Wednesday, July 30, 2014

3 Worst Social Media Mistakes Made by CRM Systems

Social media came into this world with the objective of reconnecting lost social connections. However, with the unprecedented boom experienced by the likes of Facebook, Twitter and so on, marketers realized the enormous customer reach potential. Thus, they started creating marketing campaigns which were supposed to be targeted and value added. Not to be outdone, even CRM systems jumped in the bandwagon. However, they did not factor in the marketing fatigue that will eventually take over consumers. Below are some of the worst mistakes done by traditional CRM systems in the social media periphery.

Three Worst Social Media Mistakes Made by CRM Systems

Three worst social media mistakes made by CRM systems:
1. Manipulative campaigns
Social media managers often assume that customers can be hoodwinked. Thus traditional CRM vendors prepare and run campaigns that are made to look personalized in paper, where in reality, they are targeted en mass. Customers are sophisticated enough now to know the difference between personalized advertisement campaigns and mass generated campaigns.  Such type of campaigns are double edged swords. They have the capacity to alienate customers and make even loyal ones stay away.


2. Mechanized execution
Traditional CRM systems have systems that can shoot thousands of mails in one go. However, today’s customer generation have gotten used to customization in their daily life. Even if they get a whiff of mass mechanization, they will shun the promotions like a plague. This main point is often ignored by companies who utilize CRM for such purposes. For example, a customer purchases a pregnancy handbook for his friend, and based on raw data, an email campaign is targeted towards him on the mechanical assumption that the guy is pregnant. Such type of poor execution creates a wide perception gap between the company and the customer. Using cheesy lines like ‘Only for you, George’ irritates the customer more.


3. Lack of trust
Modern customers have expanded the personal view of trust into the commercial market. If a brand is successful in eliciting trust in customers, the marketing job is half done. However, it takes careful positioning and not spamming social media domains to create a genuine connect. Things go downhill, when brands, just for the purpose of populating the media space, start shooting posts. Even with genuine intention of creating brand awareness, such campaigns are bound to fail or even backfire. With trust, companies can weather the worst of PR (Public Relations) nightmare.


The above three mistakes are the major ones committed by companies and brands of all sizes with traditional CRM technologies. Stay away from them, adopt social media integration with latest CRM technologies and create the right social connect.


About the Author:
Ranjit George has an MBA in Marketing and corporate experience of 3 years. He has written many B2B, B2C and social value articles spanning technology, healthcare, education, travel and logistics, corporate training, etc. Ranjit is a Communications Writer with CRMnext, a leading global CRM product company.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

5 Best Lead Management Practices through CRM

You are the star marketer in your organization and are looking for ways to further boost your numbers. You are fully aware of the importance of leads and their optimized utilization. However, to further improve your lead management skills, you have to look out for more ways and best practises to tweak the maximum out of your CRM software. Lead management involves managing and tracking leads that are generated for maximum closure levels. The platform you are using for taking care of leads should give you an accurate and up-to-date status of your leads, with minimal supervision.

5 Best Lead Management Practises through CRM


When HDFC Bank used their customized lead management platforms implemented by CRMnext, they benefited from a 208 percent increase in lead conversion.

So what are the best lead management practices that you can follow to improve your odds of achieving tremendous growth?
1. Follow Up
The one magic word that can bring in instant visible results is constant follow up. That can be in the form of regular calls (at intervals, of course), sending reminder emails etc. Though the importance of follow up has been stated and magnified many times, company sales representatives do not follow up due to lack of time sensitivity or fear of intruding customer privacy. Your sales reps should be adequately trained to make professional follow up calls/emails/visits.

2. Website form submissions
Most websites have the usual contact forms. Top businesses have website form submissions that capture all the relevant details like name, contact details and more importantly industry vertical information. That way, it becomes easier to sort through raw lead data and categorize them for relevant follow up. However, marketing personnel should be adequately informed about sorting spam and other irrelevant information through contact form submissions.

3. Quick responses
A fast response to queries demonstrates your company’s dedication to timely resolutions. This act itself creates immense confidence in the minds of prospective customers. With an agile CRM platform, you can make changes in the lead management system on the fly. Great CRM software which involves code-less architecture enables you to respond to lead queries in a fast and professional manner.  Such good impressions last long.

4. Lead nurturing emails
Lead nurturing emails do the task of nudging leads closer to conversions. It has to be drafted carefully and with due customization. The nurturing email should create awareness about the product; relation to the customer’s need and preferably, free takeaways. Done correctly, such email campaigns can greatly aid your conversion rates.

5. Updated contact sheet
It is very important that you use an updated contact sheet to avoid delays and potentially embarrassing situations. Imagine you are calling up a lead that has shifted or moved up in corporate hierarchy, what kind of image he will have at the back of his mind? Always remember that first impression counts. Undertake regular exercise which involves removing duplicate leads and updating vital contact information.
     
Thus, the above five practises can make your lead management platform your asset in increasing sales numbers and decreasing lead conversion cycle time.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How Has CRM Completely Revamped the Way Businesses Function?

How Has CRM Completely Revamped the Way Businesses Function?

Introduction:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) implementation provided by experienced vendors has taken the marketing domain by storm. It wouldn’t be incorrect to term the CRM process as a ‘Business Saver’. Imagine how difficult completing various processes would be without utilizing the services of cloud CRM software.

Data would have to be entered in complicated excel sheets, signatures and approvals would have to be waited for, potential and profitable customers would be lost in the ensuing time delay. Under a customer focused software, data can be accessed anywhere, anytime. All information is readily available in a centralized repository. Sales reps can go through this information and pitch for a potential cross sell or up sell, no matter where the location and time.

An Example:
Suppose a customer who has an account with a particular bank plans to get married. The sales rep can follow up with him and pitch for a home loan. Thus, he gets more business from the same customer by identifying a need from social networking. A good CRM platform integrates social media aspects as well. Also, after solving a particular problem, let’s assume some issue with the debit card; the service rep can pitch a potential cross sell offer.

Benefits of CRM implementation

Also, a CRM vendor helps in automating all business processes, including IT, sales, service or marketing. Quality leads can be generated and closed at a faster rate. Effective campaigns can be created to attract more profitable customers into buying your product or service. These campaigns can be saved for future reference and repeats as well. The team can easily monitor the status of each campaign, which campaign needs further improvement and avoid repeat mistakes. This helps in saving a lot of time and cost which translates into less overhead.

As far as sales representatives are concerned, with the help of cloud CRM software, they can automate sales force process by resolving queries, complaints, and issues at a faster rate. CRM also helps in improving first time resolution rate. They can provide excellent service to customers, thereby building brand loyalty. It will also help in reducing customer churn and increasing customer attrition rate.

Conclusion:
With the advent of the CRM software, businesses don’t have to hop between multiple systems to search for information and keep a track on customers or performance of team members. With a few clicks (desktop) and swipes (mobiles/tablets), managers can conveniently track, what his team members are doing and assist them, in case of problems and escalations.

In a nutshell, the benefits of CRM far outweigh all the potential risks to business organizations. By investing in high-impact cloud CRM software, you can ensure that all your processes are on track. Your team members can focus less on administrative tasks and more on improving overall productivity. With the right CRM partner, the organization can easily meet the expected revenue and be business leaders in the long run.

About the Author:
Ranjit George has an MBA in Marketing and corporate experience of 3 years. He has written many B2B, B2C and social value articles spanning technology, healthcare, education, travel and logistics, corporate training, etc. Ranjit is a Communications Writer with CRMnext, a leading global CRM product company.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

KOL Process Management Simplified!

The pharmaceutical industry is a vital one as it involves the lives of millions of patients around the globe. It is one of the highly regularized and invested sectors. The typical turnaround time of pharmaceutical research runs into decades. Hence, all the stakeholders in medical industry are kept updated all the time. KOL or Key Opinion Leader Management is an important tool for marketers and medical representatives to keep their brands alive by inducing an ‘over-the-top’ mind recall. KOL management process helps pharma departments to allocate dedicated resources and avoid effort duplication.

KOL Process Management Simplified!

As Jim Zuffoletti and Hemant Kashyap puts it in Destination CRM:

“Without KOL management, different departments within an organization may unknowingly approach the same physician.”

The one major challenge which many KOL platforms face is tracking and evaluation as it is often mistakenly assumed that efforts cannot be quantitatively analyzed. CRMnext’s pharma CRM software puts to rest such myths by offering unique physician/doctor/expert input, management, resource allocation, important timelines and performance evaluation on the effort spent.

The whole mechanics:
Why is KOL management the prime focus of every pharma company and how is it taken care of?
Depending on the company strength and research focus, the management will identify key experts who are generally renowned in their area of expertise. For example, a cancer research company will contact well known oncologists who has various research papers to his credit. Once the physician agrees to be a part of the team, the company will regularly update him about the latest research developments. The oncologist will then mention it on his future medical papers, expert talks etc. This was on a grander scale. In smaller versions, medical representatives (MR) will approach doctors who are experts in cancer treatment, who in turn, will recommend and prescribe the company’s medications.

What benefits does the above example entail for the pharmaceutical company?
1. Increased exposure
A pharma company can save on expensive advertising costs through KOL management. The specific meetings generate word of mouth awareness and greater penetration.

2. Reduce mismanagement
If there is no synchronized data management, it will be difficult to prevent data mismanagement. Mismanagement can drain your valuable resources and waste precious time.

3. Save money
Ultimately, business is all about money. With a good KOL management platform provided by a robust CRM system, a pharma company can save money by stopping revenue leakage through misguided marketing activities. With its automated sales force management, a CRM software can offer enhanced value addition with KOL management.

Thus, KOL management simply means that important stakeholders like medical personnel, researchers etc. are actively involved in a company’s growth. Any pharmaceutical company worth its salt will ensure that its CRM vendor has a stable opinion management platform.

References:


About the Author:
Ranjit George has an MBA in Marketing and corporate experience of 3 years. He has written many B2B, B2C and social value articles spanning technology, healthcare, education, travel and logistics, corporate training, etc. Ranjit is a communications writer with CRMnext, a leading global CRM product company.
 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Danger Ahead: Beware of 5 common CRM mistakes

Customer relationship management implementation in on a meteoric rise amongst corporates who are looking to make a difference in their operations. However, organizations still make mistakes while selecting the right CRM vendor. The benefits of CRM are enormous, however, the fact remains that improper selection and investment decisions can have adverse effect on your company margins. More than focusing on the intricacies, you should pay attention on how your customers can get the maximum value from a CRM investment.

Danger Ahead: Beware of 5 common CRM mistakes

The five common CRM mistakes:

1. Ignoring end users
Organizations often rush to implement CRM based on the brand visibility of the existing top CRM vendors. However, that is a wrong approach to take if you have budgetary constraints and are on tight deadlines. You should prioritise your end users, meaning your employees before even starting the proper process of CRM vendor screening. Traditional CRM platforms are designed only for desktop and are of no help for sales professionals. You also always select a CRM Sales application that is solely designed for improving sales workforce productivity.

2. Non-scalable CRM solution
Any great CRM solution should be scalable according to the requirement. Non scalable platforms are obsolete and take up lot of space. Many firms make the mistake of not envisioning their future requirements while selecting a platform. Thus, when the time comes for an upgrade, the management is left with an obsolete system with fewer back up strength. Your whole investment can go to waste even with a minuscule increment in capacity. Thus, you need to carefully assess you process data before you take any decision. Having a non scalable CRM solution for desktop and mobile platforms can cause many problems like service outage, crashes and slow transfers.

3. No social media presence
In today’s constantly connected world, it is very important to have a robust CRM presence. People are on Facebook, Twitter more than the real world. Having no social media presence is akin to having no presence in an impactful marketing platform. A social media presence is important not only for data collection and monitoring, but also for genuine customer interaction. The communication is instant with on the spot gratification.

4. No integration
Your organization may already have an automated system that is expensive and cannot be phased out quickly. It is very important to have a CRM system which offers seamless integration with your existing infrastructure. If there is no scope for synchronising different platforms, it will result into a host of redundancy.

5. No performance analysis
Even though CRM is an automated process, key metrics should be incorporated to analyze its performance. You should start CRM implementation with clear goals and objectives. Each and every process point should have clear standards and escalation metrics that should be monitored on a regular basis. Any deviations should be promptly addressed by taking corrective actions.

The above five mistakes can mar even the best CRM decisions. Avoid them if you want to save money, time and profits!

About the Author:
Ranjit George has an MBA in Marketing and corporate experience of 3 years. He has written many B2B, B2C and social value articles spanning technology, healthcare, education, travel and logistics, corporate training, etc. Ranjit is a communications writer with CRMnext, a leading global CRM product company.