Real Strength of CRM
By Sarah Meyers
You! Yes, you, you are the real strength of CRM– Customer Relationship Management software. Do you doubt my judgment? Well, think over it by responding to two of my questions (Please voice the questions jotted down below and answer). So tell me:
- In a battle, what matters most; the weapon or the warrior?
- Can you win the battle without having the basic knowledge of operating your weapon?
Okay, let me make a wild guess. Your answers were, “Warrior” and “NO”.
Having said that, think of your business as a battlefield where you are armed with plenty of weapons i.e. a customized CRM solution with all necessitated features. To succeed, you should be well-versed in your weapon inventory (CRM), its role (functionality) and clear understanding of when and how to use the weapons in it (user’s role). To flesh out my point, I have itemized the basic features of CRM with their respective functions and user roles below.
CRM allows you to set the most valuable dashlets on your home screen view. For this, you are provided with the “Quick View” functionality. Having a sound knowledge of this feature, liberates users to make the system as much user-friendly as he/she wants.
Reporting is one of the significantly pivotal features of CRM. It can generate reports in multiple views i.e. graphs, tables and charts so that the user can glimpse at the real time happenings in a single blink and plan his actions wisely. But who instructs CRM to generate the reports and on what basis? Who gives the guidelines? It’s you, who has to select the module and define parameters so that CRM processes data and generate reports.
Another key functionality provided by CRM is the productivity and performance monitoring of teammates. Monitoring is done using sales funnel and pipeline reports which provide a deep insight of staff’s performance. Again to monitor, one needs to be well-cognizant about dashlet handling and tools generating these reports. The user may also have to integrate multiple modules (in some cases). On the basis of these reports, a user can assign roles to the best-suited performer and the overall performance of organization enhances.
Business owners spend millions of dollars on marketing to introduce their product or service to masses. You can do the same i.e. project your product or service well at mass level with CRM’s marketing tools which are usually available under banner heading of “Campaign”. To use this tool efficiently, the user should possess good analytical skills and has to be able to define his campaign’s objectives along with calculating his budget, expected revenue, expected cost etc. The user must be a strong believer of the quote “The best plan is always pre-planned”.
5. Lead Generation
Lead generation is the ultimate benefit of CRM, but not all can reap the fruit from this magical software. What hampers its performance is the inadequate knowledge of the functionalities. Most releases of CRM come up with built-in social media connectors and majority of the users slice down their importance hence lose potential leads and opportunities that can be generated through these platforms. The user should be acquainted with the information synchronization process to pull their data on CRM.
6. Follow-up tracking
CRM proposes automation of follow-up processes. There are many plugins available for customization that can enhance follow-up tracking. The user can customize these follow-up solutions from the workflows depending upon the authority he/she holds. One can predefine some generic responses on the basis of keywords. Another element that performs a vital role in follow-ups is the assignment of leads to the team members. The user has to be vigilant in this regard too.
7. Forecasting Functionality
The most loved functionality by the sales reps is the forecasting which provides a quick snapshot to the user for prioritizing his tasks on basis of opportunity amount. Intelligent use of forecasting tool can earn a bundle of opportunities and benefits for the user through opportunity-sales stage segmentation etc. Knowing this, the user is also needed to enable this valuable functionality.
8. Project Management
All the valuable features of CRM together assist project managers in Project Management tasks such as KPI allocation, target management and progress assessment, reporting, forecasting etc. You can only make these tools work if you know which module provides what functionality and what good it can bring to the whole process.
It isn’t the CRM that gets you revenue. It is the user’s core competency that makes CRM software work. I shall wind up with a suggestion “Don’t work your CRM, Work with your CRM”.