Properly considered and thought out, your new CRM will serve as the cornerstone of your company’s sales success. Implement it improperly, however, and you probably should have just stayed with the Rolodex.
Nostalgia for the 1980s is at a steady growth. Brands and cultural icons of the day have come roaring back into the spotlight as children of the 80s look to recapture, or at least reminisce about, their youth.
Apple was starting to make waves in the industry, RadioShack was selling computers instead of everything but computers, and a new concept in software was hitting the market – a concept that would revolutionize the way companies and corporations would track sales, leads, and customer information.
The Rolodex Goes Digital
Up until this time, salespeople in offices everywhere were still spinning through Rolodexes and making notes on pieces of paper to be kept in customer files and folders. The process was completely disjointed and even the best salespeople in their industries would occasionally let leads and opportunities slip through the cracks.
Two men in Dallas, Texas; Pat Sullivan and Mike Muhney, saw an opportunity in all of this. In 1986, they founded Conductor Software and released a product that revolutionized the business as we know it.
ACT!, originally meaning Activity Control Technology and later becoming known as Automated Contact Tracking, was released in 1987 as the first piece of software designed to manage sales processes and customer engagements from a computer. This type of software would evolve into what we now know as CRM, or Customer Relationship Management.
What is CRM?
Forex offices in the 80s looked dramatically different than the lean, technology-centric sales operations that exist today. This is due, in no small part, to the impact of CRM software.
In short, CRM takes the impact made by a single worker, or in the case of forex markets, a trader, and amplifies that employee’s productivity by creating and fostering a collaborative and multi-departmental workflow that is centered around one task: keeping customers in the sales funnel.
The CRM allows for and encourages many-to-one and many-to-many contacts, all within a single interface. Ideally, a forex organization’s CRM will account for virtually every aspect of that organization’s day-to-day customer-interactive operations.
Sales leads get funneled to the brokers who can execute on them. Support agents access and utilize critical customer data allowing them to tend to that customer’s needs at that exact moment.
centered around one task: keeping customers in the sales funnel
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A good CRM even allows for activities initiated by those outside of a corporate organization; almost like an extranet. Once signed up, traders and other users can interact directly with your internal brokerage agents; immediately tending to withdrawal requests and other account activity, as well as any technical issues that might creep up.
In this industry, traders start to struggle when customer data resides in multiple silos. A good CRM will allow a sales team, and the individuals that make up that team, to consolidate the information from all of the different silos that they have access to. Each member of the team can also enrich the information that everyone uses every single time contact is made with that customer.
Choosing the Right CRM
The CRM market is broad and vast and there are no inherently “bad” CRM suites out there. However, an organization can implement the wrong CRM for its particular needs.
As such, it is imperative to find the right CRM solution for your organization, such that can increase team productivity while simultaneously raising customer satisfaction. The wrong CRM, or implementing the wrong features of the right CRM, can have the exact opposite effect. Customers and sales personnel can become frustrated as processes break and sales opportunities go missed.
Always remember that, at its core, your CRM is nothing but a database with an attractive front-end to make it easy to use. Using this approach and basing your research specifically on what you need out of the database itself, it becomes much easier to ask yourself the questions that will focus your search and find the best CRM for your company. Recommended questions might be:
- What fields are necessary for us to capture the information we need?
- Who is responsible for entering this data?
- Who needs to be able to read and view this data?
- What other applications or use-case scenarios might exist for integrating the CRM into other environments?
- Have we dedicated enough time to properly implementing our CRM?
- Do we know how much all of this is really going to cost? Not just to do it but to do it properly?
A Look at the Current CRM Market…
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