A guide to Cloud Based CRM Tools | Jackson Stephen

A guide to Cloud Based CRM Tools

4 min

Business relationships have evolved over the years and have become more complex than ever. B...

By Sarah Smith

Digital Services Manager

Business relationships have evolved over the years and have become more complex than ever. Business owners and salespeople must keep in touch with their existing customers and contacts, as well as nurture prospects and identify up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.

This is where CRM tools come into play. CRM tools serve as a central database where you can easily obtain information on your existing and prospective customers and contacts, as well as tracking leads and campaigns. If you have this information at your fingertips, you can easily manage your business relationships.

This guide is intended to show you how digital CRM tools can change the way you manage your relationships.

Before we do, however, let's take a closer look at the typical pain points that occur when managing business relationships.

Pain points
1. Lead data is not stored in one central place
Not having lead data stored in one central place, makes it very difficult to have a clear picture of prospective work and in particular:

  • Monitor the overall sales pipeline
  • Track the progress of leads
  • Establish success rates for various channels
  • Assess the performance of salespeople
  • View the conversations, e-mails, or campaigns for each case

Using Excel spreadsheets means that data must be manually collated and keyed into the spreadsheet. This is not only time-consuming but prone to error and omissions as not all data may be passed on.

As mentioned above, CRM tools serve as a central database where you can easily obtain information on existing clients, prospects a,nd contacts, as well as tracking leads and campaigns.

Lead tracking enables a clear view of your pipeline and actions and also gives access to the high-level reports needed to direct your energies to the right place and stop wasting time on things that do not work.

Integrations ensure one point of data entry across your platforms, plus:

  • Integrating with marketing tools or online forms automatically capture lead data meaning that leads are never missed
  • Integrating with job management systems ensures any updates are automatically sent between software; and
  • Integrations with accounting software provide details of invoicing or overdue invoices without the need to switch between software or apps
Automation falls into two categories:
  • At the back-end, create consistent work processes which the team must follow to give consistency on how all clients and prospects are dealt with
  • At the front-end, automate customer or prospect e-mails or notifications, such as follow-ups, to ensure that those essential steps are happening without taking up too much time

Live dashboards give an instant view of your relationship activities, in real-time, and many tools allow you to bespoke these dashboards, so you only see what you need to.

  • Ticketing systems to ensure requests are dealt with in the correct order and that the customer, contact, or prospect knows when to expect a reply
  • Chatbots can act as a triage system to collate basic information and direct the request to the correct place
  • Feedback questionnaires so you know what you are doing right and what needs improvement
  • Campaign tracking to know which campaigns are working for you

Many possibilities exist in this area, which can make selecting the right tool a daunting prospect. It is certainly not something that should be done lightly.

Establish your pain points - what is causing you headaches, and what are your bugbears?

  1. Set out your business goals - do you have plans to grow?
  2. Review your current data flow - this also helps establish areas of improvement
  3. Obtain recommendations - it's all too easy to try to go it alone, but we do recommend that you seek support to choose the right tool.
  4. Undertake your initial scope with you (points 1 - 4 above)
  5. Evaluate the tools that best fit your requirements and provide our recommendation
  6. Implement your chosen tool
  7. Provide training to your team
  8. Provide ongoing support

2. Lead data is manually captured
This is common in businesses that use Excel spreadsheets to monitor their leads.

3. No fixed process for handling leads or prospective work
This can have a big impact where different teams or salespeople are involved. If no fixed process exists, there will be differences in how each case is handled and potential for follow-ups to be missed or delayed.

4. No fixed process for interacting with existing customers and contacts
This, again, has a big impact, especially where different teams are involved. Each team may deal with their customers and contacts slightly differently, and so service standards across the business are not consistently applied and up-selling or cross-selling opportunities are at risk of being missed.

5. Separate database records existing throughout the business
This is especially the case where teams are inclined to keep track of their own contacts and relationships, and so are not aware of contact by other teams.

CRM tools have been available for some time, but traditionally would be on-premise tools that are expensive to set up and maintain.

Cloud-based CRM tools provide cost-effective solutions and by being in the cloud give the benefit of access from anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

Let's take a look at the core features of cloud-based CRM tools:

  • Lead Tracking
  • Interactions
  • Automation
  • Live dashboards and reporting

We have in-depth experience in this field (the app field as we call it) and have a wide network of expertise to call upon as and when needed.

If this is something that you would like to explore then please contact our Digital Services team who will be happy to provide an initial consultation.