Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Customer Relationship Management Goes Mobile

Most businesses today understand the importance of investing in customer relationship management solutions, yet the adoption ratings of these solutions is low. Econsultancy, a digital marketing and ecommerce organization, reported recently that less than 33 percent of companies with customer relationship management systems are happy with them.

Almost every organization with the ability to collect data is doing it today. Some are doing it without really understanding why. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are made to help these organizations make sense of all the data they’re storing, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at least a third of the time.

Despite this lack of engagement in the CRM systems, the industry is still projected to hit $36.5 billion in a couple of years. If your company takes on a CRM solution and wants to gain valuable information from it you need to cover the basics first, especially with  mobile CRM tools that are emerging now.

The first step is figuring out how to make sense of all the data you’ve gathered. In nearly 40 percent of organizations, they don’t have the capacity to integrate data between departments. About 10 percent of CRM users don’t have a system that allows them to gain real-time insights. With these inadequacies in place, it’s easy to see how so many organizations are failing to get the most out of their CRM solutions.

One way around the issue is to spearhead a project that involves merging operations into one platform. This isn’t that difficult for smaller companies because many customer-facing operations are already overlapping to some degree. Larger companies can achieve success through a phased implementation process.

Not every department will use the CRM in the same way, but information gained through each department can have great relevance to other departments. For instance, the data that a sales rep sends back to the database can be vital to the success of marketing professionals who need to know where to take the next strategy. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t have a good enough handle on their CRM system to utilize reporting features that sales reps need to use regularly.

To get the most out of what the sales reps can report from the field, your sales force needs a mobile CRM app that keeps them connected at all times. This is another area that lacks with most CRM vendors. Not only are their mobile apps few and far between, they don’t always work well with the salesforce. Your salesforce needs reporting tools that are easy to use, mobile and capable of firing off reports in less than a minute.

One company that has mastered the art of creating mobile CRM tools is Front Row Solutions. As a company built by former sales reps, we know what sales reps need when they’re in the field. We also know what sales managers need to improve accountability measures across the department. Front Row’s mobile CRM app does just that.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sales Reporting Tools That Give you the Edge

Sales managers are always looking for a way to hold their sales reps accountable, as are company executives looking for accountability in their sales managers. It’s not an easy thing to accomplish, but by adopting the right technology, you can get your sales department on a more efficient path.

As a sales manager you take a proactive approach to getting the most out of your sales reps. Not every sales rep will stand up and hold themselves accountable for everything they do during the workday, which is why
sales reporting tools are used by to track performance.

In fact, without sales reports, as a sales manager you don’t know where to set the bar – put it too high and you set unrealistic goals, or set it too low and have sales reps completely underperform. In many ways,
accountability begins with a consistent flow of sales reports coming in from your salesforce.

The problem with sales reports is that most reps don’t want to hassle with them. The reporting tools given to a majority of the sales reps in the field today are not made to fit their needs; they are too difficult to learn how to use and they are definitely too time consuming. Most sales reps are forced to come back to the office to submit their reports, which takes them out of their element and hinders their ability to hit their commission goals – all because they have the wrong sales reporting tools. They want to stay in the field and do what they do best – communicate with clients and make sales.

Some sales managers will attempt to make random calls to their reps, checking in on them and making notes about what they’re doing and how they are doing it. They pull this information up later when they get a chance to have a one-on-one coaching session with the rep. The results of these sessions are less than stellar because the information the manager is using as a coaching tool could be inaccurate and definitely not comprehensive.

What you need are sales reporting tools that allow the reps to make their reports quickly and easily from the field. If it’s quick and easy, there is no excuse not to send a report immediately after every sales transaction. Before long, the data begins to paint a picture of how the rep is using his or her time, how they choose to communicate with clients, how often they make follow-ups to clients, how long it takes them to close a sales cycle and many other tidbits that paint an entire mural.

Since every sales rep is probably carrying a smartphone or tablet computer, they need the app created by
Front Row Solutions that matches the company CRM with a mobile reporting solution. Front Row built its mobile app specifically for the salesforce, which means it is easy to use and quick to get sales reports back to the sales manager or vice presidents of any department. Stop losing out on the sales reporting tools you need and go mobile with Front Row.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Use the Right CRM Reporting Tool to Populate Your Database

In many ways, having a successful business boils down to providing excellent customer service. When the customer is happy, it reflects well upon your brand. One of the tools successful businesses use to boost their brand is customer relationship management solutions (CRM).

If you are still using your CRM solely to manage your leads, you’re missing out on valuable portions of it that can help you keep your clients happy. The newer school of thought is to embrace every aspect of the CRM solution to boost your entire business. Specifically, when the CRM is properly utilized, companies can establish longer-lasting relationships by building up customer loyalty. The goal is to have your clients identify your brand on many different levels, and using CRM to help you gather and crunch the data that can help you achieve this.

Rather than spend an inordinate amount of time squeezing your CRM to get the most new customers you possibly can, take a moment to consider embracing the customers you currently have to offer them more; you’ll get more in return. For instance, when companies work really hard to bring in new clients, they’re essentially neglecting the opportunity to increase the loyalty of existing clients. When you use your CRM to capture data on your current customers, you can use that data to enhance your interactions and build products around what they want even before they know they want it; the data can be that insightful.

Your customer data reveals a wealth of information. If you have tracked a customer long enough, you’ll see a trend in their buying habits. You’ll know how long they wait between purchases, the average amount of the purchases, what products they gravitate toward and which ones they never even consider. You’ll even know what time of the month and what time of day they close on a sale. You’re basically learning their limitations, which can help you determine how to approach them for future sales. This limits the time you spend pushing a product on the wrong people while creating upsell opportunities for the right people.

The best way to gather this valuable information is often the least pursued by companies using CRM – the salesforce. Your sales reps are out in the field, talking to your valuable customers day in and day out. They have developed relationships with them and have key insights that can make a database extremely valuable. The problem is, most companies don’t give them the tools they need to send this information back to the company and into the database.

When armed with the right CRM reporting tools, your salesforce can send back sales reports from the field in a matter of seconds, preferably less than 60. If the solution is easy to use, you’ll see a consistent flow of sales reports populating your database.

Front Row Solutions knows how the salesforce works and what they are willing to use when it comes to reporting tools. We have designed our mobile app around those preferences and included email calendar integration so everyone can be on the same page and a follow-up is never missed. Check us out and see how we bring value to our clients’ sales department.