Feb 20,2013 by JohnCheney

Tomorrow People has selected British Cloud CRM provider Workbooks.com to replace its Salesforce.com CRM system after two years of using the Salesforce Professional Edition.

Tomorrow People will use Workbooks to manage its customer details and interactions. The agency will also be using the Workbooks integration with Hubspot, a cloud based inbound marketing tool, thus enabling them to take advantage of all the marketing analytical tools within Hubspot in conjunction with the CRM functionality and automation provided within Workbooks.

Alistair Norman, Marketing Director at Tomorrow People commented, “Workbooks is not only far more cost-effective than Salesforce.com, it is also more intuitive for our users and much easier for us to customise. We also like the fact that Workbooks keeps our customer details in the UK compared to Salesforce, who kept all our data in the USA.”

 

Tomorrow People leaves Salesforce.com in favour of Workbooks CRM

 

Tomorrow People’s choice to move to Workbooks from Salesforce follows a number of other customers who have made the same move. Workbooks makes it easy to migrate Salesforce data across to Workbooks and the Workbooks team has extensive experience in this area, having employed 2 senior consultants who previously worked in the Salesforce Services and Implementations team.

Workbooks Sales Director Ian Moyse said, “Having used Salesforce myself in the past I recognise it has a lot of functionality, but it also carries a lot of cost not only in the license, but in the 3rd party implementation and ongoing maintenance required. We offer customers a system that is easier for users to adopt and that is often a 1/3rd to a ¼ of the licensing cost without compromising on functionality and features.”

Alistair Norman continued “We were impressed by the breadth of functionality in Workbooks, the fact that we are dealing directly with the vendor, and how easy they have made it to migrate from Salesforce. Like many, we initially opted for a big brand name and quickly realised that it comes with cost and complexity.”

About Tomorrow People

Tomorrow People is the UK's pioneering inbound and content marketing agency, providing online marketing services to a growing number of B2B companies in the IT, marketing and financial services sectors. Integrated services include web design and development, branding, online content strategy, content creation, social media strategy, online PR and digital training.

For more information, please visit www.tomorrow-people.com

About Workbooks

Workbooks.com is one of the fastest growing providers of web based CRM and business applications designed specifically for small and mid-size organisations.

Headquartered in the UK, our suite of products enables our customers to accelerate sales growth, improve marketing execution, streamline business processes and improve the quality of customer support they deliver. The Workbooks CRM Edition delivers easy to use sales force automation, marketing management and customer support tools.

The Workbooks Business Edition extends CRM to include the generation of transaction documents, such as customer orders, supplier purchase orders and customer invoices.

Download our eGuide 'Shared Success – Guaranteed Results' now to find out how we can guarantee a successful CRM implementation in your business.

 

Feb 12,2013 by JohnCheney

Poll: In your opinion, which of these has the most power to make sales forecasting better?

 

Workbooks Poll

Read our eGuide How to avoid CRM backlash to identify more ways to improve your results.

 

Feb 06,2013 by JohnCheney

Now we know that you’d like to see that kind of growth and improve your sales forecasting processes and with the right CRM solution you can.

Forecasting is by no means a new tool that businesses use but the digital revolution means that the information that informs it and how it is calculated can provide a much more accurate picture of what’s going to convert down the line.

The Aberdeen Group’s 2012 ‘Better Sales Forecasting Through Process and Technology: No Crystal Ball Required’ report discovered that of the companies surveyed, the best-in-class averaged 17.8% year-over-year revenue growth using sales forecasting technologies, compared with 8.4% for industry average companies and just 0.2% at laggard companies. 

 

See the Future with Your CRM

 

Be Realistic

Does Your Sales Forecast Need Some Work? discusses the results from a recent study, which found that sales teams are a tad over-confident when it comes to their pipelines. More than 14,400 closed opportunities with sales cycles of 75 to 250 days were reviewed over the course of five years and it was found that, on average, it takes sales teams 22% longer to win an opportunity than they had expected it to.  

The Aberdeen report also found that among the ‘best-in-class’ companies (the ones that enjoyed much higher growth than everyone else):

  • 81% use performance dashboards to track goal vs. actual sales data
  • 78% have a formal definition of progressive sales stages used to weight sales forecasts
  • 75% add external social media content to the forecasting process

So by being more realistic and using a CRM solution that joins up sales, marketing, finance and customer service and automates their processes, your business can have a sales pipeline forecast that really does convert when you thought it would.

How To: Better Forecasting

1. Sharing

Providing cross-functional access to the sales forecast was cited as one of the most important steps that businesses need to take in order to improve its accuracy. If senior management in other departments have more information available they can make better decisions. The right CRM system allows all departments to access full customer data so they can see exactly what happened before and what’s happening now to make more informed forecasts for the future.

2. Analysing

Analysis of ‘deal velocity’ is another way to get better at forecasting. This just means looking at the extent to which individual sales opportunities remain in sales stages too long, then working with marketing to improve the nurturing and selling processes for those accounts, regions or sectors. With a CRM system that tracks a customer life cycle from lead to invoice to support, getting hold of this data is simple. And it provides powerful insights.

3. Pacing

Proper pacing for effective business-to-business selling can transform results as it helps to establish where extra support or attention needs to be applied in order to close a sale. The Aberdeen report showed that only 12% of laggard companies analyse sales stage activity to identify which deals were dawdling or racing through the process.

In contrast, 32% of ‘best-in-class’ companies and 41% of ‘industry average’ firms used this approach and benefited from better overall sales results and more accurate forecasts by monitoring the sales cycle more closely. Guess what – the right CRM can reveal the length of sales cycles and what marketing communications have been used throughout them at the click of a button.

Read our eGuide How to avoid CRM backlash to identify more ways to improve your results.

 

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Jan 30,2013 by JohnCheney

How to Be a Customer Service SuperstarMany businesses outsource customer service provision as a cost-cutting measure but sadly not all of them ensure that the external agents have access to everything they need to keep the customers happy.

Online CRM solutions mean external customer service agents can deliver the service your customers expect as your data is central, secure and available for them to access no matter where they are located. 

Customer service has changed!

Social media and digital marketing means that:

  • Data needs to be captured from lots of different places
  • Responses to feedback and queries have to be given in multiple new formats
  • Customers expect everyone they speak to at the company to know exactly what interaction they’ve already had and how to resolve their problems

 

 

It’s been recognised that Cloud CRM solutions are needed to improve customer service as they are continually developed to take advantage of the Big Data explosion. Cloud CRM can:

  • Help businesses to achieve better performance by using customer data and behaviour patterns to identify opportunities or churn
  • Allocate leads for further nurturing or sales follow-up, dependent on the prospect’s behaviour
  • Enable faster provisioning and better scalability
  • Deliver significant cost efficiencies
  • Keep track of all the different touch points a customer has, ensuring consistency of messaging and service

But make no mistake. Success in customer service today is not just about technology; it’s about people. Your entire organisation needs to ensure that it really delivers in these key areas:

1. Apologise

Knowing when to say sorry for an issue is vital. Even if the customer isn’t always right, they should always feel like they are. So if they feel something has gone wrong, apologise for it.

2. Communicate

Keeping in touch and nurturing customers converts them more easily. Track every communication to make sure you don’t overdo it, and analyse the results to personalise the service in line with your customer’s engagements.

3. Listen

Without good listening skills, agents won’t deliver good service as they won’t have a clue what the customer said.

4. Anticipate

Customers don't just buy products or services, they buy good feelings, good relationships and solutions to problems. By anticipating what their behaviour and problems reveal, you can deliver the right solutions.

5. Appreciate

Making the customer feel like you appreciate their business will keep them coming back for more. Customers that don’t feel appreciated will definitely be hot-footing it over to your competitors.

6. Learn

Seek feedback on all customer touch points to identify what’s working for your customers and what’s not, then change it. As without your customers you don’t have a business.

7. Educate

Help your customers to understand your products and services – if they feel unsure or confused about any element of it, they’ll be slow to invest and quick to complain. Deliver the collateral and conversations they need to get what you do.

8. Agree

Does a customer have a reasonable recommendation on how your products and services could be improved? Is the idea achievable and able to deliver more benefits? Then say yes to doing it! Customers that feel they can influence product development are the happiest kind. 

Read our eGuide Don’t put it off! Five reasons why you shouldn’t defer your CRM project to ensure your CRM plans help your business succeed.

 

Jan 23,2013 by JohnCheney

Motivate Your Sales Team with Lead RatingUsing CRM lead rating to motivate salespeople yields larger returns and profits.

Lead What?

“So, what is lead scoring? Simple, it's a relative ranking of one prospective lead against another.” – Steve Gershik, The Innovative Marketeer.

You set a list of criteria, to help you figure out which customers are hot prospects and worth additional sales efforts. Essentially, you identify who is most likely to make a purchase from your company.

 

 

Why lead rate with CRM?

CRM lead rating, or scoring, is useful because it:

  • Identifies customers likely to make a purchase
  • Identifies customers unlikely to make a purchase
  • Allows efforts to be focused and prioritised based on these rates

“Companies that get lead scoring right have a 192% higher average lead qualification rate than those that do not” – Aberdeen Research.

And then?

That’s lead rating sorted. What about the motivation promise?

From the point-of-view of your salespeople:

  • Wasted sales effort is demotivating
  • Constant refusals are demotivating
  • Knowing in advance that a customer is likely to say ‘yes’ is motivating
  • Knowing there is a good chance of closing a sale means there is a greater chance of making commission – great motivation!

Sound good? Download the eGuide How to avoid CRM backlash to find out more.

 

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Jan 18,2013 by JohnCheney

Poll: What is your main motivation for using marketing automation software?

 

Workbooks Poll  

 

 

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Jan 16,2013 by JohnCheney

Sales and Marketing were named the ‘New Power Couple’ in an Aberdeen Group report. Marketing automation is transforming how marketing teams work. They aren’t just generating, scoring, nurturing and preparing sales-ready leads. They are also now integrating these with CRM to deliver better sales and marketing alignment.

 

A Match Made in Heaven: Marry Your CRM and Your Marketing Automation Software

 

What is marketing automation?

CRM Buyer goes into more detail here but in brief it’s a software solution that increases the ROI your CRM delivers by automating marketing activities such as:

  • Segmentation
  • Campaign management
  • Data capture and integration
  • Lead scoring and nurturing

Businesses that use marketing automation have been shown to deliver 50% more sales ready leads

Why should it integrate with the CRM system?

Because the 2011 study ‘Lead Generation & Marketing ROI’ revealed that the connection between CRM and marketing automation in delivering and proving ROI is critical. This year the Marketing Sherpa Lead Generation report showed that out of the CMOs surveyed:

  • 52% want to achieve or increase measurable ROI
  • 51% want to optimise the sales and marketing funnel
  • 51% want to gain greater audience insight

The data gathered and shared between your marketing automation solution and your CRM system can enable you to do all of that. That’s why you should integrate.

How can marketing automation integrate with CRM?

  • It can capture data directly from web-forms, and populate new contacts in line with naming conventions and standard fields
  • It can automatically score and allocate leads that are tracked in the CRM system
  • It can capture the source of leads and the associated marketing campaign that generated it, enabling you to keep track of and prove your lead generation activities.

Why should you care?

Because businesses that get sales and marketing aligned and use automated lead nurturing programmes alongside their CRM see 31.6% average year-over-year growth in annual company revenue.

To find out how you could be benefiting, download our eGuide 'Don’t put
it off! Five reasons why you shouldn’t defer your CRM project' now.

 

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Jan 09,2013 by JohnCheney

Revenue Performance Management (RPM) takes CRM to the next level

What is RPM?

Revolutions per minute? No, not in the context of Customer Relationship Management or business methodologies anyway. According to Bob Thompson at CustomerThink.com,

“RPM is a technology-enabled strategy to increase total revenue productivity. Period. It's not any more complicated than that.”

RPM gives your business an overview into its overall revenue productivity. Unlike traditional metrics available through CRM, finance and ERP systems, which focus on particular departments or business units, RPM looks at the effect of joined-up sales and marketing efforts on the company as a whole.

 

RPM – Not Just Another Three Letter Acronym

 

Breaking the barriers between departments

Despite efforts to create “joined-up” business, most departments retain their own data stores or “silos”. Some software platforms allow data sharing between a couple of departments, but RPM seeks to completely demolish internal barriers between sales and marketing in its goal of total transparency, creating a seamless team.

At the same time, RPM methodology allows each department to focus on its own responsibilities.

“When marketing takes a larger share of responsibility for pipeline generation and uses lead nurturing and lead scoring to help sales focus on the hottest leads and opportunities, it frees sales to focus time on productive activities such as selling.” Jason Miller – Marketo.  

More than just CRM software

Although CRM software plays its part, RPM goes beyond software.

“Revenue Performance Management is a set of ideas about how companies can grow and accelerate revenue growth by taking advantage of these very broad changes in the way buying and selling takes place in our economy.” - Phil Fernandez, “Revenue Disruption”.

What can RPM do for my business?

Despite being a relatively new kid on the block, RPM is already turning out some impressive statistics:

  • Companies employing RPM achieve (on average) 102% of their revenue target. Businesses employing other techniques achieved 76% of their targets.
  • Companies employing RPM close 40% of their sales qualified leads. Non-RPM businesses managed just 25%.
  • Sales staff spend 72% of their time actually selling, in organisations where RPM is used. Elsewhere, the proportion of time spent selling averages at 57% as the boundaries between sales and marketing are blurred.

Source: 2012 Marketo RPM Benchmark Survey

Where do I start?

There are a number of issues to consider when creating your own RPM strategy, but the key question to answer is:

“What are the best practices of the companies which demonstrate the highest growth and most productive revenue engines?”

Answer that, and your business is well on the way to leveraging Revenue Performance Management for enhanced profit and greater efficiency.

Why not download the How to avoid CRM backlash eGuide from Workbooks.com for further advice and guidance?

 

Dec 19,2012 by JohnCheney

Make Your CRM Pay Its Way

Would your finance team like a more complete view of customer information?

We’re pretty sure they would.

Keeping them informed throughout the entire sales process means finances are simpler to manage and cash flows are easier to control.

  • With the right CRM the finance team are kept in the loop
  • They know what marketing is doing to generate and nurture leads
  • They can see exactly who’s dealing with what, when the pipeline is due to convert and are automatically informed when sales close
  • Customer service issues are accessible, so invoices don’t get chased up in the middle of a complaint

With the right CRM processes everything is more efficient

Integration with accounts systems means invoices are issued and logged just once

Orders, credit notes, new accounts and invoice information can all be synchronised and distributed at the click of a button

Everyone can see who’s paid and up-to-date, and who’s not, so all conversations are better informed

 

 

85% of businesses that invest in a CRM get the wrong one

  • The right one brings finance into the process where it belongs
  • Full lead to cash visibility means it’s easier to establish the true cost of a sale
  • There’ll be no more manual invoicing and data gathering from different teams and systems

With all departments working as one big team sharing all information in an online CRM system results can improve dramatically:

  • Sales and marketing costs can be cut by 23%
  • The length of the sales cycle can shrink up to 24%
  • Each sales person’s revenue can grow by 24% or more
  • Customer retention can be improved by 27%

With figures like that your finance team can easily prove the ROI of the CRM investment

 

Download our eGuide Don’t put it off! Five reasons why you shouldn’t defer your CRM project to find out more.

 

Dec 12,2012 by JohnCheney

thumbnailAccording to research carried out at the Cloud Computing Expo in New York, Disaster Recovery (DR) plans are one of the biggest drivers behind the adoption of cloud storage, with 55% of organisations using it because it provides off-site data protection.

Is your business prepared for unforeseen disasters?

Floods, fires, snow, power cuts and strikes are just some of the reasons businesses are moving data storage to the cloud.

But don’t just move it there, use it there.

 

 

Did you know the right CRM enables your whole business to operate from the Cloud?

So even without an expensive DR plan in place, your data is safe and accessible, meaning your staff can work from anywhere, at any time, on any device

Marketing, sales, finance and customer service can continue, disaster or no disaster

Isn’t the customer truly the focus of everything you do?

A Cloud-based CRM that manages your entire customer process helps to keep them there, no matter what happens

  • Leads can be generated and allocated
  • sales meetings can go ahead
  • invoices can be issued
  • customers can be given support

Gartner said that CRM was the #1 technology-enabled investment focus for 2012

That’s because the right CRM system is so much more than just a CRM system.

It’s a business and data management tool that enables your company to deliver the best service across all departments

Even if disaster strikes

Read our eGuide How to avoid CRM backlash so you can rest assured your CRM delivers what it needs to, when it needs to.

 

 

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