Month: July 2013

Stop Typing and Start Speaking to your CRM

Does it sound interesting? Yes, it is  fact that Oracle is working on a new app “Oracle Voice” that works with Oracle Sales Cloud facilitating data entry / update in CRM by Sales team over voice than typing it out …

 

As you see over there some of the most common tasks like contact creation, task creation, opportunity update, meeting notes etc can all be entered by speaking over to your phone than typing it.  The added advantage over here as you see in the right side of the image is an interactive step by step Wizard where the system speaks to you to gather info in a logical manner to update it in CRM ….

The application is expected to be available soon, stay tuned …

Venkatesan Sundaram
Senior Director, CRMIT

Originally Published on Venky’s Blog

Client On-boarding and Customer Experience

Anyone who has gone through the process of setting up a B2B (Business to Business) Account with a Bank would swear by the poor experience they are met with due to highly inefficient and ineffective client On-boarding process that they are subjected to. Banks these days have to realize this to ensure they make the first best impressions to their clients to avoid losing them to competitors.

Enabling Customer ExperienceThough part of the problem is compounded by ever growing regulatory compliance requirements like Anti Money Laundering, Terrorist Funding, Foreign Tax Account Compliance Act etc that the Banks have to adhere to, they just cover only one side of Poor Client On-Boarding experience.

The primary reason for poor on-boarding experience is attributed to few other reasons too.

  • Lack of Customer Centric Systems – Most the banks traditionally inherit systems that are Typically Product Centric than customer / relationship centric
  • Viewing the process of Client on-boarding as a back office operation than as an engaging front office with collaborative back-office framework to seamlessly work with numerous back office groups who play a facilitator role in the on-boarding process
  • Lack of metric / Key Performance Indicator (KPI) driven approach in place to plan, measure, correct and reward performing groups / Individuals who make significant difference to the client on-boarding experience

Though putting in place a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is not a magic wand that wipe-out all the issues listed above in one go without fundamental change in the way Organizations operate, an effectively designed / implemented CRM that mitigates the above challenges can be a sure differentiator for Banks to improve not only the customer experience but also the Net Customer Life Cycle Value.

Here I have articulated few suggestions and tips on how a CRM system can help Organizations to effectively improve the client on-boarding process.

On lack of customer centric system…

It is never going to be an easy task to just like that replace your product centric legacy back-end systems in one go into a customer centric system. The next viable best alternative available over here is to put an overarching CRM system that wraps your entire product centric core banking systems and make the CRM as a Centralized front office Application for your Relationship managers, Product Specialists and other Sales / marketing teams. The key design attributes of this CRM to facilitate On-Boarding should be below.

  • For new customers to be on-boarded, enrich the basic prospect data that you have collected in CRM with rich info that is available by integrating with Trusted Data Service Providers like D&B, Hovers etc. These systems provide very rich info about your clients like Client Organization Structure, Business diversity, Geographic Diversity, Key Client Contacts & their profile, financial data etc. This ensures a lot of info is already built in your system to do your KYC (Know Your Customer) as well as Risk Rating / Assessment in an effective manner by asking minimal info from your customers.
  • For existing customers, ensure your customer profile details (demographic, relationship, financials etc) spread across multiple internal products centric systems are cleaned and de-duplicated in the new CRM system. This would make it easier to facilitate on-boarding of existing customers to some your new products & services lot easier eliminating duplicity in asking info from customers that you have already with you.

On collaboration…

It is a common phenomenon observed in many Banking Organizations that Customer On-Boarding is considered either as a complete Back End (risk, legal, finance etc) responsibility or in few cases as sold Front end responsibility forgetting the underlying need of effective collaboration of front-end and back-end teams to make it easier for the customers.

The CRM one deploys should have all ways and means to make this collaboration between back-end, front-end teams and customers possible without any compromise on data security.  The collaboration could be facilitated by in-built email management solutions in CRM, a self-service portal that is integrated with CRM where customers can log-in and have visibility on his on-boarding process as well as share / submit additional info & documents needed, an internal discussion thread / business social features that can make interaction between back-end and front-end teams lot seamless and easier etc. In reality today many of these happen in an adhoc & in-efficient manual manner making it a time consuming as well as frustrating experience for the end customers.

On KPI Measurements…

None of the above systems and processes would work unless people on the ground are mandated to adhere to stringent KPI (Key Performance Indicator)/ SLA (Service Level Agreement). Assuming there is a commitment at the top to make it possible in having them in place, the CRM should provide support to have in place interactive dashboards and reports to report on these KPIs to identify the bottlenecks in the process and streamline it. The reports / metrics can be as simple as one that provides info on on-boarding throughput, performance of adherence to SLAs by various departments managing the on-boarding process, overall lead time, ageing analysis to identify critical bottlenecks etc. The KPIs should serve as a key input to your performance management team to see continuous improvement over a period of time.

So in net, going back to my original point, would like to share that Customer On-Boarding is an important process in establishing a new relationship with your client and making it effective / efficient with a well designed CRM system can make a big difference to Banks as well to Customer Experience.

Venkatesan Sundaram
Senior Director, CRMIT

Originally Published on Venky’s Blog

Fusion CRM (Oracle Sales Cloud) and User Experience (UX)

No wonder CRM selection committees consider User Experience (UX) as the most important parameter in selecting right CRM solution as it is proved repeatedly that a good user experience (UX) is the driving factor behind User Acceptance. User Acceptance is a key driver that differentiates a successful versus doomed CRM implementation.

Oracle Fusion CRM is built from scratch with User Experience (UX) as the core central theme. For beginners on UX it is important to note that the UX extends beyond the look & feel and application performance. It touches multiple aspects of an application and few of the important ones are below

  • Supporting the natural user workflows in the system
  • Built in tools that help the users to perform their day to activities
  • Embedded reports / dashboards that provide insights on customers / territories / markets and
  • Access to right information at right time to CRM users

Here in this blog I would present some of the interesting UX features in Oracle Fusion CRM.

The key UX challenge in designing the application for a “Sales Manager” is to organize all relevant information that is required for “Sales Manager” in one central location. Fusion CRM “Territory Management” module is one single location where a Sales Manager can effectively perform all his day to day operations.

Sales territory management – In one centralized place, a sales manager can define the set of products / customers / geography that every sales person reporting to him is mandated to sell along with his Sales Quota. As this is a crucial activity for a sales manager to perform, the system provides certain interesting tools to make the sales manager’s life easier.

To start with rather than hard-coding the sales territories, system provides a dynamic way to assign territories by one of the eight standard dimensions that are predefined in the product (Geography, Product, Organization Type, Business Size, Sales Channel, Account and Account Type). The territory can be a combination of one or more dimensions

If you are sales manager managing dozen of sales team members, the system provides flexibility to quickly check whether there are any Overlaps / Gaps on click of a button. Overlap basically helps to find out whether the same territory is added to someone else and Gaps would let you know the territories for which you still haven’t assigned the owner.

territory2

You can also select a territory and on click of a button understand the Potential Accounts / Revenue lines that are assigned to the territory on basis of territory dimension. This gives a quick short-cut to check how well balanced the territory assignments are and if required re-balance it in an iterative manner

From a day to day operation stand-point the system provides flexibility to define multiple metrics on territories like Number of Accounts, Closed Revenue, Market Potential, and Forecasted Revenue etc by “Time Period” dimension. On click of button “Show Analytics” you would get a detailed view of these metric figures along with interactive reports for each of the territory on the metrics that you have defined. The reports are good to cover various time periods as well as compare and contrast performance of one territory against another and multiple child territories under one parent.

territory1

Now coming back to the role of Sales representative, the customer center is a single place to get the complete 360 degree view of the customer right from basic customer profile information to contacts, organization chart, interactions, tasks appointments, leads, opportunities, revenue lines etc. In addition to the above it provides an interactive assessment tool to assess the quality of leads using a well structured predefined questionnaire.

customer_center

On Collaboration front, the system has an embedded “Discussion Thread” to collaborate on the account with Account Team members and Oracle Social Network for Social Styled Conversation on an opportunity or account.

osn

Similarly with sales representative’s limited bandwidth, the optimal outcome would come out only by working on most promising opportunities. Fusion CRM Predictive Analysis Engine helps the sales representative to get answers for some fundamental questions like product that he should consider offering for a prospect / customer, kinds of customers buying certain type of products, potential revenue impact of the deal and the sales cycle time to close the deal etc. It does all the above by comparing Sales transaction history against the customer / account history.

predictor

On Mobility / Multi-channel access front Fusion CRM provides multiple ways to access your CRM information including critical reports / dashboards via Tablets, Mobile Phones as well as in your Outlook. The applications are designed in such a way that common tasks handled by people on the field can be captured using these devices when they don’t have an online access to Fusion CRM over the web. The information that you capture in your local device can be synchronized back to the server whenever you get the internet connectivity

tap iphone outlook

In addition to the above the release 7 of fusion CRM provides a Sleek Clutter Free interface as an optional interface via web to the users to perform the most common sales tasks without getting hindered with too many details. It is a so sleek that it can provide a consistent interface across multiple devices you can potentially use to access the application.

fuse_ui

For Tele-Marketing / Call Center users the application provides a Robust Telephony Interface framework that you can use to plug your back-end telephony systems to Fusion CRM. Once you are done with it, the system provides Click-To-Dial (Dial on click of a phone field) as well as Incoming Call Pop-Up on basis of caller information wherever application.

In net if you look into the aspect of User Experience in a holistic manner beyond look & feel and application performance, I would say Fusion CRM is an application that is really designed for UX….

Venkatesan Sundaram
Senior Director, CRMIT

Originally Published on Venky’s Blog