5 Point Strategy to Increase Footfall Conversion in BFSI Industry

Not everyone that walks into your company can be your customer, but everybody that walks in has the potential to be your customer. Be it the retail industry or the financial sector, footfalls and their conversion ratio can provide great insights into customer behaviour, preferences and sector outlook. In spite of higher conversion ratio of the footfalls, the finance industry faces a major challenge when it comes to retaining, acquiring or nurturing its customer base due to the high level of competition in the market and global fluctuations that none seem to have a control over.

Understanding the feet that fall
For finance companies offering financial products such as mutual funds, SIPs, brokerage, insurance and other products and services, the conversion rate of the footfall could hold the key to success. It is important to understand first that people generally do not walk into such an office on a Sunday with their families but instead come with a specific need, a specific objective and an investment or credit plan. Also unlike a retail store, no finance company can offer a product range that can satisfy majority of customers and therefore the one that walks-in will either have to be convinced to buy a product/service or if fortune favours may just find the product that he/she is looking for.

Brand matters
To keep the odds out and to bring in quality for convertible footfall it is important companies have a strong brand presence. In the financial sector, building brand presence can only come after a detailed study of one’s market and there is no better way to study the market than knowing one’s customers. This is where a CRM solution is very effective and provides crucial data on the customer that can not only determine the quality and volume of the footfall but also predict the conversion rate.

Identifying a company’s own domain expertise and ensuring that the brand image reflects this specialization is also an important aspect of brand building. If the customer comes in looking for say binary options experts and finds a specialized mutual fund dealer who advertises as a financial solutions firm, there is a strong chance they will not walk in even when interested in buying a mutual fund. Making the right impression therefore first-up could hold the key.

Flexibility and customization
As mentioned earlier, the customer that walks in does so with a plan, a pre-conceived idea about what they want. Financial products/services offering a higher degree of flexibility and customisation therefore have a better chance of being popular. So how does one design such products and services? The key to that lies in the reports and analytics generated by the CRM solution that allows companies to determine their margins even after stretching a particular product/service. With the help of special offers, discounts and multiple benefits that make the opportunity a ‘great deal’ for the customer, companies have a higher chance of acquiring new customers compared to having rigid products that ask the customer to change his/her spending patterns.

Relationship management
Above all the strategizing and the image building is the point of contact that a company offers to its clients/prospective customers. Developing a customer relationship policy that focuses on being customer centric can be advantageous not just to the customer support team but also provide valuable insight to the pre-sales, sales and after-sales teams.

Effective use of a CRM solution
Financial Services CRM ensures optimal customer experience through real-time updates, instant alerts, assignment rules, multi-level escalations, SLA management and much more. It also allows users to understand their leads and customers better with multi-system integration to highlight past purchases and interactions, thereby allowing a better analysis of the product or service the person is most likely to buy. An effective CRM implementation also facilitates access to customer profile information from multiple social networks to increase rapport building and provide a crucial competitive advantage.

Another important tool for understanding constantly changing customer needs and analyzing competitors is social CRM - financial services companies can search by keywords for tweets related to products, services and competitors. Comments and feedback related to their own products can be captured instantly as leads or cases through the CRM system to facilitate instant follow-ups. Reports and dashboards can be created to facilitate redesigning strategies and co-creating products based on a careful study of these social activities/ comments related to leads and customers.

CRM solutions can also help organisations gain access to information about customers that can help in designing new products. While no one can convert the entire footfall, with a wider product/service range, good reputation and secure holistic approach, financial services companies can surely expect a higher than average conversion ratio. A financial services CRM solution provides all of this in a nutshell and the real-time information can be used by a firm to formulate strategies related to acquiring, retaining and managing customer data.

With real time information made available at various customer touch points by using CRM solutions, companies can stay more relevant than ever to the latest industry trends. This not only adds depth to customer servicing for finance companies but also allows greater flexibility and depth at the time of a sales pitch for users. If a salesperson can understand and educate the lead and then sell the product, it will promote customer loyalty and advocacy leading to higher ROI.

3 Critical Barriers for a CRM Solution's User Adoption

Customer Relationship Management is largely being adopted by organizations across the globe seeking for better understanding of customers and higher engagement with them. Better access to customer information aids in decision making and leads to an overall increase in profitability through higher customer satisfaction. Thus, more and more businesses are establishing a CRM framework within their company. But, often organizations face serious hindrances in adopting and implementing a CRM solution.

According to research firm Gartner, over 60 percent of companies that implement CRM lacked agreement on goals for their projects prior to the implementation. Matching a CRM plan with specific end-goals and business objectives is largely considered to be the top prerequisite for success. CRM projects need to be placed within the context of the general business strategy. End-goals must be determined which are specific, measurable and time-oriented. Once the goals are understood, one can concentrate on specific attributes of the CRM plan to ensure that it is capable of meeting the set goals.

Key barriers to user adoption:
1. Data Accuracy
Lack of accurate data or relevant records is a major cause for preventing user adoption. This is very critical when you go live eith a new CRM solution. Users often resist using a CRM solution if they feel that the data provided is riddled with errors or incomplete. If sales or service teams do not trust the available data, they will surely not use it to close deals or handle customers. This leads to complete wastage of the implemented CRM solution. Data is the lifeline of sales teams. If they feel that they cannot rely on the provided data, they will resist using the CRM system and stick to their traditional methods instead. Hence, management needs to facilitate data cleansing and also integration with other core systems to ensure that users get accurate and up-to-date data which they can put to action.

2. Training
Lack of training can be a major reason why users often deter from logging-in, especially for customer-facing roles where being efficient is the key. Effective CRM training is crucial to get users on-board and hence, management must spend some time making detailed training plans. These need to be tailor-made for different users or set of users depending on their usage and role in the company. CRM training should encompass the entire process to be put into effect by the user for their daily tasks. Right from entering the data to pulling out reports which can help them in their daily activities.

3. How Will I Benefit?
Often it is the attitude of users which prevents adoption. If employees feel that using the software is not helping them or consider it as a policing tool, they will be reluctant to use it. One method to overcome this is by establishing accountability at the management level. Managers need to ensure that employees understand the need and benefits of using the CRM software and are provided with the correct incentives and encouragement to adopt it. Organizations can also take specific steps to facilitate adoption prior to, during and post the technology implementation. Beyond providing the employees with appropriate briefings and training, they need to be given the proper incentive to facilitate adoption. These can be monetary or in the form of added bonuses.

Implementing CRM solutions can have many advantages for the business, if done effectively. But if the plan fails, it can lead to major losses of time and resources for the company. This is why it is crucial for the top decision makers to analyze business needs and choose the right CRM software. Companies must carefully study and eliminate these barriers in the early stages - this will ensure their CRM implementation is successful in enabling them to achieve their business goals and customer strategy.

5 Steps To Build a Great Digital Customer Experience (DCE)

Today, the world is literally at your fingertips. In the rapidly advancing forms of technology, companies need to stand apart from their contemporaries - not just in terms of products, services, or efficiencies, but they also need to work really hard towards providing a fresh and unique overall “experience”, which the customers can visualize having with only that ONE Company. The one thing that Companies cannot afford to do is plateau.

If target audiences are not identified properly, companies will not channelise their energies correctly, and as a result the wrong people are targeted leading to wastage of resources. Also, companies find it difficult to maximize their Digital Customer Experience (DCE) and at the same time achieve their own basic business objectives. Balancing the two is often a challenge, and if while fulfilling one the other is not efficiently achieved then the total plan can fall apart.

Today, most customers are techno-savvy and expect that the product/service companies they are buying from will also move ahead in line to keep up with their expectations by providing a Unique Digital Customer Experience. Also, apart from traditional websites, customers’ reach in the digital world is now branching out to kiosks, tablets, mobile phones, social media and the works. A smart company is one which can tap each and every touch point of the modern digital economy while at the same time keeping the brand image of the company intact. Not to mention this also needs to be aligned with a memorable Digital Experience for the customer himself.

Hence, it is extremely important for Companies to organize their resources so as to provide a superior Digital Experience to customers and offer to them an outstanding experience worth remembering - one which will hold them back from moving on to a rival.

Precept for companies to offer an incredible digital customer experience

Clear vision & strategic priorities:
The Company must know exactly what has to be done & what needs to be offered to the customer to keep him happy. It should be understood that in order to be noticed, you have to either do something which will make you stand apart from the common, or else do the same thing but with a freshness to it. Companies must do all it takes to keep the customer tightly tied to them. Have guidelines and make sure all touch points of the DCE are consistent and managed. Check how to work on the betterment of strategies with passage of time. Identify what processes and systems will be needed to guide and support the intended DCE. 

Know what the customer really values:
By understanding the customers’ concept of a unique experience, customer loyalty & satisfaction is achieved apart from higher profits. Customers should feel more comfortable to connect with the company . Also, make sure to engage in detailed ethnographic and demographic research which will help to design the Digital Experience relevantly. An effective way to generate accurate information is by data mining your CRM solution leads and customer records.

Social Media presence:
The growing loyalty and bent towards social media and other online and digital channels make it a must for companies to have a sharp focus on DE - today, interesting conversations fascinate people more than written or canned communication. 
Content is king:
Television, kiosks, social media, tablets, mobiles, computers, laptops, internet, etc. - see how customers experiences with each of them can be enhanced further. Give your customers interesting information and content which keeps them excited about your product/brand. Offer an extremely engrossing digital experience across every single touch-point and leave them coming back for more. 

Accountability and Monitoring:
Draw a list of projects that aim to improve the customers’ Digital Experience with the company. Is very important to assign KPAs (Key Performance Areas) for the DE and implement a fool-proof solution with related escalations and alerts. The ease and flexibility you provide to the customers to connect should be backed by agile response from the company's side.

Being able to offer the perfect Digital Customer Experience at the right time, and most importantly through appropriate & relevant devices & channels, ensures that an organization’s customers remain with them and become ambassadors. Apart from customer acquisition, retention and loyalty - it also supports company’s offline activities.

A ‘mature’ organization is one which can successfully combine multi-channel customer personalization with true customer focus. DCE should be of high utility and efficiency by assisting people in interacting with the organization as and when they require, help them to achieve tasks and find solutions to any problem they may face.

An outstanding and unique Digital Customer Experience management is essential for the survival of organizations in the economy today, where the virtual and physical worlds are pretty much married. Effective CRM solutions and strategy can ensure that all customer related information from multiple systems and touch points is constantly updated and available for accurate analysis of customer needs, thereby providing the tools for creating an optimal Digital Customer Experience. It can also ensure effective follow-ups for all customer and partner related activities that originate from any one of the multiple channels for communication ensuring a wholesome customer experience.

5 Ways to Maximize the Sales Team's CRM Adoption

One of the biggest challenges faced by companies using a CRM solution is to bring about user adoption within the sales team. CRM solutions can provide sales reps with essential client knowledge to help them deal better with the customers, close more deals, identify new sales opportunities and reduce the sales cycle. Most sales personnel avoid using CRM solutions due to a lack of understanding on how they will benefit from using it. Hence, organisations need to focus on user adoption while implementing any new system to ensure that the business objectives are met at the end.

Here are some of the top ways for implementing a CRM solution that is sure to be a hit with sales team:

1. Benefits and training
Sales personnel need to understand the specific ways in which CRM will help them improve productivity. It is important to impart a holistic understanding of CRM benefits encompassing its role within the organization as well as advantages to individuals. In order to facilitate adoption, employees must be trained in individual functions that they can use on a daily basis to increase sales. One of the most basic changes they need to make is how to input information about new leads and existing accounts. This simple change can impact the overall efficiency of the system. They should be coached in day-to-day activities such as how to manage and find information within the system, carry out simple activities, input new opportunities, schedule and follow up tasks. The practical approach is the best approach in this aspect. So make sure they apply their learning during the training and gain hands-on experience.

2. The "KISS" approach
“Keep It Simple Silly” has been a key adage for businesses seeking to gain acceptance for a concept or idea, whether it is with employees or customers. This approach can help management to bring about a smooth transition to CRM usage within the sales team. If the process is too time consuming and complex to understand, sales personnel may resist adding the extra burden to their work. It is essential to use a CRM application that integrates seamlessly into the existing systems. Employees should find it simple enough to use it with their daily tasks. Keeping the technology simple also ensures prevention of errors and confusion in the future.

3. Monitor the usage
Once the system is rolled out and integrated within the sales team, managers need to ensure that its usage is monitored regularly. It is integral for management to keep a keen look out on how users are applying the CRM application for their daily tasks. One can provide the sales team with routine tasks and observe how they carry it out. In this way, managers can identify any issues the employees may be having and provide them with the required training and guidance to avoid hurdles. Managers can also routinely check the data inputted by the sales people and discuss it with them. In this way, they can ensure that the data is up-to-date and provide direction on missing or incomplete data.

4. What's in it for me?
If the CRM application provides sales reps with additional insights which they will not get anywhere else, they are more likely to adapt. When they notice the unique ways in which the CRM tool helps them identify new opportunities or close current deals, it will increase their affinity to the system. Ensure that your CRM gives instant access to deals which have been won or lost to competitors. If the application provides real time information of similar companies or clients as opportunities, this will be of further benefit to the team. Such intelligence and client knowledge can help build employee confidence in the system. Also, provide access through the CRM solution to enable quick access to business news, stock markets, new products and more using mash-ups and RSS Feeds. This will avoid wasting time navigating between multiple screens and provide useful insights when studying or analyzing existing records.

5. Cleanse the data
Transferring the existing data into the CRM solution is very crucial to its success. Sales reps build their data over a period of time. If they are expected to key this data in to the new system, this will most likely lead to failure. Managers must ensure that the user data is cleansed as much as possible and migrated to the new CRM application. Get rid of old leads and try reducing errors. Clean and updated data will increase employee enthusiasm. This must be done prior to the release of the CRM application within the company. Planning data cleansing in advance is important as doing this post the roll-out may prove to be a challenge.

Most companies believe that making information available through their CRM system, the only software to evaluate their performance, will encourage sales teams to adapt to it. But this alone is not enough for sustainable change. It is essential to modify employee behavior and attitude towards CRM solutions. These strategies will help create that change in the day-to-day workings within the sales teams.

3 Ways CRM Solutions can Support Dynamic Marketing Campaigns

Dynamic marketing can be defined as a “real-time” form of marketing - interactive, personalized, and targeted directly to the right customer at the right time. By collating real-time customer information from various sources, CRM solutions can prove to be highly effective to support this marketing initiative.

Why Dynamic Marketing?
When used correctly, dynamic marketing provides the seller’s organization with several key advantages.
1. Relevancy – dynamic marketing focuses on the relevance of the product or promotion to the correct consumer.
2. Reduced Cost – with dynamic marketing the organization is able to produce highly relevant and personalized advertising for on-line campaigns.
3. Exponential Returns – with dynamic marketing, the Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) can be improved by the ability to quickly adjust advertising as opposed to static advertising (print media) or broadcast advertising (television and radio).

These three 'R's of dynamic marketing allow an organization to execute campaigns across multiple channels – web, mobile networks, and social media – using a common marketing theme. Thus, allowing for the delivery of the message in a creative and interactive format.

3 ways in which CRM solutions can help to execute Dynamic Marketing
First, the system allows the organization to focus a dynamic marketing program on the prospects with a higher probability to make a purchase. Taking the time to analyze the current customer base to understand what key attributes are shared allows for the identification of what makes them the most probable buyer. Using this information high number of personalised offers can be generated automatically and surfaced to the customer or the customer facing teams. This can increase your cross selling ratio exponentially.

Second, the system allows for the increase of customer perceived benefits by offering them opportunities designed as per their buying behaviour. For example, if analysis shows that a group of customer buys multiple products if clubbed together at a discounted rate, the organization can dynamically market to this group packages at a discounted rate – increasing sales volumes while the perception to the customer is a savings of both time (in multiple purchases = fewer distinct orders) and money (multiple purchases = discount). Another example is the movement of overstocked items by offering “select” customers a discount if purchasing prior to a set date. Again, the perception to the customer is the discounted price, while the benefit to the organization is the movement of merchandise.

Third, CRM solutions allow for quick and effective follow up. By following up with prospects or current customers, the organization provides a sense of importance to the customer. Follow ups can be in the form of a thank you for a purchase, the offer of a new product relevant to the customer based on their buying patterns or can be simply to provide pertinent information. If a follow up is an “information only” message, the organization must be sure that the message is not only germane but that it is free of charge.

As the market place becomes increasingly competitive, the need for dynamic marketing management solutions becomes more imperative. Dynamic marketing with a CRM solution is easy to facilitate, highly effective and can be implemented with little or no additional cost to the organization.

10 Steps to an Optimal Single Interface 360 Degree Customer View

The true worth of information is deduced from wisely using the data and not just possessing it.

Every customer has - at least once - been through the annoying experience of receiving repetitive communication to sell the same service or product from the same company but different sales people. This is frustrating and raises a vital question - Why are some organizations only good at accumulating information but do not know how to use it in an intelligently co-ordinated manner? It is thus obvious that degradation of customer information could be rapid in today’s connected world if timely measures are not taken to correct it.

As CRM professionals embark on the journey of restructuring business models and remodeling information technology infrastructure to suit the evolving economy, the undoubted significance of a Single 360 degree Customer View (SCV) comes to surface. This transformation needs to be supported by Cloud CRM solutions with workable, astute plans and an accurate roadmap to achieve the goal of a Single View of Customers.

It is very important to have a holistic, yet spot-on view of any one customer across multiple channels and LOBs. Achieving a wide-angled customer perspective and yet bringing sporadic data down to ‘complete’ information about ONE customer, is what a Single Customer View is all about. Apart from mandatory profile details like demographics, it accurately includes each and every aspect of the Customers’ interactions and communications with the Company, like marketing & purchasing history, interest in products and services, support interactions and such other details, all at one glance. A Single Customer View delivers complete Customer data directly to the work desk in a user friendly interface.

Say "Yes" to a holistic CRM customer view:
A single view can help an organization reach unrivaled levels of customer intimacy. Hence, achieving it should be an important objective for every organization to ensure guaranteed success in today’s business world. To be able to gain an absolutely clear perspective of customers, it is imperative to eliminate flaws like discordant database repositories, record duplication, disintegration and inaccessibility of important information – basically just ‘poor quality of data’ in a nutshell. The cascading effect is the inability to achieve meaningful and well-directed CRM efforts.

Given to the problems discussed above and thanks to the multiplication of sources and channels available today, it is becoming increasingly challenging to successfully achieve a single customer view inclusive of all the specific Customer-Company interactions. However, this achievement is not impossible if barriers are quickly identified and broken, and timely corrective strategies are implemented using a high impact Cloud CRM solution.

Understanding how:
Framing a sustained and consistent SCV starts with the development of a focused strategy built around accurate data.

1. Blueprint: Every business strategy begins with a well-framed blueprint in order to give clarity in understanding how to go about the execution of plans from start to end. In the case of SCV, the blueprint should specify details such as sources of data collection & erroneous patters therein (if any), business rules & regulations for customer data access and control, data privacy, extent of information to be included, system security & audit, data migration, etc. Relevant stakeholders inside & outside the organization should be included in strategic discussions so they can contribute as per requirement. The organization should evaluate existing situations and ascertain what information to include in the blue print. Finally, quantifiable metrics should be assigned to indicate success in tangible terms.

2. Framework and Roadmap: After the basic blueprint and priorities are worked out, the next priority is to create an organized and complete roadmap to be followed, indicative of all the necessary inclusions & exclusions, and all the data that needs to be within the SCV.

3. Link: Clients’ voyages span across multiple networks and channels in a company. They like to be worked with on the basis of all their interactions, and expect that every form of activity that they engage in with the company should be properly linked – emails, phone calls, meetings, etc. Aim to meet their expectations.

4. It’s all about Data: Organizing and managing large scattered chunks of customer data is by default what a single customer view helps achieve. This includes being able to prioritize data inclusions, achieve data standardization accurately for all customer records plus augment and integrate spread out information. Doing so will provide an end solution to deliver a single view. Rapid technological changes and variance in company IT structures makes data standardization and consolidation increasingly important.

5. Segment: In any Cloud CRM solution, the value of segregating heterogeneous customers into groups with similar characteristics and requirements is already common knowledge and clearly understood. Based on the information companies possess about customers, skillfully segmenting them in terms of products, services and offers is necessary.

Division into similar groups helps identify relevant sales opportunities towards each group based on predetermined criteria. Sales personnel are therefore able to deliver personalized and timely alerts to the necessary sections based on the pattern of their activity. In this way, organizations’ efforts remain rightly directed, proving how sensible segmentation goes hand-in-hand with a CRM Single Customer View.

6. De-duplication: It is very important to have de-duplication systems in place as they ensure perfect co-ordination between information and display correct matches between contact details. For example, more than one client may have the same name, but the de-duplication system will help to match the correct name with the correct phone number, address, account number, etc. and display one single relevant record to the user as requested.

7. Dedicated Database: In large organizations with numerous employees spanning across several departments, there are different information gathering systems. This necessitates the availability of one consolidated database for each department, so that its employees can gain access to relevant customer records as and when required. SCV is important here.

8. Completeness of Information: Organizations need to ensure stale and redundant data is eliminated and that only accurate, important information is available in their systems. For example-leads that were closed more than 18 months back should not be entered in CRM solutions again. This can be ensured through a CRM solution’s ‘purge’ option. At the very initial point where data enters the system, cleansing should be used, which works as an effective tool to avoid unwanted data at the entry point itself. All of this should have the ability to interact in real-time hence bringing down human error to the minimum.

9. Wholeness in Perspective: Every organization has different business dimensions, and needs to include SCV in their database systems for various reasons unique to them. The specific inclusions in a single customer record will vary between organizations. It would be a wise business move to start applying SCV in particular projects (with metrics assigned) and aim to deliver them within a stipulated time period. This would help gauge to what extent and how well the plan has contributed to success. It is also critical to align people and processes with IT infrastructure to gain a comprehensive perspective.

10. Monitor, Make Space for Innovation and Betterment: Implementing a single customer view is the strategic imperative for better efficiency of work staff, preventing leakage of sensitive data, compliance with rules and regulations, cost saving, and consequential rise in revenues and profits. It also ensures that profitable clients are not lost. All this indicates that a standard customer record has unlimited opportunities for improvement and updating. It is hence vital to constantly monitor the progress of these systems and pave the way for innovation and bettering processes, people and technologies.

Organizations need to understand how to convert their information assets into a business advantage. ‘Good Customer Relationship Management’ translates to ‘Great Customer Information Management’.

A Single Customer View delivered using high impact CRM solutions, assists companies to provide different departments with organized customer information, with which they are better equipped to make informed business decisions.

Organizations which succeed in the development of a Single Customer View, improve their ability to keep customers satisfied (through effective customer service and support), resulting in higher customer retention. From a company’s point of view, it helps in generating higher revenue per customer. A dedicated, Single Customer View brings improvement in product positioning and lifetime value, ensuring that far-sighted companies can move from transactional business models to a genuine and focused customer-orientated approach.

To know more about Cloud CRM Software, visit: www.crmnext.com

Using CRM Analytics to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Businesses rely on key decision makers to guide and lead them towards productivity and profitability. In this endeavor towards improving organizational capabilities and business processes, crucial customer data goes a long way to help management make informed decisions. This is critical to ensure efficient use of resources, prevent wastage, realize opportunities and bring about overall success for one’s business. CRM analytics are an essential tool used to help decision makers analyze, predict and impact business decisions.

Understanding CRM analytics
CRM analytics comprise of the applications and programs used to analyze a company’s customer data and present it in a way that is conducive to business decision making. It takes the process of data collection further by applying in-depth analysis of the data, extracting useful information from it and presenting it in a comprehensive manner offering cross-functional insights. CRM analytics can offer various benefits to a company. These include segmenting the market, understanding customer preferences, personalizing client communication, predicting future trends and opportunities, making product and/or service changes based on customer needs, discovering new or lost revenue opportunities, monitoring customer activity and much more. The benefit of such a system is increased productivity across all business spheres, especially sales, marketing and services.

How can businesses make better decisions through CRM analytics?
Businesses are increasingly using CRM software to facilitate informed decision making. The sector experienced a 6.2 percent year-on-year growth in 2010 and figures for 2011 estimated to be even higher at 7.6 percent, according to research firm Gartner. CRM analytics not only converts raw data into applicable information for decision making but also ensures that this information is easily accessible to the various functions across an organization. The key purpose is to make data available securely whenever and wherever required so that timely decisions may be taken.

One of the key essentials of implementing CRM analytics is to integrate it with the overall business strategy. These must be used in reference to the ultimate business objective to derive the right type and amount of information for decision making. Analytics can be the most useful when managers understand what the key business issues are. Once these are isolated, valuable information related to them can be easily retrieved and used for arriving at practical solutions. Managers are also often tied up in integrating data across various platforms as they are constantly fed information from different teams and departments. Bringing this data together and synchronizing it is another advantage of CRM analytics. In this way, one can ensure that no crucial information is missed out on while taking critical decisions.

CRM solutions offer a dynamic platform for organizations to answer to business challenges with multi dimensional CRM analytics. Interactive software ensures that users get well acquainted with their business data while at the same time have easy and quick answers to various business queries. Managers can get a real-time analysis of complex business problems from multiple perspectives. This helps them get a holistic understanding of the situation for improved decision making. One can get insights into the present state of the business, in terms of productivity, areas of efficiency and non-efficiency, individual team performances and more.

Increasing ROI through CRM analytics
Business Intelligence is changing the way companies are run. In many ways, business intelligence helps the top-hats better understand the intricacies of their business right to the lowest rung of operations. As top decision makers get insights on what makes their business tick and where their strengths and limitations lie, they are able to better use these to their advantage. As the business becomes more efficient and productive, this is automatically translated into increased ROI. A research study conducted by market intelligence and advisory firm IDC states that CRM solutions, if implemented correctly, can yield returns ranging from 16 to more than 1000 percent.

Customer insights are useful in improving products, delivery, service, marketing initiatives, sales processes and more. In a nutshell, when a company understands what its customers want, it can focus on simply making and delivering the required product to the targeted customers. All this becomes possible through CRM analytics.

Marketing teams can understand which campaigns are getting maximum ROI, while sales teams get to know what is selling and what is not. Data mining can help dig out potential customers leading to more sales or better cater to current customers to ensure retention or increase business from them. In either case, companies profit from sustained business which is the ultimate goal of any organization.

From pursuing hot leads to closing the final deal, CRM analytics help users make key decisions at the right time. Businesses are able to reduce the perception-performance gap by making products which better serve their customer base. In today’s competitive markets, quick thinking and actionable decisions act as the lifeline of a business. CRM analytics ensure that these possibilities are turned into realities.

CRM Solutions can Transform Manufacturers from Being Product Centric to Customer Centric

Manufacturing companies have traditionally relied on streamlining production processes to manufacture top-quality products and services. But in today’s business environment, it has become necessary to take a customer-centric approach rather than a product-centric one. Where once companies focused on producing goods and marketing these to potential customers, today it is essential to first understand customer needs and then create products based on these. This is why the application of Customer Relationship Management tools in manufacturing businesses has become vital.

In India, the manufacturing industry has seen tremendous growth with the shift from an agriculture based economy to a more industrialized setup post the 1991 liberalization. According to IDC India, the market for CRM solutions in the country was estimated at $ 140.8 million in 2008. Frost & Sullivan says that the CRM software market is expected to experience a CAGR of 16–19 percent between 2008 and 2014. With such exponential growth expected in the near future, CRM software is one business tool that cannot be overlooked anymore.

Why implement a CRM Software?
As markets become ever more competitive with a rise in new entries and consolidations, businesses have to constantly be ahead of the pack to stand out amongst competitors and retain (or gain) market share. In this race for a larger bite of the market share pie, CRM is a valuable tool which helps in identifying and targeting potential customers as well as retaining current customers and reacquiring the lapsed market.

CRM software provides valuable customer data
The essential aim of CRM in the manufacturing industry is to provide crucial customer data related to the customer’s buying behavior, thought process and interactions. By analyzing and using such customer data, businesses are able to achieve a holistic view of their customer and hence enhance their offering. If one were to get into the nitty-gritty, there is a large pool of lucrative data that can be received through CRM. One can track and/or understand sales KPIs, after-sales service needs, effectiveness of pay-per-click campaigns, promotional campaigns, effective pricing tactics and much more.

The role of CRM is not only to gather useful customer data but also to store and make it easily accessible throughout the organization. The analysis of customer data helps top management to make informed decisions across all business processes. In this sense, CRM in manufacturing helps integrate the sales, marketing and service functions.

How does CRM affect Sales, Marketing and Services?
While carrying out sales, CRM software identifies new sales opportunities, reduces the sales cycle and essentially streamlines the entire process with objective knowledge about the product-client interaction. It is used for cross-selling and up-selling products to the customer based on their individual needs and wants. For many companies this also opens up possibilities for sale of post-sale products and services as CRM identifies such demands, so that businesses may be able to meet them and earn additional profit.

Marketing campaigns are enhanced by dividing the market into identifiable segments and targeting each in an individual manner. With the use of CRM analytics and tools, customers can be moved further up on the loyalty ladder, turning them from mere prospects to advocates of the product. As Word-of-Mouth and User Generated Content gain momentum, the need for satisfied and loyal customers who act as advocates for the brand has also gained importance; CRM is the way forward in this regard.

CRM in manufacturing industry can improve customer service by ensuring the customers get what they want, when they want and how they want it. To enhance customer experience, manufacturers tend to use specific customer-oriented tools. Client portals are used to gain feedback. A solutions knowledge base is used to understand the most common problems faced by customers and communicate these to the production team to improve quality and sales team to improve services. These help in improving the overall customer experience and hence enhance customer services.

All businesses, whether big or small rely on customers to sustain themselves. A customer is the lifeline of the business and CRM software is the tool which pumps blood into it. It ensures that the company eliminates unnecessary workload and increases efficiency by working with and through the client. The bottom line is that a satisfied customer helps boost sales and increase profits - CRM is the essential boost to that bottom line which is required by all manufacturing companies today.