6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs CRM
We operate within a global economy that buys, sells and communicates in countless ways. Our competitors are everywhere and the barriers of market entry are low, increasing competitive intensity. Commoditization is happening with breathtaking speed. Happy customers tell the world… and so do the unhappy ones. Companies and careers rise and fall through Twitter, Yelp, and LinkedIn.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process of tracking and analyzing all of the interactions you have with your customers and prospects. CRM software is a tool that centralizes, simplifies, secures, and scales our customer engagement. So what’s in it for you?
Reason #1: A Forward View of Your Business
In the context of your ERP or financial systems, one could consider CRM as a “future view” into your revenue stream as opposed to a “historical view” of revenue. CRM is also a future view into trends and events that will be leading indicators of your revenue and profit metrics.
The CEO and CFO will use CRM dashboards to monitor these leading indicators. They may look for changes to lead generation, opportunity creation, or pipeline value to spot early indicators of future problems to the top-line. This will enable a pro-active approach to managing the business.
A Sales leader will have a more granular view. They will need to see the activities of individual salespeople or teams and trace problems that may be affecting revenue such as territory coverage, customer calling activity, lead conversion rates, and opportunity close rates.
A Marketing leader will need to trace marketing activities and campaigns and adjust the marketing plan according to the success or failure of those activities.
A Customer Service leader will need to see which of their people is most efficient at closing cases, be alerted to cases that exceed the expected time to close, and monitor escalations.
A Product Manager needs to monitor Cases to understand any product defect, support trends, or feature requests that may lead to improved products and services.
Reason #2: Growing Your Business
Prospecting is not just a salesperson activity – it is a collection of manual and automated activities across multiple channels that result in a lead or opportunity. You may use CRM to acquire leads from your website, from email campaigns, bring them in from seminars, webinars, conferences, or trade-shows and send the leads directly to your salespeople. You can assign leads to reps immediately in order to catch the customer while your business is still top-of-mind.
You may use the CRM to direct salespeople to cross-selling or up-selling activities. You may use the CRM to identify new product or market opportunities. You may use CRM to simply improve the calling efficiency of your Sales organization so that they can increase top-of-funnel opportunity creation. Increasingly, successful companies have turned to inbound marketing, which is the use of your website and search optimization combined with a content curriculum to nurture customers from suspects to qualified prospects.
Reason 3: Replicating Best Practices
You will undoubtedly have some ideas about how you want to engage your customers. You will probably want to ensure that you are delivering a consistent high-quality customer experience.
CRM systems can be used to embed your best sales or customer service processes that will guide your people through every customer interaction. Templates can be created and used to guide your people through complex processes. Workflow automation can be used to automate activities to ensure best practices are followed while reducing the administrative overhead of managing the CRM.
Reason #4: Doing More with Less
Frequently, our customers say that a major reason for buying their CRM is that they believe they are dropping the ball with customers. We had two customers from two entirely different industries this past week state their problem in exactly the same way: 80% of their customers come from 20% of their business which they know extremely well. However, they have no clue what the other 80% of their customers are doing and they think that there are opportunities for growth. Many organizations want to find efficient ways to access the business in the “long tail” of their markets. Through marketing automation and CRM can make it possible to prospect in the long tail that would otherwise be too inefficient for your organization’s resources.
Your people’s ability to juggle an ever-increasing number of tasks, opportunities, cases, communications, and information is in jeopardy without the right tools. CRM is key to helping them manage their complex world without dropping the ball.
Reason #5: Risk Management
One customer related a story of a sales rep who left and after the new rep took over, they found numerous examples of customers who had never been contacted. I’ve seen many situations where sudden account turnover results in dropped deals that caused missed sales targets and dissatisfied prospects that simply went elsewhere.
When we have sales rep or customer service turnover, it literally takes a few minutes to use a global edit reassignment task and territory management functions to shift accounts and opportunities to different sales or support reps. This enables us to provide seamless transfer of responsibilities without dropping the ball.
We have another customer that has been to court over a case where a former employee downloaded their customer list and took it with them. CRM can help track those events and provide an audit trail to make it easier to control sensitive information.
Reason #6: Customer Intimacy
Customer intimacy is the act of tailoring your products, services, and even your customer engagement processes to fit a customer’s business or industry. For many companies, particularly small and mid-size enterprises, this is an effective way to compete in an ever-crowded competitive landscape that is difficult for larger enterprises to duplicate at scale.
CRM can capture detailed information about your customers and their behaviors and enable targeted marketing, product development, and sales activities. It can enable you to create the illusion of the personal touch with every interaction. Look at it this way: do you really think your dentist remembers your birthday, or do you think they have software that tells them that? Do you think it’s a co-incidence that Google’s ads show you things that are related to your interest or do you think they have software that does that? CRM can provide customers with the impression that you understand their needs and preferences – in a scalable way to allow you to remember these things for thousands of customers at any given time.
Why Your Business Needs a CRM
You need CRM to make your business more efficient and increase your revenue per employee. You need CRM to create repeatable successful processes. You need a CRM because we (and your competitors) are looking for competitive advantage in a multi-channel customer environment. You need to capture the interest of customers that are increasingly sophisticated and are ignoring the old methods we used to market and sell to them. You need a CRM to look into your near future and be predictive of your revenue. You need CRM to mitigate the risk and costs of staff turnover. You need CRM to engage in a cycle of continuous improvement. You need CRM for your business to survive.