Should You Add a Customer Module?

By Sharla SikesIt may seem like we’ve talked about Web 2.0 ad nauseum, but that’s because it’s a hot topic in the world of customer relationship

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management. And there are a lot of ways it can benefit businesses of all sizes, too. Today’s question: Should you add a customer module to your CRM system? Continue reading “Should You Add a Customer Module?”

Security 2.0 With Web 2.0

By Sharla

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Sikes We’ve just taken a look at how simply being aware of possible threats to CRM system security can help foil phishing attacks, but there’s a lot more involved with the security equation. Technological security measures will boost user awareness into a complete security strategy. Continue reading “Security 2.0 With Web 2.0”

Security and Web 2.0 CRM

By Sharla Sikes

Web 2.0 is so, like right now.

Rick Cook at calls it a “catchphrase that many new technologies use to make the Web appear a friendlier, more powerful place and help users be more productive.”

Productive, yes; but how about vulnerable? Continue reading “Security and Web 2.0 CRM”

Getting the Most from CRM Analytics

By Sharla Sikes We’ve established that customer relationship management has become if not a necessity, then at least a powerful tool in today’s sales world. So let’s say you’ve got your CRM system set up, and you want to make sure you’re getting the most function out of your investment. Continue reading “Getting the Most from CRM Analytics”

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”

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”

5 Tips for Deploying On-Demand CRM

Vendors can offer all kinds of suggestions on how to plan your deployment. Consultants can help with time lines and schedules. But if you’re looking for some serious advice on how to kick-start your project–and see it through–who better to ask than those who’ve done it before?

Baseline turned to five managers who have deployed on-demand CRM, asking them, “What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t started using a hosted solution?” Here’s what they had to say. Continue reading “5 Tips for Deploying On-Demand CRM”

Sugar CRM – How Sweet is it?

CRM Sugar Cube Those of you who don’t know sugar CRM, it is an open-source CRM system. Sugar open source enables sales marketing and support organizations to manage their customer interactions more efficiently and profitably and is intended for both large and small companies worldwide.From what I hear sugar CRM is the best sales tool I’ve seen for free and is great if you have the technical resources to configure it. Even though it’s free and highly configurable I’m still not quite sold on it as a solution for a corporation.

I for one would rather not hassle with setting up your own servers and system architecture internally and I would recommend a hosted solution such as But for those that are looking to keep their infrastructure and systems internal, open source CRM solutions such as sugar CRM could be your best bet.

Overall sugar CRM is rethinking how technology can help companies manage customer relationships. Sugar is the market leading commercial open-source CRM application and delivers a fairly good set of business features right out of the box.

Getting New Reps Up to Speed with CRM

Implementing a CRM system and putting some business intelligence into
the processes may help in boosting sales or in creating an end-to-end
strategy for those who have been around during the implementation, but
what happens when a new hire sits in front of the complex, customized

Getting new service reps used to a CRM system quickly is crucial
not just to a contact center or customer service effort, but to the
entire company. Sometimes, a service rep is the first contact for new
customers, or for those who have issues with a product or service.
Having them stumble through an unfamiliar system and end up inputting
poor data is the last thing a call center manager wants to hear.

But fortunately, there are tactics for getting even newbie CRM users to master the system, and fast.

Continue reading “Getting New Reps Up to Speed with CRM”