The 3 things you should be getting from your CRM

Few business tools have the potential to drive sales like a well-configured Customer Relationship Management application. You probably call it a CRM, as does practically everyone. In fact, it looks odd to see the words actually spelled out. But we’ve included the full name here for a very specific reason.

It’s easy to forget the functionality CRM solutions are meant to provide. For salespeople, the CRM is where prospects, leads and closed deals live. For customer service, it’s where you can find a customer’s information and history. For management, it’s a rich source of data brimming over with all kinds of reporting potential.

In reality, a CRM is all those things and more.

In this whitepaper, we’ll explore the three biggest benefits of using a CRM. If your current CRM isn’t delivering these three things, it’s time to reconfigure or replace. And if you’re not using a CRM, it’s time to incorporate this valuable tool.

Improved Productivity

CRMs give companies a single, centralized location for the data marketing, sales and service teams rely on day in, day out. When all that data is housed in one place, your employees don’t have to waste time hunting down customer information, unsure of who knows what.

crm solution

Just check the CRM. Everything’s there.

That makes it easier to market, easier to close, and easier to provide top-of-the-line customer service. Improve your organization’s efficiency, and you’ll feel it in the bottom line.

If you want an even bigger productivity boost, add mobile access to your CRM solution. According to Nucleus Research, CRMs with mobile access and social networking capability increase productivity by another 26.4%.

Higher Close Ratios

It’s an age-old adage. Sales is a numbers game.

For example, you might have to work through 10 leads to get to one sale. But what if you could close one deal for every seven leads? Or every five? The difference starts to add up. Quickly.

According to The Sales Management Association, a formalized sales process, like the kind baked into a CRM, can increase profits by as much as 30%. Individual salespeople will perform better as lead conversion rates skyrocket.

It’s all due to a powerful snowball effect. CRMs boost efficiency through organization, automation, and process management. As a result, it’s possible for salespeople to do more in less time.

Better Client Relationships

The CRM advantage doesn’t stop with sales. Not only will more customers decide to buy, but more customers will stick, as well.

Research shows that CRMs improve customer retention rates by as much as 27%. Additionally, CRMs have been shown to increase customer satisfaction by a high margin, as well.  The same productivity perks that lead a customer to buy make it easier to keep current customers and ensure they remain happy.

Ironically, it’s not even really the CRM solution that creates this effect.

Rather, a CRM simply facilitates the kind of organization necessary for your employees to focus their time and energy on prospects and customers. What’s remarkable is the fact that every person involved – the customer, the sales rep, the service rep and even management – benefits from this one powerhouse tool.

Get On It

What about your company?

Does your current CRM make good on its potential? Or, if the idea of using a CRM solution is new to you, are you convinced of the benefits, both for customer satisfaction and profitability?

If you’re ready for a new CRM experience, the CCS Technology team can help. Not every CRM is a good fit for every company. It’s important that you deploy the right solution for your organization.

That’s why we take a consultative approach. We don’t make blind recommendations. We’d much rather get to know you first so we can pair you up with the solutions that will do the most to drive your business forward.

Said another way, when our customers win, we win.

If you need a new CRM solution, we can help you find it. Contact us today to find out more about how we can set you up for success.

 

Office 365: An overview

Microsoft changed the game dramatically a few of years back. The introduction of its cloud-hosted productivity suite was big. Office 365 is a subscription-based service designed to replace the older license-based business model.

With an Office 365 subscription, companies buy time-limited access to a host of Microsoft’s tools. The service comes with the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more. Also included are premium mobile applications and online, browser-based versions.

In tech terms, Office 365 is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) package. SaaS is fast becoming the most popular way to deploy enterprise software. However, the shift does prompt a key question.

Is the new model better than older, licensed versions of Microsoft Office?

Office 365 Advantages

The older, licensed-based model was simple. You bought copies of Microsoft Office and that was it. You had a productivity suite . . . and nothing more.

But with Office 365, you gain an array of perks and benefits not available within older versions.

Get the Services You Need

One of the main advantages for small and medium-sized business is the potential for cost savings. With Office 365 you’ll enjoy a predictable monthly cost. The budget-friendly nature of a fixed expense is particularly nice for SMBs.

Microsoft offers a variety of plans for businesses. Options include packages based on users count and included applications. Many small business leaders find this model appealing because they can pick and choose what they want. For example, what if you need Microsoft’s applications, but you don’t need an exchange email server? With Office 365, there’s a package for that.

Microsoft’s basic plan for businesses includes all the core components of its suite – Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher. It also includes cloud-based storage and costs less than $10 per month per user. You also have the option to add several of Microsoft’s web services. This plan includes Exchange, SharePoint, Skype and more. Alternately, you can choose a plan that only includes the web services without the applications.

You select the components you need.

Always Updated

Microsoft rolls out updates and upgrades for the Office suite on a regular basis. Office 365 means you’ll always have access to the latest new features and tools. Gone are the days when you’d have to buy a whole new copy to avoid being stuck with an antiquated version.

Remote Access

Remote access is another huge benefit. You can access your documents and files via any mobile device. That gives your staff the ability to be more flexible and more productive.

Cloud Storage

Office 365 subscribers also get access to OneDrive for cloud-based storage. Currently, every Office 365 plan comes with 1 TB of storage per user.

A Solid Solution

There’s a lot to like about Office 365, and very few downsides. It’s a product that provides tremendous bang for the buck. We strongly recommend it for SMBs.

If Office 365 sounds like it would be a good fit for your business, CCS Technology is here to help. We can guide you to the right package for your organization. What’s more, we can also assist with the migration to Office 365, making sure the move is painless.

Give us a call today.

Why you need help with your IT project (even if you think you don’t)

There’s one nutrient that’s responsible for more than 300 of your body’s enzyme reactions. It lowers calcification in the arteries, reduces muscle cramps, lowers the risk of high blood pressure, boosts energy, acts a natural antidepressant, and even helps you get better sleep.

Do you know what it is?

Probably not. Most people don’t. Or at least, it seems most people don’t.

It’s magnesium. As many as 80% of Americans don’t get enough of it, despite the overwhelming benefits.

What you don’t know can hold you back.

Okay, so you’re ready to Google magnesium right about now to find out if you should be taking supplements. Given that we don’t hand out medical advice (and those stats are NOT medical advice!), that’s probably not a bad idea.

But not yet. There are other areas where a lack of knowledge can come back to bite you, including one area we know well.

Regardless of the size of your business, you have to tackle the occasional IT project. Whether it’s something (seemingly) simple, like purchasing new software, or something huge, like restructuring your whole network, IT projects are bigger beasts than they appear.

What you don’t know can make projects tough to pull off.

The Most Common Mistakes

Granted, you know how to get things done. You can’t run a business if you can’t be productive. But IT projects come with some unique challenges. Here are some of the most common mistakes business leaders make when undertaking IT projects on their own.

No clear goals.

Knowing that you want to solve a problem isn’t the same as knowing the desired outcome. Without a well-defined goal, there’s no way to manage the project efficiently. You might find a good solution, and you might not.

Either way, staying on schedule and under budget isn’t likely.

Attempting too much.

Most projects aren’t really single projects. They’re several individual, smaller projects with their own end points that culminate into a larger objective. But inexperienced project managers often make the mistake of trying to do it all at once.

Poor communication.

Projects are rarely completed by individuals. Far more often, they’re a team effort. When you have several people pulling together to achieve a common goal, a lack of communication can absolutely kill your chances of success.

From the beginning stages of the project all the way through implementation, clear, open communication is essential.

No flexibility.

There are times when a project appears to have one solution before you dive in . . . but once you’re actually working toward that goal, you discover there’s a better solution.

The idea of changing course once you’ve already started is jarring and upsetting. But sometimes it’s necessary. It’s important to be open to minor tweaks and, at times, total redirection.

Going too far too fast.

The temptation to take on too much can be strong. Once you start talking about how things could be, it’s easy to dream big. And dreaming big is good, but your project needs to be achievable, too. Overly aggressive goals and timelines will undo a project before it even starts.

Murphy’s Law.

If something can go wrong, it will. Even if you plan out everything.

Good project managers expect the unexpected. Something will cost too much. Some part of the solution won’t work as well as you hoped. Something you thought would finish on time will come in late. Keeping the overall project on track means adjusting to those hiccups and having the agility to correct quickly.

IT Projects with CCS Technology

Making your IT project a success is important. You rely on technology every day. It’s critical that upgrades, updates and new installs go smoothly. That’s why doing them on your own is a considerable gamble.

If you’d like some help, we have good news. CCS Technology knows how to navigate IT projects.

We can guide you from the beginning. Or, if your project is already underway but not going as planned, we can help get it back on schedule and maybe even under budget. We’ve got the know-how to make your IT project a success.

Give us a call today to let us know how we can help.