improvement in workflows enough of proof of its effectiveness, or is there a more fundamental metric that shows the effectiveness of a CRM system when it comes to optimizing sales solutions? Many industry experts believe that every CRM system will improve workflows, even if by a fraction, so it is not the most correct metric for reflecting the success of an implementation. According to them, there is a more fundamental and intuitive way to look at the whole thing – consumer trust.

The Acid Test for Any CRM System

The Acid Test for Any CRM System

Communication and trust

When we talk about the effectiveness of a CRM system in building consumer trust, it is not in terms of a blurry idea of trust. Trust is important, no doubt, but the new system needs to demonstrate how it is leading to increased trust. And this is where this metric comes in – personalized communication. The idea is that personalized messages can maximize your marketing returns quickly and at the same time lead to high retention and customer loyalty.

But in a traditional sales management system, the enormous complexity of individual communication finds no place. This is precisely where a CRM should win, with a demonstrable effectiveness of rich email campaigns and other communication items that are personalized according to the history of each customer. As a result, the customer feels relevant and valued, which naturally leads to a stronger bonding than is otherwise possible.

Have you noticed increase in consumer trust after adopting a CRM solution? We’d like to know your experiences in the comments section!

Why is a Salesforce Admin Important?

Most enterprises do not see the salesforce admin as something more than a technical bridge between the sales team and the CRM system. In fact, some enterprises are even making do without one. However, the truth is that a salesforce admin is an integral part of the entire workflow architecture, and can be utilized to optimize operations and extract more from the same CRM implementation.

 

Why is a Salesforce admin important

Why is a Salesforce admin important

How can this be done? Here are some examples of the admin embracing the new-age roles within a CRM system:

  • Proper metrics management: Sales performance and forecasting depends on metrics obtained from analytics. Because salesforce admins are the ones in charge of data preparation, the right person can reduce raw work and improve accuracy by manyfold.
  • Improved adoption: The admin is your spokesperson for the CRM system. Employees that are skeptical about the benefits of CRM will find it easier to approach the admin and have a friendly chat rather than invoke the official channels. This makes it easier for everyone to see the CRM system in new light and be able to adopt it more fully.
  • Trainings and expertise: The admin also plays a pivotal role in training new staff and resolving the queries of the existing users. This becomes indispensable because with time, the salesforce admin acquires deep system knowledge that allows him to resolve queries very quickly.
  • System evolution: The admin stays in touch with new technologies being introduced in the market, and can make required recommendations. Because he’s an insider who has a vested interest in keeping the system in the best shape possible, his judgment can be trusted to a greater degree than that of an outsider.

Do you have a salesforce admin in place? If yes, how has it helped improve sales operations? And if not, what challenges do you think can be overcome by appointing someone? Let us know in the comments!

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The Importance of Cross-Channel Communication

The new era of sales force optimization solutions has businesses and sales managers convinced about the power of putting in place a good CRM solution and implementing flexible systems like contact management, customer history management, etc. At the same time, cloud computing has empowered businesses large and small alike to tap into the raw predictive power of big data analytic  But even with all the powerful tools in place, predicting customer behavior confidently remains a dream. Can anything be done to move closer to that aim? Enter cross-channel communication.

The Importance of Cross-Channel Communication

Why we need to track across channels

Channel tracking is an important activity for the sales and marketing departments, and it has certainly proved effective. But the problem is that decision making is a complicated cognitive process, and the moment of decision reached in a buyer’s mind is not as cut and dried as the toss of a coin. Several small influences combine to bring into existence the tipping point of purchase, which are spread over many different channels from where the user received input.

Understanding multiple channels

But at the same time it must be understood that tracking multiple channels is not at all the same as tracking a single one. With multiple trackers in place, input size can grow exponentially and become impossible to manage. And of course seasoned marketers don’t need to be told the importance of having data analyzed than merely stored. That means businesses need to focus, and track only those channels that contribute in a tangible way. Figuring this out may not be easy, which is where marketing acumen steps in.

That said, marketing based on multiple channels opens up many priceless ways of event-driven behavioral targeting, which can give an instant boost to sales and provide a much deeper look into the mind of the consumer.

Why Sales Management Software is Crucial

In the present-day business scenario, the sales process has evolved to a whole new level. Not only has the amount of information increased, data mining and related tools have become indispensable. As a result, more capable software for handling the sales process are making an appearance.

Here are some of the key benefits these bring that other conventional solutions lack, which can make a huge difference on your sales performance:

  • Flexible inventory: Today the sales process has no clear demarcation, and thanks to mobile, lead generation, engagement and conversion can all happen simultaneously. This means the inventory has to be equally dynamic when it comes to chasing sales conversions.
  • Better pricing management: Another demand placed on businesses today is the rapid shift in business strategies, which can mean sudden changes in pricing. If the product portfolio is extensive, tracking and effecting these changes can become cumbersome. A sales management system allows you to be truly flexible in managing pricing.
  • Account management: Accounts are more complex today than ever before. Campaigns are multi-channel and multi-pronged, with an aim to measure multiple variables in sales performance. Sales management software streamlines this process and cuts down on the time invested in monitoring and tracking metrics.
  • Powerful analytics: Analytics is the most important tool for figuring out where the resources should be utilized to produce maximum results. A better understanding of the market conditions, sales performance, competition, etc., makes sure that the upcoming targets can be planned better. It also allows you to look deeper into your own sales data and recognize avenues for improvement.

All this leads to the holy grail of sales management – Forecasting. If you have accurate data and enough of it, the sales team can predict future swings with a greater degree of confidence. What challenges are you facing in your organization when it comes to forecasting? And what measures have you adopted to arrive at better results?