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Can Your CRM Database Be Extended?

Adding CRM Database TablesLike all databases, a CRM database has tables. Tables are the most important component of a database. Data are stored in rows within tables.

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. refers 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. (more…)

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The Fastest Way For a Sales Leader to Get a New CRM

Get a new CRM system fastWhether 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. (more…)

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CRM in Manufacturing: A Necessary Investment For Increasing Sales?

CRM In ManufacturingMany manufacturing companies have had thriving businesses for decades, without the help of a standalone CRM system.

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: (more…)

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Overcoming Marketing Challenges & Getting To The Marketer’s Money Metric

Digital Marketing ChallengesSoftware Advice, an online reviews firm, recently surveyed 125 marketers to find out what kind of results they get from their campaigns.

The survey found that almost 70% of campaigns are web-based. This is not surprising. The three most popular types of campaigns are social media ads, internet ads and email blasts.

What is somewhat surprising is that inbound marketing and drip marketing were the two least popular campaigns. This may be in part due to the fact that both of these are thought to be more of a series of ongoing efforts than an identifiable campaign such as “July Email Blast”. (more…)

Posted in: Marketing Automation

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Lead Enrichment for CRM: The Benefits of Big Data

CRM Lead EnrichmentThere has always been a tradeoff between how much information a website visitor is asked for when they fill in a form and the likelihood of the site visitor actually submitting the form or “converting” in marketing speak.

In general, the fewer fields that a site visitor is asked to fill in, the higher the visitor-to-lead conversion rate. So, how can you ask visitors for less information on your landing pages and other places that your forms live — and then make up for more scant visitor-supplied data after the fact? For that matter, how can you enrich leads regardless of the source? (more…)

Posted in: CRM Integration

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CRM Industry Analyst Quadrants, Matrices, Grids and Quarter Circles

CRM Industry Analyst VisualizationWhile there are hundreds of industry analyst firms worldwide, a handful are well known for their CRM industry analysis and visualizations.

Each CRM industry analyst company takes a different approach to visually representing the CRM market leaders, laggards and tweeners.

Industry analysts’ high level visualizations, along with an accompanying narrative and report, can help a given company determine which CRM vendors should be on their shortlist. (more…)

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Toxic Backlinks: What Are They And Why Should Marketers Care?

Toxic BacklinksToxic backlinks are links from sites that can weaken your website’s SEO. Weaker SEO means fewer organic visitors. Fewer organic visitors can mean fewer leads for your sales team.

Toxic backlinks can happen organically, or they can be the result of previous less-than-white-hat backlinking efforts.

What Makes a Backlink Toxic?

There are many factors that can increase the toxicity of a backlink. Here are just a few. (more…)

Posted in: Inbound Marketing

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Zoho CRM Plus – Should It Be On Your Shortlist?

Zoho CRM PlusThis past week, I attended the first day of Zoho’s 2017 Zoholics Sales & Marketing Conference to learn more about the company, its applications and leadership’s vision.

As a company that provides CRM strategy and selection services, we are always keeping our eye out for potential shortlist candidates for companies that are considering a new CRM system.

CRM Switch works with our customers to determine which CRM vendors should be on the shortlist, based on the requirements that we’ve jointly gathered, assembled and prioritized.

Most of the companies that engage us have moderately to highly sophisticated business requirements. As such, the shortlist vendors that we collaboratively decide on need to have a set of key capabilities within their offerings. Among these are: (more…)

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