Posts Tagged ‘management’

CRM: The Advantages of CRM for Sales Managers (Part 5)

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs such as Salesforce give your sales team tailored software tools to help them work more efficiently and provide better customer service. They also provide essential programs that enable sales managers to oversee their staff more effectively. Whether you have a large or small business, Salesforce enables your sales managers to accurately manage both their team and the ever-growing database of clients. The Salesforce CRM model helps your managers visualize and analyze both customer and employee data and make proactive decisions in order to promote future growth.

By giving managers the ability to group clients into territories, Salesforce makes it easy to redirect, move, and rearrange your business at any time. Each territory can then be moved as a whole, or your managers can select individual units to move separately outside of the group. By enabling your managerial staff to categorize customer data, you also give them power to assign different security preferences to specific groups of customers. This can help manage individual and team access to specific data and customer accounts.

This same tool makes it easy for managers to analyze customer groups based on demographics, regions, industry, and relationship with your company. By automatically assigning new leads to specific categories, managers can set up a system through Salesforce that directs new sales leads to the appropriate team member. This means that new customers will be automatically connected with a knowledgeable sales associate who can assist with relevant information about how your business can satisfy the customer’s unique needs.

By organizing clients and customer data into territories, Salesforce CRM gives your sales managers the ability to analyze and compare each group as a separate entity. This allows the managers to set unique goals and deadlines for each sales team and territory. The online Salesforce system also gives you access to real-time data so you can immediately analyze growth and redirect resources for the immediate future.

In combination with the territory management model, these forecasting programs let your company forecast and set goals based on region, territory, manager, sales representative, product, and more. You can compare, combine, and contrast all different sets of data in order to get the most accurate assessment of future growth. Salesforce also gives you access to currency conversions and customizable timetables so that you can tailor every sales prediction to your company’s needs. By implementing Salesforce in your business, you create an opportunity for maximum productivity from your sales team and the potential for unlimited growth.

This is the fifth in a series of articles about CRM. Next week: Recruiting Partners Using Salesforce Channel Management.

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CRM: Tools for your Sales Team (Part 4)

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems like Salesforce are designed to streamline and automate data management to enable your company, and ultimately your sales team, to work more productive hours. Although a lot of the software tools in Salesforce can be customized to suit any business, there are some that are very well suited for companies with teams of individuals dedicated to contacting customers and managing accounts. These tools can be broken down into two major functions: Activity Management and Communication Management.

Whether you’re a big company with hundreds of employees or a new business with only a handful of sales associates, the Salesforce Activity Management programs help your team juggle large amounts of data with relative ease. CRM systems like Salesforce give individuals instant access to relevant customer and business data through multiple channels. You can easily set up these systems to work though email and even through mobile devices.

In fact these interconnected email and mobile programs are an essential part of the versatile communication channels available through CRM programs such as Salesforce. Some of these programs allow you to create a library of pre-approved email templates that your sales team can use to effectively communicate with customers. Not only will this give your team more time to spend with each customer, it also gives you more control over the online sales dialog. You can also use some of these same tools to track customer response to email notices and compile data to analyze the effectiveness of these online tools.

The CRM Communication Management tools in Salesforce also allow you to implement your own letterhead into online graphics and emails, giving your clients visual reminders of your business while maintaining consistency in the appearance of your emails. These same email tools give you access to relevant up-to-date customer data you can easily attach to each transaction.

In addition to communication tools that enhance company-customer interactions, Salesforce incorporates similar programs into tools that employees can use to communicate more efficiently with one another. For example, the time management tools in Salesforce integrate data, reminders, and alerts to help keep each member on task and focused on short and long term goals. You can set these Salesforce tools to automatically assign tasks to specific sales associates with activity templates to help the associate track progress. These same tools can be used to help sales members collaborate on projects and schedule necessary meetings at any time.

The Salesforce CRM is also set up to help your company schedule reminders and set appointments. Some of these tools work much like online calendar sharing in which you can post activities and permit selected individuals to view them. Unlike these online calendars, however, the Salesforce calendars are directly connected to the CRM tools and allow you to automate task and project deadlines by linking them through the Salesforce system.

Larger companies can use CRM tools to divide their sales associates into teams and designate tasks and representatives for each team. Each team can have representatives through the system and each member of the team can have separate security settings for specified access to data and information. In addition to security, the team management tools allow managers and executives to easily analyze the overall productivity of each team and detailed activity history, both of which can help in planning for future sales.

CRM programs such as Salesforce are ultimately designed to give you all the tools you need to run your business faster and more efficiently. By giving your sales team tools that promote better communication with the customers and each other, you help build a dependable, consistent system that can grow with your company. The flexibility of CRM programs is beneficial to both you and your employees. Easy tools means that sales associates can be more productive, and improved productivity means a more efficient business.

This is the fourth in a series of articles about CRM. Next week: The Advantages of CRM for Sales Managers.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management: What it is and how it works (Part 3)

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

With online CRM your business won’t have to sacrifice valuable digital storage space either. Web-based CRM tools like Salesforce allow each business to save and interact with large quantities of information without installing on-site hardware. This also means that you can quickly and easily access your CRM tools without expensive hardware upgrades or specialized IT installations. Installed CRM software is available for businesses that want to keep their CRM tools in-house, but, for most businesses, it can be less expensive and easier to access specialized CRM tools online. These tools also give you access to contact management via automated emails and reminders and give you immediate access to available system upgrades.

The online format also gives you greater control over your Internet marketing and advertising plans. Salesforce CRM, for example, incorporates tools that allow you to manage Google Adwords, email marketing, organic web searches, and affiliates on a real-time platform, giving you easy and immediate access to ad management programs. These programs can also help you determine which ad campaigns were beneficial and which were not. You can also use these same tools to forecast campaigns and profits for future weeks or months.

All of the CRM tools can be used in small or large businesses since their applications can be tailored to fit the individual needs of your company. The interactions between all of the software tools make it easy to manage both clients and employees and provide any business owner with a user-friendly program designed to maximize efficiency and minimize costs. With an online versatile CRM tool like Salesforce, you can upgrade and add software tools from the same system as your company grows and evolves for years to come.

This is the third in a series of articles about CRM.  Stay tuned.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management: What it is and how it works (Part 2)

Monday, January 12th, 2009

CRM helps you manage detailed information in customer accounts through its Service and Support systems. Every business knows that account management is key to maintaining not only customer relations but also creating and maintaining successful marketing campaigns. CRM lets you detail each account with all kinds of information from geography and company size to products sold. With each interaction, new information is recorded and accounts are constantly updated. Each transaction with the customer is then detailed and cataloged so you can reference it at any time. When and where you obtained each customer/lead can also be recorded so you can analyze past marketing strategies and develop future advertising campaigns to a more motivated audience.

As you can see, the Service and Support areas of CRM are directly related to the Sales and Marketing and Activity Management tools as well. While each CRM tool can be used for specified tasks, you can easily search, connect, and analyze data from all three at once.

These same Service and Support tools give you access to your employees’ interactions with customers. CRM keeps track of all customer-business transactions and gives you tools to analyze quantitative data based on number and duration of calls, total sales per employee, and more depending on your needs. CRM allows you to interpret this data through charts and graphs tailored to each individual search, giving you concise analysis at a glance. The user-friendly interface also makes it easy for your employees to manage their own customer connections and progress. This interface also provides immediate access to client information, which allows your employees to quickly gather pertinent information about accounts related to any sales calls. This provides both your employees and your customers with shorter call times and targeted, more efficient service.

This is the second in a series of articles about CRM.  Stay tuned.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management: What it is and how it works

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Many business software programs incorporate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) into their packages, making it easy for big and small businesses to access software that helps them manage sales and customer relationships. Integrated business software like Salesforce uses CRM tools (a) to help streamline business practices in order to promote long term customer satisfaction and (b) to help businesses work more efficiently. But what exactly is it and how does it work?

CRM is basically a bundle of software tools used to manage phone calls, orders, and accounts of each customer as well as each employee. CRM software breaks down customer actions and manages detailed accounts of interactions in order to give your business all the tools it needs to effectively communicate with each individual customer. Specific search tools, charts, and data analysis allow your business to determine the kind of customer data it needs in order to efficiently manage each account.

In the Salesforce model, CRM tools are broken down into three main areas of application:

· Service and Support

· Activity Management

· Sales and Marketing

While all three of these systems interact with one another, the software also makes it easy to target just one area of your business, analyze data specific to that area, and adjust your future business models based on charts, tables and projections.
This is the first in a series of articles on CRM.  Stay tuned.