Month: February 2012

Subtle Marketing

Today I was reading an eBook. It is released by a marketing company, specializing in Social Media. They have different monitoring tools to listen to what people are talking about you in various Social Channels, and act accordingly.

However, this eBook had nothing to do with Monitoring. Instead the book talks about how Pinterest, the newest ‘Social’ darling can be utilized by businesses. They were showing samples on how various companies are enjoying added traffic / eye balls because they decided to join Pinterest, or provide a way for their readers to ‘Pin’ their articles.

To prove that Pinterest is really useful, this eBook had lots and lots of screenshots. Very useful for someone new to this. I liked it.

But the best part is, all those screenshots had a text description like this : “This is a screenshot from our <<<>>>> monitoring tool”.

What a nice, simple, subtle, yet powerful way of marketing your product! The reader wants to know if Pinterest is really going to help them, the book provides proof that it is the case, at the same time also conveys an indirect message ‘If you want to confirm Pinterest is really working for you, go for our Monitoring tool. It works, here is the proof!’

Naga Chokkanathan

Director, Presales & Innovation, CRMIT

Misusing CRM : How to understand / avoid this

How many times have you seen a person trying to use a hammer while fixing a car’s engine, despite knowing the fact that he will not succeed? Or may be somebody trying to drive a nail from the rubberized side of a screwdriver, which is equally useless. We all know that every tool has a purpose, but still there are some always looking for an opportunity to use a tool for a reason other than what it is designed for. Same is the case with CRM.

Some businesses often make the mistake of taking Customer Relationship Management as software where all the data can be populated and problems will be solved magically. However, the truth is, CRM works like a discipline, where CRM software can be used to upgrade the discipline and automate its data management features. It is a tool and only using it right can facilitate you in finding success. Its applications do not create a problem, but the pesky users who work with it make it happen. Let’s have a look at common misuses of CRM.

CRM Systems & Sales Managers

With one of the toughest job profiles in an organization, sales managers are always fully loaded with the responsibility of motivating and communicating with group of people regarding byzantine information, be it lead changes, new collateral, sales contests and so on. Therefore, sales managers get an automated insight into sales pipeline through Customer Relationship Management software via how quickly sales staff enters the data into CRM. Though blunt words from managers, at times, can prove helpful for salespeople, but overdoing it may cause a drop in usage of CRM system. And due to the unpleasant behavior of the manager, sales staff will quickly catch on to the source of his anger and will gradually stop using CRM system, thinking that why load the system with data that will ultimately drive manager to turn around and use the data against them. So, if sales managers do not want to get into a situation where they will have only a partial idea of how the pipeline looks like, they should be careful while using info from CRM system.

CRM : A Silo Or Tool for Breaking Silos?

CRM is very good at collecting data, be it comprehensive reports or customer records, but these are just a way to increase the office paper costs, particularly if not put to some use. This is a common problem, because many organizations make sure that data is flowing into the system and is keeping sales organized, but actually fail to connect with the rest of the organization. The data that was equally helpful for support, marketing and R&D team may not be able to make it to other constituents, just because there is no pathway. Now, this is an organizational issue that should be tackled at the outset of CRM strategy development. So, it is always advisable to use CRM system in a way that it breaks down silos, rather of becoming a silo itself.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT

Be careful when you buy content for your website

I saw this interesting picture today in web. It shows how two insurance companies which are competitors to each other are using the same picture in their website. It is a small mistake, but looks ugly from an end user point of view and affects your online image.

(Image Courtesy: http://twitpic.com/8kzj03/full)

This is an important tip to remember, when you are choosing content for your website:

  • If you are buying photographs from a person or an agency, make sure they are not selling it to somebody else, especially your competitor
  • This may mean you are paying something extra for exclusive rights to use that picture, go ahead and pay it, this is a small price for your online image

Oracle Fusion CRM : New Features

Already being delivered as a comprehensive suite of modular applications, Oracle Fusion apps are enriched with the potential of coexisting with existing Oracle apps. This pioneered advancement not only matches the current business needs and improves efficacy of the existing system, but also ensures a new level of performance. Here are some new features of Fusion CRM that are worth sharing…

Customizable Dashboards: Are you facing problems in finding specific insight to data that you need? If yes Fusion CRM has a solution for you. It allows you to simply customize your sales dashboards with smarter reports. Know more about this feature by just following this You tube video link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCotrQ8H6gM&feature=related

Contact Data Quality: Can you keep bad data from bugging down your CRM system? With fusion CRM it is possible. From automatically validating the record to checking records for duplicate data, Fusion CRM does it all. To find how Fusion CRM built in data management dashboard helps with ongoing data cleansing and taking immediate corrective action , click here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp0NEpJZT4Y&feature=related

Native Outlook Client: Is your sales team double entering customer interactions or not entering them at all? Fusion CRM has a true outlook plug-in that avoids manually entering information from outlook to CRM. All you need to do is create your mail in outlook and share it with fusion CRM automatically. Know more about how to make better communication and coordination with the team, by just clicking here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkyN6Pcyntg&feature=related

Native Mobile App: Do you need to work with your customer data away from your laptop. Fusion CRM lets you sell smarter wherever you are. You can simply use fusion mobile to access contacts, accounts and opportunities. To know how, view this You Tube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKy4xn62wyk&feature=related

Customizations Made Simple: Do you need IT help for customizations? With Fusion CRM you can tailor the system without waiting for IT. Follow this link and know how this new feature can assist you all the way.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE4Ys-qMJZU&feature=related

Territory Management: Assigning territory offline always creates gaps and overlaps, thus preventing you from maximizing your revenue. But with Fusion CRM you can model your territories right within the system. Know more about deploying your territories with confidence by clicking this video link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXCg21ttosw&feature=related

Sales Coach: How do you make every sales performer a top performer? Well, Fusion CRM coaches every representative with your best practices. Click here to know how reps can continue getting best practice sales that can coach all the way through to close
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBdB8ME5e2E&feature=related

Opportunity Landscape: Are you spending too much on prospecting? Fusion CRM allows you to keep a check on lead quality and aging. So, to learn how this new feature facilitates with less prospecting and more selling, just follow the link here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ4RiIEejR0&feature=related

Integrated Sales Contracts: Is completing your contract harder than selling? Fusion CRM allows your sales people to create contract faster. It makes it simple to preview contracts and generate printable version for the customers. Follow the link to know how you can also be freed from delays, thus leaving you more time to sell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwXtZHCYNtY&feature=related

Chitti babu & Charu Mehta,

CRM Consultants, CRMIT

New Customer For CRM++ Email Workbench

Great News! We just got the confirmation that CRMIT has won the opportunity to manage Email Service channels for a large global company, specializing in Visual Technologies. We will be deploying our CRM++ Email Workbench solution to this customer, and customizing it to their needs.

CRM++ Email Workbench (“EWB” in short) is one of the most successful products in our CRM++ suite. You can use the below link to know more about this product, watch a video and request for a demonstration / free trial :

http://crmplusplus.com/ewb.html

Support Without Scripts

Currently reading a book called “Delivering Happiness”. This is written by Tony Hsieh and it tells the story of Zappos.com, famous online shoe store which was acquired by Amazon sometime back.

Even though this book is supposed to be a business history, it gives so many examples of how an exceptional customer service should be. I recommend this book for anyone interested in knowing how to wow their customers. Eventhough it may sound like lot of work / unnecessary cost in the short term, it will help you in the long run. That’s what CRM is all about!

For example, take Zappos customer support. Typically call center people are given ‘scripts’ for various situations and trained on how to use them. Whenever a call is recieved, they select one of these scripts and strictly go by the books. This is the most effective way of handling repeated customer queries. It is fast, and hence cheap.

But what about Customer Satisfaction?

Ha, who cares?

Fortunately, Zappos cares. They doesn’t believe in call scripts. Their call center agents are trained to help customers, no matter what the issue is, and they don’t use any templatized answers. They don’t hesitate to go out of their way and assist in solving the customer’s (or prospect’s) current issue. Even if it means they don’t get any sales out of that particular call, they are not worried. Because they look at the experience that the person gets by contacting Zappos, not just the profit made in that call. Tony Hsieh explains this with a cute (and real) story:

Once, a lady from california called Zappos in very late hours, and this is what she told their call center agent: ‘I am staying in a Santa Monica hotel and very hungry. I want to eat a pepperoni pizza now, but my hotel’s room service is closed. I want to know if there is anything you could do to help me.’

Obviously, this is a strange request. Zappos is a shoe selling online retailer, not a pizza joint.

But fortunately, that call center agent didn’t get irritated or disconnect the call. She took couple of minutes to research on places around Santa Monica who deliver pizzas 24*7, and gave that lady not one, but five addresses.

Tony Hsieh concludes this story with a superb lesson: This is the benefit of having no call scripts, Just provide exceptional support, no matter what the client issue is, and they will be your customers for life.

Naga Chokkanathan,

Director, Innovation & Presales, CRMIT

Originally Published In : http://nagachokkanathan.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/why-not-support-without-scripts/

Using CRM Desktop With Oracle CRM On Demand #CRMOD R19

CRM Desktop is an offline tool provided by Oracle, for accessing its CRM On Demand R19 data from Microsoft Outlook, We have been using it for quite some time and prepared a short guide on how to install / configure / use CRM Desktop for Oracle CRM On Demand, so that you can start accessing CRM On Demand data from your familiar Microsoft Outlook interface.

To view the slides : http://www.slideshare.net/nchokkan/using-crm-desktop-with-oracle-crm-on-demand

Innovative Newsletter

Recently I got an Email Newsletter which had this subject line : “What To Do With Your Riches From The Facebook IPO?”

Obviously, I am not going to get any riches from the Facebook IPO, so I got curious who is writing to me with such a SPAMish, yet cheeky subject line. I started reading this mail immediately (Very rare, for a mass distributed mail!).

The mail was as interesting as the subject line. It went like this : (Edited slightly, to skip some unnecessary details)

Hello,

As you may know, there are over a few thousand new millionaires in the Bay Area this afternoon. You may want a few ways to spend that cool million that may have just landed in your lap.

Here’s my advice on things you can do with your newfound nest-egg:

1. Open a Jazzercise studio

2. Take a few hundred friends on the Kiss Kruise

4. Get a butler for the next 15 years

5. Buy a medium-sized island

9. Purchase 4 Manhattan parking spots

10. Call my financial advisor to turn it into a cool 1.1 million.

Regards,
Adam

P.S. Just in case you didn’t make a windfall in this IPO, feel free to grab yourself a no-cost 30-day trial silver membership in our Community so you don’t miss the next big thing in social CRM.

Brilliant mail. Puts things in the right perspective, in a humor filled style and sticks immediately:

  • The mail talks about something real, recent and big. You would have read about Facebook IPO somewhere or heard about it in the news. So you would immediately connect with this mail
  • Those ideas are super fun (and real, I assume)
  • Unlike other SPAM mails, this mail may be ‘real’ for few people, if they were associated with Facebook in its early days and got some shares
  • So, what if you are not one of those lucky fellows? No problem, join our Social CRM community and you will make millions in the next big IPO, because we are going to teach you how to spot such good eggs early
  • If the same message is presented without all this additional drama, it would have become a routine text and ignored, most likely

Once again, let me use the ‘Brilliant’ word here. This is as personal and effective a mass circulated newsletter can get. Love it!

Naga Chokkanathan

Director, Presales & Innovation, CRMIT

PS: The mail was from Author of “The Social Customer”, Adam Metz on behalf of his company Metz Consulting. Well done team!

Oracle Fusion CRM : All that you need to know!

While other CRMs are just focusing on finding a way to facilitate sales reps to sell smartly, Oracle Fusion CRM helps sales professionals to outmaneuver their competition by planning, viewing, working together and closing smarter. This recently unveiled cloud service is a comprehensive sales suite solution that is sure to drive better sales performance management.

A Sneak Peak

Oracle Fusion CRM is not just a part of the most complete set of enterprise grade services available these days, but is also the smartest CRM solution available in cloud. Whether you require strengthening the power of your enterprise or you need vendor accountability, Oracle Fusion CRM is the best solution that offers high quality CRM capabilities and drives smarter selling.

How it works?

This brand new cloud service facilitates in incorporating sales territory management with quota management to assist businesses optimize resource allocation. In addition to this, it also combines customer and product master data with all CRM processes and helps sales representatives to spotlight their efforts on solutions.

It not just perks up lead generation processes by organizing customer dialogs with multi-stage campaigns and consistent lead qualification processes, but also enables businesses to bring a secured customer center for all CRM business processes which are supported by a common 360˚ view of customer info. The best part is that it supports various choices of deployment models by offering flexibility between on-premise deployments and public & private cloud.

Benefits

  • This extensible, flexible and modular advancement for rapid adoption provides role based user experience, thus endowing sales representatives, executives and managers with information when they need
  • Its 100% standard based infrastructure trims down the cost of implementation, staffing and perpetuation
  • It’s availability on demand offers true value for money.

CRMIT is taking initiatives to deliver Oracle Fusion CRM as a complete suite of modular applications that will work together with existing applications portfolio to evolve business to a new level of performance. So, if you also want to make the most of business intelligence that can bring unparalleled insight into sales planning and performance management, then Oracle Fusion CRM is the one stop solution for you.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT

Listening To Customers : Very Valuable!

Here is a wonderful CRM story I read today, about listening to your customers!

J Sainsbury Plc, a London based prominent retailer has recently decided to chang the name of their “Tiger” bread to “Giraffe” bread. Reason? Feedback from a customer!

So, what’s new? Everyone listens to customer feedback, once in a while they change the product name, Nothing great!

True. But this news item is unique because, the feedback actually came from a 3 year old baby, and the big fat organization listened to this very young customer and decided to make the required changes.

Lily Robinson, the now-famous baby who gave that feedback, saw the tiger bread and stated that it has more resemblance to Giraffe Bread.

Chris King, working in J Sainsbury’s customer service team picked up Lily’s letter and replied “renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea, it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it?” and he thanked little Lily Robinson for helping them see the spots for what they are.

Reading this story, one thing that really stroke my mind was how listening to customers can prove helpful. We all are familiar with the fact that listening is one of the most important skills, when dealing with customers, but do we really know how to listen?

Well, the reality is that we just pretend to listen and usually, try to overcome the situations by stating “thinking about your response” or may be “wondering how this will impact your work”.

To really listen to our customers, we need to put ego aside and open ourselves to the customers. Although this is difficult, it is an effective way to drive a positive impact on customers. This helps to enhance the customer experience and improve the product and service base.

When a customer complains, that means he / she wants the products of our company to serve him / her better. This is an effectual way to share the important happenings in our industry that customer is actually seeing from the opposite side of the street. So, just love when customers complain.

To learn more about how an open minded approach to negative feedback boasts earnings and morale, read this interesting article from ‘inc’ magazine :
http://www.inc.com/vanessa-merit-nornberg/why-i-love-when-customers-complain.html

Charu Mehta,

CRM Consultant, CRMIT