In this post we’ll look at the business benefits of using CRM sales orders. We’ll then look an example implementation of orders in CRM.
While the information in a CRM order can be used to generate a traditional confirmation document for a customer, this post will focus on the internal usage and value of orders.
Data validation is a process for making sure that entries into a database are both meaningful and correct. In other words, data validation helps prevent bad information from being entered into a database, including a CRM system database.
Because of CRM’s role in an organization, some types of data CRM validation can actually increase revenue.
One of the unspoken assumptions our prospects have when they come to us to discuss help with CRM evaluation and selection is: whichever product is selected, it will be better than what’s currently in place. But recently, one of our consultants was asked an interesting question that we felt warranted further examination.
The question was, “Is one of the possible outcomes of your evaluation to not invest in a CRM system and leave things the way they are?”
It was a great question. Can a company be better off by continuing to rely on legacy systems, spreadsheets, and Post-it notes?
- Best Practices
This post will focus on Performance, as this area often represents a page’s lowest relative score. We’ll also focus on WordPress.
Updated: September 20, 2018
It was only a matter of time before artificial intelligence was embedded in CRM. Next year we’ll probably see self-aware water coolers. Skynet can’t be much further behind, right?
Okay, maybe that’s a bit far-fetched. But CRM with artificial intelligence is very much a real thing now, and the implications it has for your business are substantial. But before you start panicking about your CRM system displacing real people in sales and marketing, let’s take a moment to examine what AI is, what it can and can’t do, and how to work with it rather than around it.
This, in turn, means it’s more important than ever for business bloggers to avoid the mistakes that result in less traffic and fewer conversions than would be otherwise possible.
While there are many forms of content marketing, blogging can be one of the most effective forms when done correctly.
Here are 20 common business blogging mistakes that can stop sales leads before they start.
Updated: December 11, 2018
This is a fact-based comparison of Salesforce® and Microsoft Dynamics™ 365.
For those who work for an organization that is moving toward a new CRM solution, the information below is a starting point.
While we have attempted as much as possible to keep this analysis a statement of facts, we expect that advocates for each solution will find areas that appear slanted in the direction of the other.
The analysis primarily focuses on out-of-the-box functionality. We have intentionally limited the number of references to third party products.
While every business is different, the following set of example CRM requirements, which are based on a fictional kiosk manufacturer, provides a framework for the type of information that can be given to a would-be CRM implementation company.
This type of document can give CRM service providers a substantial amount of the information they need to more precisely estimate the scope of required CRM services. Many additional questions usually need to be posed before a services estimate is provided.
When it comes to customer relationships, just because many of us work for companies that have state of the art CRM systems and related technologies, we shouldn’t rely on technology to do all the relationship work for us.
Allow me to contrast two mailed customer communications I recently received.
The total cost of CRM is more than just the CRM subscription fees. We have taken multiple levels of expense into consideration.
The fields contain default values. You can input/select your own values.
If you do not plan to subscribe to any add-on products you can set that cost to 0 or blank.
Maybe it’s a fear of crossing a perceived fine line between being entertaining and being unprofessional.
It could be because marketers think that something has to be laugh-out-loud funny in order for it to be humorous. After all, how can we compete with professional comedy?
Whatever the reasons, the tendency is for marketers to err on the side of being starchy.
Updated: February 8, 2019
In today’s reviews-driven marketplace, the starting point for many is to look for a CRM review site.
The proliferation of business technology vendors has spawned a cottage industry of business software review websites. According to one of the sites covered below, enterprise technology is on track to exceed $2 trillion annually.
Some software review sites have hundreds of categories. Categories range from bakery software to heat map software to live chat software.
Included among a lot of great marketing information was an interesting story that Mark told near the end of the podcast.
As do many small business owners, Mark leases a car rather than purchasing one.
In many cases, there have been hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the system over the years. There can be multiple integrations with other legacy systems.
A common problem with a legacy system is that sales user adoption is low. We often hear, “our salespeople enter their opportunities into CRM — but that’s about it.”
In CRM systems, the Account table stores company information. The Contact table stores information about people.
Different CRM vendors have different names for tables. Microsoft calls tables entities. Salesforce.com and GreenRope refer to tables as objects. SugarCRM and Zoho both label tables modules.
All CRM systems come with a standard set of tables. These typically include Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities and Activities. There are usually a variety of other tables that are in place to support the CRM system’s functionality.
Whether you’re a long-time sales leader at your company or you’re brand new to your organization, you may not have the right tools in place for reporting on the activities and aggregate pipeline of your sales team.
However, the CEO has asked you to regularly report to him or her about specific sales activity and what new business to expect in the coming months. To get the requested information, you spend a lot of time asking salespeople questions, collecting spreadsheets and consolidating information.
What you really need — and need fast — is a CRM system that works for both your salespeople and for you, as an accountable manager. In this situation, patience is not always a virtue. The faster you can get a new CRM system up and running (or an existing CRM system properly configured), the better.
For most of these manufacturers, the ERP system has served as the company’s shared repository customer information.
Individual salespeople have been managing end customer, dealer and distributor personnel information as email client contacts.
A salesperson at a manufacturer who manages major accounts knows exactly who to stay in touch with. In their case, it’s the quality of relationships, not the quantity.
For manufacturers that do not have a CRM system in place, here are some of the places where we’ve seen CRM-equivalent data stored:
Selecting a small business CRM is about understanding the drivers of successful customer and prospect relationships. A sales team that relies on face-to-face meetings will have different CRM requirements than employees of an e-commerce startup.
Popular software evaluation sites include a CRM category among hundreds of other software categories.
For many categories of software product, making a vendor decision purely based on ratings and reviews on software evaluation sites represents little risk.
Live chat software is an example.