This is an undeniable fact that having good relations with your clients is very important if you are looking forward to building a stable as well as a successful business. Yes, no matter what your focus, no matter what your industry, no matter what kinds of services or products you offer, your customers are the single most valuable asset to your organization.
Customers give your company a sense of direction and purpose. They not only serve as a springboard but also offer invaluable feedback for new ideas and concepts. And obviously can’t forget about the revenue they bring in. So, customer satisfaction should be the number-one focus of any business, as all is said and done. This indicates how you appreciate and understand your customers.
However, spreadsheets won’t cut it for long when it comes to regulating customer interaction and lead conversion. Yes, your sales staff will have a harder time following up on leads and staying on top of customers without the proper software. And, the bad thing is you won’t even know about the business you’re missing out.
Going without a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution as an established company is like throwing caution to the wind because a CRM can do a great deal to help if your sales team is running into problems and losing efficiency. There are many more reasons one should get CRM. Well, before understanding these reasons, let’s learn what CRM is to understand better.
What is CRM?
A technology that can manage all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers is what we call a Customer relationship management (CRM). And its goal is simple, i.e., to improve business relationships. Moreover, a CRM system benefits companies to stay connected to customers, improve profitability, and streamline processes.
And, whenever someone talks about CRM, they are usually referring to a CRM system, which is nothing but a tool that helps with sales management, contact management, productivity, and more.
As its prime goal, a CRM solution helps us focus on our organization’s relationships with individual people — including service users, customers, suppliers, or colleagues — throughout your lifecycle with them, including winning their business, finding new customers, and providing additional services and support during the relationship.
How to Pick the Right CRM Solution?
You will get benefited from CRM Solution only if you select the right one. Yes, so picking the right solution for your business requires some planning. Check what points you must think about while planning for it.
1. Decide Your Goals & Objectives at First
The first step to making the most of your new software is pinpointing what you hope to accomplish out of installing a CRM solution. You won’t know how to evaluate your usage and performance without defining what success will look like for your business.
Well, to outline what your ideal outcome might be, these possible goals are a good start. Are you ready to:
a. Enhance your customer service?
b. Better understand and refine your sales process?
c. Minimize customer churn?
d. Make your data safe?
e. Develop a more effective lead generation strategy?
f. Help your team become more efficient and better organized?
g. Let your team work remotely?
Having definite long- and short- term objectives and goals will let you pick the right software for your organization, then use it to your advantage.
2. Does it Integrate with Your Other Tools?
Before picking any tool, make sure it will integrate well with the other tools you use to run your business to make the most out of your CRM solution. This involves:
a. Your business phone system
b. Help/support desk
e. Marketing platform
f. Live chat system and any other program you use daily.
It is a fact that almost all of us use multiple programs and utilities throughout the day, and the better these integrate, the less time we lose switching back and first between them, looking for data in the wrong place or deleting duplicate information.
So, your CRM should integrate with these tools if it is going to work for you. In this way, let everyone stay on the same page by easily having the same information on hand; this will save your team data-input time.
3. Identify How Much Will This CRM Solution Cost in Terms of Both Money & Time
Based on the size of your team, the volume of your data, your sales process, and your security requirements, your CRM solution could take up to a year to implement.
Well, SaaS CRM software providers can be set up in minutes if your concern is to be up and running quickly and made to accommodate your entire team. You can pay only for what you use and also can add and remove users easily. On the other hand, heavier enterprise CRM software models take longer to install and also require a larger investment of funds.
It’s important to keep the goals in mind that you pinpointed in the previous step no matter which model you choose. In all, one that will help your business succeed and grow is the best CRM solution.
4. Does it Offer the Insights You Need?
Your CRM solution needs to provide the right data for you to draw meaningful conclusions, especially according to the objectives you’re aiming for.
There are different levels of customization in CRM software. Perhaps you will need to tweak it, and perhaps one solution will fit you right out of the box.
Consider the below points:
a. Does the software let salespeople work the way you want them to?
b. Does the software grow with your business and its goals?
c. Will the software integrate well with your specific sales funnel?
d. Will it take into account all the customer information you consider relevant?
e. Does it enable you to monitor your performance with the right perspective (per salesperson, per product, per customer, etc.)?
f. Does the software track the goals which you have deemed important?
5. Is it Easy to Use?
The most important is its complexity level, according to your team. Because in the end, it is your team members who are going to get the most use out of your CRM solution, so it is very important to suit them well.
Then only the question arises that CRM solution is easy to learn and use or not? Well, the quicker your team will be able to use it as a trusted tool and have a handle on it, the more intuitive the software is.
The biggest problem for CRM usage is that staff members consider it difficult to update their CRM files manually. Well, make sure to give your team sufficient training if the software you pick is more complex and less easy to adopt. Because your team members won’t use it or won’t get the most of it if they don’t feel confident with the software, and as a result, your business will suffer.
Why Get a CRM Software for Your Company?
1. Identify & Remove Inefficient Practices
Businesses lose very valuable time by combining methods to evaluate their customers’ behavior. For achieving this, some software solutions consolidate different methods, tools, and practices needed to track customer activity, and finally, spare you from double entries.
So, this is where CRM comes into play. You will eliminate all costly manual errors with a good system in place, and still make each customer feel as if he/she was the most valuable lead you have at the moment.
2. Gain Valuable Insights
As we have mentioned above that a CRM helps to stores all the information in one centralized place; hence, it makes to analyze your performance as a whole very easy. So, whenever you need to find out how well is your organization doing, CRM lets you find out about this.
Yes, you'll be able to easily generate reports by pinpointing important information such as results of your marketing campaigns, leads, as well as information about the revenue generated. And, undoubtedly, better reporting data means you will be able to improve revenue and make effective business decisions in the long run.
3. A Centralized Place for Storing Data
Speed and ease both are critical in sales. Spending much of the precious time searching throughout the call history or the inbox to get a prospect’s number or recall when and what they last spoke, is a huge waste of a salesperson’s time. That is because they risk sending the same email multiple times if they forget a touchpoint, and end up annoying a prospect.
And, this is where CRM wins as it offers a full, accurate record of a rep’s entire interaction history with a prospect that it is even accessible with one click. So, from now on, Reps will never have to reconstruct a timeline of touchpoints manually again.
Besides that, to also view their sales pipeline and opportunity queue, which ensures they always know where they stand relative to quota, Reps can use a CRM. Plus, CRMs enable salespeople to bifurcate opportunities by the ones they own, so they only need to refer to one page to get a high-level summary of all their deals in progress. Moreover, some even offer the snapshot of a rep’s sales pipeline by classifying opportunities by deal stage, making forecasting painless.
4. Turn Customer Data into Revenue Intelligence
How your customers accept and evaluate your service is very important to learn for your business, but still, the marketing optimization is by far the most valuable data you will pull out. Hence, how to ‘energize’ promotional campaigns and promote products to unfamiliar audiences that will statistically be interested in them, CRM systems teach us.
Apart from that, custom reports delivered by most CRMs offer insights into the sustainability of your relationship management strategy and the performance of each agent. Believe it or not, rather than spending hours analyzing financial data, this is the source most successful companies turn to identify bottlenecks.
5. Improve Your Relationship With Current Customers
When running a customer-focused business, the most important rule is a simple one: as long as your customers are satisfied, you will be successful. This is where CRM systems help the most, as they drive your marketing, selling, and invoicing efforts in the right direction.
Ranging from automated welcoming messages to service and checkout, a CRM will help you organize all customer-related operations. You will also decrease your customer’s agitation and collect valuable feedback, being able to understand what they expect from you, which matters to the future placement of your services and products.
Also, efficient and satisfactory services delivered at all times and on all channels (email, social media, phone, web forms, surveys, etc.) ensures that you will be warmly recommended to customers acquaintances, and build your customer base by using what you’ve invested already.
6. Optimize Marketing Strategy & Makes Service More Credible
Startup companies and low-tier service providers, who are still building up a market profile, come under a large portion of our readers who are looking to compare various CRM solutions. Well, it doesn’t come as a surprise, knowing how useful CRM tools can be to motivate buyers to turn to a specific vendor.
Well, how it works? To target, the ideal customer profile companies are constantly performing market research, and this is where CRMs play the role as they help them understand customers’ behavior and tackle their specific needs. Plus, to identify the best time to promote and present services to those customers and use the results of such strategies to expand further, the list of prospects is another important task they perform.
Besides that, as businesses relying on reputed software are also the favorites among profitable market groups, CRM systems also have a positive effect on efficient resource allocation. In all, a CRM solution product will help you target the right leads not only at the right time but also with the right resources.
7. Manage Your Social Media Activity
As social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or LinkedIn are great pools for finding potential contacts and great deal opportunities, there is no doubt that what modern businesses are earning is all because of social media.
However, it is difficult for both large and small businesses to maintain an active presence on all of them and personally respond to all questions and inquiries without losing focus on the rest of their work.
So, CRMs are the sure-shot solution for this. Yes, many of the cloud-based CRM solutions nowadays are tightly integrated to social platforms and enable you to post automatically and manage all of your profiles from a single platform.
Many of them even go as far as to alert you on opportunities and deadlines or collect all product-related mentions and comments for you to respond on time. For example, to depict any desired type of social activity by simply selecting keywords such as ‘customer service,’ ‘customer support,’ and many more, one can easily adjust the settings of your CRM.
8. Support Cross-Selling & Upselling Efforts
Well, it could be said that deal closure is the ultimate goal of using a CRM system, which is why the best-of-breed systems always support practices such as cross-selling and upselling.
If we talk about the upselling case, the solutions draw intelligence from the customer’s current purchase and display related product lists to his attention and rely on categories and tags you’ve previously inserted. On the other hand, Cross-selling is also a part of the game, where the system tracks a customer’s previous purchases to suggest new products and get an idea of what he’ll be looking for.
And, as the best part of all the CRM systems, it stores details in a centralized database; ideally, in an individual customer profile, the agent can always turn to and see who he’s dealing with. In all, a beneficial CRM will be delegated the task of spotting and using opportunities, and as a result, it will boost up the profits.
9. Track the Performance of Your Agents
To understand how agents are performing, many business owners rely on their CRM system and also develop intelligent strategies on how to assign leads and tasks in the future. Plus, if one wants to identify who are the people available at the moment and divert inquiries to other departments in case the agent requested is not available, they use a CRM system.
Well, all because the CRM solution makes each employee’s schedule visible and helps compare who is closing the most or the least of the company’s deals. Recently, it has been found that CRM developers are exploring new and attractive gamification concepts in the systems that allow admins to identify top performers and award them with points, bonuses, or even promotions as they want.
10. Stronger Data Security
Rather than having disparate and disconnected desktops, we can have the CRM system that collects all Confidential customer data and trade insights in a new place. It simply means one can focus on the budget, capital infrastructure, and human resources under one item, i.e., the CRM ecosystem.
For security measures, it allows us to set parameters so only authorized employees can access the data while keeping a close tab on a single channel for possible breach. In military idiolect, positioning your defensive line in a narrow channel decreases the superiority in numbers of the enemy or hackers.
11. Accelerate Tactical Decision-Making
It is very important to be updated with new technologies and all if you want to be successful. Yes, because then only you will be able to talk better decisions. Believe us or not, if you are a well-informed manager and have access to real-time data, then only you can make adjustments quickly to react to market trends.
And, guess what CRM does that for you too. It collects culls accurate insights from real-time and on-location data for you and also helps you to fine-tune your strategies or tactics right away to take advantage of an opportunity or avert a crisis.
For example, to see customer clusters, have a quick look at your sales figures entered by the Sales Team. Combining this insight with, say, supply chain, can help the Events Team organize scalable trials in fewer performing but promising sales clusters.
That indicates how CRM helps you allocate resources in promising areas along with the needy areas. Moreover, to further improve the overall business operation, more accurate data also allows you to pull together raw best practices by different departments.
12. Foster Inter-Departmental Cooperation
As one most beneficial feature, CRM can gather all types of information. Hence it can be the rallying point for the different departments in your organization. Support, coordinating sales, marketing, and development is a tricky affair, and the customers are the ones to suffer and churn if there is no smooth cooperation between those teams.
Yes, for customers, lack of inter-departmental cooperation is the source of many pain points. One can use the CRM solution for both the works like to assign tasks and further see how those tasks fill out the bigger picture. Moreover, everyone can access and add to the information in your CRM, thanks to a common interface. Consequently, by sharing insight, issues, leads, and solutions, you can empower your staff to work collaboratively rather than concurrently.
Plus, sharing information, aims, and incentives within your teams enhance productivity as well as efficiency. You can avoid siloing information with the right CRM solution and can also help disparate departments’ work like a well-oiled machine.
So, we have seen it’s difficult to focus on the customer without a CRM system. And, companies that invest in CRM are using them to put the customer at the heart of their business, as it is the best way to increase sales as well as profits. We hope these reasons above help you realize that CRM is no longer optional, but a must-have for your business.