12 AND a Half Reasons Why You Might Need a CRM System

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This is the third post in a series looking at the 5 Big Questions of CRM Systems.

In the first post, we answered who should use CRM and in the second post I gave you five ways to start using Zoho CRM immediately. 

Crm System

We recently asked a group of small businesses to identify their biggest challenge regarding sales and marketing.  70% of respondents said engaging, qualifying and following up with leads was their biggest challenge and 61% said prioritizing and tracking activities and follow-ups for their sales team was also a problem.

CRM systems are designed to help your small business solve challenges when it comes to following up with leads and managing your sales team’s priorities. Read more

What is CRM?

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This is the second post in a five part series answering the who, what, when, where and why of CRM Systems.

In the first post, we discussed who should use a CRM system. In this post we’ll define CRM.

Crm System

CRM refers to the system a company uses to analyze customer interactions and measure data throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal of CRM is to improve business relationships with customers through retention and acquisition.

C- Customer

R- Relationship

M- Management

Think of it as a tool you need to manage business relationships, practices and strategies. It goes beyond managing your business contacts by also managing relationships with vendors, and internal sales and marketing teams. Read more

Who Should Use a CRM System?- 5 Big Questions about CRM Systems

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This is the first post in a five part series answering the who, what, when, where and why of CRM Systems.

First we want to look at who should use a CRM system. Don’t worry if you aren’t exactly sure what a CRM system is. I will define that in the next post. Let’s first decide if you should use one.

Zoho CRMCRM systems are designed to help your small business solve challenges when it comes to managing your sales and marketing initiatives.

In a recent survey we conducted, CRM users ranked the ways a CRM has helped their business. 67 percent said using a CRM system helped them follow up on opportunities and leads and 56 percent said it helped customer relationships because the interactions were accessible in one place.

Here are three questions to help determine if you’re ready for a CRM system: Read more

Customer Spotlight: How JusCollege Increased Their Sales from $1 Million to $20 Million in Only 2 Years

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JusCollege_LVGEA_Article FINAL_

“Each of our sales was averaging between $10,000-$200,000 and we badly needed a CRM to help manage these large groups!”

It was mid-2012, and JusCollege, a startup hospitality company focused on booking vacations for large groups of college students was just beginning to get traction.

As co-founder Allan Teruel recalls, it was an internal incident which prompted the search for a CRM solution.

“We were using Google Docs for sales tracking and one day we accidentally deleted a very key Google doc that had important customer information – this was because Google Docs was not really meant to be used as a sales tool. At that point I decided we need to make an investment into some kind of a software to manage our sales pipeline and began what turned out to be a very brief search before I found Zoho.”

Read more

Bridge the Gap Between Your Sales and Execution Teams

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In many organizations, post-sales and follow-up teams that work closely to get their clients started up have little idea how their projects are progressing. This is often a result of an unintended hand-off — whereby post-sales activities are tracked, separatelythrough a project management system, with a different set of players from the CRM system that was used to track the deal. Consequently, internal teams work with partial information and are often caught by surprise, compromising their customer’s first experience. Not any more.

Zoho CRM addresses this problem by letting you plan and execute projects within your CRM software. We do this by integrating Zoho Projects, our advanced project management system, directly into Zoho CRM. Now you can contextually view and manage project information right from the Accounts, Contacts and Potentials tabs of your CRM.  This gives you the power to manage the entire customer life cycle — from lead generation to project execution — in one place!

CRM-Projects-Integration

Rodriguez Consulting is a New York civil engineering and land surveying firm that takes advantage of project management within CRM. CEO Lou Rodriguez explains their process.

“After an opportunity is won, our sales executives create a new project for the deal within Zoho CRM”, he says.  “A project manager is notified of this new project and it is his or her job to manage the project, set up a time line, and assign tasks to employees. Tasks are added directly to employee calendars and our firm uses Google Apps for document management.

Rodriguez-Consulting

Lou feels this has helped them consolidate their work, improve visibility, and save time.

“Zoho Projects has allowed us to replace whiteboards, Excel spreadsheets, and Microsoft Project files with one single enterprise solution that our entire team can depend on,” says Lou. “Managers get a dashboard view of everything we’re working on and this saves time spent searching through hard copies and online folders. Zoho Projects working inside Zoho CRM has allowed us to seamlessly integrate opportunities.”

Zoho Projects is available in the Professional and Enterprise editions of Zoho CRM, at no extra cost. Visit this page for a detailed walk-through of how CRM and project management go hand-in-hand to streamline your business and help you serve customers better.

Build relationships, not just pipelines: All-new social features in Zoho CRM

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When we first launched social features in Zoho CRM in November 2013, our goal was to give our customers a place to listen to what people were saying about their business.

The social tab enabled businesses to perform all the actions they could from a social media tool, such as listening and responding to Tweets and Facebook page posts, monitoring search keywords and posting new content to Facebook and Twitter. In addition, they could also add CRM leads and contacts directly from listening streams.

In a nutshell, the social tab helped businesses using Zoho CRM get socially active without having to step outside their CRM.

But we didn’t want to stop there.

We wanted to take things to a whole new level by helping customers do powerful stuff that they couldn’t do with a standalone social media tool, stuff that brought the CRM context to social and the social context to CRM.

So we went back to the CRM drawing board and first wrote out this working definition of social selling:

“Social selling is about building relationships by combining inputs from social media into your interactions and making them richer.”

Read more

Discover better ways to exceed customer expectations – Introducing Customer Surveys in Zoho CRM

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Zoho Survey is now integrated with ​Zoho CRM. If your CRM is the lifeline of your business, this integration is the perfect combination to transform customer relationships from direct feedback.

Whether you need to create a simple Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey or a detailed feedback questionnaire, you can get it done in a jiffy. Zoho Survey combines an easy to use interface with a number of question types and, if you need a ready-made survey, use a pre-built template questionnaire as your survey.

Build your questionnaires with Zoho Survey and schedule them for periodic feedback or to gather further information. Results from your surveys are pushed right back into your CRM. Not only are you able to view individual responses of each customer but you also have their entire history of responses in the contact profile.

What makes surveying a paramount need for your business is that you can maintain a consistent feedback loop with customers and your sales reps ​can sharpen their selling techniques. For instance, a sales rep on call with a customer can upsell or engage the customer based on the feedback the customer has provided. The answers from surveys are contextual for each customer which gives the sales rep an edge. How? He has information from the customer on his screen which he can use to engage in a conversation that is relevant to the customer’s response.

Need further reasons to use surveys? Picture these scenarios to see what you could be missing without them.

Recently, your sales rep won or lost an important deal. Do you know the reasons for the win or loss? If you ask your customers, you can measure and improve your service while interacting with the next set of prospects.

Product specialists in your team organize webinars and on-site training sessions for customer groups. Do you know how the specialists fare in their presentations? Getting in touch with the attendees and collecting their feedback helps your teams improve demos, webinars and training programs in the future.

How do you measure the satisfaction score for your brand? Periodically every few months or even once a year, knowing what your customers think of your brand propels improvement, better strategies and on the whole directs you towards providing exemplary customer satisfaction.

Within Zoho CRM, another element of collaboration establishes a link between creating surveys and distributing them easily which you can achieve with Zoho Campaigns. Once you are done creating a survey, you can choose Zoho Campaigns to schedule email campaigns containing the link to your survey.

The benefit of Zoho Survey being integrated with Zoho CRM is summarized in three points.

1.    Create surveys to gather feedback
2.    Schedule and distribute surveys and track responses instantly
3.    View responses contextually inside a contact details page

To know what your customers need, ask! The best way to do it is with Zoho Survey. Create a professional survey today and watch the results roll into your Zoho CRM.

To know more about this integration and setup, attend our webinar on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014.  To register, click here.