Small Business Technology Insight: How data makes for a successful CRM implementation

Small Business Technology Insight: How data makes for a successful CRM implementation

If you want a successful CRM implementation, I’ve got one word for you: data.

Data is an integral part of business functions that drive decisions and improve operations. Sales teams need an accurate and holistic view of their data to be able to assess performance, plan for the future, and get an advantage over competitors.

The challenge is collecting, organizing, and presenting the right data.
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5 stellar ways businesses are building relationships with customers

5 stellar ways businesses are building relationships with customers

Your customers are looking for a relationship. But they’re not on Tinder or Bumble or eHarmony scoping out potential beaus. They’re looking to build these relationships with brands and businesses.

A recent Gartner report (available to clients) says that one of the five distinguishing factors of the next generation customer is the need for a reciprocal relationship. For the customer, this means regular engagement, being heard, and dealing with organizations that support the causes they care about.

Businesses that don’t put in the effort to build customer relationships struggle to maintain customers. According to a survey from Wantedness, 79 percent of customers in the United States will consider only brands that show interest and understanding in them.

Recruiting new customers is five times as expensive as retaining current ones. Businesses need to invest more time in building relationships with existing customers to avoid the excessive cost of customer churn.

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The 7 questions you need to ask before purchasing a CRM

The 7 questions you need to ask before purchasing a CRM

If you’re familiar with the concept of budgeting, you’re probably also familiar with all of the hidden costs that threaten to push a budget past its limit. Whether planning a trip or renovating a bathroom, sticking to a budget is easier said than done.

Budgeting for software is no different.

If you’re planning to purchase a CRM, costs can quickly get out of hand. Between customization and training, support costs and data migration, a CRM will almost never cost what the “price per user per month” sticker price suggests.

To avoid surprise costs during CRM selection and implementation, you need to consider all of the potential costs that could push your CRM budget past its maximum. If you don’t budget correctly, you risk wasting time and money on choosing a CRM that your company can’t afford.

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The top 7 alternatives to Salesforce

The top 7 alternatives to Salesforce

This article was originally published on January 28, 2016 and has been updated with new products using a methodology for app selection.


 

If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it? As tempting as it can be to follow your friends, I’d hedge my bets against it. So why take the plunge with Salesforce just because everyone else is?

Salesforce is a market-leading solution in the CRM space. With lots of features, integrations, and plenty of positive user reviews, it tops many a list of best CRM software. But that doesn’t necessarily make it the best CRM for your company. Between the complexity of the system, the price point, and the time needed for implementation, Salesforce isn’t a fix-all for everyone.

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Bringing the humanity back to self-service support with AI

Bringing the humanity back to self-service support with AI

Customers like to help themselves. They want to be able to resolve their own customer support issues without having to send an email, wait on hold for hours, or be bounced around from one customer service agent to another.

The good news is that self-service support can help avoid these frustrations. The bad news is that it only works when done properly. In it’s current state, self-service customer support is more frustrating than helpful.
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