Category: Domain Skill

What is Analytical CRM

Analytical CRMWe know that there are three types of CRM applications – Operational CRM, Analytical CRM and Collaborative CRM. In our previous post we have discussed about Operational CRM. Here we will talk about what is Analytical CRM, its key features and benefits.

Let’s start our discussion with an example. Imagine a scenario where a company knows what customers want to buy even before launching the product. Though this happens only in ideal scenario but almost similar kind of result can be achieved using Analytical CRM.

So what is Analytical CRM?

It is a systematic approach to analyze customer data and interactions to improve various business processes in Sales, Marketing and Service. The main purpose of Analytical CRM is to gather customer information from various channels and gain knowledge about customers’ behaviors and buying pattern as much as possible. It helps an organization to develop new marketing strategy, campaign management, customer acquisition and retention.

Difference between Operational CRM and Analytical CRM:

Operational CRM deals with automation of Sales, Marketing and Difference between Operational CRM and Analytical CRMService processes that involve direct interaction of customers’ requirements. Whereas Analytical CRM handles those operations that do not have direct dealing with customers. It analyzes customer data to enhance decision making capability of an organization.

Key features of Analytical CRM:

  1. Gathers all relevant information about customers from various channels/sources and builds a knowledge base for an organization
  2. Analyzes customer data based on rules and methods set by business and prepares report to improve customer relationship and interaction
  3. Helps business to segment customers and run more customer centric marketing campaign to increase sales
  4. Decides what if scenarios – probability of a customer that purchases one product could buy another product
  5. Monitors events like customer may purchase gifts on his marriage anniversary
  6. Helps business to predict the probability of customer defection and take necessary steps
  7. Assists top management to do better financial forecasting and planning

Benefits of using Analytical CRM:

  1. Higher lead conversation rate
  2. Better customer experience by addressing their needs more effectively and efficiently
  3. Better market analysis before running a campaign
  4. Increase customer loyalty and satisfaction
  5. More accurate financial forecasting and planning

Analytical CRM analyzes data coming from every aspect of business and generates reports.

  1. Customer Analysis Report:

    This is the basic report based on analysis of customer knowledge base. This gives 360 degree view of a customer that helps a company to gain further insights about customer’s needs and preferences.

  2. Sales Analysis Report:

    This type of reports shows the organization’s sales trend for a specified period – monthly, quarterly, yearly or any time frame that is significant for business. It provides support to streamline all sales opportunities by improving sales cycle. This helps managers to identify market opportunity, predict sales volumes and profit by analyzing historical sales data.

  3. Marketing Analysis Report:

    This kind of reports helps to discover new marketing opportunities and improve marketing performance by maximizing Return On Investment (ROI).  It decides marketing performance based on various parameters like region, channels, political influence. It also focuses on campaign planning and execution, product analysis.

  4. Service Analysis Report:

    Service Analytics is a major area in Analytical CRM. It provides the insight about customer satisfaction, quality of service and areas of improvement in service. It finds out opportunities to cross sell or up sell products. It helps to track employee performance and productivity, tells management to conduct required training for employees.

  5. Channel Analysis Report:

    Channel Analysis report helps business to understand customers’ behavior across channels like email, phone call, social media or face to face interaction. This kind of knowledge can be used to interact with customers more effectively and efficiently.

For an organization, collection of customer data and its analysis is a continuous and iterative process. Decisions based on customer data and feedback become better and more accurate over the time.
Analytical CRM uses various data mining techniques like predictive modelling, supervised modelling. We will discuss about data mining in CRM in another article.

Do you have any question? Please feel free to comment below.

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5 Best Cloud Based Free CRM Software For Small And Medium Business

5 Best Cloud Based Free CRM Software For Small And Medium BusinessA company without CRM is like fish out of water – continuous growing competition, high customer attrition rate and frequent change in customers’ buying trends are most common challenges for an organization to sustain and grow further.
CRM is the only solution for an organization to nurture existing contacts properly and capture new customers. But it is really tough for a small or medium organization to spend a good amount to setup CRM application.

So what is the best solution?

Best solution is, choose free open source CRM to solve these business challenges. But there are lots of free open source CRM software with rich functionalities and number of such free CRM applications is continuously growing which is bit confusing for an organization to choose the right CRM for business. You could read our article on how to choose the best CRM for your organization.

Here we will discuss best 5 cloud based free CRM applications which could be life saver for a small or medium organization.

There are many open source CRM applications available in the market but not all of them are cloud based free CRM, for example Vtiger is free when it is installed locally but cloud version is paid. But we know, time and infrastructure, both matter for an organization, especially if it is SME. In case of cloud based CRM software, an enterprise does not need to spend any money for infrastructure, also application customization is real quick and easy task. There are many other benefits for cloud based CRM over on premise CRM but these are the main two reasons for which we suggest a SME to go for cloud based free CRM software.

Top 5 Cloud Based Free CRM :

Bitrix24

free open source CRMMost of the CRM applications with free basic plan allow only couple of users to have free account but Bitrix24 allows 12 users to create free account with 5 GB space. That is likely enough for a small or medium business to get start.

Free Bitrix24 account comes with unbelievable features–
– CRM includes almost all major business requirements like sales automation, contact management, quote management, business rules automation, invoicing, reports and sales funnel, direct email or call to clients from dashboard, integration with third party applications. It has mobile app for iOS and android to browse client records, create quotes, verify product catalog.
– It provides inter company social networking with ‘Like’ button, instant chat facility, computer telephony integration, photo and video sharing capability. It also includes employee motivational tools like badges, awards to show appreciation towards co-workers.
– It provides 5 GB free space for online file storage and document collaboration. There is no other CRM right now that provides 5 GB space with free plan. Also users can create or edit documents in Bitirx24 without any office suite.
– It has built in task and project management capability as well. Task can be created for oneself or assigned to colleagues, task report helps upper management to understand how much time an employee spends on a particular task.
Overall Bitrix24 is an application that helps an organization to run from one place.

Free account limitations:
12 users
5 GB storage
No record limit

Zoho CRM

cloud based free CRM software

Zoho is well-known CRM application with great features. It has web apps for almost everything that a SME needs like CRM, email integration, file sharing, social networking. It’s free edition allows an organization to create 10 free accounts with 1 GB space and limited functionalities but all these are sufficient for a small or medium company to generate leads, manage contacts and increase revenue.


Here are the few important features that Zoho CRM free edition provides:
– CRM includes almost all important features that an enterprise needs like sales force automation, marketing automation, lead management, contact management, quote management, live chat and email, tasks and activities handling, business rules and workflow management.
– It provides 1 GB space to an organization as document library. It can be used for file/folder sharing and documents attachment with file versioning capability.
– Zoho can be easily integrated with social networking sites like Twitter / Facebook or other Zoho apps like Zoho Projects, Zoho SalesIQ. It can be synchronized with various Google apps as well like Google calendar, Google contacts. Also it provides web to lead and web to contact form facilities to capture leads or contacts in web forms.

Free account limitations:
10 Users
1 GB space
No record limit

Insightly

free CRMInsightly CRM free edition grants 2 free accounts per organization with 200 MB storage. It includes almost all basic CRM features like Contact Management, Project Management, Task/Event/Calendar Management, Opportunity Management, Social Networking, Reporting, Email Integration. It provides the capability to import contacts from Gmail or Outlook or a simple spreadsheet.

Main drawbacks of Insightly CRM Free plan – it limits to store only 2500 records and allows to create 8 custom fields. Also its free plan does not include email marketing. But if these limitations are acceptable and want a simple way to start CRM, it is worth to give a try.

Free account limitations:
2 Free users
2500 records
200 MB free storage

Capsule

CRM Free

Capsule CRM is another lightweight and user friendly CRM application. Its free version provides very basic CRM functionalities with 2 free user accounts and 10 MB file storage. Beside CRM functionalities like contact management, opportunity management or task management, it has an unique feature called List. List uses filtering criteria based upon any possible options in CRM like name, updated on, type or status to group similar kind of contacts or opportunities or cases. With CRM object navigation bar at the top, there is a text link bar as well to bookmark contacts, cases or opportunities that you have accessed recently. Though it has good integration capability with other third party applications, free version has very limited integration features. Another drawback with free plan is that it allows to store only 250 contacts with unlimited opportunities and unlimited cases.

Free account limitations:
2 free users
10 MB storage
250 contacts with unlimited opportunities and cases


Really Simple Systems

cloud based free CRMReally Simple Systems CRM is really simple application with great functionalities like Sales automation, Contact Management, Opportunity Management, Task and Activities handling, Reporting. It’s free edition allows 2 users to have free account and 100 MB file storage. It also includes integration with KashFlow and SageOne accounting applications, custom reports, custom fields on all objects.
Drawbacks: Free plan supports only sales automation, not marketing automation or customer service management. Also it limits to create only 100 accounts with unlimited contacts, tasks and opportunities.

Free account limitations:
2 Free users
100 MB storage
100 accounts with unlimited contacts, activities and opportunities

Conclusion

There are many other cloud based free CRM applications as well like Podio, Clevertim, Raynet, Highrise, FreeCRM. But free edition of these CRM applications have more limited features like Podio does not include user management facility, Clevertim has no file storage and FreeCRM is free for 1 year only.
CRM market is ever changing and highly competitive place, so it is really tough to tell which one is best cloud based FREE CRM. But we can easily decide best CRM application for an organization.

Though we have listed down 5 cloud based free CRM applications here, we highly recommend an organization to try Bitrix24 and Zoho CRM.
If you want to know which FREE CRM suites for your business most, please contact us to get free quote.

Did we miss to mention any other great free CRM application here? Please write it below.

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<< How to choose best CRM software for your business

What is Operational CRM

Operational crmCRM or Customer Relationship Management software enables organizations to manage their relationships with customers. It helps to retain existing customers, acquire new customers and analyze customer data. There are mainly three types of CRM applications – Operational CRM, Analytical CRM and Collaborative CRM. Here we will discuss about what is Operational CRM.

What is Operational CRM?

Operational CRM streamlines the business process of an organization. It mainly focuses on automation and improvement of customer facing and customer touching business processes. It includes Sales automation, Marketing automation and Service automation. Main purpose of Operational CRM system is to generate leads, convert them into contacts, capture all required details and provide support throughout customer lifecycle.

Sales Force Automation:

Operational CRM - Sales AutomationSales Force Automation (SFA) helps an organization to automate sales process from lead generation to closing sale. Main purpose of sales automation is to set business standard within the organization to acquire new customers and deal with existing customers. It includes various CRM sales modules like

  • Lead Management
  • Contact Management
  • Account Management
  • Tracking Customer Preferences
  • Performance Management
  • Quote-to-Order management
  • Sales Forecasting

Marketing Automation:

Operational CRM - Marketing AutomationMarketing Automation helps the organization to streamline marketing process, automate and measure marketing task to increase sales and earn revenue faster. It includes various CRM marketing modules like Campaign Management, Event Based Marketing.

Campaign Management helps business to design campaign, decide communication channels (like email, call, website, social media, TV ads), segment contacts, allocate budget and analyze effectiveness or quality of the campaign.

Event based marketing helps to reach out customers with more relevant products or services based upon what’s going on in their lives at that moment, like first job or buying new car or getting married.

Marketing Automation can automate response to customer queries, inform sales team about new opportunities.

Service Automation:

Operational CRM - Service AutomationService Automation enables business to provide best quality of customer service by automating the service process. It includes various service modules like call management, case or incident management, knowledge management, service level management.

Call Management automation helps to route customer call to the most appropriate help desk person and retrieve all required information related to the call.

Case/Incident Management helps the organization to assign customers’ problems to the right person, provide solution within the time limit, capture customer response and analyze effectiveness.

Knowledge Management captures information from various sources and makes a pro active approach to give value addition to customers.

Service Level Management enables business to analyze quality of service based on key performance indicators.

Increase sales and improve customers’ loyalty are two main purposes of Operational CRM. There are lots of Operational CRM applications with different features and platforms (SaaS, On Premise, Hybrid). So before choosing any Customer Relationship Management application, organization should have defined goal and strategy to ensure success. You could read our article on ‘How to choose the best CRM software for your business’.

Do you have any question? Please feel free to comment below.

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Types of CRM – Operational, Analytical, Collaborative

Types of CRMIn continuously growing competitive market, it is very much important for a business to share right information to the right person at the right time, otherwise business will lose its opportunities to sale products or services. Customer Relationship Management software is the only solution that can help business to communicate with prospects or customers properly. For any CRM application, primary goal is to enable an organization to understand customers’ need and behaviour and provide better quality of service. It helps to retain existing customers and capture new opportunities by building a strong relationship between an organization and customers. CRM can analyze data and generate reports whenever required. There are mainly three types of CRM applications – Operational, Analytical and Collaborative to perform all these activities.

Types of CRM:

1. Operational CRM

Operational CRM streamlines the business process that includes Sales automation, Marketing automation and Service automation. Main purpose of this type of CRM is to generate leads, convert them into contacts, capture all required details and provide service throughout customer lifecycle.

Sales Automation:

Sales automation helps an organization to automate sales process. Main purpose of sales automation is to set standard within organization to acquire new customers and deal with existing customers. It organizes information in such a way that the business can meet customers’ needs and increase sales more efficiently and effectively. It includes various CRM sales modules like lead management, contact management, Quote-to-Order management, sales forecasting.

Marketing Automation:

Main purpose of marketing automation is to find out the best way to offer products and approach potential customers. Major module in marketing automation is campaign management. It enables business to decide effective channel/s (like emails, phone calls, face to face meeting, ads on social media) to reach up to potentials customers.

Service Automation:

Service automation enables business to retain customers by providing best quality of service and building strong relationship. It includes issue management to fix customers’ problems, customer call management to handle incoming/outgoing calls, service label management to monitor quality of service based on key performance indicators.

2. Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM helps top management, marketing, sales and support personnel to determine the better way to serve customers. Data analysis is the main function of this type of CRM application. It analyzes customer data, coming from various touch points, to get better insights about current status of an organization. It helps top management to take better decision, marketing executives to understand the campaign effectiveness, sales executives to increase sales and support personnel to improve quality of support and build strong customer relationship.

Features of Analytical CRM:

  • Gather customer’s information, coming from different channels and analyze data in a structured way
  • Help organization to set business methodology in Sales, Marketing and Support to improve customer relationship and loyalty
  • Improve the CRM system effectiveness and analyze key performance indicators, set by business

3. Collaborative CRM

Collaborative CRM, sometimes called as Strategic CRM, enables an organization to share customers’ information among various business units like sales team, marketing team, technical and support team. For example, feedback from a support team could be useful for marketing team to approach targeted customers with specific products or services. In real world, each business unit works as an independent group and rarely shares customers’ data with other teams that often causes business losses. Collaborative CRM helps to unite all groups to aim only one goal – use all information to improve the quality of customer service to gain loyalty and acquire new customers to increase sales.

Different types of CRM applications have different features and advantages. So before implementing CRM system, it is very much important for a business to decide future goal and strategy. If you want to choose the best CRM for your business, read our article onHow to choose the best CRM software for your business‘.

Do you have any question? Please feel free to comment below.

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Watch our YouTube video on ‘what is CRM and types of CRM’: