Recently I have been getting a lot of questions about CRM, like what is a CRM, what does a CRM do? Why do I need a CRM? What is CRM used for? Why is CRM important for an organization? It made me realize that there are a lot of businesses out there confused about the CRM hype and the slew of promising stats in its favor such as a 29% average increase in Sales. These people want to adopt the CRM technology but at the same time, are still very confused about what CRM implementation actually does for their business.
Whether it’s a startup, a small venture, or an established enterprise, they’re all looking to improve their CRM strategy. Moreover, the use of CRM in the manufacturing industry, consumer industry, health care and financial industry are manifold.
But then there are also those who (to some extent) know what a CRM is and the promises that it holds. They usually wait on the fence for a long time before taking that last leap towards adopting a CRM. To address this very issue, the following post has been drafted. In fact, it will answer the proverbial question of “What business problems does a CRM solve?” and will make all the functionalities of a CRM clear to you. I shall present to you here, exactly what you can achieve by adopting a CRM.
Day to Day Tasks
1. Unorganized Database
Unorganized businesses don’t make a profit!
The first and foremost way a CRM will help your business is by keeping all your data organized on a single platform, avoiding silos. Get a 360-degree view of how to leverage your CRM for Sales, Marketing and Support.
2. Address Book Update
Gone are the days of manual update!
A CRM will automatically store and retrieve all your contacts whenever you need them.
3. Event Scheduling
Who has the time to do it manually?
Got an event pending for long? Simply schedule it from within your CRM. Let your clients and employees know about it by triggering automatic follow-ups.
4. Client Communication
Could it be more important?
One thing that is absolutely vital in this age of fierce competition is cultivating relationships with clients, and it has to be achieved through effective client communication. In fact, retaining an existing client is 6-7 times less expensive than securing a new one. With an effective CRM, you can call, message or email a client without having to switch between windows.
For example, Salesforce has been making waves with it’s highly robust solution for customer service as companies can leverage the Salesforce Customer Portal features to up their customer service.
5. To-Do Task List
Have a bad memory? Let a CRM serve you!
No more missing important tasks! The inbox of your e-mail is not an efficient place for you to keep track of your tasks. A CRM will show you a list as well as a detailed view of all the tasks that you needed to undertake and will even keep on reminding you to meet your deadlines.
6. Activity Documentation
Documentation is boring; let’s face it!
No one wants to undertake manual documentation anymore. Not only is it lethargic and monotonous, but also highly counterproductive. Your workforce could be spending the same time selling or servicing clients. A CRM will set your priorities straight.
7. Data Management
Back that data up!
A CRM will back your data constantly and most often on the cloud, so that you may access it anytime. Previously, your business would have taken a great hit if your hard drives or desktop based software got corrupted. All your data could have vanished and with that, to some extent, your business too.
Marketing and Sales
A remedy for your digital marketing muddles!
Using a CRM, you can personalize customer experiences by providing a consistent message across all marketing touch points. How is this done? By using a CRM with Marketing Automation, you can create a single view of each customer with information from all customer touch points.
You can leverage CRM integration with different marketing automation software to keep track of critical consumer metrics and run personalized marketing campaigns. One of the best options is utilizing CRM and Marketo integration to stay ahead of your competitors.
9. Content Sharing
Know it all from your CRM!
Content Marketing is the only form of marketing that is left, says Seth Godin. When using a third-party platform to publish your content, you can keep track of what content helped close the deal and at what time. Later, you can also use that information to substantially refine your content marketing.
Moreover, CRM Integration with your website can help turn the software solution into a complete content management system, similar to how Magento Extensions work.
10. Email Campaign Marketing
Why do it separately? Let’s integrate a CRM!
Email Marketing still has the highest ROI as a marketing tool for B2B efforts. Actually, it returns around $40 for each dollar spent as stated by Smallbiztrends.
11. Marketing and Sales on the Same Page
Every disagreement resolved before it occurs!
No rivalry is as evident in the business world than the one between the Marketing and Sales departments. Whenever a business faces decline, the teams are at each other’s’ throats and the blame game starts. This continues to happen, but only in companies that are not using a CRM. When the whole Sales funnel is in front of you and all the client interactions recorded, it’s the slackers that get caught.
12. Sales on the Go
Millennial are both buyers and sellers. Think you can escape Mobile?
With the advent of Cloud CRM, salespeople can deal with clients using their mobile phones and tablets. If they’re going to a meeting, they have all the up-to-date information on their devices and can see in real time what actions they need to take to close potential opportunities.
13. Forecasting Sales
CRM shows you a glimpse of the future!
Using the data gathered from all the marketing touch points, a CRM consolidates it and shows you the sales trends of the previous months and can also predict what your company’s future holds w.r.t. sales.
Good at your job? Reveal it!
Using a CRM, you can be sure that you get real-time reports from your data. Now, you would have easy access to answers to questions like: What did your sales reps do last week? What are the top sales opportunities for the month? Are we going to hit our sales target this quarter? Yes, you can show it all in the integrated analytics and custom-built reports in the CRM.
15. Define Workflows
We all forget the steps at times. Let’s not do that anymore!
You can describe to your CRM the steps you usually take to carry out a certain task. Then it becomes an intelligent manager and asks you to take those steps whenever a similar situation arises. This feature makes sure that nothing is missed.
16. Work from Home
Cloud-based CRMs have made everybody’s lives easier. When at home, you can easily check that last update on the deal you’ve been working so hard on. Just log into your CRM and you’re all set. A few years back in time, you might have had to go to your office and log into your ERP system to be able to access that data.
17. Social Insights
Social CRM is the next big thing!
The customers of every business are today present on social media. Where companies have lost the power to start conversations about their brands, they can now participate in the ongoing conversations surrounding their brand. Social Analytics, when combined with a CRM, allow businesses to analyze what the consumers are demanding and how the company can ensure a good brand presence.
18. Define the Customer Journey
Know the exact steps you need to take to close the deal.
Every customer goes through several stages before buying a product/service. Without a CRM, a salesperson has to manually analyze which stage an opportunity lies in. A CRM on the other hand, will automatically define a plan of action and aid the salesperson by notifying the exact steps he can take to close the deal.
19. Marketing Automation
There are several reasons to integrate Marketing Automation with your CRM. Marketing Automation platforms like Act-on, Hubspot, Marketo, etc. let your business market on multiple channels including social media, email and your website. Also, they allow you to automate the repetitive tasks and nurture leads with highly personalized content. This is Hubspot’s Marketing Automation methodology.
20. Lead Nurturing
Dead leads can come to life!
An intelligent CRM can spot upcoming leads that have the potential to become customers. Whether your leads come from email marketing, business cards or website, CRM lets you nurture them with targeted content and provides you with the exact steps which you need to take in order to nurture the leads. For example, a CRM will let you know when it’s time to send a quote or call the lead or simply send a personalized e-mail offering a discount on your product/service. Not just this, you can also integrate CRM with LinkedIn Sales Navigator to improve lead capturing, leverage mutual connections and skyrocket your sales.
21. Customer Service
Exceptional Customer Service helps in up-selling!
Customers today want to be responded to within a maximum of 2 hours after lodging a complaint. Responding to all requests manually becomes next to impossible. The CRM, on the other hand, is a great tool for customer service. It lets customer service departments manage all the complaints within the CRM and trigger emails whenever there is an update on a customer’s complaint or service request. This reduces the response time and, as a result, your business is able to achieve high client retention. Additionally, you can also leverage CRM integration with cloud communication platforms to remove any bottlenecks in communications.
On a Strategic Level
22. Insights from Your Data
Big data is useless; you need smart data!
Following the millennium, the greatest challenge for companies has been to extract and gather vast customer data. Now, that all data is here and stored in their systems, the biggest challenge has become seeing useful customer insights from that data. In order to do this, CRM vendors are now on a journey to make CRMs more and more intelligent. Therefore, the future of Big Data insights lies within CRMs.
23. Analyze Sales Pipeline
Visualize to get better!
It is very important to visualize your Sales Funnel in order to know how you can turn leads, opportunities or contacts into profitable sales. A CRM will guide you towards the exact stage where you have to put in more effort for the closure of deals. For example, if many prospects are stuck at the lead stage, you can target them with nurturing content to move them further down the funnel towards closing the deal.
24. Analyze Business Sources
Tracking a few customers and their sources is easy but, on a larger scale, it gets very difficult to keep track of the sources from which you get the most business. On a strategic level, you need to get insights into the channel which gets you the most customers. It can be email marketing, a retail distribution channel or even social media. With CRM, these insights are visible to you and you can take strategic decisions to invest in some channels more than the others.
25. Defining Your Scope
CRM helps you decide on future investment opportunities.
When you have a 360-degree view of your clients and how they contribute to your business, you can identify the market segments which are your cash-cows. You can cross-sell and up-sell to them or invest in the content specifically targeted to the desired segment.
Is your team on a unified platform?
The alignment between different departments at your business is essential for the overall augmented performance of your organization. CRM lets everyone perform and record their tasks on a single platform, be it sales, marketing or support. And this helps combine their efforts to give clients a great experience.
27. Saves Time
Time is money. Why not save it?
Gone are the days of repetitive data entry or double work. Since every task within the CRM is automated to some extent, it lets you save a lot of time by performing tasks on its own. Imagine the time spent on meetings, reporting and customer information entry that is now saved. You and your workforce can now spend your time on much more productive tasks.
28. Workforce Efficiency
Every lazy guy likes gadgets. CRM is one!
There are high performers and then there are slackers in every organization. A CRM is that gadget which motivates each and every individual in the business organization to work as he can get the task done with half the amount of effort than he would have without a CRM. Now, if you are using SugarCRM, simply go for a free SugarCRM plugin called RT Stiki Notes that will help better organize and boost productivity.
If the activity isn’t in the CRM system, it never happened.
Every company needs to treat its CRM as the only repository for tasks carried out by its team. If anyone has taken a step, it is revealed in the CRM and helps the higher management know what is being done. On the employees’ part, it is helpful because they don’t have to constantly report each activity and, on the management’s part, it becomes visible what is being done and how.
30. Let’s You Worry Less
Nothing is forgotten; nothing gets left out!
At the very least, a CRM that is tailored to your exact needs and processes can let you worry less about your business and focus more on your business. There is a reason that Gartner forecasts an ever-increasing trend of investment in the CRM sphere as more and more businesses want to adopt it and give their customers an incredible experience.
That’s a Wrap!
I have covered some of the most common problems that businesses face, and how CRM helps in solving them. In summary, there is much more to the CRM than meets the eye. Although a CRM is, in simple terms, a mere customer database, however, it can get more done than what most people know. How many of the problems explored above does your business face? How do you use your CRM? Is your CRM capable of performing any additional functions? Let me know here!
Rolustech is a SugarCRM and Salesforce Partner firm with a team of award-winning CRM developers taking pride in successfully implementing Sugar and Salesforce for a total of more than 700 firms worldwide. Get in touch for a FREE Business Analysis. We will be glad to assist you!