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Technology Trends Driving CRM Software

In a world of fast pace moving technology, we might often wonder if there are faster and more secure ways of keeping your customers information in one place. There is a variety of software designed to keep up with customer relationships and their data, and this is when Customer Relationship Management (CRM) comes in handy.

You might be wondering what a CRM is – it is software designed to assist in improving business relationships by overseeing the interactions between potential customers and customers. CRM is there to accommodate processes within an organization, that can lead to increased sales and profitability, building strong relationships with customers and improving customer services. By having a CRM, all customer data is stored in one place in which you can see all their personal information, history, orders, or any obstacles they are experiencing.

CRM’s include many benefits such as:

  • Reliable reporting
  • Improved contact management
  • Teams across departments can collaborate more efficiently 
  • Improves customer loyalty
  • Optimizes marketing 

Since CRM and technology have been growing, there are certain trends that are driving the software to expedite daily business operations and make customer’s journeys flawless. What are the technology trends driving CRM software?

1. Using data strategically

When a company gains potential customers, numerous data is produced in the sales or marketing department, by having CRM the data is unified and stored in one place making it easier for employees to access the data to satisfy the customer’s needs.

2. Artificial intelligence 

Artificial intelligence with CRM is a necessity as manual tasks can become automated which will free up a sales department time. Chatbots are also implemented through artificial intelligence and are equipped to handle service requests by capturing the customer’s important information needed to handle those requests. Not even that, usage patterns of marketers can be identified and data can be collected, then analyzed for leads and to predict customer trends.

3. Making CRM Mobile

Salespeople are always on the go and by having a CRM, they can access the information anywhere and at any time they need to. They can access any leads or opportunities that can result in customer interactions being dealt with faster. This can assist in boosting productivity since all the data is organized and in one place, which means a salesperson can respond to requests straight away. It will also increase sales since a salesperson won’t have to spend time searching for information.

4. CRM Becoming Social

CRM allows interaction in real-time and having CRM that is social, customers can be engaged with on any social media platform. Since social CRM operates on social media platforms, there are techniques and technologies that allow businesses to supply real-time feedback and programs to support customers. In addition, brands can use social CRM to identify customers buying patterns and behavior.

5. Workflow automation

CRM’s are useful in helping businesses automate their workflow as it helps determine whether certain tasks should be done by a machine or a person to provide the best customer service. In a CRM there is task automation that provides guidelines on what actions to take for an employee to assist the customer. The task automation functions are based on information received from the profile of the customer, and the circumstances surrounding the business. Not only that but, by having task automation it assists in distributing work amongst employees or machines. It, therefore, assists salespeople in reducing their time on tasks,  duplications of work is avoided and each stage of the sales process is looked at to make sure the correct steps are taken.

6. Data integration – Third-party systems and IoT

CRM’s are designed to deal with large amounts of data from different platforms, the data is able to integrate more easily through third-party systems and the Internet of Things (IoT). Third-party systems operate through web services as it delivers, for example, cellular services, subscription services, or GPS’s. Since CRM operates in the cloud, there are protocols in which data can be retrieved through the web services. This type of cooperation provides seamless communication with other sources of information in order to provide efficient customer services. IoT also plays a role in the trend for CRM as there are devices that will be able to detect and send issues about products, maintenance issues, or inappropriate usage. 

7. Technology – ease of use

Since data can be stored in one place with CRM, it will be easier to find and analyze, as well as, it can connect with other technologies making the process of interacting with customers easier and more efficient with no data duplication.

Commercient provides an app called SYNC that can integrate your data between your ERP to your CRM or your CRM to ERP in real-time with no mapping, coding, or ETL. Since there are technology trends driving CRM software, Commericent can provide a 360-degree view of all your data within sales and marketing to satisfy your customer’s needs in an efficient manner. Using SYNC to integrate your data, it will all be stored in one place which prevents salespeople or employees from searching for data in numerous places in order to perform tasks according to the customer’s request, and duplication of work is prevented.

Contact us to start reaping the benefits of digital technology!

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.

What is IPaaS?

Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS) is a set of automated tools for connecting software systems that are deployed in different environments. IPaaS is implemented to improve efficiency and productivity by large business-to-business enterprises. Information in separated environments is brought together without increasing IT costs. IPaaS has filled a gap in the software market by creating a system that allows integral integration and communication between systems. IPaaS is a cloud-based integration platform used to connect software applications that wouldn’t automatically connect due to the fact they come from different avenues. It is common practice that different departments including sales, marketing, and support run on separate systems. IPaaS makes it possible to integrate and connect applications. Communication is improved between cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-on-premise, on-premise-to-on-premise platforms without the hassle of installing any hardware.

Other integration platforms include:

Platform as a service (PaaS) provides a platform for users to develop, run, and manage applications without the required infrastructure maintenance. These include the servers, networks, memory and operating systems. The focus of PaaS is on one element rather than the entire system. This allows developers to change and develop specific operating systems without disrupting the entire system. Software as a service (SaaS) is when the software is provided on a subscription basis to the user as it is needed by a third party. This eliminates the need for a central storage center, which saves time, space and money. 

How does IPaaS work?

IPaaS provides the infrastructure which allows for the creation of connections and the set up of software applications within the cloud. Companies can dictate the types of connections allowed within the platform such as:  prebuilt connectors, business rules, maps, and transformations. This results in connections for integration and application program interface (API) management.

Advantages

IPaaS is often used by large business-to-business companies that need to integrate on-premises applications with cloud applications. Both older and newer companies can benefit from IPaaS. Older companies are able to modify their tools to work with cloud-based services. Newer companies born in the cloud are finding success leveraging cloud-based services. When used correctly, there are many benefits to both the company and its customers.

For your CustomersWithin a Company
A single location
Consumers’ data and software are connected in one convenient cloud-based location. You will no longer need to search for ways to connect and manage data. Data analysis, integration, and management are in the palm of your client’s hands.

Real-time processing
Data can be shared and processed as it is needed. This reduces waiting times and allowing for fast and sound decision making.

Improved communication
The amalgamation of information at a local source reduces the risk of data being lost or misinterpreted. Consumers can make more informed decisions.
Centralized environment
Connections across different platforms and environments can be managed by multiple teams from a single platform. This creates better communication and connection within the company.

Integrate

To become integrated within a cloud-based age you will require successful connections of information and applications within your company. Integration creates a central environment for companies to view, manage and modify all data and operations. Having a business that is in-sync is the key to efficiency and success.

Although it’s possible for IT departments to DIY their own integration, it is often faster and more efficient to use a third-party IPaaS provider such as Commercient SYNC.

If your company is wanting to keep up with today’s business needs and is looking for a simple, fast and flexible integration system then look no further than Commercient SYNC. A cloud to a ground-based platform that is not your average data integration application. We provide a hassle-free, easy installation that requires no coding, mapping or servers from your company. Commercient SYNC is scalable and has the ability to meet the increased data volume. It supports real-time integration with the goal of minimum disruption, providing our customers with an enhanced overall experience. Choose the correct integration system and contact us today.

Remote work is on the rise. As a manager, how can you track the performance of your sales team, in order to establish trends and predict business growth as more companies embrace working with remote teams? 

Besides sales metrics, managers and business owners need to keep in mind aspects such as sales processes, efficiency, communication, and especially the creation of a remote work culture that employees have embraced and are committed to do everything they can to make it work for everyone: bosses, coworkers, stakeholders and customers.

This is the time to leverage the capabilities and advantages of cloud-based technology. Data doesn’t have to be siloed, or resting in desktop computers that only a few employees have access to. Data is here to be used, to optimize everyone’s work and, most importantly, to make decisions that help your company grow. 

Commercient SYNC has helped inside and outside sales teams to have access to key customer data in different devices, manage leads and opportunities, optimize their time in the field, be more productive, close deals, and provide an enhanced customer service. 

The technology is there, and in order to get the most out of those investments and truly make a difference in the company, a new culture needs to emerge. This is a process, it’s true, but just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, no change can come unless managers and employees take the first step towards a culture that embraces innovation and seizes new opportunities and trends.

As a company, Commercient walked the talk using Zoom for its global team communication, and to provide embedded live support in its unique training environment. Besides the security of the system and the frictionless video conferencing for staff and client meetings, Commercient chose Zoom to connect clients to a support technician via video in real time, in its VR environment to provide customers with an interactive guidance to implement its integration technology.

“Everything in this [virtual training environment] runs within a web browser, so one of the requirements was that the solution had to be able to run in a web browser,” said Richard Jenkins, co-founder of Commercient.

This change has made a positive impact not only in client onboarding and interaction, but in how the whole organization, sales, customer service and support interact with each other as well.

As a manager, you may have some concerns about how to successfully manage your sales staff and projects remotely. Here are some of the most common concerns and tips to tackle each of them to ensure goals are met and your team is as engaged as in the office (if not more):

Tracking People’s Time

This is especially important if your employees are hired per hour. How can you make sure that they’re working the corresponding hours each day/week? There are time tracking softwares such as Screenshot Monitor, that will allow you to see how many hours your employees are working on projects, and compare it with the invoices they send or the contract terms. 

If your company doesn’t work on hourly contracts, but project based or according to specific results, project management software such as Trello, Monday or Asana can work to track how many of those goals are met: how many calls were made, how many new leads, customers served, and more.

These are some tools Kelly Michael Skelton, System Architect at Fiber Optic Center, recommends in a recent article with tips to work remotely. He also recommends setting up a clear schedule. “Blocking off certain hours of the day for different tasks / meetings can help. I also make checklists every day of what I need to accomplish and what I hope to accomplish,” he explains. According to Skelton, these tasks may spillover into the following day, but it is still helpful to visualize responsibilities.

Choose The Right People

Can you “trust” your staff to work as efficiently at home as in the office (if not more)? Research shows people tend to be and feel more productive at home, but as a manager, it can be a challenge to correctly “assess” your own employees could make it work from home.  

There are some attributes to consider, such as discipline, proactiveness, being a self starter, and efficient time and stress management. Since they’re “on their own”, it’s important they feel personally responsible for getting things done, and communicate constantly with managers and coworkers as necessary.

Creating this remote work culture requires reinforcing these attributes in your team, and making sure any new hires have experience or the potential to develop them as well. Although is not possible to accurately predict a potential new employee’s performance in the job interview, there are questions you can ask: 

-Have you ever worked alone/remotely?

-Have they worked or managed a team that is not at the same location/country?

-Do you consider yourself a self starter? Can you give an example?

-Do you have specific, consistent habits in your routine (exercising, getting up at the same time, yoga, reading, etc.)

-Have you used project management software or CRM systems? How comfortable are you with this technology?

Project Timelines, Deadlines And Communication

In order to make everything work efficiently and meet goals, setting up firm project deadlines is a must. Especially with your team working from home, leaving projects hanging or to complete “when there’s some time”, is not going to do you, your employees or your company any good.

Time is money, and projects without clear deadlines is money lost in the long -and maybe not so long- run. Time is not something people “have”, it is something people “create” according to their priorities. So make sure your team has those priorities clear, especially during stressful times.

Deadlines need to be defined according to detailed and realistic project timelines, so your team knows what needs to happen now, and next, until the whole project is successfully completed. This doesn’t only help with the logistics, but reduces uncertainty and the stress that comes with it, since everyone is clear on their role at each step.

This cannot happen without clear and constant communication. To ensure everyone is on the same page and there are no duplicate efforts, technology has made it a lot easier: email, chat apps, video conference software for meetings such as Zoom, and remote team collaboration tools such as Google Suite and Quip (Salesforce).

As they say it themselves, with Quip employees can be on the same page without being at the same place. It combines documents, spreadsheets, and chat, to help distributed teams to work together effectively. For now, until September 2020, Salesforce has made this technology available for free.

Underperforming Team Members

Is there any team member struggling to meet deadlines or achieve sales quotas? Opening communication channels is crucial to find out what’s going on, in order to make decisions that correct any mistakes or deficiencies in the systems the team is currently using.

What can an open, thoughtful conversation do in these cases? First of all, you can detect problems the team is facing that you maybe weren’t aware of: communication problems among team members, a tool not working correctly, and even non-cloud based solutions that cause double data entry, duplicate efforts, errors, and data not synced between systems. 

That’s one of the main benefits the manufacturing company Gecko Alliance, a Commercient’s customer, perceives by using Salesforce and connecting it with their ERP, Infor Visual, through SYNC. At first, the Sales team showed some resistance towards the use of a CRM and other systems, since they felt like a struggle having to dedicate time to enter data into Salesforce. 

That has changed now. “In the last sales meeting, they all said ‘we can’t live without it anymore. This is our true source of data, this is where everything we do is happening.’ It pushed Salesforce into the front end for them. They know that without SYNC they couldn’t be doing what they’re doing right now,” said Elodie Martinez, Salesforce Administrator at Gecko Alliance.

Other useful tools are help desks and online FAQs pages, that can provide answers and resolve issues for employees and customers.

Reward Your Thriving Team Members

How about your top performers, those that consistently meet deadlines and reach -or exceed- sales quotas? If they’re working remotely, an “employee of the month” card in the office might not be the best way to show recognition, but there are other ways to show them how valuable they are to the team and the company. 

Mentions in the company chat can go a long way to show someone he/she is appreciated, and there are other perks such as rewards to meeting specific goals, bonuses, training/certifications at no cost to the employee… To keep a remote sales team motivated and thriving every time, having good communication is key to help them not feel isolated. Whether they work at the office or remotely, they all need to feel they’re part of a company that is up to do something great.

With a remote sales team, watching salespeople’s interactions with leads and customers is not always a possibility. That’s why it’s important to have processes in place that provide direction and clarify what’s expected from them every step of the way.

Having systems talking to each other and data that, instead of siloed, is easily accessible from any device goes a long way in helping a team to thrive. Remote workers need tools to help them optimize their time and resources, and Commercient SYNC can be a great ally in creating an innovative culture in your company. Let’s talk about connecting your CRM to your ERP today.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions help in streamlining day-to-day business processes and increasing profitability in a company’s sales, marketing, and service departments. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software integrates business processes across finance, HR, distribution, manufacturing, and other business departments.

Integrating your CRM and ERP systems with Comercient SYNC gives your company improved sales processes, more accuracy in product forecasting, and the most relevant data stored in one centralized location. Your company might already be weighing the benefits of integrating the ERP and CRM system, let us take a look at how the CRM and ERP integration would be beneficial to your company.

  • Even if sales are not a fundamental part of your business operations, you should remember that a CRM tool is not just for customer management. By integrating your CRM software with an ERP system, a company is able to gain advanced tools for streamlining relationships between sales personnel, the back office, and operations on the shop floor.
  • Automatic updates keep both systems in sync with each other which is crucial for when changes to operations are made or different requirements are added. For instance, any alterations made in the ERP will be immediately reflected in the CRM system as well – and vice versa. Since the data in both the ERP and CRM are defined in the same integration solution, you will always have consolidated and consistent data that you can rely on.
  • The data integration between your ERP and CRM system with Commercient SYNC will add a new layer of efficiency to your company’s business operations. Integrated platforms have the ability to support multi-level assimilations, they are optimized to deal with different technology innovations in a flexible environment.
  • The latest information about product availability, which an ERP system provides, can result in more accurate shipment dates, which can then provide the opportunity for rush orders if the customer needs to receive orders faster. This can improve the company/customer relationship immensely. A happy customer is a returning customer.

From a salesperson standpoint, a CRM tool gives them a better picture of which campaigns are doing best, while the ERP system reveals the highest selling products. Combine this data, and operations are able to forecast product demand with a lot more accuracy. This is important because having too little or too much inventory impacts a company’s bottom line. Excess inventory can tie up revenue that could be better spent elsewhere.

When salespeople in an organization have access to the order history from an ERP system, in congruence with customer data from a CRM tool, they stand a better chance for closing a deal. ERP and CRM integration provides salespeople with all the necessary information even before reaching out to a customer. Not only does this speed up the collection process, but it also ensures sales proposals include the most relevant information.

Through a CRM viewpoint, the primary value is that it helps companies bring in new customers, providing a structure and process for turning prospects into leads, quotes, and sales opportunities. 

Order processing is also sped up. When a salesperson enters an order in the CRM system, the data is automatically transferred to the ERP – this eliminates the need for manual data entry from printed sales reports, emails or paper forms, making the lives of both manufacturers and sales easier.

Overall, when you have an ERP and CRM integration in place, you can create a seamless and streamlined workflow that eliminates the tedious work of entering the same data in various systems. This can save companies time and money in labor costs and reduces data redundancy errors that can ultimately result in unreliable data.

With an integrated ERP and CRM system, both sales and manufacturers can enter transactions (product orders or sales orders) or change customer records and have the updated information accessible to them at the touch of a finger.

Looking for more? Check out our ERP and CRM integration products here. Sign up and partner with us here or get our free Demo and start your integration journey with SYNC Today!

A global company, full of capable team members is one of Commercient’s greatest assets. People that are great at what they do, willing to improve their skill sets in order to provide best-in-class service to our customers and partners. Now, two of them have received the AWS Certification. 

After weeks of hard work preparing for the exam, Sergio Cabrales and Alan Valdez, both Level 1 Support (Application Team of Commercient), completed this process successfully and are proud owners of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification. 

They had one month to prepare for the exam which resulted in them being extremely dedicated during the week and on weekends. 

They stated the following on how it will benefit Commercient:

“I hope that this certification helps me have a deeper understanding of the configuration of our customers so that I could provide them with better troubleshooting and advice whenever needed”, explained Sergio Cabrales

Alan Valdez said: “This clearly proves that as time passes on, Commercient gets more and more people certified in different skills which brings way more value to the company in any way one could think of.”

About AWS

AWS stands for Amazon Web Services, which is known to be a cloud-based platform that offers 175 services ranging from analytics, application integration, AR & VR, AWS Cost Management, Blockchain, Customer Engagement, Machine Learning, Developer Tools, Security, Networking, IoT, and the list goes on. 

Part of these functionalities is that there are so many, that an application can be designed with the right tools for the specific job you require and it offers data to be moved to the cloud through cost-effective, fast and easier measures. Not only that, but AWS is one of the most secure cloud databases as it even satisfies the military, banks and other industries managing sensitive information.

AWS Certifications

Even though AWS is offered as a product to many customers, it also offers various certifications such as:

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner  – Foundational
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate 
  • AWS Certified Developer – Associate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate 
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

Sergio and Alan  took this great challenge by excelling in the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certificate. This course focuses on:

  • Designing systems with AWS tools
  • Data Security
  • Troubleshooting
  • Implementation 

And this is what our team members had to say about it:

“I think getting this AWS certification is certainly a big accomplishment for my career. I had experience working with AWS before, and this exam required a deep knowledge of cloud computing. This has greatly helped me understand how cloud computing works and all of the components needed to make a business application successful said Sergio Cabrales.”

“I prepared for this exam by reviewing online studying materials and also doing some hands-on practice in the AWS console directly. Balancing the workload at the job and the study time was quite challenging, but I am glad I got a positive result,” explained Cabrales.

Alan Valdez shared this about the preparation process: “When I got the assignment of passing the AWS Solutions Architect Certification, I definitely took it as a challenge to test my capabilities as we only had around a month to go before test day would arrive and I wanted to contribute to this to the best of my ability for Commercient.” 

“Then came the course to get prepared for the AWS Solutions Architect Certification actual test. This was more of practicing within the console of AWS and covered a lot of material than what was actually in the real exam and previous dump exams, that I had taken prior to the real one”, said Valdez. 

How do you expect to help Commercient customers with this certification?

“I hope that this certification helps me have a deeper understanding of the configuration of our customers so that I could provide them with better troubleshooting and advice whenever needed”, said Sergio Cabrales.

Alan Valdez added: “I believe this certification will truly help Commercient and our customers not only because of the Certification itself, for partner wise purposes and related topics. This clearly proves that as time passes on, Commercient gets more and more people certified in different skills which brings way more value to the company in any way one could think of. This was my joyful experience in taking this examination and being able to pass on the first attempt.”

Here are some tips if you feel like getting an AWS Certification is the next step in your career.

Tips To Get The AWS certificate

How do we know which AWS certificate is best suited to us? What is a certificate? Why do we need certificates? These are all common questions that are normally asked amongst ourselves. But they are highly recommended and the following are one of many benefits:

  • They are proof of hard work and knowledge
  • They are valuable
  • They open doors to many opportunities
  • We can gain skills and make ourselves more profitable

With the types of AWS certificates such as,

  • AWS Foundational Level Certifications: This is based on foundational cloud concepts but nothing on implementation.
  • AWS Associate Level Certifications: This has to do with working in the cloud and has to do with more hands-on implementations.
  • AWS Professional Level Certifications: You are already experienced in AWS and have passed the AWS associate-level certifications.
  • AWS Specialty Certifications: You are highly experienced in AWS and it is focused on narrow areas – networking, data, and security. Many years of experience are needed for this.

If the AWS certificate is what you are looking for, here are the steps to sign up and begin!

  1. You will need to sign up for an AWS training class
  2. Look over any exam or study guides to start preparing
  3. Take on all AWS whitepapers as you may find many answers in there to your questions
  4. Make sure to practice over past exam papers to gain an insight into what it will feel like to write the exam
  5. Depending on the certification, make sure you spend at least 80-120 hours practicing and studying before the exam. Once you feel ready, schedule the exam.

Wilson Electronics amplifies the power of communication, allowing loved ones to stay in touch no matter where they are in the world. Companies all over the world harness the power of Wilson Electronics to boost their global reach.    

Founder Jim Wilson started Wilson Electronics in 1999 in St. George, Utah. Wilson Electronics is the world leader in cellular signal booster technology for mobile, home, the workplace, commercial settings, and on the go.

Wilson Electronics solve the problem of dropped calls, limited range and reduced data rates for cell phones and data cards with their award-winning cell phone signal boosters. Their products, weBoost, and WilsonPro have you covered by amplifying weak cellular signals.

Challenge

Wilson Electronics’s mission is to expand wireless network coverage to everyone, everywhere. They value speed by eliminating bureaucracy and anything that slows them down. Wilson Electronics is Data-driven, therefore, they use facts to make informed decisions.

Wilson Electronics leverage Sage 100 ERP and Microsoft Dynamics 365, but the team struggled to find a solution that would connect the two. They couldn’t find a satisfactory solution to connect their ERP and CRM, and their sales reps needed to constantly switch between multiple systems to find information which resulted in too much time being wasted.

“There wasn’t software we had that could move the data from Sage 100 up to our CRM. And so we were looking for a product that could do that. That’s where we came into Commercient.” – Kyle Brandt, Junior Database Administrator

Solution

Commercient’s number one data integration application SYNC, allows data from the Sage 100 ERP to be visible within Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. 

Data integration is the process of combining data from different sources into a single, unified view. Integration begins with the ingestion process and includes steps such as cleansing, ETL mapping, and transformation. With Commercient SYNC There’s no coding, no mapping, and no servers to manage on your end. 

Information within Sage 100 including Customer Orders, History, Invoices, Bill To and Ship To Addresses, and is now available Microsoft Dynamics 365 in real-time. 

Results

Wilson Electronics’s sales team now has access to the customer information in Microsoft Dynamics 365 without having to log into the Sage 100 ERP. The new data integration saves the company precious time.

Commercient SYNC helps the sales team to access pricing and everything they need, so they can produce quotes quickly, simplifying the sales process. Wilson Electronics is able to close deals faster by integrating Sage 100 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM with Commercient SYNC.

With Commercient SYNC, Wilson Electronics is able to deliver wireless network coverage to everyone, everywhere continues to grow exponentially. 

“SYNC just gives it one place where a person can go to to find all the data. They don’t have to go and search [a specific] customer multiple times in different systems.” – Kyle Brandt, Junior Database Administrator.

Read more about Wilson Electronic’s success with Commercient SYNC here

Commercient is able to integrate much more than just Sage 100 ERP and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM.  Our SYNC integration has grown to over 85 systems, including Sage, QuickBooks, Acumatica, Epicor, SAP, SYSPRO and many others.

With our ERP and CRM integrations, your data is synced to both systems in real-time without the need for manual data entry, or the risk of human errors. Contact Us to discover how we can solve your data integration needs. 

Configure Price Quote software, otherwise known as CPQ software, is a sales and quoting solution designed to help companies generate highly accurate quotes based on specific configurations. It helps centralize and automate rules on product, pricing, and business. With its centralized structure, sales teams are able to access information in real-time wherever and whenever they need it.

What CPQ does is that it enables users to generate custom quotes on products, services, and packages based using custom configurations and a predetermined set of pricing rules such as discounts, bulk orders, season, location, handicaps, pricing fluctuations, and more. It allows users, particularly salespeople, to quote their customers quickly and accurately.

With CPQ solutions, companies are able to activate and streamline all their sales channels and empower their sales personnel. This leads to better and bigger revenue as businesses create and provide precise and competitive quotes possible to their customers, enticing and motivating them to consider and ultimately purchase.

CPQ brings a plethora of benefits to many businesses and industries. But the following advantages top the list while explaining why your company needs to invest in CPQ software.

asana cpq

  1. Accelerate Business Processes

One of the reasons why companies are using CPQ software to improve their sales and overall revenue is its impressive speed. It accelerates the entire sales cycle, which serves both employees and customers. 

In a conventional business setting, salespeople have to spend a considerable amount of time retrieving and accessing product information from various sources. Then they have to consult their pricing rules before coming up with prices or rates and give customers their quotes.

And in between, there are internal administrative processes such as reviews, clarification, and approval that take too much time. With so many time-intensive functions and other management mumbo-jumbo to do, it’s no wonder why sales representatives only spend 33% of their time on sales-related tasks

By utilizing CPQ software and incorporating CPQ in CRM systems, companies are able to eliminate many of these unnecessary and exhaustive processes, drastically accelerating the sales cycle. This integration should be considered one of the best CRM practices because of the advantages it brings to any business enterprise.

Salespeople don’t have to spend days and weeks to come up with accurate quotes. They can create quotes in minutes and deliver them to their customers in an instant. This is critical as sales statistics reveal that 50% of customers purchase from the vendor who contacted them first.

Aside from increasing their sales potential, the speed of CPQ software also adds value to the customer’s overall experience. Being able to provide accurate quotes by demand sparks engagement and drives interaction. A delightful experience not only leads to a successful sale but also repeat businesses and more opportunities.

  1. Generate Quotes Based on Customer Data

It is clearly established how CPQ platforms transform the slow and arduous sales cycle into a rapid yet precise process. But aside from dramatically accelerating your sales by generating accurate and competitive quotes in minutes, it also sheds light in other business areas where visibility is either poor or lacking.

Most CPQ solutions can work well on their own without having to integrate with other systems and technology suites. But given its unique position, many companies integrate their CPQ software with their current technology solutions such as CRMs to make life easier for their sales reps.

The vast majority of CPQ platforms are built to seamlessly integrate and work with Salesforce, one of the world’s leading CRM brands to provide sales personnel with better, faster access to real-time customer information. They are able to do more with CPQ Salesforce meaning they don’t have to build viable proposals and quotes from the ground up. 

That’s because the CRM software supplies the CPQ solution with customer information, including interactions, previous communication, and activities done by other sales reps. CPQ users can then create more effective and accurate quotes and proposals that are driven and based on customer data.

  1. Eliminate Supply Chain Issues

Aside from centralizing and automating pricing processes, CPQ software streamlines the sales cycle by eliminating many pain points in the supply chain via powerful automation. Traditional supply chain processes involve numerous variables and stages, making it notoriously complicated even for seasoned supply chain managers and experts.

Accounting for each of these variables is already a complex process in itself, impeding the execution of lead-to-order cycles, which then adversely impacts sales performance. Even international companies admit how poor supply chain management can seriously hurt their revenue potential.

Top sports brand Adidas disclosed that they failed to meet their 2019 growth target due to supply chain issues. The Germany-based athletic performance company predicted massive losses between $220 million to $550 million for the year, stating their current manufacturing infrastructure in North America was not enough to meet the rising demand in the consumer-rich region.

Integrating CPQ with supply chain management software allows businesses to closely monitor supply levels and automatically update acquisition and inventory teams whenever items, parts, and supplies are depleting.

Because CPQ  addresses many of these pain points via automation, businesses are able to keep their inventories stacked and way ahead of demand. This ensures that they have adequate supply in their inventory when an order comes through. As CPQ keeps their supply levels at an optimum level, sales teams have an easier time focusing on their customers’ needs. This ultimately results in faster sales, more revenue, and happier customers.

Asana CPQ

  1. Sell Products When Demand Is Low

Most companies deploy CPQ systems to boost the efficiency of their sales processes and drive revenue performance. However, only a few integrate CPQ software with their demand planning and ERP solutions to help predict market demand, which is a great way to leverage CPQ capabilities.

Speaking of ERP solutions, check this page from FinancesOnline for today’s leading ERP software systems.

When market demand takes a dive, it is important for companies to keep their items from stagnating in their inventory. CPQ provides them with the platform to find ways to keep their products moving and still be profitable even when market demand is low.

By being able to forecast market demand, CPQ systems aid companies in providing their customers with vast possibilities of configurations to make their low-demand products appealing to customers as demand begins to plateau out and then dwindle.

While disposing of low-demand products may not garner a lot in terms of revenue, it does open up valuable inventory space. This allows companies to stock on more high-demand products and generate significant profit off them, enabling them to still achieve higher revenue even when they sold off their low-demand items for little or no profit.

Aside from helping with demand, data from CPQ systems can also be used to fuel and create detailed year-end reports.

Achieve Agile Sales Cycles Now

CPQ software is proving to be an indispensable system for modern enterprises, as evidenced by the rapidly growing global CPQ market. 

Among the major factors of CPQ adoption is its ability to provide business enterprises unparalleled agility in creating and providing accurate and competitive quotes to customers. In this world where agility is essential, it’s no wonder why CPQ systems are enjoying increasing popularity and implementation.

Customers today put a huge premium on speed as much as excellent service regardless of the CPQ software costs. Businesses now have to be agile to remain competitive and significant in their respective markets. CPQ gives them that. That agility leads to faster sales cycles, better sales enablement, and huge revenue growth. As people in sales always say, “you close more, you win more.”