CRM Integrations that help Boost Workflow Productivity in 2021

When a company decides to take on CRM, oftentimes, they think of it as that “one thing” that will solve all their sales and marketing problems. CRM is undeniably a very powerful tool that helps you build strong customer relationships, increase sales, as well as workforce productivity. However, being too overly reliant on the system on its own, or not customizing it to fit your user’s needs, may cause some problems down the road.

One of the best ways to solve this is by using CRM Integrations. Data shows that 17% of users consider the lack of CRM integrations with other software, one of their main challenges. This is mostly because people nowadays don’t just rely on one software to do all their work. Emails are in this platform, and calls are in the other, to add to that, there are so many various social media sites ready to be leveraged for marketing. Having to go back and forth between these apps takes unnecessary time and effort. It would be such a waste not to integrate the data, functionalities, and overall potential, of these platforms. Perhaps your CRM does need an extra pair of hands, in the form of CRM integrations, after all.

Here are some of the most useful CRM integrations that your company should consider using this 2021:

Calendar Integrations

Cloud-based calendars are very important nowadays. Unlike traditional paper calendars, digital ones help organize events, keep track of schedules, and give tasks reminders whenever needed. Integrating a productivity app like this into your CRM would help users keep track of the day and do the necessary tasks, all in one place.

Besides, you may not realize it but calendar syncs are already very common in everyday life. Take Google Calendars for example. You can set meetings, invite others, and see your calendar across devices that are logged in to your Google account. Just imagine this amazing functionality, integrated with your CRM. It will make scheduling so much easier.

Social Media Integrations

People are all over Social Media and it’s no surprise that businesses are riding in on it as well. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, provide online publicity, often for free. It’s one of the best ways to reach out and interact with prospects and customers this 2021.

Integrating your CRM with social media allows users to efficiently schedule posts, create content, view analytics, and even reply to messages, through the CRM system. It also syncs customer data from social media sites to help enhance the main purpose of CRM: improving customer relationships. This integration is a great way to stay on top of customer interactions, as well as their data.

Mobile Phone Integration

Mobile phones are on the rise as they are quickly replacing desktop computers, especially now in 2021, when people are often working remotely due to the pandemic. Mobility and the ability to work from anywhere are very important.

Having a Mobile CRM integration means that users can access the system using their phones. While some CRMs already have built-in mobile integration features, some do not. Data from Nucleus Research shows that 65% of companies using mobile CRM, as compared to those using a non-mobile solution, are successfully achieving their sales quotas. Therefore, it’s important to start utilizing this technology because of the many benefits it offers.

Online Calls Integrations

With the pandemic going on, face-to-face meetings have become very limited, and the next best option that companies are doing today is meeting online. These online calling/meeting platforms, such as Zoom, Discord, and Aircall, allow users to have online calls or meetings with multiple people, whether it’s within the team, or a call with a client.

Integrating this into your CRM makes it much easier to attend, track and input contact information, as well as manage meeting data. This is a very useful tool for people who need to frequently make or take calls, such as salespeople and managers. No need to open another app and make a call from there. With just a click, users can easily attend meetings through their CRM.

Voice Recognition Integration

One of the biggest things that hamper real productivity in the workplace is admin work. Salespeople and other employees are often stuck with admin work such as manual data inputs, sending emails, making spreadsheets, etc., keeping them from doing their actual job. In addition to their pre-existing dilemma, CRM becomes an added burden, as it is a data-entry system that requires data inputs, but what if data entry doesn’t have to be done manually?

Integrating a voice recognition, or speech-to-text service significantly reduces just that. This integration is called Voice to CRM. The user only needs to speak and the software automatically captures that data, and stores it into the CRM. Voice to CRM is applicable in capturing meeting/call data, verbally making follow-ups, scheduling, and automating data field population.

What’s great about this, is that it saves time by reducing the amount of physical device touching. If the user is outside and doesn’t want to risk Covid contamination by touching too many things, they can simply use their voice to input data. Furthermore, due to its ease of use and elimination of manual data entry, Voice to CRM also improves CRM adoption.

Some other integrations include:

  • Live Chat or Chatbot Integrations – This improves customer support with the aid of Artificial Intelligence and chats automation.
  • Email integrations – It makes sending emails and follow-ups more efficient by email scheduling, automation, and using templates.
  • Team Communication Integration – Integrating communication tools such as Slack, allows for better communication and cooperation with your team while accessing CRM.
  •  Web form Integrations – This helps create more leads and contacts by automatically capturing data from website visitors.

There are several other software, services, or platforms that your company’s CRM can integrate with, but overall, these are the best CRM integrations you can adopt this 2021. The important thing to remember is to know what specific CRM capabilities you need for you to know which CRM integrations will suit your company best.

The Benefits of having a Hands-free CRM

With the advancements in AI, as well as the demand for better sales performance, Marketing and CRM automation became a hit. Forbes stated that 63% of the companies that are outgrowing their competitors used automation tools, and this statistic doesn’t stand alone. Many companies are seeing real results with automation, especially when integrated with their CRM.

CRM automation covers a wide range of automation capabilities including:

  • Marketing Automation for email campaigns and lead nurturing;
  • Customer Service Automation such as the use of a chatbot, or an AI help-center;
  • Social Media Marketing Automation, for social media content/post scheduling;
  • Sales Workflow Automation, which automates lead scoring, sales pipeline management, and call scheduling.

However, despite with recent innovations, just how automated are these current solutions? Is it possible to have a completely “Hands-free” CRM?

What is Hands-free CRM?

First of all, let’s define the two. The term “Hands-free” is used to describe something that can be operated without the use of one’s hands, while CRM(Customer Relationship Management), is a system that manages, tracks, and interprets client interactions.

Hands-Free CRM means that you handle the CRM, and let it work, without having to use your hands. This is made possible by Voice to CRM, a service that allows the user to simply speak, and everything else, all the data parsing, cleaning, and data inputs, are done by the software. Imagine being able to follow-up data in your CRM while driving or scheduling a meeting while doing groceries. It’s literally, hands-free. The convenience of using your CRM is like no other.

This service can help your company’s overall growth in many ways. Here are some of the tangible benefits of utilizing a Voice to CRM service:

It Saves time

Instead of navigating through the software and manually making data inputs, all you have to do is speak. A study by Stanford showed that speech recognition software types 3x faster as compared to human typing, implying that it takes less time to just use your voice. Furthermore, this statistic doesn’t take into consideration the time you spend before you can even start to type, such as opening your laptop or phone, launching the CRM software, and navigating through it to find the right data fields.

It automates data entry itself by entering the captured data into the appropriate data fields, which leads us to the next advantage of using a Voice to CRM service:

Reduced Manual Data entry

Everybody hates manual data entry. It is tedious, time-consuming, and keeps you from doing more productive things. Fortunately, Voice to CRM gets rid of it for you. It allows users to directly enter data into the CRM in real-time. This means that follow-up info, deadlines, and call schedules, don’t have to go through your notepad, and then to your CRM via typing the next day. It can be entered directly into the CRM as soon as you capture that data.

One common concern that often arises with Voice to CRM, is the accuracy of the data it captures, as well as how correctly the data fields are populated. This is a valid concern, after all, artificial intelligence is still developing and it has a long way to go to be on par with human intelligence. This is why combining expert AI systems with human expertise is the best way to ensure that your data is accurate, and on the right track. It allows CRM users to confidently input data using their voice, without having to worry about double-checking things later.

Complete and Accurate Meeting data

It is no secret that sales teams are the ones that have to use CRM often. Salespeople have to interact with and talk to prospects, to make a sale. Every time a salesperson meets or has a call with a client, naturally, data is being exchanged and new information is presented. The relevant information extracted from meetings needs to be entered into the CRM, but here’s the problem: Salespeople are often too busy to enter that data right away.

The most common scenario is that they would take note of the information on paper, or a note-taking app, and wait till tomorrow, or whenever they have free time, to enter this data into the CRM software. Some don’t even take note of it and rely solely on their memory, which is even worse.

Voice to CRM allows salespeople to simply connect to their CRM of choice may it be Salesfoce, HubSpot, or Dynamics – record their call or meeting, upload and expect the data to be in their CRM System the next day or within 12-24 hours.

Higher CRM adoption rates

The biggest problem that CRM adoption faces today, is the software’s tendency to be complicated, and difficult to use. A statistic by CSO Insights reveals that 72% of customers highly value a CRM’s ease of use over other functionalities.

Moreover, manual data entry is also another roadblock to CRM adoption. It’s tedious, takes up a lot of time, and makes CRM seem like an added admin task that users are forced to comply with. Because of these issues, CRM adoption is low. Forrester Research reports a CRM failure rate of 47%, which isn’t surprising, knowing that CRM adoption is a major issue across industries.

Fortunately, despite the depressing statistics, Voice to CRM hits two birds with one stone: ease of use and the elimination of manual data entry. Both are important factors in achieving a full CRM adoption. Utilizing a Voice to CRM service makes data entry faster, requires fewer touch-points, and is incredibly convenient. Data capture is  timelier, complete, and accurate, but most of all, it is automated. This makes it a whole lot easier for users to adopt CRM into their workflows.

Conclusion

Voice to CRM enables users to fully focus on productive, and strategic work, saving time and effort along the way. Data entry is also simplified as it removes the hassle of having to navigate through the system and manually type down data. Furthermore, it ensures overall data quality. The goal of having a hands-free CRM is to increase the system’s efficiency, resulting in the company’s improved customer relations and overall growth.

Making a Sale 2.0 – Connecting Traditional and Technology driven Sales methodologies

It’s no secret that Sales make a Business. It brings in revenue and sustains the business in general. Whether it’s a skill, service, or product, selling is exchanging value for money, which is why it is very important to look for a sustainable structure that guides your company’s sales processes. This system is called a Sales Methodology. It aims to improve the company’s approach when selling, providing a set of anchored guidelines to make sales better and more efficient.

The use of Sales Methodologies has been around for decades, and as many years passed, new methodologies and techniques have emerged to cope with the changing times, as well as to make things faster and easier.

Traditional V.S. Modern Sales tactics

Traditional

The traditional way of selling focuses more on the “selling” or “pitching” part. It generally tends to seek out prospects manually, by scanning the phone directory or talking to random people on the streets. It involves grabbing a prospect’s attention, telling them about your product, and essentially trying to make a sale. It sometimes involves withholding information, until after a customer converts, making sure that a sale is secured first. Popular methodologies in this category include SPIN selling and the Sandler Selling System.

Modern

The modern way of selling involves the use of technology, particularly social media and online advertising to put one’s product or service up in the online space, for people to see. Rather than the sales reps actively reaching out, the modern setup allows interested prospects to reach out to companies to inquire about their products. However, it needs your company to have an online presence, and good marketing to stand out. Software such as CRM can also help manage customer data, and create stronger customer relationships and retention. Digital methodologies include Social Selling and Inbound Selling.

Despite the recent innovations, many companies still cling to the traditional way of selling only. It’s hard to let go of what you’re used to, but the question is, do traditional selling tactics still work today? As the Covid-19 pandemic forced the world to abandon physical interaction and lean towards a more virtual, and online setting, we might have to rethink our current sales strategies.

 

The old way of selling just doesn’t work anymore

Traditional techniques such as cold-calling, handing out flyers, or going door-to-door, are not as effective as they were before the internet era. Today, it’s all about social media engagement, personalized ads, and inbound selling. Times have changed and because of technology, sales need less manual labor than ever before.

Here are some of the key reasons as to why traditional selling methodologies cannot stand alone in this day and age:

  • Customer decision-making behaviors have changed. Nowadays, people don’t want to waste their time taking pushy cold calls and flyers. With the internet, people tend to actively seek out the products they want/need, using the information found online. A survey by BrightMedia revealed that 34% of their respondents look up business information online daily. Modern customers want to know as much as they can about a certain product, and compare it with others, before making a purchase.
  • Advertisements should be personalized to aim at their target market. Customers are more likely to respond to tailor-made advertisements instead of widespread and repetitive print ads. Those that target a specific group of people, who would most likely make a purchase, are more effective. The data needed to understand customer similarities, wants, and interests can be analyzed in a CRM system.
  • People are on Social Media. Millions of people flock around Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok, and one of the best ways to advertise your business is to be where the people are. Social media is a very powerful tool for digital marketers. Many businesses are run through social media. Companies or even individuals can run paid ads as well. It’s a lot easier and cheaper compared to trying to publicize your business using traditional methods like print ads and TV.
  • Customers value other People’s Opinions on a Product. BrightMedia also found out that in 2020, 79% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust testimonials from family and friends. In a traditional setting, revealing customer reviews are not usually part of the pitch, and even if they are, the authenticity of these reviews can become questionable since the company itself would naturally pick out good reviews. This setup is most effective when it is done online, where anyone can say anything about their experience with a product, service, or company.

However, this doesn’t mean that Traditional sales principles cannot apply at all. Methodologies such as Sandler’s Selling method which involves acting as a consultant instead of a pushy salesperson, Solution selling which focuses on how your product can solve a customer’s problems, and the famous Challenger approach which is all about a salesperson’s tenacity to learn more and dive deeper into the needs of the customer, can all be great guidelines and principles to follow. They are timeless concepts that aim to create sales and provide value to customers.

The key here is to update the platform used to execute these methodologies, which leads us to the next part:

Integrating Technology in Business

Times have changed, and the best way to adapt is by integrating technology into your business. Leverage it to better serve your customers and generate more leads. It is also cheaper and saves more time and effort. Here are some ways your business can step up your selling game:

  • Update customer acquisition strategies
  • Build a strong online presence
  • Subscribe to a CRM solution such as Salesforce CRM, Hubspot or Microsoft Dynamics, and use CRM sales data and reports to improve processes
  • Use Social Media to engage with customers
  • Simplify and shorten your digital sales cycle
  • Create affiliate programs, or tap on Social media Influencers
  • Intentionally Customize or Personalize online ads to narrow down to your target market

Depending on the type of business you have, effective methods may vary. However, one surefire way to increase sales by leveraging technology is by using a CRM(Customer Relationship Management) software. It allows your business to track customer interactions and store data. It is an important tool that allows salespeople to build better relationships with customers. A CRM system also helps with tasks such as contacts and lead management, sending emails, online ad automation, and productivity reports to know how your sales team is doing. Finally, leverage your CRM system with Voice to CRM software that can easily improve sales performance by saving your sales people time in doing CRM data entry thus letting them focus on sales with all the benefits that a CRM system can provide. All you have to do is connect a voice to crm service through your smart phone and start uploading your sales meeting notes into the system. Some companies even do same-day entries which would surely be beneficial for your next day sales planning activities.

Bottom line: To effectively increase sales in this digital era, it is necessary to integrate technology into your sales process, combining traditional and modern techniques and methodologies that suit your business. It makes selling more practical and efficient. Leverage its power and be a cut above the rest.

Debunking common CRM Adoption Myths

CRM adoption is a common issue for companies trying to initially use a CRM software. Most people are aware of this fact, but as to the reason behind it? The answers are quite vague, but they do have one thing in common: misinformation. The second biggest reason for CRM adoption failure, next to the natural human tendency to resist change, is the lack of proper knowledge. Fortunately, both reasons can be worked upon, with the implementation of CRM adoption strategies, accompanied by proper training.

To tackle the issue of CRM misinformation, here are some of the most prominent CRM myths that hinder your company’s adoption:

CRM is unnecessary extra work

Many employees feel that CRM is merely extra work, contrary to its initial purpose which is to increase efficiency in the workplace. People don’t like the idea of changing and adjusting to new ways of doing things, especially if they’re content with how their set ways have been serving them. Plus, CRM requires training and constant use, before it becomes a natural part of an employee’s workflow, which makes the beginning stages of adoption difficult.

In reality, CRM is necessary to improve your company overall. A statistic by Salesforce shows that with the use of CRM, sales increased by 29%, productivity by up to 34%, and sales forecasts improved by 40%. As with “extra work”, CRM, if used the right way, can reduce the number of manual admin tasks. It has features that can automate email marketing, track customer data, contact information, etc.

The only problem is that perhaps your users are not aware of these benefits and how to harness them….yet. That’s why they think of it as a nuisance. Before anything else, inform your users of the gaps in your current state, and how CRM can help with those gaps. Show them the benefits of using CRM for the long-term, to help them understand why the shift is ultimately a good thing.

CRM is only for IT or Techy people

Technically, CRM is a kind of digital software, so it can be easy to believe that it is something that only techy people can use, or even understand. This myth can even be used as an excuse for non-IT people to not use CRM. They may be intimidated by the technology aspect of it, especially since it’s not a very familiar thing to them. However, with proper training, anyone can use a CRM.

Think about it, many of the apps that we use today are programs made with code, such as Facebook, Google, and even Spotify. IT people aren’t the only ones using them, everyone is. Programs and apps just need a little bit of exploring, and some time to get used to. CRM is the same.

Besides, CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management”, and we all know that the IT department’s direct job is to maintain the company’s computer systems, not to manage customer relations. CRM is mainly a database that serves to improve sales and marketing. This leads us to the next myth:

CRM is only for Salespeople

According to a research report by Capterra, the sales department is said to be the biggest user of CRM software across industries. However, it also states that next to the sales department, marketing, customer service, IT, finance, and HR, also use CRM.

Salespeople just happen to use CRM more due to the nature of their work, which is to interact with customers, but that doesn’t mean that CRM is exclusive to them only. It is a shared database. It can be used to craft better marketing campaigns, to track sales and ROI, billing, notes, contacts, and even employee performance. Therefore, CRM can be used and accessed across all departments.

CRM demands a ton of Manual Data entry from its users

This might’ve been true in the early days of CRM. Back then, CRM was typically managed on-site and was hosted using company servers. This meant that it was hard to access or use, away from the company/office. Mobile solutions weren’t available because they can be very expensive to set up, and users are forced to pump data manually into the CRM through typing,during working hours. Instead of having more time to do productive work, users become stuck having to input huge amounts of data.

Some of these methods are still in use today, however, manual data entry is undeniably inefficient and over the years, there have been many innovations in CRM to reduce this burden.

Many CRM systems are now cloud-based, which means they can be accessed via the internet. Mobile CRMs have also been popular over the years. It increases accessibility and allows users to input data anytime, anywhere. Additionally, manual data entry is becoming less of a problem due to crm data entry software solutions, and automation. Many new CRM systems have found ways to capture information and automatically enter the necessary data, without users having to manually input anything.

One prominent innovation that lets you do this is Voice to CRM. The user only needs to speak, and that’s it. Data is perfectly collated and entered into the right fields, making data entry more efficient.

CRM systems are at risk for Data Leaks and Theft

Lastly, users may be hesitant to use CRM for fear that the important data entered into it may be breached and stolen by hackers. Unfortunately, this is a real risk with CRM. Just like any other database, data breaches can happen. However, the chances of such security threats are quite minimal, given that the company follows best security practices.

Many, if not all, cloud-based CRM providers consider these risks. Precautionary measures such as restrictions in the IP address range, firewalls, login security, and data encryptions are typically set in place to secure your data.

Security can also be doubly strengthened on the company’s end, by doing regular updates, following security protocol, managing access levels, and training your users on how to keep CRM data secure. Doing these can help users feel safe and less fearful in using CRM, leading to better adoption. Moreover, with security threats out of the way, the CRM benefits will outweigh the risk of a possible data breach.

Bottom line: There are many misconceptions when it comes to CRM. It is the CRM administrator’s job to clear any misunderstandings that may be preventing company-wide CRM adoption, so make sure to communicate the benefits of CRM, and debunk common myths.

Integrating Voice to text Technology in CRM Data Entry

In this day and age, Voice-to-text technology has become common in everyday life. A report from Voicebot.ai indicates that in early 2019, 58% of the online population has utilized voice search, 33% of them use it monthly, and 11.8% daily. Using voice as input has been on the rise in the past few years, and for good reason. Smart speakers and mobile devices are now one of the most common adaptors of voice technology, making it easier to access. Not only that, the accuracy of newer speech recognition products is often as high as 95-97 percent, aided by deep learning and other functionalities. Big names in the software industry including Google, Microsoft, Apple, and even Amazon, have adopted the said technology.

The demand for voice recognition technology is undeniably high, yet if you look at how it is currently being used, you’ll find that it’s not living up to its fullest potential. The most common use for voice recognition on smart speakers, according to an analytics survey done by Adobe, are the following:

  • Asking to play music (70%)
  • Aking for the weather forecast (64%)
  • Asking Fun questions (53%)
  • Searching online (47%)

Sure, some people do use Voice-to-text technology for writing, taking notes, transcriptions, and to aid people with disabilities. However, only a select few utilize voice technology this way. As of now, it is mostly adopted for personal or home use, and while it’s great that people at home can play music or search for the nearest drugstore using their voice, one can’t help but feel like this technology, which supposedly offers 97% accuracy, isn’t put to the best use.


Voice to text for Work and Productivity

With voice recognition technology on the rise, it will most likely be part of the workplace soon, on a worldwide scale. In fact, due to the current accuracy and efficiency it delivers, why shouldn’t it be? Wasteful processes in the workplace often come in the form of administrative tasks such as writing and sending emails, manually taking down meeting notes, transcriptions, data entry, and more. Most of which can be aided by using a voice-to-text service. A lot of the other repetitive tasks such as making Google searches, setting appointments, calling someone, and asking for one’s schedule, are also made faster, and hands-free.

Developers have long seen this need in the workplace, and have applied voice technology in productivity apps, or at least, allowed it to be integrated.

Writing

For writing and notes, some of the best applications include Speechnotes, which is a free online speech-to-text tool, and Dragon Professional Individual, which is popular for its 99% accuracy and use of AI. Google docs also has its own voice-to-text feature that is available for free, for all Google docs users. All you need to do is speak, and the application will type what you say.

Transcribing

Doing transcriptions manually is a pain, which is why apps like Just Press Record and Amazon Transcribe were made. Just Press Record is an app for iOS that looks like a normal mobile recorder with a red dot, but not only does it record, it also transcribes audio into editable text. This app is great for on-the-go meetings and personal audio memos. Amazon Transcribe, however, leans more towards the business side. It transcribes audio into text, automatically adds punctuation, does vocabulary editing, as well as time stamping, aided by deep learning technology, to deliver more accurate results.

Emailing

Both Mac and Windows have built-in speech recognition features that allow you to make emails through speaking. In Mac, a program called Dictation can be used by pressing the function key twice when it is activated. A similar feature, called Speech Recognition, which can be found in the Control panel, is also available for Windows. Regardless of the account or provider you use, all you have to do is enable these features when making emails.

According to research, speaking is seven times faster than typing. Because of this, utilizing voice-to-text software will undeniably help increase the speed of your workflow, all in all. One of the best ways to apply Voice to text technology at work is by using it for CRM.

CRM Data Entry

In the workplace, Customer Relationship Management(CRM) collates customer information, tracks interactions, and analyzes data, for a smoother sales process, and to increase customer retention. Many CRM softwares are available in the market, but one thing remains clear throughout: A company’s CRM is as good as the quality of the data fed into it, which is why the information must be accurate, and complete.

We all know this, but we also know that CRM’s number one problem is user adoption, due to tedious manual data entry. Imagine having to manually input data into your CRM every time you schedule a meeting or talk to a client. With this, problems like forgetting, and mistyping can arise. Instead of spending all that time typing down info, why not integrate voice-to-text technology instead?

Salesforce CRM initially launched a campaign for this called Einstein Voice, although the project was abandoned, it left a lot of potentially good implementations which we can utilize any CRM.

Automating CRM Data Entry using Speech Recognition

The integration of Speech recognition for CRM data entry is called Voice to CRM. With just a press of a button, it allows you to record meetings, and input data using speech. In general, the audio data gathered is parsed and entered into the correct fields in your CRM. It automates manual data entry and frees up time and effort for employees, and even sales reps. The goal is to eliminate manual data entry, increase user adoption, and create faster more efficient workflows.

A major concern with Voice to CRM however, is the quality and effectiveness of the Voice technology itself in delivering accurate data, and automatically placing it in the correct fields. Sure, it has that capability, but how can we guarantee that it does the job right, without any human intervention?

Hey DAN is a Voice to CRM enablement software that combines machine learning with human intelligence, to doubly ensure data quality. As the information is analyzed artificially, using voice recognition technology, it is backed by human support to ensure that the most accurate data is entered into the appropriate fields. With HeyDAN, people in the workplace can confidently enter data into their CRM using just their voice, increasing productivity, and delivering quality data, all at the same time.

Download the Hey DAN app and give it a try.

Deriving Better Insights from Meeting Notes Data

The main point of having a sales meeting is to talk about issues, ideas, and solutions, that all lead to the creation of an actionable plan for the company’s sales to improve. A sales meeting can also be done one-on-one with a client to pitch one’s product or service, as well as to discuss other things like pricing and product features. If not documented properly, these meetings are as good as making small talk around the coffee table. Deriving insights from sales meeting notes is the key to realizing a meeting’s purpose.

Why take notes during Sales Meetings?

Notes are important because they summarize the real meat of the meeting. Decisions agreed upon, top performers, sales forecasts, marketing strategies, product updates, needing to know these kinds of information is the reason why a meeting is done in the first place. It aims to make the sales process more efficient and increase revenue, so it makes sense to take note of them. When facing a client, it is also important to take note of their goals, and what they want from your product or service.

However, manually taking notes while the meeting is going on can pose a few problems, which can affect its overall interpretation.

Problems with Taking notes on Sales Meetings

 

  • It makes it harder to listen. Sometimes, you can be too focused on writing down notes that you forget to listen to the meeting, resulting in a lack of understanding. When it comes to sales meetings with clients, it is very important to be attentive and to interact with them, in order to win them over, which can be hard to do if you’re manually taking notes.
  • The difference between the speed of talking and writing makes it harder to catch up. On average, a person can write 25-45 words per minute, whereas the speed of talking is an average of 140 words per minute.
  • You don’t understand the notes you took. Due to the rush, and having to multitask between writing, listening, and giving your inputs, when you look back at them, sales meeting notes can look like messy scribbles on paper. Not understanding your own notes defeats its purpose.

 

All these issues lead to the loss of sales meeting notes data. Being unsure of what to do next due to incomprehensive notes can delay the carrying out of tasks, as well as the overall progress of your sales team. It can also lead to client dissatisfaction, if you don’t get the details right.

There are solutions such as preparing a predetermined format for better organization, writing in shortcut words, or even writing your notes when the meeting is over, to avoid the rush. However, these methods are still subject to errors. Perhaps writing or typing down notes manually is the problem.

The best hands-free solution is to record and transcribe the sales meeting using a Voice to CRM data entry solution. When it comes to accuracy and comprehensiveness, no handwritten notes can compare to a direct recording. This way, no sales data can slip away.

To understand why transcriptions have the best capability in helping you create complete, and better insights in making notes, one needs to know what makes up good meeting notes in the first place, and how to meet those needs.

Factors that contribute to the complete retention of accurate data in Sales Meeting notes

 

The Extensiveness of the Notes

Having more data about what was said in a sales meeting can create better insights with the right context. More information means more accurate interpretations. The completeness of one’s meeting notes ensures that no detail, however minor, is overlooked.

This is where transcriptions or recordings can come in handy. This does not mean that your notes should look like a transcription of the meeting, that would be impractical. However, since transcriptions include every single thing in the discussion, you have more information to work with, where you can extract the most valuable and comprehensive insights, without missing anything.

 

The Timeliness of the Notes

Studies have shown that writing down meeting notes on the same day as the meeting provides more complete and accurate information relative to notes done two or three days later. Notes written a few days after tend to be dependent on one’s memory, which can cause the information to be subjective or even incomplete. Taking notes during the meeting is still better. If this is the case, imagine taking them in real-time, recording the meeting, as it is going on. Nothing can be timelier.

 

The Format and Interpretation of the Notes

Gathering lots of data can be useless if not formatted and interpreted properly. Yes, as said earlier, having extensive and complete data is good to retain details, however, these need to be sorted out the right way in order to be usable, converted into viable action items. An entire transcription cannot serve as notes because the information is far too vast. Summarizing the most important points, while not missing any significant details, is the key to better interpretation.

 

What can we do to meet all these factors?

Having extensive, timely, and well-formatted sales meeting notes can be achieved by simply recording one’s sales meeting. Afterward, the transcription of the said recording can be used to format and extract important data. But then again, doing this can mean extra work, which might disincentivize you, or your company secretary/transcriber to record and transcribe each meeting. It takes time and an unpractical amount of extra effort to be done manually.

The solution is to outsource it to a data entry software, particularly, one with a Voice to CRM service. Utilizing a Voice to CRM software maximizes efficiency in deriving insights from sales meeting notes.

Firstly, a Voice to CRM data entry software wholly records everything from a meeting. During a call or meeting, there’s no more need to worry about spelling, or catching up with what’s being said, all you need to do is to speak and no detail is left behind. Secondly, it records the data in real-time, as the meeting goes on, and thirdly, depending on the type of Voice to CRM software, the actionable points and key details from the meeting are conveniently and automatically entered into the right CRM fields. The cleaning, summarizing, and formatting of the content are done by the software.

Other benefits include:

  • Sales Meeting notes are more accurate, timely, and complete
  • Automatic data entry
  • Reduces technical problems that come with manual note-taking
  • Less risk in the loss of data
  • Allows you to focus on the sales meetings themselves

This resource can be highly beneficial for almost all departments of your company, especially for your sales team, or for anyone who regularly faces clients. We can make use of this technology to take tedious manual data entry off of our hands, saving time and effort, all while reaping the benefits of having accurate data and better insights.

Top 5 Ways to Improve your CRM Adoption Strategy

The advantages of having a CRM are undeniable. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is capable of organizing loads of customer data, shortens the sales process, and drives productivity and sales up the roof. However, without a proper strategy, it can be very easy to fail. Nobody wants that, yet CRM adoption success rates are still very low. A survey by Merkle Inc. shows that 63% of CRM projects fail. The main difference between those who succeed and those who fail, is the presence of a solid CRM adoption strategy.

Each company may be different, but the most common fundamentals in successfully adopting a CRM remain. Here are a few guidelines to help you and your company create this solid strategy.

Transparency and Communication

A good CRM adoption strategy starts with good communication. There are many stakeholders in adopting a CRM program: we have the executives, the end-users, CRM developers, and even the CRM trainers. They are all part of the process, thus, having a successful CRM project requires a team effort. To achieve this the following need to be communicated to the entire team:

  • Why your company needs to start using a CRM program
  • How the CRM will fill in gaps and help improve the company
  • What having a CRM will demand from each person
  • The SMART(Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realisable, Time-bound) goals that your company is aiming for in using CRM

Make sure it is clear to everyone why the company is making the shift, as well as how it will happen. Before you decide to purchase a CRM(or even before you consider that your company needs one), ask your employees first. Communicate with them. Do they need this software? Do they have any current difficulties? What are their suggestions to improve the existing workflow? Involving others in the company is part of communication, which leads to the next guideline:

Active Involvement

As the primary adopters of the CRM, your users ought to be involved from the start. Let them know that their input is valued and that you’re not just ordering them to use new, unfamiliar software, to make their lives miserable. Users, and other stakeholders, will value the success of something that they feel they are involved in. They become invested. It raises their team spirit and it’s not just about following what the higher-ups said, it’s about making this a success together. Actively involving users in the decision-making processes, like choosing the right service, picking out needed features, and even using the CRM and giving feedback, etc. is a sure way to increase user adoption.

Lead by Example

The CEO and chairman of Merkle, Inc., David Williams, once said:

 

The most significant CRM initiatives are driven from the top, and this report will serve as a powerful reference guide for senior executives looking to get closer to their customers and achieve superior results.

 

CRM is not only for the average office employee, they are also for the executives, the managers, the supervisors, and anyone with significant authority. For it to truly become beneficial and produce results, it has to be used and adopted by the leaders as well.

First of all, CRM is not only a customer and lead management tool, it is also a database. A place to store all your customer’s information, including contacts, leads, and sales analytics. Imagine a user diligently trying to adopt the CRM program, only for their boss to ask for another contact list on a spreadsheet or a sales forecast on a word file? It beats the purpose of using the said CRM, demotivating the user to try in the first place.

Secondly, when leaders try to use and adopt the new software, it communicates to the company’s users that CRM is important enough that even the higher-ups are using them. Besides, it won’t hurt to learn the workings of CRM, as it can benefit almost everyone in the company, from taking notes and automating emails, to having better sales data.

Conduct Regular Training

In the CRM implementation stage, and even after, training is very important. No matter how techy your users or your company may seem, it will still be best for them to be trained and to understand the features, controls, and how to use the CRM software in general.

Set a schedule for training. This can be through a webinar, a live seminar, or through small team meetings. Have longer, and more frequent training sessions during the start. The beginning stages will be hard as people are resistant to change after all. Once the users have slowly warmed up to using the CRM, you can opt for less frequent sessions.

However, it is still important to continue training even if your company has been fully adopted. You want to make sure that the users are always fully equipped with knowledge of the latest features. These touch-up training sessions can be done quarterly, or even annually, depending on the need.

Another tip is to avail of any free CRM training materials. Some CRM providers offer free training guides, so make sure to take advantage of those. You can also opt to hire or outsource training to a CRM expert, this can be external, or someone from the CRM provider you are currently subscribed to.

Ensure the CRM’s Ease of Use

One of the biggest barriers to CRM adoption is the CRM’s ease of use. A study found that among users, 65% consider ”ease of use” to be a top priority in choosing a CRM service. It tells us that, to increase the rate of adoption, we need to make it easier for users to utilize the software.

One way to make it easier for users is to choose a CRM with simple, user-friendly features. One important feature nowadays is mobility. Choose a CRM with a mobile phone integration. With this, your users can access the CRM program using their mobile phones.

Another way to make it highly adoptable is by reducing manual data entry. Users don’t want to get caught up in administrative tasks such as these. With tons of data, it takes time and effort that should’ve been spent doing real productive work. The best way to eliminate manual data entry is by subscribing to a Voice to CRM solution. Users don’t have to navigate through tabs and menus, all they have to do is speak, and the data is entered, right where you need it. It automates the time-consuming task of typing etc. After all, speaking is faster and easier than typing.

Always remember that the goal here is to make it easier for your company, and therefore, your users, to adopt the CRM software, encourage them to make it a part of their daily workflow.

Total Recall

Looking back at what just happened in your sales meeting

If you run a company, or you are under one, meetings are always a given. Sales meetings are usually conducted 4-5 times a week, and each one takes an average of about one hour. On top of that, sales reps spend an average of 94.4 communicative daily activities such as sending emails, taking calls, leaving voicemails, and responding to social media. These activities generate communication and end up in about 14.1 meaningful conversations per day. Now, what does all of this data imply? It means that salespeople, or even leaders, get involved in a whirlwind of meetings every day.

Meetings are good for an organization’s development. It is a way for executives and managers to communicate objectives, motivate, and give updates. However, with so many meetings, interactions, and information day after day, it can be very hard to keep track and remember the things discussed, thus affecting work outcomes and the data entered into your company’s CRM. Meetings are only as good as what people do with the information communicated from them. The data is what counts.

total recall - sales meeting notes

From a Salesperson’s Perspective

Imagine a sales rep attending an internal sales meeting in the morning. They try to type in notes on their Macbook, and as the meeting goes on, from time to time they would say: “Sorry, I didn’t catch that, can you tell us again?” Later on, they take phone calls, go out and talk to clients, close sales, and discuss updates with their manager.

The sales rep gets home, opens their CRM, and realizes that they need to recall something from the meeting earlier. They check their notes, and it looks like a mess of words. When was the deadline again? Who were the contact persons? What task needs to be done tomorrow? After a busy day, the typical salesperson will forget at least 30% of what happens in a meeting, affecting data inputs and the retention of important information, thus affecting the quality of their CRM data entries.

Forgetting is Normal

Not being able to remember things 100% is normal. Neuroscientists say that because of the multiple sensory inputs your brain gets every second, it needs to forget unnecessary things to zone in, and let you focus. The same goes for memory.

According to the forgetting curve, after an hour, people generally forget 50% of the information, and this percentage gets bigger as more time passes by. The problem is that important information may be forgotten along with the others, but don’t beat up yourself, or your salespeople for forgetting things. It is simply our brain’s adaptive and evolutionary feature.

In short, it is very unlikely to be able to look back at what just happened in your sales meeting, and remember everything.

What we need to do is to find an efficient countermeasure, one that doesn’t have to rely on our memory or ability to recall, because as we all know, it’s not very reliable.

What are these countermeasures?

Taking notes manually

The classic “note-taking” has been around for many years. It may be manually writing down with pen and paper or typing on a keyboard. Generally, leaders encourage their employees to “take note”, but is this the best countermeasure to retain data?

In the context of a sales meeting, taking notes will not be enough to catch up with the information being presented. It has been proven that speaking is significantly faster than typing or writing on paper. Oftentimes the “Pardon me, can you repeat that?”, a sentence that seems to frequently arise during meetings, happens not because they couldn’t hear you, but because they are trying to take note of the information. Besides that, taking notes comes with the risk of not being able to listen, nor actively participate, which is the entire point of having a meeting in the first place.

Simply put, manual note-taking is possible, but if you want complete, accurate, and thorough data, it may not be the best solution for you and your team.

Recording the meeting

Recording the entire meeting is also an option, either a video or an audio recording would work. This is a great way of capturing an entire meeting, and everything that was said in it, ensuring the wholeness of information. The recording can also be used to create a transcription, which can be useful for reports or meeting minutes.

However, the problem with this is the filtering of important data. A recording is a raw and full capture of information, it’s not organized nor outlined to show the most important things. It may be complete, but it doesn’t highlight any meaningful data. If the meeting is 45 minutes long, then you’ll have to skim through a 45-minute long footage of the meeting, to look for a particular detail or information. This process is inefficient and will take even more time and effort.

Using Voice to CRM

At the end of the day, most of the data within a company will be stored in their respective Customer Relationship Management(CRM) software. This includes meeting notes and information. Employees and users will have to input data into the software for it to be useful because after all, a CRM runs on its data. When Salesforce conceived Einstein Voice, this was one of the things that they wanted to help sales people on. Although it did not came to actual fruition, companies like Hey DAN was able to catch on and started integrating Artificial Intelligence into their ever efficient next day crm data entry service.

With Voice to CRM, data capture is almost effortless. There’s no need for a 100% total recall of the meeting(it’s physically impossible to do anyway) because the meeting can simply be recorded and the software does all the work. All you need to do is press a button to record the audio of a meeting, and the Voice to CRM system will automatically enter the data in the appropriate CRM fields. No more transcribing, or filtering out data manually, or even type anything, the software does it for you.

Meeting notes have never been so accurate, and efficiently taken. Using a Voice to CRM is the best solution as it allows real-time recording for complete and accurate information, cleaning and filtering of the data gathered, as well as the automation of CRM data entry. This ensures the quality, effectiveness, and completeness of your sales meeting insights.

The Advantages of adopting a CRM for your Sales Team

Sales Departments dominate the CRM user population, as 80% of CRM users have stated. Yes, CRM can be used throughout all departments and teams, but the bulk of its impact and usability can be found in the Sales Team. This is due to the numerous advantages that busy salespeople can benefit from adopting a CRM system. CRM software such Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and SAP CRM play a big role in a lot of sales departments specially here in the United States.

Because the sales team is the ones who often interact with customers, it is important that all customer information be stored and organized, in a reliable centralized system. This information will be used to build more meaningful and personalized customer relationships. With this, CRM makes it easier to automate sales, show analytics, track leads, and altogether bring customer satisfaction.

Here are the top advantages of adopting a CRM software for your Sales team:

CRM adoption for your Sales Team

Manage Customer Communications and Interactions

A statistic provided by Software Advice shows that the top 3 most requested CRM features are:

  1. Contact management (88%)
  2. Tracking customer and internal interactions (80%)
  3. Scheduling or reminders (75%).

These are the basic functionalities of CRM that are considered to be the most important. Un-coincidentally, they are all related to customer communication and interaction.

When it comes to sales, strategically interacting with customers is imperative. Adopting a CRM software helps streamline that process by managing leads, recording calls, meetings, and client messages.

Tracking customer communication helps your sales team paint a better picture of the client, making your marketing strategy more effective. Having a convenient list of customers or prospects, their contact information, their interests, as well as previous interactions with your company, and many more, are extracted from these recorded interactions. It can even remind salespeople of their scheduled client meetings, improving customer experience overall.

With the data gathered from tracking customer communication, follow-ups can be automated, emails and ads are customized, and the entire sales cycle is improved.

Data is made Actionable

Data is an essential part of running a business, and it plays a key role in customizing a sales approach. However, it’s not enough to know which ads people click on or how many times a lead was converted. That huge amount of raw, unsorted data, might as well be useless until it is cleaned, sorted, and made actionable. That’s exactly what CRM does.

CRMs can organize, tabulate and visually present data automatically, reducing the amount of manual data entries and cleanups the sales team have to put up with. Most CRMs also have a Personalized Dashboard feature that enables individual end-users to track their progress. They provide deeper insights, and data that are laid out neatly, helping the sales team make more systematic and informed decisions that drive up sales.

Reduce Administrative tasks

One of the biggest benefits that a CRM can offer is its ability to shoulder time-consuming admin tasks. This includes filing paperwork, reports, data entry on spreadsheets, handling correspondence, calls, and emails, etc.

These activities are necessary, yet do not directly generate sales, and it is one of the major complaints of salespeople as it takes up a lot of their time. Sales reps are said to spend an average of 10.5 hours per week on administrative activities, which is almost equal to the amount of time they spend making sales.

When properly adopted, CRM can be a great tool to help Sales representatives focus on their main goal, which is selling. Making reports and paperwork are easier due to the actionable insights and metrics that a CRM provides. It also allows emails to be automated and calls to be recorded. Using a Voice to CRM solution would make data entry even more seamless. The user only needs to speak, and the recording and data input is properly taken care of, no more manual data entry needed.

Sales quotas are Achieved

It has been reported that more than half the population of salespeople don’t reach their sales quotas. However, a statistic from Innoppl showed that 65% of salespeople from companies that have enabled a mobile CRM solution, were able to reach their quotas. Whereas only 22% of the salespeople from companies who didn’t have mobile CRM, reached their quotas.

This is where the power of Mobile CRM comes in. Salespeople are always on the move, jumping from one meeting to the next, having quick and easy access to their CRM is the key. It shouldn’t be a burden, but rather, something that’s convenient to use. Having access to the company’s CRM on their phone will greatly improve the sales team’s performance.

Mobile CRMs help sales representatives be more effective because not only does it improve user adoption, it also creates better, and more accurate data. Instead of waiting to get home, or to get back to the office, to input data and meeting notes, having mobile CRM allows real-time data capture. It can also utilize Voice to CRM enablement to record calls and meetings, as well as input data in real-time, thus eliminating any chance of misinformation brought about by time and memory decay.

Lead Nurturing and Conversion

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, implying that it is a system that helps the company better understand its customers, have meaningful interactions, and build solid relationships with them that will result in better sales. But how?

The data needed in order to personalize a sales pitch, or to even know when to call, is powerful information stored in a CRM software. This data can be used to make your customers feel valued. Rather than focusing on profits and sales, being customer-centric creates lead retention, and after all, selling to existing customers is easier and more effective than looking for new prospects. These loyal customers can then become ambassadors, attesting to your company’s good customer service to their friends and family. Thus, more sales conversions will naturally come in.

Building a relationship takes effort and time, but having a CRM helps you do this more efficiently.

Bottom line: The sales team bridges the company to its customers, and for them to effectively do so, adopting a CRM is paramount.

  • It has been proven to increase the likelihood of reaching sales quotas.
  • Data is organized, cleaned, and handled more efficiently, with visual presentation.
  • It frees up administrative tasks and allows salespeople to focus on selling.
  • Overall, it creates better customer communication and relationships.

Next Day CRM Entries – What you are missing

CRM is often associated with customer management, retention, and lead conversions resulting in better sales. But in reality, these benefits are the results of behind-the-scenes processes anchored in data entry. After all, CRM is a data entry software that stores information in a centralized and reliable platform. However, when inputs are made the next day, data quality and quantity are being compromised, rendering the CRM system unable to operate to its fullest.

Data is a CRM’s lifeblood, for without any valuable input, it won’t be able to know customer preferences, demographics, and other information, much less in helping create solid customer relationships. This is why data quality and accuracy are fundamental if you want to get the most out of the “efficiency” that CRM offers. The best way to ensure quality and accurate data is to record it completely in real-time, not the next day, or any time after it. Here’s why:

Memory is not always Accurate

Unless you have an eidetic memory, oftentimes recalling details from memory is not very reliable. Mistakes and changes regarding facts may happen. This is why people take notes, it is to avoid inaccurate data. According to psychological research, there are 2 main theories of why people forget things.

Interference

According to the Interference Theory, it is harder to recall a specific thing if similar events, happenings, and retained information occurred in between, thus, these other memories interfere with one another.

Time

The Decay Theory of forgetting states that memory becomes less accurate over time. The more time passes between the event and the instance of recall, the more likely it is to be forgotten.

We know that generally, people in the office, may it be salespeople, executives, IT managers, or HR, do a lot of repetitive tasks daily such as sending emails, attending meetings, creating reports, and more. The same is true when it comes to their data entry: customer names, dates and deadlines, nationality, age, etc. Each field and each customer is unique, but due to large amounts of data and the similarities of each one, it is highly likely for memory interference to occur.

The adverse effects are amplified much more if all of these data are taken note of the next day. Typically, salespeople wait a day or more to jot down meeting notes and other things, however, the more that  time passes by, the more likely it is for the information to be inconsistent and inaccurate.

According to a short experiment done by Hey DAN, same-day notes have 100% data retention, while notes done after 1-2 days suffer a 33% deterioration of data. Note length continuously decreases as more days pass by, proving that next-day CRM entries do not deliver quality and accurate information. This window of error could affect a company’s growth, considering that information adds value, particularly when it comes to CRM.

However, this is not new knowledge. It is generally known that one must take notes during or right after you obtain the information, to retain the most accurate and complete data. Yet why do most employees wait until later to enter data into the CRM system? Let’s tackle it from the root of the problem.

Manual Data Entry is tiring

Most companies still adhere to the manual setup of data entry. A person may like it at the beginning because of the simplicity of the task, but let’s be honest, doing it repeatedly, every day, with large amounts of data, can be tedious and inefficient. With this kind of setup, it’s hard to blame CRM users for not entering data right then and there, especially for salespeople who want to focus on selling instead of doing admin work.

Real-time Manual Data entry can be discouraging for many reasons.

  • The CRM system is hard to access while on the go.
  • Typing in information can take time.
  • It keeps employees from generating more valuable and productive work.
  • It can be hard to catch up with the things being said and focus during a meeting.
  • Data entry fields can be confusing or difficult to find.

Moreover, Manual data entry can be costly for the company. According to the 1-10-100 rule by Joel E. Ross, error prevention will cost 1$, error correction will cost 10$ and unchecked errors, resulting in failure, will cost 100$. This concept reveals that it is always less costly to establish a way of avoiding errors at the very start of the process than to work on them down the line.

With manual data entry, errors and mishaps are to be expected which eventually leads to corrections, or if uncorrected, will lead to failure, both costing a lot more than prevention. This concept can give us insight into what we should prioritize when it comes to data entry, and that is error prevention. 

How do we prevent errors, and at the same time, achieve real-time, accurate information?

Solution: Automate Data Entry

Liberate your CRM users from the burden of administrative work by adopting technology that automates data entry. Regardless of their department or role, end-users can highly benefit from it, reducing time and effort spent, for fewer errors and less cost. It allows more space for employees to focus on giving real value and to use their skills and talents because after all, they have better things to do than manually encoding data.

Moreover, due to its convenience, data entry doesn’t have to be done the next day. It incentivizes users to record data in real-time. The information can easily be recorded on the same day, keeping the company away from any data loss or inaccuracies. Using high level CRM software such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, or SAP can be used at an optimum level given that data will be entered accurately and more timely.

With the right software, data capture and cleanup don’t have to be an issue. One of the best ways to do this is by subscribing to a Voice to CRM software that combines both technology and intelligence, ensuring that data is accurate and correctly placed. With just speaking, data can be effortlessly entered, with no need for the user to open tabs, or look for the right fields. It has everything you’ll need to create timely, same-day data inputs without having to worry about cleaning up the entries afterward. This way, data is captured not the next day or the day after that, but in real-time, when it is at its best.