Why Your Small Business Needs Maxi CRM

Why Your Small Business Needs Maxi CRM

A Maxi CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is presumably one of the most valuable systems that any small business can implement. It is as important as the employees and will have a more significant effect long term than any one employee.

Recent studies demonstrate that organizations with a completely used CRM system can expand their sales by 29%. In any case, any system is just as valuable as the data that goes into it. How would you get everybody in the organization to use it and provide real time information?

1. Maxi CRM is simple! The biggest mistake most small businesses make is they try to implement a CRM system that is too complicated for their employees to use. They track too many unnecessary information. Good CRM system only needs: Prospect clients/leads information, when and what was talked about last, follow up date/reminder and action, who it is assigned to, and what is the real value of the opportunity.

2. Make sure it your CRM system integrates with other company systems. Is it complementary to what is already being used? Can data be easily imported and exported from the CRM? If a CRM is an island, it will be less impactful. Maxi CRM support easy data import + integration with other systems or website (API).

3. Train your employees and show them the benefits. Maxi CRM is easy to use so they can get their jobs done. Show them how to use it from their smart phones or tablets. Identify people that are “super users” and can be advocates for the CRM system. Give rewards for employees that use it most effectively.

4. If the activity isn’t in the CRM system, it never happened.Every company needs to treat their CRM as the only repository for history. No one gets credit for anything if it is not written about here. Every executive in the company needs to use it too (or no one will)!

5. Reports. Maxi CRM can get real time reports from the data. Answer questions like: What did Sales Rep A do last week? What are the top sales opportunities? Are we going to hit our sales target this quarter?


Looking for CRM system? Here are three things to focus on when selecting one for your business:

1. How much are you willing to pay?

2. Why does your business need a CRM system?

3. What features does your business require in a CRM system?

Maxi CRM can make your life as a business owner much easier, while also helping your sales team get the job done in a more efficient and streamlined way. Nearly all small businesses can benefit from CRM system.


Looking for CRM system for your small business or you’re looking for information to help you choose the one that’s right for you, use the questionnaire below and we’ll provide you with information for free.

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80/20 Rule in Maxi CRM

CRM 80/20 Rule & What is 80/20 Rule

80/20 rule is often called as Pareto Principle and it is one of the easiest and best tools for powerful management. It is easy to learn and understand and it’s simple to optimize any situation with this rule. Pareto Principle is used in every part of life like business, work, personal life, organizational development and similar.

The name comes from Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto vas an Italian economist who discovered the 80/20 effect. He discovered that effect while working on research about dividing the national wealth. Pareto realized that about 20% of families in Italy has about 80% of wealth. That brings us to the conclusion that 80% of tasks can be solved with using only 20% of funds.

Pareto Principle is also known under lots of different names like: Pareto’s Law, Pareto Theory, The 80/20 Rule, The 80/20 Principle, Pareto’s 80/20 Rule, The Principle of Imbalance, The Principle of Least Effort, The Rule of Vital Few and lots of other different names.

80/20 Rule in Busness?

Pareto’s 80/20 Rule is often used in business and organizational management. Why? Well, it’s really helpful with bringing easy clarity to lots of complex problems. It is extremely effective when organization needs to decide where to put resources and efforts.

Another part where Pareto’s Law is very effective is when it’s applied to situations related to selling and marketing. It’s effective with those situations because Pareto’s Law allows organizations to find what activates will be the best and where should they focus the energy to get fast results. Every organization should always try to use Pareto’s Law with marketing and sales because it’s extremely helpful. Lots of companies make mistake and completely overlook that theory.

Some of the best examples for Pareto’s Principle are:
“80% of output was made by 20% of input”.
“80% of total contribution comes from 20% of potential contribution that is available”.
“80% of the results was made by 20% of workers”.
“80% of revenue is created by 20% of customers”.

All that are examples of where Pareto’s Principle can be applied. It is very useful in personal life too because it’s possible to identify the 20% of energy use that offers up to 80% of potential savings. And you can, for example, organize the wardrobe by putting 20% of clothes you wear 80% of time on the top. The important thing to understand is that Pareto’s Principle doesn’t have to be applied with 80/20 ratio. The two numbers don’t even have to add up to 100. They can be whatever you want. And why is the 80/20 often used? Because it was discovered first and published and since then it was widely used with Pareto’s Principle. It was also the other name for it since the start so people automatically think that they have to use 80/20 ratio. Well, it is some kind of a standard but everyone can use what they want.

CRM 80/20 Rule & What is 80/20 Rule

Examples of Applying the 80/20 rule in Maxi CRM

  1. Selling

People and organizations that work with selling stuff often approach customers with some offers. Those offers can be different and every offer can have different impact on each customer. With the help of Pareto’s Principle those offers can be optimized to the best results. For example: 80% of customers come from 20% of offerings (it can also be 70/20, 90/15, 75/25 or some different ratio). With that sellers can see which offerings give the best results.

  1. Large customers

Another thing where Pareto’s Principle can be extremely useful is with some sellers that have large customers that are often big part of total sales. For example: 80% of total sales come from 20% of customers (or some even bigger ratio).  You can see the risk of organization if the ratio is bigger. If the 90% of total sales come from 5% of customers what if you lose those customers? That would be bad. It’s important to identify those customers and take special care of them.

  1. General situations

Pareto’s Principle can be used in any situation where there’s too much of something. And with good approach to the rule it’s easy to see what parts are unnecessary. So, when confronted with situation like that always to the following things.

Identify which 20% is important.
Retain that 20% and nothing else.
Test the effectiveness after reducing.

If everything works well you’re all done. And remember, 20% is just a guideline, everyone can use different numbers.

Sounds interesting, right? And you can see where the Pareto’s Principle can be applied with CRM systems. It will help with dealing with customers, identifying the most important ones and keep them happy. Good luck!

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4 Big CRM Mistakes | Maxi CRM

4 Big CRM Mistakes

In 2001 a research from Gartner revealed that 50% of all customer relationship management (CRM) systems were failures and that number probably remained almost the same since then. Some of the most skillful experts in the world know why, but do you? Why some organizations get more benefits from CRM software and some get less? And why are some of the best executives in some of the largest organizations in the world still worried when they have to make another CRM decision?

It’s probably because it’s easy to make a big mistakes. It doesn’t matter how smart and intelligent you are, if you don’t think right or have some experience in CRM technology and sales management you could end up with making some big mistake that will lower the effect of a good CRM system. How to avoid that mistakes? First of all, it’s important to know what those mistakes are. There are 4 big CRM mistakes you can make.

You are not managing customer relationships

Most of people use the term customer relationship management (CRM) as the actual way to manage the relationship with customers. That’s not true. The thing you want to do with a good CRM system is to automate some of the most important tasks in sales management. For example, you use it to automate and manage winning opportunities, generate different forecasts, align territories and lots of other things. Of course there are customers on the end side of that, who else would be there but they shouldn’t be the main and only thing. So, instead of using CRM for all those tasks I mentioned above you could use sales force automation (SFA). SFA software does exactly what I said. Some people won’t get used to that term easy but it’ll surely make the business easier.

ROI

What is ROI? ROI is a term for return of investment and it is one of the most important things in business. But is it really that important with CRM system? Low ROI is often one of the main reasons why some CRM implementation has been called a failure. ROI really shouldn’t be a measure for success of CRM in sales management. Why? Well, CRM shouldn’t be considered as an investment. It’s actually something that is necessary for some company to function right, just like computers, desk, office and similar. CRM is an expense, and not investment and that’s why ROI shouldn’t be used as a way to measure the impact of CRM on business.

User adoption

One of the main concerns for organizations is the user adoption of CRM software they use. If the user adoption is good then the implementation of CRM software is successful. Well, it’s not! User adoption is actually one of the outcomes of a good CRM system so it can’t be a measure of one. What do I mean? Well, if you show a salesperson you CRM system the final goal should be to make them want to use that same CRM. The goal for lots of organizations is to make that salesperson use that CRM and that’s why their work is often a failure.

Technology

Surely one of the biggest mistakes that people make when dealing with CRM is thinking that better and newer technology will solve lots of problems easier. Is that true? Well, the new and better technology that is constantly developing around CRM systems can surely make the business better but if it’s used on the wrong way the outcome will be the same. It’s always better to invest on education on CRM systems than on new CRM technology. What’s the point of newest technology if people don’t know how to use it? What’s the point of owning a car if you don’t know how to drive it? So, start focusing on knowledge of sales force and make them realize what they can do with a good CRM system and how to use it on the right way. It’ll pay off more than buying a completely new technology.

So, what do you think now? Ever done the same mistakes I mentioned above? Do you also think that newer technology can help with solving problems easier? I hope you learned something new and that this article will help you with future business.

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Leads Management | Maxi CRM

Benefits of Maxi CRM for Small Business

In the start of some business, it is easy to collect all the details and information about leads, customers or partners. But what will happen when the business evolves? It will be impossible to keep track of every information easily. In the early stages of some company the leader can easily keep track of the needs, but once there are more customers and needs the memory of one person is simply not enough. And that creates the need for some better approach to management of the relationship with customers.

Maxi CRM benefits

So, what exactly are the benefits of Maxi CRM for small business? There are lots of them but it is possible to divide the most important ones into five different categories: profitability, compliance, reporting, relationships and customer service.

Profitability: For companies who want to know what are the best decision, they want to make it is very important to have direct access to integrated and complex data. With good CRM system, it is easy to expand segments that bring better profitability and remove ones that give negative influence.

Compliance: If a company has a compliance with applicable laws and regulations it can only bring negative influence to the company. It is important to ignore regulatory compliance and combine it with CRM software. CRM software can help you with dealing with federal and state requirements and your team can focus only on growth of the company.

Reporting: With the help of CRM software it is extremely easy to organize and deliver data through real-time reports. That ability to read correct reports and make decisions based on them gives great benefit to small business because it helps them to make great decisions in critical situations.

Relationship: Once that CRM system is fully and correctly implemented sales can increase up to 29%. Why? Because it maximizes sales prospect thanks to the automated emailing and targeted communication. It is also possible to automate the generation of leads. Leads come through visitors, phone calls, newsletters, social media sources and others. CRM software helps with collecting all the leads and then sending them to targeted people. CRM also allows the business to grow and organize thanks to the knowledge about customer needs and preferences. That can easily lead to some new products and services or improvement of the existing products and services.

Customer service: It is very important to know everything possible about customers. In that way it is easy to know what the customers want, what their needs are and then it’s easy to what to offer them.

Conclusion

In an early stage of some small business CRM can help with faster growth of the company. To do that it is important to apply the CRM system on the right way and pick the right system too. It is always better to simplify all the operations in the start.

Well, that’s the end. I hope you learned something new and if you own a small business I hope that now you know what a good and well implemented CRM system can give to your business. Our team at Maxi CRM implement our cloud CRM system for small business for free.

If you have any question or help about CRM, feel free to contact us here.

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List of Best CRM Solutions

List of Best CRM Solutions

If you read my previous articles then you surely learned what CRM is, what are the features of CRM system, difference between eCRM and CRM the history of CRM and a lot more. But what you maybe don’t know is picking the right CRM system for you. There are really lots of different options out there and it can be hard to pick the right one. That’s why I’m here. I created a list of 10 best CRM systems (unordered list) to help you.

Best CRM Solutions

SAP – CRM

SAP CRM

The first CRM system on our list comes from company called SAP. SAP was founded back in 1972 and comes from Germany. Their CRM comes with lots of different capabilities and features that provide powerful tools to increase relationship with customers. Some of the best advantages of SAP CRM include easy organization of marketing campaigns and other projects, excellent customer service center, interaction center and a good solution for mobile CRM. One of the main disadvantages of SAP CRM is the Mobility of their system because it is not very successful. Overall, SAP CRM is a good product with lots of features and a good solution for lots of complex organizations but it still comes with lots of disadvantages and it is pretty expensive

SugarCRM

SugarCRM

The first thing you notice with SugarCRM is probably the price. It is not expensive and it is worth paying because you get a nice set of features and a great CRM system for affordable price.  The main advantage of SugarCRM is that it can run in offline mode on independent servers. It also comes with lots of help tools that help beginner users in figuring out the program itself and to customize the system to fit organization needs. Sugar CRM also offers a great support of multiple currencies and if you don’t feel like paying anything there is a free version. The disadvantages include storage limits, confusing interface and limited import tools. In the end, it is a good system with lots of features and easy customization but it probably won’t fit small businesses.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is another great CRM system with lots of features and a low price. It comes with really powerful tools for e-mail marketing and lots of web forms for collection of different leads along with detailed analysis and reporting. One of the main advantages is great integration with all other Zoho products, if you are using some. There is also a free version available that will also help you in business. The main disadvantage is that this system requires customization, the customer support is pretty limited and lots of mobile apps have low functionality. So, Zoho CRM is very good CRM system with great benefits for e-mail marketing, sales, reporting and analysis and it is a perfect and affordable solution for small businesses.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft

When thinking about creating this list I knew that Infusionsoft has to be in it. Infusionsoft CRM is a part of PSA (Personal Services Automation) that helps people with creating different campaigns for sales, giving predictions about business and tracking different projects. One of the main disadvantages of this project is that is pretty hard to use and first and it is not as intuitive as similar CRM systems. It takes some work to get used to the interface and to understand where everything is but that’s why you get four-week training session that will help you with everything that is needed. The best part of this system is that it automatically tracks every visitor on a website and then inserts received information into CRM. It is a useful software that will help you to connect different areas of organization and help to improve interaction with customers.

Salesforce.com

SalesForce

Salesforce is one of the first CRM companies that appeared and started to offer their own system. That’s why it is very expensive. But even though the price is pretty high, Salesforce is still very dominant on market. Some of the main advantages are the very smooth flow of processes and work, really large number of powerful features along with high and easy customization of system. The communication with social dashboard is very good and if you don’t feel like paying for the whole system right away it is possible to have a 30-day trial and check if it is worth paying. The main disadvantage is, of course, the price combined with complex function that require lots of learning before actually using everything on the right way. But, if you want to pay more money for better quality then look no more because powerful Salesforce CRM system will give you everything you need.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Dynamics CRM

When something comes from Microsoft you expect it to be good. The same thing works with Dynamics CRM system. When you look at it you will see the main disadvantage and that is the price. There are lots of pricing plans with different options but all of them are pretty expensive and lots of people are asking themselves – is it worth that price? Well, one of the main advantages you get because of that price is offline access to the complete system. The other great feature is that it integrates really easily and really good with other Microsoft products and we all know that most of people use Microsoft products. Multiple dashboards offer more detailed view of every area. Dynamics CRM also comes with lots of tools like ones for automation of processes and better marketing. Expect for price, another disadvantage is complexity of the whole system and it requires a lot of learning to completely understand everything. But in the end you get a great system with amazing features and tools that is perfectly suitable for larger organizations which probably don’t have problems with price.

Insightly

Insightly

Another great CRM system that made it onto our list is called Insightly CRM. This CRM system will help you will help the organization to stay in touch with every customer, every employee or partner. The main advantage of this system is great website along with easy and useful applications. The options for e-mail tracking and different templates will help you to customize everything the way you want. And it is possible to try the product for 14 days and see if it’s worth paying for it. One of the things that are missing from Insightly is the feature for automatic forwarding of e-mails and bad integration with Google Apps. Insightly can be described as a pretty good and intelligent CRM system that is really affordable for everyone and will fit all the needs of some medium-sized organization.

Oracle CRM On Demand

Oracle CRM On Demand

Oracle CRM On Demand is another good CRM system from big and popular company. Oracle took care of both small and large business because they included lots of different features to suit everyone needs. One of the main advantages is the interface. It is design with simplicity and it is easy to navigate and use everything. Reporting capabilities of this system are really amazing. There are over 40 prebuilt reports for analysis, customer services, marketing, usage tracking and lot more. It is also possible to easily integrate system with Microsoft Office application like Word, Excel and other. You can pick the 30-day trial if you want to try the product before buying it. When it expires it is available to buy the system for $70.

Pardot

Pardot

Another great CRM system is called Pardot. It is a very powerful tool for marketing automation that comes with lots of features for e-mail marketing, campaign management, lead scoring and lot more. Pardot is constantly developing and getting new stuff and new great features. Little people know that Pardot is working with Salesforce and upgrading the overall benefits of their system. The interface is really easy to use and the customer support service is great and if you need help with anything they are there to help. One of the main disadvantages are bad tools for social management. Overall, it is a nice tool that will fit the needs of every organization, small or large. But it’s pretty expensive.

Maxi CRM

Maxi CRM

And the last system that made it onto our list is called Maxi CRM. Maxi CRM is one of the best CRM systems out there because it offers you complete sales automation that helps with managing all the tasks, customers, opportunities and leads. Combine all of that together and you will get improved sales that lead to increased profit. Another great features of this system is a great helpdesk that solves all the tickets very fast and efficient. You also get lots of different powerful features that will help with organizing the business. Prices are mostly cheap, you can choose between different plans and pick one that will fit your organization.

That’s it, I hope that I helped you with your choice. Good luck!

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TeamBuilding on Maxi CRM | Cloud CRM Application

CRM vs eCRM

There are actually two different “versions” of customer management systems and those are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Electronic Customer Relationship Management (eCRM). Even though the tasks and goals of these two systems are pretty much the same they are still much difference because of the way these systems try to reach those goals.

The first thing you have to learn is the definition and main parts of eCRM.

What is eCRM?

Electronic Customer Relationship Management can be defined as the system that uses different internet applications like websites, forums, e-mails and similar things to reach the goal of CRM. That complete system must contain organized and coordinated CRM processes that will automate different areas of customer service, marketing and sales of some organization. A well created eCRM system should increase the complete performance of organization and have great influence on positive relationship with customers.

eCRM strategy often consist a process of collecting all the needed information about some customer, a complete history of transactions and information about products and content. After that system should analyze characteristics of customer and his profile along with all the activities like the navigation, shopping cart and similar activities.

eCRM

The main benefits of CRM system come in the way of much improved relationship with customers, better support and improved customer service. One of the great things that come with eCRM is the possibility to match the customer behavior discovered with the analysis of his activities and give offers based on that behavior. In that way customer will get offers that will mostly satisfy their needs. That leads to another great benefit of eCRM system and that is increased satisfaction of all customers and better loyalty towards your business and brand. The overall efficiency is increased and there is an opportunity to reduced costs too and increase the overall profit of organization.

If you want to look into details we can divide eCRM into three levels, those are:

  • Services centered around customer like order tracking, security, customization and the configuration of the product.
  • Services focused on website things like responsiveness of the site, effectiveness and fulfillment of orders.
  • Services that focus on online training and education and online auctions.

The difference

Now you know what eCRM is. The main difference between CRM and eCRM can be seen in the name itself. That little letter “e” in front of “CRM” stands for electronic and it means that some different and often advanced technology is used to fulfill CRM goals.

For example, CRM will contact and communicate with customers with fax, phone or retail store while eCRM will use e-mail, internet, wireless technology and similar stuff. Another great difference is that with CRM system customers have to download some applications if they want to view some web applications and with eCRM that requirement for clients is gone and therefore it makes their life much easier.
It can be pretty expensive to maintain CRM system. If something goes wrong, it’s often impossible to fix that problem yourself and you have to call and wait for the vendor to fix that problem. The overall maintenance of eCRM system is much less expensive and you also need much less time to maintain it or to fix problems.
The overall design of CRM system is focused to functions and products of job. On the other hand, design of eCRM system is more related to the needs of the customer itself. Also, eCRM offers the personalized views related to history of purchase and preferences. That same personalized view of CRM system is not available.

When you look at all that stuff it is obvious to see that eCRM has a lot of advantages over CRM system. It is less expensive, comes with modern technologies and offers some nice features you can’t get with usual CRM system. But, with eCRM system the resolution rate is much mixed and the overall acceptance of users is still pretty poor. I won’t tell you which system is better. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages but the important thing is to know the difference because that helps with the choice.

That’s it, now you know the difference and I hope that this will help you someday. Enjoy!

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CRM vs ERP

CRM vs ERP | What’s the difference ?

One of the important things you have to know if you are dealing with customer management to increase the complete effectiveness of company is to know the difference between CRM and ERP. If you want to develop a strategy to increase the profit, then you will probably use both systems. But what exactly is different between those two – CRM vs ERP?

What is ERP?

ERP is a term for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP is some kind of system or a strategy that is focusing on helping different organizations to successfully manage their overall finances of company, operating, reporting, manufacturing and human resources areas. ERP systems are often focused to automate parts of company. If you create a right ERP system and pick the right ERP software, then all the processes in your business could become much easier to organize and the important decision-making will be easier. ERP systems give you:

  • Better control over accounting, cash flow and overall finances.
  • Option to streamline purchasing, inventory, manufacturing and sales order processes.
  • Better CRM! ERP will also help you to improve relationship with customers.
  • Better project management that will help you to deliver all the projects and finish all the work on time.
  • Improved business intelligence thanks to better information that help with decision making.

Those are just some things you get with ERP system, but the main benefits of ERP for business are:

  • Easy integration to all the parts of business. All the areas from customer relationship area, finances and planning to the manufacturing and distribution of services or products.
  • Automation of business processes which leads to faster and more efficient work and less work for employees.
  • Thank to easy integration and automation ERP ensures work without much errors and brings positive effect to overall business performance.
  • ERP gives help with bringing a complete analysis of every aspect of business and helps with getting overall performance of business.
  • You can even integrate ERP system to partners outside of organization like suppliers or customers to increase efficiency even more.

ERP Graphic - CRM vs ERP | Maxi CRM

CRM vs ERP

If you read my article “What is CRM” then you probably already know what CRM is so I don’t have to explain it. And now you learned what ERP is too. Can you see the difference? It is easy to see that both systems mainly focus on increasing the profit of organization. But, CRM focuses more on customers. With CRM you will try to increase the number of sales by analyzing different customers and focusing on their needs. And thanks to large amount of information and pretty easy analysis is it easy to do that with the right CRM system. On the other hand, ERP focuses more on business. One of the main goals is to reduce overhead and cutting costs. With ERP you will make all the business processes more efficient and therefore reduce the amount of money spent to fund all those processes.
Another difference is that CRM systems can be very useful and needed in small business while ERP can make life complicated in some small office. Why is CRM needed in small business? Well, even if you have small amount of customers it is always easier to have a nicely built software that will organize all the information about that customers of a nice way. That is much better than writing all the information on the paper or in some file. And why ERP is not a good choice? All the areas of organization are probably together and very close to each other in small business and there is really no need for ERP system to connect all of that. But when business starts to grow it will be easy to notice when the need for ERP system appears.

Which is more important, ERP or CRM?

There’s really no good answer to that expect for – they are equally important. Just like I mentioned above, if you have small business then CRM is more important but for every growing business with pretty established organization structure there is need for both systems. CRM drives the business forward and ERP guides that business in some direction where it should go. When those two systems work together effectively it will be much easier to increase the profit of business and reduce costs.

And if you are wondering which system comes first? You already know that ERP focuses on guiding the processes of business and reducing overall costs. Well, to guide the processes a business first must have some and you have to make some profit before cutting costs. That’s why CRM should be the first thing to invest money in. With the right CRM system like Maxi CRM sales will grow along with the complete organization and later on ERP system will be necessary.

Now you learned the difference between ERP and CRM. But how about the difference between eCRM and CRM? That’s not the same thing. Read about it in the article – “CRM vs eCRM”.

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CRM History | Maxi CRM

CRM History

In last article I said something about the main principles of CRM in some company and the phases of CRM life cycle. But how those phases and principles developed over time? The robust CRM systems we have today seemed like impossible thing 50 years ago. In the rest of this article I will say something about CRM history and its development from simple use of paper and pen to robust softwares we have today.

The beginning of CRM systems is pretty obvious. People started to use pen and paper (or quill) to write all the needed information about business, sales and customers in order to analyze and track information that should allow merchants to improve their business.

Pen and paper

And the in 1950s we got The Rolodex. Most of people don’t even know what Rolodex is but it has been largely used in that time to track records about customers and easily have all the needed information at one place. Rolodex was a file device that stored contact information of every customer on a business card. All you had to do was write information on card and attach it to device.

But what if you have hundreds or even thousands of customers? Well, if you were in 1950s then you had some problems. But about thirty years later in early 1980s ACT! was developed. ACT! was often called a “digital rolodex”. It allowed companies to store large amount of contact information about customers on one place and organize them easily and efficiently. Another huge thing that happened in 1980s is the development of database marketing. At the time, database marketing was a process that was responsible for analyzing all the customer information and enabling companies to view every customer on different way and therefore customize the communications with specific customers to make them happier and satisfied. During that years a mass production of PCs started and the whole process of collecting and organizing all the data about customers became much easier and much more effective.

Siebel Systems | CRM History

In 1990s CRM area got a real revolution. The first major thing in these years is the innovation of SFA (Sales Force Automation) software.  This softwares offered improvement in lots of areas. For example, it offered automation of some business tasks like tracking the interaction of customers, controlling the inventory and similar. It also offered businesses much more information about customers. One of the best companies that produced SFA softwares at that time was Siebel Systems.

Siebel Systems

The term CRM was first used in 1995. SFA softwares combined with contact management offered complete products that didn’t actually have a name. Terms like ECM (Enterprise Customer Management) and CIS (Customer Information System) were used then but CRM took over. CRM continued to evolve with every year, especially after the arrival of mobile technology. The first trip of CRM into mobile market was with the appearance of Siebel Handheld. First SaaS (Software as a Service) vendor first appeared at the end of 1990s.

CRM

In the start of 2000s CRM almost died. Why? Well, “dot-com” technologies appeared and the entire CRM industry had license losses and lost a lot of money. But through that decade CRM system actually improved and Microsoft later entered to CRM world with their own system called Dynamics CRM. Oracle bought Siebel Systems and lots of other similar companies and therefore became the biggest competitor to Dynamics CRM from Microsoft.

One of the biggest changes to CRM industry happened in 2006 when Salesforce presented a cloud-based CRM. Another big explosion on CRM market happened when ComcastCares appeared. ComcastCares focused on interaction with customers more than on any other things and that was actually the main difference between this and other corporations that offered CRM solutions. Soon after that lots of other corporations started to follow the example Comcast showed and because of that we have social CRM systems used today.

Dynamics CRM

Today, most of CRM solutions are cloud-based and are getting more and more features every day. One of the most important features that are constantly developing is the customer service and social CRM due to higher popularity of social networks and realization that customer is the most important person of every business.

What can we expect from the future? I don’t think anyone can say but I expect even faster development of CRM solutions because good CRM system can bring lots of benefits to some company.

That’s it for this article. I hope you learned something about CRM history and if you think about the future and what could CRM vendors bring us in few years feel free to share that opinion with us.

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Key CRM Principles Phases | Cloud CRM Software

Key CRM principles and phases

In my last article I wrote something about basic CRM features and stuff you probably need to have when searching for some CRM system. But what about the main goals of CRM? And what is the life cycle of customer relationship management system? Keep reading to find out.

CRM principles

CRM system has a lot of principles, but the most important ones are:

  • Create a difference between customers
  • Create a difference between offers
  • Keep existing customers
  • Maximize life time value
  • Increase loyalty

The first one is to create some difference between customers. Why? Well, because not all customers are equal and same. It is important to know and understand each customer specifically because in that way it is possible to recognize exact customer needs and reward them with results. CRM needs to find the difference between customers of high value and customers of low value because in that way it is possible to find out which are your best customers. The main things CRM has to understand with customers is.

  • Their taste, personality and preference
  • Age and their lifestyle
  • Cultural background and education
  • Physical characteristics

Once all of that is settled it is possible to create difference between offerings. That is actually pretty simple because customers can be put into four categories:

  • Low value customers who require high value offerings
  • Low value customers who have the potential to become high value customers
  • High value customers who require high value service
  • High value customers who require low value service

The next principle of CRM is to keep existing customers. CRM must learn the difference between customers who are satisfied with service offered and the ones that are disappointed. That will help in improving the overall satisfaction level of every customer.

With the help of CRM it is possible to maximize share of purchase potential. That’s why it is important to identify the stage of life of some customer and life triggers for some customers. If you are dealing with customer that is in teen age he could require new car but if he gets married and has kid she could need diapers and similar stuff.

The last principle is to increase loyalty of customers. Investing into increasing loyalty of customers is very much worth because loyal customers will give you better trust and more profit. That’s why it is very important to invest into successful services and increase everything about existing products and services and offer new and innovative stuff to customers.

So, to conclude we could say that there are actually five different ways of CRM activity and those are:

  1. Learning stuff from customers
  2. Creating customer value
  3. Creating loyalty
  4. Getting new customers
  5. Creating profit

CRM Principles and Activity | Maxi CRM

CRM life cycle

There are four different phases happening in customer relationship management life cycle. Those phases are:

  1. Customer engagement

Customer engagement is based on things like marketing planning, lead generation, opportunity management, sales activity and some other things. Marketing planning gives a way of creating marketing campaigns, defining the audience, building communications and similar. Lead generation enables lead qualification, creating call lists and monitoring the progress of campaign. Opportunity management is responsible for tracking sales and providing a forecast for the future sales. That will help with identifying some key moves and decision that have to be made. Sales activity helps with organizing daily workloads and displaying all the customer information in calendar.

  1. Business transaction

In this phase some important areas like order acquisition, internet pricing, e-selling, field sales and similar areas are covered. Order acquisition enables the complete planning and organization of sales strategy, keeping up with sales budget, giving reports and forecasts about sales and similar. Internet pricing is responsible for giving online system that will allow users to compare prices online with other similar products. E-selling is a solution for selling products and services over the internet while field sales provide all the needed information to try and make sales on the field at any place or any time. Field sales area covers phone calls, appointments, visits and similar activities and it must provide reports about that activity.

  1. Order fulfillment

The third phase called order fulfillment covers areas of tracking the life cycle of order, contract, billing and finances, order tracking and fulfillment visibility. Order life cycle process must provide the ability to track all the orders from their beginning to the end. That includes manufacturing, distribution and service processes. Contract, billing and finances should provide all the necessary information about customer like customer contract, his accounts and billing status. The order tracking area is responsible for exactly that, tracking of order until its complete fulfillment.

  1. Customer service

The fourth and the last phase is called customer service. It covers large number of areas like interaction center, internet customer self-service, service management, claims management, field service and integration of marketplace services. Interaction service must provide inbound and outbound processing of calls, easy management of e-mails and complete tracking of activities all customer contacts. The internet customer self-service should offer customers all the necessary information and needed functions on the internet. Service management area should handle customer installations, help with simple and complex offered services, give help for services that are carried out at customer site, calculate service charges, integrate information from billing, cost accounting, materials management, offer the help with strategic advices and similar. Field service must deliver and track customer and the account information for employees working on the field while integration of marketplace services should offer access to wide range of applications and services on virtual marketplace.

You can read the following .pdf file : The Five Principles for CRM Success.

And that’s mostly it for now. I hope you learned something new. Enjoy!

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Maxi CRM Benefits | Cloud CRM Application

Maxi CRM Benefits

In our last article named “What is Maxi CRM”, we mentioned some basic CRM benefits. We explained some basic things about Content Relationship Management along with some details about CRM systems that help you with the complete process of interaction with customers. But what are the benefits you get from using some CRM system?

Everyone can benefit from CRM system because CRM can be used from anyone inside some company including sales team, marketing team, finances, resource control, development part, research team and anyone else. And the best part of all, whoever uses CRM inside some company is connected with other parts and can use their information and resources to improve their own work. That organized connection and coordination of different company parts is one of the main benefits of CRM. But there are a lot of other CRM benefits and if you want to find out what are those then simply keep reading.

CRM Benefits - 2

CRM Benefits

Organization

Organization is one of the things I simply must mention here. Some people can define CRM system as an organized database of activities and customers. In other words, CRM system keeps all the information about clients in one place, neatly organized and accessible in any time. You can search those information, change it, analyze it and do whatever you want and need. Another great thing is that all the client activities are also stored in CRM system so it is easy to check all the activities about specific customers and make some changes according to those activities.

Security

When you get some CRM system one of the things that must be included in that package you bought is backup of all data to primary and secondary servers. And that gives you security. If you lose some data because primary server failed it is easy to dig those files out of secondary server and nothing is lost.

Opportunities

Maxi CRM system gives a simple and effective way of checking every activity that company makes towards customer. Those can be activities like phone calls, e-mails, contract preparation, meetings and similar. If some activity is scheduled to be made soon CRM system will show a note and inform the owner about it. People often miss on some great business opportunities because they forgot about some meeting or forgot to call someone. With a good CRM system that will never happen again. Convert your opportunities into profit.

It is easy to track “cash flow” through CRM system. Lots of companies plan their business strategy and cash flow through their own tables or some other application but in that way they never get a complete look to the complete business and possible improvements. CRM offers you complete and detailed view of business and allows companies to plan their income much better.

Sales

Sales are much better with CRM system. Almost every company that has a sales division use a CRM system to organize all the activities, keep the focus on sales and increase the efficiency.

Availability

Another great benefit of Maxi CRM system is the availability of data. People who work with some CRM system in company can access it from any computer and from any location. That makes things a lot easier if some employee wants to work from home, from the field, on a trip or in similar situations.

Analysis & Reporting

And what about analysis and reporting? Thanks to the great organization I already mentioned above the complete process of getting some reports and making a quick conclusion about something is much easier. All the information can be easily grouped, sorted or printed based on some criterion.

Customer Experience

One of the pretty “hidden” but great benefits of CRM systems is a better customer experience. You can easily understand why your customers must be happy, but how can Maxi CRM help them? Thanks to all the information about customers and the perfect tracking of their activities it can be much easier to figure out their needs and then focus the business on fulfilling them. In that way customers will be much happier and that will lead to more and faster sales and in the end to more money.

Some CRM systems have an option to integrate with social media and give detailed statistics about social media campaign. In that way it is easy to see what people are talking about the brand, which links and networks brought the most traffic and what is the overall satisfaction with the company.

CRM Benefits

Efficiency

So in the end we can say that all of these CRM benefits lead simply to increased efficiency of the complete organization. The center of attention in CRM systems is the customer so we could say that the main goal is to make customers happy. With the help of all the things I mentioned above it is possible to analyze every customer specifically and satisfy every need they have to make more sales and more money. And thanks to the complete organization and connectivity all divisions of company can work towards that goal. Pretty nice, huh?

That brings us to the end of this article. To find out what you should expect from some CRM system to get these mentioned benefits check the next article – Most important CRM features.

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