The Ultimate How-To CRM Guide is the document that you need to make your decision between cloud-computing technology and on-premises. We call it "Ultimate" because it is the Ultimate How-To CRM Guide, the "Must-have" Guide :)
Contents What is a CRM ? What are the benefits of using a CRM? What can you do with advanced CRM Systems? What can CRM automation provide? Why choose a cloud-based CRM ? CRM as a centralised system How to manage departments?
What are the benefits of using a CRM?• Typically, businesses would use a database application like Access to track their customer data and relations, as well as spreadsheets to hold numerical data and word processed documents to hold other notes and information. However in today’s dynamic business world; with ever increasing competition – means the need to stay one step ahead of competition is imperative for business survival. How can this be achieved? Through the use of a CRM system which enables you to track customer data, manage and track sales leads, manage campaigns, forecast sales, measure ROI and automate many marketing and sales tasks.• These days, with the vast numbers of competition out there, the number 1 factor in survival and growth is customer retention, which can be effectively achieved through the use of a CRM.
What is CRM ?• Customer Relationship Management or CRM tools enable companies to close the loop between marketing and sales.• CRM’s allows companies to track customer data, manage and track sales leads, campaign management, sales forecasting and ROI measurement.• Advanced CRM solutions also offer marketing automation and marketing campaign management that enables managers to measure the success of their campaign and the planning of future marketing campaigns.
Recent Benchmark tests reveal:• Increase revenue by 41% per sales person• Decrease sales cycles by 24%• Lead conversion rate improvements of over 300%• Customer retention improvements of 27%• Decrease sales and marketing costs by 23%• Improve profit margins by 2%
What are the benefits of using a CRM?• CRM software greatly improves the relationship between your company and its customers, which leads to increased sales, customer satisfaction and number of clients.• Increased efficiency and effectiveness regarding the processing of customer orders, relationship and related data.• Having a central database of customer relationship data, including buying behaviors and status, allows businesses to effectively segment and target each group accordingly. This ensures that all leads receive tailored marketing efforts.
What are the benefits of using a CRM?• Cloud computing is the way of the future and all companies will be associated with it, either directly or indirectly. It is estimated that by 2014, the market for cloud computing solutions will be worth $148.8 Billion. The benefits of a cloud- based CRM solution are extensive. These include access to your companies CRM, anywhere where an internet connection is available, around the globe. Cloud-based CRM solutions, are hosted by the company providing the solution.• Off-site hosting – You benefit by having your cloud computing CRM solution hosted by a separate company who specialize in securing their own software solution, optimizing their servers to suit the software and providing in depth, comprehensive support channels to their clients.• Cost Effective - Your Company doesn’t need to purchase additional hardware, software or human resources to introduce a new cloud-computing system. This means decreased costs, lower security risks, less maintenance, more efficient management and ultimately less head-ache’s. Also there will be less expenditure on data and energy.
What are the benefits of using a CRM?• Scalability and flexibility - of cloud-based CRM solutions, means the CRM solution can grow with you and your business. Cloud-Based CRM, doesn’t require additional hardware per additional user. All it requires is for the vendor to be notified and for the necessary back-end adjustments made.• Highly automated – Cloud based systems are highly automated, which means universal changes and seemingly large tasks, can be completed instantly and updating of systems can be done seamlessly. It is estimated that by 2014, such automation will decrease the labor associated with IT, by 25%• Reliability - of cloud-based systems is a big positive for all businesses. The Data is backed up instantly, which means increased protection from data loss and peace-of-mind for all users.• Simplicity – cloud solution requires less ground work by the clients, which means decreased human resources and more specialized support staff.• Relatively quick to set up – CRM based solutions are software based packages, thus they are relatively quick to set up. Your CRM provider will have the hardware implemented and ready to go, with the IT staff ready to enter the required data, to start your CRM.
What are the benefits of using a CRM?• The way of the future - Cloud based applications are quickly taking over from local based software. This is because of the cost effective benefits, decreased hardware, software and human resource requirements and the increasing need for businesses to provide mobile office options. The top CRM brands will provide a cloud-based CRM solution, so be sure to enquire about cloud-based options, which are sure to be of benefit to your organization. It is believed that eventually, most business applications will be served through cloud-based system, due to the cost effective nature of cloud-computing.
What can you do with advanced CRM Systems?• Capture Leads: Funnel all enquiries and leads from multiple sources into one centralized database for further qualification, rules-based assignment and follow-up.• Customizable Management Workflow: Provide online access to the centralized database with fully customizable roles and permissions for sales, marketing and the extended enterprise team including distributors, channel partners and third party support vendors.• Track leads instantly: Track leads from lead generation to close• Sales Force Automation: Support sales force automation (SFA) and contact management to increase sales productivity and enrich interactions with prospects and customers.• Closed loop Marketing: Close the loop between marketing and sales.• Analyze your business: Measure ROI on marketing campaigns to better target marketing budgets for maximum revenue impact
What can you do with advanced CRM Systems?• Data mining: Data mine for marketing intelligence• Manual of use: Access to sales tools, success stories and sharing of best practice• Workflow automation: Basic tasks are automated, reducing time-consuming paperwork and shortening the sales cycle.• Manage funnel: Customer profiling allows sales teams to identify the most qualified prospects, improving customer interactions and resulting in higher close ratios.• Disaster Relief: All the CRM’s data is stored offsite with a company who specialize in security and data management, to ensure your data is safe and backed-up instantly.• Sales Forecasting: forecast and pipeline reports support individual and team planning, goal setting and evaluation
What can you do with advanced CRM Systems?• Instant Report: Real-time lead tracking and reporting allows users to see what is working best so that messages can be refined accordingly.• Marketing campaign: Knowledgebase and data mining tools facilitate audience targeting for future promotions• Promote your brand: Additional value-add capabilities such as promotion-specific microsites, landing pages and online event registration sites further support demand generation efforts.• Business Intelligence Dashboard: Generate reports and save them on your dashboard. These reports dynamically update based on activity.• E-marketing: instant marketing results.
What can you do with advanced CRM Systems?Time Management:• CRM’s allow managers to focus exclusively on their work; avoiding distraction from your core business. This means managers will work with greater efficiency, effectiveness and productivity, doing what they do best. With built in scheduling tools and calendar options, users are able to manage their appointments, meetings and work schedules, more efficiently.Workflow/Marketing Automation:• With CRM Workflow/Marketing Automation, you can manage your data efficiently by importing data, creating campaigns to determine leads source conversion rates, develop and track multiple marketing activities per contact, synchronize data with your mail client, generate & capture leads, approve your captured leads through web sites and assign to the right sales persons in your organisation and much, much more.• CRM’s can also segment your leads to allow for you to appropriately tailor to marketing efforts to each segment. This maximises the effectives of your campaign and will generate more leads and ultimately more customers.
What can you do with advanced CRM Systems?Improved Customer Service:• Improvements in customer service can be instantly realized, as all the customers data can be accessed with just a few clicks on the CRM. Users can search for each customer individually and find data relating to all buying behaviors. Quality CRM’s will filter the results to allow for increased efficiency when accessing customer data.Instant Reports:• With your CRM, you can instantly generate live reports for lead tracking and reporting allows users to see what is working best so that their marketing messages can be refined accordingly. The reports all assist in communicating the data to the sales, marketing and management teams.
What can you do with advanced CRM Systems?Contact Management:• Contact Management tools are included within your CRM which make keeping track of your customers contact details simple and efficient. The range of benefits includes: – Easily update customer records, with 1 click – All contact history including notes, activities, emails, calendar events, deals etc, can be stored in one central location. – Develop relationships with your customers and access a complete history of all communications – Manage any number of contacts and profiles – Send personalized emails direct to your leads
What can CRM automation provide?Sales Force Automation:• Sales force automation will improve the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of your sales team. This system will also improve the communication between the sales team and customers. In order to maximise effectiveness, all customer interactions should be handled by the sales force automation system.Close the gap between marketing and sales:• Closing the gap between marketing and sales provides your company with many important benefits. You are able to track your leads from the moment your marketing campaign creates a prospect; to the moment they enter your sales pipeline; into the future. The benefit being, you can analyse the effectiveness of each step in the sales process and understand how and why you are getting the results you are getting. This helps understand exactly which areas of the campaign require improvement, to get the desired successful results.
What can CRM automation provide?Measure ROI:• Marketing departments are always required to justify their expenditure to receive their slice of the budget. Knowing that a marketing campaign managed to generate X number of leads is important, but doesn’t provide justifications for budgets.• By measuring and analysing your marketing campaigns to better target marketing budgets for maximum revenue impact. Forecasting performance in made simply, with in depth chart, graphing and reporting tools, to keep you up to date. By having the ability to measure the results each campaign delivers, you are able to accurately measure the effectiveness of the campaign and budget appropriately for future marketing efforts, which will in turn, increase profits for your company.
What can CRM automation provide?Marketing Campaign:• Quality CRM’s includes knowledge and data mining tools to facilitate current and future audience targeting promotions. Marketing Campaigns will be more refined to target each customer in each segment, which in turn will drive more leads into your sales pipeline. Users can track buying behavior of customers and understand statistically how their marketing campaigns are affecting the purchasing behavior of customers.Data Mining:• Most CRM’s include Data Mining tools to effectively manage data and interpret data from within the application, to produce clear and concise user-friendly output.• Data Mining occurs in a 5 stage process: – Extract, alter and load transaction data from customers, into database – Store and control data in database – Make data warehouse available to management and IT dept. – Analyse the data with application. – Display data in user-friendly forms e.g. Charts and Graphs.
What can CRM automation provide?Promote your brand:• Additional value-add capabilities such as promotion- specific micro sites, landing pages and online event registration sites further support demand generation efforts. Superior CRM’s will provide tools that allow users to create tailored emails to target specific leads and customers.• One advanced feature in some CRM’s is they allow you to track the moment the email is sent, to the moment it is received and opened by your lead. This helps you to track what your customers want and what they are interesting in knowing more information about. This means your company can streamline its marketing efforts and produce the most profitable results. Be sure to confirm with your CRM provider that this feature is available.
Why choose a cloud-based CRM solution?Updates:• As technology is forever changing and developing, a dynamic back-end that updates without end-user intervention is ideal to keep to your organization running without interruption. A cloud-CRM can provide this as the maintenance of the CRM back-end is handled entirely by the providing company. It’s highly beneficial to your organization if the CRM solution provided includes free updates for the life of the product.API:• Your organisation will benefit, if your CRM solution allows you to adapt it to other applications used by your organization e.g. online newsletter sign-up form. API’s will allow your CRM to exchange data with other applications and services. This will be quite beneficial to your business.
Why choose a cloud-based CRM solution?Scalability:• With the increase in leads, customers and the size of your organization, comes the need to increase the capacity of your CRM’s database. Quality Cloud-based CRM’s have the ability to grow with your business and adapt to your growing client base. Be sure to enquire about the scalability of your CRM solution, before implementing it.Cloud Security:• CRM providers and vendors are usually more up-to-date with their security and protection systems, as oppose to small or medium enterprises. Businesses will benefit from peace-of-mind, knowing their exposure to security risks is greatly decreased as oppose to having the responsibility of securing and maintaining their CRM, when they need to be focusing their resources on sales and marketing.
Why choose a cloud-based CRM solution?After Sales Support:• An easy to use, yet powerful CRM solution is ideal for businesses. However after sales support of your CRM solution is imperative to the success of the CRM’s implementation. Successful support begins with a comprehensive support tool, with a link built into the CRM. Superior CRM companies will provide a central hub of 24/7 support data e.g. a blog or online documentation, which will give you peace-of-mind knowing you can have your queries answered promptly, to maintain the highest quality of productivity and efficiency as possible. Live demonstrations and webinar’s are other important features of a quality CRM as they provide a hands-on approach to training and learning how to use your CRM system, at your own pace!Tailored CRM Solution:• Superior CRM solutions provide customization options for your CRM to suit the industry your business operates in. e.g. Retail, Insurance, Health, Education, Call Centre, Construction, Services etc. Just notify your CRM provider of your businesses industry and request that your CRM solution be customized accordingly.
Why choose a cloud-based CRM solution?Offline CRM:• Quality CRM solutions will provide support for Offline use. So no matter if you’ve forgotten your mobile modem at home or your mobile phone has simply dropped out of range, you can still edit the CRM data and synchronize with the cloud based CRM, when you connect to the internet again.Analysis:• CRM’s provide ability to analyze customers and their buying behaviors. By offering tools to track customers purchases from becoming a lead to becoming part of the sales pipeline and beyond, all data can be analyze by your CRM. This not only assists with providing appropriate budgeting, but also lets businesses see the impacts of their marketing campaigns. This is a vital tool for survival in a business world full of competition.
Why choose a cloud-based CRM solution?• One efficient and easy to use Centralised system –• Superior CRM’s will be simple, straight-forward cloud- based systems, that offer a central hub of securely hosted customer relationship data management tools.• Efficiency is maximised with a centralised CRM system and response times cut, allowing for better management of customer data and ultimately improved customer service.• Your customer data can be managed seamlessly, just with the click of a button.• e.g. Medical centre’s can benefit from having their practitioners in the CRM and allowing each GP to input patient data, manage their history and effectively keep track of the patients health status. The administration of the medical centre can assign patients, update contact records, send mail merged emails etc.
CRM as centralised systemCentralise all communication and client’s information, folder anddocuments into 1 easy-to- access system:• All your client and customer’s communication and transaction data and documents are all integrate into 1 easy to access system and because it’s stored in the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere around the world, where an internet connection is available. This also includes web-enabled mobile devices like iPhones and other smart phones.System that reduces administration burden:• 39% of a sales reps time is spent on completing administrative tasks. High-quality CRM’s can halve this amount, with built in automation tools. Users can easily update customer records with just 1 click.• Administration time is slashed due to all customer relationship data such as contact information, business transactions and marketing campaign progress, all being stored in one secure, easy- to-use, cloud-based CRM application. Put an end to the days of switching between a number of documents, spreadsheets and database applications to find the data you are looking for. Your CRM provider handles all your customer data from one central application.
How to manage any department?Your CRM helps you manage any department (HR, SALES,Contact centre etc):• Being able to access your entities data from one central application, will improve the efficiency and productivity of any department in your organisation including HR, Sales, Contact Centre, IT, Marketing and of course, Administration. Gone are days of switching between any number of applications to access data about your customers, sending out marketing campaigns, forecast sales & ROI etc.Centralised all information about products and services, sothat it can be easily controlled by customised live report:• Combining your customer data with you CRM’s powerful live reporting tools, you can access real time reports for measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns and response of your leads.
How to manage any department?Improved Customer Service:• Improvements in customer service can be instantly realized, as all the customers data can be accessed with just a few clicks on the CRM. Users can search for each customer individually and find data relating to all buying behaviors. Quality CRM’s will filter the results to allow for increased efficiency when accessing customer data.Instant Reports:• With your CRM, you can instantly generate live reports for lead tracking and reporting allows users to see what is working best so that their marketing messages can be refined accordingly. The reports all assist in communicating the data to the sales, marketing and management teams.