Four Must-Have Add-ons for your CRM System

,

We found this share-worthy blog from Zoho CRM Blog, this was contributed and written by Gene Marks, a CPA, author, columnist, and owner of The Marks Group.

If you are wondering what are the essential and important add-ons for your CRM, then below is a must read for you.

When people ask me what customer relationship management (CRM) system to buy I always recommend that, whatever the choice, the application should be cloud-based. Why? It’s because cloud-based applications integrate much better with each other. Changes can be made in one place, rather than in hundreds of thousands of separate installations. Updates are quicker. The tools are more consistent. Programmers can more easily access data. Support is faster.  The best CRM systems, like Zoho CRM, offer applications and tools so that third parties can build custom solutions and connect their systems in order to provide a more powerful experience for their users.

Because of this, most of my CRM clients use one or two third-party add-ons, and the best CRM platforms provide many choices. So what are some of the most popular types of add-ons? Here are the top four.

Accounting 
When a customer calls, you want to make sure you have everything about them at your fingertips. A good CRM will always be tracking activities, emails, and notes. But what about order history? Open invoices? Products bought? As an accountant myself, I want to be clear that a CRM system is not an accounting system. It lacks the internal and audit controls necessary for a strong financial database. That’s why so many of my clients prefer to integrate their CRM systems with their accounting systems. A good add-on will allow you to synchronize contact information and view a history of transactions. Some even let you create orders or invoices in the CRM system and then port it over to the accounting database. You’ll do less double entry and you’ll have all the information you need about a customer in real time.

E-Mail Marketing  
If you’re in the habit of sending a few hundred emails at a time, then your CRM system should be capable of handling that. But if you’re like me, and you send thousands of emails regularly to various opt-in lists, then you’ll need to connect your CRM system to an email marketing service. Why? For starters, your local internet service provider may shut you down if you don’t. However, that won’t happen with a good email marketing service because it’s their job to deliver the email. A good email service will put you through some due diligence to make sure you’re not sending spam or inappropriate messages. Once you’ve passed those tests, the service should be able to handle tens of thousands of emails at a go and bring the results of those campaigns back into your CRM system. Remember: Your CRM database is where all of your marketing and communications begin. An e-mail service is a tool that should use this data to help you get your message out there to the masses, and then track that message with good analytics.

Phone  
Wouldn’t it be nice if when you get a call, the person’s record automatically pops up on your screen with all their history of prior interactions with anyone in your company? How productive could you be if you had the ability to start an outgoing call with just a click of the button on a contact record? Or be able to record the call and have the audio file connected to your contact’s record for future listening? You can have all that if you integrate your CRM system with your phone system. Many of today’s phone systems are cloud-based, which has made this type of integration much easier. With a few minutes of simple setup you’ll be able to make calls faster and keep better track of your company’s calling activity.

Data Integration  
Sometimes a specific add-in doesn’t exist. It’s usually because you’re using an accounting, inventory, point of sale, order entry or some other type system that’s a niche product, or specific to your industry, or has been highly customized to suit the intricacies of your business. Back in the day, that would’ve been a problem.  Today… not so much. There are now powerful tools that you can use that are automatically configured to read the tables of your CRM system, and which can then enable you to read and write data in and out of both systems. Even if some of these out of the box tools can’t cut it then don’t worry; good systems provide application programming interfaces, or APIs, that will enable a good programmer to accomplish these objectives. Today’s data integration tools can accomplish just about anything.

In the end, your CRM system is just a database. But it’s a critical database that’s storing information about everyone that comes in touch with your business. My best clients use powerful add-ons like the ones I’ve described above to leverage this data. You should too!

 

Blog source: ZOHO CRM

Credit to: Gene Marks

CPA | Author | Columnist | Owner of The Marks Group

Reasons Why Your Business Needs a CRM Consultant

,

Have you recently deployed a CRM system, expecting a high return on your investment but it seems to be doing the opposite? Did you aim to increase your team’s productivity but only ended up consuming even more of their time figuring out the CRM system? Are you still having a difficult time organizing your data and not improving in it? – at this point it would be easy to say, ‘This CRM does not work, and as soon as you give up, you are missing the full potential and maximum benefits of a CRM to your business, just it didn’t work out the way you wanted it to be, doesn’t necessarily mean it is not functional, perhaps it needs an expert that knows its ins and outs to help you understand your CRM.

Many business owners nowadays would often choose the path to DIY (Do it Yourself) even with complicated tools like CRM, one would think that guides and processes are easily obtained on the internet, but that is not the case. Majority of businesses do not utilize their CRM to their full potential because they lack the knowledge to operate and administer it, they are not aware of the vast functionality of the CRM – often then not, this leads to decrease in productivity, efficiency, customer satisfaction and most of all, a decrease in revenue.

We identified few reasons why you should consider hiring a CRM consultant for your business:

1. Insufficient IT resource

You may have the best IT team or you may even be one yourself, but that does not necessarily mean you are a CRM expert. Handling CRM requires the right combination of skills; acquired knowledge and experience to handle a CRM project.

To implement a CRM successfully, you need an expert to first understand your business flow, identity and analyze the data of your business. Having to rely on your IT resource or yourself might choose a CRM that does not cater to the needs of the business, it might lack some functionalities, attributes or even misaligned workflows.

It will even take a lot of time on your hand implementing a CRM system, putting aside important task on hand, what takes a month for a non-expert to implement may only take weeks for an expert.

2. Operational Issues

Imagine you are in a meeting and your team needs you to address a certain problem they encountered with the CRM. How will you go about with that? Should you put your meeting on hold or should you place the operation to halt?
Having a CRM consultant provides you with a peace of mind. They do what they do best while you excel and allocate time with yours.

3. Easier to Budget

CRM consultant will be able to suggest and provide you with options for the integration even before you start implementing, a clear strategy and requirement is already identified, and there will be no surprises along the way.

Your team might lack the clear executive strategy for supporting CRM software and tracking its use throughout the company or most commonly you will go over the budget with unanticipated operating expenses, unexpected implementation cost and hidden licensing fees.

4. Expertise

A CRM consultant caters to different nature of the business, numerous requirements from clients and different projects. Having a CRM consultant will not only help you with a successful CRM implementation, but it will also help you look at your business from a different perspective.

Hiring a CRM consultant will not only save you time, effort and money – but most of all they will help you with your business goal. They can help you improve your service and close more deals.

Following the Website Trends for 2018?

, , ,

Just like fashion, technology has its own trend. With the fast pace of technology, people are discovering more ways to innovate.

As the technology evolves, so does what consumer wants and expects, to keep up with our clients’ expectations, we, as small business owners need to constantly update the service that we have for them, the efficiency to our system and of course, ensure that our website is at its best.

Last year it was much about web animations and micro-interactions, conversational interfaces and chatbots, designs sprints and illustrations. We are already mid-year of 2018, what were the predicted website trends earlier this year?

Here is your best chance to make changes to your website if you still haven’t.

It is said that a subtle shift from UX design to digital service design is going to continue. We are going to see much more interest in the field of service design from the digital sector this year.

Here are the predicted trends from experts earlier this year:

1. Web Animation:

Animation plays a huge part in making ideas and interfaces easier to understand, not to mention, it gives the website a boost of life. Animations can convey complex ideas in short amount of time while being engaging and informing at the same time. More Business owners are aiming to give a strong eye-catching personality to their brand as they focus on being less static and more dynamic.

2. Colors

We can notice how the colors have evolved, more and more businesses are increasing their boldness through their color choices across digital platforms.

3. Inventive typography

Websites are to be eye-catching, even the style and appearance of its fonts! Typography is a powerful weapon when done correctly – the bigger, the better. So while neo-grotesque sans-serif styles like Helvetica remain in vogue, designers are branching out, turning to the huge variety of typefaces available.

4. Data Storytelling

2017, we have witnessed a boom in animated visualizations and an increased appetite for data representation from a 3D perspective. 2018, Greater accessibility to new technology will undoubtedly see an increase in the number of designers using animation as a means of storytelling

5. Flat Design 2.0

Flat design has made an impact on brands like Instagram, Stripe, and Apple’s iOS icons, as well as playing a starring role in the high-profile redesigns of companies like Dropbox and Mastercard.

Flat design isn’t dying, but in 2018 it certainly has to learn to adapt to stay relevant.

6. Playful illustrations

This trend isn’t only about being whimsical, though. “Illustrations can be extremely practical ways of presenting or explaining information. Nobody wants a boring website, and custom drawings are a human touch that can breathe life into otherwise dry content.
The marketplace is saturated and competitive, and web design needs to strike a balance between personality and functionality; illustrations are the perfect way to showcase who you are.

7. The evolution of AI
Artificial intelligence is no longer a matter for sci-fi. AI has already worked its way into mainstream web design, through technologies like conversational interfaces (chatbots). Indeed, according to eBay product designer Elaine Lee, you may already be using AI in your day-to-day work without even knowing it.

As people become more accustomed to interacting with bots, we are seeing a rise in the use of conversational interfaces in the design. Looking forward, machine learning and AI will be introduced into many of the systems we interact with over the next couple of years.

8. Asymmetric Layout
The responsive design movement of the 2010s has revolutionized web design and enabled designers to build sites that adapt seamlessly to different devices. This year, we’ve seen an increase in designs that rebelled against the constraints of responsive design with an attempt to be more ‘creative’.

9. Making the most of mobile

2017 was a landmark year for the mobile web, as its usage finally overtook that of desktop browsing. And that means web designers will be more focused than ever on the mobile audience next year and beyond.

Designers need to consider how mega animations and transitions are going to translate into browsers and devices like mobile, where there are no hover states and content need to adapt to reduced screen sizes

10. Kinetic Emails

Using CSS3 and HTML to create interactivity within an email. This trend stems from the fact that users are so comfortable with the UI language of mobile apps and websites, they’re happy to see it in other places, including email

This is starting to change what email means to people because, if we can deliver these sorts of experiences here, we can combine these things with a level of personalization that websites can only dream of. Who says email is dead?

11. E-commerce Boom

Cyber Monday, Black Friday., Flash Friday – What next? It’s the trend that’s only going to get bigger and bigger next year as more and more clients explore the possibilities that a strong e-commerce platform offers.

With the above mentioned predicted trends, how is your website catching up? As we would understand by now, it takes more than just a simple design, you should have an expert to work with to be able to ensure that your website offers the best experience to your customers, after all, you know a website is one of the most powerful tools to obtain your next customer.

What is Microsoft Dynamics CRM

,

Microsoft Dynamics is an End-to-end application that works great on their own and even better together. Microsoft uniquely delivers a comprehensive, end-to-end approach to business applications helping you unify data and relationships, build intelligence into your decision making, and accelerate business transformation.

What is Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics is ideal for full-spectrum customer relationship management. The advantage of Dynamics when compared with other full-service CRM’s is that you don’t have to pay for functions you don’t plan to use. You can buy the apps individually and add more as your business grows

Microsoft Dynamics helps you with:

Dynamics 365 for Sales:

Empower sellers with insights to personalize relationships, predict customer needs, and increase sales

Dynamics 365 for Retail:

Create personalized shopping experiences that unify digital, in-store, and back office operations.

Dynamics 365 Business Central:

Dynamics 365 Business Central is designed for businesses looking for an all-in-one business management solution that’s easy to use and adapt. Connect your finances, sales, service, and operations to streamline business processes, improve customer interactions, and enable growth.

It even has easy, an accessible complete guide for MS Dynamics Developer. It has an online release and constantly updated to ensure MS Dynamics Developers are well informed updated.

Integrating your Xero data with Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers a cost-effective and seamless way to ensure your business is running at its best while giving critical visibility to your sales and customer service teams. MS Dynamics Xero integration allows you to effectively increase your productivity, lessen admin tasks.

Why more people choose Microsoft Dynamics?

  • Operational efficiency through guided workflows & process automation.
  • CRM that connects all your teams & business processes.
  • Integration with external business applications & data sources.
  • Unrivaled Outlook & Office 365 integration + free mobile CRM apps.

 

Visit our page for consultation http://www.itsolutionssolved.com.au/microsoft-dynamics-crm-consulting/ 

Reach New Heights With The World’s Best CRM for Small Business – Salesforce

,

Generate leads, drive sales, increase customer satisfaction and innovate as you grow.

Salesforce prides itself not only on award-winning technology but also on the talent of its people.  The company is thriving under the guidance and leadership of some of the brightest minds and most experienced executives in the business. Sell, service, market, and build apps on a single platform. Easily log, manage, and analyze all customer activity in one place with our suite of web-based CRM software. Constantly monitor everything from sales leads to support tickets, and from channel marketing to website analytics.

Salesforce is known to win deals and drive growth for small businesses. Salesforce Automates sales processes and eliminates admin tasks so your team can focus on selling. It is designed to easily track contacts, key deals, sales performance and customer interactions. With Salesforce, it is not impossible to stay up to date with real-time insights from dashboards and reports.

Reach new heights with the world's best CRM for small business - Salesforce

Blaze your trail with the world’s most powerful apps on the Intelligent Customer Success Platform. A Salesforce developer gets the chance to create and scale trusted apps that customers want to use every day. Build powerful applications fast with Lightning Components, smarter with Einstein, and together with Salesforce DX.

Our specialist can help you integrate Salesforce CRM with Xero Cloud accounting, creating a powerful and agile system that changes the efficiency of your business. Sales teams work faster, invoices are paid quicker, finance departments increase efficiency, and management has vital information at their fingertips.

What is Apex?

Apex is a strongly typed, object-oriented programming language that allows developers to execute flow and transaction control statements on Salesforce servers in conjunction with calls to the API. Using syntax that looks like Java and acts like database stored procedures, Apex enables developers to add business logic to most system events, including button clicks, related record updates, and Visualforce pages. Apex code can be initiated by Web service requests and from triggers on objects.

Salesforce has changed the way organizations do business by moving enterprise applications that were traditionally client-server-based into the Lightning Platform, an on-demand, multitenant Web environment. This environment enables you to run and customize applications, such as Salesforce Automation and Service & Support, and build new custom applications based on particular business needs.

Visit: SALESFORCE CRM CONSULTING MELBOURNE

 

Why Small Business Owners Need CRM

,

Why CRM?

Do you find yourself constantly struggling with keeping your data organized? Missed meetings? Erroneous data? Do you have trouble keeping up with leads and maintain customer records? These are the common problems a small business owner faces.

CRM, no matter how small your business is, is a great tool that will efficiently change how your business works day to day. As you aim to grow bigger, CRM easily adjusts and adapts as well. CRM software for small businesses can do the work for you to help maintain and grow your business.

Let us first simplify, what is CRM software?

Small business owners use customer relationship management or CRM software for a lot of function in their daily business operation. These include:

• Managing customer interactions at different stages of the relationship
• Managing customer data
• Managing customer support
• Tracking clients, employees and other contacts
• Tracking sales leads or client wins
• Automating sales
• Project management
• Tracking marketing campaigns
• Managing vendors or partners

Above are only amongst to name a few functions of CRM.

Why Use CRM Software?

This is the question and hesitation we often get from clients. We often hear them say, ‘our business is too small’ ‘we can handle our small list of clients’, that may be true if you only have a handful of customers, but are you not eyeing to grow your business? Are you not seeing your business grow and increase them from 10 to 100s?

Handling maybe 10 customers may be a breeze for you, but, admit it or not, it takes time on your end to manually input, update, collaborate changes with the whole team, designate status to the team and all sort. No matter how you see it, it eats up your time, and as a small business owner, you are to focus on what you do best, sell and market your products to potential customers, but how can you when almost half of your day is spent in Admin task?

CRM software for small business provides analytics and insights into your customers. You can rely on these insights to keep existing customers happy and satisfied while you get to drive new business leads and increase business revenue. These insights are not readily available when you are using your manual tracking.

Each CRM has its own powerful functions; it will depend on what your business needs are. It is important to have an expert help you identify what is the best CRM for your business needs. You may know what you want for your business, but CRM experts could help you identify and foresee business needs that you are not able to.

Here at IT Solutions Solved, we have the most experienced CRM experts that can assist you with your CRM needs. Whether you want a CRM, choose a new CRM, Implement a CRM or simple CRM support – we are able to help you.

You can simply send us an email or contact us anytime to discuss your business needs.