CRM platforms are already firmly ensconced within the sales technology and strategies of most small and midsized businesses. Sales teams have been using their CRMs for basic, day-to-day-functions -- such as managing customer information and tracking purchase history -- for decades. In that time, CRMs have faithfully served as a place to store data, log notes, and manage contacts.
But while sales reps have long been using the platform’s core features, most aren’t getting as much out of their CRMs as they could be. Even more concerning, some businesses could be using the wrong CRM altogether.
Technology is helping CRM platforms become more sophisticated, and in order for businesses to remain competitive, they must keep pace with their new and emerging capabilities.
They can do so by utilizing the following features:
Work faster with voice activation
Voice-activated technology is reshaping the consumer universe. Though it was once cast aside as a trendy novelty feature, voice is now serving as an invaluable tool in the CRM space. The technology acts as a virtual assistant that helps sales and customer service teams access important customer data with a simple voice command.
This technology is crucial in the fast-paced and time-sensitive sales world, where a timely response to a customer inquiry can make or break a sale.
If you’re still hesitant to embrace voice-activated technology, consider this: by 2020, about 50 percent of searches will be voice searches. And even if you don’t capitalize on this revolutionary technology, your competitors will.
The power of predictive technology
Consider it a Magic 8 ball that actually works – predictive technology helps sales teams determine their next best moves. It maps out sales sequencing, customer behaviors, and buying trends.
Predictive analytics in a CRM benefit sales teams in a number of ways. The technology helps reps make educated predictions – thus minimizing risks – on which products to promote and which customers to target. Furthermore, it allows businesses to create more successful marketing campaigns through tailored content.
The number of businesses adopting predictive technology is fast growing; the global predictive analytics market is expected to reach $14.95 billion by 2023. It’s is a powerful tool, and one small and midsized businesses should utilize to position themselves for future success.
Track interactions with ease
You’re probably already using CRM to track customer interactions, and might think you’re up to speed on that front. But even if you’re using the platform as a tracking tool, you may not be taking the function as far as you could be.
CRMs can – and should – be used to log multiple elements of the customer experience. You should be using it to record response times, monitor retention rates and analyze buying patterns.
Customer interactions are incredibly valuable, and the more effectively sales teams track them, the more likely they are to forge strong relationships.
Go mobile or go home
CRM platforms have been offering mobile capabilities for the past decade, and most sales teams are already utilizing their platform’s on-the-go powers.
But just as you’ve ditched that Nokia flip phone, we hope you’ve become more sophisticated with your mobile CRM strategy, too. Today, the right mobile CRM solution is streamlined to make it easy for users to find the information they need remotely.
The latest cloud and mobile CRM technologies feature a user-friendly design that gives sales reps instant access to their most important data, even when they’re oceans away from the office. And as you probably already know, a business’s ability to instantly address customer needs puts it in a prime position to make a sale.
Mobile CRM advancements are paying off. Research from Innoppl Technologies reveals that about 65 percent of sales reps who’ve adopted mobile CRM are achieving their sales goals; conversely, just 22 percent of reps using non-mobile CRM met those same targets.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an issue small businesses can’t afford to ignore. The legislation, which took effect May 25, requires all businesses with customers in the EU to comply with a complex and exhaustive set of data laws.
Becoming – and remaining -- GDPR compliant can be challenging for resource-stretched small businesses. Fortunately, the right CRM can be of great assistance.
Businesses can use their CRM to keep tabs on its customers’ privacy preferences, and to monitor how employees are using customer data. The right CRM can also restrict access for specific users to ensure employees only have access to data that’s relevant to their roles.
A recent study revealed that only about half of surveyed businesses expected to be GDPR compliant by the deadline. If you’re among the many small businesses struggling to meet the new requirements, turn to your CRM for a little help.
Technology is continuing to reshape how businesses approach cultivating strong customer relationships. Sales reps must embrace these technological advancements to remain relevant in this competitive and ever-changing landscape. Embracing the latest features of your business’s CRM platform is a great way to do just that.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.