Jul 10,2014 by Anonymous

Web Enablement eBookA web-based CRM system should be at the hub of your web strategy, providing a single platform to support all business transactions both on and offline.

Web enabling the business is now an essential part of any corporate strategy. From the Wi-Fi enabled Kindle support to accountants delivering online portal based services, the web provides a number of ways for organisations to change the way they interact with customers.

However, these services can only be achieved if they are based upon accurate, detailed, up to date customer information – and this information can be securely hosted within a web-based CRM system. Integrating a web-based CRM system into the web site enables businesses to control existing investments whilst creating an end to end engagement model that delivers a seamless experience for customers.

With the right approach to the web strategy organisations can:

  • Reduce costs.
  • Improve the quality, timeliness and relevance of information and services.
  • Transform customer understanding.
  • Create stronger customer relationships.

Having completed many web-based CRM integrations, our CRM experts have provided three top tips on how businesses can exploit a CRM enabled web strategy:

1. Enable Customer Self Service – for many organisations, the quick win from a web enabled strategy is the ability to provide customers with the information they need, when they need it. Enabling online self-service for customers reduces the burden on the organisation while cutting costs and driving down the administrative overhead.

2. Improve relevancy - capturing every customer interaction in a web-based CRM system provides the business with new depths of understanding that can be used to tailor communication and content that is relevant to each customer.

3. Improve upselling and cross-selling opportunities - a web-based CRM system will provide organisations with in-depth customer purchase behaviour and preferences to improve the upselling and cross-selling of add-on products and services.

 

For more information on the benefits of web enabling your business with a web-based CRM system, download our eBook “Five Steps to CRM enabling the Online Strategy”. Offering web enabled services to customers – whether business or consumer – is no longer a ‘nice to have’ option, it is essential. Can your organisation afford to miss out on this opportunity to consolidate, integrate and improve the overall customer experience?

 

Jul 02,2014 by Anonymous

World Cup - CRM ProviderENGLAND 0 – 1 CRM

This year’s football world cup has certainly thrown up some shock results - defending champs Spain getting knocked out in the first few games, England failing to progress through the group stages for the first time since 1958, Greece getting through to the final 16 and the unbelievable Luis Suarez biting incident……but what do all these have to do with choosing a CRM provider?

At the start of the tournament Spain were one of the favourites to win – so putting your money on them was perceived as a pretty strong bet. On the other hand, as one of the less-profiled footballing nations and up against strong competition, very few people had bet money on Greece making it through to the next round. Likewise, Uruguay’s star player was the Premier League’s Player of the Year, a reformed character on the up and now, remarkably after a ‘live’ catastrophic failure has come crashing down and his career hangs in the balance.

The key thread here is that you can’t rely on perception alone. Whilst it may seem like a sure thing to bet on the big guys, size, profile and presence in the market don’t guarantee a quality performance.

The same can be applied when selecting a CRM provider.

Whether you’re looking to implement CRM for the first time or just looking to upgrade an existing solution, selecting the right partner that fits your business is paramount. Choosing the largest provider or the one with ‘snazziest’ branding does not mean that they will deliver the features and functionality that your business requires.

Our eBook, Taking the Plunge – making sure you get the right CRM partner, provides advice and guidance on the key questions you need to ask vendors when looking for a new solution. These include:

  • How well do they know and understand your business?
  • What experience do they have in your business sector?
  • Can they guarantee results?

Taking the Plunge - CRM eBookTo find out what questions your business should be asking potential CRM providers, download our eBook HERE. Don’t be fooled into thinking that biggest is always best -  if the quality doesn’t exist in either the team or product then your new, expensive CRM system may not perform as you had hoped and will also be out sooner than you expected – just like Spain! Oh and er, Roy Hodgson and Co!


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Jun 26,2014 by Anonymous

CRM and ERPIf you are not taking advantage of having your ERP and CRM systems integrated, then you are missing out.              

ERP systems typically do a great job of managing the order to invoice process, including all the logistics around manufacturing, bill of materials, stock control, invoicing and accounting. However, ERP systems are often poor at supporting the sales and marketing processes within a business.

A CRM system, integrated with the data held in an ERP platform, allows you to exploit your existing customer knowledge to full effect. By profiling your existing customers, by industry, purchase history and historic revenues, your sales and marketing teams will be able to more effectively target existing clients for upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

For example, in your ERP system you might have ten ‘accounts’ which represent the different locations or subsidiaries of a client, because they are all invoiced separately. In your CRM system, these ten accounts and location codes are consolidated into a single view of the client, so that your sales, marketing and customer services teams can see a holistic view of all the contacts and communication relating to that one organisation. This helps you understand which products are being purchased and where the opportunities exist for upselling and cross-selling.

Being able to market to your clients effectively requires you to have the transactional data in your ERP and CRM systems. If you know that you have got a new add-on for a product that you have launched then you want the ability to market it to all the clients that bought the products in the past. 

CRM and ERP eBook

For more information on the need for a powerful CRM alongside your ERP solution, download our 'Top 7 Considerations When Purchasing a CRM System to Work Alongside your ERP' eBook.

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Jun 05,2014 by nbunn

Evolution of CRMEffective online CRM software transforms your marketing efforts and brings a sophisticated approach to your activities

The “aggressive” growth ambitions of many businesses place excessive demands on the marketing team: not only are they tasked with determining key areas of business expansion, they also need to exploit multi-channel marketing, manage third-party agencies and justify expenditure with clear Returns on Investments.

Effective online CRM software should be at the heart of all these activities but all too often it is regarded as nothing more than an unsophisticated way of recording customer data.

Our latest eBook explains the key steps that today’s Marketers need to take if they are to evolve from a primitive use of CRM to a highly sophisticated approach that reaps the full benefits that online CRM software has to offer within a corporate growth model.

The First Age of CRM

Build a detailed, accurate and complete database of both customers and prospects. The analysis of transaction data, lapsed customers, top-selling products and customer profiles will help marketers understand the total lifetime cost and value of each customer.

The Second Age of CRM

Armed with accurate customer and prospect insight, marketers can transform the effectiveness of on-going campaigns. By using marketing automation tools, intelligent email marketing and tailored landing pages with targeted calls to action, in combination with accurate customer profiles, they can improve lead flow and conversion rates.

The Third Age of CRM

Marketers use the CRM system effectively to close the loop between marketing and sales and transform the effectiveness of lead generation and sales conversion. Leads should be followed up on or marked with a ‘qualified out reason’ to refine lead generation programmes, either internally or via a third party agency. 

The Fourth Age of CRM

A company-wide CRM commitment creates a better understanding between sales and marketing. This means ensuring the right level of user training to ensure everyone knows how to get the most out of the system and keeping it simple: an overly complicated system will be counter-effective.

The Fifth Age of CRM

Marketers truly come of age and are free to explore new channels such as social media to improve brand awareness and generate new leads. The same metrics management should be embedded to ensure qualified sales opportunities regardless of online channel.

 

To find out why organisations should stop banging their heads against the cave wall and ensure their marketing moves forward into the 21st Century and beyond, download our latest eBook 'Stepping into a new age of Marketing with CRMhere.

 

 

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May 23,2014 by Anonymous

Web-based CRM and integrated Sales and Marketing GoalsJoining up processes using web-based CRM transforms the way your Sales and Marketing teams operate.

Are your Sales and Marketing teams working in silos, not sharing information and not really believing that the other team is doing a good job? Is this independent approach constraining your business growth and ultimately restricting revenue growth? Whilst it may seem like an obvious statement to make, every professional services business owner is very aware that when Sales and Marketing is properly aligned and working closely together, better leads are generated and more opportunities closed.

But therein lies the challenge – how do you integrate the goals of these two departments and provide them with the tools they need to share data and information easily and quickly – without spending a fortune and ruffling too many staff feathers?

It’s important to bear in mind that the relationship between Sales and Marketing can’t be fixed overnight. However, with the right web-based CRM technology in place and the support of your Sales Director and Marketing Director, it is possible to join up processes and goals across both departments. Creating shared goals helps to unite the departments so they work as one team; and the web-based CRM solution means everyone has visibility of what Marketing is doing to generate the leads, which leads are most likely to convert and how successful Sales is being in closing each opportunity.

Our latest eBook provides Professional Services companies with useful tips and advice on setting well-defined, shared Sales and Marketing goals that will help to boost revenue performance.

Boost Revenue Performance by Integrating Sales & Marketing

To learn how you can integrate your Sales and Marketing goals and reap the benefits of a fully functioning web-based CRM solution, download our eBook Boost Revenue Performance by Integrating Sales and Marketinghere.

 

May 16,2014 by vdearsley

SaaS CRM will account for over 50% of all CRM implementations by 2020 says Gartner – what benefits does the cloud bring customer relationship management?

Have you noticed how much time is spent by employees looking for information? KPI Insight Consulting estimates it to be around 14% within professional services organisations – and we believe that this figure stacks up across other business verticals too.

Automating your business processes using a SaaS CRM solution will decrease the amount of time employees spend looking for information, leading to wider benefits including:

  • Increased turnover.
  • Increased sales team productivity
  • Better marketing results
  • Orders processed, fulfilled and invoiced more efficiently

And in the days of mobile and home working, a cloud solution is vital to ensure that staff can access all information, at any time and from anywhere.

The right SaaS CRM solution brings together the marketing, sales, finance and customer service functions onto one platform so information is no longer in silos and you have a holistic view of all your customers. For example, Customer support teams can quickly and easily gain a 360 degree view of every customer interaction and use automated follow-up features to ensure they deliver excellent customer service. Similarly, the finance team can ensure that they don’t chase for outstanding payments if they can see that the customer is having a support issue.

How to Automate your way to ProfitabilityA SaaS CRM solution that brings together all business departments into one place is invaluable, and Forbes hit the nail on the head when they said: ‘CRM’s real value is in unifying an entire enterprise based on its ability to sell, serve and retain customers better than before.’

To find out more about how an online CRM solution can benefit your business download download our eBook here: 20% IMPROVED EFFICIENCY: HOW TO AUTOMATE YOUR WAY TO PROFITABILITY

 

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May 06,2014 by nbunn
What is happening to your marketing leads? Discover how to close the loop between sales and marketing by utilising Win, Loss and Qualified out analysis

 

Just like young siblings, sales and marketing can’t live with each other; but can’t live without each other either. Tension typically builds when the marketing team is left wondering why all the “brilliant” marketing leads that they are passing over have not been closed by sales, but, conversely, the sales team is continually disappointed with the quality of leads that they are receiving from the marketing team.

As is the case with most family squabbles, better communication and a more open dialogue between the two departments can turn this tension on its head and into something far healthier and productive. Key to this harmonious culture is a CRM system that is capable of meeting the needs of a busy marketing department together with the requests of an ever-demanding and pressured sales function.

We have outlined below six key tips businesses should consider in order to create a more open communication channel and close the loop between sales and marketing once and for all:

1. Put in place a reliable process for tracking where leads have come from.

This involves recording the specific marketing activity that generated the lead (e.g. email marketing, advertising, social media, PR) as well as the marketing investment that was made to acquire the lead. All of this information and data should be visible to both sales and marketing within your CRM.

2. Put in place a strong lead scoring and lead nurturing process.

Don’t treat all sales leads as equal!

As well as being able to send carefully tailored content to nurture leads, marketing also needs to be able to recognise when a lead is not of a good enough quality, or not far enough down the buying process, to be passed over to sales. Only hand over marketing leads when they are ready!

3. Clear processes and guidelines on how to define leads is crucial. 

This is particularly important to ensure that each department is committed and understands:

  • What defines a lead that should be nurtured by marketing.

  • What defines a lead that is ready to be passed over to sales.

  • What defines a lead that should be passed back to marketing.

4. Record why a marketing lead was successfully converted. 

What was it that pushed that lead over the line? This is important in replicating again with similar prospects and leads.

5. But - perhaps more importantly - have a clear process for recording why you lost a deal or why sales qualified it out.

Understanding why sales have qualified out a deal is perhaps even more important than knowing why a deal was won. For marketing to ensure that only the best quality leads are passed across to sales, the team needs to understand what qualifies them out from a sales perspective. Perhaps the company size is wrong, perhaps the lead was from the wrong territory, perhaps they are not looking to switch systems but instead make better use of the competitor software they have…? Whatever the reason, marketing can only target its activities correctly when it knows what ‘wrong’ looks like.

Including a specific area in the sales lead record and sales opportunity record in your CRM system that captures the “Status” of a lead (e.g. ‘Qualified Out - Not a real lead’ or ‘Qualified Out - too small’ or ‘Lost to Competitor’ or ‘Won’) and a more detailed “Qualified Out Reason” where the sales rep can enter why the lead was lost or won can easily solve this. But remember - your sales team must see the value in adding this information and your marketing team must track this information and listen to it!

Examples

A summary report:

Lost or Qualified Out Category

Total Leads or Opps

Total Amount / Value

1 Lost – Price

7

£20,000

1 Lost - Bought Competitor

5

£15,000

1 Lost - Product issue

6

£13,000

1 Lost - Didn’t make short list

2

£5,000

1 Lost - Didn’t like brand

5

£16,000

1 Lost - Outsold

5

£17,500

1 Lost - Other reason

2

£1,450

2 Stayed with existing product

1

£5,000

3 Qualified Out - Not a real lead

8

£13,000

3 Qualified Out - Could not contact

10

£5,000

3 Qualified Out - Too small

5

£12,000

3 Qualified Out - Other reason

2

£3,000

4 Won

50

£60,000

A detailed report:

Lead or Opp Name

Lost or Qualified Out Category

Amount / Value of Lead or Opp

Marketing Campaign

Won, Lost or Qualified Out comment

Motor Car Insurance Plc

1 Lost - Price

£1,325

Social Media

Product too expensive. Went for cheaper alternative

The Transport Company

3 Qualified Out - Not a real lead

£0

Email Marketing

Doing research for project, not looking to buy.

Train Lines Inc

4 Won

£10,000

Linkedin Sponsored Update

Preferred the on-going vendor support that we offer and felt the price was very reasonable.

 

6. Share dashboards and reports between sales and marketing teams.

Provide your teams with visibility of what marketing activities are resulting in won deals along with where you are losing leads and why. This will make marketing accountable for quality; it will make sales accountable for what is happening to leads after handover and also provides sales with a lead feedback channel that is shared across both departments.

Download our eBookWhen CRM data is captured properly and accurately, it can make a huge difference to the whole organisation. In particular, this data can be used to:

  • Inform the product roadmap or product development.
  • Inform changes in the marketing strategy or where the marketing spend is allocated.
  • Inform changes to the internal marketing and / or sales processes.

If your sales and marketing functions are running in harmony – hooray – you must already be a Workbooks customer?! But if like most mid-size organisations you are still looking for more effective marketing strategies, then download our eBook: 5 ways a Marketing Director should keep ahead in the ‘Big Data’ world.

Apr 17,2014 by nbunn

Over half of UK charities are looking to address their IT strategies this year: cloud-based CRM software should be considered when adapting to digital

Latest research from Eduserv reveals that 75% of charities in the UK have no IT strategy in place to support digital transformation and so are putting their ability to raise funds, manage members, deliver new services, improve efficiency and control costs at risk.

The survey also revealed that 71% of digital teams cannot do their job without a good relationship with IT; yet 57% described their relationship with IT as average or poor. This divide between IT and digital suggests that there is a failing of legacy server-based products such as Integra and Raiser’s Edge.

Thankfully, 56% of organisations are planning to address this IT divide in the upcoming year, but with 66% of UK charities lacking digital literacy, how realistic and easy is this transformation going to be?

Many Not-for-Profit (NFP) organisations are aware that the commercial sector is taking advantage of cloud-based solutions to replace in-house packages that are expensive and difficult to maintain, and are keen to migrate from traditional membership databases to CRM systems that can help to manage member, donor and partner relationships more efficiently and productively.

Having completed many successful migrations, our CRM experts have provided three top tips that every NFP and membership organisation should consider when adapting to digital:

1. Empower your people – increase their productivity so they are free to spend more time serving members or fund raising. With a mix of legacy applications, your colleagues are wasting time and energy trying to make sense of data that’s scattered over a variety of silos; and the ability of your management team to make informed decisions is severely compromised. A fully integrated cloud-based CRM system combines your data in a single secure solution, making it quicker and easier for everyone to find the information they need.

2. Find a partner that has experience of integrating its cloud-based CRM system with your website. In order for you to fully embrace digital, it is vital that your CRM can easily integrate with your website, creating a portal where your members can take advantage of all of the services you offer, update details, renew subscriptions, book events, make a donation and request information directly from your website. The details of every interaction can be stored in your CRM, empowering staff to improve the members’ experience by tailoring the content they receive.

3. Find the right CRM system for you. It is vital to find the right combination of CRM, membership and event management features for your needs. Legacy server-based membership systems allow you to manage basic contact details, but they lack the additional features you need to successfully embrace digital. A cloud-based CRM system will not only give you the tools to manage all your data and track all your communications in one place, but also the ability to significantly improve the effectiveness of communications through personalisation and new channels, automate processes such as membership renewal, and improve retention and donation rates.

For more information and top tips on membership and event management for NFPs, download our eBook here:
 

 


[1] http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240216207/Three-quarters-of-UK-chari...

 

Mar 27,2014 by JohnCheney

Workbooks Award Logo resized 600

Workbooks.com honoured at Network Computing Awards for second consecutive year

We recently attended the 2014 Network Computing Awards at Hotel Russell in London and were honoured to be awarded with ‘CRM Product of the Year’ for a second year running.

The Network Computing Awards, run by Network Computing Magazine, recognise IT solutions and companies that are helping organisations to function better by getting the most out of their networks and systems and understand that managing a network is a challenging job. Nominations for the awards were open to customers and the general public and then these votes were tallied to present a winner.

We are very proud to have won this category for the second year in a row. We were up against some large names including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and a range of other CRM vendors, and so were delighted when we were named as the winner. This award reflects our continued commitment to deliver first-class software and high customer satisfaction.

We’ve enjoyed a lot of very positive feedback from our customers recently, especially in the latest G2Crowd Report on CRM in which we were rated number one for customer satisfaction.

We would also like to congratulate our very own Ian Moyse, Sales Director at Workbooks, who was the runner up in the Contribution to IT award category.

For more information about the Network Computing Awards, please click here.

 

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Mar 18,2014 by JohnCheney

Improving Business Efficiency

If you’re not embracing the benefits of business automation, then you’re missing out.

Have you ever considered how much time it takes your marketing team to collect and allocate leads? Or how long your sales reps spend creating bespoke customer quotes? Can you currently automatically capture customer support enquiries via your website and instantly allocate the case to the correct person or user group within your CRM? What’s more could your month end invoicing run be reduced from a 7 day process to a half an hour job?

By utilising business automation, your sales, marketing, customer support and finance teams could be enjoying 20% improved efficiency.

The development and advancement of digital technologies has brought business automation to the forefront; delivering more efficiencies for less cost. Companies that are automating their processes are realising multiple benefits including:

  • improved customer relations
  • shorter sales cycles
  • time and cost savings
  • easier cashflow management

A successful CRM implementation brings the marketing, sales, finance and customer service functions of a business together onto one highly automated platform. Having all the business information stored in one central location completely changes the nature of the game. Imagine having a holistic view of each and every one of your customers with detailed information within just a few clicks of a mouse, showing:

  • Every communication and interaction that has taken place
  • All financial information including invoicing and how promptly they pay
  • Opportunities for up-sell & cross-sell

As Forbes said, “CRM’s real value is in unifying an entire enterprise based on its ability to sell, serve and retain customers better than before.” Add in the value of anytime, anywhere access delivered by cloud based CRM solutions and the opportunities to transform performance through business automation are clear.

As a result Gartner estimates that the number of CRM implementations that use SaaS will grow to over 50% by 2020 – that’s only 6 years away!
 

To find out more about how your business can automate its way to profitability, download our guide here.
 

SaaS CRM is growing for a reason. Make sure your business doesn’t get left behind.

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