Get Started with CRM
Get Started with Salesforce CRM
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Get Started with CRM

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Get Started with CRM

07:12 18 July in Thoughts on Cloud

What is Customer Relationship Management or CRM?

CRM is a software tool—uses by firms—to manage sales pipeline, establish trust, and build a long term relation with customers. Gartner defines CRM as a business strategy that is customer focused and consists of eight building blocks – vision, strategy, customer experience, organizational collaboration, processes, information, metrics, and technology.

Does Your Business Need CRM?

To answer this question, you first need to look inside your business, people, and the budget.

Your Business

  • Assess an existing process flow. Make a list of issues or flaws. Finally, evaluate whether the CRM could resolve those issues and streamline your business processes.
  • Will the CRM implementation drives the real value to the business and will it make your employees become more efficient and effective? Which manual activities can be replaced by automation?
  • There are 3 options when selecting a CRM system: vertical CRM, CRM with out-of-the-box functionality, CRM with customization. What kind of CRM will suit your need?
  • Where do you keep your existing business data? What are the other enterprise applications?
  • Executive Sponsorship is an individual or set of individuals with high level responsibility for the success of a CRM project and can quickly move the initiative forward with funding and influence. Could you get executive sponsorship?

Your Team

People resist change. So make sure to talk to people who would be using or driving this change. This will provide you an insight and help in evaluating the readiness of CRM implementation, anticipating and mitigating user adoption challenges.

  • Talk to your employees and find out whether or not they are ready for a big change.
  • Is your team capable enough to use CRM effectively?
  • If “training” is needed, you need to find out how much it would cost to train you entire team.

Your Budget

Yes, finally all boils down to how much you have to pay to get the right solution and if it is aligned with your budget. Start from finding out the following costs –

  • What’s the cost per user per month?
  • Would you be allowed to upgrade or downgrade as per your choice?
  • How many users could be supported?
  • Does that include technical support and how long is the support period?
  • What are included in the package?
  • What’s the SLA of any issues reported? How’s the support feature of CRM 24/7 or 24/5?

Your Need

  • What are all the features your business are considering?
  • List your existing systems that need to be integrated with CRM?
  • List all the reports that matter to your business?
  • Does it allow social media integration? Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?
  • How’s the navigation and user friendliness of the system?
  • Where will your data be stored?

How Can CRM Boost Your Sales?

If you follow the best practices of CRM, your CRM is capable of not only boosting your sales, but also increasing firm’s revenue and helping in gaining the trust from customers.

  • Gathering all data of prospective clients at one place
  • Assigning tasks to respective data points
  • Highlighting the issues/concerns
  • Be prepared for goal focused selling
  • Schedule calls or meetings internally with other departments and externally with client
  • Monitor and response for delivering quality
  • Track your business on daily basis
  • Streamline reporting methods
  • Make sure to have all documents updated
  • Collaborate with your team and cross departments
  • Use other CRM apps/modules to increase efficiency
  • Connect to your customers through social network
  • Appreciate customers’ feedbacks and reduce your response time
  • Use real-time data to track the progress
  • Use analytics to track the history of purchase, and update your marketing strategy accordingly

What Should You Look for in CRM?

  1. Is the CRM customizable?
  2. Accessible from anywhere and any device
  3. The friendliness of the user interfaces and navigation
  4. Real-time feed support
  5. Reports & data analytics
  6. Predictive analysis tool
  7. Implementation time
  8. On-premise CRM or online (hosted) CRM?
  9. Integration with enterprise systems & other software applications
  10. CRM standard features
  11. How much does it cost?

Which CRMs are the Market Leaders?

Gartner reported that worldwide CRM market grew 12.3% in 2015, from $23.4B in 2014 to $26.3B in 2015. Salesforce continued to dominate CRM market in 2015 with total market share of 18.4%  and 28.2% revenue growth from 2013 to 2014. Below is the list of top five CRM in 2015 based on the market share.

  1. Salesforce  19.7%
  2. SAP             10.2%
  3. Oracle          7.8%
  4. Microsoft    4.3%
  5. Adobe          3.6%

Worldwide CRM Software Spending By Vendor, 2015 Market Size: $26.2B, Up 12.3% From 2014
Worldwide CRM Software Spending By Vendor, 2015 Market Size: $26.2B, Up 12.3% From 2014

Takeaways

CRM technology helps improve and extend relationships with customers.  Companies that are planning to invest in CRM should think ahead and take into consideration of their future investment in other CRM-related technologies such as help desk/ customer service, marketing automation, social media integration, knowledge management, field service, channel management, etc.

It really doesn’t matter which CRM is the best in the market. You may purchase the best CRM available in the market, but your CRM implementation may not be successful – at the end, it all depends on how you implementation it!

At Solunus, we specialize in Salesforce implementation. Whether you are seeking help with a plain-vanilla Salesforce rollout, or a challenging project that requires system customization, integration with other systems, data migration, and custom functionalities, we have a team of experienced and certified Salesforce professionals to make your project successful.

Pajaree Suntudkarn

Pajaree is a Vice President of Professional Services at Solunus, Inc. She helps ensure that we build and deliver quality software applications and services to our clients. She has a passion for web design & development and blogging.

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