Thursday, 24 November 2016

Using CRM Software to Converts Leads into Opportunities

Without the ability to accurately track and manage sales and marketing campaigns, are you really doing all you can to nurture your leads and optimize your sales pipeline? A lead is a person or business that may have the potential to do business with you—perhaps even be your biggest customer ever. Maintaining consistent lead management is a critical component of your sales pipeline.

Here are five reasons why:

Data-Driven Lead Intelligence
CRM applications provide a comprehensive picture of your leads, so you can do effective Sales Management. The prime advantage of data-driven lead management is stronger sales and marketing productivity—and a more streamlined and controlled sales pipeline—thanks to leveraging intricate lead data capable of helping you to better convert your leads into your customers.

Robust Marketing Analytics
 Providing an analytical view of each lead, CRM software automates the process of managing, tracking, marketing and selling to new and existing customers. CRM lets you create, track and manage marketing campaigns effectively. Whether it's outbound calls, email marketing or social media campaigns, CRM automates the process and provides data-driven results to accurately measure—and improve—marketing efforts.

Interactive Monitoring & Reporting
CRM solutions provide you and your sales team with the tools and information required to close sales faster and monitor sales performance. Interactive dashboards, such as those featured by Sage CRM, simply daily tasks and activity management with intuitive functions that monitor opportunities, manage calendars and appointments, engage with key social media channels and manage all key accounts, from one place.

Enterprise Collaboration
CRM solutions drive employee productivity and knowledge exchange with social-style collaborative tools, including peer-to-peer learning and employee engagement. Mobile access, an increasingly critical functionality in business productivity software, grants your team 24/7 access to vital customer information, schedules, projects and history. The better your business collaborates to serve, market and sell as a unified entity, the better your lead nurturing performance.

 CRM stores data about all leads and creates lead reports that show you the components that make up your leads and how your leads best fit into your sales pipeline. CRM solutions allow you to customize your lead reports, all the while providing you with automated, end-to-end lead tracking designed to manage leads accurately through your sales pipeline. You can even automate your follow-up activities for greater efficiency in cultivating and nurturing lead relationships. CRM automates the way you acknowledge, manage, analyze, market and sell to your leads—total lead relationship management.

CRM Advantages and Strategy

There are numerous benefits to be gained by shifting away from paper and manual based invoice processing to more digitised approaches by using a new generation Customer Relationship Management Software. As with any automation project, the cost savings that can achieved from e-invoicing will vary based upon the starting point. Companies which only send paper invoices via post will generate the most savings. 

Other companies which using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scanning techniques to convert paper invoices into electronic format have already achieved significant cost savings even though they have not truly shifted to an Online Invoicing model. Proper electronic invoicing is considered by most to be the transmission of a structured EDI or XML document from the supplier into the buyer’s Accounts Payable (AP) system. Depending upon the location of the buyer or supplier, regulations also may require a government issued identification number, qualified electronic signatures, specific content fields and long-term archival of the invoice.
There are ten key business benefits that AP organisations can expect to gain from a shift toward electronic invoices:

1. Digital Invoice Capture—Invoices received as a PDF attachment to an e-mail or via post introduce unnecessary costs and complexities into the AP and Accounts Receivable (AR) processes. For invoices received via post, the documents must be sorted, routed, opened and rekeyed into an AP system. For invoices received via e-mail, the documents must be saved, printed, rekeyed and possibly forwarded. Data re-entry is the most problematic of the processes as it is time-consuming and error-prone. E-invoicing fully automates the invoice capture process with data being routed straight from the supplier into the buyer’s AP system.

2. Automated Invoice Validation—Most AP organisations perform validations of line items on the invoice before routing the invoice to Line of Business managers for approval. For example, buyers often require suppliers to list the buyer’s part number, buyer’s purchase order number and general ledger or cost code on an invoice. Such references enable the AP department to quickly identify the goods being purchased and the department responsible. In addition, AP clerks will need to ensure that the arithmetic such as the calculation of extended costs is accurate. There may be a need to validate VAT or GST calculations as well. In addition to capturing the data electronically, most e-invoicing solutions will also perform field-level validations of the content as well.
3. Automated Matching—One of the more complex validations performed is the matching between an invoice and the related documents in the procure to-pay lifecycle. The pricing and terms on an invoice should match those negotiated in the master contract with the vendor. Additionally, the line-item quantities, product descriptions and per-unit pricing on the invoice must match those of the purchase order and the actual goods received. These matching processes can be performed manually. However, the costs, accuracy and time required for the validations can be significantly reduced through automation. A key component of an e-invoicing solution should be matching process between the contracts, PO, invoice and goods receipt notice.

4. Vendor Self-Service—Perhaps, the costliest aspects of invoice processing is not the capture or validation of the data, but staffing call centres to support vendor inquiries about payments. After submitting an invoice, the collections and AR teams within a supplier will typically contact the buyer to confirm receipt and approval of the invoice. Following the approval, the supplier may follow up again to inquire about the actual payment date. Significant time and expense is incurred responding to vendor calls and researching the status of invoices. A key element of any e-invoicing program should be a portal which offers vendors the ability to check the status of approval processing or planned payment