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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?

Better Customer Relations with Sales Force Automation

The first thing that comes to mind when considering Sales Force Automation (SFA) is the aggregated strategies and solutions implemented to improve a company’s sales force performance. However, that’s not where the advantages stop. Besides improving core sales management processes and making forecasts more accurate, CRM-based SFA is also a great tool to better customer relations. The reason this connection isn’t immediately obvious is because businesses still think that relationship management needs to be separately pursued. Not really!

Here’s how sales force automation through CRM leads to happier customers:

  • Improved customer interaction: The quality of customer interaction improves when they don’t have to repeat the entire history every time. A CRM solution keeps your sales department updated on the customer profile, and this awareness translates into increased satisfaction.
  • Quickly accessible information: It usually happens that customer information is spread across multiple departments. This can delay process requests considerably, and even become a deterrent when it comes to handling urgent complaints. By connecting everything centrally, a CRM solution reduces the overall time and makes the customer feel valued.
  • Timely notifications: A CRM can help you set up behavior-oriented notifications so that you are able to extract most value from an ongoing customer engagement. From sending customized information on special days to delivering the information you once promised, this function of the CRM is highly useful in creating customer delight.
  • Contact management: For companies that work with large sales teams, one problem is the unavoidable loss of a known face to the customer. Contact management helps you get a better handle on this, providing sales representatives a clear one-to-one mapping and making all important details available on time.

Why You Need a Sales Tracking System

Capturing high-quality data is important for improving any sales process, but there’s another side to it. If you don’t put an organizational system in place, the data is soon going to pile up and threaten to inundate your sales processes. It’s because every part of the sales process—lead details, customer profiling, interaction history, transaction details, contact information, preference analysis, etc.—produces large amounts of data which presents archival and retrieval challenges. If you fail in that, all the data gleaned with so much trouble will be worth nothing.

Why You Need a Sales Tracking System

Why You Need a Sales Tracking System

Enter sales tracking systems

It’s a well-known fact that human beings are not great at organizing information on their own. Good tools are always needed, and the answer for your sales needs comes in the form of a sales tracking system. Part of a CRM system, is lets you store every data item with proper tagging and classification, making it easy to review and extract insights later. Such a process can help identify critical areas of sales underperformance, helping management take better decisions.

But these high-level fixes are not the only thing a sales tracking system is good at. It also organizes customer communication and transaction history, so that the right information is available to the sales representative instantly. Also, Sales efficiency improves across the organization as inputs needed from other sales managers can be centralized. Further, it becomes possible to track the entire product or service lineup in the finest of detail, helping your sales department understand performance better.

In a nutshell, a sales tracking system is all about saving yourself from entering a nightmare of too many things to manage. That’s why a good CRM solution should be flexible enough to accommodate required changes.

Do you use a sales tracking system? Whatever be your answer, we want to hear your response in the comments!

Thinking about Customer Trust

There can be no doubt that customer trust should be the number one priority for any sales team. It’s the magic glue that binds everything together, and is more effective than any groundbreaking strategy you can think of. But it’s also true that most enterprises find themselves short of answers when it comes to developing customer trust; after all, getting repeat business seems about the most difficult thing to do. It’s important to realize that trust can’t be an add-on to your business model. If you are to sustain results by delighting end-users, forethought needs to be woven into the workflows.

Thinking about Customer Trust

Thinking about Customer Trust

Trust and CRM

Successful CRM implementation rests on quality customer data. It is only when you have a correct snapshot of the customer profile that you can predict future sales with confidence. But acquiring correct information doesn’t have so much to do with data-capture tools than winning goodwill: People will give extensive and correct information about themselves only when they trust you. Moreover, companies that have loyal users can bank on creating better customized products to appeal to different segments.

Trust plays another important role: In the world of emerging technologies where different vendors are pitching more or less similar products, it’s the companies that work hard to create an experience for the users that can hope to sustain and grow their business.

Fundamentals of trust

Trust is simply a combination of convenience and security. A business should not be focused too heavily on its financial statements, working instead to continuously ensure that users find value in the products or services offered. Accountability plays a big role, because companies that can mitigate wildfires quickly succeed in connecting with their users instantly. Ultimately, it’s about giving the kind of service you’d personally like to receive.

What are your experiences related to customer trust? What special steps have you taken to make sure the end-user is delighted? Let us know in the comments.