Cloud CRM and Forecasting, Bad Customer Silos, Videoconferencing, Email Marketing

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David Sims
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Cloud CRM and Forecasting, Bad Customer Silos, Videoconferencing, Email Marketing

You know, of course, that done correctly, sales forecasting can do Very Good Things for your business. But you want more than just “Oh it’ll be good, trust us.” How, exactly, does it help? After all, you’ve got a presentation to the CEO; you can’t go in with “It’ll be really cool.”

Soffront, which sells CRM, recently wrote a good blog post focusing in on just that very question -- what specific ways does sales forecasting help your business?

The basic idea behind forecasting is that it would be great to be able to see into the future. That way you’d know who wants to buy what when, and you could adjust your offerings, inventory, staffing and other factors accordingly, resulting in a minimum of waste and a maximum of profit.

Last October TMC’s Paula Bernier noted that Soffront’s CRM, in addition to being designed to help with sales forecasting, is also engineered to be less cumbersome than most CRM systems.

A recent article posted by Enterprise Apps Today deals with a topic many companies are wrestling with these days, specifically how consumers want a consistent user experience across all channels from companies, and how that’s a real challenge for companies.

Basically what that means is that if a customer’s calls the contact center and deals with a rep there, the next e-mail they get from the company needs to reflect the fact that whoever sent the email from the company not only is aware of the phone conversation, but has acted on it.

What kills the ability to know a customer this completely is the departmental silo approach to data, as the EAT piece shows.

A customer has a problem with Acme Anvils, they go to the Facebook page, interact with someone, and assume that all of Acme Anvils is now aware of and dealing with the issue, when in fact, in far too many cases, what happens is the issue dies on the Facebook page, the Acme Anvils FB admin doesn’t kick the conversation around to the contact center or anybody else who needs to know about it.

Why does business travel still exist when we have phones and e-mail? Because we all really, really enjoy airports and the wonderful customer service airlines give? Because everybody should experience the joys of Radisson hotels at some point in their lives? Because we just can’t stay away from all the charm that is Baltimore?

Oh that’s right -- face to face is always better. Well, except where the IT team’s involved. In that case speakerphones are your preferred option.

So if we’re talking about deals seven figures or above, or you can jump on a plane and the bean counters don’t complain too much, and the meetings in somewhere like Istanbul, and then okay, go for it. But you’d be surprised how much you can productively get done using video conferencing technology.

Stewart Friedman has over 22 years experience in sales and marketing, so when he talks about  the e-mail service provider industry, in which he’s owned and operated his own business and held several top-level positions, well, you probably want to listen.

And we’re in luck: He’s offering three golden tips on mobile e-mail marketing.

Watch your design. If you want responses from mobile e-mail, Friedman says, well; design your email for mobile viewing.  All those heavy graphics look great on desktop or laptops, but mobile users detest them. Go big on the quick-loading text messages. Yeah, some graphics are okay; they’re fun in moderation and can be an integral part of the message.  

But bear in mind all the hours of your life you’ve spent waiting for irrelevant graphics to load, and think to yourself “Am I delighting my customer when I inflict that on her?”


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