Tag Archives: CRM

Best CRM 2011?

CRM 2011Greetings to all the “best CRM” fans these days – the CRM’s spring peak is back with lot of interesting projects. Should I use an in-house or hosted solution, how to integrate our ERP, the Asterisk call center, helpdesk, our email marketing center, RSS feeds and 30 social media profiles?… The old myth about ”the magic CRM software, which “the management installed last year” is dead.

Welcome to the social CRM cloud!

Few friends manage their sales transactions, campaigns and lead tracking progression from their smartphones/ iPhone or Android-based PDAs.  Skype and even Seeismic and TweetDeck are main tools – that’s how they like to streamline interaction, maximize sales and customer satisfaction. Most of the folks I meet are happy to practice CRM with their Excel 97 spreadsheet or MS Outlook with Business contact manager. Nostalgic users of ACT, Maximizer or GoldMine lately are moving to online contact managers like SalesNexus and Zoho. For end-customer shops we use efficiently InfusionSoft, customers with bigger shops and several websites/ brands / language version in Europe use Magento with CRM extensions.

SugarCRM led the open-source way in the last 6 years with a flexible one-hat-fits-all solution, yet for huge projects with dozens of users and specific modules with custom workflow you need the enterprise edition or a more sophisticated, yet open platform – we had great experience with the CRM-in-the-cloud platforms VTiger and openCRX. Enterprise-wide multilingual coordination of sales generation, fulfillment, product structuring and pricing, real-time issue tracking and drill-down dashboards with pipelines are not a bread-and-butter task. Which is my favorite CRM beast? Salesforce.com of course, but it comes pricy when you grow, so for SMBs we stick to customized SugarCRM, vtiger or openCRX implementations. What about SAP CRM or Oracle Siebel? They are out of reach for most of the local companies, plus we are fans of scalable platform-independent and vendor-neutral open-source solutions, aren’t we?

CRM is just a database tool to collect, manage and present data to optimize and meet your goals. The software is not the solution – the focused definition and execution of the business strategy and objectives is the roadmap for success. Self-service portal and social marketing integration is much more important than the system itself. There is no “top” or “best” out-of-the-box CRM. As a CRM implementation consultant I always try to understand and help customers to define the brand challenges and strategy, to tailor every aspect of the CRM experience from the start. The right opportunity management solution comes a month later. The perfect – 2 years later. Understanding your own business and introducing features to your staff makes the difference.

Back in 2008, CRM 2.0 was still beta, today it’s a >$3 billion business. More SocialRank than PageRank, more customer insights and social media  analytics than noisy spam. Go social (2 billion web users worldwide) and Mobile (1 billion mobile workforce worldwide).  90% of organizations will support corporate applications on personal  devices by 2014 so grab your iPad or tablet and mash your perfect CRM deck on iGoogle, CoTweet, Pardot, Facebook, Foursquare… you name it. Compose a more experimental, Twitter-like social CRM for emotionally high-touch customer engagement.  See you in Gartner’s Social CRM magic quadrant!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or contact me. Join the cultural transformation, get closer to the customer and keep walking!

Клиент: Рейтинг и Стойност

Рейтинг на клиентаГодината се смени, приоритетите остават същите:  ръст на бизнеса чрез отлично представяне на бранда, стратегически иновации и перфектно обслужване на Клиентите. Тъй като обичам това, с което се занимавам, измерваме резултата с 2 основни метрики – ROI (възвръщаемост на инвестицията) и CAGR (Годишен темп на растеж). Ако питаме Cambridge какво е маркетинг, то дефиницията е „управление на процес, който идентифицира,  предвижда и задоволява нуждите на клиента,  печелившо”.

За да бъде още по-резултатно развитието на бизнеса (чрез естествен растеж и преструктуриране на разходите), тази година добавих в нашия CRM освен RFM Стойност на Клиентите (Jim Novo е любим авторитет от студентските години), и Рейтинг на клиента. Нещата са прости:

  • А Клиент, който знае какво иска и знае каква инвестиция е нужна;
  • B Клиент, който знае какво иска, но не знае колко струва;
  • C Клиент, който не знае какво иска и не знае колко струва.

Още в първия месец на годината новата функция намери перфектно приложение за нови клиенти – трите водещи доставчика на складово оборудване в България. Още отсега знам какво ще се случи. Компанията с рейтинг А ще ни е клиент дълги години, защото инвестицията в мощен и топ позициониран уебсайт ще им носи CAGR от над 40%, втората компания ще е доволна, че има солиден уебсайт, а третата ще възприема уебсайта си като разход за луксозна брошура, задоволила нуждите на шефа, с 15% отстъпка в цената и 98% отказ на потенциални клиенти още от началната страница.

През 2010 над 80% от европейците отново ще намират търсените продукти и услуги в първите резултати на търсачки и web 2.0 сайтове. Ако не знаем накъде отиваме, няма значение коя посока ще изберем.
Каква е вашата система за рейтинг на Клиенти?
А вашата стратегия за развитие на бизнеса през 2010?


Summary in English:
This post is in Bulgarian, since the brand new year started (un)accidentally with projects for the top three storage system suppliers in Bulgaria. This gave me a great chance to update the rating and valuation system of customer accounts in our CRM plus the chance to monitor three top Google ranking projects in the same industry. The customer RFM value was implemented back in 2003, but we needed a simple Customer Rating (A: Customers, who know what they want and know how much it will cost, B: Customers, who know what they want but they don’t know how much it will cost to reach it and C: Customers, who don’t know what they want and don’t know how much it will cost to reach it).  The account is given a rating, which multiplied by the RFM value determines the general standing of the account. According to Cambridge, “Marketing is the management process which identifies, anticipates and satisfies customer needs, profitably”, but still, no one in Bulgaria has defined the key metric – CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate), maybe that’s why most of the marketing activities down here have negative ROI, like the last century’s 80’s in the States.

What’s your Customer rating system?
What about your web strategy for 2010?

Sales automation for more free time

Yesterday I’ve got another “better ranking” request. Strange that most of the companies I know strive for “more traffic and better ranking“.
And they stop there, sticking to couple of web pages, which no one visits, when they should look for more leads, more sales and happy, loyal customer.

Many businesses owners talk like internet victims:

“ Network marketing is broken and it’s hard to fix it. We had a strong desire, but it doesn’t work.It can’t help my business, because it’s complicated, expensive and takes years.”…
…“With all these 470 million active websites, prospects are overlooking our website for someone else…Making our site stand out is as realistic as winning the lottery”.

…unless you have the knowledge of how to make your website work for you.

What about if they used the wrong technique?
What about if we start doing the predictable and simple action in the right way – automatically. Manual business software just don’t work! You must get a better system and put your business processes on autopilot. Technology can turn the nightmare into a simple, predictable and working process.

Yes, they are so wrong, especially within the current recession.

Today the average adult spends up to 3 hours a day more on the Internet than they spend watching TV. About 70% of the EU and US populations regularly use the Internet. Over 1.3 billion people in the world are online,
ready to make a purchase if they find something worthwhile. Online shopping has increased by as much as 50 % over the last year. Geography can no longer limit the number of sales.
The reach of customers is absolutely amazing! There has never been a more accessible market in any other decade. Using the web correctly can popularize your brand and produce more customers than was ever possible before.  Only 4% of small businesses are currently selling online! Where are you, where is your competition? Are you using the web to your maximum to grow your business? If you don’t get on it, you’ll be left sitting on the porch with your product. Sure, everyone is not a prospect and chasing all of them goes nowhere. But getting them come to you first, finding you, instead of you finding them is the real thing.

Let’s take a real-world example

Sales Automation

Sales Automation

With 14000 searches daily for a specific business niche, they get around 1000 visitors (organic / referral /ads), from which some 25 make orders the same day. What happens with the other 975?98% of their prospects, marketing opportunities and even BUDGET is thrown away!

975 opportunities, some of which they have paid to have, but they lost, because they didn’t follow-up them.

They just tune, educate and send the potential customers to their competitors?! If we don’t grab at least their emails today and follow-up later, we are in a huge, money-eating hole.

Not maximizing your web presence can have devastating consequences.

No matter how great your product is, some people are simply not ready for it. Customers buy when they are ready to buy, not when we are ready to sell. They act according to their own, incalculable reasoning. That doesn’t mean, that they won’t buy, most of them will. If you do follow consistently and automatically, there is where exponential growth happens. You need to be there when your prospects decide to give your product a try. But, you also need to be there when your customers make a second or third purchase. You should be there to promote up-sells and cross-sells, building RELATIONSHIPS. It’s our responsibility to create moments of interaction with our prospects, to maximize those moments, close more sales and grow our business.

Have you ever felt like walking zombie?

We all (small and big) have the “overwhelmed workaholic” pain and there are days when we even can’t get a decent sleep. We forget to live our life, to devote time to favorite activities… this reflects in our family, budgets, dreams, happiness and every other personal area. The Cure?

Automating and doubling our sales. It’s not only possible, it’s measurable. Plus it removes the lack of time and energy, the inability to break free!

Today there are thousands of CRM, salesforce automation and business process management solutions. Millions of people use them every day to follow up, educate their prospects and customers, cultivate lasting relationships and maximize the value of their database and businesses. Assign ALL your leads the value they deserve. Treat each prospect as if they were already your customer, and remember that a vast number of them will be. You’re never going to be able to give your customers the best deal. But, by treating your customers the way they deserve, they will be creating customers for life. Reselling (cross-selling and up-selling) is much more profitable. One who spends significant amounts of money in your business, loves you, and brings in dozens of referrals.

There are just 4 key actions, which produce 80 percent of our sales:

  1. Increase your rankings with the art and a science of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  2. Update your content-rich and effective website, capturing as many leads as possible.
  3. Use a full featured web-based CRM system to follow-up and support all your contacts.
  4. Track, measure and optimize the results with usability, performance and split testing.

When you test and measure, you’re bringing marketing to a scientific level.
You don’t have to rely on instinct or hope anymore.

Define, Empower, Liberate and Enjoy more free time in 2009!

Incorporating automated Internet systems to your present business structure often results in an exponential gain in productivity, it adds impact and consistency to your sales process.
I can do the same for your company. I’ve spent the last several years working with many types of traditional offline and online businesses, helping them do more and most of them have benefited from using these strategies.

Even this post is an initial conversation, a chance to begin a relationship.

You’re important to me, so please let me know what you think.