The Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to maintain and build relationships with consumers from a distance. With the “new normal”, businesses are now facing tension between generating sales during a period of extreme economic hardship and respecting the threats to life and livelihood that have altered consumer priorities and preferences.

Businesses that cannot supply the demand of their stakeholders are struggling, some might even be closing their doors, while some are learning how to adapt and pushing past this crisis. The rapidly spreading of businesses shutting down has proven the advantage of digital technology and readiness also shown how software platforms enable work to be done remotely. Whether for telecommuting, product fulfillment, or service delivery, modern technology systems have helped optimized operations in the face of limited person-to-person contact to comply with social distancing.

Here are four ways to manage your customer relationships during and post a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Help Your Customers by Guiding Them Through the Changes: Stay ahead of the information curve. Set up robust media monitoring systems to stay educated on the outbreak. Offer your customers online learning opportunities. To keep your customer relationships strong during COVID-19, provide your customers with intelligence, guidance, and direction that makes your value delivery a seamless interaction. Stay on top of and ahead of all shifts, and provide regular updates on closings, delays, product changes, and promotions to keep your clientele informed and appeased. Learn what your audience needs and help them discover how your service will best help in these trying times.
  • Run webinars
  • Use media monitoring software
  1. Empathize and Communicate Like a Human: Provide employees with messaging to share with customers and partners. Be truthful about what you don’t know and avoid sweeping statements that may prove to be false in the coming weeks. Striking a balance between natural and professional communication in a time of crisis can seem tricky, but whatever you say to your customers right now must come from an honest place while still respecting their boundaries. Be mindful of how your service affects each of your clients, as well as how COVID-19 is affecting their lives and their own business.
  • Create a landing page dedicated to your clients during these trying times with FAQ’s, You can easily take a news plugin for this function.
  • I recommend enabling external comment functionality for improved feedback from customers.
  • Allow your customer service and sales teams to offer reduced prices or increased services during this time to customers
  1. Keep What Works But Adapt Quickly: Some companies may have advanced their digitalization capabilities in the past few years. These companies are likely experiencing, at least in the short term, only a moderate impact due to the global pandemic. By shifting their operations to remote work via online conferencing and communication tools like Zoom and Slack, most projects continue.

In disruption, operational challenges need solutions, cash management and liquidity need to be adjusted for the changes in demand and communications and leadership must be expanded into the digital space. If your company was not online before, it’s likely online now. In a fast-changing marketplace, aggressively pushing new solutions into the market may help some companies. Many business issues resulting from disruption due to worldwide efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 will need quick fixes and solutions. They are also the beginning of new problems.

4. Leverage Technology to Generate Value for Your Customers:  In collaboration with marketing automation tools, you need to ensure it’s integrated with channels from which data can be pulled. Once you have the data, it needs to be analyzed and segmented to an individual level and then utilized for personalized customer communication via marketing automation. Every part of this process should be speaking to the other parts for maximum efficiency, information, and results. Depending on your business your data collection channels can be CRM; Website; Email marketing platform; Mobile app; Event management tool; Social media; Online store; ERP system.

Conclusion

During the pandemic having accurate data is key, it helps in making decisions based on your business’s day to day operations. Your goal as a business leader during this time should be to increase customer engagement and position yourself as a reliable, value-add partner who goes above and beyond during difficult times.

With an app like Commercient SYNCyou can grow your business from anywhere in the world using cloud software, automate sales, and become a fully digital business. Commercient’s SYNC’s application makes it possible to see your ERP data in your CRM and vice-versa since it can be used on any device. In addition to this, you will need a way to ensure that you have access to accurate, complete, and up to date data in your ERP and CRM.

Talk to us now to get on the digital business train!

There comes a time when managing your client’s databases via thousands of spreadsheets, hopping from one system to another to find leads or customer data, or navigating amongst sales opportunities by checking scribbles on Post-it notes is no longer an option.

In order to effectively handle business operations and to improve the efficiency of your business, you need a robust customer solution where you can capture customer data, track incoming leads, segment customers into meaningful groups and create a structured workflow. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems work best for small businesses to maintain strong relationships across the board. In a CRM, all employees can record customer interactions with the company, create personalized messages for a targeted audience group, implement lead nurturing and lead scoring techniques, automate work processes, and much more.

 

Let’s take a look at factors to consider when picking a CRM software:

 

  • Define your business needs
  • Do I need to increase lead generation? Look for a CRM that delivers strong and agile lead generation software.
  • Are deals getting stuck in my pipeline? You’ll want a CRM with strong sales reporting, so you can identify the bottleneck.
  • Do I need to better access my contact data? Purchase a CRM that provides easy access to a 360-degree contact view.
  • Do I need to increase efficiency across my teams? Look for a CRM that can automate as many manual processes as possible.
  • Do I want easier access to insight around my results? Your best bet is a CRM that provides customizable dashboards.
  • Is my sales team unable to convert leads? A CRM that provides lead scoring so that you can qualify leads and identify the most sales-ready prospects will help.
  • Price of CRM for small business

Most CRM software providers offer a free trial and offer per-user pricing. Before making the final selection, it is advisable to take advantage of the free trial and consider the price your organization can afford on such a plan.

  • Ease of use/learning curve

Will your team be able to easily use the system? User-friendly CRM software is what your small business needs, so having to spend money on training might not be a great idea. Research reviews and find out if the CRM is easy to use and novice-friendly

  • Availability of customer support

You might have technical questions that only the software provider can answer-finding one that offers customer support without any delay is the key to success for any business. Your business needs complete and unhindered access to support that doesn’t allow geographical boundaries or time zones to come between you and support.

  • Marketing features

All-in-one CRMs include marketing automation software. The capabilities coming out of such software will let you do things such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Build landing pages and web forms
  • Score and qualify leads
  • Run multichannel marketing campaigns
  • Track the results of your efforts
  • And much more

An all-in-one CRM eliminates the need to spend more money on a stand-alone marketing automation solution, making it a great choice for small businesses.

 

It’s more than likely that you’re already using other software systems in various departments of your small business. Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform can help you integrate your existing systems, such as your ERP and CRM solutions. A systems integration will ensure the right information is available to your organization.

 

Your sales team will have access to ERP data directly in CRM, such as customer information, sales history, invoicing, serial numbers, inventory, multi-ship to addresses, and much more. With two-way sync, new accounts and orders are integrated from CRM to ERP. This gives you a 360-degree view of sales and marketing.

 

Revolutionize the way your organization does business and expedite all processes by getting an advanced CRM system.

5 Salesforce experts and Commercient partners offer us their free advice on salesforce.

Salesforce software is here to deliver all its capabilities and improve processes, workflows, customer management, and a lot more. But how do you get there? How can you bring the vision to reality and get the most out of your Salesforce implementation? How can you make Salesforce work for your business? 

Commercient asked some of our most trusted partners for their expert advice, to provide actionable tips and tricks to make any Salesforce implementation as smooth as possible. They have a proven track record of successful Salesforce consulting and software implementation, and now they’re happy to help you with recommendations that have helped their own clients as well.

If you’d like to see how Commercient SYNC has made a positive impact in our clients’ processes, sales, operations and customer service, click here to read customer success stories

Especially now, businesses are trying to find ways to maximize their investments and resources. If that’s your case, here are expert tips & tricks to get the most out of Salesforce. Some offer business/strategy advice, while others provide a more tactical approach, but all the advice compiled in this article intends to help your business to improve and optimize your Salesforce implementation. 

Where to Start 

Chad Anderson – CEO of Cirrius Solutions 

Certified Salesforce Business Architect

  1. Start with a strong discovery process

Discovery is the single most underrated phase of software development, and maybe the most important. It’s easy to focus mostly on the actual implementation, but execution without planning won’t help your company in the long run.

  1. Map out the customer journey

A good understanding of the end-to-end customer journey is key to ensuring your field service process provides the ultimate experience. Commercient SYNC provides the missing link to create a seamless customer journey, giving the business a full view of their data pushing ERP info back into Salesforce.

  1. Create an implementation checklist

It is very important to simplify the complexity by starting with a strong implementation checklist to outline the critical components of the implementation and keep everyone on the same page.

  1. Use declarative workflows where possible: 

80% of the platform features can be created using point and click workflow. These are very useful to eliminate the need of maintenance down the road. 

  1. Build Key Performance Metrics

What is measured can be improved. Provide executives with insights to make smarter, real-time decisions based upon key performance analytics. In order to have access to numbers useful for decision making, it’s useful to bring historical data (last week, last month, last year) to compare current performance and projections. With SYNC, that data is one click away. 

Data And Documentation Are Your Friends

Josh Monson– President, One Point One Group 

  1. Get your arms around your data

Use tools like RingLead, Field Trip to understand what is being populated, what is not (and why) so that you can improve the user experience. 

  1. Document your core business processes

Use tools like Lucidchart, PowerPoint or Visio so that you can focus conversations on the business process in Salesforce and have everyone on the same page.

  1. Bring in critical information:

Not just data, but meaningful information that may be aggregated before it goes into Salesforce, in order to bring more value to your users for decision making. Commercient SYNC brings to Salesforce historical data from the ERP, so managers and employees can compare numbers and make informed decisions and adjustments to the sales strategy.

Optimize Your Sales Process And Pipeline

Rob Diefenderfer – President, Rithom Consulting 

Making critical information available is key to any department, but for the success of the inside and outside sales team is crucial. That’s why Rithom Consulting recommends Commercient SYNC integration to seamlessly integrate your Epicor (or other ERP) data into your Salesforce CRM.

Here are their best tips and practices for Outside Sales teams:

  1. Let your Quote team (Inside Sales) know to generate a quote in Epicor when an Opportunity is Closed Won = Email Alert or Task assigned to Inside Sales.
  2. Another alternative is to use list views to easily find the latest updated/created Quotes.
  3. They can also use Tasks on the Home Tab to access the Task, follow up to completion, send a Quote.
  4. Outside Sales can review in Salesforce information such as Quotes, Sales Order, and actual sales numbers. This way, they can see if a quote sent has been accepted, for example.

For Inside Sales teams, here’s what they recommend:

  1. Inside Sales creates Quotes in Salesforce via CPQ, which is then synced to the ERP.
  2. The Inside Sales team creates tasks in Salesforce to request Outside Sales team members to follow up with a client when necessary. For example, when they need to verify quantity or pricing.
  3. If the prospect hasn’t closed yet, set up a reminder to follow up on a quote sent by a certain date, and see if they are ready to move forward and become a client.
  4. On Quote acceptance, generate a Sales Order. With Commercient SYNC, that order generated in the ERP will be synced to Salesforce. This will help to keep everyone on the same page.

Using a data integration platform such as Commercient SYNC with Salesforce brings benefits to Management as well. They are able to review reports for: 

○ Overall Tasks assigned

○ Staffing workload

○ Sales numbers

Don’t Overlook Admin Stuff

Kirby Colette – Business Analyst, CrossPeak Solutions 

Ok, now that the implementation is done, how can you ensure the data in Salesforce is not only stored -like it would be in a spreadsheet- but it’s up-to-date and useful for decision making and day-to-day operations? Here are tips recommended by Kirby Colette from CrossPeak Solutions:

  1. Always create Record Types. 

Whenever you set up a new instance you should create a Record Type for all Records your users are going to be working with. The most obvious advantage will be for inline editing; your end-users will be able to take advantage of in-line editing on filter list views through your instance. This will also set you up for continued success as you scale. 

  1. Create a custom update quick action for your Account Object.

Update the layout to include the most important fields for your users to see at a glance. Once you have finished the actions go to your Contact & Opportunity object and Create a Quick action on each, that Creates a New Account Record. Navigate to the Lightning Page Layouts for both the Contact and Opportunity Drag the Related Record component to the Page Layout, choose use “Account” on the Right pane, and Choose the Update Action you created and the New Action. Now, when your users are on Records that are children of the Account, they will be able to update the Account Record and view the most important information without leaving the page! This can be applied to several other objects!

  1. Now that we have created the Quick Action Update Account let’s use it on the Account as well. 

Navigate to your Lightning Record Page drag the Related Record Component onto your Page Layout. In the Properties on the Right-hand side of the Record Page Manager select ‘Use this Account’ and select your Update & New Actions. Publish your page. Now the most important details that you want to be able to edit on the account page layout while viewing something else on the Lightning page –like your chatter feed– are visible and editable. Rebuild this on any other page!

  1. Set up Path for Lead & Opportunity, and ALWAYS Celebrate.

Everyone loves to celebrate their win, so let’s make sure they can. Go to Setup > User Interface > Path Settings. (Enable if not already Enabled). Select the path for the object you need to edit or create a new one using an Object + Picklist field. Edit each value so that fields that are needed during each stage are added as well as notes of encouragement or reminders for that stage. Save your path. Return to Path Settings and Activate your path, then click Edit. Select Next Until you are back on the Page to turn on Celebration. and Turn it on and click always! 

  1. Avoid Multi-select Picklists whenever possible.

Reporting on these is no fun for anyone. The more efficient reporting is, the less time it’s going to take, and the easier it will be to make informed decisions.

Last but not least, an integration such as Commercient SYNC is highly recommended to get the most out of a powerful solution like Salesforce. This way, Salesforce users can enhance their experience and workflows having key customer data right at their fingertips, among many other benefits.

Mike Speer – Salesforce Practice Director, Plus Consulting 

If you want more tips to make Salesforce administration easier on everyone at your company, here’s valuable advice from Mike Speer, Salesforce Practice Director at Plus Consulting:

Tips for tools and features 

  1.       Use Google Chrome Extensions – The Salesforce user community continually builds extensions that bridge functionality gaps to make an admin’s job easier.
    • Salesforce API Fieldnames – this extension allows you to view the full name of the Salesforce custom field without leaving a record!
    • Force.com LOGINS – helps you to easily manage the usernames and passwords of the different orgs you may use, like a Sandbox and Production org.
    • Salesforce.com ID Clipper – Helps you get Salesforce.com Ids from records and links to your clipboard
    • Salesforce.com Quick Login As – Makes it easy to login as another user. Maintains the page currently being viewed.
  2.       Data Loading Tips
    • Be sure to turn off Validation and Workflow Rules when using import tools or you may fire off unwanted automation and updates will fail.
    • Exporting reports to Excel in .csv instead of .xls will speed up the time it takes to export and open the document.
    • When creating data for import, name column headers in your CSV with Salesforce field label names to allow auto-matching.
  3.       Leverage Login as Any User Feature 

Salesforce provides admins with the ability to login as a user to help troubleshoot issues without having to share passwords. Use this feature liberally. And make sure you disabled the feature Force re-login after Login-As-User so you don’t have to relogin when signing out as that user after troubleshooting.

 

Optimization Tips

  1.       Utilize Permission Sets over Profiles: 

One of the most difficult problems to correct is building too many profile to address minor differences in security.  By using permission sets, you can easily add functionality to users on an as-needed basis without altering profiles.

  1.       Dive Deep into Standard Lightning Page Components:

Within the past two years, Salesforce has released a ton of useful standard components that have extinguished old practices.  For example, having a different page layout for each record type isn’t necessarily the way to go if you want to customize the fields on a page.  By combining conditional visibility with standard components, you can highly customize Lightning Pages with very specific requirements.

  1.       Use the Description Attributes in Setup: 

The best place to create documentation is within Salesforce! Use those description fields to leave yourself a note EVERY TIME you create new metadata.  You’ll thank me in a year.

  1.       Keep Using Workflow Rules for Simple Field Updates: 

If you need to have a very simple field update or email alert, build it in workflow.  Workflow doesn’t count against any governor limits and will always execute. Process Builder is built on Flow technology and is subject to many of the same limitations. Commercient SYNC makes the data native on Salesforce to trigger different workflows, which reduces those limitations and increases Salesforce users efficiency.

We hope all these tips leverage your experience with Salesforce and help you to get the most out of the #1 CRM in the world. If you want to learn more about how Commercient SYNC enhances business processes connecting Salesforce with the ERP, contact us today.

What is eCommerce?

Before we get into eCommerce – Magento ERP integration, let us define and tackle what is eCommerce. An eCommerce site is a site that enables users to do their shopping online, which means that physical products can also be bought online through the purchasing and selling of products online. It is also known as “internet commerce” or “electronic commerce”. A commercial transaction takes place once a user buys a service or product, the money is then paid through a secured online platform. An example of an eCommerce site is Magento.

When it comes to eCommerce, there are different types such as:

  1. Business-to-Business (B2B) – When a service or product is sold to an alternative business.
  2. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) – When a service or product is sold to another consumer.
  3. Consumer-to-Business (C2B) – This happens when a consumer sells a service or product they offer to another business.
  4. Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) –  This takes place when a consumer sells a service or a product to another consumer

What is eCommerce – Magento ERP integration?

Magento ERP integration is a link between the business eCommerce site and back-end (ERP) that involves accounting and inventory. The data between these two systems flow automatically and bi-directionally which results in data only needing to be captured once. For example, when data flows, inventory levels will drop once a purchase is made.  A type of eCommerce integration is Magento, which contains the customer’s details, orders, and payments.

Why should a business use eCommerce – Magento ERP integration?

A Magento ERP integration is beneficial if you are continuously adding in data manually and moving it across the two systems, regardless of whether it is orders or product information.  This will result in a higher chance of making mistakes (human error) and leading to incorrect information that may affect the buyer’s experience, for example, the wrong shipping address. The more the eCommerce business grows, the amount of data being handled will increase and if you integrate your eCommerce data, you will need less staff to handle the influx. The user entering an eCommerce site will always expect a seamless experience.

What are the benefits of  eCommerce – Magento ERP integration

eCommerce – Magento ERP integration has the following benefits:

  • Customers will automatically be notified when their orders have been shipped and they can trace their delivery 
  • Data will automatically be updated, for example, if prices change
  • There will be better customer service since the integration will allow updates on the platform when a user makes a purchase
  • Entering data manually will no longer be needed which will reduce time and human mistakes
  • Orders can be increased without the need to provide more resources
  • Users will be able to see accurate information of what is in stock
  • Data will be synced bi-directionally, which will keep consistency and will speed up the data processor when it updates
  • When an integration takes place between the ERP and eCommerce platform, this will allow data to be fetched from other departments 

How to integrate Magento with your ERP?

Commercient has the integration solution for your Magento ERP integration requirements, SYNC can integrate the data you need which is simplified and user-friendly, as they no longer use traditional integration tools like ETL, mapping, or coding. By choosing Commercient SYNC, you will be able to view all the data in one place and the data will flow automatically as well as bi-directionally. Contact us today and alleviate the risk of having human errors from manually entering data. and increase your employees’ productivity with one source of centralized data. Not only that, but SYNC can integrate the data in real-time and provide you with an enhanced experience.

The technology behind creating content based on your target market has drastically evolved, making the process efficient and easier. According to research conducted by Evergage, many marketers agree that personalization is the most effective strategy for retaining the customer.

Happy Customer

To successfully implement personalization strategies, you’ll need sufficient data and insights. Bringing data from different systems remains a challenge for about 55% of marketers – you can create unique content on websites or social media, but personalized content is most effective in email marketing campaigns.

Sending individualized emails is not rocket science; however, using personalized emails to enhance conversion rates requires more than adding “First_Name” to your introduction.

So, how can companies gather the needed data? For starters:

  • Doing business with them
  • Tracking visitors on your website
  • Sign-up forms on your website
  • Sales networks
  • Third-party apps

All this data is usually gathered inside your CRM system. Collecting basic information such as name and address can make your email marketing communication simple, but not as effective. Make a list of data fields you want to acquire from your customers – name, address, and contact numbers are a given, but you also want to be able to track their purchase history, product interest, contact history, etc.

How integrating your CRM and ERP system enhances your campaign.

The 55% of marketers that struggle to bring all the data from their ERP system into their CRM system can utilize third-party integration apps to gather all the data collected from marketing automation systems or accounting tools into their CRM system. The integration between the two systems allows you to create custom fields where necessary and capture all the information.

It is crucial to make sure this information is up to date and accurate. Addressing a contact with the wrong name won’t do your marketing and sales efforts any good. Make sure you provide a personalized link in each email where the recipient can alter their own contact information; this will help to keep your database error-free.

Finally, always remember to send yourself and your team members a test email to see if everything works before you set wheels on your email marketing campaign. With a test mail, you can confirm whether all conditional content or personalization tags are in proper working order. Good luck!

Technology is revolutionizing the way manufacturers run businesses day-to-day in the digital era. CRM systems can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT; a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines that have the ability to transfer data over a network with no human interaction)  to enhance end-to-end processes by connecting products, devices and equipment. IoT has the ability to drive insights throughout sales, customer service, and marketing departments. The intelligent coupling of IoT and CRM has the ability to help manufacturers elevate customer experiences by enhancing efficiency and heightening visibility.

Let’s look at the impact of IoT and CRM on manufacturing companies. 

Optimized Customer Experiences

Customers always want to save time. Providing efficient services is key to business success. Research has shown that many customers will move to another brand due to a lack of efficiency and unique experience; IoT and CRM can make it possible to enhance customer experiences in various ways. Manufacturing firms can identify errors and fix them before customers even notice – when issues are solved promptly and accurately, both sales representatives and customers can benefit from this seamless experience. Once the issue is identified, it can be resolved and prevented from happening again. Having all customers’ order history and account information in your CRM system can enhance customer service by speeding up processes. These are some of the improvements manufacturers are already seeing when they connect IoT devices with their CRM systems. 

IoT and Manufacturing Machinery

Smart devices are used to collect data on where and when your product is used by specific customers, which helps manufacturing firms deliver personalized interactions. Having scattered or unstructured data can be challenging for manufacturers. Even smart organizations struggle to make better operational decisions if data is siloed within separate ERP and CRM systems; organized data leads to better decision-making. Experts have developed a solution app called Commercient SYNC, which takes data that is spread on-premise and in siloed data systems, synthesizing it into a system that can help organizations discover, manage and integrate data over its entire lifecycle.

data analytics and manufacturing machinery

Increased Sales

Customers value unique and efficient experiences more than anything else when engaging with brands. The enhanced capabilities of CRM systems, when connected with IoT, can lead to increased sales. IoT can detect customer dissatisfaction, assisting sales reps to put together a tailor-made strategy for each customer. It can also provide predictive analytics on when to reach out and which channel to use when offering discounts or vouchers to retain their loyalty. Marketers can also leverage these insights to deliver content to the specific target audience at the right time.

While a majority of ERP systems in the process of adapting to new technologies such as mobility, wearable tech, and the cloud, the Internet of Things is expected to be the next big movement in technology. IoT brings a lot of potential to ERP, CRM, and the industry of manufacturing. Harnessing the power of data by integrating your ERP and CRM system can put your company ahead of the competition. 

As mentioned earlier customers value unique and efficient experiences, by combining your organization’s ERP and CRM data your sales team can deliver fast-paced customer service by accessing data from one centralized system. Utilizing data integration, IoT and CRM enables manufacturing firms to become more connected enterprises and enables a business to discover innovative ways to engage and connect with customers.

Commercient provides CRM and ERP software integration solutions. We integrate +85 ERPs with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sugar CRM, Zoho CRM, and HubSpot CRM.

Commercient’s out-of-the-box “SYNC app”  is so easy to install. There’s no coding, no mapping, and no servers to manage on your end. Just download and go with easy access to sales and customer data when and where you need it.

Contact us today our team of experts will guide you through the digital transformation journey.

Businesses are finding it hard to keep up with the shift in consumer demand. With the advancement of technology, customers have increased their expectations for personalization, service, responsiveness, and delivery. For your business to be successful, you need to build strong relationships with your customers. But how do you do that? The obvious answer is by using a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Traditional CRM was used as a database to achieve goals more straightforwardly. Initially, it was only used for gathering, storing, and structuring data for easy access. It didn’t play any role in the process of analysis and interpretation of data to provide meaningful insight.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a critical requirement for large and growing enterprises operating in a competitive environment. A variety of tools and platforms enable sales and marketing professionals to build and strengthen their customer relationships. 

Artificial Intelligence has made it easier to predict user behavior and needs. AI and CRM together enable businesses to enhance their customer relationships.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, refers to the ability of machines to think and understand like humans. We have now provided machines with some capabilities that can do much more than just collecting and storing of data. With the help of AI, a system can process a huge chunk of data, analyze it and detect patterns to predict behavior, and also use the same insight to calculate risk.

AI has an abundant potential to boost the output of CRM tools. It can provide a holistic view of the customer’s entire journey from the prospect stage until retention.

Artificial Intelligence is steadily redefining the future of CRM. With the advancement in AI, the scope of automation is becoming wider. It will prompt customer relationship stakeholders to focus on more pressing issues. In brief, it will elevate the customer experience from the beginning to after-sales service.

How AI is Redefining the Future of Customer Service

Intelligent Automation: AI and CRM integration will enable organizations to restructure the workflow and automate manual chores intelligently. It will be used to evaluate sales funnel, predict customer behavior, and predict revenue with maximum accuracy. With predictive analysis, we can enable organizations to use historical performance data to make predictions about the future and take relevant actions.

As mentioned before, AI can help predict customers’ behavior based on past interactions. It uses the same insights to evaluate the sales funnels and forecast market dynamics with maximum accuracy. It allows businesses to take relevant actions that will have a positive impact. It entirely results in restructuring and automating the workflow, depending on the insights. For instance, it can help with lead scoring and assist in lead segmentation based on demographics, sales records, and more. 

Efficient Management of Data: Nowadays, a vast amount of information is generated every hour by interactions with consumers. This data can be used to gain insights into predicting buyer’s behavior and formulate your business strategies accordingly.

Artificial intelligence is a useful resource when it comes to collecting and processing a massive amount of data. AI can help centralize all data from different social channels and digital interfaces into a single platform — CRM. It can then easily interpret and analyze them and provide value to the company’s objective. 

In essence, it will help effortlessly manage the marketing department by enabling them to respond to customers more quickly and efficiently. 

Advanced Customer Service Capabilities with NLP: Natural Language Processing is a type of machine learning. It understands the words, sentences, and context of your customer support queries. As a subset of artificial intelligence (AI), NLP interprets and analyzes customer’s verbal statements. Once it does, it provides them with an answer—all without human intervention.

Natural language processing (NLP) in AI is an essential speech recognition capability that can read, decipher, and make sense of the human languages. It can help the CRM platform to meaningfully analyze the textual context of customer emails and send them a precise response. 

At the same time, it can also provide real-time advice for sales pitches and course correction. NLP, combined with CRM tools, can help businesses to reveal their brand sentiments accurately, which will ultimately affect their marketing efforts. 

Transform your Business with Our Artificial Intelligence and CRM Expertise

Commercient provides CRM and ERP software integration solutions. We integrate +85 ERPs with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sugar CRM, Zoho CRM, and HubSpot CRM.

Commercient’s out-of-the-box “SYNC app”  is so easy to install. There’s no coding, no mapping, and no servers to manage on your end. Just download and go with easy access to sales and customer data when and where you need it.

Commercient SYNC can be set up to synchronize your ERP and CRM data as frequently as your business requires, once a day, every hour, or in real-time. SYNC is configurable to your company’s unique needs.

Examples of AI and CRM

Salesforce Einstein: Salesforce Einstein is the first comprehensive AI for CRM that is designed for business to be smarter and more predictive about prospective customers. Einstein is powered by deep learning, Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, and Data Mining.

Zoho: Zoho has a conversational AI assistant called Zia. It assists customers with everything from simple responses to complex analytics. We, at Oodles ERP, integrate Zoho products with enterprise applications to manage products, sales, marketing, recruitment, social media, and more.

Sugar CRM: Sugar CRM has recently launched an AI product called Hint. It automatically searches, tunes, and inputs personal and corporate profile details of prospective customers.

Conclusion

A CRM is considered as the backbone of any business organization. In the end, you will see a vast improvement in the company’s bottom line. Investing in AI will help you optimize various processes – improved customer service, compelling sales pitches, increased retention rates, improved customer engagement, and more. Artificial intelligence will help create a better experience for both customers and sales representatives. The combination of AI and customer relationship management is a gateway to a more profitable business. 

In order to get the most out of your ERP and CRM’s, automating workflows would work best through the seamless integration of data between your ERP and CRM. To be able to elaborate on this, we need to discuss and gain a better understanding of what ERP and CRM’s have to offer your business, by providing examples of ERP and CRM data integration, and how to automate workflows.

Let’s define what is an ERP and CRM Software:

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, ERP systems deal with financial data, supply chain management, and payroll. Businesses need an ERP system to assist in lowering costs and increasing revenue by having their communications and business functions consolidated. ERP systems are there to prevent repetition, arrange pricings, and assist teams in speaking to each other. To summarise, the ERP system looks at all aspects of a company. 

Examples of ERP systems in action:

  • It updates accounts and processes orders;
  • Manages employees on payrolls that deal with benefits, income, and stores personal information about employees;
  • You can track any manufacturing processes and create alerts for every phase of the process;
  • Supply chain management that consists of manufacturing, distribution and purchasing; and
  • You are able to track processes in and across departments.

There are about 85+ ERP’s and some examples are, Sage, Quickbooks, Acumatica and Netsuite to name a few.

On the other hand, you have CRM systems – customer relationship management systems deal with the interaction between potential and current customers, ensuring they enjoy their experience. It’s all about delivering a service that is timely, reliable, and consistent because if that can be delivered, the business will have more of a chance of having customers that are loyal, and that will increase sales. Therefore, CRM systems are mainly used for customer service, sales, and marketing departments. 

To illustrate CRM systems in action:

  • Assist in high-quality customer support;
  • Streamlining the process for sales;
  • The response time will be more efficient;
  • Leads and opportunities can be pursued more effectively; and
  • You can draw up reports to analyze how the customer interacts with the business and their purchasing pattern. 

Some examples of leading CRM systems Salesforce, Hubspot, Sugar CRM, Zoho, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Data Integration and workflow automation

Every business would like to streamline their data, in order for day-to-day processes to be more efficient so they can deliver expedited service to customers. If you have a separate ERP and CRM system without them being integrated into one system, it becomes tedious and hard to manage, and not only that, you will have to keep track of when to synchronize all the data. The workflow of data will become slower and there are more risks of running into numerous errors.

Data integration between your ERP and CRM has numerous advantages, as your business will be able to share one database between all employees, which means the following: 

  • 360-degree view of customers and products;
  • Employees can access information at a faster rate;
  • Avoid manual data entry and the risk of duplications;
  • There will be better inventory, order, and quote management;
  • Better quality control; and
  • Better mobility meaning employees can collaborate easier and faster.

But, now how does ERP and CRM integration play a role in automating workflows?

Well, workflow automation is a logical method of automating any manual task or work for an employee or worker and consists of knowing what tasks employees or workers do and automating them through technology. By integrating your ERP and CRM data, you have already created a ground for workflow automation. It is ideal for any business because it helps with;

  • Data accuracy;
  • Avoidance of manual data entry by employees;
  • Productivity; and
  • Efficiency. 

But how can one integrate their data to automate workflows?

Commercient SYNC makes data integration simple and user-friendly. Information is made available on a platform accessible to all employees. Through SYNC, data is transferred from your ERP to your CRM and from your CRM to your ERP and stored according to the business needs. Through this, Commercient assists in automating workflow because once the two platforms have been SYNC’ed, there will be a streamlined workflow that eliminates unnecessary work and your employee’s productivity will increase. Unlike traditional data integration tools such as an ETL, there is no coding, mapping, or server required through Commercient.

Contact us today and get your department’s workflows automated with SYNC!

ERP software is essential for a modern-day business. There are professional ERP software solutions providers to help with your requirements. With the breakneck pace at which technology is evolving, ERP is undergoing a host of changes.

The business environment today has become more complex. The level of competition is increasing daily, so are customer expectations. It is essential for businesses to utilize their resources efficiently, this is only possible through the integration of technology with business operations.

Let us take a look at technology trends that will revolutionize the ERP industry as we know it: 

Direct machine integration: This technology refers to the connectivity of computers with machines and other things. Sometimes called “IoT” or “the internet of things”. For example, sensors placed on manufacturing machines can tell the manufacturer’s ERP software everything about the machine’s performance in real-time. The foreman or manager views and interprets the information. He then schedules any needed maintenance during off-hours when employees are not there.

There are much fewer surprise malfunctions and shut-downs when IoT and ERP are combined. That means that fewer human technicians are needed and employees are rarely paid for doing nothing while waiting on machines to get fixed. IoT devices connected to the ERP system can create this kind of communication and efficiency in many different applications within the entire supply chain. This level of visibility all up and down the chain will make companies much more competitive.

Artificial intelligence: To understand AI in an ERP context, think in terms of its practical applications—things like machine learning and natural language processing. AI isn’t any one thing; it’s all the parts and processes toiling away behind the scenes to make something whole, rather than the physical or theoretical manifestation of that whole. AI ERP systems can recognize patterns and automate routine tasks, and they do all of it in the blink of an eye, giving businesses an unprecedented level of efficiency, functionality, and insight into their data. 

If the technology is used optimally, AI will use intelligent software applications to improve the internal management structure and create a smarter technology infrastructure, and thus optimize the business processes in each individual company. To accommodate the new technology, it is important that you are flexible and as a company prepared to review your current IT strategies.

ERP and CRM Data integration: Data has become more complex over the years and it still remains the fuel keeping most organizations in business today. Getting a consistent view of your business performance across a large enterprise could be challenging. Often, global corporations lack a single definitive source of data related to customers or products. And that makes it difficult to answer even the simplest questions.

Not all information needs to be available within five minutes, but certain decisions can only be made on the basis of data that is fully up-to-date. And that is a big advantage of ERP and CRM data integration. With ERP and CRM data integration, you see a unified view of your data, because ERP and CRM data integration software brings your information together, it can include data quality and the process of defining master reference data, such as corporatewide definitions of customers, products, suppliers and other key information that gives context to business transactions.

Cloud ERP: Cloud ERP refers to ERP software and tools that are offered and managed in the cloud, as opposed to the business hosting their system on-premises. While every organization operating today is different, they all face a common challenge—in order to effectively compete in today’s business environment, they need access to technology that helps them innovate, scale, and grow quickly. They need advanced, globally-connected, and continuously updated software tools and systems that allow them to focus more of their time and energy on implementing growth initiatives and less on day-to-day IT management. That’s where cloud ERP comes into play. As technology continues to advance and evolve, more businesses of all sizes are considering cloud ERP software solutions than ever before. This popularity is largely a result of factors such as cost, reliability, speed, and access.

Mobile ERP: Everyone is staring at their cell phones these days. Many people take laptops and other mobile devices with them to restaurants, coffee shops, home, and back to the office.

We live in an era of instant access to information, and today’s mobile workforce expects large-company software to have a mobile app. Apps give executives and employees access to real-time company information and customer communications. ERP is indeed going mobile to meet this need. ERP mobile apps let the workforce send push notifications, create an event, review and approve time, sales orders, and expenses from the local coffee shop.

Apps that are dedicated to just one activity, such as dealing with sales orders or performing customer relationship management, are common. Employees, from the warehouse to the customer’s door, have some sort of real-time information. Companies who implement this technology will have an edge over those who don’t because more work is getting done during the day. That means it gets done faster and customers are happier.

Conclusion

Combining ERP and Smart Tech solutions is a beneficial practice for organizations that want to standardize repeatable processes and increase the visibility of operations across the organization. The ERP system is used as a backbone platform to execute the main transactions and to store the essential data. Smart Tech solutions automate, control, and visualize business processes. As Smart Tech solutions are becoming more extensive and sophisticated,  the number of activities they can replace is increasing. However, to ensure successful use of the ERP and Smart Tech solutions the following considerations must be taken into account:

  • structure of the data
  • alignment of end-users
  • maturity of Smart Tech solutions
  • set-up of the ERP system

The continuous monitoring tool on the ERP platform makes it possible for the employees to gain insights into their critical processes and to turn these insights into actions by managing exceptions. This caused a shift from resolving issues to improving business process activities. Because of the standardized back-office processes.

Contact us today for a free Commercient SYNC demo, and embark on a journey of revolutionizing your ERP system.

Our society is constantly being augmented by data technology. This cycle of renewal and change is essential to every growing economy. The only way to go from rags to riches is to keep up with the rate of change. If we want to empower ourselves as entrepreneurs, we need to take a holistic view of leading trends. Future-proofing your business starts with learning as much as you can about the innovations coming your way. Stay ahead of the curve with us by exploring some of the most influential tech predictions for 2020. 

  1. Mobile Payment Ecosystems: 

Online shopping has steadily gained public trust and traction over the last decade.

E-Commerce has grown more efficient and trustworthy with mobile-intuitive websites and one-click pay options. Business benefits of apps like Sync2Pay include direct processing of mobile payment straight into your CRM or E-Commerce system. No external reconciliation or manual data entry is needed to keep track of your revenue. Mobile CRM apps like Salesforce also give your reps the freedom to collect customer information when they’re out in the field. This enables faster conversions and fewer missed leads. 

The next step in the evolution is a completely cashless and cardless consumer experience. Apple Pay, Snap Scan and Google Wallet will increase their dominance when it comes to creating virtual pay-points. This means we’ll be seeing more of the quaint QR-code in months to come. As we watch payment apps become more prolific, expect stronger competition amongst gatekeepers of these online transactions. Banks, telecoms and credit card companies are just some of the processing parties who will be vying for a slice of the pie. 

  1. AI as a Service:

Whilst there are fears of redundancy within the human workforce, a robot isn’t likely to steal your job. Well, not within the next year anyway. AI is a boon for business because of its ability to handle large scale computations. Machine learning can process massive batches of customer data, fast. The result is a risk reduction in decision-making systems. More companies will combine Software as a Service business model with AI. Thus, creating greater accessibility to processing-heavy services, at a reduced cost. Fore-runners like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are already offering machine-learning capabilities and training materials to the masses for a subscription. Retail sector benefits include big data processing for predictive modeling. Consumer trends can be mapped and efforts wisely directed in CRM based on key demographics. But forget the theory. This is how improved ERP data access can practically transform the efficiency of a cloud-based CRM. No costly upgrade. No compatibility hitches. Commercient SYNC helps businesses streamline sales and customer service, increase customer satisfaction, and drive profitability. Within CRM, your sales team will have access to ERP information such as customer information, sales history, invoicing, terms, serial numbers invoiced, inventory, A/R information, multiple ship-to addresses, and more.

Contact us today to put your business at the forefront of customer innovation.

  1. Nano-technology Business Ventures: 

Think about the size of an atom. Now divide that by ten. As hard as it is to imagine this is the minuscule scale dealt with in nano-tech production. Of course, the precursor to this booming business is the 3D printer. With a vast array of applications from food production to medical science, the scope for nano-tech start-ups is huge. This technology is known for creating smaller, more robust and affordable machine components that ultimately streamline manufacturing processes. This lowers demands on energy consumption and raw materials. The global focus is set to hone in on this topic at trade shows in Tokyo and France next year. These are some of the nano-tech functions that will be exhibited:  

  • creating wound-healing devices 
  • manufacturing parts for commercial drones 
  • assembly of medical fitness wearables
  1. Smarter hackers:

With the ubiquity of E-Commerce comes an increased need for data protection. Personal data is vulnerable to these transactions so security is crucial in every online consumer experience. Like the superbugs allegedly spawned by our obsession with antibacterial substances, hackers have become more resilient. The good news is that there’s no end to the one-upmanship. Security systems will continue to deliver preemptive strikes to data theft and network breaches. Fortunately, ERP and CRM integration apps create a single database that can be backed up and password protected. Additionally, you can create different levels of accessibility to the same repository, each with its own password. No need to save confidential customer data onto individual documents that live outside the security of your ERP system.