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4 Ways You Profit From Stronger CRM Capability

Posted Wed, October 29, 2014 by Julie Short

Too many businesses look to sales and marketing when searching for revenue growth. Or, they look to sales and marketing without going further (or shall we say deeper) to find new profit opportunities. That's a shame, because retaining current customers and expanding those accounts is often a much better, more-efficient strategy.

Let's be clear: there is nothing wrong with trying to break into new markets, and reach new people. Still, studies have shown time and time again that the biggest and most frequent orders (or the most profitable accounts, if you sell services) tend to come from repeat buyers.

Of course, the best way to encourage customers to stay with you is through robust CRM. The better job you're doing of getting to know your customers, keeping in touch with them, and maintaining things like account details and points of contact, the easier it's going to be to grow those accounts. 

In fact, here are four ways you profit from stronger CRM:

1. Fewer accounts that slip away or are lost to competitors. Marketing experts will tell you that most sales are made, and most accounts are won, on a "top of mind" basis. In other words, the more intentional you are about contacting important customers regularly, the more you just happen to be "at the right place at the right time."

2. Better follow-up on sales opportunities. A good CRM package doesn't just keep account details, but can help you track new opportunities. That's important, because without these kinds of tools, it's easy to lose track of possible sales, especially when they don't finalize immediately. Few businesses can afford to let potential customers slip through the cracks, and CRM functionality can make all the difference.

3. More targeted marketing opportunities. In a perfect world, you could match a personalized sales message to each single client or opportunity. Since that's not normally possible, however, your best option is to use strong CRM systems that differentiate your customers and prospects into groups, allowing you to send timely, targeted offers to different buyers in each major category.

4. Less time wasted for your sales and customer service teams. One of the "soft costs" associated with poor CRM is the waste of time shared by business owners, managers, and employees. Your team has better things to do, so why not let your CRM system take care of routine tracking and account maintenance activities?

For most businesses, there is more revenue growth to be found within current accounts then there is in new ones, at least in the short term. Are you making the most of CRM and sales opportunities within your roster of existing buyers? If not, let the WebRevelation team show you how easy it is to enhance those relationships with streamlined CRM solutions.

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM


7 Ways to Make CRM Effective

Posted Wed, October 8, 2014 by Julie Short

With the right customer relationship management (CRM) platform, your business can stay in touch with buyers and meet their needs more effectively, paving the way for happier customers and lots of future sales.


Use CRM ineffectively, though, and you don’t just waste time and money – you miss opportunities and could even harm the relationships you have with your most important buyers. Because there’s so much at stake, it’s critical businesses of all sizes get CRM right. Here are seven ways you can make yours more effective:

  1. Choose the right CRM package. It goes without saying that you need the correct CRM platform if you’re going to use it to your advantage. Unfortunately, there are lots of choices… not to mention several different options and configurations. This is where a company like ours can be an invaluable asset in helping you find the right fit between needs and products.
  2. Get the proper training. Unfortunately, having the right CRM package won’t improve your customer service and customer retention automatically – you and your staff need to know how to use the tools at your disposal. Usually, a bit of upfront training, along with a few subsequent sessions, is all that’s needed to get your organization up to speed. Don’t skip out on this vital step, however, because it’s the key to getting the ROI you need from your CRM investment.
  3. Make constant updates. In order for your CRM package to have any value, it needs to be updated continually. In fact, the ideal way to work is to have your team update your CRM platform with every customer interaction. That way, anyone in your organization can see what contact you’ve had with the customer, what the current challenges and expectations are, and what the expected next steps might be.
  4. Use CRM data in customer interactions. The flipside of that coin is that CRM data needs to be instantly available. For example, if someone calls your company or stops by in person, it’s crucial that employees be able to see account history and details about recent requests or inquiries. That way, they aren’t “starting from scratch,” which can lead to an incredibly frustrating experience for buyers (and serve as a motivator for them to take their business elsewhere).
  5. Review accounts regularly. The larger an account is, the more important it is you use your CRM package to review it regularly. In this way, CRM can help you “play defense” and stop important buyers from defecting to competitors. Knowing when you have problems with an account, and what they are, is crucial to client retention.
  6. Study CRM metrics. In the same way that you want to look through individual accounts on a regular basis, you should also make a point of studying overall CRM metrics to get a sense of how your business is performing and how satisfied buyers appear to be. Sometimes, a simple “top-down” view of your accounts can show some revealing trends, so make the time to study and review the available data on a set schedule.
  7. Let CRM lead to marketing and sales opportunities. CRM isn’t just about keeping customers happy and putting out fires. In fact, by studying a pattern of customer interactions – and especially their requests – you might be able to identify new sales and marketing opportunities that were previously undetected.

That’s just one of the many ways CRM packages, when chosen and implemented in the right way, can help your company be more profitable.
Is your company getting the most from customer relationship management, web marketing, and other business technologies? If not, right now is the perfect time to call WebRevelation at 817-283-3324 and see how we can help.

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM


What is CRM? A Guide for Newbies

Posted Wed, January 29, 2014 by Julie Short

The world of marketing is full of acronyms. Every modern marketer knows what an FAQ is, but other acronyms – CPC, CTR, and MFA, to name a few – are not as well understood by many of us. Here’s one you need to know: CRM. Whether you’re a marketing newbie or just interested in learning more about this mysterious acronym, here’s a quick guide to navigating CRM.

First things first: What does CRM stand for?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Successful CRM entails a company-wide strategy designed to increase profitability and reduce costs.

At the heart of this strategy, the company as a whole – especially the marketing, sales, and customer service departments – works to create a two-way interaction with its customers so as to better understand customer needs and behaviors.  An efficient CRM system imports relevant information from several sources into one central location, making this information available to your marketing team and other key players in your organization.

Marketers implement CRM through various methodologies, software and internet applications. These tools help you keep track of customers in an organized way.

What is CRM, really?

A theoretical definition is all well and good – but exactly what is CRM in practice and how can it help your business? Although CRM is a pretty simple concept, it has grown to include all kinds of software and strategies – mainly because various consulting firms and software vendors try to create their own brand of CRM.  Here’s a more application-focused explanation:

  • A CRM system compiles all of your customer information in a central location and makes it accessible across your team.
  • Marketing tools within CRM assess the effectiveness of your current email, social media, search, and telephone campaigns by tracking the number of responses, clicks, leads, and deals these methods generate.
  • CRM software can provide tech support to customers; automated customer service capabilities can increase efficiency and customer satisfaction.
  • Successful CRM helps you identify strong leads and focus your marketing energy on these high-potential leads.
  • An automated CRM system improves your bottom line by eliminating duplicate efforts, unnecessary expenses and ineffective campaigns.

Effective CRM tools organize, automate, and synchronize marketing, sales, technical support, and customer service efforts in a way that makes the information you gather meaningful and usable.

That is what’s tricky about CRM: its exact functions and capabilities vary widely from one system or organization to another – but the overarching meaning remains constant. You use CRM to learn what your customers need and want.

Implement CRM across the board at your company.

If you’ve been handling customer data and relationships manually, you might be put off by the idea of adding a whole new system to manage something you feel is under control. But there are a few factors – a lack of customized customer relations, unorganized customer data in a hundred different places – that might make you realize that your spreadsheets (or Rolodex – we won’t judge) just aren’t cutting it any more.

Ask your employees – and not just the marketing team – how they feel about their relationships with customers. If they feel strained or stretched in too many directions, it might be time to consider implementing an across-the-board CRM system.

Let the experts at Web Revelation help you implement an effective CRM strategy. You’ll finally have time to take care of your existing customers – and time to find new ones, too.

 

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM


5 Reasons Every Manufacturer Needs a Powerful CRM Platform

Posted Wed, October 9, 2013 by The HVAC Girl

Manufacturers tend to love technologies that make production faster, cheaper, or more reliable while casting a doubtful eye on new ideas that can help other parts of the company. Part of that probably has to do with the fact that manufacturers work in environments where there are very often slim margins and lots of competitors. That means there is very little room for mistakes… but it also means that there are bigger incentives to get smarter and more efficient.

In no part of the manufacturing business is that more true than when it comes to customer relationship management (or CRM, for short). CRM packages allow you to keep track of buyers and prospects, automate communications, and record important details in a way that would be impossible to duplicate in a spreadsheet or simple database.

To see why this is such a difference-maker for manufacturers, here are five benefits you get from installing a powerful CRM platform:

1. You spend less time on marketing, customer service, and account management. Because CRM platforms automate a number of important tasks (like account details and contact information update), you and your team can devote a lot less time to routine tasks.

2. Your company has detailed information about buyers ready to use. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to give them what they want – both individually and collectively. On the one hand, detailed buyer records and account histories tell you everything you need to know about a particular contact; and on the other, it's easy to find the information you're looking for about all customers, those in a particular geographic area, or the ones who have received a specific offer at a glance.

3. Fewer sales opportunities slip through the cracks. Spreadsheets and other manual systems are subject to far more human error than CRM platforms are, especially when it comes to following up on new sales opportunities. In this day and age, no one can afford to let customers "get away," and the CRM can help you manage contacts and new opportunities.

4. It's easier to spot trends in the market, and in your company. Because the right CRM system can give you detailed data across customer groups, date ranges, etc., it makes it easier for you to spot developing trends or concerns. By adding flagging customer keywords to different keywords and search terms, you can even see what buyers are talking to your staff about on a regular basis.

5. CRM platforms lower costs across the board. One of the best advantages of moving to a CRM system is that it can help you save money. Fewer wasted contacts, less time spent chasing the wrong opportunities, and more focus on the right parts of your business all mean better efficiency and bottom-line improvement.

Want to learn more about customer relationship management, or how the latest tools and software can make your company more profitable? Get in touch with WebRevelation and let us share some of our manufacturing success stories with you.

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM


How CRM and Custom Web Programming Can Help Your Bottom Line

Posted Wed, May 15, 2013 by Julie Short

 

In this economy, it isn't about doing more with your Internet marketing… it's about managing time and expenses efficiently. For that reason, customer relationship management (or CRM) is becoming more important than ever. Businesses in all industries are working so hard to identify sales opportunities that they don't want (and can't afford) to watch them slip through their fingers because of poor data management or follow-up.

With that in mind, a lot of new and existing clients are turning to us for custom web programming that supplements their existing CRM efforts. We have seen this firsthand, with our own clients, as we help them to do things like:

Integrate online and off-line CRM systems. If you have proprietary (or custom-designed) CRM systems that you use to manage buyer relationships, why not integrate them with your business website. Or better yet, look into cloud computing CRM solutions so that data is always accessible and up-to-date.

Develop apps that help meet CRM goals. If it seems like everyone has an app these days, there's a good reason for that: app development has gotten less expensive, and you can use small pieces of mobile software to let customers track orders, manage account details, and so much more.

Tie CRM and social media together more closely. As we've written the past, social media and CRM make for natural friends. With a new web app or custom programming solution, you could move customers seamlessly from one to the next, collecting information and producing more targeted offers at the right times.

Put automated follow-up systems into place. Automated marketing, client management, and CRM are big topics because they can free up huge chunks of employee time while improving your profit picture. Best of all, automating CRM systems doesn't have to require a big investment of time or money.

Program web apps to meet ongoing CRM challenges. No two custom CRM solutions are the same, because no two organizations have exactly the same needs or goals. Much of what we do involves finding out what the real business mission is, and then creating a tool to match.

Are you making the most of CRM and web programming to keep in touch with customers and market to them effectively? It only takes one phone call to the WebRevelation team to get our CRM experts finding new solutions and profit opportunities for you. Let's schedule a free consultation today.

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM , web solutions


Why Social Media, Customer Service, and CRM Go Together

Posted Mon, May 13, 2013 by Julie Short

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn get a lot of attention because they have grown so quickly in the past five years (and are still adding millions of users each month), leading businesses to see them as marketing opportunities. After all, if your customers are hooked on social media, that must be the best place to go and advertise or market to them… right?

In some cases that might be, but a lot of companies are finding that social sites are difficult places to spread marketing messages. In fact, it could be that social platforms have more value for customer service and CRM than they do for gaining new business. 

That's because social media profiles are built on relationships, not transactions. Here are a few ways to use your social profiles with customer service and CRM goals:

Solve problems and answer question publicly. When a customer e-mails you and you send a response, you benefit from keeping them satisfied or furthering a sales opportunity. When you do it publicly, however, on a social media site, you also answer that question and improve your visibility with dozens or hundreds of other buyers, too. That's why, so long as you aren't spreading sensitive information for all to see, your social profiles can be great for handling routine customer service inquiries.

Find distinct customer segments that you can market to. One of the underrated features of a strong social media campaign is the information you can find about buyers (or groups of prospects) simply by looking through profiles. Don't worry, we aren't talking about cyber-stalking; instead, we are encouraging you to find out more about your best customers, and notice similarities between them so you can find others just like them.

Create links between your social profiles and online CRM systems. There are any number of ways that you could tie Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to custom CRM systems, account updates to targeted marketing, and more. The fact that tens of millions of people use social media site on a daily basis should encourage you to find ways to move friends, fans, and followers from your profiles to other pages and customer management systems.

If you're looking for more ways to connect social media and customer service, or simply want new ideas for growing your business online, now is the perfect time to talk to the team at WebRevelation. Why not call or e-mail us today to arrange for free consultation?

Posted in : CRM , SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : social media , CRM


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