Four Ways To Use Technology To Improve Your Business Operations

Starting a business in today’s standards requires far more steps than it did just a decade ago. From hiring to point of sales systems to security, there are so many moving parts with each one critical to your operational success. Thankfully, with the technology and many options to choose from, you can run your business with ease. Levi Lapp, founder and CEO of Atlantic Outdoors, shares an article on Forbes of the technological offerings he found useful when starting his own business and how they can improve your business operations.

Hiring. “Once your business takes off, you need to hire employees. But just putting an ad in the paper isn’t enough anymore. Many online tools can help you post an available position, but what do you do when you have multiple candidates who interview well and have impressive resumes? There are now online tools that can help you choose between good candidates and great ones.”

Cybersecurity. “Ensuring your employees’ social security numbers or customer information is protected is critical. With proper data security in place, your technology tools and systems are more likely to be safe from digital attacks. As our business is growing and we’re hiring more people, it has been critical for us to focus on some of the basics, such as including firewall security to protect our website, WiFi network and internet connection. Another big one: maintaining control of any devices we provide to our employees.”

Customer Relationship Management (CRM). “CRMs serve as a client contact database and can keep track of all communications, including adding reminders about when to contact customers. With the correct data, some can even offer potential outcomes based on the information provided. These outcomes can help your team determine if a lead is worth the time and effort needed. Most CRMs also include calendar features that allow you to prioritize projects, schedule deadlines and even factor in personal time off and holidays. You can input your events with reminder notifications to keep you on track for meetings, appointments and other important dates.”

Business Travel. “If you need to go out of town for work, the high-tech world has come a long way for business travelers. Some of those common travel stressors like finding a place to work out or a healthy lunch spot can now be a thing of the past with informational apps powered by businesses like ClassPass and TripAdvisor. And how about returning to the office with all those receipts from the road? Not to worry. Apps like Expensify and TripIt can help you streamline your itinerary, expenses, miles and more.”

Running a business in the modern age still comes with its challenges. But thanks to many advancements in technology, we can still manage and run our businesses smoothly,


For Full Article, Click Here

ERP Vs. CRM: What’s The Difference?

Two of the most important tools you can have in place for your business are enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Sometimes ERP and CRM become synonymous or are referred to as a bundled singular system While they are separate business processes, it is a great advantage to have both systems in place, and working together. Alana Rudder and Rob Watts share an informative article on Forbes comparing both these business processes, and how you can utilize them both for your business.

At its core, Rudder and Watts explain, an ERP system serves as a central database to integrate and facilitate automations and efficient resource allocation—including funding—between company functions. In contrast, a CRM gives companies the tools and capabilities to build and maintain positive relationships with key stakeholders. ERP help companies manage their finances and resources to control costs and meet company production goals. CRMs help companies manage the sales cycle and customer experience. Both ERP and CRM systems offer cloud-based databases to ensure users can access accurate, real-time data from anywhere and from any device. They both collect data, but for different reasons – ERP collects data from systems across the business to create one source of data truth, while CRM collects data on leads, prospects and customers to create a complete view of their preferences, needs and interaction and purchase history. Additionally, the article points out that while ERP systems allow for integrations to manage sales cycles, marketing, customer service and the compilation of complete customer views, these processes are better handled by CRMs. However, when it comes to managing manufacturing processes, resource planning and allocation, financial management, supply chains and production, an ERP is a better solution. A real competitive edge can be accomplished by integrating the two solutions.

Sales Management. “Both ERP and CRM solutions have unique features that can lend to more closed sales. A CRM offers tools to help sales representatives determine if prospects or leads are likely to buy, reach out to “hot” leads, personalize interactions to uniquely meet the needs of existing and potential customers and, ultimately, close sales. An ERP can lend to smooth sales closing processes by ensuring products are produced and available to meet demand. In doing so, it ensures sales representatives have products available to sell when customers want them. Such capabilities include demand forecasting, resource planning and procurement and automations to speed up production.”

Supply Chain Management. “An ERP system is the stronger solution for supply chain management. Many offer tools to manage the entire production process, from resource procurement and planning and supply chain management to the manufacturing process. However, a CRM offers the tools to make supply chain management worth the investment, including via marketing, sales and customer service management. Together, ERP and CRM solutions offer companies the whole spectrum, from investment in and the use of raw materials to the sale of final product outputs.”

Customer Experience. “Creating a positive customer experience is better left to a CRM solution. Companies can lean on the solution to make personalized sales that induce fewer complaints, then offer follow-up support, quick customer complaint resolutions and personalized upsells that further prompt a positive customer experience. However, the customer experience is often poor if supply chain and manufacturing processes are not on point. An ERP system helps companies manufacture products while correctly balancing quality and cost. This, combined with its demand forecasting, allows sales representatives to offer the products customers want, when they want them and at the right price, thereby inducing fewer complaints and higher customer satisfaction.”

Deciding whether or not your business needs an ERP or CRM system, or bother comes down to the primary needs and goals of your company. While having one over the other has its own advantages, you may find that you will need both systems and will need them to work together to gain a competitive advantage.


For Full Article, Click Here

Revolutionizing Hotel Sales Functions With Technology

The hotel industry is one of the biggest legs in travel and tourism, a major player in the global economy. As the hotel industry continues to grow, technology will play a key role in its evolution. Sales play a vital role yet not every hotel brand is taking advantage of the multitude of technology available for their business’ . While giants like Marriott and Hilton utilize customer relationship management (CRM) software, it isn’t used at capacity. More and more hotel chains need to take advantage of the technology curated for their sector. Forbes Council Member Akash Goel shares an article highlighting the many technology advancements available in the hotel and hospitality sector that brands need to take full advantage of immediately.

Lead Generation: “Lead management tools can merge leads from various sources, deduplicate them and maintain the most up-to-date information for the best top-of-the-funnel leads—all stored in a lead bank.”

Lead Enrichment And Qualification: “Multiple lead sources contribute to enriching a prospect with maximum data points. Using factors such as the industry, size and proximity of a business to a hotel, as well as the hotel’s product offerings, lead scoring can help sales professionals prioritize, qualify and focus on the most promising leads.”

Automated Outreach Campaigns: “With contact information for most businesses and employees readily available, reaching out via email can be an effective way to generate interest and qualify leads. Tools can help track open and reply rates to optimize the process and update lead scores.”

System Integration (CRM): “Connecting the customer relationship management (CRM) tool with the hotel’s central reservation system (CRS) can further simplify post-sales efforts. Dashboards can highlight contracts that are at risk of being lost, those that aren’t meeting expectations and those that have further scope for upselling. Automated communications and reminders also help strengthen the relationship.”

Technology has proven its positive impact in other industries, and the hotel industry is no exception. Travel and tourism isn’t going anywhere especially now that it seems the economy is slowing coming back to the pre-covid times. Embracing technology in hotel operations will significantly help with sales.


For Full Article, Click Here

How A CRM Can Amplify A Business’s Marketing Efforts

Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms have proven a worthy investment for business’ dedicated to increasing their marketing efforts. streamline marketing performances.

Segmenting Leads, Prospects And Customers. “A CRM can provide valuable information about customers like their age, profession, tastes and preferences. The data is enough to run targeted email campaigns and can enable you to segment your leads, prospects and customers under different presets and customizations. This could help increase conversion rates and allow organizations to get to know loyal customers and their purchasing behaviors.”

Personalizing Emails Using CRM Contact Fields. “One thing about promotional or marketing emails is that they can be personalized, engaging and convincing. The credit goes to a specific feature available in a majority of CRMs—’personalization tokens’ or ’email tokens.'”

Computing Campaign ROI. “A CRM comes with a closed-loop reporting feature capable of transforming intuition-based marketing campaigns into data-backed marketing strategies. It can provide information about the leads like source, quality, quantity, channels and revenue. It can also provide comprehensive insights into where to invest marketing efforts, what channels to focus on and the best way to use budgets with clear insights.”

Boosting Customer Relationships. “The ‘R’ in ‘CRM’ is the most essential part of the acronym. Enhancing customer relationships is vital. A CRM can aggregate customer data and offer a holistic view of the customer. It can store all of the customer data in one place and offer easy access to sales, marketing and customer service departments—allowing businesses to personalize their communication. A CRM can also be useful for tracking consumer journeys, from the formal visit to the purchase. It can provide an in-depth understanding of every customer visiting a website, empowering salespeople with adequate knowledge to sell more relevant products faster. Additionally, it can help personalize the customer journey for cross-selling and upselling.”

Patel emphasizes that you can amplify your marketing strategy’s ROI with a CRM in place. To be able to interact and sell to your customers effectively, a CRM could help with effective marketing and sales strategies tailored to your customers on an individual level. A CRM does take a lot of work – from set up to constant analyzation of data  – in order to curate the best marketing campaign for your audience. Patel’s final advice when getting started with a CRM is to have employee involvement immediately. Familiarizing your team to this platform and being on the same page on how to move forward with marketing campaigns are critical to CRM success.


For Full Article, Click Here

Camatic Seating Uses Infor Integrated AI Solution to Help Improve Customer Satisfaction

Camatic Seating, a global leading supplier and manufacturer of ergonomic seating solutions for large venues, educational institutions and transit areas, recently decided to use Infor’s integrated artificial intelligence (AI) solution to help improve customer satisfaction, increase revenues and optimize the vendor selection process. The Melbourne, Australia-based Camatic Seating is continuing to grow and enter new markets, prompting the company to continue to deliver seating solutions without delays, so customers can complete their construction projects as scheduled. Per the press release, with Infor Coleman® AI, Camatic Seating anticipates that it will increase its sales-win rates by 5%, which would translate into $10 million to $15 million in new revenue. The company also expects that Infor Coleman AI will help speed up its vendor selection process by 93%, reducing the time it takes to pull vendor data from 30 minutes to two minutes. Additionally, their goal in improving sales forecasting and customer satisfaction will happen as they will take advantage of the modern Infor OS technology platform that underpins Camatic Seating’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system — Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise. Camatic Seating applied Infor Coleman AI to five years of disparate customer relationship management (CRM) data to help generate more accurate forecasts and win predictions. The implementation completed in less than 30 days, with the AI-driven insights delivered through Infor Birst® analytic dashboards. Further, With Infor Coleman AI, Camatic Seating can automate the vendor selection process by applying data and obtaining a summary breakdown from vendor performance. The Camatic Seating team can make a selection based on the overall ranking, and it also can see the details behind the ranking.


For Full Article, Click Here

8 Benefits Of CRM Automation

Today’s competitive landscape calls for the need of businesses to have a customer relationship management (CRM) system in place. The most effective way to utilize your CRM system is to automate your processes. Tech Digest has a great article describing how CRM automation can help your business organize and manage customer data efficiently, improving customer relationships and sales processes simultaneously. Below are 8 benefits, according to Tech Digest, that CRM automation can do for your business.

  • Enhanced Customer Service. “Great customer service is the key to any successful business. It’s what keeps customers coming back, and it’s what helps you to stand out from your competition.”
  • Better Data Management. “Data management is integral to any business, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems are essential. Customer relationship management automation can help improve data management in several ways.”
  • Better Decision-Making. “In business, time is money. The faster you can make decisions, the better. By automating CRM tasks, businesses can free up time for employees to focus on more strategic tasks.”
  • Improved Flexibility And Efficiency In Your Processes. “Automation is quickly becoming a staple in the business world as companies race to keep up with the competition. Businesses can improve flexibility and efficiency by automating specific processes and reducing costs. With CRM automation, processes can be streamlined, reducing the likelihood of errors and freeing your team to focus on more critical tasks.”
  • Enhanced Reporting Capabilities. “A CRM system allows businesses to view and analyze customer data in real time. This can help to identify patterns and trends that may take time to be apparent when looking at traditional data reports.”
  • Improved Team Communication. “By automating the process of updating and distributing customer data, team members can spend less time gathering information and more time communicating with one another.”
  • Cost-Effective. “CRM automation can save your business money. By automating repetitive tasks, CRM automation frees up your staff to focus on more critical tasks.”
  • Boost Sales. “Sales representatives are always looking for ways to increase their sales. One way they can do this is by using CRM automation. This allows them to automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry and contact management. As a result, they can spend more time selling, leading to more sales.”


For Full Article, Click Here

3 Best Practices for Turning Customer Data Into Marketing Insights

This digital age has given businesses the power of analyzing customer data to better drive their business practices. The explosion of data growth and market statistics and trends have produced a new kind of consumer and new avenues to market. As a result, customer relationship management (CRM) systems have become a must have to stay competitive in your field. Software innovator Diane Keng, CEO and cofounder of Breinify, an AI and predictive personalization engine, shares an interesting read on Destination CRM explaining the importance of consumer data and how to utilize it to build on your customer relationships. Keng notes that there is so much consumer data you can gather, so it’s tough to decide what to do with all the information, let alone picking and choosing only what is relevant to your business. If you need a place to start, here are 3 of Keng’s best practices for turning customer data into useful marketing insights to improve customer relations.

  1. Collect and organize your data effectively. “Done correctly, a foundation of data science—where you collect, tag, and analyze data using digital tools such as AI—can not only help you create better, more relevant consumer experiences, but also solve many other business problems throughout your organization.”
  2. Use data-driven insights to optimize the consumer journey. “To build personalization tactics that make consumer experiences more relevant, you first have to understand how to use your data to move consumers through their specific journeys. You might even find gaps in your funnel where personalization is missing. Those gaps allow you to create personalized experiences that help your brand build deeper connections with consumers and it shows them that you understand and care about their needs and preferences.”
  3. Use technology to deliver dynamic, personalized experiences. “Once you’re working from a solid foundation of data science and optimizing the consumer journey, you can begin to create a consumer experience that’s relevant and useful in a scalable way using your data and leveraging technology. These kinds of personalized, data-driven actions make consumers feel seen and heard and are way more likely to hit home than generic, one-size-fits-all messages.”

Data is a crucial resource to have and by using it right, you will see a difference in your consumer behavior and customer loyalty. With a solid foundation of data-driven practices in your team, Keng believes you’ll be able to keep growing your digital experience in a way that actually benefits and engages your target consumers.


For Full Article, Click Here

Five Common Mistakes To Avoid After CRM Go-Live

Tal Frankfurt, Founder and CEO of Salesforce partner Cloud for Good, shares an article on Forbes of the many mistakes we can make after we go-live with a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. Many managers think once the system is implemented, nothing else needs to be done. That is a huge mistake, and one of many that happen after a successful implementation. Here are five common mistakes that you should avoid, according to Frankfurt, after your CRM go-live.

  1. Not Allowing For A Stabilization Period. “Implementing new technology is a process that takes time and creates a lot of buildup and excitement for going live. Understanding that success and realized benefits are not always immediate, your organization should plan for a post-go-live period that should at least include additional training for users, knowledge transfer across the organization using the CRM and proper measurement of what the value that the CRM is creating and adjustment needed post-go-live.”
  2. Failing To Continually Support Staff. “As you go live and start to field questions from staff, understand that your users are the greatest source capable of unlocking more and more of your new technology. Listen closely to the feedback they have as it relates to improvements, roadblocks and what’s working well for them.”
  3. Rejecting Evolution. “To this point, your CRM should always be evolving. Your CRM is, at its core, a tool to help support your organization’s unique goals and missions. Naturally, as the goals and missions develop, so too should the technology implemented to support development. How do you continue to create value?”
  4. Stalking Customers And Not Improving Their Experience. “Many organizations believe that more data is the answer for everything the organization needs and that if that data is not in the CRM, it actually never existed. The more data you have is not going to necessarily make your organization a more customer-centric organization. Organizations should focus on understanding their data and then using it to build stronger and healthier relationships with their constituents.”
  5. Not Learning From Failures. “According to Gartner, 55% of CRM implementations fail. For many organizations, it takes time to understand that CRM is not an “IT project” or something one person or a department can and should implement. CRM implementations are valuable when they are cross-departmental, when the leadership team is involved and when the users see an impact on their day-to-day work as a result of increased efficiency or effectiveness.”

Frankfurt concludes that we should not undermine all of the time and effort that went into getting your CRM up and running. We should take the time to ensure that our staff has the right support and that we are readily open to embrace the changes a CRM system can bring to the company. With time, perspective and help from the right staff, Frankfurt notes, a CRM platform implemented mindfully and respectfully will help you reach the next level of your business.


For Full Article, Click Here

Five Common Mistakes To Avoid Before Your CRM Implementation

Implementing a new or replacement customer relationship management (CRM) system is a great way to keep your business on a competitive edge. However, we can commit costly mistakes when implementing these systems, especially if we’re replacing a current one. Not wanting to adjust to a new system, not wanting to let go of your current approach and not getting support of stakeholders and employees are some pitfalls to name a few. Tal Frankfurt, Forbes Council Member and Founder and CEO of Cloud for Good, shares an article about some common mistakes we make and need to avoid before implementing a CRM.

  1. Holding On To The Past. “Perhaps more than any other common mistake, a stubbornly strong grip on established standards of practice will sink even the most well-managed CRM implementation. This backward line of thought can pervade the CRM implementation at any and all phases. Remember, there’s a reason you’re seeking a change in the first place; don’t lose sight of this fact.”
  2. Failing To Engage The Right Stakeholders. “In the lead-up to your organization’s CRM implementation, it is of the utmost importance that the right stakeholders are engaged. Stakeholders have the unique ability to determine the success or failure of what your organization is trying to achieve with a new CRM, so receiving their buy-in and including them throughout the process of implementation is a critical component often left unnoticed.”
  3. Lack Of Empowered Product Owners. “Product owners can drastically affect the ultimate success of a CRM implementation—for good and for bad. With the right product owner empowered during an implementation, communication with stakeholders will be better facilitated, short- and long-term planning for the technology will be better supported and the overall process will be enhanced for both internal staff and the end users.”
  4. Not Having A Change Management Plan In Place. “With a progressive, open-minded approach, leadership and key stakeholders should be keenly aware that the new CRM will bring updates, upgrades and a whole host of new business practices. Staff must be prepared for the new business processes and technological changes coming their way, and this can only be achieved through intentionally designed and paced change management preparation.”
  5. Biting Off More Than You Can Chew. ” The importance of breaking up the many possible technology needs an organization might prioritize into phases cannot be understated. Determine all the technology needs your organization is seeking to fill with a new CRM implementation, then list them out in terms of importance and criticality to organizational function. Attempting to tackle every need at once will burn out your partner and frustrate internal staff.”

Frankfurt concludes that avoiding these common mistakes before implementing a new CRM can set up your organization in a better position to succeed and thrive with new technology.


For Full Article, Click Here

5 Advantages a CRM System Can Bring to your Business

Customer Relationship Management (CRM), while not a new offering, is still a ‘new’ concept for many businesses. What exactly is a CRM? A CRM system is a tool used by a company to manage and track customer interactions within your business. The tools at your disposable in your CRM system are pertinent to learning about your customer’s preferences, behaviors, buying patterns, etc. With this real-time data available at your fingertips, CRM systems prove to be advantageous for those companies wanting to have a competitive edge. An informative article on shares five major benefits of having a CRM implemented for your company.

  1. A CRM system can help you keep track of your customers’ contact information and preferences, making it easier for you to provide them with the personalized service they continue to desire.
  2. A CRM system can give you a 360-degree view of your customers, allowing you to better understand their needs and how best to serve them.
  3. A CRM system can automate many of the tedious and time-consuming tasks associated with customer relationship management, freeing up your staff to focus on more important things.
  4. A CRM system can help you track and measure key metrics such as customer satisfaction and lifetime value, allowing you to continuously improve your business.
  5. A CRM system can be a powerful marketing tool, helping you segment and target your marketing efforts more effectively.
No two companies will have the same CRM strategy, but every company can benefit from implementing this tool.