Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Why CRM?: Dynamic Databases

This article kicks off our “Why CRM?” series, in which we will explore the different, vital needs that CRM helps small, medium and large businesses cope with in the modern business landscape. Every two weeks, we will explore a different feature of CRM and the corresponding business needs it helps solve.

This week, we will start with something that is often overlooked when discussing CRM: the fact that CRM offers a full database of a company’s projects along with its current and future customers.

Why CRM

As seen above, there are countless data points that are tracked within CRM software. This software can help save countless billable hours of work in that it is constantly automatically updated to reflect any new campaigns or projects and any new correspondences a business has had with its customers. Therefore, no employee time is devoted to updating the database and can instead be spent on utilizing the data gathered rather than logging it.

Another advantage of CRM database is its accessibility. Since all the data is stored on a secure server in the cloud, employees can access this information at any time from any place. This readily available information can be critical to employees in the field trying to utilize data on the fly. Also, managerial settings are extremely user-friendly to help manage which employees can access certain levels of data. Another report that can be generated from CRM is an employee report to track their interactions with the CRM and what data they are utilizing.

Therefore, having a dynamic, complete and accessible database of a business’s projects and customers is a vital cog of a 21st century company. Having this data gathered and readily available to a business’s employees saves countless hours of data collection and allows this time to be utilized processing data and developing business strategies off of it rather than being spent managing the data itself.

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Three Must-Have Reports for Sales Teams

For successful Sales and Marketing processes, efficient and timely reports are crucial.  All CRMs have some level of reporting capability.

We have found the following three reports to be Must-Have for the Sales Teams.

1. New Leads Report:

Goal: The goal is to make sure leads are being followed up with in a timely fashion.
Content: This report contains a list of all new Leads entered into the Sales Cycle and the different Sales stages they are in.  Lead management can be made even more efficient by deploying Lead Scoring.  With Lead Scoring, Sales teams can prioritize their activities and follow ups to maximize selling time.
Frequency: This report should be run at least once a day, if not more.
Users: Sales and Sales Administration Teams, Managers, and Owners

2. Sales Stage Report:

Goal:  To keep Opportunities moving towards the close in the Sales Cycle.
Content: This report contains a list of all open Opportunities inclulding their Sales Stages and/or Probability-of-Close, Expected Close Date, Age of the Opportunity, Days since last stage change, and Next Steps.  This report frequently includes an Expected Close Date that can be selected within a given time frame, i.e., this month, this quarter, next month, next quarter, etc.  Sometimes users like to see this report with a chart, graph, or visual representation, as well.  There can be many different variations of this report based on Products, Sales Stages, Opportunity Age and Size, etc.
Frequency: Run at least once a week.
Users: Sales and Sales Administration Teams, Managers, and Owners

3. Sales Activity Report:

Goal: To make sure Sales Activities like Follow up Calls, Prospect Meetings, Demos, Follow-up activities are being completed on a consistent basis.
Content: This report contains the total number of each of the Sales Activities completed by each Sales Rep within a given time frame.  The totals should be calculated by activity-by-day even if the timeframe for the report is longer.  It can also provide more detailed information for each type of the activity, like Calls, Meetings, etc.
Frequency: Run daily or weekly.
Users: Sales and Sales Administration Teams, Managers, and Owners

There are many other reports that can be created and made available to the Sales team so they can track, monitor, and improve their processes and close more sales.  At Alycom Business Solutions, we are experts in creating Reports from CRMs, like SugarCRM, GoldMine and integrating data from various different systems like Accounting, Inventory Management, ERP Systems, Website Analytics, etc.

Click here to learn more about the various solutions we offer.

Call at 214-228-2287 or click here to tell us how we can assist your sales team.

Happy selling everyone!!!

Friday, January 30th, 2015

DO YOU KNOW? – How to access SugarCRM Help & Documentation

Do you know that context-sensitive Help is just a mouse-click away no matter what you are doing in SugarCRM?

SugarCRM’s logo bar, visible at the bottom of every screen, allows you to access a variety of Tours, Help & Support, from any screen.

Click here to view a video demonstration illustrating where to find Help & Documentation from any screen in SugarCRM

First, I’ll demonstrate the Tour feature, which provides you with a step-by-step introduction to the Dashboard, Accounts, Contacts and Leads Modules and Forms.  This self-paced tutorial will introduce and identify the navigation and functionality of each screen in these Modules.

Next, you will see how easily you can access context-sensitive Help, available right from a Help Dashlet.   The Help Dashlet provides a link to the inline SugarCRM documentation related to the active Module.

Finally, I’ll show you how to access valuable SugarCRM Support, which includes access to additional Documentation, Training, Videos, and SugarCRM’s Knowledge Base.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

DO YOU KNOW? – Creating Dashboards

Do you know how easy it is to create user dashboards in SugarCRM?

SugarCRM’s Home page, where you arrive after logging in, displays the user Dashboard, a virtual desktop that allows you to view pertinent record information and/or activity streams, via Dashlets.  Every SugarCRM user can build their own Dashboards, by selecting from a wide array of Dashlets available to them. Users can also personalize these Dashlets, to display only their activity stream or posts specific to records that are important to them.

Click here to view a video demonstration of navigating the Home Page and steps to create

Dashboards

In this video, we will demonstrate how to create and save two different SugarCRM Dashboard’s.

The first Dashboard will be created using the List View Dashlets, which enables users to view records in specific Modules (Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities), and configure the lists by applying filters to view specific records.

The second demonstration will show how to create a Dashboard using a combination of Report Dashlets, which allow you to view dynamic, graphic content from your SugarCRM reports on your Home Page.

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Optimize Your CRM, One User at a Time

For a business to succeed, it’s important to define the right roles and fill them with effective individuals who possess the necessary skills, training and experience to contribute to the company’s success.  Likewise, for customer relationship management (CRM) success, it is crucial to define CRM roles that empower users with a CRM experience optimized for their organizational role.

CRM provides a business with a lot of integrated functionality to help it organize and manage customer information and deliver greater visibility on all of its customer interactions. Often times, attention is not paid to the specific roles, which results in information overload where users get too much information about everything instead of the specific information they need for their role – whether it besales, marketing, customer service or management.

In order to optimize your CRM, each of the following areas should be configured appropriately to deliver a role-based result.  The whole idea is to create a more focused, productive and fluid userexperience.

  • Role Security – Users should be set up with role-specific permissions and tasks. Most CRMs allow for field- and module-level security settings.
  • Workflow Optimization – The CRM should be configured for each user to eliminate distractions, reduce unnecessary “clicks”, simplify navigation and make the workflow more intuitive and role-centric.
  • Workflow Automation – Workflows should be automated to increase productivity and leverage the CRM to do the “heavy lifting” on scheduled or repetitive tasks, resulting in increased user efficiency.
  • Templates– Templates should be created for users in different roles to help them deliver a quick and professional response that delivers on consistent messaging and company branding.
  • Dashboards– Dashboards provide users with role-specific information at their fingertips.  This information helps users to increase efficiency in their day-to-day functions by providing sales pipelines, call lists, pending customer service cases or other vital role-related information.
  • Reports –No matter the role, each user needs to have reports that inform him/her of data analysis or outcomes specific to his/her role.  Well-designed reports for management help deliver important business metrics to inform the vision and execution of business strategies.

By taking the time to alignand configure your CRM with your organizational roles in mind, your users’ experiences will be greatly enhanced, allowing users to be more productive and your business to be more profitable.

At Alycom Business Solutions, we have the expertise and experience to assist you in optimizing the CRM-user experience to deliver greater productivity and bottom-line results. We offer a variety of strategic and technical services to enhance your CRM experience and increase your return on investment (ROI).  Our services include: business and technical consulting, IT professional services, third-party integrations and ongoing CRM training and support.

Contact us at www.makecustomersforlife.com or call (214) 228-2287 to learn how we can help your business achieve CRM success.