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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.

It’s that time of year again when you must generate those valuable reports your manager and company rely so heavily upon. We hope this reporting season went smoothly for you, but we all know that none of us are perfect and there are always ways in which we can improve.  

Finance and sales departments face the same challenges at the end of every reporting period, whether it’s month-end, quarter-end, or year-end. The departments must prepare financial reports and statements such as balance sheets, cash flow statements, income statements, management reports, and provide analysis of key performance indicators. 

During the reporting period, most managers want specific information about their product line, region, division, or stacks of data points throughout the organization. The more data required, the longer these tasks take. Fortunately, the revolution of analyzing data has come upon us, thanks to the availability of powerful tools in today’s digital market. Analysis can now fall in the hands of each user instead of relying on a technical genius or a financial guru to come up with fancy integration and complex formula management. 

For instance, Commercient offers a two-way SYNC app designed to integrate both your ERP and CRM data together, creating one master system for easy data access. Most organizations spend too much gathering the data to prepare reports. In today’s competitive business landscape, companies need to move beyond simply reporting; they need to analyze the data in the reports and adjust strategies based on results. Using Commercient SYNC can help businesses move beyond reporting and spend more time on the analysis of your key performance indicators.

Preparing your financial and management reporting for analysis – A data consolidation process is required. This can often be a complicated process—especially if there are multiple entities, currencies, or legacy systems. There are many software systems in most organizations— different ones for Personnel, Operations, Sales and Marketing, Services, and even Finance. Utilizing tools like Commercient SYNC makes the data avaliable for all departments with a simple click.

Distribution of reports to key stakeholders – Challenges may arise in the process of delivering reports and statements. Often there are different report requirements from different entities. Or maybe there are security issues that do not permit everyone to see the same reports. Multiple reports are required to deliver the same information to different levels of the organization. With a “reporting system” as opposed to a report, the Commercient SYNC integration solution handles this automatically. The application allows you to create a security hierarchy that automatically determines the required information on reports for specific users.

Perform variance analysis against plans and scenarios – During the planning phase, the finance and sales department can create multiple forecasts or plans based on different assumptions. As the results are reported, one can easily create a variance report to see which hypothesis was correct. Which in fact reinforces the methodology used to create the scenario associated with the presumption. Taking it a step further, the application supports re-planning capability at any phase in the reporting and analysis cycle.

Distribute re-forecasted plan and finalize approval – Once a new plan has been established, the system will distribute the new procedure the same way reports are distributed. The specific components of the plan should be distributed to the appropriate person, with security intact. Commercient SYNC will store the procedure centrally, allowing report consumers to compare actuals, a version that is secured and stored in one place. Others may distribute the new plan to all users allowing them to compare their data locally. This makes it easy for all users to access the same data at any time and from anywhere. It also means you don’t have to pay for any additional hardware such as on-premise servers or worry about data management and storage.

Track ongoing results – KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are performance metrics that measure specific goals for businesses across all sectors. Essentially, all organizations regardless of size generate data in their day to day operations. This data is then used to fuel KPI’s that have been created to measure performance against strategic goals for the business. The data is also used for the day to day management of the business, such as manufacturing-focused performance data or individual performance metrics. 

With Commercient SYNC, the finance and sales teams have much more data visibility making it easier to track KPI’s and stay up to date with changes made in the CRM and ERP system simultaneously.

Would you like to improve your reporting system and eliminate manual processes? Contact us today and ask us how we will be delighted to take you on an integration journey.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can still be a mystery to new companies big or small. New businesses may not be aware of the importance of a CRM integration, which allows companies to make the most out of their data and investment. 

In this era of digital information, real-time data is your most important asset. The relationship between you and your customers is at the heart of your business, it’s important to keep it alive. CRM software is changing the way businesses interact with customers since it gives you a 360-degree view of the sales cycle. Many companies are already investing in CRM technology, which include Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365. CRM software is essential to assure a successful engagement with clients. You can keep track of contact information, buying preferences, sales patterns and much more. 

Improved customer service and a well-managed relationship leads to a personalization of the customer experience. The clients feel as if they are much more than simply buyers of a product or service. This generates a feeling of genuine connection with the company and promotes loyalty.

While 81% of organizations agree that data should be at the heart of all decision-making, at the same, 32% of businesses admit being overwhelmed by data (EY and Nimbus Ninety). That’s why a CRM system is a huge asset for your company, which allows you to be more efficient and get more insights towards a data-driven and profitable business. 

How to choose the right Customer Relationship Management software for your business?

The decision to invest in a software solution shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s important to put some extra time and effort into research. There are steps you can take to ensure that you are choosing the best CRM software for your company:

– Know your business goals and requirements. First answer some important questions. Every business is different and every issue needs a unique solution. Therefore, you should identify the problems you want to solve, understand your sales process and how it can be improved. The more questions you ask yourself, your co-workers and your employees the closer you are to choosing the ideal CRM that fits your company’s needs. 

– On-premise or cloud-based? Be aware that one of the most important decisions you need to make when it comes to investing in a software solution is choosing between a CRM on-premises system, or a cloud-based (SaaS) system. The hardware-based option needs to be installed and operated from an in-house server and computing infrastructure. It utilizes a company’s native resources and you will also need in-house IT support staff if you experience technical issues. However, this option doesn’t fit the need of having easy access to real-time data. Meanwhile, the Cloud-based (SaaS) option gives you a little more freedom as it doesn’t require physical installation. It is enabled remotely and you won’t need in-house technicians to solve issues. One of the advantages of this option is that you can go fully mobile. It allows your sales team to have instant access to information anytime and anywhere. 

How to get as much value of your data as possible

Using your CRM wisely can do wonders to improve your sales pipeline. Be careful to not embark on this technology unprepared. Any new software you bring into your company will require proper setup and training. 

Here are some CRM best practices you should consider when implementing a new system.

  1. Help your team embrace the new system. Yes, we know: old habits die hard. CRM adoption can be tricky as it often involves a change in organizational culture. According to reports, 40% of employees don’t know what a CRM solution is or how to use it. In the beginning, your team might be skeptical about change, but you need to make sure that all your team members are on board and have the necessary training to use it effectively. It takes time and requires reinforcement until it becomes a habit. The benefits are for the long term.
  1. Automate as many tasks as possible. Make sure that your CRM technology is indeed fulfilling the purpose of making your life easier. Automate as many tasks as possible. Take advantage of the workflow automation features of a CRM. Eliminate repetitive data entry, avoid human errors and help your team become more efficient. Ensure well-designed reporting and data-driven decisions from day one.
  1. Always keep customer information updated. You and your team probably have practices in place to optimize data entry, get reports and use data to improve sales metrics. It is important to update your customer data as soon as new information has been collected. The data provided by your CRM system is valuable customer insight. But it’s only useful if it’s stored and understood in an efficient way. 
  1. Define goals and KPIs. Clear goals and objectives are crucial for CRM adoption. A CRM strategy will only be successful if companies have clarity about what they want to achieve. Therefore it’s important to set goals and KPIs to evaluate them. Once these are set up, you’ll be able to track your progress, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
  1. Go big! Integrate CRM with other business software. Incorporating your current CRM to other programs makes it an even more powerful tool. Why not integrate your ERP and CRM software together? Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, is the right solution to do so. CRM integration is one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage nowadays. 
  1. Learn from analytics. Use data to understand your sales cycle. A salesperson that already knows a client’s profile has a better chance of closing a deal. One of the greatest advantages of having a CRM system is to analyze customer behavior. Why spend time and resources on a campaign that is not connecting with the customer? A business can learn from a successful strategy and also from a failed one.
  1. Keep an eye on the latest trends that could improve your own CRM setup. Constantly update your CRM software to the latest versions and don’t miss out on the new trends such as artificial intelligence. If possible make your software mobile. It is very important to implement a CRM that can be accessed across multiple devices.

So no matter if it is a big or a small business, a CRM system is a great asset. It’s vital to use the right software that allows you to strengthen the relationship with your customers. Get rid of tedious workflows and let technology help your business thrive.  Make the most out of your investment by choosing a powerful CRM. Integrate your sales and accounting software in order to boost profitability and increase efficiency. Let Commercient SYNC guide you through it and start enjoying the benefits of a long and happy relationship with your clients. Contact us now.

As a salesperson, are you as productive as you would like to be? If we’re all honest with ourselves we could all make slight improvements to better our productivity. You are well aware that the majority of your time is taken up by menial admin, where you would rather be doing what you’re passionate about, sales. Close deals faster and drive more revenue with these tips and tricks.

Implement a CRM System (Customer Relationship Management)

If you’re not making use of a CRM, you are already falling behind your competition. CRM provides solutions to issues that are potentially holding you back as a salesperson. Maximize the time you spend selling with productivity and collaboration tools.

We are all familiar with the ancient proverb “Time Is Money;” therefore it’s about time you optimize your schedule. Most CRMs will allow you to add tasks with a deadline or due date attached to it.

A key benefit of CRM is it allows you to store important documentation. This includes a resource library and templates for sales representatives, making it easier for you to find what you need when you need it. The proper leverage of a CRM will allow you to automate where possible, avoiding time spent on tedious manual data entry.

Some CRMs allow you to send emails from the software itself, preventing you from having to copy and paste what was said from your inbox into the CRM. This allows everyone to see what was said, and how the lead is progressing. Customer data and lead progression is no longer siloed in the inbox of the individual but is visible for the whole sales team where everything is tracked.

Making use of a CRM allows your company’s sales and marketing teams to collaborate. A high-performing sales team requires high-quality leads. Putting your customers at the center of everything with a comprehensive, customizable view of your clients across sales, service, and marketing creates a strong sense of customer service. We don’t need to tell you how customer service can make or break a company.

Find more sales opportunities with a complete CRM solution. Combine strong marketing automation with sales pipeline intelligence to win more sales. Allow sales reps to sell faster than ever, from anywhere with the use of a CRM. Data at your fingertips whether you’re at the office, on the road, or with a customer.

Popular CRMs include Salesforce, Zoho CRM, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365, HubSpot CRM, and others. These systems can fit any budget, and can scale up as your business grows.

Your operations are managed by your ERP system (enterprise resource planning), and data between it and your CRM remain siloed. Increase your productivity with an ERP and CRM integration with Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales.

You’ll be able to access important ERP data within CRM, such as customer information, sales history, invoicing, A/R, serial numbers invoiced, inventory, etc. New sales, accounts, opportunities, etc., created in CRM are integrated to ERP, giving you a full view of sales. Take a look at our supported ERPs and CRMs here.

More Productivity Tips

It’s common sense to make an appointment for your important tasks such as meetings or demos, but it is also important to pencil in your “less important” activities. One example is checking and cleaning up your inbox.

For example, it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed when you see hundreds of new messages awaiting your attention. Even if the majority of them are less important messages or junk that you haven’t gotten around to deleting. Make time to delete pesky spam and follow-up on quality messages. Unroll.me can assist by organizing your subscription emails, so you don’t have to spend time sifting through the clutter.

Finish the most dreaded task first, whatever that may be for you. Once you have that out of the way, you’ll be able to focus on what you like doing. Saving the worst for last may lead to procrastination in that regard. Organize your call list: Who do you have to call that’s most important? Who do you not want to call? And who would you be calling that may have you come off as annoying instead of you being attentive? Streamtime is a productivity software that may help you in this regard, helping you to easily assemble your daily to-do list.

Take time for yourself and schedule it. In our modern society, we value hard work. While it may make you viewed in a favorable light with your superiors to burn the midnight oil and work through lunch. Being highly productive may result in burnout. This will end up costing you in the long run. In some cultures, taking a nap at your desk is smiled upon, as it shows how hard you have worked.

Schedule that time for yourself. Take your lunch break, stand up from your desk and do some stretches. Make your workspace a place you want to be, where you feel energized and productive. Plan is a time management tool that places more of an emphasis on work-life balance than the other apps. You can keep track of whether you’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle or not.

Invest in some time tracking software. While we encourage you to prioritize personal health by taking time for yourself, it’s easy to get sucked into reading just one more post on social media. Or perhaps finishing just one more level on a mobile game. Schedule personal time, and stick to it.

Time tracking software will allow you to see what you spend most of your time doing. Scale back low-value activities, and focus on quality leads. Create time for all your ongoing projects so that one isn’t left behind. RescueTime, StayFocused and Toggl are all examples of time-tracking mechanisms.

If you’d like to learn how Commercient SYNC ERP and CRM data integration can improve your sales team’s productivity, please contact us today.

Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series on digital integration, cutting-edge technology and CRM integration from Commercient. Our goal is to help modernize your business and improve sales.

When searching for software as a sales person, it is important to remember that sales tools should make your job easier, and not more difficult. The ideal tool should make data more accessible and actionable.

Business tools can improve key metrics, such as lead velocity and close rates, boosting your return on investment. Your chosen software should work with other tools without complex integrations. Tools and apps can enhance productivity by automating repetitive tasks while making it easier to manage your sales team.

Slack, one of the most reliable sales tools. Is a messaging and collaboration app which makes it easy to get things done with individuals and sales teams. Slack allows you to reach prospects, colleagues, customers, and progress with real-time communication.

Evernote is a widely used daily note-taking app that makes it easy to organize your notes, and plan your to-do lists. It includes features such as voice-to-recording, scanning, image uploading, and basic handwriting identification. It’s a key sales tool for any business.

As a sales person, it’s easy to see why you may need a CRM (customer relationship management) system to organize, automate, and synchronize a company’s sales. An ERP (enterprise resource planning) is also a beneficial tool. It’s a financial and operations system for improving the efficiency of sales processes. It also includes management software that companies can use to collect, store, manage, and interpret data.

We’ll also explain how integrating your ERP and CRM data with a sales tool like Commercient SYNC is important to get a full view of sales and marketing.

Best ERP For Salespeople

  1. A salesperson may have accounting tasks to perform, and QuickBooks makes online accounting easy. Automatically import your income and expenses by connecting Quickbooks to your bank. Simplify invoicing & payments. Take control of your cash flow and make smarter business decisions.
  2. Sage has multiple ERP options to suit your needs: Sage 50 (Cloud Pro & Premium, UK, US, EU, Canada), Sage 100 (Contractor & France), Sage 200 (Pro), Sage 300, Sage 300 Construction Real Estate, Sage 500 (Line), Sage 1000, Sage Intacct, Sage Enterprise Management (Sage X3), Sage Business Works. The different versions of Sage help you to manage all the documentation and processes required in sales. These include price quotes, estimates, statements and invoices, as well as tax management, cash flow forecasting and payment services.
  3. SYSPRO is an ERP solution designed to simplify complexity and add significant value to sales. SYSPRO allows you to digitize your business and streamlining your supply chain, providing greater control and visibility. All while simplifying and personalizing your ERP experience.
  4. SAP Business One allows you to gain greater control over your business. Is it a small business management software connects and streamlines your sales processes. With the SAP Business One Sales app, employees can work with business information and processes like managing activities, view business content, manage customer data, monitor sales opportunities, and much more.

Leading CRM Software for a Salesperson

  1. Salesforce is the industry leader among CRMs. The platform is easy to customize and is accessible from almost anywhere thanks to the cloud. It has a robust report engine and offers numerous integrations, including the ability to sync data from tools that don’t talk directly to one another. Commercient SYNC ERP and CRM data integration is a Salesforce AppExchange Partner.
  2. Zoho CRM allows you to reach out to potential customers at the right moment, and engage them across every channel. Zoho CRM software helps businesses of all sizes close more deals the smarter way. It makes use of multiple features, including: Anytime connection with customers, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, Customization, Process Management, Sales Automation, Pipeline Management, Team Collaboration, Marketing Automation, Security, and third-party integrations.
  3. Microsoft Dynamics 365 focuses mainly on sales, marketing, and service sectors. It’s an integrated, data-driven CRM software solution that improves how you interact and do business with your customers. Like any quality CRM, Dynamics 365 helps you manage and maintain customer relationships, track sales leads, marketing, pipeline, and deliver actionable data.
  4. HubSpot CRM is simple to use, and sales reps with no coding skills can effectively use this software. It can help them save a lot of time, as it automates vital sales-related operations. Essential features include report templates and custom reports, email integration, inbox profiles, pipeline management, and sales automation. Organize your sales processes, win more deals, and create happy customers by eliminating the busy work, and use modern sales techniques to engage more prospects.

Grow Your Sales with Commercient SYNC

Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, makes it possible to see important accounting data directly in your sales system. It keeps you up-to-date with changes made to your ERP and CRM system simultaneously. It supports over 85 ERPs and most major CRMs.

Commercient handles everything, including hosting, so you don’t have to hire an IT specialist to install it and a server. SYNC helps businesses streamline sales and customer service, cut costs, 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, multi ship to addresses, and more.

New accounts, sales, opportunities, etc., created in CRM are SYNC’d back to ERP, avoiding double data entry and possible errors.

To learn more about the best business tools to help your company, please contact us today.

Artificial Intelligence is all around us. Perhaps the concept still comes as new to some, but it already has a huge impact in your daily routine. When you contact Uber, Alexa, Amazon or the voice assistants on your smartphone like Siri, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology works to make life easier for you. Who hasn’t search Netflix to find recommendations to watch a movie? AI algorithms have definitely helped influence your decision about what to watch next.

Businesses have been using AI to boost the decision-making process. Some examples are online customer support, intelligent personal assistants, or process automation.

The use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is growing, as well. The value of providing a better service for consumers helps guide a business. It is estimated that 2019 will bring an increase in spending on CRM as companies realize the importance of not just knowing, but understanding their customers. And according to the trends for 2019 (per Medium.com), CRM systems have evolved and integrated AI technology to improve the customer experience.

There is real value of real-time data for your business, and there are many advantages of having a powerful CRM system connected to your ERP. This can be accomplished through a data integration app such as Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales. Therefore, your business will receive a treasure trove of valuable information.

But you might think: Where does the need of using my current CRM with AI come from?

When Artificial Intelligence and CRM meet, the result is a match made in heaven. And here’s why.

It is estimated that by 2021, an additional $394 billion in revenue could be gained from Artificial Intelligence adoption in CRM activities in the United States (Statista.com). There are many new developments in CRM software, such as face and voice recognition. Salesforce’s Einstein and Zoho CRM’s Zia are two examples of an AI-powered CRM that uses voice commands to access information.

In addition, as a company grows, collecting, storing and providing data can become a huge task, and your clients won’t wait around for you to offer them exactly what they’re looking for. Nowadays, CRM needs the support of Artificial Intelligence to achieve a more efficient data management. Even more so when less than 0.5% of all data is being analyzed and used, according to Forbes.

But with digital transformation and improvements in technology, AI assists businesses with finding new customers and keeping the loyal ones happy.

The Benefits of Combining Artificial Intelligence with CRM

Integrating these two technologies delivers more predictive and personalized customer information in all areas of your business. Here are some reasons why you need to start thinking about an AI-driven CRM.

  1. Virtual assistants and bots. Is time to forget about tedious workflows, and speed up the sales cycle by using technology to interact with your customers or schedule meetings. You can also improve lead generation by having more accurate marketing campaigns. Integrating AI into CRM can also automate customer reports, emails, data capture, and more. This helps you avoid the risk of human errors in your everyday tasks and administrative duties.
  2. An AI-powered CRM will be able to learn from past decisions and historical patterns to score the best leads for sales. Artificial Intelligence will also be able to predict future customer behavior. How? AI is very helpful when it comes to analyzing customer’s emotions by a simple phone call, in order to establish strategies that will increase the engagement. You will be able to connect with the customers on an entirely new level, because you will give them exactly what they want, when and how they want it.
  3. Segmenting customers becomes easier. AI won’t take away jobs, but will actually help team workers to be more productive. You won’t need to worry about manual data entry or the time it takes to look up information, for example. Having intelligent algorithms will help you segment customers easily. Imagine an automated segmentation that will assure your message to be delivered to a specific group of potential customers.
  4. Increase customer engagement with AI-driven CRM. This technology can help you as well to get an emotional insight from the customer. Image recognition and sentiment analysis are two powerful reasons why an AI-enabled CRM is the future for your business. Don’t risk your qualified leads. AI can help you understand a customer’s satisfaction in real time. Once you have this valuable insight, it’s easy to take action and identify problems. Essentially, AI will be able to better read the customers intentions.
  5. Close more deals, learn from your mistakes. AI-based CRM can study different scenarios where sales are most successful, and where deals were rejected. For example, an AI algorithm can do wonders for your price-optimization. This intelligence can tell you what the ideal discount rate should be for a proposal, ensuring that you’re most likely to win the deal, per Harvard. It’s no secret that businesses struggle to identify which buyers are more likely to come back and buy more. Instead of spending money marketing to those who won’t close deals, target the ones who will. How is this possible? AI algorithms can gather historical information from a client.

As you can see, Artificial Intelligence isn’t something you’d see in sci-fi movie or TV show. Businesses are already taking advantage of IS, and you shouldn’t be left behind. AI makes it possible for companies to evolve to a more efficient and powerful CRM. Remember to choose the best tools that suit your needs.

Let Commercient SYNC data integration help you make the right decision to take your business to the next level. Are you ready to bring the power of AI, and make it work together with your CRM and ERP software? Contact us today.

As a business professional, you’ve probably come across the terms ERP and CRM floating around on multiple industry websites. Some articles use these terms interchangeably, making it difficult to fully understand CRM and ERP. The two systems are similar in some ways, but have different core functionalities. Both are valuable business solutions that improve both revenue and productivity.

What is ERP?

ERP is a financial and operations system for improving the efficiency of business processes, and is also known as Enterprise Resource Planning. Businesses such as yours are leveraging an ERP in the form of accounting software, such as QuickBooks, Sage 100, SYSPRO, etc.

It’s a category of business management software that companies can use to collect, store, manage, and interpret data. ERP allows for the automation and integration of a company’s core business to help them focus on effectiveness and simplified success.

An ERP system covers common functional areas including Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Manufacturing, Engineering, etc.

According to the Aberdeen Group, 96% of growing businesses rely on an ERP system. In addition, small businesses saw a 36% reduction in time for decision making thanks to ERP software.

What is CRM?

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is used to organize, automate, and synchronize a company’s sales, marketing, and customer service. CRM is an approach to manage a company’s interaction with current and potential customers.

It uses data analysis about customers’ history with a company to improve business relationships, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth. Long gone are the days of saving customer information on scattered spreadsheets and constantly having to check in with your sales team about leads and opportunities. A CRM allows you and your team to expertly manage prospects and existing customers from one system.

SuperOffice released statistics showing CRM adoption and usage had increased in 2018 to 74% from 56% previously. It breaks down further with 91% of companies with 11 or more employees using CRM. Plus, 74% say CRM has helped their overall access to customer data.

CRM vs ERP

CRM

  • Geared toward front-office activities
  • Oriented toward customers
  • Focuses on increasing sales
  • Is frequently used by customer service and sales teams
ERP

  • Geared toward back-office activities
  • Oriented toward business operations
  • Focuses on reducing cost
  • Is frequently used by project and inventory managers

Which System Should You Implement for Your Business?

It’s easy for companies wanting to increase growth to see the benefits of a CRM system. It can boost sales and profit, but to fulfill increasing orders, one must have a stable ERP backbone.
So basically you need both. A CRM system to drive sales and an ERP system helps to streamline operations and reduce overall costs.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the software currently available. Popular ERP and CRM systems include:

ERP: Sage, SYSPRO, QuickBooks, SAP, TRAVERSE, Acumatica, JD Edwards, etc.

CRM: Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Zoho CRM, SugarCRM etc.

However, data between the two systems remained siloed. Luckily Commercient SYNC can integrate that data to help you streamline your business.

What Does Commercient SYNC Do?

Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, makes it possible for your teams to see ERP data directly in your CRM.

This includes customer information, sales history, invoicing, serial numbers invoiced, inventory, multiple ship-to-addresses, and much more. New accounts, orders, opportunities, etc., created in CRM are SYNC’d to ERP. Commercient gives you a 360-degree view of sales and marketing.

Unlike traditional data integration tools, like an ETL, there is no coding, mapping, or server. We handle everything, so you can focus on growing your business.

Contact us today for a free Commercient SYNC demo.

Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series on digital integration, cutting-edge technology from Commercient. Our goal is to help modernize your business and improve sales.

Keeping the sales pipeline full of potential buyers willing to buy is a key challenge of any B2B business. Unlike B2C businesses, selling to the consumer, B2B sales cycles tend to be longer, and require a bigger investment. This can lead to the excitement of some managers, but resistance in others. Then, the deal is lost.

If you’re a salesperson or a sales manager, you know this all too well. Keeping a dynamic sales pipeline with leads moving through the buying cycle until they become customers is your main goal. How can you achieve this?

Technology is here to help. Yes, the phone still works, and still will. One-on-one conversations, when possible, help to connect with potential buyers in a more personal way. These tactics have a huge trail of success, and if you add cutting-edge technology into the mix, imagine what you can accomplish.

Here are some ways to leverage technology to keep your sales pipeline from stalling:

Get Technology Involved in the Current Sales Process

What process does any potential customer follow once they get in touch with your company? They decide to get in touch through online forms on your website, calling or answering your phone calls and agreeing to meet with you – in person or virtually – they become a lead to be nurtured.

Without technology, it’s easy to lose track of how those leads are doing in the buying cycle. Did they close? Or were they lost? Why? How many touchpoints and follow-ups did they receive?

According to a recent study, only 50% of leads enter the sales funnel to buy. If the process, or “funnel,” is too complex, and it requires extra effort from the potential buyer, they’re less likely to convert.

Technology helps businesses to keep track of all these aspects and more. The sales team and managers can analyze what’s going on in the sales pipeline, and discover which changes are needed to be implemented for a sales process that works.

Take Advantage of CRM Features

The use of a CRM system is very important in the sales and marketing world these days. There are different CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) for companies of all sizes and price ranges.

For example, Salesforce Essentials and Zoho CRM are two of the most commonly used among small- and medium-sized businesses. Other companies leverage Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and more.

Although a CRM offers powerful features to keep a better track of every lead and customer, businesses sometimes use it as a database. Make sure the chosen CRM has the features your company needs, and encourage your team to take advantage of all of them.

How can all of those features improve your sales pipeline and current process? That’s a question your sales team should ask to make the most out of the system, and the investment it requires.

Integrate Your CRM and ERP with Commercient SYNC for a 360-Degree View of Sales

Your ERP and CRM systems might be robust, but when they work together, they can take any business to the next level. Some of the tangible benefits a company receives from data integration apps such as Commercient SYNC include:

  • Modernizing your sales system with data integration: How much time would salespeople save without having to deal with double entries and scattered information between two systems? How can you improve the attention customers get with their needs? And what about enhanced analytics and data for better decision making? Data integration allows to modernize your sales system and increase efficiency.
  • Putting technology to work in your favor: The sales process is constantly evolving, especially now with technology in the mix. CRMs, ERPs, and data integration apps such as Commercient SYNC help them all work together nicely, and even AI and Social Media. Technology is here to help you work faster and smarter.
  • Keeping customers happy: Once the sale is closed and the lead becomes a customer, the process is not over. In fact, it’s only starting. Their value increases the longer they stay working with your company or buying your products, so you want to keep them happy. How can this happen? With better access to information for your team, having all that data available without having to ask Accounting or other departments, or rely on an internal network. This can cause unnecessary and often costly delays. Instead, integrate both systems to automate repetitive tasks, like data entry, so your salespeople can provide a better service to potential and actual customers.

If you’re ready to keep your sales pipeline from stalling and make data and systems work for your business, contact Commercient today to discuss your needs.

SYNC Demo integrate CRM ERP

Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of an ongoing series on digital integration, cutting-edge technology from Commercient. Our goal is to help modernize your business and improve sales.

Today’s business landscape has become data-driven and more competitive than ever before. Your small business will not achieve success or sustainable growth if it relies on rudimentary tools like manual spreadsheets to capture, store and analyze data. Using CRM software (Customer Relationship Management) can help your small business manage large volumes of data much more efficiently.

The ability to tailor your engagement process to suit each unique customer is an advantage that will help your small business stand out. With technology constantly evolving, modern CRM software now has more to offer small businesses than ever before.

Your sales team will be able to easily track and analyze every interaction with a customer or prospect. This will, in turn, increase customer engagement and help your sales team close more deals and win more business.

What is CRM Software?

CRM software is a system used by businesses to manage interactions with current and potential customers, as well as storing and analyzing historical data. Using a CRM system means you no longer need to maintain multiple spreadsheets of all your customer and sales information.

A good CRM solution will help your small business manage customer relationships better, improve customer retention and help drive sales growth. It will give you and your team with business intelligence to understand your customers better, and provide them with exceptional customer service.

Popular CRM Software for Small Businesses

The following CRM software was designed with small businesses in mind:

  • Salesforce Essentials
  • Zoho CRM
  • SugarCRM
  • Hubspot CRM
  • Freshsales CRM
  • Pipedrive CRM
  • And more

How CRM Software Can Help Your Small Business Achieve its Sales Goals

  • Automates daily tasks
  • Improves data accuracy
  • Increases productivity and efficiency
  • Increases cross-selling abilities which drives sales growth
  • Enables your sales team to target the right customers
  • Enhances customer relationships
  • Improves customer satisfaction, and helps you retain customers
  • Helps your sales team to find new opportunities and prospects
  • Increases team collaboration and communication
  • Improves the decision-making process
  • And much more

Must-Have Features of CRM Software for Small Businesses

There are plenty of CRM software options available to choose from, and they all offer many of the same basic features. However, when considering your options, make sure that your CRM solution comes with the following must-have features:

  • Contact Management
  • Leads Management
  • Opportunity Management
  • Campaign Management
  • Pipeline Management
  • Forecasting and Reporting
  • Workflow Automation
  • Third-Party Integration
  • Social Media Management
  • Reports and Dashboards
  • Mobile Application
  • Third-Party Integration

Some Factors To Consider When Choosing CRM Software

Choosing CRM software for your small business requires a comprehensive evaluation of your current business operations. Identifying your goals and objectives will help you decide what features and functions you need.

Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing CRM software for your small business.

  • Deployment Method (Cloud-Based or On-Premise): Does it offer deployment method options?
  • Free Trials: Does it come with a free trial version?
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Your needs and objectives will change and evolve as time goes on. Is it scalable and flexible?
  • Third-Party Integrations: Does it support third-party integrations?
  • Mobile Support: Can it support a mobile sales team?
  • Easy to Use: Will your team be able to easily use it? Read our tips on how to fast-track your CRM implementation.

Get The Most Out of Your CRM with Data Integration

CRM is a powerful tool that can solve many of your business problems. However, many small businesses are not getting the full benefits out of their sales systems. One way to maximize the benefits of CRM is by integrating it with other business systems.

How Can Commercient Help?

It’s more than likely that you’re already using other software systems in other 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 make the right information is available to your team.

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

Don’t Lose Business to Your Competition

A CRM solution is a long-term investment that is necessary for the growth and success of your small business. Evaluate your business requirements and identify the CRM features and functions your small business needs. This will enable you to make the best possible choice.

Edgeware, a partner of Commercient, can implement CRM software to help ensure a positive return on your investment.

Contact Commercient today to find out how your small business can reap all the benefits of CRM and reach its full potential!

SYNC Demo integrate CRM ERP