The lesser known uses of customer relationship management software

Customer relationship management

CRM is very well known to help businesses manage processes such as lead tracking, customer support, customer data management, automating sales, simplifying sales processes and a lot more. This is not it, there’s a lot more to customer relationship management. CRM software help businesses in a number of ways that are not known to all. Read on to know what those uses are:

Continue reading “The lesser known uses of customer relationship management software”

Advantages of using a power dialing system: II

1. Improves idle rate per agent:

Power dialing system refers to an automated telephone dialing system that connects prospects with agents more efficiently by allowing agents to focus on live connections instead of manual dialing. It makes use of a manually-configured calls-to-agent ratio based on which the system automatically dials the next contacts as soon as the agent becomes available. As a result, the agents do not have to waste their time managing list of telephone numbers and rectifying errors. They can simply focus on enhancing their interaction skills with frequent coaching and training sessions. Power dialing system ensures maximum engagement with the customers such that the agents are always connected to a live call hence improving the idle rate per agent and boosting customer satisfaction.

Agent productivity
Agent productivity

2. Eliminates time wastage:

Whenever a call is placed, there are a number of reasons for agent time wastage, some of them being uninterested parties, busy signals or empty households. Employing a power dialing system helps eliminate all these possibilities and ensures that the agents connect with the right prospect at the right time. It further eliminates unanswered calls, dropped numbers and automated answering machines. This is how time wastage is eliminated and unproductive calls are avoided.

No time wastage
No time wastage

3. Boosts sales:

Now, with all the advantages mentioned earlier, call centers can gain huge profits and long-term customer relationships. As mentioned earlier, power dialing system helps you eliminate time wastage, increase agent productivity, generate and nurture leads more efficiently, and also avoid missing opportunities. Collectively, all of these advantages lead to a bigger advantage i.e. boosted sales. With the help of power dialing system, call centers can witness their sales to get double or more. It further leads to improved ROI as it not only increases the quality of calls dialed but also the quality of customer interaction and hence, customer satisfaction.

Boosted sales
Boosted sales

 

Benefits of co- browse technology: III

1. Increased grade of customer engagement:

An increased grade of customer engagement is one more benefit offered by co- browse technology. Co-browsing teaches customers how to do things rapidly and effectively. Moreover, proactive invitations to shop together drive customer engagement, giving agents the ability to make offers, answer questions, and provide the help needed to close more sales as actively engaged customers convert. Co-browsing feature is of potential use to serve the customers that aren’t tech savvy.

Customer engagement
Customer engagement

2. Boosted e-commerce sales:

Co- browsing is not just meant for instant query resolution or instant guidance through the purchase process. In fact, agents engaged in a co-shopping session can be trained to up-sell, cross-sell, and encourage opt-in for future sales opportunities. These offers may include joining a mailing list, connecting on social media, subscribing newsletters and more.

Increased sales
Increased sales

3. Identify the weak points and help in customer service improvement:

Co-browsing can actually be used to monitor or keep a track of customer queries through screen shots of issues. These screen shots can be used for knowledge base, training, or bug fixes. It helps companies maintain real-time visibility into the customer experience and further assist in improving the customer service.

Co- browsing screenshots
Co- browsing screenshots

4. Enhanced buyer experience:

 

According to a study conducted by Forester, co-browsing has the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any customer support tool. The study shows that live-assist communication channels like phone, chat, co-browse have much higher satisfaction ratings than asynchronous electronic channels such as email, web self-service. Satisfaction ratings as stated by the above mentioned study are as follows: phone (74%), chat (69%), co-browse (78%), email (54%), and web self-service (47%). Thus, the study clearly proves that with co-browsing the customer achieves another level of customer service. Many a times it is seen that the customers ask the agent to co-browse because they understand that co-browsing will easily resolve the issue that too faster.

Enhanced buyer experience
Enhanced buyer experience

 

Strategies for generating B2B leads online: I

In the previous post we talked about B2B lead generation and its components. Now let’s take a look at the strategies that can be employed to generate leads online:

1.Email marketing:

It refers to sending a commercial message to a group of people (typically potential or current customers), using email. It basically inculcates the use of email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Email marketing can be carried out using:

  •  Transactional emails: These emails are usually triggered based on a customer’s action with a company. To be qualified as transactional or relationship messages, these communications’ primary purpose must be to confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender, along with a few other narrow definitions of transactional messaging.
  • Direct email: It involves sending an email solely to communicate a promotional message (for example, an announcement of a special offer or a catalog of products).
  •  Mobile email marketing: It develops large amounts of traffic through smartphones and tablets.
Email-Marketing
Email-Marketing

2. Social marketing:

This type of marketing involves leveraging social media to generate leads online. Businesses can use it to generate and nurture millions of dollars worth of leads. As a matter of fact, one of the most obvious ways to generate B2B leads from social media is using LinkedIn. Since social media is an integral part of content marketing, and to some extent, search marketing, so, your blogging or info graphics can be extremely successful if you are active on social media platforms.

In order to integrate social networks into their marketing strategies, companies have to develop a marketing model. One such model includes the following steps:

  • Selection of the correct social networks to use
  • Setting out a financial plan for hiring social media brand managers or consultants
  • Designing organizational structures to manage the social network in the companies’ market
  • Selection of target markets
  • Selection of the products, services, brands or company messages that you plan to promote
  • Performance measures for the social media strategy such as evaluation, data analytics, etc.

 

Social marketing
Social marketing

 

 

Lead nurturing tactics: III

1. Sales and marketing alignment:

For sales and marketing alignment, the shared expectations, responsibilities and goals for this collaboration between sales and marketing should be outlined in a sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA). Creating a formal sales and marketing SLA will help the two teams hold each other accountable for converting leads and effectively nurturing them into paying customers in the long run.

Sales and marketing alignment
Sales and marketing alignment

2. Multiple touches:

According to a research, on average, prospects receive ten marketing touches from the time they enter the top of funnel until they’re a closed won customers. The most successful lead nurturing strategies deliver content that helps prospects progress through the buyer’s journey by addressing common questions and concerns such that they are contented.

3. Maintain permission to keep prospect updated:

Maintaining permission to keep a prospect updated is important because if a prospect loses interest in your messages, they’ll disengage by unsubscribing, marking your messages as spam, or emotionally unsubscribing – reflexively ignoring or deleting your messages.

Keeping prospects updated
Keeping prospects updated

4. Guide your prospects efficaciously:

There is a possibility that a potential buyer who you’re nurturing may not enter a buying process for a long time. But during the lead nurturing phase, if you can educate prospects and guide their thinking to incorporate specific requirements and ways of thinking about the market, your company and solutions will be much better positioned in their minds when they finally decide to make purchases.

Guide your prospects
Guide your prospects

5. Study the Digital Body Language:

Digital Body Language is the aggregate of all the digital activity you see from an individual. Each email that is opened or clicked, each web visit, each form, each search on Google, each referral from a social media property, and each webinar attended are part of the prospect’s digital body language.Just like the body language is read by a sales person managing a deal, digital body language is an amalgamation of all the digital touchpoints. Digital Body Language can help you understand where your prospects are in their buying process. As they progress through the process, they’ll reach a point at which your lead scoring system tells you they’re ready to engage with the sales process.

Digital body language
Digital body language

 

Types of sales promotions: II

1. Provide free shipping:

Providing shipping that’s free of cost is one of the greatest and most profitable sales promotions! Free shipping and return instill in the customers a sense of security that they won’t lose out if the delivered product did not meet their expectations and they wanted to return it back.

You can always incorporate the shipping cost into your product if you are worried about your margins. You may even think about offering free shipping when a customer spends over a certain amount.

Free shipping/free returns create customer security and make it hassle-free.

 Free shipping and returns
Free shipping and returns

2. Implement flash sale campaigns:

Flash sale campaigns are a great way to create a sense of urgency for the customers to buy. Many retailers are now adopting this strategy as a way to sell more products and get rid of surplus stock.

The more successful flash sales are ones that don’t last very long and 50% of purchases occur during the first hour of a flash sale, hence, helping the businesses clear the surplus stock.

3. Entice customers with holiday promotions:

Holiday promotions are the most enticing types of sales promotions as customers always like to spend more on the holidays, making it the perfect opportunity for you to get your brand out there and sell more products. You don’t have to overdo your offers, but enticing customers with slight discounts will always work in your favor. It basically requires your creativity to sell out the stock through holiday promotions.

Holiday promotions
Holiday promotions

4. Offer discounts for spending more:

This kind of deal attracts the customer to buy more of your stock. Giving them a discount if they spend more is one of the greatest types of sales promotions. It may further drive them in the right direction. You don’t have to offer a huge discount, but make sure it’s attractive enough to convert visitors into buyers.

Buy more save more
Buy more save more

5. Run a competition:

Running a competition will not only help raise your profile but every person that enters will then become an email contact that you can try and convert into a sale.

Clever way of triggering sales promotions, isn’t it?

Well, if people are entering your competition, chances are they are interested in your products, so running a competition is a great idea for deepening that interest, particularly for start-ups.

 

Types of sales promotions – I

1. Reward your customers:

Customers love discounts and stuff like that. Thus, rewarding your customers will help you build a solid base of loyal, long-term customers and it will entice people to shop more at your online store. Providing great customer service is crucial to the success of your business. These days offering a loyalty point system is a popular form of sales promotions.

In this case, the customer can gain points every time they buy and then use their points to get money off future purchases, or if they buy more, they save more.

Loyalty points
Loyalty points

2. Give away freebies:

Giving away freebies not only gives potential customers the chance to test out your product but also entices people to buy your stuff!

Now, the question arises, what to give away as freebies? Well! Branded keychains, bumper stickers, magnets, pens etc. are some options. Customers will appreciate the gesture, feel valued and will think of you whenever they see their branded gift.

3. Add discount to your products:

Offering your products at a price lesser than the regular one is the most popular sales promotion strategy. Adding a discount to your products is possibly the best type of promotion. Customers love to grab a bargain, so it makes sense to offer discounts every now and then to boost your sales. Always consider your bottom line and be sure to not constantly have a sale, as people will just come to expect this as a norm of your business.

Discounts
Discounts

4. Offer virtual coupons:

Offering digital or virtual coupons is an effective sales promotion technique that will make the promotion seem more exclusive and will give the customers more of a push to visit your online store. You should send coupons to loyal customers who have spent a certain amount. You could also consider sending coupons to visitors who have experienced bad customer service. This may help convert them back to happy customers!

 

Digital coupons
Digital coupons

5. Lowest price guarantees:

Price match promise has become one of the most popular ways to promote your brand these days, particularly if you have a lot of competitors trying to leverage the lucrative market. It allows your customers to shop with you and will be safe in the knowledge that if they can get it cheaper somewhere else, you’ll refund the difference and keep your words. There’s nothing to lose for them and it means that you still get to keep a solid, long-term customer base.

Price match promise
Price match promise

All you need to know about sales promotion

“Sales promotion” refers to those marketing activities that stimulate consumer shows and expositions. It may be further defined as a vital bridge or a connecting link between personal selling and advertising.

Sales promotion

In most cases, sales promotions come in the form of discounts.  As a matter of fact, discounts affect the way consumers think and behave while shopping. Also, the type of savings and its location can affect the way consumers view a product and affect their purchase decision.

The two most common discounts are:

i) price discounts that are provided on sale items and

ii) bonus packs that are provided on bulk items.

Price discounts mean the reduction of an original sale by a certain percentage. On the other hand, bonus packs are deals in which the consumer receives more for the original price. Companies introduce different forms of discounts in advertisements to convince consumers to buy their products.

Sales promotion activities are undertaken to achieve the following objectives:

1. To boost sales by leveraging the media which are complementary to press and poster advertising.

2. To distribute information through salesmen, dealers etc., in order to ensure the product getting into satisfactory use by the targeted consumers.

3. To entice customers to make purchases at the point of purchase.

4. To incite existing customers to buy more.

5. To introduce new products and services.

6. To attract new customers.

7. To efficiently meet competition from others.

8. To check the seasonal decline in the volume of sales.

Sales promotion includes several communications activities that provide added value or incentives to consumers, wholesalers, retailers, or other organizational customers to stimulate sales.

Due to all these advantages, the importance of sales promotion has increased tremendously in the modern times. Eventually, massive amounts of money are spent on sales promotional activities to attract the consumers in our country and also in other countries of the world!

 

Lead generation strategies: Part V

1. Corporate literature:

You should know how to create efficacious professional brochures and fliers that effortlessly sell for you by educating your prospects about the benefits you offer. These brochures and fliers should be capable of addressing their questions and their needs for your product or service. Basically, your brochures and fliers should help boost lead generation and bring in as much profit as possible.

2. Podcasting:

Podcasting is a concoction of ‘broadcasting’ and ‘i-pod’. It is a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet. The reason it became linked with the iPod in the name was that people download the broadcasts (audio shows) to listen to mostly on their iPods.

It is a medium for businesses to globally distribute their ideas and create a following of like-minded fans. It is beneficial for industries such as journalism, education, and entertainment allowing anyone to freely create and distribute news and media as it helps in an enormous lead generation in the long run.

3. Premiums, gifts and offers:

The Lead generation offers, gifts and premiums are irresistible bribes that give a piece of valuable information to the sales prospects in exchange for their contact information. These are positioned on the landing pages of websites.

4. Profits on the back end:

If most of your sales and profits occur when customers repeat purchase from you again and again, you should make it a point that you are doing everything possible to motivate as many customers as you can to make their initial buying decision as quickly and easily as possible. Making it easy and enticing for the customer to start doing business with you by adding extra incentives or by making your initial sale at break-even or a small loss, means that you will benefit sooner rather than later from all the repeat business.

5. Experiential marketing:

This is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and encourages them to participate in brand development. Experiential marketers believe that consumers should be actively involved in the production and co-creation of marketing programs.

These are the major lead generation strategies that will boost up your sales in the long run.

Lead generation strategies: Part III

1. Effective advertising through advertorials and news stories: 

Advertising is a great help when working with lead generation.  If you approach advertising in a scientific manner, following proven principles and facts, it no longer has to be a hit and trial sort of a mechanism. There are many proven ways of using advertising in a highly targeted manner that can help you grow your business. This includes:

i) advertising only in media that reaches a sufficiently large number of your target audience

ii) focusing the entire thrust of your communication on your prospect’s interests rather than your own

iii) giving your prospects enough information and education regarding your products and services

iv) offering them something appealing that’ll compel them to end up purchasing your goods.

2. Bookalogs and Catalogues:

A bookalog is a unique marketing tool that is quite beneficial when trying to make the most out of your lead generation efforts. The bookalog is a positioning instrument for a firm and contains valuable information, generally knowledgeable in nature. Creating a definite product differentiation, there is a connotation that the product is unique enough to be written about in a book. Bookalogs abide by all the proper direct response rules.

On the other hand, catalogs are lists of goods and services on sale with their descriptions and prices published in the form of a printed or electronic document. Inculcating these two marketing tools also act as a boon for lead generation.

3. Networking and publicity:

Effective networking is vital to your success. Virtually anyone you might want to contact or meet is only four to five people away from you, such that anyone you contact can further provide you some more contacts. Basically, the idea is to make new contacts, develop quality business relationships based on trust and contentment, educate the people you meet about what you do and the benefits offered by your products or services. Gradually build your network, use your contacts database effectively, and grow your business further.

You can also leverage the power of media for public recognition as media are insatiably hungry for factual, interesting, and newsworthy information they can share with their customers, members, employees, listeners, viewers or readers. PR approached correctly, will give you free coverage on radio, television, in magazines, newspapers, trade journals, newsletters and through websites who serve the marketplace you wish to be a part of.

4. Consignment selling:

Selling goods on consignment is explained as a situation whereby goods are shipped to a dealer who pays you, the consignor, only for the merchandise which sells. The dealer, referred to as the consignee, has the right to return to you the merchandise which does not sell and without obligation. Consignment selling allows a seller (manufacturer) to place merchandise in wholesale and retail outlets. This is done so as to provide an additional exposure to the buying market. It can help the retailers stock goods in inventory because no capital of theirs is stocked up in inventory.

5. E-Commerce:

These days when people want information, they surf the web to find what they need. Moreover, they prefer shopping with an ease of sitting back and purchasing online. Therefore, you need a good website that maximizes your exposure. It’s obvious you don’t want to look old-fashioned, isn’t it?

Your website needs to be appealing, informative, and easy to navigate. So that you obtain a constant stream of new prospects. You also need to establish a system that deftly converts them into customers that peaks up your sales.