CRM Systems and How to Get More Value

The below article was written by Olafur Thorkelsson and originally appeared on the Data Dwell website.

In any business, the CRM should be like the central nervous system of the body.

It’s at the centre of every process, responsible for controlling all the essential functions and ensuring that everything runs smoothly and effectively.

But in order to work correctly, the nervous system has to receive signals from the rest of the body.

The same is true for your CRM.

To be effective, your CRM needs to have signals – or data – inputted into it and analysed correctly.

But the difficulty lies in getting that useful and effective data into the CRM in the first place.

How can you ensure all relevant data is inputted into your CRM correctly, and then used in the right way to enhance your sales processes?

Why CRM’s Often Fall Short

A CRM system is only as good as the data it contains. Good data makes for a great CRM, but any kind of data can be used effectively if it exists.

And that’s one of the main problems. Getting data into your CRM.

Most of the time, sales reps are incredibly busy. They’re working hard to communicate with leads and close deals. Adding information and keeping accurate records in the CRM is the last of their worries.

They see little value in record keeping or utilising any of the various tools which exist to help the flow of data in the CRM.

So as long as the need to manually input data exists, there’s the strong likelihood that it won’t get added to your CRM. And that dramatically reduces its value.

Executives will not be getting the data they need, processes will fall down, and sales will suffer as a result.

How to Overcome the Problem of Inputting Data Into Your CRM

The adoption of any CRM can easily fail because sales teams do not think they gain enough benefits from their CRM. They can do their job without it, so why do they need to bother with it?

The key is to get sales teams on board, show the utility of data in the CRM, and streamline processes wherever possible.

  1. Clearly show value to your sales reps

Firstly, you need to show sales reps how an efficient CRM that’s full of insightful data can be beneficial to them and their roles.

Using traditional record keeping and more advanced sales enablement software like Data Dwell – that uncovers a host of interesting and useful buying signals – you should be able to demonstrate how data can help sales reps close deals much faster.

By tracking, measuring and analysing engagement signals, you can show sales reps how the CRM can help them pinpoint the best leads, focus on the deals closest to completion, and spend less time on wasted prospects.

2. Structure and automate

Time and effort is one of the biggest hurdles in getting data into the CRM.

Get more value from your team and the information they add by structuring sales processes around tasks that can be easily automated. Reduce the number of repeatable tasks that are required by integrating with apps or other processes within your CRM.

3. Align processes and remove friction

Finally, passing the data through the CRM nervous system and to the ‘brain’ should be as simple and seamless as possible. Sales reps need to be able to get the useful information they are looking for, without any hurdles.

To do this, you’ll need to make sure you remove any friction between your CRM and the platforms you use, and regularly check that data is flowing seamlessly from one function to the next.

Check that the platforms you use can align with your current operations. If they don’t, be ruthless in changing them.

When you do align all your processes and platforms, automate where possible and let your sales reps see how valuable the data can be in closing deals, you’ll be getting the best possible value from your CRM.

The Future of Programmatic Advertising: 6 Predictions for 2017

Programmatic advertising. The crunching of numerous sources of data to present the right ad, at the right time, to the right person. But with technology evolving so quickly, what does the future hold? We’ve looked at the numbers, asked the experts and analysed all the trends to bring you our 6 programmatic predictions for 2017.

1. Data collaboration is the next stage

In eCommerce, it’s common practice for businesses to internalise data in-house. But we predict that 2017 will see companies move towards data collaboration, with audience sharing going beyond intent data to include cross-device and UX behavioural insights, for example. As Ve Interactive’s Chief Data Officer, Cyrille Vincey, asserts,

“Many businesses, especially smaller ones, just don’t have enough data points to build an in-depth user profile. There’s too much internalisation of data that’s stopping us as an industry from truly knowing and reaching users. It goes against the current industry trend, but there needs to be more data collaboration. Businesses, advertisers and ultimately, users, have more to gain than to lose from sharing data.”

2. Programmatic TV will come of age

The manual nature of traditional TV advertising is one of its primary flaws. From requesting ad time and purchasing, to displaying the ad and measuring its success – the manual processes can be slow and tedious. Programmatic TV effectively alleviates these problems, with many brands vocally expressing their “appetite for programmatic”.
We predict that programmatic TV will finally take off in 2017, as the ad inventory available increases and big brands (such as Sky) continue to set the TV ad standard with successful campaigns.

3. Header bidding will become more accessible

Header bidding is one of the most technically sophisticated types of programmatic advertising. It’s grown particularly popular with publishers, but the process still faces a lot of challenges concerning usability and accessibility. We think 2017 will be the year that header bidding overcomes these issues as advertisers and publishers alike fully realise the benefits of this technology.

4. Personalisation and targeting will grow more sophisticated

Personalisation is a word that’s been thrown around perhaps too liberally in industry circles over the past few years. But personalising your programmatic offering to individual users is, without doubt, hugely important. Whilst we’ve seen some excellent examples of personalised programmatic this year, we expect that the level of depth and targeting will only grow in 2017.

5. Ad viewability will improve

Ad viewability is central in programmatic discussions, with many advertisers rightly concerned as to whether their ad impressions have actually been viewed by human eyes. The viewability industry standard is loosely estimated at 50%, but we expect this to improve over time. In an ideal world, we would see programmatic ad impressions have 100% viewability across the industry, but this might take a bit longer to achieve.

6. Last touch attribution will be a thing of the past

Debates and concerns surrounding attribution have existed as long as programmatic itself. But we think that the much-maligned last touch attribution model will finally die out in 2017. As Ve Interactive’s Head of UK Commercial Operations, AJ Hill, explains

“The days of last touch attribution are numbered. As an advertiser it is vitally important to understand the full user journey, from first contact to purchase, and to award each channel their proportionate attribution based on their overall impact on the campaign. Sophisticated algorithmic attribution models are being brought in currently and will be widespread in the coming year.”

Ve will be at Prolific North Live, visit them at stand 100 to enter their competition for the chance of winning their conversion enhancing solutions free for 6 weeks!

The original version of this article appeared previously on the Ve Interactive blog, written by Ellie Hubble – click here to read 11 more intriguing programmatic predictions for 2017!”

The Automotive Industry is Driving Data Analytics

It’s nice to see that the amount of companies using data is increasing. It’s also pretty cool to see some of the new innovative ways that companies are doing so, especially with data analytics playing a big role in achieving new levels of success.

The automotive industry have been trying their hands using data and they’re doing it well. The amount of data that can be gathered from cars is quite ridiculous, especially when you take into account that a lot of data is simply stored in the key which is then plugged in at the garage to unlock it.

Cars have been kitted inside and out with data. Yes, I bet that’s not one you’ve heard about as it’s not quite cream leather interiors or mud resistant trip. Data is so much better. It’s behind vehicle safety and quality and contributes to the driving experience.

Did you know, the average hybrid vehicle generates up to 25 gigabytes of data in just one hour? Car manufacturers and garages have been capturing telematics for many years however it’s becoming much more sophisticated. Using analytics and data has enabled technology to alert drivers of any hazards on the road, or if the conditions are particularly dangerous. Anti-locking systems, traction control and so much more have been created with the help of data. IBM reported that Volvo, through using predictive analytics, repair instructions and identifying replacement parts before a vehicle arrives for a service has benefit from a reduction in diagnostic times by up to 70% and repair times of over 20%.

Furthermore, with recent years having cars being recalled, some companies like BMW are using data analytics to record errors reported by customers to identify any potential weakness in new models that could cause problems and then eliminating them before they even go into production. Now if this isn’t major cost savings, increased efficiency and keeping a good reputation then I don’t know what is.

Connected vehicles are becoming more popular. Services and experience can be constantly updated one the car has left the factory. They can have important updates and interactions without having to return and this has proven extremely useful through the connecting capability. Ford, for example have focused on more “consumer-based, more real-time interaction, real-time services, real-time experiences, contextualized experiences” rather than the storage capabilities of the cloud.

It’s not just information about faults that manufacturers use data for. Financial predictions means cars are priced according to the market and behind the prices are more realistic pricing plans and financial support. It goes without saying that car companies will use their contact data for marketing purposes and targeting their communications to ensure their messages stay relevant. They’ve proved that data can go far beyond the use of marketing and with the likes of BMW and Volvo showing that data is having a rather positive impact on business, it will be interesting to see where and how the market takes its usage of data.

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