Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Benefits of Using Mobile CRM

You want to grow your business. You have a talented sales team and managers that are hungry for new business. You have a great product, with efficient processes in place in both operations and customer service. You are poised for a big push.

Are you really doing everything you need to do to have an edge over your competition, though? If you are not utilizing the best technology available for your sales team, you may be losing sales to other companies that are better able to know their customers and capture every possible opportunity.

Investing in a mobile CRM tool may give your company the edge you need over your competition. Sales managers are increasingly looking for mobile CRM solutions because they recognize that their sales reps need to be in the field, not spending entire office days logging pipeline and current customer information.

Mobile CRM could be the answer you are looking for. Here is what you will see when you implement a mobile CRM solution:
Improved Communication with Clients: Your customers aren’t just listed in your database. Your competition is out there talking to them, too. Make sure that you are keeping in touch on a regular basis by using mobile CRM to schedule regular sales calls and keep on top of current information about your customer.

In addition, with mobile CRM you have the potential to significantly improve the content of those regular sales calls. Your meeting or phone call will be well-informed because of the quick and efficient notes you had entered on your mobile CRM from your last conversation. Clients don’t want you to waste their time rehashing the same conversation over and over again. Use mobile CRM to streamline conversations and meet your clients’ needs.

With mobile CRM, your customers will see that you know their industry, you understand their needs and you care about their success through the use of your service or product.

More Efficient Sales Process: The use of mobile CRM allows your sales reps to become more efficient in their sales process. They can enter data while they walk to the elevator or their car, eliminating the need to set aside hours of time on a CRM system. The sales rep can enter orders and details from a conversation within seconds.

Better Planning: With mobile CRM, your sales managers have better data, accessed more quickly. As early as 60 seconds after data from a meeting is entered by a sales rep, the sales manager can access the information for sales reporting. Sales managers are able to make decisions based on better information in a more efficient way.

If you would like to discuss more ways that mobile CRM can positively impact your business, give Front Row Solutions a call. We provide a mobile CRM app that can be tailored to your specific needs, giving you the edge you need to beat your competition in the sales field.

Friday, September 26, 2014

CRM Tools Are Only as Good as the Data Entered

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a critical factor in whether your sales team succeeds. From the sales rep to the sales manager, a great CRM tool can help you refine your sales process, identify weak points and create forecasts based on quality information.

However, for many sales organizations, CRM is not a workhorse for growth, but rather a drudgery slowing down sales reps and not providing sales managers with the tools they need to make decisions. Some sales reps dedicate a full office day once each week to log the progress and opportunities they experienced in the field. By the time they have slogged through the data entry points, they may have forgotten half of the content of their meetings that occurred that week.

As a result, it is important to remember that your CRM system is only as good as the data that is entered. Here are several factors to consider when choosing a CRM tool for your business:

Delayed entry results in lost information. As noted above, when sales reps wait until a weekly time set aside to enter information on a CRM system, they have lost much of the details about their meetings with customers and new contacts. Using a mobile CRM app that allows a rep to enter information immediately following a meeting results in the best data for forecasting.

Mobile CRM is the way the industry is moving. The economy is increasingly becoming dependent on mobile apps, which support the new reality of business and lifestyle. Sales reps, in particular, are on the move and need the technology that supports a business model that is outside the office. Sales managers are increasingly investing in mobile CRM apps.

Sales reps require CRM that “talks” across other systems. Your sales reps are using email to send quotes, LinkedIn to identify contacts for cold calls and calendars to schedule appointments. A mobile CRM app needs to be able to consolidate all of this information and pull from other sources. If it takes more than a couple of clicks to enter data, your reps get frustrated and your CRM compliance rate drops.

Mobile CRM apps allow you to see your sales process clearly. Instead of hours spent around a conference table discussing which activities lead to closing a deal, track your sales reps’ activities using a mobile CRM app. With a mobile app, you can see what your top reps are doing that sets them apart, and then train the rest of your team to follow that sales process. Mobile CRM apps make it possible to develop a repeatable sales model.

Mobile CRM delivers sales reports, fast. When your sales reps enter information about a meeting immediately after they finish the sales call, they can have the meeting documented within 30 seconds. Sixty seconds later, that data can be in your sales manager’s hands in the form of a sales report.

If you are looking for a mobile CRM app that allows you to improve the data your sales managers are using to make decisions, call Front Row Solutions. We offer CRM apps that offer your sales reps the technology they need to stay out in the field and the data your sales managers need to grow their territory.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mobile CRM Outlook Says Apps Will Play Major Role

The use of CRM is often a sales rep’s least prioritized activity. Your sales reps may be putting their sales reporting off until the end of the week or until they have free time, while your sales manager struggles to find the data they need to make decisions.

The CRM outlook is improving, however, with the introduction of mobile apps. Sales reps are no longer required to spend tedious hours updating sales reporting fields on a computer, but instead can quickly enter information in the minutes following a sales meeting.

 Another factor affecting CRM outlook is the preference for a user-friendly system over other considerations like stability and security. No matter how secure a CRM tool is, for instance, it is a wasted investment if the sales reps find it too cumbersome to use. CRM software is increasingly easier to use, making it possible for sales reps to enter information within 30 seconds and for sales managers to receive it within 60 seconds.

Getting your sales team to utilize the tools in a mobile CRM tool is critical. Here are some ways to make sure your investment is resulting in growth for your sales team:

Get your sales team involved in defining the objectives for a CRM tool. Many sales management teams make the mistake of choosing a CRM tool and then trying to make it meet their needs. Instead, talk with your sales team about what tools are most needed and then choose a system based on your priorities.

Keep your sales team involved. Your CRM outlook is improved when your sales team has buy-in on the CRM app you use. Sales teams should be involved for design, training and implementation to make sure that they feel like they have had an active role in choosing the tool.

Prioritize the usability of the CRM app you choose. Every function in your CRM should be completed within three clicks. You should choose only the fields that you use in reporting and forecasting and leave the rest out of your sales reporting process. Views can be customized for each sales rep, but be sure to clean up the areas that are only used in your finance department, for example.

Keep making adjustments. You will want to continually improve the measures that you use for sales reporting and improve the process for your sales reps. You may want to turn features on and off for reporting to see how your sales process is affected by various activities.

Make sure your CRM tools are benefiting your sales reps. Train your sales reps in how to maximize the benefits of your CRM, and talk with them about which features they most use. They may have complaints about certain features that can be related to your software company for improvements.

If your company is considering the ways that mobile CRM apps can launch your sales growth, give Front Row Solutions a call. We can customize the features and sales reporting tools in our CRM to help you refine your sales process and help your sales reps grow their territories.

Friday, September 19, 2014

CRM Tools Help Refine Sales Process

When you are in a growth pattern with your sales team, it is critical that you have the right CRM tools in place to ensure that your leads are turning into sales. Your sales reps need to have a refined process in which activities that lead to a closed deal are clearly identified and routinely practiced.

 If the habits of your sales team are not polished, you may lose opportunities as you grow. In addition, growth generally means new sales reps coming on board, and a clear set of established practices will help you determine whether your new reps are a good fit for your company.

When you are in growth mode, your CRM tools should help you in hiring new sales reps, getting those reps fully productive in a short period of time and establishing a repeatable sales process.

There are three ways that CRM tools can help you refine your sales process and make sure you make the right hires reach full productivity quickly:

Use Activity Reporting to Train and Measure Progress With New Sales Reps

Mobile CRM tools are designed for sales reps to be able to quickly and efficiently enter data immediately following a meeting. With the right app, your sales team will spend little time with CRM, but the information will be high-quality data that you need.

You will be able to set up prompts for your new reps to enter the correct information and direct them to the sales activities that are most important for your team. You will also be able to identify missed steps or opportunities for additional training.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Reporting and Activities

Your sales reps are more productive when they are not spending hours around a conference table debating which activities lead to sales. Your CRM tools will make such conversations unnecessary because the data will tell you which activities lead to sales.

You will be able to eliminate the measurements that are not leading to sales and refine the types of entries that your sales reps make as they leave a meeting.

Get Data About Market Trends to Identify Opportunities and Risk Areas

By prompting your sales reps to ask one or two specific questions, you can get immediate information about market trends. You may find out that certain features of a particular new product you are offering are helping your customers, or you may hear that customers across your territory are considering switching from one of your core products because it doesn’t fit with another innovation they use.

With this type of data, you no longer need to wait for industry polls or a drop in sales to find out what your opportunities or risks are. You can decide what to track to get a better understanding of what is shaping your industry.

With Front Row Solutions’ CRM tools, you can develop a uniform sales process that allows you to train your new sales reps and detect their opportunities for growth. You can also decide which measures you want to examine and eliminate wasted time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

GEO Location Improves Sales Reporting

Your sales managers need detailed, specific information to make strategic decisions about sales forecasting and additional training needs. The right data helps your sales manager make accurate projections, have a clear understanding of the sales pipeline and where your sales team is excelling.

In addition to information about customers, opportunities and promotions, your sales manager needs information about the sales process. You need a clear picture of which processes most effectively lead to a closed sale or a contract. Identifying patterns of behavior of reps in the sales process is invaluable.

For instance, you may have a couple of top-performing reps that you would like to profile for the purposes of training other reps in a “best practice” type of format. You may also have a struggling rep, and tracking their behavior patterns in the sales process may help identify areas for growth.

All of these processes can be significantly enhanced with the use of GEO location, a mobile CRM app that improves sales reporting by providing geographical locations of each entry.

Some benefits of using GEO location with a mobile CRM app for sales reporting include:

  • Ability to view numbered pins of locations of each sales reporting entry by the sales rep
  • Coordinated GEO location data with date- and time-stamped entries
  • Improvement in areas like sales reporting compliance rates, sales productivity, accountability and information flow
  • Ability to make decisions based on large, insightful, relevant information
  • Filters allow for a variety of customizable mapping features, including a date selector
  • The GEO location feature can be enabled or disabled by the sales manager, allowing the sales team the most autonomy possible when desired

There has been some controversy related to the use of GEO location apps on mobile CRM because some sales reps complain that it carries a micro-management feel to sales reporting. However, it is increasingly requested by sales managers for use with their teams.

You might counter the concerns of sales reps with a shared goal. Both sales managers and sales reps want to increase sales, and GEO location is effective at improving sales reporting and sales processes to drive up revenue.

GEO location apps can help identify major gaps in sales reporting. A sales rep that waits to enter information for a meeting until the end of the day, for instance, may miss important details that, when entered immediately, would ideally be captured.

Front Row Solutions offers the only mobile CRM app that allows for sales reps to enter data from a meeting within 30 seconds, with sales reports reaching the sales manager within 60 seconds. Front Row Solutions now offers GEO location, allowing sales managers to work with accurate and detailed sales reporting data. Call Front Row Solutions today to find out how to increase sales with GEO location.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Social CRM Requires Strategic Planning

The world of social media is undoubtedly playing an influential role in business transactions. Many companies are implementing social media into their brand strategy, customer feedback and online reputation management. Known as Social CRM, this aspect of sales management is an important part of increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction.

There are good reasons to implement Social CRM because social behavior is certainly drawn around online activity in the past few years. However, there are key factors to consider when developing a Social CRM plan:

  1. Be strategic in your choice. Before making an investment in a Social CRM solution, take time to define goals and objectives for what the CRM tool should accomplish. You may be trying to drive sales or strengthen a brand message, among other objectives, but take time to refine those goals.
  2. Choose a vendor after you define your needs. Many companies choose software and then try to get it to meet their objectives. Instead, make sure your goals are clearly defined and then choose a Social CRM solution that will best serve your company.
  3. Assign responsibility. Your company should have a point person or team for all Social CRM interactions. Some companies centralize their social media with one contact, while others may want each regional manager, for instance, to handle the social media for their area.
  4. Find out who your targets are. You can identify those with a large following on social media or influencers and find ways to reach out to build relationships. You may find that there are opportunities to drive sales through these relationships on Social CRM.
  5. Haunt Social CRM. To optimize your use of Social CRM you should monitor and seek to improve the response time on social media. If a contact is commenting or asking questions, there should be a quick response by your company. You can also set up key word alerts so that your employees can jump in on conversations about your industry happening on social media.
  6. Manage your online reputation. Social CRM can be used to gather review information to determine how your company’s reputation is faring in the social media realm. Social CRM tools can help your company conduct surveys and measure reactions to new services or products.
  7. Link Social CRM with other CRM tools. Whether you have separate software for Social CRM and other CRM or have it all in one aggregate system, you will want to link the activities. This will help you identify trends in customer satisfaction, key words used associated with your company and other important information.
  8. Use your information to detect trends and offer feedback. Social CRM can help your company identify where you excel and where you may need to implement training to maintain high standards for your customers.
Front Row Solutions offers mobile app Social CRM tools to help your company optimize your connection with social media. Using the technology we offer, you can maximize your sales and manage your brand strategy with the most up-to-date social behaviors driving customer decisions.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CRM App Offers Valuable Solutions to Sales Teams

For most sales reps, customer relationship management (CRM) is a dreaded chore. After a long day talking with contacts, they cobble together projections of their opportunities from scribbled notes and conversations now fuzzy in their heads. For many reps, CRM is not relegated to the end of the day, but instead to the end of the week or whenever their sales manager orders them to catch up. By then, data may be spotty, at best.

With laptops in the hands of many sales reps, it may be hard to imagine that logging information would be such a problem. However, there may not be time to log in to a computer between calls and laptops can be cumbersome to lug along to appointments.

As a result, the maintaining of CRM often becomes a constant source of frustration for both the sales rep and the sales manager. Both need reliable data and data management tools to do their jobs, but it also should not interfere with the time a sales rep needs to go out and sell.

With smart phones and other mobile devices, however, there is an opportunity for sales reps to have the same information with them on the go that inside sales reps enjoy when they make calls. A mobile CRM app allows any mobile device to accept and display the important details from a sales call.

A CRM app allows sales reps to quickly check customer data before walking into a meeting, and then they can update the account while they are walking to their car. Before they head out to their next meeting, 30 seconds may be all that is required to log notes about the customer or opportunity and review information about their next appointment.

A CRM app also allows all departments of your company to interact and keep one another informed. If a customer had a late delivery the day before, for instance, a sales rep knows before heading into the meeting that they may need to do some damage control to keep a customer relationship positive.

In addition, a CRM app allows your sales rep or sales manager to set up reminders for next steps or updates that can help drive sales. This cuts down on the number of times your sales manager and sales rep need to talk or send emails to check up on opportunities.

A CRM app can help your sales manager use the most up-to-date information when identifying areas that may need training. If your sales reps are updating the customer information immediately after a meeting, your sales manager is better able to determine which parts of the sales process are strong and which may require additional training.

If you are looking for a CRM app that streamlines your sales data collection and frees up your sales reps to get out and sell, give Front Row Solutions a call. We offer mobile CRM apps that integrate seamlessly with your existing CRM tools or can provide a fully integrated CRM solution for your company.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Cloud CRM Provides Agile Solutions

Your company may deliver excellent service. You could have sales reps that are highly informed and experts in their field. Your products and services might be the industry standard. Yet if your technology is lagging behind, your business may be underperforming.

Sales are driven by a multitude of factors, but one of the increasingly important tools for growing your revenue is technology that is up-to-date. A forward-thinking mindset that anticipates ongoing technological innovations for your industry is also critical because hardware and software is updated so rapidly.

As a result, many businesses are investing in cloud technology for their customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Cloud CRM is experiencing a flood of interest as companies recognize some of the benefits of cloud over legacy software solutions.

CRM is an important tool for sales reps, allowing pipeline management, identification of gaps and weaknesses in the sales cycle, and managing current accounts. It can assist in developing nuanced sales plans that drive new business. For this lifeline of the sales team, many managers are investing in cloud CRM for several reasons.

Streamlined, Cost-effective Updates
When it comes to updating software, the process is barely complete before the new version comes rolling out in a legacy system. When a business uses a cloud CRM, updates are less cumbersome and inexpensive compared to a legacy system. Cloud systems are more agile and flexible, making updates far less of an interruption and expense.

Current Technology Allows You to Compete
If your sales reps struggle to keep up with customer communications or there is regular frustration with interactions between customer service and sales, a modern cloud CRM may be the answer. Investing in customer relationships will allow your sales reps to be competitive with other businesses in your industry. As businesses are increasingly looking to cloud solutions, it will be important to keep up with current trends in sales management.

Attracting and Retaining Talent
Your sales team is central to driving business for your company. If you have good sales reps that are delivering on their sales plans, make sure you are supporting them with the technology they need to do their job well. Out-of-date mobile devices and computers are frustrations that may drive your sales team to look at other opportunities where they can be more successful.

Cloud CRM allows your sales team to always be on the cutting edge of sales technology. The tools they need for the sales process, from cold call to closing a contract and maintaining a positive relationship with the customer are all present in an intuitive cloud CRM. With cloud CRM, your sales team will not have any reason to wish for better integration of sales information or process improvement.

Front Row Solutions offers your business mobile CRM that relies on cloud technology. Allowing you to focus on the customer, Front Row Solutions provides strategic, up-to-date CRM that allows your sales team to perform at its very best.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Study Measures CRM Solution Effectiveness

When you invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software for your business, you have a list of objectives that you are trying to meet. You may be seeking to measure and identify weak links in your sales process. Your sales team may be complaining that they need better communication tools with the customer service department.

In many cases, pipeline management and driving new business are two of the main factors influencing the implementation of a CRM solution. Connecting leads with the appropriate sales rep and converting that lead into a sale or contract can be a process filled with pitfalls and opportunities for dropping the ball. A CRM solution is designed to help you manage those leads that come in and convert them to buying customers.

An inquiry from sales software provider Velocify led to a study to explore whether CRM solutions aid in businesses converting leads into sales. In order to find out, Velocify led secret shoppers to submitting a contact form through the websites of CRM vendors.

Some important insights resulted from the exercise that may help you identify whether your company is experiencing similar response patterns:

CRM Solutions provide an edge: Companies that use a CRM solution sent an email response to the secret shoppers three times faster than Fortune 100 companies. They were also twice as fast when it came to making a phone call to inquiring leads.

Even companies using a CRM solution need improvement: A mere 20 percent of the businesses using a CRM solution optimized the contact opportunity by calling the prospect within one hour of the inquiry. Thirty-five percent sent an email within the same time period.

Many opportunities are missed: Less than 60 percent of the inquiries received, at minimum, one phone call and one email. The average time for an inquiring buyer to receive a call was sluggish, at two full days.

Tech companies excel at lead management: Tech companies were 40 percent more likely to follow optimal contact strategies when compared with other types of businesses.

A CRM solution will certainly help your company better manage leads, but it is important to measure the response time to leads and the method of response. Losing a lead that has inquired into purchasing from your business is a major gap that can be addressed.

While many companies purchase a CRM solution in order to better manage their existing customer base, it is important to make sure your company is also making a good first impression. An inquiry that is met with a slow, disinterested response is not likely to excite a potential customer about their relationship with your company.

If you are looking for a way to optimize your company’s response time to potential buyer inquiries, talk with Front Row Solutions. With mobile CRM tools that manage not only current customer relationships, but also new opportunities, we can help you turn leads into sales.