Dec 04,2012 by JohnCheney

Forresters’ recent "The State of Customer Analytics 2012" report revealed that the vast amount of customer data now available to organisations is making data management, quality control and integration very challenging.

Spend on data management and analysis has been growing faster than the budgets allocated to creative and integration. That’s because we all know that without the right contacts to send it to there’s not much point in doing any of the other stuff. Follow these tips for cleaning up your data and you’ll see your campaign results transformed.


get your data squeaky clean


1. Housekeeping time

As tedious as database housekeeping undoubtedly is, it’s a chore that really can pay dividends. Did you know that 14% of job titles submitted in forms are fake? Regular checks and culls of your lists can weed out the ignorers and the fakers and ensure that you’re communicating with the people that are more likely to engage.

2. Sorting time

Once you’ve got it clean then you need to get it consistent so use:

  • Naming conventions (that have to be shared with everyone that adds data to the CRM system)
  • Standardised job titles
  • Clearly defined profiles (use this template to create them)

Making and sticking to these rules can not only help you keep your data clean; it can help you segment your lists more effectively as well, so you get better results from your campaigns.

3. Maintenance time

Your lists are now clean, consistent and delivering results. To keep them that way you need to put in the maintenance time. Allocate responsibility or quality will slip again. Capscan’s 2012 Data Quality Insight report revealed that in the organisations surveyed, 10 different roles were cited as including responsibility for data management. So no-one was doing it as they all thought somebody else was!

Read our eGuide Don’t put it off! Five reasons why you shouldn’t defer your CRM project to ensure your organisation’s plans are watertight.


Nov 29,2012 by JohnCheney

Poll: What do you think would be the greatest benefit of using CRM to increase data sharing with your sales team?


Workbooks Poll  

Download the free How to avoid CRM backlash eGuide from Workbooks to get your journey to CRM nudity underway.


Nov 27,2012 by JohnCheney

How to get Finance and Sales to do the tangoUse CRM to harmonise Finance and Sales departments for major business benefits

What do you think of CRM?

Here are a few common views of CRM:

  • Software for sales and marketing
  • A black hole of useless customer details
  • An over-glorified contact database
  • A drain on time and resources.

What CRM really is:

“CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a company-wide business strategy designed to reduce costs and increase profitability by solidifying customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.” -

"In cases we have reviewed, sales increases arising from advanced marketing and sales information technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30% and investment returns have often exceeded 100%." – ‘Automation to Boost Sales and Marketing’ (Harvard Business Review)



What CRM could be:

“True CRM brings together information from all data sources within an organization (and where appropriate, from outside the organization) to give one, holistic view of each customer in real time.” –

CRM offers a joined-up view of every single client.

What’s the benefit of joining Sales and Finance?

You can automate:

  • Order creation
  • Credit notes
  • New customer account creation
  • Invoices

…direct from the CRM at the Sales end of your company pipeline.


Automated paperwork. So what?

  • Less manual intervention = time and cost savings
  • Less manual intervention = less room for human error
  • Less manual intervention = more accurate finance data

But wait, there’s more!

Having data piped direct from the sales team allows you to:

  • Reduce the workload of the accounts payable department
  • Stop chasing reports and data from the sales team

Your senior management team will love joined-up CRM:

Marry finance and sales with CRM for:

  • Accurate data = accurate financial forecasting
  • Accurate data  = accurate budget assignment and monitoring
  • Accurate data = better business decisions

CRM also offers cost savings and increased profits:

Increased customer satisfaction allows your business to benefit from:

  • Reduced price sensitivity
  • A reduction in customer defections
  • Increased customer referrals
  • Increased repeat purchases

Source: Koellay

It takes two to tango...

Getting Sales and Finance dancing to the same tune means that:

  • Sales staff are immediately notified of clients “on stop” – less risk of non-payment
  • Most valuable clients can be identified and prioritised increasing opportunities for sales and profit
  • Marketing efforts can be carefully targeted based on existing financial metrics

Dancing the light fantastic

A good, company-wide approach to CRM benefits everyone, not just your sales team. So get on your dancing shoes and enjoy the benefits!

“Once sales and finance are on the same system with a 360 degree view and a shared Opportunity to Cash process flow, everyone gains a holistic customer perspective and can work efficiently as a cohesive team, appearing as one company to the customer.” – Jeremy Roche,

Why not download our eGuide “Don’t put it off! Five reasons why you shouldn’t defer your CRM project” to learn how your sales and finance teams can tango for increased profit?


Nov 21,2012 by JohnCheney

Get naked with your salespeopleUsing CRM you can empower your sales team for greater revenue generation opportunities and a more efficient sales pipeline.

Let it all hang out

CRM provides much more than just a way of storing contact details.

“One of the key elements of any CRM plan is integration, the unification of all your company's data sources to create a single, holistic view of each customer.” —

You can use Customer Relationship Management software to:

  • Create a central, authoritative repository of information so everyone is on the same page
  • Increase accountability - Who is doing what? When? Why?
  • Get a 360 degree view - Shared customer records create a 360 degree view of each client and contact allowing a better quality of customised service to be offered
  • Integrate different departments - With a harmonised system, everyone from finance to sales can see each customers journey at a glance, making the processes of lead management and customer care smoother and simpler.



Why get naked?

Going naked — that is, shedding opaque processes to move to a more transparent CRM system — could be the shrewdest business move you make.

What do you get for your nakedness?

  • Quick access to accurate data allowing for faster business decisions
  • Better auditing and analysis to see what is and is not working
  • Granular sales forecast analysis for improved financial planning

“Business processes that were driven by departmental efficiencies will evolve to serve company-wide needs instead.” — Gautam Parasnis, IBM BCS.

Lose the clothes or lose the business

“Information silos are more than just inefficient, they hinder a company's ability to serve customers and succeed with its strategy. Without a unified view of the customer, marketing, sales and service/support departments will all be working in the dark, chasing goals that don't fulfil the organization's broader ones.”

Download the free How to avoid CRM backlash eGuide from Workbooks to get your journey to CRM nudity underway.


Nov 14,2012 by JohnCheney

Use Cloud CRM software to empower your call centre! 

A report published recently by Convince and Convert revealed some startling figures on customer service. These should make any business owner sit up and take notice:

  • 42% of customers now expect a response to their electronic queries within 60 minutes
    << Click to Tweet >>
  • Customers making electronic queries expect a “real person”, not an automated response
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  • 57% of customers expect the same response to electronic queries in the evening and at weekends
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  • 24% of customers expect a reply to electronic queries in 30 minutes, regardless of time of day
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Give Your Call Centre the Power


These statistics may deal mainly with contact made via social media, but they reflect a wider trend: more and more customers demand immediate support whenever they seek it.

But what does this mean for your business?

  • If you have a global customer base, you will need to seriously consider providing extended support hours, possibly even 24/7/365.
  • Automated responses are unlikely to improve customer satisfaction levels.
  • Speed is of the essence when resolving issues.

All very well and good, but how is it possible to implement such a system, which is cost-effective, allows you to operate around the clock and is amenable to customers?

A Cloud-based platform allows:

  • Knowledge — Staff have full visibility over the customer journey, meaning they can respond intelligently to enquiries
  • Empowerment — Staff can make decisions and take action to resolve issues promptly for customers
  • Flexibility — Anywhere, anytime CRM data access; at least you can work from a location of your choice over the weekend!

Exacting customer demands require a dedicated commitment to the customer and their needs. If the customer is not the focus of your business, it will be impossible to provide the highest levels of service they call for.

Empowering call centre operatives to make snap decisions, offer replacements or discounts to appease unhappy customers is expensive right? So it makes sense to let the troublesome clients go elsewhere next time. They are just too costly to keep on board. Except that:

  • Each new customer costs between 600% and 700% more than retaining an existing one
  • Businesses which focus on raising customer retention rates by as little as 5% see corresponding rises in profits of between 5% and 95%.

If your business can boost response times and give the necessary authority to call centre operatives to resolve customer issues, the rewards are significant. In fact, they are too big to ignore.

Does your business have the culture and the software required to resolve customer issues quickly? Do you have a CRM system which allows you to retrieve pertinent customer information quickly, providing the basis for great service? No?

Check out our eGuide ‘How to avoid CRM backlash’ for some additional hints and tips.


Nov 07,2012 by JohnCheney

CRM isn’t difficult if you follow three simple rules. A — Acquire, B — better, and C — Capitalise.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM for short) sounds complicated but, with the right software platform and company ethos, is actually as easy as ABC. Or at least it should be.

Click the screen below to find out more!


CRM its as easy as A, B, C


A = Acquire

To grow your business, you need customers. The perfect CRM system will help you log contact details for leads and record every single operation from incoming lead to customer.

"Over 80% of generated leads are never followed up on or are dropped or mishandled" -  Aberdeen Group

“50-70% of the buying journey is being completed before a prospect engages with a sales representative” - Bob Thompson, 

B = Better

As you interact with your customers, make sales and resolve problems, your CRM system allows you to record the details. Use this information to become better.

Better at service. Better at selling. Better at all the steps in your sales and service pipelines. If you do everything better than before, and better than your competitors, your clients will become repeat customers. 

C = Capitalise

Acquiring a new customer costs between 6 and 7 times as much as retaining an existing one. The data stored in your CRM system is a goldmine of useful information which will help you identify new opportunities with existing customers. Capitalise on existing customer relationships for a better return on your time and effort.

“It is 6 to 7 times more costly to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one” - Frederick Reichel, Bain & Company

"In cases we have reviewed, sales increases arising from advanced marketing and sales information technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30% and investment returns have often exceeded 100%." - ‘Automation to Boost Sales and Marketing’ (Harvard Business Review)

If your software cannot do the ABC, download our helpful eGuide ‘Don’t put it off! Five reasons why you shouldn’t defer your CRM project’


Oct 31,2012 by JohnCheney

The world of work is changing and UK businesses are at the forefront of the flexible working revolution.

Gone are the days when every business professional did all of their work in the office, at their own desk with a dedicated PC. UK businesses have already introduced more flexible working policies than any other country and a survey of 1,000 CIOs has revealed that the growth isn’t over yet:

  1. by the end of 2013, the use of personal devices at work will have increased by 249%
  2. 89% of businesses want employees to be able to work from home
  3. 84% of businesses are implementing a workshifting policy to support workers who travel on a regular basis
  4. 61% see workshifting as a means to help improve customer service.


CRM on the Road


The Cloud Generation

Flexibility around working patterns and locations is becoming a prerequisite for professionals. If businesses want to be able to employ the best talent, they need to fulfil these needs. To do so, they are relying on Cloud-based applications to give their staff access to the vital tools they need no matter where they are. Those without the right Cloud solutions will see productivity suffer and their companies become less attractive to the talent they need to keep them successful.

Research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) carried out with 250 UK businesses found that 61% are currently using cloud-based services with a 92% satisfaction level. CRM is one of the fastest growing sectors within the SaaS space and the adoption issues that it has traditionally been plagued by are being overcome by business professionals needing to access information when out of the office and finding that the CRM system is how they can do it.

The CRM Revolution

It’s not just the way that people work that has undergone a revolution in recent years, either. As CRM systems have moved to the Cloud, they’ve grown up. No longer just a management reporting tool, today’s CRMs can be used to manage all business processes, from marketing through sales to finance and customer service. These systems provide a whole customer picture alongside the tools needed to service them.

With the right CRM, businesses can now enable all of their departments to work flexibly and reap the benefits in so many ways:

  1. increased productivity, as staff can work on the road and at home
  2. increased team effectiveness, as leads can be passed to sales reps on the road
  3. cost efficiencies through the use of personal devices and staggered working hours - meaning less desk space is required
  4. a decrease in sickness absence
  5. the ability to attract and keep the best staff.

Going Mobile

As smartphones and tablets continue to rise in popularity, CRM has to adapt again to deliver all of that functionality safely and securely for whatever operating systems today’s busy professionals want to use. The right CRM partner can now provide tailored solutions to deliver the mobile CRM app your business needs. So if you haven’t gone to the Cloud yet - the right time really is now!

To find out more, download our eGuide: ‘The business performance platform: if your CRM is broken we can fix it’.



Oct 24,2012 by JohnCheney

How to Get Sales and Marketing on the Same PageSales and marketing should work closely, but sadly, 87% of the terms they use to describe each other are negative. The right CRM can bring their battle to an end!

 Would you like to see...

  • The number of qualified leads rising...
  • Your cost of sales falling...
  • The length of the sales cycles shrinking?
  • We bet you would!




The right CRM can do this for you...

  • With a little bit of planning... And a bit more co-operation
  • You can change the way your sales and marketing teams talk

There’ll be no more

“We generate leads, but sales don’t follow up”


“Marketing pass on leads that are not qualified”


  • Automated lead allocation
  • Easy-to-see sales forecasts
  • Full end-to-end customer picture
  • Putting sales and marketing on the same page...
  • Delivering more revenue!

Follow our DOS and DON’TS to create office harmony...

  • DO encourage regular reviews between sales and marketing managers
  • DO encourage joint territory planning
  • DO set shared goals, as well as individual goals
  • DON’T let them decide what’s successful all by themselves
  • DON’T create a culture of competition - it will backfire!
  • DO create measurements for scoring your leads
  • DON’T let either team decide that criteria for themselves
  • DO tell everyone what each team is working towards
  • DO arrange ‘ride alongs’ for all members of your team
  • DO set up mixed ‘working teams’ to discuss improvements
  • DO introduce incentives that get everyone working together
  • DON’T introduce incentives that set teams on different paths
  • DO provide public recognition of achievements
  • DON’T give public criticism for things that didn’t work


  • Got the right CRM?
  • Got clear goals and measurement criteria?
  • Got joint incentives in place?
  • Got sales and marketing managers meeting regularly?

Once you’ve ticked all those boxes you’re on the road to ticking the best ones of all.

Better lead generation, management, conversion and ultimately revenue.

To find out more, download our eGuide: ‘Dance to your tune: how to get your team excited about a new CRM implentation’.



Oct 17,2012 by JohnCheney

Thumbnail blogCRM implementations are on the rise, but adoption rates are lagging behind; often, end-users cite ‘the system being hard to use’ as the reason.

Investing in a new CRM but convinced nobody will use it?

You probably need to change your company culture... ask yourself...

  • Are you ready for CRM?
  • Are your people adaptable and willing to change?
  • Do your employees realise this is not just a management tool for reports - it’s for everyone?
  • Do employees realise that, in order for this to be successful, everyone must use it - and no one should go back to spreadsheets? 


Not Just a Pretty Interface: Why Your CRM Must Be Intuitive


Make sure the CRM you choose has an intuitive interface

  • And half the battle is won
  • Add in easy integration with other systems and you're nearly there!
  • Don’t be one of the 75% of companies where only 55% of users actually use the CRM

Don’t wait until it’s too late

  • Get buy-in from the start
  • Let them know what’s in it for them

Give them some stats. Here’s some for you:

  • Existing customers are 120% more likely to buy again - treat them well!
  • New customers cost five times more than existing customers
  • Emails sent to engaged customers convert 75% better

Don’t go it alone

  • Get end-users involved at the evaluation stage
  • Let them play, give feedback and choose what works for them
  • If it’s not intuitive, it won’t get used

Training and change management are key. Don’t just leave them to it... or they won’t do it!

To find out more, download our eGuide ‘Taking the plunge: making sure you get the right CRM partner’.




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