Gain More Insight Into Sales With 3 Types of CRM Reports

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TimeandPeopleEqualsMoney

While you are busy calculating and assigning the sales target for your team, it is always helpful to go back and analyze what brought more deals to a closure. As you ponder over it, you may come across a lot of questions.

What is the average time taken for leads to complete the sales cycle?
In a month, how many leads are being converted to customers?
Who are the Star Performers in your sales team?
What are the regions that generate more business?

It is possible that you are not quite sure of the answers to these questions that you ask yourself on a regular basis… Accurate numbers are required. So what do you do now? Of course! You pull a variety of reports with the required filters to get the information that you need. But do these reports provide insights to effectively manage your sales process and sales team!

Let me help you out at this point… Read more

Stress is Part of the Job: Handle it Like a Pro

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iStock_000016076514XSmallWe have a fun and relaxed environment here at the Zoho Austin office. From group lunches to inside jokes and the occasional game of ping pong, we enjoy coming to work each day and enjoy interacting with each other.

But no matter how much fun we have, there comes a time when we all have to get things done. Unfortunately, stress and work go together like pickup trucks at a gun range — especially for salespeople.

More than any other position, sales can be extremely stressful. Talking to clients or potential customers on the phone, meeting monthly or weekly goals and managing your pipeline all contribute to a large amount of stress that can have a negative impact on both your professional and personal life.

How common is stress at work? A reported 8 out of 10 people say they are stressed from their job and another study says 76 percent of all people report the top two causes of stress in the United States are job pressure and money.

One of the biggest problems with stress is how it impacts physical and psychological health. In fact, of people who feel stressed from work, 77 percent reportedly suffer physical symptoms and 73 percent suffer from psychological symptoms. Research has shown that when you suffer from stress, you are unable to utilize previous knowledge or training and instead resort to an automated response of shutting down or convincing yourself you can’t reach your goal. In sales, losing your confidence can be paralyzing. Read more

Customer Spotlight: Transforming from a “Hustle” to a Successful Business

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DSC2

In December 2011, Jamar Jones decided it was time to take his company, Deluxe Signature Collection (DSC), to the next level.  Having been in business for almost five years, he felt that DSC had hit its earnings ceiling based on their current business practices.

“We started six years ago, but over the last year we’ve really tried to transform from a ‘hustle’ to a scalable business by putting systems and processes in place.”

Jones felt that the number one barrier limiting DSC’s growth was that he wasn’t efficient enough in communicating to customers which was therefore limiting his sales volume.  As such, he began the search for tools to assist in organizing his business to increase scalability.

The Business

Deluxe Signature Collection (DSC) specializes in the procurement and sale of quality sports memorabilia and the production of elite, public signing engagements.  DSC is headquartered in Southern California and aims to employ progressive business strategies to deliver intimate customer engagement and high quality events. Read more

Customer Spotlight: Business Thrives Thanks to the “Perfect Pair of Jeans”

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Hillbay

For nearly twenty-two years, Alexander Loffeld was a successful businessman working initially as a sales agent for shoe company Lisa Tucci, before joining another designer shoe company as a top sales manager.  On the outside, things seemed to be going well.

Loffeld however was fed up.  Corporate bureaucracy and the grind of long hours and constant deadlines were finally wearing him down.  In 2009, Loffeld decided “enough is enough.”

“I basically had a breakdown, and in one week I sold nearly all of my possessions.  For the next two years, I basically lived a very relaxing life and let the previous twenty-two years of work stress evaporate from my body.”

After two years however, Loffeld was ready to return to the game.  This time however, he was going to start his own business, Hillbay Consultancy Ltd.  All he needed was a few tools to help him get started…

The Business

Hillbay is a consultancy for the shoe industry.  In addition to selling shoes under their own label, Hillbay provides design, production, and distribution for a variety of companies across Europe.

Hillbay Consultancy has an extensive network of shoe manufacturers operating around Italy and works with a variety of customers at various levels of shoe production.

The Challenge: A Company Rapidly Gaining Contacts Seeking a Simple CRM Solution

alex loffeld

Loffeld knew immediately after starting Hillbay Consulting that he needed a CRM solution.

He was rapidly making new contacts and had an existing large database of leads for which he needed a customizable and easy-to-use CRM solution.  As a startup company, Loffeld was also very price sensitive and could not afford to try out an expensive CRM solution only to find it unsuitable for his needs.

Loffeld’s primary challenge then was quickly finding a long term CRM solution that matched his rigid criteria.

Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions

Loffeld had several years of experience with CRM prior to starting Hillbay Consultancy, and was thus very particular about two “must have” features:

Easy to Use – Because of the high volume of clients and Loffeld’s need to keep everything neatly organized, he did not want to waste time navigating through a complicated CRM solution.  Ease of use was essential.

Low Cost – As a startup, Loffeld was concerned with keeping costs low when selecting business software to integrate into his company.

Prior to using Zoho CRM, Loffeld had extensive experience with Exact Synergy’s CRM solution however he was less than satisfied.

Exact was quite difficult to use.  It needed a lot of hardware, was very difficult to learn, and was not very precise!  I needed something EASY!”

Discovering and Implementing Zoho CRM

Prior to Loffeld discovering Zoho CRM, he was already a user of Zoho Mail, so he was familiar with the company.  During his research into CRM solutions, he stumbled upon an article entitled “5 CRM Companies for You”

“I found an interesting article in a Dutch magazine which listed five different CRM solutions.  They touted Zoho VERY highly, and I somehow subconsciously was saving the ‘best for last.’  I tried every one of them with varying levels of satisfaction for the next two months until I finally realized I haven’t yet tried Zoho CRM itself!”

Having already tried out a number of CRM solutions, Loffeld was growing weary that he would find his ideal solution but was pleasantly surprised when he registered for Zoho CRM.

“I registered for Zoho CRM and after just a few hours, I knew this was it!”

But Loffeld didn’t stop with Zoho CRM.  As he began to grow comfortable with the interface and customizing it for Hillbay Consultancy’s needs, he began to discover other Zoho tools and solutions that integrate tightly with CRM.

“Once I imported all my clients, I began to brainstorm some different ways I could interact with them.  Then I discovered Zoho Campaigns, and integrated that with CRM to send mail out to my clients.”

As Loffeld dug deeper, he began finding value in a number of Zoho products.

“At the moment, I think I use everything of Zoho!  I use Zoho CRM, Campaigns, Sites, Invoice, Projects, and Mail.  Using these products together has made things even easier for me!  I also have begun integrating the mobile option which adds to the convenience.”

Life After Implementation

As soon as Loffeld decided that Zoho CRM was the solution for Hillbay Consultancy, he really “sunk his teeth in” and began taking advantage of Zoho CRM’s customizable features.

“I began optimizing Zoho CRM for myself by adding several custom fields, and grouping clients into separate groups.  To be honest, now I use every feature in CRM in addition to the new features that are added because everything is just so simple to learn.”

Hillbay Consulting is now thriving and has even started its own shoe label in addition to the existing consulting services.  With Zoho tightly integrated into the company, Hillbay has been steadily outgrowing and outperforming its competitors.

What You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?

“If I were to write my own perfect CRM software right now, it would be nearly identical to Zoho.  The BEST thing is that it’s so easy to use!  Zoho CRM is like a good pair of jeans that fits great when you try it on, and one year later is even more comfortable.  I now essentially have Zoho integrated in all aspects of Hillbay Consultancy and we are thriving.”

To learn more about Hillbay Consultancy, CLICK HERE

3 Ways to be a Kick-Ass Sales Rep at your Workplace

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Sales SuperheroAt some point in our lives we all dreamed of possessing superpowers to do extraordinary things, just like our favorite superhero.  We’d love to fly over the traffic to our workplace, multitask in a jiffy and close deals in a snap – in short, we’d love to be that kick-ass sales rep at our workplace! But wait…you don’t have to be born in Krypton or be bitten by a radioactive spider, or possess hi-tech gadgets to do all that. Like Mjollnir is for Thor, your reliable tool is a good CRM system that’s flexible and does most of the sales automation, leaving you to just focus on customer interaction and closing deals.

And with Zoho CRM, here’s how you can become the kick-ass sales rep at your workplace:

Be notified about important customer emails

You’re at work on a fine Monday morning, running through your emails and replying to the ones that are most important. By noon, you find out that you had missed reading an important email from a hot prospect. The reason: your Inbox is cluttered with business emails, personal emails and pesky emails!

The rule of thumb to be a smart sales rep is to attend to your prospects ASAP and to get there, you need a filtered view of your prospects’ emails alone. With MailMagnet, you’d not only receive emails within Zoho CRM but also get a filtered view of your prospects’ emails. The best part of this integration is that you don’t have to keep a check on your emails all the time, because each time you receive an email from a prospect, you’d be notified by a batch right on the Zoho CRM home page.

Mundane tasks keeping you busy? Just Automate.

You love your job. But you also dread the ‘manual data entry’ that comes along with it. All day long you’d type thank you emails, welcome emails, reminder emails and introduction emails, leaving you very little time to do what you are hired for…selling!

Email Template in Zoho CRM helps you get rid of this mundane task. Just personalize emails for each activity, and send emails to individual prospects or mass emails to a list of leads. Say, you’ve imported leads from a trade show and you want to send them a thank you email. All you need to do is select the leads list and blast a mass email.

Go Mobile. Carry Zoho CRM in your pocket

To all those field sales reps, this one is for you. We know you work almost round the clock, attending customer meetings, conferences and events. But at the same time, you can’t carry bulky laptops with you, to update and keep your team in sync with the latest happenings. You need a CRM system you can carry in your pocket. And Zoho CRM for Mobile provides just that. From adding leads to creating tasks, and from receiving email notifications to finding nearby customers, Zoho CRM Mobile App provides it all.

These are 3 quick ways you could become a kick-ass sales rep at your workplace. What are your tips and tricks? Do share them in the comments below.

- Radhika

Goodbye Badge Scanner, Hello Leads

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Remember the last time you were on booth duty at a trade show, scanning attendees’ badges with the badge scanner provided by the event organizer? If your experience was anything like ours, it looked like this: With just one scanner in the booth, a line often formed as everybody waited to use the same device. To supplement the basic information provided by their badges, you frequently wrote notes on the backs of attendees’ business cards. At the end of the show, you handed the badge scanner back to the event organizer. And waited.

A week later, the event organizer sent you an Excel file with the attendees’ badge information. You took that Excel file and imported the leads into your CRM system. Finally, after seven days or more, you sent out your follow-up emails saying, “Thanks for visiting our booth.” By that time, of course, the attendees have likely forgotten who you are and what you do. And you’ve likely lost all the business card notes because, let’s face it, nobody wants to key in information collected from the hundreds of people and coordinate it with the records in their CRM system.

What if you could replace that dedicated badge scanner with a smart, mobile application that connects directly to your CRM application?

We are excited to announce Leads.

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With a badge scanning app running on your smartphone, you can scan badges at any time, from anywhere on the event floor and beyond. In fact, everyone in your company who has a smartphone can run this mobile app, which means everybody can scan badges. Once the badge is scanned, the app automatically extracts all of the information and presents it to you on the mobile device screen. That means you can take notes, add tasks and assign a lead owner — on the spot, while the customer is there with you.

You can also connect the mobile app to backend workflow systems set up in your Zoho CRM system. For instance, whenever you scan a badge at a trade show or event, that information is entered as a new lead in the CRM system and a “thank you” email is sent out immediately, not seven days later.

This is exactly what we’re delivering with Leads. This mobile app complements Zoho CRM to give you immediate access to, and let you take immediate action on, the leads you gather at a trade show or event.

Leads supports QR code scanning, but it’s smart enough to recognize when it can’t scan a QR code. At that point, Leads automatically switches to OCR and scans the readable badge information like first name, last name and company name.

Leads also has a built-in card scanner, so you can take a photo of a business card and automatically populate the related Zoho CRM fields with the card information. Leads will also save an image of the business card itself to Zoho CRM. If the business card includes the person’s Twitter handle, Leads will automatically collect the associated Twitter profile picture and add it to the lead record created in Zoho CRM. You can also enter the Twitter handle manually.

We launched Leads at Zoholics this past week, and all exhibitors at this year’s show used the Leads app to scan the badges of Zoholics attendees. If you’re ready to make the move to a smart, mobile badge scanning app, try Leads. It’s available immediately on iPhone for a one-time fee of $4.99. Android version is in the works.

 Leads-screenshot