Organizations worldwide often wonder what the difference is between a customer relationship management system (CRM) and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The two systems are similar in many ways but they have different core functionalities. Both are valuable business solutions that help to improve, both revenue and productivity. So, are you ready to learn more about the differences? Let’s compare and contrast.
CRM means Customer Relationship Management. CRM at its simplest is systems and processes for managing a company’s interactions with its current and potential customers. When we talk about CRM, we usually are talking about CRM Software. A CRM software is used to organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing, and customer service.
CRM now has been developed to include all areas of the customer experience, keeping the customer happy and in turn keeping them loyal and more valuable to your business. It is the process of identifying potential leads/prospects, nurturing them, and guiding them through the sales process to close the business deal. Once they become a customer it ensures that you maintain that relationship and encourage repeat business – either more frequent orders or higher value.
CRM focuses on three key areas: sales, marketing, and customers. It can help your teams within these departments achieve the following:
ERP software is designed to streamline business operations. While a CRM focuses on the sales and customer service side of the organization, an ERP system is integrated and implemented across multiple departments within the organization.
At its core, an ERP system offers interconnected management of specific business processes. So, you can access standardized information throughout every department in real-time. Any issues can be sent as alerts to designated recipients.
The business can hence focus more on data and less on operations. There are fewer errors, and organizations can make better decisions.
The right ERP system will help your business and your team achieve the following:
ERP and CRM are both business applications that store and analyze data in a relational database. Both are delivered either through a traditional on-premises model or through software as a service (SaaS), where the vendor manages the software in its own data center and customers access it through the cloud.
While NetSuite and Salesforce.com, the two pioneers in SaaS ERP and CRM respectively, got their start around the same time, CRM systems were quicker to move to the cloud because the systems proved simpler to build and businesses were initially wary of putting financial data in the cloud.
Generally, you may have to choose between CRM and ERP. Your choice will depend on three critical factors:
For instance, smaller businesses may choose CRM systems to grow their customer base. In contrast, complex organizations choose ERP systems to cut operational costs and maximize ROI. Thus, your IT capacity, current, and future needs may also influence your choices. You might choose an ERP system to streamline processes. Or perhaps replace existing non-integrated applications. Other businesses with a focus on their customers and want to sync sales and marketing functions may choose CRM systems.
For companies who want to maximize their growth, they often wonder which system to implement first. It can be a difficult decision because they each have unique advantages. To scale, companies must increase sales and profit–so, that requires a CRM system.
On the other hand, an ERP system drives the business with precise and accurate inter-departmental data. Before organizations can cut costs, they must have profits. Moreover, a company can be extremely organized yet not make enough in sales to continue operating. Business processes are only possible with consistent sales revenue.
So, what’s the answer? Well, you need both. A CRM system drives sales, and an ERP system helps to streamline operations and reduce overall costs. Working together, a CRM and an ERP can maximize business growth.
To enquire about a demo that is the best fit for your business, email at email@example.com
Suggested Reading: How a Robust CRM boosts your Revenue?
According to research, over 70% of all customers who leave a company for its competition have no problem with the product. Their main issue is with the customer care offered. This means that customer churn can hypothetically be reduced by 70% with world-class customer care.
The trouble is, world-class customer care can come with a hefty price tag. Data from the Worldwide Industry Benchmark Report for 2015 shows that the average cost per inbound customer service call is $1.30. This is for average customer care. But the minute you want to up the ante, the costs go up exponentially.
That does not mean you give up on the quest for exceptional care for your customers. Here are a few ideas that will help reduce your customer care costs without a negative impact on quality.
No matter how fancy your software, if you don’t have the right people manning your customer care lines, you’re in for big trouble. By “right”, I mean the few essential traits that your staff needs to have, including:
All these qualities make a stellar customer care representative—one that you’ll be proud to have to represent your business. Once you have good employees, invest time and resources in training them well. Teach them how to get things right in the first attempt, how to mollify heated situations, and how to work together as a team.
As you rightly guessed, such people don’t come cheap. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish by hiring the least experienced or skilled people who apply to your customer care positions. By investing in talented staff, you will improve customer satisfaction, reduce repeat calls, and increase overall revenue in the long run.
Customers call up your support hotline for a myriad of reasons. It could be anything from solving product issues to maintenance requests. However, with the help of customer support software, it is possible to track the reasons why users call and identify those that top the list. Once you’ve identified the top problem areas, work out a way to fix them. Let’s say the majority of your calls are about monthly purchases. By setting up a simple section on your site that allows users to buy monthly subscriptions, you automate the payment process and eliminate the cost of taking user calls for purchases.
Mike Cholak from Convergys suggests building a “Customer Experience Map.” Map out the path your customers take through your support system and identify processes or products that make for a poor user experience. Fixing these issues on priority helps improve your customer’s overall satisfaction rate with your company. It will also mean fewer repeat calls, shorter call times, and quicker problem resolution, all contributing to a lowering of customer care costs.
Customers cite calling call centers and waiting to be served as one of the most irritating things they do in a day. Avoid troubling your customers by offering them information about your product or service upfront, via detailed FAQs.
Some important things to remember about your FAQs section:
However awesome your FAQ section maybe, some users simply can’t go without having a real person answer their questions. They can’t be bothered to “go on the internet” and dig into instructions or forum discussions. To help such customers, create a self-service option on your customer care phone lines, or provide live chat options on your site.
The technology available today can eliminate the need for having all your customer care personnel under one roof. You can build a support team that works from home and is located anywhere in the world at a significantly lower cost than transporting people to your location, paying rent, utilities, and other assorted overhead at a permanent commercial property.
Remote workers have been known to put in longer hours, are less stressed out, and are cheaper to maintain than employees in physical offices. Microsoft’s “Work Without Walls” whitepaper tells you all the different benefits that come with remote workers such as:
However, ensure that your customer service agents are equipped with tools and useful software that enable them to work efficiently. Zendesk Chat, for example, allows agents to chat with the customer and each other through a simple web-based dashboard.
The ability to track your agent and customer support team’s performance through analytics will also be useful in helping your teamwork better from their respective locations
Customer experience and contact centers, in particular, are great starting points to implement artificial intelligence (AI) solutions since they are a large source of customer information, generating enormous quantities of data that is impossible to process manually. Here’s how AI can be used in contact centers:
Your customers may contact you for a multitude of reasons. Some of these reasons are fairly straightforward, others are intricate, yet, rarely are they entirely novel.
With the immense data that you are collecting with every recorded phone call, chat interaction, and email, you have a strategic asset that can be used to train machine learning models to understand customer intent within conversations.
Once you understand true customer motivations, you can then use AI to optimize interactions through:
Flagging interactions for fraud and compliance risk
Customer effort is one of the leading indicators of loyalty. Analyzing customer effort can guide companies in identifying emerging issues before they explode into major issues.
Traditionally, the effort has been quantified through structured questions on a survey. However, AI and machine learning techniques, combined with text analytics, can aid in evaluating the level of effort expressed in any piece of unstructured customer feedback.
AI can do this by interpreting word choice and sentence structure, as you can quickly understand which aspects of the customer experience cause friction in any feedback source – not just in surveys.
Before you deploy AI, it is worth considering that one of the biggest risk factors in any IT implementation, system upgrade, or system change is the human users of that system.
By failing to communicate in an open, honest, transparent way how this technology is going to benefit them, you will meet resistance.
If you simply say, we are rolling out this new robotic-led approach on Monday, your employees will inevitably be negative towards the technology and may even actively sabotage it.
Instead, you need to get people involved in the process. Ensure they can test out the technology in a safe environment and make sure they are comfortable with it before you even start rolling the technology out.
Any AI application will only ever be a good as the knowledge at its disposal. You need to ensure that when a question is answered in the contact center, that knowledge is captured and delivered into the knowledge management system (KMS), so that customers, bots, and advisors can feed off it.
After all, how can AI be used to make decisions when it does not actually know anything? It can learn but it needs relevant data to do that.
This is why it is so important to have processes and procedures in place that enable you to feed accurate data and intelligence into the KMS.
Many businesses are too reliant on their employees as a source of knowledge and therefore run the risk that if people leave the business, they take the knowledge and understanding that they have gained with them.
Any strategy that uses AI and machine learning should be considered within a broader customer experience AI strategy that considers how data will be leveraged across both the customer and employee journeys.
There are many opportunities to apply AI and machine learning across the customer engagement process.
For example, knowing the right moment to proactively engage with customers online, routing to the best agent based on the desired business outcome, and assisting them to accurately handle inquiries – AI and machine learning can help drive all of that.
However, AI applies to more than just customer journeys. It can also help identify why specific agents are better than others at certain contact or customer types, increase the speed and accuracy of workforce planning and scheduling and automate task completion post-contact.
SUGGESTED READINGS: Customer Service happens when the experience breaks down – Here’s How? TOP 6 Reasons to Invest More in Customer Experience
In its simplest definition, customer experience is the sum of all the interactions that a customer has with a company over the course of the relationship and includes the customer’s feelings, emotions, and perceptions of the brand during the course of those interactions. Some people question whether product and price are part of customer experience.
Journey maps are a way to walk in – and to capture – your customer’s steps and chart her course as she interacts with your organization while trying to fulfill some need or complete some task, e.g., call support, purchase a product, etc. The map (created with customers, from their viewpoint) describes what customers are doing, thinking, and feeling at each step in the journey. With the right data integrated into the map, you can identify key moments of truth, i.e., make-or-break moments or moments during which the customer decides if she will continue to do business with you or not, and ensure that those moments are executed flawlessly going forward.
Important to the journey mapping process is to have the right customers and the right stakeholders in the room to create the maps. The right customers are those for whom you’re mapping, obviously. We typically identify the personas for which we’ll map before beginning any mapping workshop; the right customers will represent those personas. The right stakeholders include individuals from the cross-functional departments that are either directly or indirectly involved in the journey that you’re mapping.
The customer service experience is one of my favorite journeys to map because it is such a rich experience; it affords such huge teaching and learning opportunity.
People contact customer service when the product isn’t working right; the documentation isn’t clear; marketing set expectations that the product didn’t deliver; sales sold the dream and not what the product actually does; the invoice is not accurate or hard to decipher; or for a variety of other reasons. Something (i.e., the experience) broke down somewhere upstream, long before the customer even thought about calling – or even wanted to call – customer service.
In other words, when messages are misleading or confusing, when the customer has a complaint about an interaction or a transaction, or when something doesn’t work the way the customer expects, the experience is broken. The resultant action: the customer calls customer service to get help or to get answers.
This call isn’t customer service’s fault. This isn’t a breakdown in service; this is a breakdown in the experience. And so, customer service takes the beating and the anguish from the customer for something that could’ve been designed better upstream. Had that proper design occurred, the number of frustrated customers calling the call center would have been drastically reduced!!
Suggested Readings: TOP 6 Reasons to Invest More in Customer Experience Have you ensured Positive CX at all touchpoints – Get your checklist
It’s the age of the customer and the world’s biggest brands are duking it out every day for a greater share of our hearts, minds, and wallets. Customers hold more decision power than ever in an era where information about any company’s products and services is just a mobile search away.
Market research shows that the Customer Experience Management (CEM) market is estimated to grow from USD 5.06 Billion in 2016 to USD 13.18 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 21.1%.” If you’re not investing in CX, it’s very likely that your competitors are.
Building customer loyalty and increasing revenue go hand in hand. When compared with customers who had negative experiences, those who had positive experiences were more likely to recommend, trust, try new products or services, purchase more, and forgive your company after a mistake.
Measuring customer feedback is the first step to measuring up to your customers’ expectations. Whether you’re an advanced scorecard-driven enterprise or just beginning to think about CX, the most important thing to do is to start actively listening and measuring your customers’ feedback.
CX is not as fluffy as it may seem. There are real science and methodology for measuring and improving customer satisfaction (CSAT). There are many metrics to consider as part of your VoC program, but Bain & Company’s Net Promoter System and Forrester’s Customer Experience Index stand out as the gold standard top-line measures in the CX industry.
Operational performance and CSAT are inextricably linked. For example, it’s no coincidence that airlines with the best CX ratings also boast the highest percentage of on-time arrivals. The best CEM programs cause cross-functional customer-centric collaboration, which requires your company to break down organizational silos to be more valuable, efficient, and enjoyable to your customers.
Your customers see you as one whole cohesive brand, regardless of how complex your organization, systems, and processes might be. When your customer interacts with your company, they don’t care about any bureaucracy, different divisions, and departments, or roles and hierarchies.
Ready to take your CX program to the next level? Tap into your company’s most valuable assets – your people. The more customer-facing employees with access to a real-time view of customer feedback, the more awareness, focus, and unity there are around your company’s CX mission and goals.
Suggested Reading: Have you ensured Positive CX at all touchpoints – Get your checklist
5 Most important customer service reports that you can’t MISS!
Once you’ve mapped out your touchpoints, it’s often helpful to group them into channels. That’s the focus of this blog post.
Websites: refers to customers visiting websites to gather information about a company. Can include both mobile and regular versions of the website.
Native Mobile App: refers to customers who download a company’s iOS or Andriod app, and feedback is gathered about their experience with it.
Contact Center: an important touchpoint where customers call for more information or assistance. Online chat is another part of modern contact centers.
In Location: refers to actual in-person customer experiences, such as a retail store, restaurant, or hotel.
Field Services: customers interact with a company in their home.
When you look at all the touchpoints on your map, each of them will likely fall into one of these five channels.
No matter how your customer interacts with you, the ultimate goal is to have a consistent “omnichannel” experience.
When your in-location experience is different from your web experience, or when your web experience is different from the experience a customer has with your native mobile app, this inconsistent CX will create problems.
Customers might feel like the company cares about them after a positive field service experience, but if the contact center fails to provide the same level of experience, the customer will be disappointed.
Keep in mind that if you’re working with a premium brand, all channels will need to deliver an outstanding customer experience. If you’re working with a mid-tier, value-oriented brand, the goal may be to achieve a certain standard throughout each channel, such as professionalism or efficiency.
If you want a consistent omnichannel experience, make sure you are listening to your customers on each channel! You can gather feedback from these five channels in various ways.
For example, you might ask about their most recent experience with a field services representative through an email survey. How satisfied were you with our technician’s most recent visit to your home? Why? Were there any problems? If so, please describe them.
Or you can gather feedback via methods that are channel-specific.
For website feedback, pop-up surveys can ask the customer for feedback while they are on the website or after they leave.
When a customer uses a mobile app, a survey can be embedded into the app asking them to provide feedback.
An interactive voice response (IVR) survey or a computer-generated survey can be used after a customer interacts with a contact center—the system directs the customer to the survey when the call is complete.
We are also seeing more and more text surveys, or Short Message Surveys (SMS), these days as a substitute for email surveys.
SUGGESTED READING: 5 Ways to Increase Conversion With Customer Service Experience
You need to be sure that you’re spending time with the right companies, titles, geographies and so on. If the person sitting across from you is the right profile, only then you have a chance. If your target is not set rightly, all the skills in the world on your end won’t get you a new customer.
Remember, you’re approaching cold customers and have very little knowledge of their needs and problem. You need to ask probing questions to help him articulate his needs (including needs they might not know even exist). That’s why you should have a powerful lead management system. It will help you track, qualify, prioritize leads and send them to the team(s) best prepared to handle them at every stage of the sales pipeline.
In case, you have not established rapport and a connection with your prospect, it is unlikely he will be willing to open up to you. You should establish a connection and build rapport with your customers while uncovering their needs in the first meeting itself.
It will bore your prospects as they don’t even need your products or services (or they don’t know that they require your products/services).
Before approaching your cold targets, study them. You should do a quick Google search for the customer or their company. You should invest in a good lead tracking software. For example, you can use your CRM software to search for any recent action they might have performed previously by your target customer. Make sure you know exactly what your customer needs. Provide insight and offer value during the entire sales process to show him what it will be like to do business with you. If you want to grasp your customer’s attention, let them know the benefits they get by offering their time to you. Try to focus on providing value to your customers.
When done in the right manner, social media platforms can be used as a cost-effective way to grow your brand, generate more leads for your business, and connect with your current customers. While most decision-makers do not respond to cold emails, still a majority of them don’t shy away from having a conversation on social media.
Before you leave your first meeting with the customer, you should always establish the next step. You should clearly define what you believe should happen next – perhaps it could be another meeting, additional information, a discussion letter outlining what was discussed, or could be a presentation. Then take agreement from the prospect that it is a good next step and set a time when the next step is going to take place.
Every sales process takes its own sweet conversion time. Assuming the prospect is a good target for you, plan how you will stay top of mind with him after the meeting. Send them articles related to his industry or situation, send them direct mail pieces, stay in touch, and keep moving him along the buying process. Most of the sales rep doesn’t stay in touch and they let long-term leads fall through the cracks. Don’t let this be you.
Turning cold leads into warm prospects is a journey with a lot of uncertainties. You don’t want to start conversations that never get you anywhere. You don’t want to send emails that end up in the bin. To be successful at getting into people’s nerves, you need to find a way of creating a good rapport with the prospects by delivering value in your conversation, being relevant, and where possible, implementing a paradigm shift in a way that motivates your customers to respond back to you.
Suggested Reading - How Lead Qualification Bridge the Gap between Sales and Marketing?
Marketing teams spend a lot of time, effort, and money to create compelling campaigns, optimize them to generate leads, set auto-responders and alerts to connect with them promptly, before finally passing the leads to the sales team. Salespeople do not even know marketing terms, but they very well know their targets and in case they don’t meet them, they often complain about the quality of leads. The leads never seem to close and most of the time, the argument is – Leads quality was not GOOD.
There seems to be a gap between the two functions. The sales team complains about lead quality and the marketing team is usually upset with missed follow-ups for their hard-earned leads. That gap is the absence of lead qualification, which if filled can ensure a better alliance between the two powerhouses of your business – sales and marketing.
It is the process where the leads are tested if they are really interested in your product/ services or not before they are forwarded to the sales team. These qualified leads are also called Sales Qualified leads.
If your marketing team is targeting the wrong audience, no matter how hard your qualification or pre-sales teams work, it just won’t cut it. They should be constant feedback on which kind of leads are turning into deals, which industries are they from? What are their demographics? Etc. Your marketing team should always remember that if the targeting is tight, the lead volume will go down and they should never be afraid of that. The correct metric to measure the marketing’s lead generation success should be qualified leads, not just the count of leads.
Your marketing team shouldn’t put unnecessary fields on the form, instead, they should have only the important & qualifying fields in their forms/landing pages to increase conversions.
These validators will keep a check on the authenticity of the phone numbers or email addresses and will not let the visitor fill-up the form with incorrect entries. This the first sign of a possible junk lead. Your Marketing team should have validators in their forms to get rid of the spam submissions.
Some CRM and Lead Management systems like LeadSquared give scores to each lead based on the chances of their closure. This scoring is called Quality Scoring. Quality score can be set by the business on the basis of their ideal buyer persona.
The quality score of a lead helps the lead qualification team in prioritizing their tasks and reach out to the most serious lead at the right time. Although quality and lead scoring helps a user understand the seriousness and the intent of the buyer to some extent, it can never fully replace human interaction. That being said, it saves a lot of time and energy if they are set properly.
Dialdesk is a unique and one of its kind “PAY AS YOU GO” customer support solution. It is a perfect amalgamation of IVR, Dialer, 24*7 human support, Omnichannel enabled suite in an AI-enabled environment. The entire product is hosted on cloud which makes it a powerful customer service tool. Dialdesk drives the complete “customer lifecycle management” for its clients with a thorough focus on delivering customer experience par excellence.
While you are using various sources to generate leads for your business, you need to have an adequate team size, who is trained enough on your product and USP’s to reach out to customers at the first level to filter the leads.
Dialdesk takes a lead in delivering this through our PPT methodology i.e. People |Process | Technology. An amalgamation of all three ensures that your leads are reached out to, the first level information is accurately provided, and the initial Need | Desire | Problem of the prospect is established
PROFESSIONAL PRE SALES SUPPORT: We employ a skilled and experienced Tele-Marketing team. Innovative training is provided to them to ensure the deployment of accurate information and customer experience.
ROUND THE CLOCK PRESENCE: Leads reached out after 10 minutes lead to a reduction in Lead qualification criteria by 80%. Dialdesk agents are available to respond to your customers 24*7*365 days as we understand the fact that a lead should be called within 10 minutes of its generation as it is going to increase the chance of sales conversion by 9 times
AUTOMATED WORKFLOW: We create automatic workflows for your company taking into account your process requirements that not only improve the process efficiency but also triggers notifications if any task is skipped or missed
CLOUD-BASED SERVICES: This will give you realtime access to get recordings, reports and dashboards, etc etc so that you don’t need to wait for anyone to send you reports, daily, weekly or monthly
CALL RECORDINGS: You get access to online recordings at your fingertips
Sales and marketing teams are very different from each other but they strive for a common goal i.e generating more revenue. A lead qualification process will help the sales team by giving them more time for followups and outbound calls and will help marketing teams with data-driven feedback to tweak their campaigns accordingly, and hence the gap between the two departments is filled.
What do you think? How are you currently qualifying your leads? Let’s talk in the comments.
Also, Read How to sell like a CHAMPION? How to sell more in 2020?
The definition of a customer has changed now. He is no more somebody you sell your products or services because you intend to sell it.
The new-age definition of a customer is somebody who will buy product or service from you only because there is a certain Need|Desire for the product/services and also because it is addressing his problems.
This is a generic definition and the immediate question that arises is how do I reach out to my customers?
Prima-facie this had always existed, but then the universe was bigger with few players on the battlefield. The word “Demanding customer” existed but only in papers or was a very rare phenomenon.
Time changes and so did it change the perception of customers. The quantum of “demanding customers” is huge today and is increasing with every tick of the clock.
Question is how do businesses sell their products|services now?
Also, READ 10 key sales stats that helps you sell more
Create new sales strategies that are as per the need of the hour and sell like champions !![social_share style=”circle” align=”horizontal” heading_align=”inline” text=”” heading=”” facebook=”1″ twitter=”1″ google_plus=”0″ linkedin=”1″ pinterest=”0″ link=”” /]
We have collected some information, I think very useful information regarding changing scenarios of sales in the times of SM impact, you can get surprised by what you are going to learn because one can think that number does not reflect the whole story but they certainly illuminate many aspects of it, deep inside of the analysis put on by the numbers there is a path clarity over the sales strategies
This statistic proves the importance of having an outstanding web presence, not just for sales, but also for marketing and customer service teams alike. In today’s digital era, consumers often first interact with you and your brand via the Web.This also proves that having a viable online reputation and solid reviews is just as important! How you are represented on the Web as a company says a lot about your business success.
Social media helps to close gaps in communication between the consumer and brand, or, in this case – the salesperson. The more you can connect with consumers on their preferred channel, the better off your entire business is.
This means that CRM and marketing automation tools can be especially useful to salespeople today, to help automate tasks like this to keep the sales cycle moving forward without sacrificing a personal touch. Today’s technology is equipped to handle and help salespeople handle this modern consumer demand. Decision-makers are morning people (apparently)! Make sure your email sends are too.
This implies that consumers and buyers appreciate a well-thought-out email that gets their own wheels churning. Come up with a few effective questions to send their way to show you are concerned for and addressing their needs from the beginning of your relationship.
Only one in three messages that are longer than 2500 words receive a reply. However, you shouldn’t be too brief: A 25-word email is roughly as effective as a 2000-word one. What’s the sweet spot? Between 50 and 125 words — or around the length of this paragraph.
They spend 21% of their day writing emails, 17% entering data, another 17% prospecting and researching leads, 12% going to internal meetings, and 12% scheduling calls.
The stats are drawn from studies, surveys, and articles from trusted sources like HubSpot, Baydin, Blue corona