6 items tagged "CRM"

  • 5 Important elements to build the right CRM strategy

    5 Important elements to build the right CRM strategy

    The growth of customer relationship management (CRM) has become inevitable, compelling software development companies around the world to make the most out of it by putting customers first and driving a more customer-centric approach. The benefits of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) include storing relevant information about your prospects and customers to maintain effective communication, featuring a wide range of assorted tools for sales and marketing in order to increase profitability, to name a few. And that’s the reason why it is crucial to build your CRM strategy absolutely right.

    Reaching any destination becomes easy when it’s done with the help of a map, right? All you require knowing is where to start from and where to end things. Creating a CRM strategy is quite similar to this. Here you need to identify your baseline performance (the starting point) your SMART destination (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, and Time bound) user, customer and business outcomes, and designs. The only challenge is that you require achieving these measurable objectives in the shortest way. Strategizing things in prior is very important in order to try and win the CRM journey. Great execution is out of the question if your strategy is wrong! Also, the right CRM strategy is nothing but something tackled with a clarity of focus, reduced guesswork, and measurable execution.

    Below are 5 important elements to keep in mind when building a winning CRM strategy for your business.

    1.  Set business objectives

    One of the basic rules of building a CRM strategy is that it is always built keeping core business goals in mind. So before doing anything else, it is essential to analyze and identify the objectives you want your CRM to achieve. Whether you wish to improve your workforce efficiency, customer satisfaction, communication or you are trying to understand your customers better in general, with a better CRM strategy everything will start to fall in place. One of the best ways is to start is by breaking down your goals into smaller objectives, the ones which are easier to achieve. And then go with your plan of action. Know all the why, what and hows in prior. After this, you can begin your journey but be sure that the map you are using is flexible so that changes can be made easily whenever and wherever required.

    2.  Know your customers

    Many of us assume that businesses always end up treating their customers at an equal pace. However, in reality, this is not the case! To succeed as a business, one needs to delve into the details, categorize the customers based on values each one brings. Of course, each organization is of a kind and understands a different version of what makes a customer valuable. Whether you identify the main characteristics for a typical buyer or not that’s totally upon you.

    Once the vision is clear and objectives are set, it’s time to head further to initiate a strategy. By using the customer data, you can easily understand how they interact with your business and maximize value. Make sure to keep the down below mentioned pointers into account:

    • The type of data required on our customer
    • Level of detail required to track
    • Plan on characterizing customers
    • The type of communication will work best for our customer profile

    3.  Leverage your process wisely

    Clarity is a must-have factor to take into consideration. You can even think of breaking the objectives into small achievable chunks and connect that to how CRM fits to achieve the composite goal. Let’s dig in a bit deeper here!

    1. Evaluate: Whether you are planning to implement a strategy for sales, marketing or even customer service make sure you understand your current procedures and review how CRM and automation both can be used to enhance the overall efficiency of your business.
    2. Identify: As I said before, the keyword is “efficiency”; so make sure you focus well on several aspects of your businesses. In comparison to evaluation, identifying is a bit granular, and it requires defining both where and how your venture needs to be enhanced.
    3. Align: In most cases, businesses are found struggling in some department or the other. Initially, you may feel pressured as in an effort to produce better results you may require implementing new procedures and technologies as quickly as possible which is definitely not an easy task.

    However, this isn’t always the case. Making too many changes at once can also have a negative impact on your employee’s productivity and usage. This is the reason why you should considering a simple approach and implementing a CRM strategy gradually.

    4.  Break down organizational silos

    Once you begin collecting customer data, it becomes vital to come up with a culture of collaboration to enhance customer service. By breaking these organizational silos down, you can solve several issues. Now, do you really think marketing, sales and customer service departments can automatically be on the same page? Not necessarily. And organizations as a whole require to be working at cross-purposes. As soon as you start promoting cross-department collaboration, you will find yourself capable enough to deliver better than the best. Data collected by one department can also be fed to another department to improve overall business operations.

    5.  Kickstart communication channels

    One of the main objectives of having an effective CRM strategy is to increase the effectiveness of all your support channels. Doing so makes it easy for your end customers to reach out to support in the case if they encounter any problem. A good idea is to implement a live chat option on your website so that customers can get instant solutions for their queries. Live chat not only enhances the customer support experience but also helps boost conversions. Similarly, you can also consider using social media channels to solve customers’ problems.

    Author: Kibo Hutchinson

    Source: SAP

  • Big Data nog weinig ingezet voor real-time of voorspellingen

    Big DataDatagedreven opereren? Bij de meeste bedrijven zijn de datatoepassingen nog relatief simpel en vooral gericht op analyse in plaats van real-time en voorspellingen. Een gemiste kans én risico voor de lange-termijnkoers van een organisatie.

    Nu al zegt 22 procent van de bedrijven achter te lopen op de concurrentie terwijl ruim 81 procent van de respondenten aangeeft dat de mogelijkheden van Big Data voor de eigen organisatie groot zijn.

    Dat blijkt uit de Big Data Survey 2015 van data-consultancybureau GoDataDriven en vakbeurs Big Data Expo. Bijna 200 bedrijven werden onderzocht om inzicht te geven in de actuele rol van big data, de mate van adoptie, intenties en mogelijke valkuilen.

    Data uit voor de hand liggende bronnen
    Wat blijkt? De data die gebruikt wordt is over het algemeen numeriek en komt vaak uit voor de hand liggende bronnen, zoals CRM en klantendatabase (18 procent), websitestatistieken (18 procent), externe bronnen (14 procent) en marketingdata vanuit e-mailstatistieken (14 procent) en transactionele data (13 procent). Toepassingen met data uit rijkere bronnen zoals tekst, beeld en geluid zijn er nog zeer weinig, terwijl hier grote winst te behalen is.


    Meer budget voor datagedreven toepassingen
    De meeste bedrijven maken komend jaar meer budget vrij voor datagedreven toepassingen en zijn van plan te investeren in de kennisontwikkeling binnen het team. Een klein deel van de bedrijven is momenteel al bezig met het toepassen van kunstmatige intelligentie, machine learning, voorspellende modellen en deep learning.

    Maar dat verandert in hoog tempo. Binnen drie jaar verwacht 50 procent van de respondenten de eerste toepassingen met geavanceerde technologie ontwikkeld te hebben.

    Visie het belangrijkst voor succesvolle implementatie
    Wat de belangrijkste factoren zijn voor een succesvolle implementatie van een Big Data-strategie? Visie, aldus 28 procent van de ondervraagden, en ondersteuning vanuit de directie (19 procent). Maar ook ondersteunende systemen en processen (18 procent), budget (14 procent), talent (11 procent) en training (10 procent) spelen een belangrijke rol.


    Data als strategische pijler
    Tegelijkertijd geeft een opvallend groot deel van de ondervraagden aan dat het binnen het eigen bedrijf wel goed zit met de strategische rol van data. 37 procent vult in dat de bedrijfsdirectie data als een strategische pijler ziet, terwijl 27 procent het hier gedeeltelijk mee eens is. Bij bijna een kwart van de bedrijven (23 procent) is er binnen de bedrijfsdirectie op dit vlak juist een grote winst te halen.

    Ruim 67 procent van de bedrijven zegt dan ook dat de mogelijkheden van big data voor de eigen organisatie groot zijn. Nog eens 14,5 procent is het hier gedeeltelijk mee eens. Slechts 9 procent is het in meer of mindere mate oneens met deze stelling.

    Meer highlights:

    • Hadoop is het meest populaire dataplatform: 21 procent heeft een of andere Hadoop-implementatie (Hadoop, Horton, Cloudera).
    • Terwijl bij de licensed software SAP (8 procent), SPSS (7 procent) en SAS (6 procent) het beste scoren.
    • Datatoepassingen worden het vaakst gebruikt binnen marketing (19 procent).
    • Informatietechnologie is bij 13 procent een toepassing, terwijl fraudedetectie (6 procent) en riskmanagement (6 procent) ook regelmatig met behulp van data wordt uitgevoerd.
  • Forrester’s Top Trends For Customer Service In 2016

    It’s a no-brainer that good customer service experiences boost satisfaction, loyalty, and can influence top line revenue. Good service — whether it’s to answer a customer’s question prior to purchase, or help a customer resolve an issue post-purchase should be easy, effective, and strive to create an emotional bond between the customer and the company. Here are 5 top trends – out of a total of 10 – that I am keeping my eye on. A full report highlighting all trends can be found here:

    Trend 1: Companies Will Make Self Service Easier. In 2015, we found that web and mobile self-service interactions exceeded interactions over live-assist channels, which are increasingly used by customers as escalation paths to answer harder questions whose answers they can’t find online. In 2016, customer service organizations will make self-service easier for customers to use by shoring up its foundations and solidifying their knowledge-management strategy. They will start to explore virtual agents and communities to extend the reach of curated content. They will start embedding knowledge into devices — like Xerox does with its printers — or delivering it via wearables to a remote service technician.

    Trend 2: Field Service Will Empower Customers To Control Their Time. 73% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service — whether on a call, in a chat, or while waiting for a service technician to troubleshoot and fix their product. In 2016, customer service organizations will better support customer journeys that start with an agent-assisted service interaction and end with a service call. They will explore lighter-weight field service management capabilities, which give customers self-service appointment management capabilities and allow agents to efficiently dispatch technicians and optimize their schedules.

    Trend 3: Prescriptive Advice Will Power Offers, Decisions, And Connections. Decisioning — automatically deciding a customer’s or system’s next action — is starting to be heavily leveraged in customer service. In 2016, organizations will use analytics in a much more prescriptive manner – for example to prescribe the right set of steps for customers or agents to more effectively service customers; to correlate online behavior with requests for service and prescribe changes to agent schedules and forecasts. Analytics will be used to better route a customer to an agent who can most effectively answer a question based on skills and behavior data, or to better understand customer call patterns and preempt future calls.

    Trend 4: Insights From Connected Devices Will Trigger Preemptive Service and Turn Companies Into Services-Based Ones. Companies use support automation to preemptively diagnose and fix issues for connected devices. For example, Tesla Motors pushes software patches to connected cars. Nintendo monitors devices to understand customer actions right before the point of failure. In 2016, the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to transform companies from being products-based to services-based . Examples abound where companies are starting to monitor the state of equipment via IoT, and realizing new streams of revenue because of their customer-centric focus. To make the business model of IoT work, companies must keep a close eye on emerging interoperability standards: device-to-network connectivity, data messaging formats that work under constrained network conditions, and data models to aggregate, connect with contact center solutions, and act on the data via triggers, alerts to service personnel or automated actions.

    Trend 5: The Customer Service Technology Ecosystem Will Consolidate. The customer service process involves complex software that falls into three main categories: queuing and routing technologies, customer relationship management (CRM) customer service technologies, and workforce optimization technologies. You need to use solutions from each of these three software categories, which you must integrate to deliver quality customer service. We believe that the combination of: 1) mature software categories in which vendors are struggling with growth opportunities; 2) the rise of robust software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions in each category; 3) rising buyer frustration; and 4) the increasing importance of delivering simpler and smarter customer service makes for ripe conditions for further consolidation to happen in the marketplace, This consolidation will make it easier for buyers to support the end-to-end customer service experience with a single set of vendor solutions.

    Source: customer think

  • IDC Predicts CMOs Will Drive $32.3B In Marketing Technology Spending By 2018

    CMOs will drive marketing technology spending to $32.3B by 2018, reaching a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4%. From 2014 to 2018, marketing technology spending will reach $130B for the 5 year period.

    These and other insights are from IDC’s recent webinar The Marketing Software Revolution: Strategies for Buyers and Sellers, presented by Mary Wardley, Vice President, Enterprise Applications and CRM and Gerry Murray, Research Manager, CMO Advisory Service .

    IDC is seeing CMOs influence spending in areas outside the traditional definition of CRM, and has created the 2015 Marketing Technology Map to track these new categories. The additional areas of marketing spending IDC is including in their forecast taxonomy are content, data and analytics, and managementand administration. One of the most valuable insights gained from this webinar was seeing how IDC is seeing CMOs redefine the direction of marketing spending based on client inquiry calls and their analysis of the CRM market.
    The following are the key take-aways from the webinar:

    · IDC forecasts spending on CRM applications will reach $31.7B in 2018, attaining a CAGR of 6.9%. The following graphic illustrates forecast spending by contact center, customer service, marketing automation and sales automation



    IDC’s 2015 Marketing Technology Map is designed to capture CMOs’ total impact on marketing technology spending. The green area of the 2015 Marketing Technology Map titled Interaction is what represents traditional CRM functionality today. IDC’s inclusion of content, data and analytics and management and administration reflects how the role of the Chief Marketing Technologist continues to accelerate in all businesses.


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    Marketing technology spending will increase from $20.2 billion in 2014 to $32.4 billion in 2018 based on the the 2015 Marketing Technology Map.The following graphic provides forecasts for interaction systems (traditional CRM), Content, Data and Analytics and Management and Administration.


    90% of the growth in the IT industry will come from cloud-based solutions. Cloud platforms, creative services and IT services are emerging as a combined catalyst enabling Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS), which IDC is seeing growing rapidly from a client planning and spending perspective.


  • Taming the big data beast: the importance of CRM

    Today, businesses have had yet another function added to their portfolio – they are managers of a large amount of data and information.CRM

    Big data has become a massive phenomenon created from the sheer amount of information captured from online and offline resources. The organic growth in data that is generated by a business is seen as essential for improved organisational efficiency as it delivers the intelligence businesses need to make better decisions from top-line strategy down to customer-facing employees.

    However, for businesses it can be viewed as an unwieldy beast, which requires lots of investment and maintenance. The overwhelming volume of data that businesses collect is not necessarily practical to use or understand. In addition, in order to get value out of data, algorithms and predictive models need to be applied to solve specific business problems.

    This conversation has turned into a debate about the data's actual relevance and its capacity to provide answers.

    How to tame the beast?

    Businesses need to find a way to analyse data to gain useful information that can help them realise their commercial goals. In order to do this, businesses need to break down their big data into bite-sized chunks. This will make data easier to analyse and in turn create useful insights to help improve business strategy, leading to an overall increased efficiency.

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are a good example to showcase how data collection, discovery and visualisation work in practice, and have a real impact on the most critical part of the business process – customers.

    The most important relationship any business has is with its customers. CRM provides the analytical tools that can synthesise customer information gathered across channels and platforms, turning it into insights that can be translated into business actions, practices and processes. Armed with the proper information, all customer-facing employees can ensure quality customer service, driving tangible and measurable business results.

    The tailored approach

    By making CRM tools available to all customer-facing employees, businesses can better understand their customer base and provide personalised customer service. Therefore, they can make data work for them instead of the other way round. This is important for customer retention as businesses can track and have access to a single view of the customer including previous interactions with the company.

    Personalisation in all conversations with customers improves loyalty as people buy from people. Individualisation and the personal touch differentiate companies from their competitors. 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are more likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers who do not receive a response.

    At the same time, personalisation is also important for new business prospects. By having the right information at hand, the sales team can identify and turn leads into actual sales.

    Having quick and easy access to the necessary information is therefore critical, especially as sales teams are becoming more and more mobile. With the BYOD trend set to grow even further, an increasing number of employees need tools that work across devices and are true enablers. Modern CRM solutions make personalised data available at the employees' fingertips wherever they are, from all mobile devices.

    Four steps for success with big data in 2015
    Turn data into power

    Information is powerful when it is meaningful and insightful. CRM is recognised as a technology that can provide real-time analytics and personalisation of the customer base. It allows data to be 'big enough' to provide important insights but at the same time 'small enough' to be manageable, accessible and meaningful.

    Businesses that are proactive and forward-thinking will make the most of the potential that CRM solutions offer and will use personalised data to gain competitive advantage.

    Henning Ogberg is Executive Vice President Worldwide Sales at SugarCRM



  • The benefits of AI in CRM

    The benefits of AI in CRM

    AI has the power to liberate organizations from CRM-related manual processes and improve customer engagement, sales insights, and social networking, for starters.

    Customer relationship management systems have become indispensable tools in running business operations. In an always-connected and increasingly digital business world, manually-updated CRMs can quickly become unwieldy drags on office productivity and efficiency. This makes CRM platforms prime use cases of how companies across industries can leverage solutions using artificial intelligence technology. 

    There are still several misconceptions about AI. Fundamentally, AI is about understanding the importance of data analysis and how we can train machines to synthesize, analyze, and act on data as a human being could. At its core, AI technology is about liberating the human mind from mundane tasks.

    The most common misconception about AI is that it is synonymous with automation, but in fact it’s so much more. The only shared elements between AI and automation are the reliance on data and the goal of streamlining convenience. To liken AI to automation beyond those commonalities is to ignore the greater elegance of an AI system. Whereas automated systems must be manually configured to execute monotonous, repetitive tasks, AI systems are independently adaptive once they have data to process, meaning that they learn as they go without continuous monitoring.

    Thus AI has the power to liberate organizations from manual processes connected to the CRM system. Having built businesses in the AI space for years, most recently with AI solutions at Introhive, I can attest to a number of key advantages AI brings to CRM systems. I’ve outlined three big ones below.

    Better customer engagement

    Because AI solutions reduce the burden of data entry and other time-consuming administrative functions, teams have greater bandwidth to help customers and prospective customers. AI technology greatly assists with customer service and support functions as well. Chat and email bots ensure that customers get quick answers and direction. New AI technologies analyze voice and text in real time to help agents most effectively serve prospective and existing clients.

    An often overlooked consequence of AI-assisted customer engagement is improved employee engagement. If an employee can be freed from the more time-consuming administrative responsibilities of their role, they can focus on the more meaningful aspects of their jobs: creative thinking, problem solving, and client support. Improved employee satisfaction and retention tends to follow.

    Keener sales insights

    Having a centralized record of clean customer sales data and communications means better sales forecasting and clearer insights into how deals were won or lost. AI integration ensures that your CRM captures customer data in the desired format using document, image, and speech recognition technologies. Just as better fuel quality leads to stronger engine performance on the road, capturing high-quality data is crucial for accurate and insightful AI predictions, which in turn strengthen business operations. 

    High-quality customer data and accurate, AI-driven predictions also have important implications for how teams are organized to manage various accounts. Utilizing an AI application is effectively like giving a data scientist to each staff member to make sense of disparate business data that would otherwise be lost or delayed in analysis. 

    Smarter social networking

    This last point, smart networking, is of particular interest to me as I’ve spent the past decade thinking about the intersections of technology and human relationships. While new technologies are often criticized for making social interactions less authentic, I’ve long championed the power that technology has to strengthen connections and relationships, especially in business.

    Introhive specializes in AI-driven relationship intelligence to better understand one’s client base and branching networks of prospective clients and referrals. AI integrations mine CRM platforms for transactional data, social contacts, and communication history. This information is then collected, grouped, analyzed, and distributed automatically so teams have insights about best engagement practices with customers, vendors, and other stakeholders.

    As companies emerge from the pandemic and try to further capitalize on the gains made in virtual networking over the past year and a half, I foresee greater adoption of AI integrations across businesses, especially within the CRM market. 

    Author: Jody Glidden

    Source: InfoWorld

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