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January 15th, 2021 by

There is a constant struggle for leadership to drive user adoption of CRM. We find the biggest struggle is with the sales team and this is usually because they haven’t been shown the value of effectively using a CRM tool. Most top performing sales professionals see the value of utilizing this sales tool.

Let’s take a look at some of the common road blocks we hear the sales team say:

“I have been selling for years just fine.” The seasoned sales professional is sometimes the toughest to bring onboard with CRM technology. They often see the tool as a waste of time because they, “already know how to sell”. CRM isn’t about teaching you how to sell or making the sale for you. So be sure to show how it can help you sell more without working harder. Activity Management is one of the best ways to get a sales person comfortable with CRM and show how it helps them sell more. Stop using post-it notes covering your desk or pads of paper all over your car. Simply open up your laptop, tablet or even mobile device, and have a complete customer profile in your hand. Reminders will auto populate that it’s time to call the prospect back on the quote you sent. Get you mobile phone out and see what leads or customer are within five miles of where you are so you can fit in more sales calls efficiently.

“It takes to long, I don’t have time for CRM.” The key here is TRAINING! You can’t just train one time and send the sales team out there. Technology is about committed regular use. You know the saying… use it or lose it! Make sure to have regular team trainings to show them tips and tricks to get faster at using the tools. Be sure to set them up for success with default settings and group creations for faster access, especially on the mobile client.

“I want a personal relationship with my customers.” This is absolutely key to a great customer experience and you want your sales team focusing on their customers. A big part that’s missing is how CRM can help create and foster an even better relationship with the customer. CRM can track and remind you of critical customer data such as, service lifecycles, purchase anniversaries, bid deadlines, contract expirations, and more. Now, the team will never drop the ball and forgot check-ins and follow-ups. They can walk into a customer site fully prepared and make a lasting impression.

“I have no idea what to do in it besides look up my customer contact information.” Ok, this goes back to all the items mentioned above, especially training. Showing sales team members the benefits of using CRM to better engage and follow-up on potential sales will help them see the value in using it. If left untrained and with no clear expectations of what they need to do in there, they simply won’t use it for anything more than a virtual rolodex.

To recap, here’s the top 5 things to start doing:

1. Train them properly and often
2. Give them clear expectations
3. Use CRM as a Leader
4. Show them the benefits of CRM
5. Have them gather customer intel

The best thing you can do to help your team be successful with CRM is to remove the roadblocks. So start the year off right and make a plan to create success in CRM!

Would you like to discuss the bigger picture with Infor CRM at your company? Connect with a Simplesoft Consultant at support@simplesoft.net



Simplesoft Solutions, Inc. is a customer relationship management (CRM) business consulting and software development firm in Cincinnati/Dayton region with offices in Cleveland, OH and Charlotte, NC. We provide implementation, integration, development and training for Infor CRM. We have built our business on an ability to creatively adapt CRM to meet the varying needs of our customers’ businesses. We have been helping our customers develop stronger relationships with their customers through improved sales, marketing, customer service, and support processes since 1994.

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September 4th, 2020 by

A key to CRM success is defining your users. There are several types of Users that we commonly see our customers need; however, you may have more or less depending on your company structure. This is an important step in the set up of CRM but can be adjusted after deployment if necessary.

Here’s a look at the most common types of Users companies have:

Data Steward: This user keeps the data clean and promotes the standards for data entry. Sometimes the data steward is also the Admin user.

Power User: These are your users who are the expert level in CRM. They do all the training and stay up to date on how to navigate and use CRM. These users should also help you in promoting user adoption to the other users.

Standard User: These are all your daily users; they have standard roles assigned to them.

Marketing User: These users are creating the campaigns, landing pages, and other marketing efforts in CRM. They should be making sure to create access points in CRM for all other users to see the marketing analytics.

Administrator: This user is typically someone in IT. They would have access to everything in the database that you never want other users having, such as Delete, Merge, Pick List editing, etc. Keeping these functions locked down will contribute to data integrity.

Again, depending on your company structure some of these roles may be combined or expanded on. Many of our customers have leadership that have to wear many hats. CRM is ideal to help in streamlining your duties. There are different types of users even at leadership level; read more in our white paper.

Would you like to discuss the bigger picture with Infor CloudSuite CRM at your company? Connect with a Simplesoft Consultant at support@simplesoft.net



Simplesoft Solutions, Inc. is a customer relationship management (CRM) business consulting and software development firm in Cincinnati/Dayton region and offices in Cleveland, OH  and Charlotte, NC. We provide implementation, integration, development and training for Infor CloudSuite CRM. We have built our business on an ability to creatively adapt CRM to meet the varying needs of our customers’ businesses. We have been helping our customers develop stronger relationships with their customers through improved sales, marketing, customer service, and support processes since 1994.

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August 23rd, 2016 by

Mark PeroneIn my last article we took a journey to a company implementing new CRM software. Fast forward a few years and many of you have walked this next path we are wandering down. On this imaginary (or may be not so imaginary) trip you realize your managers are once again using spreadsheets to collect and analyze sales data and your users are frustrated with the amount and frequency of information they are required to provide. They are asked to use CRM and enter data into the many spreadsheets and email requests they receive from different departments.

This is the scene in the majority of CRM deployments. Why?

bigstock-Back-view-of-businessman-drawi-50087996

Fully developing a CRM Solution has 4 parts:
Strategy, People, Process and Technology
Once an organization gets a good sense of its people and assigns roles within the CRM implementation team, the next phase in the Balanced Scorecard Approach to Customer Relationship Management is a serious look at how the processes within the contributing departments line up. The majority of our focus helps organizations bridge gaps from where they are today, to where they want to be. Before we can truly get a solid return on investment, by streamlining work flow and making tasks easy to complete within a given job task silo, some observation is needed. Let’s talk about process orientation in The Simplesoft Solution.

Process: Activity to Progress
Fundamentally, CRM is a group of people processes captured in a familiar environment. By design, the CRM environment is acted on by multiple perspectives such as Marketing , Sales, Customer Service and Accounting. The successful CRM driven organization will take a comprehensive inventory of what happens in a sequential order. This allows a company to capture activity that supports progress.

First Steps: Know the strengths and weaknesses of your workforce. Once you decide who is going to be in your work groups and an impromptu assembly line starts to establish itself. Aligning people by job task for practical efficiency isn’t the simplest of change management exercises, but it is the most effective way to evolve progress without squandered activity. By assigning people similar duties, each person should start to depend on the information presented by the person preceding their job task. This creates a natural course of accountability and helps you stay more focused on comparative job task analysis.

You might consider outside help with the breakdown of organizational activity to guide process orientation. Because our products have intelligent flexibility native to their functional workflow, nearly any company can adapt current workflow into our software solutions. Built into our software suite is the unique perspective of the user from varying organizational silo’s accessing our solution. The Simplesoft Solution is positioned to leverage the activity of your company from the top down or bottom up.

What this means to you: System use for every representative level in your organizational hierarchy is provided a place at the enterprise software table. We have high level big data visibility down to work in progress insights to orient standard users on predetermined key performance indicator dashboards. Many of our clients have found the starting point for CRM implementation is mapping out organizational processes.

Mapping out your process
What pain points in your business processes does Infor CRM need to fix? (Defined Progress)
We recommend mapping out the flow of each step in your current organizational processes to help define how they will be managed in Infor CRM. This presents a collaborative opportunity to gain clarity on how well your processes are currently working. Additionally, your group will identify how Infor CRM can improve efficiency, often by removing duplication of effort and applying greater process automation. Simplesoft can provide a wealth of expertise to support re-engineered work-flow by utilizing Infor CRM functions to elegantly organize and achieve your defined goals.

Look for more articles in our series “The Rear View Mirror” and learn more ways to improve CRM adoption from Simplesoft Solutions. We will focus future articles on each pillar of Strategy, People, Processes, and Technology.

If you need help upgrading to Infor CRM v8.3.0 or Mobile 3.4.0, let us know! We can assist in a minor capacity or provide all the technical heavy lifting.

Remember to check our CALENDAR and register for free training, demo sessions, and the Heartland CRM Users Group Events.

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Dayton/Cincinnati, OH | Charleston, WV | Charlotte, NC

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June 6th, 2016 by

Come with me on a journey to a company implementing new CRM software. The size and industry of the company do not matter for now. As the scene opens, employees are gathered for training on “new” CRM software, all talking to each other wondering what their co-workers might know. The training instructor enters the room. As the training progresses, the employees are looking at each other trying to understand how this is going to work for them. Some brave souls in the training session begin to voice their concerns. “What, this isn’t going to work. They expect me to do all that with every single call?”

This is the scene in the majority of CRM implementations. Why?

Infor CRM Project Meeting - Simplesoft's Balanced Score Approach to CRM

Have a Vision and Know Your Processes to Maximize CRM Utility

The most important part a decision maker can play in any software implementation is to make sure all stakeholders are considered in the CRM decision making process. Requiring the organization to document its day-to-day operations is a critical step in making sure all stakeholders and their current processes will be supported by any new enterprise software. There are a number of qualifying questions all company leaders should be asking regarding the way business is being done today.

Questions to ask as you develop a CRM implementation Strategy:

  • What perspective are you considering when planning for an implementation of an enterprise software solution?
  • Are all employees aware of the contribution they make to the greater good?
  • Is the entire organization properly accountable to what and how work is done?
  • Are you ready to renew your understanding of workflow and can you carry the flag in the crusade to develop a revised definition of your organization’s day-to-day operations?

By choosing a new CRM solution, the course of business will change forever for all employees.  Yes, ALL employees. Whether directly acting in the CRM solution or using information contained in the system, organizations are forever changed when consciously reorganizing customer information under a CRM. Involving frontline users in the definition of software requirements and even in the selection process will improve the ease of implementation and adoption. The idea of implementing a CRM, after all, is streamlining employee interaction with customers and developing a detailed method to study your customer relationships. Specifying who will do what, when, and why are the precursors to generating a process orientation.

As a tenured Infor CRM channel partner, Simplesoft Solutions has driven business solution implementations and training for companies large and small. Throughout our 20+ year history, we have determined a company’s vision statement for CRM is the first step to comprehensively defining the framework for the entire solution. We work with our clients using a Balanced Scorecard focusing on four pillars of Strategy, People, Processes, and Technology. Proper planning and implementation in all four areas is key to strong CRM engagement.

Look for more articles in our series “The Rear View Mirror” and learn more ways to improve CRM adoption from Simplesoft Solutions. We will focus future articles on each pillar of Strategy, People, Processes, and Technology.

If you would like to discuss upgrading your system, or to see a free demonstration, please contact Simplesoft Solutions.

Remember to check our CALENDAR and register for free training, demo sessions, and the Heartland Saleslogix Users Group Events.

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Dayton/Cincinnati, OH | Charleston, WV | Charlotte, NC

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January 5th, 2016 by

I am looking forward to 2016 as I look back to positive strides that Infor has made to the Infor CRM product stack.  I thought I would mention a few highlights as we begin 2016.

1. Mobile continues to be a cutting edge toolset for Ipad, Iphone, and Android.

2. Purpose built applications (PBA) will continue to be improved and have international capabilities.

– Xbar
– Gmail
– Outlook Sync

3. Browser compatibility continues to keep up and improve.

4. Web client continues to be improved and refreshed with Infor’s Hook and Loop designs.

5. Infor CRM v8.2.x LAN client is stable and the v8.3 release is around the corner.

6. Cloud continues to expand offerings (from Single tenant models to multi-tenant) to lower the entry points.

7. Integrations are becoming more available with ION and Sdata for the Infor ERP offerings and other Accounting systems.

8. Tools to help automation tuning and performance of Windows components.

9. Released and updated Advanced Analytics for metrics visibility and decision making.

So here is to 2016 and the positive changes that Infor will continue to bring to our customer base. As we begin to look forward here are a few items I believe are on the horizon with Infor CRM:

– The strategic emphasis on micro vertical markets and industry solutions.
– Game-changing interface improvements for user adoption.
– More purpose built applications and tools for improved productivity.
– Deeper integration with Infor product stacks.
– ERP, CPQ, Ming.le integrations.

Attend the Q1 Heartland Users Group Meeting on Tuesday, January 12th and learn more about Infor CRM for 2016! Click to register – Planning for an Agile Enterprise with Infor CRM.

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.

– Abraham Lincoln

If you would like to discuss upgrading your system, or to see a free demonstration, please contact Simplesoft Solutions.

Remember to check our CALENDAR and register for free training, demo sessions, and the Heartland Saleslogix Users Group Events.

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Dayton/Cincinnati, OH | Charleston, WV | Charlotte, NC

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November 30th, 2015 by

Put the Water on the Table

In every industry there are proactive actions which can be taken to keep the customer from having to “wait” or while waiting help them feel like they are being served with care. In restaurants for example, it is common practice to get water or drinks ordered and placed on the table right away.  Additionally, some casual restaurants will put out chips/salsa, bread, peanuts, or another form of quick bite to keep you occupied if your meal is taking a long time to be served.  This strategy helps the customer feel taken care of and offers the customer a good experience, which is why they keep coming back.  The tasty food helps a bit too!

I recently had a wonderful dining experience at a quick serve restaurant where I would rarely frequent for lunch, which is Applebee’s. A coupon gave me an incentive to eat there.  Normally, I do not go to sit down restaurants for lunch instead, in order to save time, I eat at home, pack a lunch, or pick up something quickly to eat while I work at my desk. The main reason I am hesitant to dine out is the potential time wasted because of how long it could take to be served.

Applebee’s did a great job putting the meal together quickly and offers a nice touch on their takeout options.  They have tasty food and I will consider eating there again for lunch.  Thanks Applebee’s of Springboro!  I thought about two things in my “restaurant” experience that apply to almost any kind of business in principle.

First, restaurants need to deliver high quality food, serve it fast, and deliver good customer service because it is so easy for patrons to switch dining preferences.  Second, restaurants need to be innovative and to look for ways to serve customers better.  Have you been to a restaurant where you can get “in line” via a web page? I love the idea of not waiting for a seat.  Mobile check-in is very innovative because it means less waiting for customers and good use of mobile technology.  In environments where there are options for customers to move your business to another provider what are some actions your business can take to keep customers longer and repeat business?  According to an Accenture study, we are in a “switching economy” where customers can pick a new provider fairly easily.  This “switching” effect is having a 1.6 trillion dollar impact to our economy.  Without going into a diatribe on the ins and outs of the winners and losers when customers switch and why, let’s review some easy items to avoid a bad experience in our day and age.

1. First, don’t make customers wait.

The analogy is to put the water on the table and provide your service.  At least share expectations so they can decide intelligently.

2. Keep interactions with customers positive at every touch point.

Anytime you provide the customer with control of the waiting and being served, the better for the relationship.

3. Provide tailored customer experiences.

Maybe your signature is to add a pickle to your delivery.  If your customers do not want pickles offer them a carrot or celery.  In the software business, help the customer in how they operate and not the way you operate to meet their needs successfully.  The principle is to be customer centric.

4. Keep your promises based on your brand.

If your brand promises the Taj Mahal, do not deliver Hotel 8.  It is much better to under promise and over deliver the other way around.

5.  And most of all – communicate all the above items!

Anticipate your customer’s needs every chance you can!  Send regular updates, statuses, and information in timely and value-added communications.  Do make sure to give specific information, a deadline that is nearing, an estimation of a milestone, etc.  Customers will appreciate being informed.

The article’s intent was not on Applebee’s and their ability to deliver great food and service solely, but rather any business trying to find, keep, and service their customers. In today’s internet “ecommerce world” it is more important than ever to have good customer service. Instead of a bad experience being told to ten others, it can now be published to the World Wide Web via social media. Today, businesses need to work hard to keep their customer’s by delivering on their brand promises and providing the right service to keep their customer relationships strong.

Quote:

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.

Jeff Bezos

If you would like to discuss upgrading your system, or to see a free demonstration, please contact Simplesoft Solutions.

Remember to check our CALENDAR and register for free training, demo sessions, and the Heartland Saleslogix Users Group Events.

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Dayton/Cincinnati, OH | Charleston, WV | Charlotte, NC

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May 19th, 2015 by

What happens when you have a system like Infor CRM and you add users?  Not just add users, but make sure they are not trained and there are no policies and procedures for them to follow.  Compound this scenario with no concept of data and how the data will be used to create outputs (analytics, dashboards, and reports etc). Well, bad things can and do happen to good systems.  This is not the way to make smart business decisions, grow your business, or utilize a CRM investment in your front office functions.

Infor CRM is an incredible system that allows for customization flexibility and process management.  However, if you unleash a system to users without any guidance or usage basics there will be consequences for storing all that mismanaged data.  Through many unintended actions you will have created a hot data mess.  A hot data mess can dramatically affect your bottom line in expected and unexpected ways.  It is already a challenge when introducing a new system to users so make sure that you have put some thought into how you are launching and the process to make it more manageable.

How does an Infor CRM Administrator or an application Data Steward manage the expectations upfront and create a well-oiled machine (to prevent a nightmare on Elm St)?

• Have a governance plan in place
• Identify a Data Steward
• Build a set of policies and procedures
• Configure the system tools
• Train to the usage procedures (initial, refresh, new employee)
• Monitor the results (using tools like KnowledgeSync, or data cleanup tools like DQ Global)
• Offer incentives for winning (keeping customers happy with high quality results)

With interactive systems, like CRM, we are constantly adding, removing, updating, and importing records. This is called Data Management and your company should have a plan in place to make sure the data changing is not causing the system usage issues.  This will have a positive impact on acquisition of new customer as well as maintaining profitable relations with customers, partners, and vendors alike.  If you find yourself unsure about where to start, we are encouraging our customers to start by identifying a Data Steward for each user group of CRM within their organization. The Data Steward can begin to define the data requirements for their user group and then work backwards to clean up what has gone astray.  If you need assistance from Simplesoft, we have various levels of Data Cleanup Services.

Data management does not have to be complex, but it does need governance and care.  Taking care of data is one of the three pillars to CRM success that helps to support user adoption. CRMs are always pushing the limiting of technology and with platforms expanding (mobile, tablets and others) we must make sure the tools keep step with the users to enhance productivity.  Good things will happen when CRM is put into place with users trained, processes documented, and a data maintenance plan in place.
“Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don’t worry…I’m here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you. -Charlie Brown to Snoopy”
— Charles M. Schulz

If you would like to discuss upgrading your system, or to see a free demonstration, please contact Simplesoft Solutions.

Remember to check our CALENDAR and register for free training, demo sessions, and the Heartland Saleslogix Users Group Events.

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Dayton/Cincinnati, OH | Charleston, WV | Charlotte, NC

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April 7th, 2015 by

At Simplesoft we have addressed a lot of companies who are concerned because the utilization of their CRM is low.  These companies begin to ask questions like did we buy the wrong CRM? Should we see what other CRM tools are available?  How much is this CRM costing us? We think they may be asking the wrong questions. When we step in to this scenario we start asking a completely different series of questions.  We are publishing these questions in a series to generate management discussion around whether companies are embracing CRM as a strategy and not just a tool.

Do your CRM users have performance objectives or company KPIs tied to their use of CRM?  If your sales organization has a goal of growing new business by 10% and increasing the wallet share in current accounts by 10% for a given year, tying those objectives to their use of CRM and measuring their success within the tool would naturally gain compliance.

We have a current client who knows the amount of time and touches to clients will grow revenue.  They have categorized their clients into levels based on current spend and potential wallet share. Each account category has defined sales activity goals or minimum number of sales touches.  They use the Web Dashboards in Infor CRM to show which accounts are falling outside of the activity goals.  Everyone is viewing the same dashboard so no one wants to have their accounts show up on this list falling outside of the required time-frame. This is just one specific example of how important it is for your CRM users to see their daily, weekly, and yearly goals tied to their use of CRM.

Stay tuned for the next in our series of “Have Your Asked the Right Questions for CRM Strategy”.

If you would like to discuss upgrading your system, or to see a free demonstration, please contact Simplesoft Solutions.

Remember to check our CALENDAR and register for free training, demo sessions, and the Heartland Users Group Events.

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Dayton/Cincinnati, OH | Charleston, WV | Charlotte, NC

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October 23rd, 2014 by

A few years ago I wrote an article on cleaning dirty data in your CRM system, See link for details on Dirty Data cleaned Dirt Cheap.  http://community.saleslogix.com/t5/The-Saleslogix-Journal/Dirty-Data-Cleaned-Dirt-Cheap-Guest-Blog-by-Paul-Hansford/ba-p/9974. The gist of the article is that data management needs to be a sustained activity that is accomplished over time and not a one-time event.  CRM Data management is like technology compatibility in the sense that it is an ever moving target.

Data does not have to be perfect all the time, but does need to be fit for use in your sales operations cycles. Even if your CRM platform is backed up, updated, and managed on your behalf, your data management is an area that needs to be maintained and included in your CRM strategies.    A CRM tool is the central repository for the lifeblood of your business – sales.  When your business is using your CRM tools (Mobile, Web, Social etc) well then it becomes a tool where dashboards, data lists, reports, become a way to help your teams win the heart of your customers.

What is clean high quality data?

The top five characteristics of high quality data are:   Accurate, Complete, Consistent, Unique, and Timely. These items can all be addressed with a system usage guide (user policy document) to ensure that everyone knows what is expected.

Data are of high quality if “they are fit for their intended uses in operations, decision making and planning.” (J. M. Juran)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_quality

Practical Steps to help your situation

  1. Establish usage guidelines for data entry (intelligent naming conventions)
  2. Confirm your integrated system are not creating data issues (E-mail, Social, ERP/Accounting, web)
  3. Confirm your imported data, is compared either before or after, and has not creating duplicates
  4. Assign a Data Steward (DS) to help advocate and educate on data compliancy
  5. Use the proper built in tools and 3rd party tools to assist
  6. Use experienced consultants to give you the jump start you need

We’re entering a new world in which data may be more important than software.   Tim O’Reilly

If you would like to discuss upgrading your system, or to see a free demonstration, please contact Simplesoft Solutions.

Remember to check our CALENDAR and register for free training, demo sessions, and the Heartland Saleslogix Users Group Events.

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Dayton/Cincinnati, OH | Charleston, WV | Charlotte, NC

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