5 Reasons Why A Small Business Should Invest In CRM

How A CRM Helps Drive More Sales For Your Small Business?

“Customer is King” holds true for any business, in spite of what you offer to the market for revenue; be it products or services. But with the immense growth of technology and its salient propagation among businesses, there has been a huge reduction in the gap that existed between large and small businesses when it comes to satisfying customer expectations. 

Through innovation and digital transformation, small businesses have been able to penetrate markets that were controlled by heavyweights by disrupting the entire product or service lifecycles. A major factor in enabling this disruption was customer data and this is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software makes the difference in building a great experience for customers. From managing sensitive information about customers to help sales folks close deals faster, CRM is a vital tool for today’s growing small businesses. 

Related Reading: 6 Benefits of Using a Cloud CRM

Here are 5 convincing reasons why small businesses need to invest in a CRM solution today:

1. Identify your Most Suitable Customer

Did you know that 79% of all marketing-generated leads never convert into a sale without a CRM behind the entire operation? This happens when you do not identify and nurture the right prospect. In the absence of a CRM, your sales team will not have access to insights garnered by your marketing team about potential areas of interest of the prospect. This will result in the sales team preparing the best pitch for a wrong target and the entire effort goes down in vain without any result. With a CRM in place, the sales team can get accurate insights about customers who are the best suitable for each sales pitch they have created from the business offerings available.

2. Plan on Building Customer Relationships

It is natural for your sales force to run out of ideas or time while meeting, convincing, and converting prospective leads into rewarding deals. With a CRM application, they can build a relationship with the customer meticulously so that every discussion they have is productive and conversion happens faster. By documenting every interaction in a CRM, the salesperson can use insights from the CRM to approach prospects at the right time with the right context and with the right offering to quickly close the discussion. 

Insights derived from previous customer interactions can be utilized by all members of the sales team as best practices to follow when they meet a new prospect or when taking over the next stage of discussions with a customer who was brought into the nurturing phase by another salesperson.

3. Drive Better Campaigns

Today’s massively popular digital marketing landscape is one way small businesses can catapult their sales considerably. With a CRM platform, it becomes easier to build a data-driven marketing engine around the platform and make better and smarter campaigns to win customer interest. 

A simple example would be using insights from the CRM in an email campaign to boost holiday sales for a small online retail business. The system would give insights such as preferred email reading time, interest and buying patterns of prospects (derived from their past interactions and shopping history also stored in the CRM) and choices in product varieties. These insights can help in closing the sales deal faster with more convincing sales messages and the right timing of email. It may also include targeted promotions such as discounts on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.  The small analytical input from the CRM can make a big difference in winning the sales conversion.

4. Improve Up-selling and Cross-selling Capabilities

Once a customer’s journey has been recorded in the CRM, it becomes easy for a small business to use the data to run targeted up-selling and cross-selling promotions. This will also help you to build sustainable long term relationships with valued customers by engaging with them periodically. A committed customer is your biggest marketing asset and by creating a culture of continuous sales engagement with intelligent CRM inputs, this commitment is easily achieved.

5. Better Employee Productivity

With the help of CRM, your sales and marketing teams can make better and smarter decisions with regard to their daily operational schedules. CRM brings in a great deal of automation and frees up time and effort which your employees can utilize for creating better experiences for customers. By empowering them with real-time and intelligent insights about customer behavior, it enables them to achieve their goals and targets seamlessly. It reduced paperwork and research time involved in every customer interaction, thereby paving the way for a smoother customer relationship management experience in every interaction.

Related Reading: Top 5 Productivity Tools Every Small Business Needs Today

A CRM is a small business’s best buddy for its marketing and customer outreach initiatives. From building a healthy sales pipeline to helping build fabulous experiences through customer feedback about your products and services, it is a one-stop destination to bring more sales revenue for your business. Successful businesses utilize the CRM capabilities of platforms like INFINCE to drive more value from their customer relationships. Get in touch with us to know how INFINCE’s CRM capabilities can be the right choice for your customer relationship management.

6 Benefits of Using a Cloud CRM

CRM systems have come a long way from their origins as contact management systems for storing and retrieving contact information. Enterprises across-the-board now regard it as a valuable and indispensable tool to not just manage and improve relationships with contacts but to manage the entire gamut of customer relationship management.

The nature of CRM has also witnessed a tectonic shift. Cloud-based CRM now dominates with 87% of the total market share, a big jump from just 12% in 2007. The overwhelming preference for cloud-based CRM is for good reasons.

 

1. The Cloud Facilitates Big Savings in Cost and Effort

On-premises CRM entails huge upfront investment in hardware and servers. The cloud CRM vendor absorbs such investment and offers a pay-as-you-go payment model for clients. Businesses pay only a monthly charge, converting their capital-expense (CAPEX) costs into an easy attributable operational expense (OPEX.) Still better, the CRM becomes easily scalable, with the ability to add capacity easily as and when required, and scale-down during downtime.

The spillover monetary benefits of hosting CRM in the cloud includes hassle-free maintenance, no troubleshooting, and freedom from having to upgrade the CRM periodically. These tasks are done by the vendor, and the enterprise can, in fact, do without single IT personnel in-house.

Cloud-based systems are quick and painless to deploy as well. The set-up is as simple as paying the subscription fees and logging in. Cloud-based CRM systems tend to prioritize ease of use and accessibility, meaning easier learning curve for end users and lesser training costs for enterprises.

 

2. Cloud Enables Anytime, Anywhere Access

The biggest advantage of cloud-based CRM is anytime, anywhere access. The data and the software reside in the cloud, and accessible through convenient mobile apps or other front end software, without constraints of geography or time. The ability to access the CRM through intuitive mobile apps is arguably the single biggest benefit of cloud-based CRM considering 65% of employees achieve their sales quota when using mobile CRM, and only 22% of employees achieve their sales quota when mobile CRM isn’t used.

The anytime anywhere access make cloud hosted CRM ideal for today’s fast-paced and highly competitive world, where opportunities exist only for a short while and have to be seized at the instant. Opportunities come knocking rarely. With a cloud-based CRM ready, the executive is ready to seize the opportunity by having all information and resources in his smartphone, regardless of whether he is at the airport, a spa, a business meeting or out for lunch.

 

3. Cloud Brings Integrated Data Management

A cloud-based CRM not just centralizes data in one place, but is also handy to integrate information from external, disparate sources, such as media activity, project management information, accounting information, and more. Dedicated cloud integration tools facilitate the seamless sharing of data from disparate sources.

The integrated and consolidated processing of information prevents gaps in information or understanding when dealing with a customer across multiple touch points. Marketers and other users have access to real-time or latest data, synced from the cloud server whenever online.

 

4. Cloud-Based CRM is Always Updated

Upgrading on-premises CRM is a hassle, requiring modification of the code, and provisioning everything again. With a cloud-based CRM, the vendor takes up the task. The vendor is more likely to upgrade the CRM and co-opt new features very fast, to pre-empt losing customers to competitor products. Cloud-based CRM vendors are also more likely to innovate, to offer better features and functionality, to differentiate themselves from competitors.

 

5. Cloud CRM Facilitates Seamless Collaboration

A cloud-based CRM doubles up as an effective collaboration tool, offering remote and off-site employees a reliable and robust medium to connect and collaborate with their team and customers alike. The Cloud CRM offers a common interface enabling team members to share data and updates that contribute to the end objective of increasing sales and customer satisfaction. International teams especially can collaborate effectively across time-zones.

 

6. Cloud Offers Robust Security More Often Than Not

Security is the literally the million dollar question staring at enterprises in the wake of heightened security breaches. A 2018 study by Juniper Research estimates cybercriminals to steal an estimated 33 billion records in 2023, up from an already whopping 12 billion records in 2018.

Contrary to perception, the cloud is more secure than on-premises systems. Any decent cloud-based CRM offers robust security, free from the usual suspects of out-of-date software. The CRM is the bread and butter rather than an appendix, the vendor is more likely to and is able to take the proper precautions, with dedicated staff looking to discovering and closing weak security points.

CRM also lessens the risk of system failure, with dedicated servers and redundant databases minimizing the risk of loss of data or downtime. Businesses have the flexibility to negotiate an SLA service-level agreement with an agreed upon level of service, including the acceptable “downtime,” beyond which compensation sets in.

While the cloud-based CRM offers several advantages, it is by no means a magic wand to success. Success depends on the skillful implementation, overcoming challenges such as retaining control of data, effective collaboration with the vendor’s support system and provisioning adequate bandwidth to access the cloud seamlessly. With INFINCE make it all possible. Call us today to learn how INFINCE can help you battle business challenges with infinite cloud.

 

 

A Guide to Effective Cloud Migration

The cloud offers a host of benefits in terms of cost-savings, speed, efficiency, improvements, and more. However, unless the migration is done right, much of the benefits of the cloud do not realize, and worse, the disruption may make the enterprise dysfunctional without anything to gain in return.

5 Expert Tips for Effective Cloud Migration

To help you empower the best of cloud, here’s a checklist for efficient cloud migration.

1. Determine the Reasons for Migration

Migration to the cloud because everyone else is doing is an exercise doomed to failure. Identify a pressing need for migrating to the cloud, or specifically be clear of the gains to be achieved through migration. The benefits could be process efficiency, cost savings, ability to serve customers better, ability to operate from a wider geographical footprint, or anything else.

Perform an objective SWOT analysis of the possible benefits, disadvantages, opportunities, and threats, of the specific asset migration, before committing to the exercise. Migrating to the cloud entails a lot of investment in time and resources, would also cause a disruption to the entrenched ecosystem of the company, and force a learning curve on the employees. Unless the benefits, at least in the long run, outweigh the investment, the enterprise is better off with the status quo.

2. Assess the Environment

Having committed to the migration, decide on the specific applications to be migrated. Not all processes benefit from migrating to the cloud, and many legacy apps or software is best left on the on-premises servers. For instance, it may not be a wise decision to migrate or replace a performance-intensive legacy app that works fine.

Having identified the apps to be migrated to the cloud, analyze the infrastructure used by such apps, in terms of the storage consumed, the data generated, the resources required for Big Data analytics, and so on. Provision for any required enhancements. Next, identify a suitable cloud environment with compatible resources, and determine the architecture needed for the migration.

Migration may be shallow cloud or deep cloud. Shallow cloud integration, also known as “lift-and-shift” entails moving the on-premise application to the cloud, with little or no changes except whatever is required to run the applications in the new environment. Deep cloud integration entails modification of the application during the migration process to leverage key cloud capabilities such as auto-scaling and dynamic load balancing.

Another consideration is opting for a simple, single provider or for a multi-cloud approach. The latter approach, more commonplace, involves splitting applications over multiple cloud providers or developing in a cloud-agnostic approach.

Many enterprises underestimate the migration costs. Costs vary considerably, depending on the nature of the applications being migrated. For instance, costs for applications that constantly run vary greatly from costs for applications that spin up and spin down upon completion of the job. For example, in AWS On-Demand instances, subscribers pay for computing capacity by per hour or per second, depending on the instances run.

There is also the option or private cloud and public clouds. Public clouds keep costs low, but may offer only limited levels of latency and security.

 

3. Select the right cloud provider

Identifying a migration architect responsible for planning and completing all aspects of the migration, and taking all decisions and a technical plan is essential and should be one of the earliest decisions after committing to migration.

In most cases, it becomes essential to rope in an external partner who has specialized experience in cloud migration. Make sure the selected partner is capable of meeting the architectural requirement, has redundant servers to ensure near 100% uptime, and offers flexible plans to scale-up and scale-down resources on demand. Pay special attention to the SLA and the support capabilities of the selected provider.

4. Execute the Migration

The cloud migration process culminates with the actual migration of resources from the legacy on-premises legacy server to the new cloud server.

Chalk out a migration plan, which details the timeline and methodology of the actual file transfer. The key steps in the migration plan are:

  • Lay down the order of migration of application and data.
  • Schedule the time of migration, while causing minimal disruption to company operations. Schedule the migration during the night, or when operations are at a lull.
  • Back up the data on existing servers, and make sure the backup is easily retrievable if the need arises.
  • Set up the cloud environment. Provision the cloud servers and connections and test all the individual components.
  • Finally, transfer the data.  Enterprises have the option of making the actual switch all at once or move a few customers at a time. Migrating the first data load will invariably take some time.

Post-transfer, test all the connection again fully and ensure the system is up and running. Make sure all the migrated data is present and available, and the environment is secure.

The migration process may not be entirely smooth and straightforward. Several potential issues, both anticipated and unanticipated, could emerge as roadblocks. Take all possible precautions to counter such eventualities, and be ready to make impromptu changes and tackle any unexpected issue that emerges head-on. An open line of communication with the customer support team of the selected cloud partner helps.

5. Monitor the New Environment

The migration process does not end with the transfer of files. Issues may flare up in the cloud environment as the apps are used, and as such it is important to set up a dedicated monitoring system for a while, to identify and fix any potential issues.

Migration to the cloud may force some changes to end-user processes. Employees may have to be trained on the new method and a slowdown taken cognizance of during the learning curve. Any changes to customer-facing processes may have to be explained through blogs, emails or other documentation.

Another important post-migration consideration is resource optimization. The cloud is optimized for dynamic resource allocation, and as such, plan for distributing resources to applications rather than continue with allocating resources statically.

The above steps are only indicative. Each enterprise is unique, and the best approach to migration depends on the company’s infrastructure, environment, incumbent procedures, and future requirements. To experience a smooth transition with cloud, sign up with INFINCE today!