Sixteen things you should be doing to maintain the value of your CRM system over the long term

April 27, 2014

So you’ve invested in new CRM software and successfully overcome the challenge of user adoption. What now? Here are sixteen things you want in place if you are to maintain and grow the value of your investment: Administration – someone needs to manage the day to day running of the system, adding users, changing security [...]

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The under-appreciated benefits of the humble CRM mail-merge function

April 13, 2014

One feature of CRM technology that I don’t think users make enough of is the ability to create, store, and manage mail-merge templates within the system.  These templates allow commonly used documents and emails to be quickly generated automatically, inserting relevant data held in the system, such as name and address. This may not sound [...]

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Ten ways to use your CRM system to better support telephone-based sales and marketing

March 31, 2014

A lot of businesses have some form of telephone-based sales and marketing function, and most will make use of CRM technology to support their activities. In this post I wanted to highlight a number of ways that companies can potentially use their CRM systems, beyond the basics of logging conversations and call-backs, to improve the [...]

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Last quarter’s CRM software news in 60 seconds…

March 9, 2014

In case you missed them, here’s my 60 second bullet point round-up of the main CRM software stories last quarter: December Oracle announces it will buy Responsys for $1.5 billion to fill out Oracle Marketing Cloud January Microsoft acquires Parature for $100 million to extend its Dynamics CRM customer service capabilities Verint purchases customer service [...]

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The hidden dangers of replacing vertical CRM software with generic offerings

March 2, 2014

One of the big shifts we’ve seen in the CRM market in recent years is the progress that generic CRM software such as Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, or SugarCRM has made in markets that were once dominated by vertical specific CRM solutions. As I touched on in my last post, generic CRM solutions are often able [...]

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Choosing CRM software – the dangers of recommendations – an addendum

February 22, 2014

In my last post I wrote about the dangers of recommendations when selecting CRM software, and I just wanted to add a few points that I didn’t cover last time out. Firstly, the post was very much in the context of the dangers of recommendations from other users of CRM, but I think it’s worth [...]

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Choosing CRM software – the dangers of recommendation

February 15, 2014

While recommendations from people we know is probably the biggest influence on our purchase decisions for goods and services, I’ve never been too convinced as to how well this works when choosing CRM software. As a case in point, I had a conversation this week with a business owner who was struggling with a recently [...]

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CRM and influencer management

February 11, 2014

Given how important influencers, (academics, industry analysts, journalists, bloggers, professional advisors etc.) have become, as their ability to make themselves heard has increased, and the ability of marketers to influence more directly has declined, I’m surprised how little use organisations make of their CRM platforms to support influencer marketing. For example, as consultant who helps [...]

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Dull maybe, but essential – the role of the usage manual in CRM implementation

February 4, 2014

Point 57 in the ’99 ways to get more out your CRM software’ was: 57. Develop a usage manual – does everyone understand how they should be using the system? Often different people will use it in different ways, and that impacts key outputs such as reports. Creating a usage manual will help define how the system [...]

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A worked example as to why process inefficiencies provide rich pickings for CRM technology

January 31, 2014

Carrying on my elaboration of some of the points in the ‘99 ways to get more from your CRM software’ post, point 69 suggested that you might consider reviewing your processes, rather dryly noting that: ‘analysing your existing business processes can be extremely insightful. You may find they don’t work quite as well as was [...]

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