Nobody ever said running your own business isn’t easy. If it was something just anyone could do, there wouldn’t be such a high failure rate when it comes to new businesses. At the same time, smart business owners who leverage the right tools have a much better chance of seeing their company flourish and grow. One invaluable tool for business growth is customer relationship management technology (CRM); when it comes to the most effective, visual CRM is the gold standard.
Not all visual CRM platforms are created equal.
That being said, not all visual CRM platforms are created equal. It’s one thing to collect consumer data – it’s another thing altogether to analyze it properly and then present it in a way that can be understood and used to alter your business strategies for the better. That’s why one of the best visual CRM platforms out there today is undoubtedly Canvas for Zoho CRM. Here’s what you need to know.
Visual CRM: A Great Tool, But Missing Some Serious Components
Visual CRM platforms are absolutely integral to the proper functioning of any customer-facing business – in other words, just about every business out there. Being able to access details about each of your customers in a searchable database that can be amended whenever necessary means you can keep track of each customer’s previous purchases and any other information that’s relevant to your particular business sector – a veterinarian’s office needs to know the type of pets a customer has, how many there are, their names, and so on, for example.
At the same time, visual CRM platforms have been missing some integral components for a long time. Ease of CRM platform use is a perennial struggle, as being able to access and modify even visual databases can be difficult for many staff members. You shouldn’t need a background in programming or database management just to get the most out of your company’s visual CRM, after all! Rigid, overly complex design does little but slow down use, limit adoption, and reduce the effectiveness of the platform in general.
A Revolutionary Approach to Visual CRM
It’s time to shut the door on bad visual CRM design. Canvas represents a new era of CRM design, one that is as intuitive to use as it is practical. While many visual CRM platforms have interface designs that require high degrees of technical knowledge in order to use and configure, Canvas focuses instead on simple, no-code use that capitalizes on drag-and-drop functionality, aesthetics, and the creation of mindful and usable designs. This makes Canvas much less than just a simple visual CRM platform – it’s more accurate to describe it as a fully-fledged CRM design studio.
With Canvas, never again do you have to worry about whether sales personnel are going to need extensive training with your CRM platform before being able to use it effectively. Additionally, because of the universal nature of Canvas, it’s perfectly adaptable to more than one type of market sector – making it perfect for every industry under the sun. It’s the first true visual CRM platform where data meets design and results in a truly revolutionary experience.
Better Understanding through Data Visualisation
Customer data is great. In fact, it’s completely priceless, as it can easily reveal to you the kind of sales trends that you need to improve your products and services. This makes customer data an absolutely invaluable tool for driving new customer conversions and retaining existing customers. Without the right data, you’re flying blind – and that’s no way to run a customer-focused business – not if you’re looking to grow that business and drive your organization’s profitability.
At the same time, customer data is next to useless unless you can understand what you’re looking at. Raw figures don’t always reveal as much as they could, which is why good platforms like Canvas for Zoho CRM don’t just collect customer data points – they also present them visually in ways that can be instantly understood. Seeing a graph of customer activity over time makes it instantly recognizable when a trend is occurring, allowing you to either capitalize on a positive trend or take steps to mitigate a negative one.
Selling Smarter, Better, Faster, and Easier
Here at Informatix, we eat our own dog food. In other words, we don’t just design customer relationship management solutions – we use them every day, in every aspect of our business. It wasn’t long before we identified the issues faced by companies trying to get the job done with a rigid CRM that worked in theory but provided a complex experience that was a barrier to adoption, sometimes creating little more than frustration in anyone who tried to use that CRM.
That’s why we knew we were on to something when we overhauled our own CRM with an eye towards a simpler and more contextual approach. But we didn’t stop there – we went even further and began developing tools to provide the highest levels of customization without adding complexity, making Zoho one of the most agile and easy-to-use visual CRMs on the market today. The end result? Canvas, the CRM design studio that makes doing business smarter, better, and faster as easy as it’s ever been.
Ready for Prime Time
You won’t get far without a visual CRM platform for your company to leverage. However, you owe it to your staff to provide them with a platform that’s more than just a database – they deserve something that’s accessible, easy to understand, and that can be customized without having to understand advanced coding.
If you’ve had enough of struggling with your current visual CRM and you’re tired of having to learn the complexities of a platform just to do simple tasks, it’s time for a switch. Canvas for Zoho CRM is the solution to all your visual CRM platform needs. Learn more about this revolutionary approach to customer relationship management today!
When you’re going through a digital transformation, there’s one area that should get more attention than anything else: your business workflows and business processes.
Your workflows are the most fundamental way that you conduct business. They govern how you work on a day-to-day basis. Yet they can also be just as much of a handicap as a tool for success. It all depends on how you approach them.
And if you’re trudging along through your business workflows, you’re approaching them the wrong way.
Here are our top ten tips to streamline your most time-consuming workflows and turn them into an asset.
1. Create a Master Business Process Flow
The first step seems simple: create a master business process flow. In other words, visualize and write down how your business process actually works.
The keyword is seems.
What we’re talking about here is business process mapping, which is a visual representation of every step a business takes from start to finish. In doing so, you document the entire process.
This is an important step, as it forces you to conceptualize every part of your business–including some that might not have occurred to you. The simplest way to get started is to think in terms of inputs, processing, and outputs.
2. Detail Each Part of the Process
This brings us to the second, related tip. When you map your process, you need to detail each and every part.
Yes, every part.
That means each and every customer and staff-facing interaction. If it’s an interaction, it’s part of your business process, and it needs to be visualized and documented in detail.
This is what allows you to understand how your process works. It’s easy enough to just write down a step and call it even, but that lends itself to disregarding the finer points of what makes each step tick. Instead, take the time to detail each step. In doing so, you have to think critically about how each step really works–and where it doesn’t work.
That way, you can shed light on some areas you might not think about, and identify inefficiencies you might have otherwise overlooked.
3. Describe & Visualise How the Best Process Would Flow
Once you know how your business process currently works, you can think about how it could work better.
What should your BOS (Business Operating System) look like? What should your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) look like? What are your ideal workflows?
This brings you to the next important question: how can your current workflows and processes evolve from where you are now to where you need to be? What needs to be streamlined and cut? And what tools do you need to get the job done?
4. Research All the Technology Providers
You could try to develop those solutions on your own, but that would be inefficient. And since we’re here to streamline your processes and simplify your workflow through digital transformation, your best bet is to turn to an expert third-party provider.
The good news is that there are a lot of options. The bad news is that you have to find the right one for your organization.
As you look into business operating systems and business management software, ask yourself:
- What are my top three most important solutions?
- What are the most important areas to drive efficiency?
- What needs to change to make each step in my process more efficient?
- How can this tool help me drive efficiency?
- Are there extra features that I need?
- Are there extra features that I don’t need?
Just as you detailed your business processes and workflows, document the details of each potential solution.
5. Create a Request for Proposal to Send to Suitable Suppliers and Consultants
Next, you have to create a request for proposal (RFP) to send to potential suppliers. There are three points to keep in mind when writing an RFP:
- Figure out what you want
- Figure out what you need
- Figure out what’s possible
There’s a happy medium between what you want, what you need, and what’s possible. Think of it this way: there’s no reason to buy a Ferrari when a bicycle messenger could get the job done just as well. Itemize what you want, balance it with what you need, and streamline it with what’s possible (i.e. budget or operating constraints).
6. Analyse All Vendor Submissions
Got your RFP sent out and your submissions in front of you? Time to sort through your options.
Before you do anything else, do a preliminary check for completeness and clarity. Any omissions or ambiguities should be clarified by the vendor. If there are any submissions that just aren’t the right fit, or just aren’t very good, now is the time to discard them.
From there, create a spreadsheet detailing your business requirements (this should be easy to do based on the RFP triage you did earlier). This will allow you to score all submissions using the same grading scale and objectively assess who is the best fit for your needs.
Next, assign an importance value and a performance value for each requirement to weigh them. This should be on a scale of one to ten, unless a feature is so important that you would immediately discard a vendor who didn’t have it.
Next, go through each submission with a fine-toothed comb. Performance value will likely be the hardest to score–this is when you score the vendor based on how well they perform for each requirement. Once you have a complete scoring sheet, calculate each vendor’s score.
7. Select a Winner
Your analysis gives you the tools you need to select high performers. From there, you can weed out the winner based on price, suitability, experience, and local support.
Look for a vendor that matches your budget, provides the right experience, matches your company well, and, of course, has plenty of local support to help in case something goes wrong.
8. Implement a Pilot Solution
You’re not done yet!
Once you’ve chosen a winner, it’s time to craft and implement a pilot solution with a limited number of super-users to provide proof of concept. Think of it as the test flight for your solution. This gives you a chance to iron out all the kinks, resolve any major problems in advance, and reaffirm that this solution is the right fit to streamline your business processes.
Give the pilot run a few weeks of earnest effort. That way, you can get past the initial adjustment period and ensure it really works.
9. Approve and Roll Out to All the Business
If it passes with flying colours, you’re ready to roll it out to your whole business.
Work with your vendor to craft a multi-stage rollout plan. This gives you a chance to train your employees, make sure the new process is well-understood, and ensure strong adoption across the board. Make sure to listen to issues as you go so that you can make adjustments.
10. Review and Readjust Accordingly
Once the solution is firmly in place, don’t break out the champagne. You have to keep on reassessing your solution to make sure it continues to be a good fit and continues to maximize efficiency.
The good news? You already have the tools to review and readjust and improve. Just follow the same initial steps you took at the start of this process and score the solution. Then, make adjustments as needed.
The Smarter Way to Manage Your Business Processes
At the end of this process, your digital transformation should deliver a BOS and CRM process that dramatically improves your business’s past inefficiencies. Instead of processes and workflows that slow you down, you’ll have a system that drives success. All it takes is careful attention and dedicated effort. You’ll be amazed by the difference.
Need Help streamlining your business processes – Let’s Talk.
Build Everlasting Customer Relationships.
Nothing should get in between you and your customers. The latest features bring you everything you need to eliminate barriers and stay relevant to your customers. Great customer relationships should last forever. Here are the 17 newly updated CRM features you can’t live without. Check out The Best CRM Software of 2021 comparison article.
The Three Central Foundation Pillars.
1. Insight 2. Experience 3. Intelligence
1. Customer Segmentation
- Segment your customers based on their purchase patterns using the RFM model (recency, frequency, monetary value).
- Utilize this information to build targeted marketing campaigns that result in higher conversions.
- Identify unique upselling and cross-selling opportunities while improving customer engagement.
2. Webform Analytics & Testing
- Analyze webforms with statistics based on total leads generated, lead source, form abandonment rates, and more.
- Generate visual charts to get a quick picture on the performance of all your webforms.
- Conduct sophisticated webform A/B tests, with control over parameters such as traffic and test duration.
3. Marketing Attribution
- Link sales and marketing data together to identify marketing campaigns with high ROI.
- Identify which campaigns work best at each stage of your pipeline.
- Associate deals with the appropriate campaign and tailor future interactions with your contacts accordingly.
4. Cohort & Quadrant Analysis
- Classify sales and marketing data into cohorts and identify useful patterns across different groups.
- Discover useful metrics, such as customer retention during different periods, lead conversion trends, and more.
- Organize information into matrices using quadrant analysis, and identify underlying trends in your sales data.
5. Analytics App
- Access the Zoho CRM Analytics app to view all your CRM dashboards on the go.
- Dashboards remain synced so you always have the latest metrics at your fingertips.
- All dashboards are interactive so you can lay them out based on your selected parameters.
6. Command Centre
- Lead customers on personalized journeys from their first interaction with your brand, up to the point of purchase, and beyond.
- Create complex flows across modules and integrate third-party app actions when needed.
- Monitor metrics about each journey. Identify any unseen bottlenecks or delays that may be hindering your customers in their journeys.
7. Prediction Builder
- Create predictions for any field, in any module of Zoho CRM.
- Fine tune the default predictive model based on your chosen parameters to improve prediction accuracy.
- Make improved sales decisions based on predictions.
8. Zia Recommendations & Assignment Suggestions
- Improve lead conversion rates and deal size through intelligent suggestions.
- Route prospects to the best available rep automatically, based on Zia’s analysis of a rep’s interaction history.
- Receive recommendations for cross-sell or upsell opportunities relevant to a particular lead.
9. Automation Wizards
- Simplify complex record creation efforts with data collection wizards.
- Build a sequence of small contextual data entry forms to help sales reps capture information efficiently.
- Set up automated actions between stages or upon submission.
10. Multiple Pipelines
- Manage sales processes unique to various product lines, geographies, or other parameters.
- Customize each stage of your pipeline to suit your organization’s requirements.
- Get detailed reports to help you analyze the performance of each sales pipeline.
11. Review Process
- Verify and approve all data before it is entered into Zoho CRM to ensure accuracy.
- Create a review process and designate team members as reviewers.
- Empower reviewers to verify record information before approving or rejecting it, and allow them to add comments where appropriate.
12. Services & Appointments
- Utilize the new module dedicated to service-based businesses to improve service delivery and customer experience.
- Create a detailed service catalogue for your business.
- Manage all related activities and information like appointments, invoices, and job cards.
13. Call Customisation
- Record detailed, contextual information on all your calls to improve the quality of your conversations with prospects.
- Track pertinent details like the call purpose or outcome, and even add custom details to all incoming and outgoing calls.
- Use this information to refine follow-up conversations as needed.
14. Call & Email Workflows
- Utilise an expanded set of triggers for all call and email workflows, and customize actions based on various parameters.
- Receive missed call notifications, automate call reschedule emails, and more.
- Trigger email notifications, fine tune follow-up emails, and more.
15. Workflow Suggestions & Reports
- Identify automation opportunities with Zia’s workflow suggestions.
- Improve productivity by quickly setting up workflows customized for your organization.
- Understand the effectiveness of your workflows with detailed performance breakdowns of each action in the process.
16. Customer Signals
- Get a complete view of every touchpoint your customer has with your business.
- Create custom Signals for customer interactions on third party apps.
- Customize how signals are displayed to make them more meaningful to you.
17. Zia AI For Email
- Get the best out of your emails with Zia’s in-depth analyses.
- Gauge customer sentiment in all incoming emails to help prioritise your responses.
- Create activities and events from emails, enrich customer data from email signatures, and more.
Keeping Your Customers As Happy As Possible.
Everyone strives to keep their business as healthy and successful as possible. Providing unique and relevant products and services and then marketing those products and services correctly and at attractive price points, to the right people are all big parts of that equation, but the most important aspect of keeping your business running on all cylinders is as obvious as it’s often overlooked: keeping your customers as happy as possible.
It’s a lot better to keep the customers you have as happy as clams than to watch your company become a revolving door of customers. You want your customers to fall in love with you so they stick around, and it’s this process of building that loyalty that’s so crucial in today’s highly competitive business marketplace.
That’s why we’ve collected 10 of the best ways to make your customers absolutely fall in love with you for years to come!
1. Share Annual Customer Satisfaction Data
Any company worth their salt knows that it’s important to get a snapshot of their long-time clients at least once a year. Collecting customer satisfaction data is obviously important, but what’s not so clear is that you have to share this data so that these results can be discussed. This means more than just celebrating successes – you also have to analyse any customer service failures on your part in order to prevent the same mistakes in the future. Just because the feedback might be temporarily embarrassing doesn’t mean that it’s not incredibly useful for learning how to do better next time!
2. Keep Lines of Communication Open Monthly
Your customer database needs to feel like they’re being kept in the loop when it comes to how their product or service provider is doing. You can accomplish this by publishing relevant blog articles on a monthly basis, sharing them with your database as you do so. In addition to keeping these crucial lines of communication open with your customers, monthly blog posting can also help you push your search engine ranking just that big higher. This helps you get your key messages across to existing customers and new prospects all at the same time!
3. Live Chat Is a Necessity
People are over leaving phone messages and waiting for email responses. They’re especially over dealing with automated customer service solutions! Be sure that you enable and manage live chat on your website correctly. This helps you turn frustrated or upset customers into appreciative ones when you deal with their questions, comments, or issues right there on the spot in real-time. Even if you can’t resolve their issue right then and there, customers chatting with a real person remember that you’re willing to go the extra mile for them.
4. Use a Good CRM Platform
Customer relationship management (CRM) is the name of the game, and that’s why you need a good CRM platform to manage that customer relationship! You can’t be expected to keep track of all your sales leads, customers, and digital marketing all through a simple spreadsheet or two. Instead, an all-inclusive CRM platform can help you systematically manage all your customer touch-points in a way that you can see where you are at a single glance. Take our CRM for a free 15 day test drive.
5. Leverage and Evaluate your Digital Marketing Efforts
Before you go all-in when it comes to your digital marketing efforts, it’s important to make sure they’re actually cost-effective when it comes to generating real leads. Investigate the ROI on your Google, Facebook, and Instagram marketing performance. If you’re getting leads and sales from this activity, keep it up – if it’s underperforming, you may want to consider using those marketing funds differently.
6. Build Your Social Media Presence
Social media is huge, and it’s getting bigger each and every day. This isn’t going to change anytime soon. If you’re not publishing social media posts regularly, you’re leaving money on the table as well as letting your customers down. It only takes landing one lead to pay for your social media expenditures and then some – and not only that, your customer base will see your social media visibility as a positive!
7. Leverage Videoconferencing Methods Constantly
Meeting with customers is always important, but so valuing both your time and the time of your customers. Whenever possible, opt out of face-to-face meetings and instead use telephone or video conferencing as much as you like. This not only minimises travel time and meeting time wastage but it makes it easier to spend time getting to know your customers and really understand what makes them tick. You can’t build that same level of rapport simply over email!
8. Everyone Loves Free Stuff
Go above and beyond for your customers, and do it for free. It will leave them feeling absolutely delighted. It doesn’t have to be big and expensive, but it does have to be relevant and something that holds intrinsic value when viewed through the lens of their own corporate culture. It’s a touch like this that will show your customers that you value the relationship you’ve built with them.
9. Research and Share New Discoveries
Your customers will stick to you like glue if you periodically spend some time researching new technologies, strategies, and tactics that your customers could benefit from. Sharing this knowledge with them will fill them with the kind of appreciation you can’t get anywhere else. Show them you’re thinking of them as more than just a pay-check!
10. Share Feedback and Testimonials Publicly
When your customer leaves you glowing feedback or a particularly fantastic testimonial, it’s natural to want to share that on your website. Go one step further and make it as public as possible by linking back to each and every one of your happy customers’ websites. This will help their own search engine ranking, pushing up lead generation for their own business. It’s what we call in the business a “win-win”!
Contact Informatix if you’d like more information about making your customers fall in love with your business or just want to implement one of these 10 strategies.