Think Outside the Box When Selecting a CRM Solution

When selecting a CRM Solution Are you struggling to differentiate one CRM solution from the myriad of others? Of course you are and here is why. For the most part the majority of CRM systems targeted at small to mid-size businesses are all the same, differentiated primarily by price.

These systems are generically designed to capture, track, manage and share information. But let’s face it, how many ways are there to add a new company, a contact, or a note into a CRM system? There’s only one. How about adding a new lead, a sales opportunity or a follow-up activity? One again. So if the majority of the systems you are evaluating are all alike how in the world are you going to identify the best one for your business? Read on and I will tell you.

First, you need to start by thinking outside the box. If the majority of the CRM systems you evaluating all have similar features and functions, then you need to expand your evaluation criteria beyond just features and functions. Start with an evaluation of the company. How long have they been in business, where do they host your data and what type of back-up and recovery services do they provide. Have them explain the on-boarding process and what type of training will be provided. What level of professional services does the company offer? Do they have expertise in providing best practices for improving sales execution, target marketing and automating customer service? Will you have telephone access to these resources or will you be required to send an e-mail and hope for a response? How will they ensure that you will realize the maximum value from their software? These are the areas that differentiate one CRM provider from another and they are very important, but we are not done yet.

The key thing you should be doing to be comfortable that you are making the right decision is what I refer to as “Proof of Value”. CRM vendors will all try to convince you that they have more features than their competition and that their product is easier to use. That’s all well and good, but that’s not why you are looking to implement a CRM system. You probably started off looking for a solution to address one or two specific business challenges. That’s the priority. Don’t allow yourself to get wrapped up in a feature function war because it’s not about who has the most features or the lowest price – it’s about who can best address your specific business requirements. What you need from the solution provider is Proof of Value.

Proof of Value means you need to see how the solution provider will successfully address your business requirements.

Let’s say for example that your company is not generating quality leads. You are getting leads, but they are not qualified and fizzle out very quickly leaving the sales team and management frustrated. This could be the result of several issues. Perhaps you do not have the proper marketing mix for lead generation. Maybe your message is attracting the wrong prospects or you have not properly targeted the right audience for your product or service. That’s why you need a CRM solution right? Well not so fast, I am sorry to tell you that no CRM solution on its own will address this problem. Sure you can use CRM to create some templates and send bulk e-mails, but this business challenge requires more than sending more marketing campaigns. Let’s take a step back and revisit my recommendation for thinking outside the box. Most CRM systems have a marketing module for sending out bulk emails and they are all pretty much the same, so you need to be looking at those that can add value services for “Proof of Value.” – Read more

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The Importance of CRM Data Cleansing

The Importance of CRM Data Cleansing

Accurate information housed in your customer relationship management (CRM) system is important if you want to reach customers and prospects at the right time, using the right channel. However, studies estimate that 30% of company databases grow outdated yearly. The errors and inconsistencies in your CRM data make it difficult to gain reliable insights. Data Cleansing is important.

So why is it important to clean your data regularly? Bad data can waste your time, effort, and resources — impacting your overall ROI. Tedious as it may be, habitual data cleansing and organization can actually improve the way your marketing, sales, and customer service teams work.

The Impact of Bad Data on Your Bottom Line 

When was the last time you organized the customer data on your CRM platform? If it has been a few years, you might encounter issues the next time you try to communicate with your customers. 

If you’re in the B2B industry, companies encounter many changes; your contacts may have left, the company may have hired new leaders, or they simply moved their business address. A similar situation also occurs in B2C, albeit more rapidly as customers change their phone numbers or switch email addresses. 

Bad data is defined as information that is incorrect, outdated, duplicate, improperly formatted, low-quality, or completely missing from your marketing, sales, and customer database. Instead of being able to utilize this data strategically, bad data could actually cause you to commit errors in your marketing campaign or sales interaction. 

Human error is often the cause of bad data; it can’t be avoided if you’re relying on people to input data by hand. You are more likely to find names typed in the wrong case, bouncing email addresses, or blank fields which can be frustrating. Aside from being confusing, bad data can also cause problems within your business. These include:

An ineffective marketing campaign

Customers love it when companies put in the effort to give them a personalized experience. However, mistakes in your database can lead to wrong personalization: opt-outs, email delivery errors, or higher spam reports. Aside from missing an opportunity to build a relationship with your customers, you might end up wasting your marketing budget on the wrong prospects and lower overall customer satisfaction. 

A negative brand perception 

Prospects who might have been interested in your products or services could change their mind if they feel like your brand is not right for them. Maybe you recorded the wrong birthdate or gender for a potential customer and ended up placing them in the wrong demographic. Getting critical information wrong could cost you a good brand perception. And since you would only have a limited number of interactions to attract your target audience, it would be difficult to win them back or develop a good relationship with them. – Read more

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Improve Your Sales Outcomes by Using CRM Predictive Analytics

Organizations typically utilize multiple sales tech software to bring in more customers. However, having more of these tools doesn’t necessarily equate to more products sold. Sometimes, the only thing that your sales and marketing team needs is the right CRM system and its predictive analytics to secure more deals.

So how can CRM predictive analytics boost the company’s sales outcome? By discovering qualified leads, organizing prospect contact, tracking call outcomes, proving better product prices, and retaining more customers, the secured sales of a company may increase steadily thanks to CRM predictive analytics.

What CRM Predictive Analytics is and How it Can Improve Your Business

Customer relationship management (CRM) software serves as the anchor for the sales team in an organization. In 2019, around 74% of businesses in the country utilize CRM for better access to their customer data. However, most of these businesses are not aware of the full capabilities that the right CRM software can bring them. Most CRM software feature AI-informed predictive analytics which can help the organization boost sales outcomes.

Predictive analytics is simply the utilization of historical data on customer behavior to create a more accurate prediction of future results. Thanks to machine learning and other technology like CRM software, predictive analytics can parse more data and produce more accurate predictions without requiring long manual processing hours.

There are several predictive analytic theories out there, but only three of them can help you create smarter decisions about improving the sales in your company.

3 Types of Predictive Analytics

1. Sequencing

This type of business analytics is about analyzing the probability of a potential customer buying the product if they perform other actions. For example, if a person downloads a whitepaper and clicks a pricing page, what’s the possibility that they will buy the product too?

The concept of sequencing came from the works of A.A. Markov, a Russian mathematician. His works about probability theory state that an action is equally likely to happen if the two previous actions occurred first. All you have to do is observe the historical patterns of actions A and B to predict the likelihood of action C happening.

2. Cross-Selling

Cross-selling utilizes the analytic data to predict what companion products a buyer may purchase. The best example of this predictive analytics is the “frequently bought with” suggestions – an effective marketing strategy found in online selling sites like Amazon.

This strategy has a higher success rate for existing customers than potential ones. Using the key customer data collected by the CRM, it’s easier to analyze their buying habits and suggest companion products whenever they visit a pricing page.

3. Lack of Action

While the first two types are about interpreting the existing data about a customer, lack of action focuses on the behavior of the customers that have stopped buying from the company. One of the possible reasons why a customer’s communication with a brand wanes is due to an unsatisfactory product or service. By identifying the cause of their dissatisfaction, it’s possible to reach out and save the relationship.

CRM is helpful in this case because the software can analyze trends or patterns that you can use to create a “fall-off” model. By combining the pattern collected in the “fall-off” model and the sequencing data, the team can identify which buyers are likely to buy the product.

5 Ways to Boost Your Sales with CRM Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics has become widely used by different companies and organizations because it is an effective sales strategy to boost sales outcomes. Here are five ways that CRM predictive analytics can help your business grow:

1. Discover Qualified Leads

Lead scoring is a practice that’s much older than machine learning or predictive analytics itself. It’s the method of determining which among the potential buyers are likely to purchase the product using luck, guesswork, and spreadsheet data. But with the recent advancement in technology, lead scoring has become more accurate and less time-consuming.

CRM predictive analytics allows the sales team to determine which among the interested parties can become customers, as well as how long they can continue buying from the brand. By identifying which potential buyers to focus on, the team can dedicate most of their time and efforts to fruitful transactions.

The predictive analytics today can allow the team to access important information about the buyer, such as how similar the product is to the customer’s needs and how far a potential customer is from buying the product. It can even predict which member among the sales team is likely to secure the purchase.

2. Organize Prospect Contact

Analytical solutions like CRM predictive analytics allow team members to have more productive transactions. With the right information, agents will have to spend less time on the wrong transaction.

The right information can advise the team which customer to call and when it’s best to call them. CRM predictive analytics analyzes the information about the potential buyer, including the number of calls needed before a conversation is reached. It also includes data such as email open rate and length of sales talk time from past interactions.

These kinds of information help the sales team form a strategy and the marketing team plan a campaign while reducing administrative tasks and increasing contact time with the prospect. – Read More

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