30 Business Problems a CRM Solves
By Amer Wilson
So recently I have been getting a lot of questions like what does a CRM do? Why do I need a CRM? What is CRM used for? Why is CRM important for an organization? I personally felt that there are a lot of businesses out there who are wondering about all the hype surrounding CRM especially the promising stats like it increases Sales by 29% on average. These people want to adopt the CRM technology but at the same time, are still very confused about what a CRM implementation will actually do for their business. Be it a startup, a small sized venture or an established enterprise; they’re all looking to improve their CRM strategy.
Then there are those who know (to some extent) what a CRM is and the promises it holds. They usually wait on the fence for a long time to take that last leap towards adopting a CRM. To address this issue, the following post has been drafted. In fact, I will answer only one question “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?
A) 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; be it Sales, Marketing or Customer Support.
2. Updating Address Book
Gone are the days of manual updating
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, 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 switching between windows.
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 even keep on reminding you to meet your deadlines.
6. Documenting Activities
Documentation is boring; let’s face it!
No one wants to undertake manual documentations 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 out.
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 took a great hit if your hard drives or desktop based software got corrupted. All your data vanished and with that to some extent your business too.
B) Marketing and Sales
A remedy for your digital marketing muddles!
Using a CRM, you can personalize every customer experience by providing a consistent message across all marketing touchpoints. 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 touchpoints.
9. Content Sharing
Know it all from your CRM!
Content Marketing is the only form of marketing that is left, says Seth Godin. When you use any 3rd party platform to publish your content, you can keep track of what content at what time helped close the deal. And later, you can use that information to substantially refine your content marketing.
Moreover, integrating CRM with your website can help turn it into a complete content management system.
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. Bring your 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 marketing and sales. Whenever a business faces decline, the teams are at each other’s’ throats and the blame game begins. 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
Millennials are both buyers and sellers. Think you can escape Mobile?
With the advent of cloud CRM, Salespeople can deal with the clients using their mobiles and tablets. If they’re going to a meeting, they have all the updated 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 for 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 make 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 and custom-built reports in the CRM.
15. Define Workflows
We all forget 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 are all set. A few years back in time, you might have had to go to your office and log into your ERP system.
17. Social Insights
Social CRMs is the next big thing!
The customers of every business are today present on the 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 allows businesses to analyze what the consumers are demanding and how the company can ensure a good brand presence.
18. Define 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 Sales Rep 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 Sales reps by notifying the exact steps they can take to close the deal.
19. Marketing Automation
There are several reasons to integrate Marketing Automation within your CRM. Marketing Automation platforms like Act-on, Hubspot, Marketo etc. lets your business market on multiple channels including social media, email and your website. Also, it will allow you to automate the repetitive tasks and nurture leads with highly personalized content.
This is how the 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 a customer. 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/ services.
C) Customer Service
21. Customer service
Exceptional Customer Service helps in up-selling!
Customers today want to be responded within a maximum of 2 hours after lodging a complaint. To respond to all requests manually becomes next to impossible. The CRMs, on the other hand, are great tools for customer service. They let customer service departments manage all the complaints within the CRM and triggering emails whenever there is an update on customer’s complaints or service request. This reduces the response time, and as a result, your business is able to achieve high client retention.
D) 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 was to extract and gather vast customer data. Now, all that data is here and stored in their systems. The biggest challenge today is to see useful customer insights from this data. CRM vendors are on a journey to make CRMs more and more intelligent in order to do this. 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 exactly towards the stage where you have to put in more effort for the closure of deals. For example, if many prospects are stuck at the leads 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 business. It can be email marketing, a retail distributor channel or even social media. With a 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 investment in the content specially 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 entries 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 entries 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 that motivates them to work as they can get the task done by doing half the amount of effort that they would do without a CRM.
If the activity isn’t in the CRM system, it never happened.
Every company needs to treat their CRM as the only repository for tasks carried out by your 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 gets helpful because they don’t have to constantly report every activity and on the management’s part it gets 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 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 with their business.
Looking to adopt a CRM? You can check out this Infographic of 13 popular CRM Systems
How do you use your CRM? Is your CRM capable of performing any additional functions? Let me know here.