Here's a snapshot of the Spring release of Workbooks due March 9th.
Automation Improvements - Bulk Actions on Reports
Here's a snapshot of the Spring release of Workbooks due March 9th.
Automation Improvements - Bulk Actions on Reports
Sage UK has today unveiled a host of new Social, mobile and business collaboration features for its leading global SMB CRM solution, Sage CRM, that will empower sales, marketing and customer service teams to better engage with colleagues and customers. Sage CRM 7.2 to be released in April brings mobile deployment on iPhone® and Android® smartphone and tablet devices, greater Social CRM capabilities with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and employee collaboration and knowledge exchange powered by Yammer. These new features enable easier collaboration and increased productivity both inside and outside the organisation to maximise the flow of critical customer and business information, enabling better decision making and greater collaboration across teams.
The latest version of Sage CRM has been designed to support busy, growing businesses who want to foster internal collaboration, increase sales team productivity and drive business wide efficiency.
The enhanced mobile suite includes two new mobile Apps for the iPhone® and Windows 8, which provide mobile sales teams with real-time data to help them manage their business relationships, even when out of coverage. Sales teams can now use these dedicated Apps to access their key opportunities, appointments and tasks. Additionally native phone integration with the iPhone enables them to map appointments and track key customer communications.
The Social CRM suite, which already integrates with key social media applications including LinkedIn and Twitter, is enhanced further with new social capabilities that allow Sage CRM teams to gain customer insights from Facebook, providing them with a complete picture of customer and prospect interactions.
Business collaboration across teams using Sage CRM is now possible with new social-style collaboration powered by Yammer. Employees can now collaborate with Yammer Groups and across records to discuss and collaborate on that record. This makes business conversations concerning opportunities, leads and support cases more social and transparent, providing greater visibility for all employees
Other new features offered with the latest release include smarter reporting with enhanced features built to enable faster, secure, customised reports, quickly populated with the latest CRM information. Rich new graphic charts and report cloning capabilities enable users to quickly create visual reports with interactive graphs, for at-a-glance business insight and informed decision-making.
"Sage CRM 7.2 has been designed with social, mobile and business collaboration technology at its core, enhanced further with smart business reporting. We're confident that Sage CRM 7.2 will boost sales team productivity, foster greater internal collaboration, and deliver better business insight. Providing SMBs with dynamic business insight and customer information that is easy to report on, will make a big difference to companies looking to drive revenues, grow their business and achieve great success through exceptional customer experience, delivered seamlessly across all touch points" commented David Beard, CRM Principal, Sage CRM.
Sage CRM 7.2 will be available in the UK from April 2013 from Wizard Systems.
Let’s discuss a couple of the heavyweight C words in the IT Sector, Cloud and CRM.
What do they have in common? Well they have both certainly provoked a lot of press coverage and airtime, both have driven large brand name vendors to jump in with big investment, acquisitions and marketing hype, they have helped drive each other’s growth and both certainly have had customers debating what and when they should elect to use such a solution.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has been a hyped acronym for many years and can mean many things to many people. Many debates abound in this area from if it is the correct terminology to describe what its used for, how much does it really cost, what ROI can really be achieved, how to get users to adopt its use, routes to market to sell it and what
The fundamentals are though that a way to manage customer information, share it securely, track customer interactions and record activities across the business is required by most business sectors and sizes. Sure there are nuances by vertical and specific requirements that at times can be better served by specialised applications, but for the masses the requirements are pretty similar and easy to achieve, or so you would think!
For 2012 CRM remains an important technology in its own right with recent Gartner Analysis citing that CRM is ascending rapidly in the priorities of CIOs in 2012, moving from 18th place to eighth place. It was also cited by Gartner that that CEOs see CRM as their number 1 technology-enabled investment in 2012.
Another shift that has been seen is for this market need to be fulfilled increasingly by in the cloud solutions, where according to Gartner Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery of CRM applications represented 34% of total worldwide CRM application spending in 2011 and more than 50% of all Sales Force Automation (SFA) spending was on the SaaS platform. So Cloud CRM is at the tipping point of outweighing on network solutions in the not too distant future and becoming the defacto form factor of delivery. Many customers of historic software products are already migrating their data across, seeing the benefits of putting the heavy lifting of the architecture, backups, resilience and security into someone else’s hands is now a practicality.
This doubly resounds as true in the mass market SMB sector where both cloud growth and CRM adoption can bring strong business benefits and empowerment and the combination of the two can compound this. Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) recently reported that SMBs spent almost £1.6bn on business application software and SaaS in 2011, and that this is set to grow to more than £2.1bn by 2015 – faster than the enterprise segment! The analyst also revealed that key areas of investment were cited as including CRM, analytics, mobility and industry-specific software.
So cloud is becoming the defacto for CRM implementations, the world is good and there are no issues to be discussed here. Of course what the marketing will have you perceive is never quite the reality and there are challenges in the CRM world as in any other.
CRM projects do not all go to plan and there are many hidden challenges that can prevent you from having that win. Gartner has reported that as many as 85% of companies that buy CRM software to automate sales efforts, don't pick the right tools because they fail to define business objectives or develop processes for meeting objectives and that as many as 42% of CRM licenses bought go onto be unused.
If you look at a variety of customer reports across the years reporting on data from customers of failed CRM projects there is an average of 46.3% of failures reported in surveys. The data varies greatly, likely due to different analysis methodologies.
Many failed CRM projects actually deliver mixed results and achieve partial objectives, making the definition of “failure” subjective. However the aggregate weight of this data clearly suggests strong dissatisfaction with CRM projects;
2001 Gartner Group: 50%
2002 Butler Group: 70%
2002 Selling Power, CSO Forum: 69.3%
2005 AMR Research: 18%
2006 AMR Research: 31%
2007 AMR Research: 29%
2007 Economist Intelligence Unit: 56%
2009 Forrester Research: 47%
Many organizations do achieve acceptable ROI from their CRM rollouts, yet a substantial numbers of CRM customers are dissatisfied with some significant aspect of their implementations. According to Frederick Newell (Author of Why CRM Doesn’t Work) “only 25 to 30 per cent of companies implementing CRM initiatives feel that they are getting the return they expected!”
As recent as four years ago, a presenter at a Gartner conference suggested a lengthy list of factors that can jeopardize CRM initiatives including poor methodology, lack of established success metrics, and too much involvement from IT.
A study by CRM Forum broke the failures into nine significant categories;
So if industry analysts like Gartner, Forrester and Butler suggest that 50% to 70% of CRM projects are sub-optimal and do not deliver a return on investment or fail altogether. What are the odds on you achieving a win? Should you even consider playing in the CRM lottery?
So why haven’t you heard more of this before? Why do you not read about these failed CRM projects and what is causing these results?
Well a CRM project team certainly isn’t going to want to admit an unsuccessful outcome, the business leaders who have invested in the CRM project are often seen patting the CRM team on the back, for they have rolled it out haven’t they – its installed and working!
The true measure is not whether the system is live. It is whether the users actually adopt it and use it as an inherent part of their role, not in a lacklustre ‘my manager forces me to ensure its updated before his monthly meeting’ type of way.
From your ‘Start state’ what problems and challenges did you have in your business you foresaw the solution solving? What were the business issues you were looking to address? Not the screens you wanted or the look of the reports, but what was the actual ‘end state’ you envisaged - was it an increase in renewal rates, a reduction in time for processing orders/transactions or more centralised management visibility of daily sales activity and performance?
The simple truth is that too many organisations buy an off the shelf CRM solution, without first considering what business issues they really want to address. The old saying goes that ‘if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there’, and this is true with CRM. Entering into a CRM project, many customers do not truly understand their goals and the objectives they are looking to achieve in order to be able to measure a success or failure against them. These objectives need to be business ones, not purely technical implementation points.
Implementing is one component of a successful CRM project and often the core focus of the technical teams who are often still seen wanting to keep things in house and to manage and touch the components involved. Even in this day cloud solutions often get side-lined with little consideration. There still seems a psychological barrier with many feeling they have more control or security and even a better price when deploying an on network solution themselves.
In reality if you consider the options cloud is a very attractive proposition. Deploying a CRM solution in house involves buying the hardware, operating system and CRM software. Installing and configuring it onto your network and resolving any issues along the way. Now think about resilience, what if any component fails, what do you need to do to mitigate this , have a 2nd standby box perhaps? If something fails it is upon you to fix, replace any failed component and deal with the issue. We all know that things break, phones, TV’s and PC’s so what’s to say a component of your in house CRM solution won’t fail at an inopportune time and leave you with little or no access to your valuable data and processes. How about giving remote access to users, perhaps over VPN, what about mobile access? Do you already have this in place on your network or will this be a new requirement imposed on you by users wanting to access the CRM information on the move (after all making it easy for users encourages adoption and use!).
How will you backup your CRM data and how often, daily? and will you ensure this is done. Best practise for backup is off site with multi-location copies, but this is hard and costly to attain in simple fashion. With your CRM containing important valued information to your business, the importance of this increases.
So when factoring in a comparison of cloud ensure you truly evaluate the pro’s and cons of both solutions and price up not only the hardware and software costs, but the costs of delivering mobile access, resiliency and backup and the unexpected costs of replacing components or recovering data in case of a failure. Cloud CRM aligned with a smart plan of achieving the desired business outcome can enable even the smallest business to have a winning bonus ticket.A Gartner Group report once cited that 65% of those with a CRM initiative will fail “to align senior executives, IT Management, functional/departmental management and customer outcomes”.
The findings of a poll of 100 SME organisations with CRM implementations revealed that while 60% of sales directors insist that CRM is fundamental to their sales processes, a quarter have lost customers directly through their businesses ineffective use of CRM technology. Essentially teams are not using their CRM systems correctly, 44% of sales directors admitting that fewer than 80% of their staff use the technology in the way they expected. The knock on effect is a loss of potential revenue and increasing levels of customer dissatisfaction aligned with a lack of quality data and reporting.
Too many CRM products are designed for specific use by the sales team, despite customers interacting with other departments as well, such as Technical Support, finance and Customer Service. If different departments can utilise the CRM and share information the knock on effect is that the value to each person to use the CRM increases.
So what can you do to ensure that you are a CRM Winner? It is key to have the requirements of all the departments who might touch the solution gathered , understood and prioritised and not only as a way of selecting the technology, but as a foundation of the implementation plans. What will the users want that will have a positive impact on the outcome? What will enthuse them to use the system when it’s up and running?
CRM considerations at high level can be grouped into four segments, form factor (on network or cloud), vendor selection, requirements/desired end state and implementation. It is all about the outcome and measurement of success that will define if you had a winning ticket.
Ensure that you do not fall into any of these CRM traps;
Enter any CRM project not looking at it as a technical implementation, but with clarity on your desired business outcome and all the factors needed to achieve this and deliver a successful user experience. Winning the CRM lottery isn’t easy but it’s not out of your reach if you apply focus and effort along with working with a partner who focuses on your outcome over their own!
(This article kindly donated by Ian Moyse, Sales Director of Workbooks CRM)
Over time, businesses change, business processes change, your customers become more demanding and of course the economic climate changes as well. It’s always a good idea to regularly review your company CRM system to check if it’s still 'fit for purpose'. Here’s our basic checklist of areas to look at when doing your review:
Is it still meeting its objectives?
You purchased/implemented your current CRM system X years ago. You of course at the time had in mind what you wanted it to do, objectives to meet, issues to solve, business process and efficiency savings. Is it still meeting that? Perhaps your business has changed recently – expanded, downsized, ventured into new markets or providing new services. Does your current CRM system meet these new requirements? Have you had to purchase additional applications to fill the gap of any deficiencies of your system or are you reverting back to the dreaded Excel spreadsheets for tracking information?
Are you up to date?
Especially relevant to ‘on premise’ CRM systems and not so much ‘Cloud’ solutions, but are you taking advantage of the latest versions? Keeping up to date benefits normally with extra capabilities, easier ways of doing things, compatibility with your IT infrastructure and bug fixes.
How actively is it being used?
Rarely does someone use every feature of their CRM system, but check with your Users what features they use most? Is everyone using those elements in a consistent way?
Need more Training?
Training is often overlooked when investing in a new CRM system. Good training helps build confidence with your CRM system and improves accuracy & efficiency. Have you had any new starters recently who need to be up to the same level as existing Users? Do you need to look at training on any new features of the software? Has anyone fallen into bad habits and needs a refresher?
Experienced any Issues recently?
Review any technical or operational challenges you’ve had. Why did they occur in the first place, what was the result and how can they be avoided in the future? Issues could have been technical or operational, i.e. the system could not do job ‘xyz’ so you had to do it manually or use another application involving extra time and expense.
How up to date is the data?
If you’ve been using your system for a good few years, maybe you’ve accumulated a lot of prospect and customer information. How up to date and complete is this information? Poor data quality has far-reaching effects and consequences for companies, wasting millions of pounds every year. Poor data management not only impacts on profit margins, but can also damage an organisation's brand, and increase its exposure to fraud and data protection penalties. So review your database. When were customer records last updated and validated? Do you have all the correct key contact names and email addresses for your customers? Are there any missing or empty fields in your database? Do you have any fields that aren’t being used anymore? Maybe you need to store extra information about your customers. In your database fields, are your ‘pick lists’ still up to date? CRM systems will normally track information about your up and coming sales interactions like phone calls, potential sales etc… Have you had anybody leave recently and need to reassign activities to other Users?
Reporting and Management Information
All good CRM solutions out there have tools like Dashboards and Reports to provide great information to help in your decision making process and management of the business. Are they up to date? Do they still work correctly? Do you need new reports? Can you think of any way of improving on the reporting process or how you access the information?
In reviewing your current system, can you benefit from integrating it to other systems in your business to enable efficiencies in time saving and productivity? Can you improve on how you access your system? E.g. do your salespeople use an iPhone/smartphone now more than their laptop? Are they more mobile than they used to be 12 months ago?
If you want to undertake a free review of your current CRM system, please contact Wizard Systems for more information. If you’re in the UK, we can normally come and meet you at your offices or in certain circumstances setup an on line meeting and connection to your system.
Tim Wilmot, the author of this article, has over 25 years experience of implementing CRM solutions into small and medium sized organisations.
We are pleased to announce this release which includes some major new functionality, addressing a number of customer enhancement requests to make Workbooks even more flexible to use. Please read the information below to learn more.
Bulk Actions (Assign, Delete, Update)
For most of the record types within Workbooks, it is now possible to perform bulk actions. The following actions are available:
If you have the right capabilities you will now see a Bulk Action button on landing pages, e.g. the People or Organisations landing pages. You can decide which records are affected by your bulk actions by using the filters. For example, to reassign all the Opportunities from 'John Cheney' to 'Alison West' you would go to the All Opportunities landing page, filter by "Assigned To Equals John Cheney", then press the Bulk Action button and follow the wizard.
Once you have requested the Bulk Action it is performed by a background task and you will be notified when the action is complete. Pending and completed bulk actions may be viewed from the Start Menu. Completed bulk actions may be reverted for up to 30 days after the action has completed.
Initially the capabilities to perform bulk actions are only available to members of the System Admin group. These capabilities may be assigned to other groups or users as required:
You can now create templates for all record types. For example if you have two different types of Cases you can create templates which automatically populate the relevant fields when you create a new case. Record templates can be used with all record types and you can have as many templates as you need. Once you have created and published a template it automatically becomes available on the Start Menu and on any 'New' buttons in Workbooks.
Form Layout Improvements - Rules
In the current version of Workbooks you can create different form layouts for different users. We have added a new features which allows you to configure rules to select which layout should apply based on a value contained inside the record. Let's use an example to illustrate the point:
In your business you track two different types of cases: a Project Case and a Support Case. You can now create two different form layouts and select which layout to use based on the value in the 'Type' field in the Case Record. This allows you to create layouts which only show the fields which are relevant to that type of case.
Form Layouts Rules and Record Templates can be used together very effectively: So to continue the example above, if you:
Then when you create a new Support Case from the Start Menu the right values will be pre-populated and the correct layout will be used.
Form Layouts Improvements - Automatic Population of fields via Standard Linked Records
The current version of Workbooks allows you to automatically populate fields on a form based on values in a Dynamic Linked Item Record (DLI). In addition we have added a new feature which allows you to auto-populate fields based on a Standard Linked Item. Standard Linked Items are records which are linked together by default. For example the Prospective Customer field in an Opportunity Record is a Standard Linked Item. As an example, you could create a custom field on an Opportunity record called Website and automatically populate this field from the Website value held in the Organisation Record.
Posted Supplier Orders, Invoices and Credit Notes may now be edited
Administrators will now have capabilities to allow POSTED Supplier Orders, Invoices and Credit Notes to be edited. These capabilities may be granted to other users or groups, or removed, as required. The new capabilities are:
Configuration Layout Improvements
To facilitate the customisation of Workbooks, all of the customisation options for record types have now been consolidated into one section of the Workbooks user interface. Go to Start > Configuration > Customisation > Record Types. Each record type's customisation can include Custom Fields, Linked Fields, Record Templates and Form Layouts. The Opportunity Stages can also be defined for Opportunities here.
Pause and Resume for Import Jobs
Running import jobs may now be paused and resumed later. Any import jobs in progress during system maintenance will be paused and resumed automatically.
Document Transactions Tab
Transaction records, Opportunities and Contracts now have a Transactions tab that displays related Transaction records. When a Transaction record is created from another they are automatically related and any existing related transactions are inherited too. For example, if an Opportunity is copied to create a Customer Order, which is subsequently copied to create an Invoice, then the Transactions tab on the Invoice will show both the Opportunity and the Sales Order. Similarly the Transactions tab on the Opportunity will list both the Invoice and the Customer Order.
The Transactions relationship is also available within Reporting.
Custom Field Enhancements
The following new custom field types may now be created:
In addition there are number of new configuration options for existing custom fields:
If the maximum number of characters or the Indexed checkbox are changed for an existing custom field, the change will be performed by a background task and the user informed on completion.
Changes to line items in Transaction documents
Configurable Date and Time Formats
Locale-specific Date and Time formatting may be set as a preference on the user's Preferences screen. British, American, International and Custom options are available.
Archival of infrequently used databases
To prioritise resources for active customers, any database that has not been logged into within the preceding 30 days will be archived and taken off-line from Workbooks. The archived database will be kept for as long as the account is active. If a user tries to login to an archived database, it will be restored within a few minutes depending upon the size of the database. Within the Configuration databases view, a new column called State shows whether a database is archived or available.
Workbooks API Changes
For more information on Workbooks or a demonstration, please contact Wizard Systems.
Now you can run your Windows applications from your iPhone or iPad. Our new GO-Global iOS Client uses intuitive multi-touch gestures to achieve popular mouse and keyboard operations. New features include auto-resize on device rotation, voice-to-text input, plus iPhone and iPad 3 screen display optimization.
Our new GO-Global iOS Client is available as a free download from the Apple App Store. If you're a GO-Global customer, you can use the iOS Client to access your Windows programs from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.
For more information on GO-Global and how you can access your offices applications via the web, contact Wizard Systems.
Nimble have made the default fields even better! You now have the ability to edit, add or delete the field look-up values within Lead Type, Lead Source and Lead Status. Check out this new feature by visiting your Settings then clicking on Data Fields.
Click here to regsiter for a free trial of Nimble for CRM integrated with your Social Networks.
Staying in touch with customers is a difficult task for those charged with delivering customer service, and it's not always easy on a busy help desk to get feedback on how your customers perceive you are performing. The HEAT Survey module offers an easy way to monitor how well the team is perceived and help identify opportunities to make improvements or change processes. This helps lead to happier and more productive customers – and can even reduce the overall cost of service delivery.
HEAT Survey is a web-based solution designed to enable service organisations to quickly create, host and populate surveys across the enterprise – helping managers track user responses to individual topics or gauge the overall level of customer satisfaction. Surveys are sent automatically by the HEAT system.
Responses from surveys taken using the HEAT module can then be linked to corresponding call records, creating a strong paper trail of issues and helping the service team to analyse issues and implement improvements moving forward. The HEAT Surveys can be initiated on an individual customer support issue using various sampling methodologies or can be performed across the entire customer base on a periodic basis.
HEAT also comes with a number of reports to allow the manager to get an overview of those survey by User, Customer or even type of call.
For more information on how HEAT can transform your customer service or if you're already a HEAT user and want to know how to use the Survey Module, contact Wizard Systems.
Your CRM system having a great interface makes all the difference when it comes to usability and productivity. Take for example Workbooks CRM. What customers like about Workbooks is it's similarity with Windows. The Windows family counts for over 80% of the operating systems used today. As a result, Workbooks is simple and intuitive for its users as its interface has been designed to closely resemble the Windows operating system.
Benefits of choosing a system with an easy to use interface include:
1) Less IT literacy skills needed – it’s more attractive to non-technical users
2) Quick to learn because it resembles Windows, so less training
3) Quicker implementation of the CRM system, so faster ROI!
4) Higher productivity
5) Easy navigation to get to information important to you
6) ...And it looks nice!
As well as its simplistic user interface, Workbooks is easy to manage as compared to other, more complicated systems, you do not need to maintain the database yourselves as Workbooks backs-up your database on a daily basis and keeps a 7 day roll-back just in case.
Dashboards are a graphical way of summarising in an application, what's important for you and giving you a real-time view on things that are working well or things that aren't working so well in your business. With dashboards, managers can compare many results to each other. This gives the managers a more accurate view of their organization, more quickly. With traditional reports, managers tend to compare many facts from many reports received over many days; with dashboard reports, it’s all there in front of them, in an instant.
Netsuite's dashboards communicate information quickly, effectively and in real time. Whether a sales person, sales or marketing VP, or customer service manager, NetSuite equips them with the right information at the right time:
For sales: The sales team get instant access to key measures such as achieved vs. quota; actual versus sales forecast; commissions; sales pipeline by stage; % net new customers versus those up-sold
For customer service: The service team can quickly identify % calls resolved; monitor First-Call Resolution (FCR) metrics; analyze customers renewing maintenance; see call volume and trends as well as monitor customer satisfaction
For marketing: The marketing team gets instant lead to close metrics; number of website unique visitors; lead-generation form completion; customer acquisition costs; and much more
For executives: Get cross company visibility into financial and CRM measures—financial measures such as bookings and billing, sales pipeline measures and customer service performance
For more information on NetSuite CRM, please contact Wizard Systems on 01454 316800