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CRM: What is it, and do I need it?

Hardware and Software Savings With CSC

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HP dx9000 Touchsmart Business PC

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CRM: What is it and do I need it?

As a small business, you may be bombarded with a torrent of market noise regarding the latest and greatest in customer relationship management (CRM) software. You will hear each vendor boasting about infinite features and benefits that differentiate themselves from one another. This makes it increasingly difficult to decide which CRM one is best for your business. Until now, your business might have been comfortable using a combination of Outlook and Excel to fulfill most of the basic CRM needs, and in all honestly, that would have been more than sufficient to start with. 

Like a ship entering into uncharted waters to reach a destination, you want to make sure that you have the right crew, procedures, and equipment in place to navigate the unknown of the open ocean. This article attempts to address certain questions. Do I need a CRM? What do I look for? Is it worth it for a small business?

The term CRM was originally coined from the high-end enterprise market. However, the benefits of a CRM system are palpable in industries of all sizes. The concept is simple and is defined in all marketing books. Technology tools may be new, but the underpinning idea of a CRM application has remained throughout the ages. An entrepreneur explained it to me the other day describing his business model, "Customers will buy from you through experience you provide them, make the experience as pleasurable as possible and they will keep coming back". Managing this customer experience at all touch points is the core function of a CRM system.

The fundamentals in adopting a CRM system are irrespective of company size. Before selecting any CRM vendor or even deciding if a CRM if even right for your business, have a deep look inside the company and its overall business strategy. Take an inside-out approach, do a reality check of where your business is, where you want to take it, and how you want to get there. During this analysis take into account your industry, competitors, customer segments, and economic environment when formulating a strategy. What you might discover is that your self-image is very different from how your potential customers perceive you. A thorough understanding of your corporate strategy will then dictate your marketing strategy moving forward. Here you decide on what are your marketing objectives: is it to enter new segments? Is it to change your position on the customer perceptual map? Or is it to increase repeat business? Once you have carefully considered all your strategic alternatives and decided which one to adopt, flesh out individual tactical steps, milestones, and measures on how to achieve the overall goal. The features you will require out of a CRM system will naturally fall out of this rigorous process and bubble to the surface. These are the functional features which form the basis of the selection criteria when short listing which CRM vendor to choose.

Keep in mind that no software will ever be the single sliver bullet. There is no CRM that will make your sales reps sell more if they are the wrong people, nothing will make your support reps more proactive if there are no incentives in place to drive them, and it is impossible to eliminate customer churn if your product or processes are fundamentally flawed in the first place. All this change has to come from within and stem from your overall strategic objective. It is important to note that from experience, most CRM or software failures have little to do with the technology itself, but more the human problems. Enabling the key stakeholders and end-users to participate is the planning and selection process will help avoid this perilous fate. The more involvement the stakeholders play in defining and refining the requirements, the more efficient the selection process will be, and the more ownership your people will ultimately take of the solution. It is key to remember that a CRM, if selected for the right reasons, will provide support fabric and help facilitate the tactics to reach your overall strategic objectives.


Relating it back to the ship analogy, when navigating uncharted waters, make sure you have the right crew on deck, collectively decide where you want to go, have the right procedures in place, and then identify the right equipment for your journey. The CRM should take part in the latter part of this process. Rushing this process will see your investment turn to dust, while thoughtful planning and analysis will help ensure that aligning the right CRM system to your overall strategy will be worthwhile for years to come.  

To further discuss if CRM is right for your organization, contact Todd Lydic (CSC Public Sector Account Executive) or Brian Dwyer (CSC Business Account Executive)

 


Hardware and Software Savings With CSC
Save time and money by letting CSC match you with the best hardware to meet your needs while taking advantage of our specialized pricing. 

Operating an organization can be very hectic, and CSC knows how important your time is.  Researching hardware and software to find the best fit for your company can be a time consuming and complicated process.  Computer Site Columbus can match your business needs and budget with the proper hardware and software to ensure you get the appropriate technology to run your organization smoothly. 

You can also take advantage of our special savings through our partners such as Microsoft, HP, and Apple, as well as frequent promotions that add extra savings for you.

For More information please contact Todd Lydic (CSC Public Sector Account Executive) or Brian Dwyer (CSC Business Account Executive)


Hosted Services from CSC
CSC has hosting services as a cost effective solution for your web, email, and spam filtering needs. Our state of the art data center and team of knowledgeable engineers allow us to deliver reliable service with a focus on customer satisfaction. Our current line of hosting products includes the following:

Exchange Hosting:
  • Full Outlook 2007 Access
  • Outlook Web Access (OWA)
  • Managed Security
  • Daily Backups
Advanced Spam Filtering:
  • Anti-spam
  • Anti-phishing
  • Anti-virus & Time-Zero technology
  • Zombie detection
  • Automatic updating
Mobile Messaging
  • Complete real-time wireless synchronization without the use of a cradle
  • Industry standards work across platforms and devices
  • Messaging Server works on any carrier world-wide
  • Wirelessly synchronize your e-mail, calendar, contacts, notes, tasks, public folders and the Global Address List (GAL)
  • End-to-End security and Encryption
  • Multi-tasking between applications
  • Constantly updated so you are always up-to-date with your information
Web Hosting:
  • Web Site
  • FTP access
  • PHP, Perl, MySql, ASP
  • Managed Security
Online Backup
  • Secure backups without the need for end user interaction
  • 24x7 availability – you will be able to access your data from any location with an Internet connection
  • Support for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
  • Local CSC Support
  • Confidential & Encrypted
SharePoint Services Hosting
  • Windows SharePoint Services allows you to create Web sites for information sharing and document collaboration, to increase your individual and team productivity.
  • Online real-time collaboration
  • Shared Calendars, tasks, and discussions
  • Shared Document workflow
  • Easy to use web interface takes the place of cumbersome FTP servers for file transfer

For More information please contact Todd Lydic (CSC Public Sector Account Executive) or Brian Dwyer (CSC Business Account Executive)



Featured Product
The HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC

HP recently unveiled an all in touch enabled desktop PC especially for business users called the HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC. The one of a kind device uses interactive technology that can alter the end-customer experience of a business by enabling functions like connection, selection, interaction with vendors and each other.

The novel TouchSmart business PC boasts of a robust Intel Core2 Duo processor, a 320 GB high-speed hard drive Preloaded with Windows Vista Business. The PC also allows user to enjoy video conferences, access e-mail and internet and also manage calendar, photos, contacts, images and much more without its wireless keyboard and mouse.

The HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC is expected to be available in North America in February at a starting U.S. street price of $1,399.

For More information please contact Todd Lydic (CSC Public Sector Account Executive) or Brian Dwyer (CSC Business Account Executive)




CSClient Profile

Sugardaddy's Sumptuous Sweeties

Award-winning Sugardaddy's Sumptuous Sweeties®, Purveyors of The Edgeless Brownie®, has redefined the cozy, American classic brownie into a truly luxury dessert indulgence, gifting, and special occasion experience. Sugardaddy's has extended its fresh-baked luxe brownie and blondies line with Sugardaddy's Brownie Biscotti, Brownie Truffles, Brownie Cheese Cakes, Brownie Cakes, and Brownie Trifles. Each and every order is hand-made to the customer's specifications; then hand-cut, hand-packaged, and hand-delivered to ensure the perfect presentation. Equally impressive is that gift-givers can have their gifts “their way” by customizing the flavors and the packaging. Personalized monogramming is also available with Sugardaddy's Signature Silk Collection and Sugardaddy's Personalized Petite Totes.

Sugardaddy's has been named "Best of the Best" by Food Network and crowned winners of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. In addition, Sugardaddy's has been named "Best Gift" by Instyle, Suite 101.com, FreshTrend.com, StyleBakery.com, BellyduJour.com, and About.com. Sugardaddy's has been selected as "Editor's Pick" by Chocolatier, Food 411, The Nibble.com, Instyle, Midwest Living, Woman's Day, Instinct, and Vive. Sugardaddy's has appeared on such shows as Ellen, The Rachael Ray Show, and Queer Eye and has been featured by The French Culinary Institute's PastyScoop.com, The Gilded Fork, ABC 9 Bridge Street, and NBC 4 Today/Midday.

"CSC has helped us run and grow our business by meeting our computer support needs.  CSC allows us to focus on what we do best by outsourcing our computer support needs.  When there is an issue, we call CSC--our issues are always resolved in a timely and complete way."

Sugardaddy's Sumptuous Sweeties
www.sugardaddys.com

For more information, call
1-888-449-2681



CSC is Growing

CSC is looking for qualified engineers to join our CSC Networks Services Group.  For more information please click here.



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