How to Have Your Sales Team Love the CRM

For many enterprises the challenges begin after the CRM system is installed. The biggest challenge that they face is with user acceptance, especially that of the sales team. Most companies are driven by the performance of their sales team. But unfortunately, they are also the most unorganized workforce in an organization. As it happens, most of the sales representatives are still old fashioned. They believe in stick-on pads and address books and often possess average computer skills. But since the success of the CRM system mostly depends upon the data gathered by your sales department it is imperative to have them recognize the contact management software and maintain it. Here are ten smart tips to have your sales team by your side in making your CRM efforts successful.

sales-efficiency-ratio

  • Ensure involvement: It is important to identify the key players in your organization who are going to play significant role in CRM adoption. Involve them from the beginning. It will help you in developing the best CRM strategy appropriate for your business.
  • Highlight the benefits: Most often CRM implementation is challenged by the question ‘what is in it for me?’ Playing up the benefits will help your team recognize their benefits in adopting the sales force automation software. Arrange demos for your team that will tell them about the benefits of contact management system. Don’t make it look like a task; rather encourage your team to take advantage of its sophisticated features.
  • Arrange for training: If you think your sales team needs to be trained to use the CRM arrange for enough training sessions. However, the needs of training can be minimized by adopting simpler solutions. This is one of the reasons that many small and medium size organizations are inclined towards adopting SaaS CRM. These are simpler solutions, specially designed to fit in SMB environment.
  • Identify key users: Identify the people and the groups who are going to use the system most. You may also take into account the people who are most influential within the group. Form a core group of early adopters and involve them during the implementation process. Seek their feedback on improvements.
  • Trial phase: Some software vendors, specially the cloud based ones, allow users to run a trial phase by offering free cloud based CRM software. You can test run the software to confirm if your sales team is comfortable using it. This is one advantage allowed by SaaS vendors over legacy software providers.
  • Ensure mobility: Your sales team should be able to access the software on their mobile phones and tablets when they are out in the market. Light weight, web-based CRM solutions offer better accessibility to the data stored in the contact management software and also provide online backup and updated facilities.
  • Easy customization options: Adopting a CRM solution that is customizable will let your sales team personalize the UI according to their needs. They will be able to customize the dashboard and even the fields of the lists to make it more interactive and informative.
  • Adopt phased out implementation: Do not bombard your users with the most advanced features of the software at once. Phased out implementation is the most preferred CRM implementation technique. Also, do not over customize the system. Once your users are comfortable with the basic functionalities they will find it easier to upgrade themselves to the updated versions.
  • Round the clock support: During the initial phase of CRM implementation you may expect many hiccups. Ensuring technical support from the vendor will help in dealing with the issues faster. This will translate into earning confidence of your users and improve user adoption rate.
  • Integration: The CRM shouldn’t look like cast away island. Your sales team may need the support of the other departments to process their deals faster. You must insist on creating a unified platform within the CRM for better data sharing and collaboration.

Installing a CRM software in your organization won’t worth much unless and until it’s being put into use. It is important to ensure that the data is regularly inputted in the system and the information gleaned is being used to drive in more business.

Article originally written by Paul Anderson

5 pitfalls to CRM success and how to overcome them

Lack of Guidance

When implementing a CRM, there needs to be a mutually agreed upon goals in place. A CRM initiative without goals will collapse.

The business owner must start by crafting a valid business case for CRM before looking into CRM solutions. One can also assemble multiple teams to determine specific, measurable goals for the initiative. Areas to consider can include automating processes that will improve user productivity and boost customer satisfaction, streamlining marketing and sales processes, giving customer-facing employees access to a 360-degree view of customer details, etc.

Integration Concerns

There are no applications which can solve all integration problems. Most customers expect integration to happen like plugging a light fixture into a socket and flipping a switch, when in fact it is an evolutionary process. With an integrated system there are always inconsistencies between the separate applications. It is always advisable to consider what is important or the need of the hour than planning to merge and include everything that can possibly fit in.

No Long-Term Strategy

CRM is a business process change, often supported by technology. Many business leaders don’t align their business processes to meet specific goals. Factors like job roles and responsibilities, accountability, and incentives are required for CRM to succeed.

For a long-term business process change to be effective, have members of the CRM implementation team spend time in the field to determine how the CRM Software will help employees.

Dirty Data

An often-overlooked factor is dirty data, or inaccurate and old information. Data is the lifeblood of a CRM system, and incorrect numbers, spelling mistakes, and outdated contact information can infect the system if it is left unchecked. It has become uncommon to have 25 to 40 percent data duplication rates. There are two main reasons for this, either the Customer touch points have multiplied, or the speed at which people enter the data has increased. Dirty data can not only cost a lot to companies, but it can severely hinder CRM adoption rates.

Lack of Employee Acceptance

It is quite natural to resist change. Many of the sales people may ask, for example, Why should we be forced to change our working habits, when those very habits helped us become so successful? On the other hand, poorer performers may fear the outcome of their managers having a closer window into their bad habits. Failure to convince these and other employees of the benefits of CRM often results in passive resistance and low employee-adoption rates.

Effectively communicating the benefits of CRM to users should strengthen their confidence in and comfort levels with the new system.

Why Welcome Mails are Important?

What is Welcome mail?

Have you come across multiple emails from the sites that you subscribed or registered? Most of the applications and websites now send you welcome or first communication mail to help you get started or to show the gratitude for your effort.

How does one make this happen? No, definitely its not a manual work behind the screens. Rather many applications now support automated mail triggers which can send welcome emails without human intervenes.

Before getting to know how you can get this configured, let us try to analyze why welcome mail is essntial.

Why are Welcome mails important?

  1. Welcome mail can act as first mail exchange between your business and your client. It can set a good tone or a solid background on long-term selling approach that benefits both of you.
  2. It is an excellent way to promote your business at the initial stage itself.
  3. Personalized welcome mails can do a lot to inspire customers to stick with you.
  4. Sharing point of contact in the welcome emails can also be nice and helpful for your clients to reach you.
  5. Give your customers the sense of ease and comfort by connecting to them.

Don’t come into a conclusion that welcome mails are not relevant for your business. This approach works for EVERY business, no matter what industry you’re in.

How can you automate this?

Welcome mails must be sent as soon as your client signs up or registers or when you receive their enquiry on your products or services. Most of the CRM Software applications support this automation.

Contact Maple CRM Support team to have this configured in your Maple CRM system. You can have your welcome mail template ready and also ensure to have a personalized content that can work great for your client relationship.

The welcome mail content that you share is set for automated mail sending on new enquiry registration. Similar approach works for sending automated SMS as well.

Few quick suggestions:

  1. Email Formatting: Whether you decide to go with text or html mailers, have your content completely formatted to look great when it reaches your clients inbox.
  2. Personalization: Your clients are more likely to open your email which it comes from a person’s name rather than the company name. A person’s name can showcase quality of the email.
  3. Avoid Promotion: Focus more on customer and ways to help or guide him rather than trying to promote your business in the welcome mail.
  4. Help your customers find you: Welcome mail can include contact details or link to social accounts which can help customers reach you.

A well planned and strategic mail can make a lot of difference in the way how you do your business and manage client relationships.

 

Optimize and Measure your Lead Source

Can you quantify how many leads your business receives from each marketing channel? More importantly, do you know which channels bring your most qualified prospects? As a business owner, it is vital that you are able to measure your lead source time to time to make strategic decisions and make profitable business.

Lead source is a critical piece of data you need in order to assess the value of your marketing campaigns and to take it forward with you lead management.

Maple CRM Solution

If you are using any Marketing or Sales tool to manage your lead process, you would have noticed the lead source or account source as one of the field to capture. By putting in place the best practices, you will be sure you can measure the value of your sales process efforts.

Define lead sources

Tracking lead sources can get confusing when leads encounter multiple touch points at a later stage. Ensure to have the lead sources defined which can be allocated whenever a new lead flows in. Most common applicable sources could be social media, advertisements, website, phone call, etc which can be followed with multiple others sources applicable to your business.

Avoid cluttering of lead source

During the initial stages you might have identified a set of lead sources and over a period of time that may keep growing. However, try to keep the number of lead sources to a minimum when customizing. Many tools provide charts and graphs based on sources which can be very informative with a good set of valuable sources.

Keep the lead source constant

Lead source should never change. The lead source is to identify where the lead is oginating from and that must not be changed once captured.

Analyze lead source

The value of a lead from each source varies from company to company. As important is the defining of your lead sources is, accurately tracking them is just as vital. If you are using Sales Management software or any Marketing Automation tool, you will be able to keep a good tracking process in place with different levels of metrics. Many tools offer various types of charts and reporting to have an indepth annalysis on the lead sourcing which you can make use of.

Accurately tracking lead sources is certainly a major value proposition for most of the businesses. Doing this step correctly is crucial to maximize your sales profits.

 

Handling multiple Business Entities in one CRM

Well, it is a common understanding that each business can have its own CRM solution. Who would have thought of collaborating all in one? or rather the question could be is it possible to configure multiple business entities in one single CRM system?

Yes, with multi dimensional CRM platform you can configure different verticals in one CRM software system.

You being the business owner can have the complete control of all your business entities and manage the process with ease. It would be extremely convenient with just one tool for all these distinct processes. The system can be defined to work based on each entity along with strict access control.

How does it work?

As illustrated in the above picture, no two businesses are same and neither are the processes they follow.

Maple CRM offers such multi company utility configuration within the same CRM system without much hassle. The solution ensures to have a less complicated and a user friendly system that can be customized to match your requirements and your process. It provides the flexibility to organize your CRM with multiple process defined.

To explore more on this feature and to have it incorporated for your business or businesses, do reach out to our solution experts. Call + 91 95389 25641 or write an email to info@maplecrm.com

Workflow Automation – Key feature of any Smart CRM

Maple CRM

Automating day to day operations play a major role in improving your business process. The feature helps in eliminating most of the manual tasks and streamlines the business process by running on rules.

CRM solutions offer workflow automations making your business hours more productive by taking care of the routine tasks for you. With the competitive market around, many of the workflow automation feature comes with powerful and modern tool to configure rules based on each business requirement.

Here’s a look at some of the most common examples of workflow automation:

Never miss a due date

Using the workflow automation you can configure your rule engine to remind you prior to the contract/subscription renewal. You can set time based actions as per your process. The action could be directly an email notification to customer or a reminder to your own team to take appropriate actions.

Manage Service Desk Notification

Keep your customers informed on the ticket or query raised by them. You can personalize the content by letting your customers know the time frame for resolution, issue status and which agent is taking care of it. The more information and message you pass, the more customers would be happy that they are being informed. You can set such triggers to be for email or SMS.

Extend your CRM solution with Customized Triggers

Each business has its own process model. Your CRM solution can be configured to set custom based triggers based on any field or at various stages. These conditional triggers can be defined with one or more actions that can take place automatically as configured.

The key benefit of workflow automation is to provide a consistent customer experience and at the same time eliminate all the redundant or routine tasks. Workflow automation allows you to develop standardized response protocols and ensures that they’re followed.

Smart & Flexible is the key to the Future CRM!

One size fits all“. Does this phrase hold good when it comes to business and software applications?

Many CRM systems are built to fit varied industries and business sectors. In the early days, having any CRM would mean that you have multiple options that you can use as your CRM would comprise of everything to anything and that’s why you had to pay a hefty price for the same. Hence, the one size fits all approach was acceptable.

Over the years, CRM solutions have evolved to offer many features that can work on a customized approach to fit into any business. The focus has changed to a flexible mode that that can be opted as needed. It comes down to the features and functions that any business wants to priortize and the costing varies based on what has been chosen rather than everything.

The current demand is that CRM has to respond in a different way to every individual in the organization. That would mean virtually every individual interacting with an organization’s CRM system needs a view of that system that is uniquely personal. So in fact, it becomes contrary of the one-size-fits-all system. Instead of being a huge system offering everything to everyone, it should be a system that simply returns whatever information, in whatever form, to whatever interface, an individual needs – whenever it’s asked to.

The future CRM demands to have a personal view which should present the information I need, remind me in the way how I want it to be reminded and the CRM should definitely be smart enough to deliver my personalized experience in a device – appropriate manner.

And ‘Smart” is the real key here. Moving forward, market is looking for the CRM systems that can truly deliver value to users and customers, CRM systems that are smarter, dynamically personalized for each individual’s needs, and capable of helping us handle the more complex challenges.

Saying that, there are a lot of CRM software choices today in the market, but consider the importance of using a system that was designed with you in mind. One that fits your business.

Having a project plan ready for CRM Implementation

CRM Implementation

The success of a CRM project greatly depends on the planning and strategy that has been done for the CRM implementation. The CRM Implementation project plan is like a road map connected to various activities of each department which must be clearly defined and understood to make it work.

This article can help you plan on the successful CRM implementation, so lets get started.

1. Detailed Analysis

Ensure to review your internal process. What are the steps involved from the initial contact of the customer to winning the deal? How does the contact get allocated and assigned? What are the most time consuming steps? What steps in the process can be automated? etc.

2. Current System

How are the quotations and invoices being generated? How does the team manage the documents? How are all the details recorded and where is it stored? If you were already using a different system, then what went wrong with it? This can help you have clear idea on what you can expect from your CRM system and how to implement the missing points.

3. Get the team involved

Talk to your team and understand the pain points of their work process and what can help them to improve their productivity. Understand which people are involved in what process and how this can be set in place when you have a CRM system.

4. The data migration

Understand the possibility of migrating your existing data into the system and also ensure to move away the junk data which is no longer needed so that once your CRM system is ready, your team can focus on the things that are needed to. The unnecessary administrative work need not be pushed again into the CRM.

Once you have the above points ready, chalk out a plan on the kick off dates. Each of the stage can have a time line associated based on the priorities for your process.

The CRM configuration is the base to get your CRM process into the execution. So it is important that you have the configuration plan ready based on the above points discussed. Altering the configuration after the system being rolled out can bring chaos to the entire plan and also to the team.

Remember not everything can happen in one day. Configuration is one side of the story. But the other side is when your team has to get involved, start understanding the system and get the CRM system rooted into their everyday process and only after certain period of time things would change and the process becomes much easier.

If you would like me to help you on the above plan or answer any questions on what is involved in a CRM implementation, then contact me at +91 95389 25641 . You can also send your email to info@maplecrm.com

Why to shift your business operations into CRM?

The seemingly unending list of task and follow ups to do and with so many activities is it not a daunting task for you team to keep note of things here and there and finally end up forgetting where? & who will take the responsibility of missing those follow ups?

Ultimately it is the frustration that comes out from every individual who is not able to efficiently manage the work and the from the management who believes that the problem lies within the team.

Here are few of the reasons why CRM can be a great help to you business:

1. Administrative burden

When manually done, it is an inefficient way of managing activities and ends up in encountering with a lot of human errors plus it comes with unnecessary time wastage which can definitely be avoided by having a CRM in place that can help not only to eliminate the administrative tasks but also to improve the output results.

2. Process Issues

Maintaining and managing records in an efficient and easy to use manner is vital for every business. When needed, the details should be easily accessible and available for your team. The problem of having the details stored at individuals desk or paper may not solve the problem rather, an online CRM can be of great help to quickly access what is needed at anytime anywhere without consulting one another.

3. Keeping a tab

Being in the management is no less an easy job when it comes to tracking & monitoring the staff performance. With an efficient CRM solution in hand, you can connect and look into the staff activities and their performance without any trouble. You would not need your staff to come to you when you need to know something rather you can simply use your CRM to fetch & analyse what you need.

CRM is not just a customer management system, it is strategic tool that helps in managing your complete business process with ease.

Maple CRM software solution is an easy to use online CRM application that offers comprehensive packages with high capabilities suitable for both small & medium level organisations.

Call +91 95389 25641 to know more on Maple CRM offerings and how it can be helpful for your business.

or Visit http://maplecrm.com/ to subscribe for a free demo session.

Reviving Old Sales Leads!

Every business or the sales team faces this – seeing the dead leads going to waste! We know that list of leads are like gold mines which can bring possible revenues. A significant time spent and there goes a huge lead list which never turned out to be potential or once promised but went on negative at a later stage. Or you yourself had missed it out without realizing.

No matter what, this list goes down with no hope of revival. Before you let it go, why not see how to revive even the coldest of leads.


Don’t forget them

Be in constant touch with the lead whether they buy it or not. Do not let the lead get cold because of no proper follow ups. In defined intervals of time, stay in touch with the prospect by adding value in the form of newsletters or articles that they can find it interesting. Or even inviting to some events or webinars. This way, the lead does not feel that you are contacting them only when they need to renew or make payments. By following up, you stand a chance of standing out.

Conversation matters 

Every old lead has to be reviewed once in a while. It’s like everytime you open the old lead, you can probably see if there is a better chance at this moment and it is a worthwhile to give it a shot.

Not all cold leads are worth. If it was not a qualified lead, then do no waste any time there. But if it was a pre-qualified, you should definitely give it a try.

Never Give Up

Getting some reaction is a good sign, whether it is positive or negative. Many a times negatives can be converted into positives by just continuing to pursue them.

It’s important to remember that reconnecting with a client – no matter how you do it – is an opportunity.

So bottom line is that cold prospects are worth pursing and there are many strategies that one can put in place to revive the opportunity that is lying there.

Need some help on how to strategically improve your lead follow ups and sales process? Consult us today! Call + 91 95389 25641 or drop an email to info@maplecrm.com