4 Important Recent CRM Developments

With the dynamics of world economy changing constantly and another global downturn remaining a significant threat, companies must more than ever remain streetwise. Within this tepid ecosystem, competition becomes rougher and staying on top of the trends allows companies to innovate without being left in the dust. Here are 4 important developments in Customer Relations Theory that firms would do well to pay attention to sailing through the slowdown:

1. Analysis and the Datarati
Hal Varion, Google’s high priest of economics, told Wired Magazine in 2009 that the economic aristocracy would become dominated by the ‘datarati’. Data, he argued, was ubiquitous and cheap; what was rare was the analytical ability to utilize it. “I keep saying that the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians” he opined later to the New York Times.

Indeed, analytical CRM is gaining status in the industry. Businesses are increasingly encouraging analysts to deal with clients directly, since their insights and assertions are ladled with the confidence of actually doing the math themselves. What is crucial is the ability to measure what analytical conclusions can benefit the customer the most, in particular the potent reach of social technologies, and relating them to customer value. Analytical CRM is also finding prominence as a method for modelling client behaviours, with data aggregation and the ability to use information effectively.

2. Social Media
The phenomenal leveraging power of social media continues to offer prime opportunities for firms aiming to gain new clientele and secure their existing ones. With the amplified reach and disproportionate impact of the voices of socially integrated clients, it is crucially important for new CRM strategies to tap into the conversation, using technologies to help determine and respond to the needs of the customer base. Traditional CRM systems dealing with the management of sales and customer life cycles no longer have sufficient penetration.

Strategically, CRM tactics will evolve to integrate the social consumer by collaborating, customize their internal processes, and synthesizing their technology with them. In addition to offering a more meaningful customer relationship, successful CRM social program can provide answers to abiding questions like: What do we say to our clients? How do we go about saying it? Where should we say it? When should we say it? Social media provides a number of spaces in which customers can express contentment or annoyance vis-à-vis a product, so it is critically important that firms not only pay attention to these spaces, but be able to respond with direct action, find ways to shape the conversation, and operationalize their sales teams to engage effectively.

That said, social media is still in its infancy, and little actual data exists on the efficacy of CRM systems ability to benefit firms’ social media efforts. Many solutions are still underdeveloped. But with the linking of mobile technology and other technology platforms with social media (via smartphones or iPad for example), CRM systems will likely find a fertile avenue to better facilitate interaction and engagement with customers. Further, CRM sales and service staff will probably invest in enhanced functionality of their CRM systems using these up-and-coming platforms.

3. Integration
Organizations are developing a holistic appreciation for their sales, service and marketing architecture, discarding partitioning perspectives that don’t pay enough attention to the relationship between these facets, and the characteristics each contribute to. Studies in CRM have indicated that this trend applies equally to the CRM industry and is quickly rising in importance, prompting vendors to re-evaluate their solutions commensurate with the new demand. Integration capability is becoming a key factor in evaluation of CRM solutions and is contributing a significant share in the CRM services business.

4. CRM Migrates to the Cloud
CRM enthusiasts are near universal in their claims that both provision and delivery methodologies for CRM are improving. After the explosion of social media, CRM has changed texture; from support-based systems with conventional support centers to support based in the cloud. The advantage lies in accommodating real-time communications for employees with clients on social platforms, search and knowledge web phenomena and mobile devices etc. Instead of contacting the laborious support center, customers are increasingly turning their questions to forums, Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds.

Accordingly, on-premise architectures without the flexibility to deal with this outpouring are likely to die out. For customer loyalty to be truly entrenched, customers must be met in their own avenues of expression. Firms which cannot respond to this conversation in the cloud will be averting their eyes from a huge amount of customer service chatter. Market growth depends upon meeting this need, and keeping pace with transformation.

The traditional concept of CRM solution was relatively straightforward: provide a receptacle for client data, a method for simple access, the ability to measure the on-goings of particular customers and the tendency to crank out a couple of reports. Whilst this is still the core of CRM, new features have become significantly more important in managing customers. This article examined four top developments that have spiced up the industry. First, has explored the potency of analytical CRM, suggesting that understanding data is crucial to the future. Second, it charted the rise of social media and stressed the importance of managing and learning from the conversation. Third, it investigated the growing success of integrated CRM. Finally, it suggested that the popularity of cloud migration was due to flexibility, and the more traditional and rigid CRM systems will lose market share going into 2012.

How to Win More Deals with Clear Pipeline Visibility

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System is an amazing tool when it comes to the management of your opportunity/ deal pipeline. It can help you to bundle your orders and inquiries, it can keep departments in touch with your customers and it can help you to personalize your services. You have made a major investment in this business solution, expecting that your sales volumes would increase as well. But that is not happening. Why? What could have gone wrong? Is it the economy or other external factors or something is wrong internally? Has the market changed so drastically that your product or service no longer has any value? Or is it time you took a step back and reviewed how you are using the CRM in your pipeline development?
CRM software is a great set of tools, but its implementation does need to be carefully managed. A CRM system alone will not increase your sales; make your product more desirable or your company more profitable. A CRM system is never a replacement for the personal touch the customer facing teams bring to the customer relationship.

CRM systems manage data and knowledge. They provide excellent reporting capabilities which empower your sales force to better understand the customer and the customers’ needs. But it is what your sales force does with this knowledge that will drive your opportunity pipeline. The creation of a more valuable relationship, though knowledge of the customer, depends on the integration of this knowledge into the planning and processes used by the sales force. A CRM system, even with all the bells and whistles, will not solve the age old problem of how to increase sales.

CRM systems cannot create prospects for your sales force. What they can do, however, is provide your sales force with a detailed profiles of your current customers. This profile can then become an efficient and effective tool to manage current prospects and identify new prospects. This prospecting is what will build and maintain your opportunity pipeline.

What the sales force must remember is that the CRM system is an identification system – not a cherry orchard ripe for the picking. There must be a change in mindset that moves from a sales force mentality of only going after prospects they are sure to close to going after prospects that fit the criteria defined for the market. They must begin to use the CRM solution's actionable intelligence to identify the profile of those prospects who are most likely to become customers, to develop new and long term relationships as well as to expand current relationships.

By proactively managing the opportunity pipeline based on the CRM data the sales force will be able to directly impact the company’s revenue. Average sales value should increase due to the enriched leads generated, more prospects should be converted to consumers based on better qualification of the leads and the overall sales cycle of lead to prospect to consumer should be shortened.

A High Impact CRM solution can significantly help the customer facing teams to create and manage opportunities. Building and proactively managing the opportunity pipeline is very critical to justify the investment in the CRM solution. Without the pipeline all does run dry!

CRM Software for Manufacturers : How Analyzing Customer Needs Enhances Products

"Here’s what we make…now who wants to buy it?" This point of view has dominated the manufacturing psyche for decades. But, no longer can the consumer be counted upon to buy what a manufacturer makes. In today’s fast paced consumer centric markets, the paradigm must change to “what does our customer want”. Gone are the days when Ford only offered only black color 'T' model cars and you had to buy them.

While the ultimate purpose of any CRM system is to increase profit – this profit increase is generated by better service and better understanding of the customer needs. Customer needs are much broader than just the product and the features it encompasses. Isolation of the consumers’ perspective in the product design and delivery in today’s market will practically guarantee product dissatisfaction and reduced sales.

So, how can CRM systems help to make this quantum leap from consumer isolation to consumer integration? First, CRM changes the way a company thinks through the messages received from consumers. It structures the company on the customer needs and not on the factory floor. Most importantly, CRM provides connectivity between the consumers, design team, shop floor and the supply chain.
The expectations of consumers vary depending on:
  • Social and demographic factors 
  • Economic profile 
  • Education of the consumer 
  • Competition for the product 
  • Customers experience with the product
A CRM system will allow manufacturers to better understand and define each of these factors for their product. When reviewed, this basket of variables clearly shows that one size does not fit all. By defining the expectations of customers the manufacturer will be able to enhance those service features which will keep customers loyal and to eliminate those product features either no longer required or desired.

By focusing on and understanding the needs of the customer, manufacturers can then focus their production and service efforts. They can place emphasis on products which have the greatest growth potential and eliminate those products on the down side of their lifecycle. Customer service is no longer something that is “done to” the customer, but a dynamic interface between the customer and the manufacturer. Customer service today is “done with” the customer!

Relationships between a manufacturer and the customer need to be on-going and dynamic, transitory relationships require increased expenditures in finding new customer. Pareto’s Law, commonly known as the 80:20 rule tells a manufacturer that 20% of their customer base accounts for 80% of their profits. It becomes very important for organizations to retain these 20% customers and find new customers who can match the profiles of the existing profitable customers.

CRM in manufacturing has become a critical business competency in an ever-changing marketplace. Without the assistance of a dynamic and effective CRM solution this can become marginalized.

3 Steps for Effective Segmentation Using Data Mining for CRM in Banking

The banking industry is going through a rough patch across Europe and US. The effects of this are visible in the emerging economies as well. In this challenging time banks need smarter strategies and systems to survive and grow. Also with increasing competition, especially in the emerging markets, CRM systems can prove to be a great competitive advantage.

Customer segmentation is the first step towards building an effective business development strategy. Data mining and analytics integrated with Banking CRM system plays an important role in this. Customer base comprises of variety of customers with distinct needs depending on demographic, economic and behavioural conditions. Banks need to identify common characteristics and form distinct groups to handle their differentiated needs. In order to provide personalised products, rewards and incentives a refined approach is needed that would segregate the customers in terms of life-stage, psychographics and profitability.

Data mining techniques can be used by applying filters on various fields captured during transactions, account opening and running statistical models on the data collected. This will need to collate and analyse data from the core banking system and various supporting systems including CRM systems, credit card systems, etc.

The major objectives of segmentation:
  • Customised product offerings 
  • Customised and priority services 
  • Improve relationship with profitable customers and cut resources spent on loss making customers 
  • Better offering to new customers based on the intelligence gained from the existing customer segment they belong to 
  • New product development and bundling as per the customer segment profile
Steps for successful customer segmentation:
1. Segmentation based on contribution to profit - The objective of segmentation should be to retain them as they have a major contribution to the bank’s profit. Their attrition will drastically decrease the bank’s profit. This is done based on the marginal revenue contribution. Customers can be segmented in 3-5 categories. Mostly pareto’s principle will hold true, i.e. 80% of the revenue will come from 20% of the customers. This can be labelled as Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4, Tier 5 and so on.  
2. Further segmentation based on the customer assets with the bank and frequency of transactions - This is done based on the average periodical balances maintained with the bank depending on the product holding. Customers with high balances and high loans can be categorised accordingly. Depending on the frequency of transactions and balances inactive customers are identified and targeted to increase their activity.
3. Further dividing the above segments based on product ownership, channel utilisations and type of transactions - This is more refined segmentation to design customised marketing techniques. Depending on the product ownership i.e. monthly average.
  • Balances with respect to product 
  • Number of transactions
  • Value of the transactions 
  • Alternative channel usage
The types of transactions and products include-
  • Deposit transactions 
  • Withdrawal transactions 
  • Lending v/s Asset Balances 
  • Type of loans 
  • Type of investments
The above can be further divided depending on the life stage of the customer.

This will result in multi-dimensional segmentation as below.

Other Factors
Lending v/s Asset Balances
Alternative channel usage
Number of transactions
(Monthly Avg.)
Value of Transactions
(Monthly Avg.)
Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

The Marketing Process for the above segments
The above segmentation gives information on behavioural aspects it does not give information on the qualitative aspects like wallet share, satisfaction level, attrition risk etc. This can only be gained through marketing research. This data will give a very intelligent insight on the strategy to target these segments. For instance customers with high deposit balances and higher age should be offered fixed income product, while those with healthy savings account deposit and age group between 25-40 should be offered mutual funds, equity and insurance products. Customers should be managed throughout their life cycle and helped to graduate to a healthy financial portfolio and in the process making them more profitable for the bank. A large part of young customers might have a new and single product relationship with the bank. They should be encouraged with loyalty programs and credit card or loans depending on their income levels.

Segmentation with the help of data mining from various existing systems is a very important exercise and a must for effective business development. Making this intelligence available to the customer facing teams and marketing team in the Banking CRM system can prove to be a great tool to increase cross selling and up selling capability. A 360 degree view of the customer with effective segmentation can be a important competitive advantage for the banks.

7 Reasons CRM in Banking has Often Failed to Generate ROI in India

Almost every bank today boasts of a state-of-the art CRM solution. These advanced systems are no longer confined to the international and major private banks but Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have also joined the bandwagon. So, how much competitive edge a state-of-the-art CRM solution provides no longer drives the bank’s decision to adopt new technology, it is rather the judicial and optimum use of these technological resources that often makes the difference.

Since, CRM is no longer the differentiating factor between banks, it is important for any bank to recognize areas that can help it stay ahead of the curve. It is also important for the bank, especially with the growing retail banking market today to constantly assure customers that massive personal data that it has gathered is secure and in the safest possible hands. This may not always be an easy task as the rapidly knowledge-gaining customer knows a lot more about privacy now than ever before. Almost every tele-caller calling to sell a bank product or toothpaste is asked about the source of the contact and many push it as far as asking about the data base and its origin. Banks in India therefore need to be extra careful in ensuring the maximum possible security of their databases. At the same time they need to constantly update their databases with the help of their CRM software.

Avoid cold calling
It is wrong to say that cold calling is bad. Cold calling is one of the most tried and tested marketing and sales strategies and there is no company with a database that can be refrained from doing so. Banks are no exception and they cannot be blamed for doing it. However, since the bank inspires a feeling of trust for the customer, cold calling and all other cross selling tools with the help of the CRM is often a tricky and sometimes a sticky issue. Segregating and constantly updating the segregated data can often help and avoid cases where the customer is annoyed. With tablets becoming a way of life, emails can often be a more convenient and dependable marketing tool that calling or sending SMS. Thorough research and constantly updated data on the customers therefore plays a vital role.

Decrease use of IVRs
Bank customers often complain that they need to press a number of keys before they can hear a human voice. In India, the problem gets further aggravated when customers with low technical inclination make these calls. For any CRM implemented it is a must for the bank to ensure that human voice (customer care executives) can be reached quickly and efficiently.

Taking customer relations to the next level will include calling back customers with the issues (if unsolved) and following up. In India, however, it is still a distant dream in the banking sector.

Decentralized CRM solution
Having a centralized CRM software is definitely a way to streamline one’s business but for banks handling HNIs and other corporate a single point of contact can go a long way in ensuring customer satisfaction. With several players boasting of flexible and efficient private banking facilities, a single point of contact in areas such as corporate loans, home loans and fixed deposits can help develop a feeling of trust towards the organization.

For those designing these solutions, it is important to have a deep understanding of the bank and its customers before taking on the task of implementing a CRM. Making sure that the segregation of the data is at par with global standards and there is scope of flexibility and customization for the staff handling the software is therefore essential.

Implementing CRM in Banking: Reasons for failure
CRM implementations in banks have failed often in India. While it is difficult to pinpoint any particular cause for this, broadly some of the reasons can be identified as:
  • Ignorance of the banking staff - low user adoption because of poor training or lack of clarity on benefits of CRM leading to inconsistent customer information.
  • Lack of adaptability - system is not future proof. 
  • Low levels of customizations - user interface is unfriendly and alerts are not incorporated for sub par performance by users.
  • Lack of flexibility and upgrade options in the solutions - incorporating new strategies is complicated and upgrades are expensive with chances of downtime.
  • Mishandling of data - data cleansing is a complex task and records are not assigned correctly. Aslso, dead leads that resurface discourage sales teams from using the CRM software. 
  • Lack of IT infrastructure in semi-urban and rural India - poor or slow internet connectivity with varying levels of skilled IT staff. 
  • Low and slow ROI (this deters a number of private banks, NBFCs and MFIs) - ineffective CRM implementation with low user adoption.
The growth of the retail banking sector in India has provided the ultimate opportunity for the banks as well as CRM software to form mutually beneficial and long lasting partnerships. In spite of failures, these providers need not be disappointed too much, as the success of the banking CRM and the transformation in the sector that follow could well be replicated in the near future.

7 Ways to Improve Customer Experience through Effective Service Management

In today’s era of globalization, superior customer experience is the quintessence for any company and results in building loyalty and trust. Below are 7 easy ways to improve customer experience while reducing the cost of customer service management:

  1. Getting the calls routed as per skill sets or skill based routing (SBR) depending on the customer segment and query is one of the most powerful tools and helps in increasing efficiency by making best use of the capabilities of the team. SBR is a great asset as it lowers the cost of reporting by curtailing the quantity of the amount of evidence to be furnished and even by decreasing uncertainty. It even transmits rapidly and proficiently with the aid of electronic means. 
  2. Creating a personalized IVR experience is advantageous. This means smartly capturing the customers' preferences like language, delivering most of the information without a need to speak with an executive, integration with the backend and core systems to identify the customer from the number he/she is calling from, providing relevant cross sell offers, etc. It mounts consumer gratification through a personal feel and even helps in achieving fresh deals and marketing networks. 
  3. Implementing an effective CRM solution to ensure optimal productivity during calls by giving agents access to relevant customer information and related activities. Also, ensuring quick responses to complaints and service requests through the CRM software’s centralized data, thereby facilitating better prospects for cross-selling and reducing running costs with an effective management. 
  4. Using the mobile medium for almost all interactions as it is preferred by today’s generations, it creates unique and positive experiences for customers by blending attributes of products, service, brand, and communication. 
  5. IP convergence which enables having all business critical data on a single platform like voice, email and other customer related information. Convergence is about reducing business costs by incorporating voice and data communications onto a single network infrastructure. 
  6. Personal information safety is one of the utmost concerns of customers. It is essential to develop a strategic plan through comprehensive risk assessment analysis and roadmap which could identify threats and mitigate the risks arising from the misuse of personal information of the customers. 
  7. Core benchmarking to be applied for reduction in cost per resolution of every query. It is a constructive tool for enhancing the strength of any firm if used realistically.
To optimize the performance of call center executives it is important to ensure they have confidence in their tools and access to customer information. Good customer service yields improved customer experience and better opportunities to understand customer needs, using a smart service management solution will facilitate this strategic imperative.

How to Use Data Mining with CRM in Banking to Segment Credit Card Customers

Credit cards are being used by consumers across age groups and for diverse purposes. They buy different products and services according to their purchasing power, habits, standard of living and life stage. The frequency of purchases and value of each transaction also varies, customers use credit cards for their utility bills, apparel, daily needs and occasionally for high value purchases. With e-commerce growing in popularity, having a credit card swiped instead of paying cash is increasing in popularity. This new trend is most evident for the 25-45 year age group, it is used for air fares, buying publications, booking movie tickets, etc.

Customers vary in terms of their payment behavior, there are some who tend to pay the full due amount, while others only pay the minimum amount and carry forward their previous balance.

It becomes very critical for banks to segment customers and target the profitable ones, while weeding out the low profit customers. A pattern can also be developed to identify customers with increasingly good credit worthiness and encourage them to increase their credit card usage.

Building the data set
The data required is available in the bank's CRM system and core system's transactional data marts. The recorded data covers various aspects of usage including number and amount of purchases, merchant details, demographics like age and gender and monthly balances. Banks can start by categorizing customers with respect to the merchants from whom they purchase and this will generate information related to the type of products/services. Again, each credit card customer can have more than one card including a primary account and add-on cards. This needs to be taken into account when generating a unified view of the customer and accordingly design the marketing strategies.

Data for the last six months can be an ideal data set for segmentation, it is large enough to take into account inconsistent usage patterns and recent enough to avoid outdated behaviours.

Formation of clusters
The following criteria can be used to develop a clustering model:
  • Monthly Frequency 
  • Monthly average Value 
  • Average value per transaction 
  • Percentage of maximum limit used 
  • Type of products/services 
  • Age group 
  • Marital status 
  • Cash Advance 
  • Payment to minimum payment ratio and statement balance ration
The above would result in formation of clusters based on demographic profiles like age, marital status, buying behaviour, cluster size and contribution to overall purchase.

Cost-benefit analysis to prioritize actions
Depending on results from the above cluster formation exercise, a profitability analysis can be carried out for various clusters. This includes %defaulters, late payment fee revenue, patterns of migration from a less profitable to a more profitable cluster and patterns to identify how a person purchasing one category of product/services is likely to start purchasing other products and services.

Clusters where purchases can be increased easily without affecting credit erosion and thus profitability, should be targeted first. Patterns in behaviour of loss making customers should be identified and corrective actions should be taken.

Targeted campaigns for each segment
It can be ascertained that most good customers use credit cards for specific purposes. If this is the case, a campaign to increase their purchases for other products and services should be launched to motivate them. Alliances can be formed with various merchants to offer discounts for these products and services to specific groups of customers. Reward programs and incentives should be tailored as per their specific needs. Brochures sent with each bill cycle should be tailored to arouse interest. For example, a 'travelers segment' should be given discount for air tickets with related offers like hotel bookings, city tours, etc. A person spending on movies should be give offers for concerts, restaurants, DVDs, etc.

Segmentation can also be used to develop new products, partnerships and reward programs. These products/ services can be offered at point-of-sales where a customer uses cash for these products and encourages them to make their next purchase with a credit card. Special cards with pre loaded credit can be offered to professionals and employees to make them start using their cards. Effects of these campaigns should be analysed to improve and use the same strategy for new customers and help them migrate from a low profit to high profit segment. Candidates for product shifts and add-on cards can be identified that match purchasing habit patterns of existing clusters.

Data mining through a banking CRM system can be a critical source for improving profitability from the credit card business. It can also effectively identify trends for cross selling with results from the segmentation exercise of other products. All data related to various segments and their related reports can be hosted on a single centralized system for analysis by numerous associated teams around the globe.

Social Media - a Critical CRM Channel for Banks

Integration, collaboration and diversification have been the key guidelines followed by businesses across multiple industries. Service oriented industries have been slow in accepting the integrated approach to customer relationship management. Unlike product centric companies, Banking as a service industry has found it challenging to revive its communicated content over a fast paced environment such as the social sphere of digital media. Effectively integrating the Banking CRM system with social media channels becomes critical in modern day CRM strategy.

However, the impact of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn marketing cannot be side-lined considering their popularity, expanse and ability to influence buying decisions. Among the innumerable benefits of social media, its ability to cultivate an effective and honest feedback communication channel presents a worthy opportunity. Listening and responding to consumers over social media channels allows Banks to establish trust and overcome the reservations consumers have, with respect to the intangible qualities of the Web 2.0. It establishes a participatory environment, targeting the touch points where consumers are spending their time from their busy life. Social media is an expanse where consumers are emotionally invested and informal enough to share their support and complaints. 

Additionally, social media allows consumers to interact with others, allowing them to connect virtually on common grounds. In this case their common ground being, their opinion and experience with the bank. However, the mass reach of this non-monitored communication channel can prove to be a boon or a bane for the company. The viral effect of a complaint can prove disastrous for a company’s reputation over social media. One harmful thread of consumer criticism can nudge other consumer’s to express their complaints that they wouldn’t have in normal conditions. Banks can look at this downside as an untapped opportunity to realize consumer needs and discontentment, to tailor their offerings for future. Replying immediately and effectively to consumer’s active participation can generate productive results in the realm of customer relationship management.

Lastly, diversifying channels to communicate specific functions and benefits is the most effective way of reaching the target audience. This can be assured by incorporating social media intelligence into email marketing, assorting events as per the database generated by consumer’s social media activity and using online surveys as a means of strengthening relationships with consumers.

The multi-fold outlook to customer relationship management through the lens of social media integrated with the core Banking CRM system gives banks a tangential approach to retaining and acquiring customers. By collaborating branding, awareness and loyalty inducing strategies through a communication driven platform, Banks can implement their brand value through a consumer service directed effort. Inducing personalized focus on each consumer and providing them an additional channel for customer care can alter their perceptions of e-banking as aloof and confusing. It can also be viewed as tool to encompass the younger audiences with growing income levels. Altogether service focused, dynamic content can bridge the gap between the shortcomings of social media for a service industry and customer relationship dependent banking industry.

Benefits of Implementing Cloud CRM for Small Businesses

Businesses often perceive that implementing a CRM system is an expensive investment and only generates returns in the long term. This can be true for a quick implementation or out-of-box CRM solution. However, a practice-led cloud CRM implementation can quickly turnaround a failing business and assist in gaining a competitive advantage. In addition, social CRM offers real-time insights that can be used in countless innovative ways if infused into the system effectively.

Myra graduated from art college in 2008 and soon after started working for a high-end boutique. She was from a mid-size town and the metropolis quickly inspired her to do more with her life. Combining her knowledge of fashion design and contemporary art, she decided to sell organically dyed t-shirts with trendy screen prints globally.

Year one was a disaster - her team lost track of pending appointments, overdue tasks and the long list of prospective customers, no one could be held accountable. They were also facing coordination issues with external stakeholders. Many unintentional false commitments were made to customers and leads were lost to competitors in the first 365 days. By the time their ‘Spring’ range of full sleeve t-shirts were ready to be shipped, it was mid-June; their customers (retail stores) rejected the consignments of supposedly du jour designs.

The following year while looking for prospective customers on a social network, Myra chanced upon an advert for Cloud CRM. It seemed ideal for her small business - she had eighteen employees at three different locations and a dwindling customer base. She also needed a tool to instantly capture social conversations as leads which could be assigned to the relevant location.

Eight weeks later, Myra’s sales had picked-up. She had better visibility for her opportunity pipeline and her teams were using the CRM’s centralized database to share lead and customer information in real-time. The performance of her sales team improved with better scheduling, activity tracking and appointment delegation.

It has now been 6 months since the CRM implementation, Myra’s teams carefully analyzes their competitors, collaboratively designs products and wins opportunities in record time without missing delivery deadlines. The Cloud CRM facilitates her to cost-effectively maintain a huge database of local and international customers with all their related information. Additionally, she quickly finds local customers for their surplus stock of t-shirts. For her, working with Cloud CRM has allowed her to gain momentum through experimental yet effective campaigning using text messages and social networks. Her products are based on customer needs and rarely generate negative feedback.

Myra’s calculations and research to find the right CRM solution paid-off, her business reaped profits and avoided a sudden death. With Cloud CRM, she now constantly plans new product lines using real-time analysis of historical data related to sales, competitors and feedback. The CRM solution is cost-effective and doesn't require any additional IT personnel or hardware, her team can now spend more time on designing innovative and eco-friendly t-shirts.