Tuesday, December 30, 2014

CRM Outlook: Looking Ahead to a New Year

The past few years have seen some major changes in how customer relationship management (CRM) is incorporated into the sales cycle. For instance, companies are increasingly implementing cloud-based software for their CRM systems, and customers are demanding quicker response times and regular contact through live chat or other customer-driven interactions.

The CRM software industry has met the demand for these new technology requirements, but now is not the time to get comfortable with your current processes. Growing sales means that you are continually adapting to your customers’ needs. Here are a few changes on the horizon that will impact the CRM outlook:

Hang up the Phone
Customers will keep trending toward talking with you via email, social media or live chat. They are becoming less likely to pick up the phone. Particularly those that are members of Generation Y use the phone less than any other group as a way to interact with business contacts. This segment of the population is looking for multiple interactions points, but all outside of the telephone.

Focus on Technology
Millennials are looking for a customized fit when they make a purchase. For that reason, your sales organization should have a strong online presence, with a robust internet site and a vivid social media profile.

Prioritize Accessibility
Millennials are accustomed to a 24/7 schedule of connectivity, so they will not be interested in doing business with companies that will not answer a question over the weekend. So, one way to easily improve your connection with customers is to have a CRM system that is quick and convenient for your reps to use, even over the weekend.

Harness Social Media
Be shareable over social media. Regularly post resources or updates about your company and what you have to offer. Social media has turned the CRM outlook to focusing on supporting the bi-directional loyalty that is now occurring between companies and its customers. Customers want to share what they like on social media. Make sure that your company is reaping the benefits of this trend with CRM software that nimbly handles social media data.

Utilize Visual Marketing Tools
The current generation dominating the workforce has become dependent on online video for information. Consider focusing on visual marketing tools. This gives you something interesting to post on social media and can get conversations started that tell you whether a contact may be turning into a potential customer.

CRM outlook is trending toward an increased role in social media. Make sure you have a CRM solution that is adept at analyzing data from social media and using it to grow sales. Call Front Row Solutions to talk about the options we have for a customizable CRM system that can handle all your opportunities and help you grow sales.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Customer Relationship Management App and Social Media

Managing your customer data with a customer relationship management app provides a high level of agility for your sales reps. They can update customer profiles, make note of opportunities and provide important data for the sales managers that forecast and budget for future sales.

However, to get a real edge on your competition, you need to be harnessing the opportunities in social media with your customer relationship management app. Social media can highlight a new level of loyalty among customers, where customers help promote the image and quality of what you are selling.

Here are some considerations when thinking about how to capitalize on the role of social media in sales:

  1. Get to know your customer relationship management app’s capabilities. The wealth of data on social media means that your sales reps have access to more information than ever about their customers and potential customers. Use your customer relationship management app to keep from drowning in data.
  2. Know what you are after. So much data can have your sales managers and sales reps targeting too many objectives. Instead, define a few core goals at a time and check them off as you hit them.
  3. Listen to your customers and watch for signs of opportunity. Your customers are posting on social media, which supplies an unprecedented opportunity. You may get to know about problems with a product or service before the customer has decided to look around at another supplier. You may also hear of a competitor’s new offering before it hits the street. Use these instances to identify areas where you may have an opportunity or a risk.
  4. Identify a lead turning into a customer.  A social media contact that starts out liking a post, then comments, then clicks on a video you posted is clearly an opportunity. How do you know, though, when the behavior is more subtle? Your customer relationship management app knows, and with the right settings, you can identify a contact that is about to turn into a customer and make sure all the necessary elements are in place to close the deal.
  5. Use social media to publicly reward loyal customers. Allow contacts that interact with you on social media the ability to preview a new product and post about it. Give away a coupon for contacts that click on a link. Even announcing the winner of a drawing will create traffic on social media that could lead to a sale.
  6. Don’t forget the basics. Using your customer relationship management app to organize social media data and interact with customers needs to be paired with good, old-fashioned service and courtesy. Remember to be timely in your responses, maintain a high level of professionalism on social media and handle customer complaints with appropriate measures.

To find out how your customer relationship management app can help you make the most of your social media access, give Front Row Solutions a call. We provide customizable solutions that can help your business grow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

CRM App Provides Tools to Give Your Sales Team the Edge

When you are trying to distinguish your company from the competition, the use of a CRM app can help you supply the tools that give your sales reps the edge. However, many companies don’t fully utilize their CRM tools, often because they may not have a clear idea how they impact sales.

Here are a few ways that having access to a CRM app can promote growth in your sales team:

Seamless Organizational Changes
When your sales rep is promoted to become a manager or when you hire a brand-new rep, you want your customers to experience a seamless transition. With a CRM app that allows for access out in the field, your customers will experience great service from a new rep that has all of the same information that the old rep enjoyed.

Continuity Across Regions
With a CRM app, your regional sales managers and sales reps can use the same procedures for sales processes and sales meetings. When everyone is tracking the same items in meetings, the sales organization is more likely to meet its goals.

Refining Sales Processes
Whether you have a small or large sales team, measuring and tracking your sales process can help you identify which behaviors lead to a sale. Maybe your top sales reps have particular habits that make them more successful. Identifying these best practices for implementation across your organization can help you grow your sales.

Likewise, if you have a lackluster sales rep that seems to always lose opportunities apparently without reason, you can use a CRM app to hone in on the segments of the sales process where the rep is losing the opportunity.

Capturing Data Immediately
Think about how much of a conversation you can repeat within two minutes of finishing it, versus trying to recall a conversation a few hours or days later. With a CRM app, your sales reps can enter data while they are waiting for the elevator or before they leave the parking lot. This results is better information about the customer’s needs and a more accurate picture of the potential opportunity.

Using a CRM app to allow sales reps to capture information at the customer site also promotes compliance. When sales reps must dedicate a significant portion of an office day to updating CRM, they tend to put it off. If data can be entered with a few clicks to allow them more time in the field, sales reps will be more likely to provide the information.

Better Data and Better Conversations
When your sales rep is able to enter data immediately after a conversation, they can capture details like where the customer’s son went to college. These details allow for more personal conversations and help your reps get an edge on their competition.

When you need a CRM app for your sales organization, give us a call at Front Row Solutions. Our tools allow your reps to remain in the field while providing quality data to their managers, ultimately leading to increased sales and profitability.