Bill Gates once said that “How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose.”
Living in the information age like we do today, the above statement couldn’t be more true.
By serving as a central place for all client interaction and data storage, a CRM can help businesses boost efficiency, grow, improve customer relationships, and forecast accurately.
What is CRM?
Simply put, CRM is a “Customer Relationship Management” software.
CRMs are usually used by different departments within all types of organisations, such as Sales, Marketing, Operations, and others; and so, the acronym would mean a lot of things to different people.
However, all CRMs have the same purpose; to store and manage customer information, and to present this critical information in a simplified manner which helps key stakeholders get a more holistic understanding of their customers.
Knowing their customers better improve the interactions and relationships between the business and customers - ultimately retaining them and growing the business.
With that in mind...
How can you tell if you need a CRM?
1. Centralised and quick access to customer information
With a CRM in place, you would not only have centralised and quick access to your customer information such as their contact information, their past interactions and transactions, their buyer preferences, and much more.
You would also have the ability to reach out to them, set up meetings with them, make notes about them, manage leads, send proposals and presentations to them, schedule follow-ups with them, forecast sales, or even automate repetitive tasks by creating workflows on the system.
2. Your data is stored in multiple sources
The lack of transparent and quality customer data that is stored and displayed in a single location puts your employees and salespeople at a disadvantage and wastes precious time.
With a CRM, you can say goodbye to storing data on notepads, google docs or excel spreadsheets; and you can start saying hello to holistic views of every customer's contact information, purchase history, and interactions with your employees.
3. There are little to no interaction insights
You have no clear or thorough insights into how your salespeople are interacting with clients and what is being said.
This affects levels of productivity and impedes your ability to assist them to do better or hold them accountable. This leaves too much room for error.
4. Sharing reports is a nightmare
When it comes to reporting you often have to gather information from different sources or do the work manually in order to get the necessary information about your team’s progress.
5. Your data isn’t available remotely and on mobile
Sales reps usually work out of the office consulting with potential clients and gathering crucial new information.
Without a CRM, the info they gather is not updated in real-time, and they often end up not updating crucial details which can help the company perform better or make better decisions regarding clients.
6. You have a high rate of lost resale/up-sell opportunities
You are not categorising clients according to the value they bring to the business, and as a result, your messaging and offers are blanketed and not specifically tailored to the different types of clients or prospects your business has based on the various stages of the buyer cycle they may be on, their industry or even location.
7. Your business lacks a quick scalability plan
Every business wants to grow and reach new frontiers; but will your business processes, at this stage, be able to scale up and remain as productive should your business grow and your workforce increase drastically within a short period of time? CRM helps you resolve these issues with efficiency and ease.
How Will a CRM Improve My Company Productivity Levels?
As the old adage goes, “Time is money”; so if you waste time, you are essentially wasting money, and there’s not a single company that enjoys losing or wasting money.
Think about it this way; say you have a team of 100 employees who each cost you $100 per hour, and they each spend at least 5 hours per week on administrative work that has no impact on your bottom line, which equates to $50000 worth of time spent on non-profitable work which could have been avoided if your company had CRM, every week.
A CRM System can improve your productivity in the following ways:
8. Is my pipeline management on point?
By ensuring that all relevant information is available at each interaction; a CRM system can assist you with overseeing and forecasting future sales in various stages, and minimises common issues such as lack of information on clients or prospects before contacting them, or inability to direct leads to the relevant sales rep.
9. Could we do with some more sales time?
Being mobile-ready, automating repetitive tasks, and presenting all relevant customer info on one view, CRM software cuts out all the time wasted due to ineffective and inefficient business practices; freeing up time for salespeople to focus on more profitable tasks.
10. When last did we interact with client/prospect X? We're not sure.
The AI technology which powers CRM systems coupled with the power of Cloud, analytics, and data has transformed the ways in which businesses and salespeople interact with clients.
CRM’s ability to capture data automatically gives businesses the ability to access data such as Client’s:
- Client History & Preferences
- Client Transactional History
- Client Infrastructure Data
- Client Social Media and more.
CRM features create invaluable opportunities for sales representatives in any business.
Tips To Crafting A CRM Strategy
- Define your business strategic vision and goals, and then decide on how you want the CRM to contribute to the success of your business
- Align your business objectives to the day to day work and use the CRM to improve on process inefficiencies.
- Get the buy-in of all company executives to ensure a successful transition
- Set KPI’s and ensure relevant dashboards are created & visible for all levels of the organisation.
- Decide what’s most important and ensure that every team member has adequate training to use the new CRM.
- Decide on a CRM rollout plan and gradually add on new capabilities, features, and enhancements which are necessary for the business.
Best Practices For Maximising Your CRM ROI
- Choose a Cloud-Based CRM solution so you do not have to deal with things such as server or software issues amongst other things.
- Integrate your CRM to apps that add value to your clients and business such as accounting software, marketing automation, or social tools.
- Integrate your CRM to mobile so mobile workers can remain up to date and work as efficiently whether in or out of the office.
- Use CRM data to qualify leads for the sales department and determine the success of marketing campaigns.
- Constantly use CRM reports to make better informed decisions.
- Use CRM to connect and build growing relationships with customers.
In today’s age, where business & technology cannot be separated, it’s not enough to have a lot of customer information if you can’t easily access or utilise the information to its fullest potential.
It is for this reason that any company that is serious about building, maximising, and maintaining fruitful relationships with its customers cannot afford to do without a reliable CRM.
Customer Relationship Management systems are some of the best ways of keeping customers first and streamlining business processes and people in one platform.