How to Turn Sales Leads Into Customers

All sales people should have a load of leads/prospects sitting in their queue just waiting for them to call down on. Your typical sale person of course cherry picks the juiciest-looking leads (usually big companies, large annual revenue, etc) and calls them first.

I’d do the same because those deals (if closed) payout the largest commission. While this is not the best business approach nor the way their management trains them to work, it’s just how sales reps work. You can’t change that. Continue reading “How to Turn Sales Leads Into Customers”

Salesforce.gone? Cowen Analyst Predicts Poor Future For CRM Company

Today salesforce.com publicly announced the acquisition of Koral which is a Content Collaboration system company. You would think this news would fare well with the market but a Cowen analyst decided to rain on their parade and issue a downgrade. The negative news drove the stock price down 4%. Koral CEO Mark Suster posted the news on his company’s blog answering to why he’s been so quiet in the recent weeks. Continue reading “Salesforce.gone? Cowen Analyst Predicts Poor Future For CRM Company”

Top 5 CRM Facts You Need to Know

Frank Dazerton for the CRM Lowdown wrote about the most important things you need to know about CRM. His list includes 5 key points you need to consider when understanding or planning to buy CRM.

  1. It’s all about the customer
  2. On-demand is the way to go
  3. Customer Relationship Management is not just software
  4. Understand all CRM vendors
  5. The best CRM technology can be very helpful for any business

Customer Relationship Management can be very beneficial for a business if it is carried out properly. It is important to keep the customer in mind at all times when you are implementing CRM practices into your business. If you don’t, your implementation can prove worthless and you’ll make a lot of sales people unhappy.

Achieve Near-Real-Time CRM on a Shoestring Budget

My outside sales force has reported every detail of every sales call they’ve made since 2001. Before we launched the Cohon System, as each salesperson completed a sales call he jumped into his car and focused immediately on rushing to his next call. By the time he eventually documented each call, days had passed and many of the details were forgotten. Facing a mountain of long-overdue reports, he grudgingly dredged up just enough detail to complete each report and get that chore behind him.I tried making same-day call reports mandatory, but smart, creative salespeople always found smart, creative ways to push back and make enforcing that rule nearly impossible. I learned that once CRM compliance became a contest of wills, I won an occasional battle, but never won the war. Continue reading “Achieve Near-Real-Time CRM on a Shoestring Budget”

Fueling the CRM Engine

This year’s Sales Performance Optimization study by CSO Insights surveyed more than 1,000 firms worldwide to assess how they are improving the ability of their salespeople to sell. We found in the data trends from our 2007 report that usage of CRM systems continues to rise–67.3 percent of the companies surveyed have implemented a CRM system, compared to 45.1 percent back in 2001.Unfortunately, the number of companies reporting significant improvements in revenue performance as a result of CRM investments–the ultimate goal CSOs aim for these tools to deliver–is only about 1 in 5. One of the key reasons this number is so low is that too many companies have installed CRM applications and then sat back, expecting big money to simply flow from them. Continue reading “Fueling the CRM Engine”

Key Points to Remember After Purchasing CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions are in danger of becoming commodity offerings. Why? Perhaps because the term is used too loosely to describe applications that do little more than record data or perhaps it is because so many applications out there promise to do the same things. And, does plug-in-play really mean that it is that simple?

CRM vendors may disagree with the argument that so many applications offer the same thing. And while many of them may differ on a few key points, the main purpose is to enable the organization to be better equipped to serve their customers. This means different things to different organizations and should be identified in detail before a CRM solution is selected. Continue reading “Key Points to Remember After Purchasing CRM Software”

Why Every CRM Company Ought to Build a Community

It’s surprising to me that most enterprise CRM companies are still living in the dark ages à la Web 1.0. Little do they realize that web 2.0 is here and how companies do business has drastically changed.

On demand CRM was nothing more than an idea back in 1998 before Siebel Systems was the first to spin off a company called sales.com. Their business model was the same as their core product but the delivery method was on demand (meaning accessible via a web browser anywhere in the world and hosted by Siebel systems). For one reason or another, the product failed and they hung up their shoes in the on-demand space. Continue reading “Why Every CRM Company Ought to Build a Community”

Which CRM Deployment is Right for You?

Oracle White PaperI’m not one to usually plug Oracle (Siebel) products, but in this case there’s a decent white paper available to download for free. All you need to do is fill out a looong form and they’ll email you a link to the report. I’d provide a direct link if I could but you know I legally can’t do that. 🙁 Here’s a description from their page:

Find out if an on-demand service or on-premise application is the right CRM deployment option for your business.

“Certain vendors preach the software deployment model du jour as the only sure-fire path to CRM success before understanding your business requirements. Selecting the right deployment model must first and foremost address your key business problems and challenges, enabling you to meet your strategic business goals. The more you know the pros and cons of each deployment model, the more certain it is that you will embark on a path to CRM success.”

Download the white paper here.

Shortage of CRM Skills = Project Failures

Just like any industry where demand exceeds supply, there is a shortage of resources. Basic economics. So what happens when enough people want to implement a CRM system but there just isn’t enough system integrators or engineers available? You are left with two options as a result — crappy rollouts by average consultants or wait until a qualified team is available to help. According to Kim,

“By end of 2008 a quarter of projects will be postponed or cancelled” Lisa Kelly, Computing

By the end of next year a quarter of customer relationship management (CRM) projects will be postponed or cancelled because of a shortage of workers with relevant skills, according to analyst Gartner. Continue reading “Shortage of CRM Skills = Project Failures”

Emphasizing the “C” in CRM

I came across this article on CRM Today written by Philippe Gaillard, President & CEO, Neocase. He brings up some good points about how important the “C” (Customer) is since most companies implementing CRM are more focused on just acquiring more customers.

A fundamental goal of CRM is to improve long-term growth and profitability through a superior understanding of customer behavior. Here, CRM examines all aspects of the interactions a company has with its customers and involves the implementation of methodologies and technology to help an enterprise manage its customer relationships in an organized way. Continue reading “Emphasizing the “C” in CRM”