From productivity and revenue to a deeper understanding of customer behavior, businesses are living and dying by their CRM data

The need for that data is growing, too. CRM as an industry is expected to boom to over $40 billion by the end of 2017. Meanwhile, the ROI of a well-implemented CRM system is nothing to scoff at, with oft-cited stats ranging anywhere from $5.60 for every dollar spent to $8.71 and beyond. But as is the case when dealing with heaps of data, organizations oftentimes to fall into one of two traps: Those looking at their organizations’ data are drowning in it, completely overwhelmed and in over their heads in terms of what their CRM numbers actually mean. Companies are making data-driven decisions thanks to CRM; however, they’re not focused on the most prudent elements of their business. These problems plague marketers in particular. Econsultancy notes that only 33% of…

Chatbots that say “I’m sorry, I don’t understand that” fail in today’s consumer-brand interactions - here’s why!

At MarTech San Francisco 2017, Nick Pandolfi of Google’s Global Product Partnerships claimed that language is the new user interface. But chatbots are still a nascent technology, and they come with positives and negatives. People are willing to use them and find them valuable, especially during purchasing, but if a company’s chatbot is poorly designed and leads to a negative interaction between the consumer and brand, then that person will likely never come back. The more conversation technology improves, then, the more consumer expectations will evolve, too.

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As chatbots become more fundamental to consumer-facing experiences, chatbot designers must make their creations more human by improving natural language…

Streamline your marketing with CRM automation

We all have a list in our mind of the newest marketing tools and strategies we’d love to implement. The only thing we’d need is a bit more time, resource, people and did I mention time? Realistically, we are only able to keep up with about a dozen strategies. What if I told you that you could streamline some of your marketing processes to free up that magical time and resource? Not only that, but you could reduce errors and improve marketing measurement in the process. All of this without buying the latest marketing tech release – you can do this in CRM.

CRM as an essential marketing tool

In the same way that your sales and marketing teams are connected during the sales process, so should your sales and marketing software. Clever use of customer data is the…

 Sales metrics should not be alien to digital marketing teams

As digital marketers, it is our job to drive sales for our business, correct? Wait, but isn’t that the job of the sales department..? As it turns out, with Smarketing we have many of the same goals and objectives so it makes sense that we would work together to form a more united team and focus on the same measurements to close our deals. Source: HubSpot

I realize this is easier said than done, but if you look at the statistics: according to an Aberdeen report, companies that were successful in aligning their sales and marketing teams were able to increase revenue by 20%. This is in stark comparison to those who weren’t able to align the two departments and saw a 4% decline.

Yes, it…

Understanding the true value of customer loyalty programs

According to Colloquy, there are 3.3 billion loyalty program memberships in the United States alone. When you consider that the entire U.S. population is only 319 million, the amount of loyalty programs per person is staggering. The average member is enrolled in over 13 programs and 71% of those earning $100K+ use loyalty programs. 76% of shoppers think that loyalty programs are a part of their relationship with brands. But most businesses focus their programs on discounts. You can’t substitute discounts for brand loyalty. There is an emotional aspect to shopper behavior that brands can’t ignore. 97% of loyalty programs are transaction-based, where customers receive discounts for purchases. While this is a foundational aspect of a rewards program, most businesses don’t go beyond that. Only 25% of them reward customers for some type of engagement. If you make your customer experience…

The top CRM systems for investment companies to consider

Today, the majority of investment advisor firms have indicated growth as their business priority. The advisory firms prioritizing growth intend on achieving the development primarily by adding new clients organically. Advisers interested in customer acquisition inevitably face operational challenges that can threaten their ability to serve customers. However, by implementing best-of-breed software, investment advisory organizations can grow assets while improving the quality of service they deliver to their customers. A fully integrated customer relationship management solution is the most powerful tools these companies have at their disposal if they want to grow. However, when it comes to selecting the right CRM software tool for the advisory firm, an important question must be answered: Which CRM system will fit your investment business the best? When it comes to CRM software that was not specifically designed for the company, but is being used by investment…

CPQ and CRM are key to B2B sales success

Many companies try to make do with a single enterprise application such as an ERP system to run the entire business. However, configure, price, quote (CPQ) applications and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions can help make your business more effective because of the additional dimensions of insight and functionality that they bring. According to a recent Forbes article, CPQ and lead management will be the two hottest technology areas for sales in 2015. The results of these increased capabilities are lower costs, higher customer satisfaction and more sales. Here’s how these two powerhouse applications can turbo charge your marketing and sales efforts:

More efficient proposals

Customers increasingly want products that meet their exact needs, so companies must create custom configurations to match their standard offerings to customer requirements. Without configuration capabilities, the process is time-consuming, expensive and error prone. Each order requires review by…

Diners are expecting Personalisation, Rewards and Discounts in return for their loyalty

This research shows how Loyalty schemes and freebies can pay off for new restaurants or bars, and for established food and beverage companies focusing on customer retention. There are also some specific tips on email, mobile and social media marketing. Coniq's research highlights the pay back businesses receive from loyalty programs, how rewards and incentives are expected by today's diners and what encourages them to return hungry for more. This may seem second nature for some businesses, though the majority of UK restaurants are missing out as they still don’t offer a loyalty program, and customers would be 2x likely to return with a loyalty card. Findings on loyalty habits showed that '80% of 1000 customers would return if they were offered a loyalty scheme’ and ‘70% of your social followers expect rewards.' Coniq's CEO Ben Chesser said 'We have certainly seen…

Best practices for managing CRM implementation projects to avoid the common sources of failure

CRM projects are well-known for high failure rates since there are many different obstacles along the way that can derail the initiative. In this article I will look at some of the typical challenges and ask experts how problems can be avoided. Some of these obstacles to projects occur as a direct result of poor preparation. For example, in a study of over 500 individuals involved in CRM projects by Forrester Research, two-fifths (40%) reported that some of the biggest challenges they encountered related to CRM strategy, such as a lack of clearly defined objectives. Other CRM obstacles are tools-related. In the Forrester study, a third (35%) reported that they had experienced challenges related to technology deficiencies, such as…

Which measures are best for evaluating CRM programmes?

There is certainly no shortage of things to measure in the world of customer relationship management. With modern CRM systems straddling multiple departments, disciplines and channels, it’s a number crunching nightmare. 'CRM technology can deliver benefit in lots of different ways,' explains Richard Boardman, founder of Mareeba Consulting. 'You might use it for lead management purposes to help you increase the number of leads you get and the percentage that you convert to end business. It can be used to help you manage your existing customers more effectively and sell more to them. It can be used to help you with your marketing communications or improving the quality and speed of fulfilment of your products and services or streamlining your support operation. It really can be used in lots and lots of different ways.' Indeed, it may even be used to do…

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