Wednesday, April 16, 2014

F4 Reasons to Invest in Sales force Automation

Sales force automation tools are giving companies a boost in conversions while lowering the sales cycle duration. When used properly, sales force automation tools will offer an excellent return on investment through bringing enhancements to your sales department.

Let’s look at some benefits companies see when they adopt sales force automation.

1. Time Consuming Tasks Now Take a Fraction of the Time
There are aspects of the sales reps’ job that involves a very personal approach. It’s this approach that makes the sales rep such a valuable member of any enterprise. However, there are a number of tasks that are mind-numbing but still important. For instance, tracking contacts, shooting out follow-up emails and scheduling appointments are all very important aspects of the job, but take up a good deal of time. When adopting a sales force automation solution, you can do all of these impersonal tasks very quickly and very easily.

Generating estimates is also a time-consuming task that almost every sales rep needs to take time to do. Sales automation tools enable the rep to make these estimates rather quickly, which means sales proposals come around sooner and leads to your sales cycle duration being reduced.

2. Manage Your Sales Team with More Efficiency
Sales managers that lead successful sales teams spend a lot of time training. These managers are armed with information about the performance of their sales reps, which gives them fodder for training. Sales automation tools give sales managers insights, like sales figures, complaints from customers, time spent per call, the outcome of each call and how the call was made – email, face-to-face, etc.

When you are using sales force automation, you’ll have the equipment you need to develop your reps’ regions with more efficiency. You should have all the information to get these regions right the first time, but if something seems out of the ordinary, you can use your sales force automation tools to gain access to the information you need to determine why the rep is underperforming in that region.

3. Customer Service Gets a Boost
Many industries are embracing customer-centric business practices to retain their current customer base and attract new streams of revenue. Sales force automation can be of assistance in this endeavor. Sales force automation can be used to handle questions and/or complaints and reduce the number of dissatisfied customers. Automation helps tie all departments together and deliver complaints to the right person so the issue can be resolved.

4. Increase Profits
Your sales force needs to be free of cumbersome reporting tools that take time away from what they do best – make money for you. Too many CRM solutions offer mobile CRM tools that are too time consuming for most sales reps to consider using. Front Row Solutions has developed a mobile app that gives your reps the ability to fire off a sales report in seconds. With Front Row’s automated solutions, your reps can focus more time on your customer base and less on “paperwork.”

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to Use Your CRM Software and CRM Tools to Reach New Growth

When you consider the projected growth of customer relationship management solutions, which could hit $36.5 billion in three years, there is no denying the important role that CRM software and CRM tools continue to play across many industries.

The growth spurt might seem puzzling considering that most organizations aren’t realizing the full potential of their CRM software and CRM tools. By some accounts, only one-third of companies say they are getting the kind of customer conversion numbers they had hoped to attain with their CRM software and CRM tools.

Big Data Plays a Key Role
Just about every action we make online is recorded and stored somewhere, which explains why datacenters are bursting at the seams. Most of us don’t even think about it anymore, but those who do are probably hoping that the organizations that analyze the data are using it to make better products and provide better services. You should think the same about your CRM software. It should play a key role in collecting data using as much automation as possible and giving you the tools to provide reports that result in actionable information.

Unfortunately, less than 40 percent of organizations have the CRM systems that will allow them to integrate data between departments, which makes coming together as an enterprise nearly impossible. Even fewer organizations have the software that enables them to gain real-time insights.

Using Mobile and Social Strategies Together
Your approach to your CRM should be flexible enough to allow for changes. Certainly, your company has invested some time and money in establishing a social media presence. Your salesforce is also a very mobile group, which means your CRM should also have embraced mobile technology by now. There is not doubt that integration of mobile technology and social media has been a challenge for many companies, but its importance can’t be understated.

Social media can provide insights that weren’t easy to get before Facebook, Twitter and various other social sites evolved. Organizations that have had success in integrating social media with their CRM started with a well-planned out script of expectations and goals.

Playing to the Strengths of the Sales Rep
The best CRM software and tools consider every department in the company. However, many CRM vendors neglect to take into account the important data that can be gained from sales reps. More importantly, the CRM vendors fail to give sales reps the right tools for the job. The salesforce is engaging in interaction with the customer base, from face-to-face conversation to email exchange to phone calls. There is a multitude of data that can be gained from sales reps.

Using Front Row’s Mobile Solution
Front Row Solutions realizes that your sales department needs the right tools for the job, which is why it has developed a mobile solution that is built on the specifications of the sales reps. If your organization isn’t seeing the conversion rates it expected to see, consider the Front Row solution where you’ll gain more access to the data that can help you make better decisions and see more profits.

Friday, April 4, 2014

SFA: How Do Mobile Apps Help Improve Sales?

Salesforce automation, or SFA, is getting a lot of attention now as companies look to their CRM to improve revenues. CRM can help you see patterns in the behavior of your customer base. These insights, which come in the form of a multitude of data, are now being mined through SFA in mobile CRM apps. Some companies are investing heavily in SFA and mobile CRM apps and they’re seeing a strong positive return on those investments.

What’s SFA All About?
Thanks to advancements in technology and software development, tasks that once took the salesforce hours a week to complete can now be accomplished through the SFA processes in a fraction of the time. You can now gain access to software that will let you know the exact status of your inventory, how many customer complaints you’ve received and which department should address the issue. You can also see the sales ratio of your salesforce, the length of each and every sales call and many other aspects of your sales department – all through SFA.

Gaining Efficiency
SFA and mobile apps help you achieve what you’re always trying to achieve – efficiency. You want to save money and you can do that by saving time. Your marketing team and sales reps might be shoving gigabytes of data your way, but without efficient tools for analysis, you’re not going to get anything out of that data. Using SFA, you’re more likely to break that data down into actionable information. Furthermore, if you were to take the time to manually process the information, you’re introducing the probability of human error, which can corrupt your data. SFA is a quick and clean way to ensure you’re gaining efficiencies that improve sales.

SFA and Mobility
The salesforce has always been a mobile unit, however, CRM hasn’t always been friendly when it comes to sales reps and their mobile habits. More mobile apps are making their way into the CRM solution, making it easier for the salesforce to utilize CRM and for sales managers to gain insights from the information provided by the salesforce.

Sales reps are using mobile apps as the front end to the company’s CRM, enabling them to execute many tasks that are usually tackled at the desk where the laptop or desktop resides. Instead of the hefty desktop or bulky laptop, sales reps are using their smartphones and tablet computers to gain the mobility they need to do their jobs.

Front Row Solutions and the Mobile App
Front Row Solutions developed the fastest and easiest sales reporting tool on the market so your sales reps can achieve mobility and generate reports that help improve sales. Front Row offers a multitude of tools in our mobile app, but don’t be intimidated. We know your sales staff doesn’t have time for extensive training so we made the tools extremely easy to use. Get connected today and start realizing the potential of SFA and the Front Row Solutions’ mobile app.

CRM Outlook: It's Gonna Be a Bright Sunshiny Day‬

I Can See Clearly Now, the 1972 hit by Jonny Nash included an upbeat tempo and optimistic lyrics about how the rain has gone away and the day is soaking in sunshine. The theme of the song works when considering the future of your business’s use of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions – as long as you have the right partner at your side.

Gartner, a world leader in information technology research, released a report last year that said the CRM outlook is definitely sunshiny with an estimated worldwide market investment of $36.5 billion by 2017. The market for CRM in the first quarter of last year was only $20.6 billion.

CRM Will Overtake ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) will finally be eclipsed by CRM in 2017, according to Gartner. ERP has remained a steady competitor to CRM because of its integration in all facets of a business operation, from planning to development to the manufacturing and human resources and marketing departments. However, CRM vendors are bringing more value to the market with the various tools built into the solution, which assist your organization in generating more business. Some companies have actually had success in integrating their ERP and CRM systems.

CRM Helps You to Understand Your Target Market

Companies that have built growth strategies are counting on their CRM to help them better understand their target market, which helps them to retain current customers, attract new prospects and gain a more promising understanding of what the customer base will want in the future. If your company has fully adopted your CRM, you’re probably already using it this way.

CRM Software is Continually Adding New Tools

The CRM outlook is positive because vendors are relying heavily on technology to build better CRM software. The solutions can now assist your company in collecting data, managing the data and linking information about your customers to it. You’ve probably already used your CRM to help you create a marketing campaign and business strategy. CRM vendors are increasingly building more tools in the software that assist you in these tasks.

The Future Looks Bright

Gartner’s report further outlines global spending on enterprise software, which hit $304 billion in 2013, representing a 6.4 percent increase over the previous year. As for the CRM outlook, growth in CRM sales between the first and second quarters shows a 56 percent increase in CAGR from 2012 to 2017. The takeaway from Gartner’s report is that companies are buying in to the fact that their key focus should be on long-term customer relationships, which are best managed by quality CRM solutions.

CRM vendors are listening to what their customers need, including the needs of the salesforce, which has a history of being ignored when it comes to the CRM software. Reporting has always been a sticking point with most sales departments, putting the sales manager in a challenging position when it comes to answering to upper management.

Front Row Solutions has stepped up to bring more value to your CRM solution by offering the fastest reporting tool on the market. Custom dashboards, mobile applications with a camera tool, charts and reports are all part of the Front Row solution that is finally getting the salesforce to report their sales calls and giving their sales managers the data they need to create better, long-term relationships. If this is the direction you’d like to take your sales team, give us a call today to access our free demo.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Has Your Organization Implemented a Customer Relationship Management App?

If your salesforce is like most others in America, it’s a highly mobile team. They are probably going into the field with a smartphone, a tablet computer, or both. Are those devices armed with a quality customer relationship management app that allows them to report their sales calls from the field?

It’s no secret that mobile technology has hit the salesforce as hard as it has in the general public, not only in America but across the globe. Back in 2011, industry experts predicted that mobile Internet usage would overtake desktop Internet usage by 2014. India beat that prediction and had already surpassed desktop usage in 2013.

In 2009, just as the smartphone revolution was in its infancy, roughly one percent of Internet traffic was derived from mobile devices. That jumped to 13 percent by 2013 and is quickly rising.

Pew Research said that as of January of this year 90 percent of American adults have a cell phone, 58 percent have a smartphone and 42 percent own a table computer. The percentages within the business community are likely much higher, which means adopting and embracing mobile CRM has to play a crucial role in the success of your sales department.

An indication that the corporate world had embraced mobile technology before the average consumer is found in the fact that as early as 2008, around 50 percent of enterprises and more than 40 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses were either using mobile apps or developing them. By the end of 2012 as many as 110 CRM applications were available in Apple’s App Store.

Mobile CRM works by connecting your sales team to the customer data that you’ve stored and analyzed to create better relationships with your customer base. When your sales team has a
customer relationship management app, they gain access to real-time data while they are out of the office.

Gartner, an information technology research group, estimates that the growth rate for the customer relationship management app will hit 500 percent this year.

The success rate of the customer relationship management app has not been that great for the sales departments that have tried to implement the technology. The main reason for this lack of buy-in from the salesforce is that most mobile CRM is not built to the specifications and unique needs of the mobile sales team.

Your mobile CRM probably includes a reporting tool that is too time-consuming for your sales reps to even consider using. Yet this activity is important because it gives you insights into what your sales team is doing, how they choose to communicate and the success ratios within those communications.

Front Row Solutions has developed a customer relationship management app that allows your sales managers to get all the information they need out of their sales teams, quickly and easily. The app requires no lengthy training periods (which is another reason buy-in fails) and allows your team to send a sales call report from their mobile device in 30 seconds or less. If you want to test the app to see if this kind of success is really possible, give us a call and we’ll set you up on a free Front Row Solutions demo. Schedule your free launch today.