Darrah Brustein, the founder ofNetwork Under 40, posed an intriguing question to her readers in a Forbespost a few years ago: What form of currency never fluctuates with the market? ... read more
How to Pick the Right CRM: 3 Key Ingredients
Few CRMs meet expectations. According to Gartner Group, 55% of CRM projects fail to produce results.
The most effective CRM systems emphasize three key ingredients:
81% of users access their CRM using more than one type of device. Businesspeople, especially executives, need to be able to access their relationship data from anywhere. Given that most of us are tethered to our mobile devices, mobile optimization is especially critical.
To be successful, CRM users need to be able to access contact data when they are “in the field” meeting with prospects and customers. A mobile-optimized CRM goes a long ways in terms of ensuring users have all relevant contact information at their fingertips. It heightens their potential for success. A study by Innoppl Technologies found that 65% of sales reps using mobile-accessible CRMs such as Affinity meet their sales quotas, as compared to a rate of 22% for sales reps using CRMs that are not mobile accessible.
When CRMs don't align with users' workflows, the outcome is subpar. CRMs are bound to disappoint if they fail to integrate with the other tools that we use daily. If, for example, CRMs don’t integrate with calendars and emails, users are forced to rely on disparate data sources. Searching for information on multiple systems wastes time and limits our ability to glean useful insights from customer data.
Affinity makes reaching out to leads, prospects, and customers easy. It seamlessly integrates with users' email and calendars. It automatically captures all the email communications they send and receive and auto-populates contact information. Not only does this eliminate the need for manual data entry, it ensures users have one “source of truth” for all contact information. Affinity’s integration with Zapier allows users to further streamline and automate their workflows.
Relationship strength data
According to HBR, one of the major “perils” associated with CRMs is the tendency of users to “stalk” rather than “woo” customers. Users often fall into the trap of blindly trying to build relationships with customers who are disinterested. This can result in us “barking up the wrong trees”, causing us to be seen as stalkers.
CRMs fall short if they fail to provide users with insight as to the strength of their relationships with prospects and customers. Affinity allows users to determine how strongly they are connected to contacts. By using Affinity to leverage their network and ask for warm introductions and referrals, users can turn disinterested customers into interested ones and increase conversion rates. That is, they can “woo” customers.
CRMs are the backbone of many organizations. Think of CRMs as the brains that house the data that we need to live and breath every day. Only by optimizing mobile accessibility, workflow integration, and relationship strength information can CRMs prime users for success.