You know that organizations adopt customer relationship management (CRM) systems with good reason. CRM systems are the conduit to better understanding your clients and their specific needs.
And that positions you to align the right people with the correct accounts properly. Just as important, a CRM system captures invaluable details about prospect relationships, such as who within your firm knows the prospect and what conversations they’ve had to date.
Simply put, the information stored in your CRM system can equip your firm to more effectively pursue new business with both existing and prospective clients.
With so much to gain from a CRM deployment, it makes good business sense to spearhead the initiative within your firm. Here’s how you can make a compelling case for moving forward.
Step 1: Align With Your Strategic Goals
One of the biggest mistakes CRM champions make is to focus on the technology instead of the outcomes it can enable. In the end, your firm’s powers don’t care what you’re buying as much as why you’re buying it. In this case, it’s critical to map the CRM purchase to your firm’s business development objectives and overall strategic goals.
Let’s say your firm’s business development goals are to:
- Reduce customer acquisition costs
- Shorten the sales cycle
- Achieve higher average engagement billings
These are high-level goals that matter to your firm’s executives – and that a CRM system can help you achieve. Therefore, you need to keep these front and center as you prepare your business case.
Step 2: Demonstrate the Value of CRM
Continuing with the business-focused approach, you should now get into more detail about how a CRM system can help your firm achieve its goals. This isn’t about explaining how a CRM system works and expanding on technical information. Instead, it’s about illustrating all the ways the system can help your firm:
- Build and strengthen client and prospect relationships
- Uncover valuable insights
- Improve productivity by improving process and workflow efficiencies (reducing data entry, eliminating outreach overlap, etc.)
A practical approach shows how your firm is currently struggling in these areas due to its reliance on manual processes and various systems designed for other purposes. Therefore, a complete understanding of your current processes is essential to determining whether or not a CRM system will provide value.
Once you can confidently explain the shortcomings of your firm’s current approach, share the story of another firm that overcame similar issues by embracing CRM.
Step 3: Compile Desired Outcomes
In step one, we talked about focusing on goals and suggested a few hypothetical ones. Now it’s time to document your firm’s actual goals. What would it want to achieve by deploying a CRM system?
The key is figuring out the value if, for example, you can call upon more insights to strengthen client relationships. Or if your business development reps can spend 90% less time on data entry and 90% more time on prospecting.
Capturing this as part of your business case is how you show your executive team that you’re advocating for this solution for strategic reasons.
Plus, these outcome goals will be your benchmark for measuring how well potential vendors can help – and ultimately, your chosen solution helps – you achieve these goals.
Step 4: Recommend Next Steps
A well-considered business case assumes that readers will come to the same conclusion as the author. In this case, that would be to pursue the purchase of a CRM system. With that in mind, wrap the business case up with concrete next steps your firm should take to move forward.
This could include an outline of the research and evaluation process, a list of potential vendors, a questionnaire you will ask of each vendor, and the plan for deploying the system, training users, and driving adoption and usage.
CRM can improve business development in your firm – but it can also help your firm grow.
8 Arguments to convince your manager to adopt a CRM tool
To you, there’s no longer any doubt: you want a functional CRM tool to make your work easier. But how do you go about convincing your manager?
To you, there is no longer any doubt. You want a well-functioning CRM tool to make your work easier, improve your customer relations, and have more time to focus on what matters.
But your manager isn’t quite as convinced yet.
Chances are, the advantages of CRM are not 100 % clear to them yet. So, in this article, we took the liberty of listing the best arguments to persuade your manager.
What managers love…
Needless to say that plenty of other things matter as well. But one thing will catch the attention of just about every manager: better figures.
And there are two ways to get there: more turnover and lower costs.
Here are some ways a CRM system can help you achieve that goal. Which arguments apply most to your company?
More turnover thanks to a CRM tool
Argument 1: higher conversion thanks to personal contact. Because you can consult all customer information at any time, building relationships with prospects becomes more accessible and quicker than ever. In addition, every interaction (by telephone, mail, or face-to-face) builds on the last, making customer interactions more personal. Prospects will appreciate this and be more inclined to buy your products.
Argument 2: determine in the blink of an eye which clients are most profitable. A CRM tool allows you to discover interesting patterns. For example, you notice that your best clients are companies in the food industry, which employ over ten people and are located in city X. You could then decide to focus on these clients.
Argument 3: Easier cross – and upselling. Does your company offer multiple products or services? A CRM allows you to see which client bought or considered buying which products quickly. If you filter your database based on those criteria, you will find new opportunities for cross-selling (selling related products) and upselling (selling more expensive products).
Argument 4: keep track of sales and adjust if needed. A CRM tool allows managers to pinpoint their most valuable clients. But it also allows them to have a look at the performances of their salesmen. This way, adjusting and improving the sales team becomes more accessible than ever.
Argument 5: targeted email campaigns. Does your company send out newsletters? Many CRM tools integrate email marketing, which allows you to send mailings using your customer base. For example, you can email everyone living in a particular area or all contacts active in a specific sector.
Lower costs thanks to CRM software
Argument 1: do not let any data go to waste. Customer data is sometimes not stored in the right place. The system isn’t clear to everyone; the sales team finds it hard to transfer and share their notes correctly… CRM software allows you to centralize all your data and eliminate ‘human bottlenecks’.
Argument 2: saving data directly using the mobile app. Even though we’re not always aware of this, updating customer data is pretty time-consuming. Modern CRM tools have mobile counterparts, which salespeople can use to enter customer data and consult it whenever needed. Thus, saving both time and money.
Argument 3: adding customers in the blink of an eye. Another time-consuming task is creating new customers. Entering company names, addresses, phone numbers… all become more accessible thanks to a CRM tool. In CRM, for instance, all you have to enter is the VAT number to retrieve all available company details automatically.
Need more arguments?
There are plenty more to be found in favor of a proper CRM tool:
• Your manager will have access to all customer data at any given moment. If someone leaves the company, all data will remain within the company.
• CRM ties in with the current market conditions. Companies that put customer satisfaction first often have an enormous edge over their competitors.
• CRM needn’t be complicated; there are multiple user-friendly systems on the market today.
• CRM needn’t be expensive. (Tip: have a look at our pricing.)
• Modern CRM software can easily be integrated with popular third-party applications, such as accounting software.
Make your offer irresistible by offering a free demo
As you can see: no shortage of proper arguments. But now it’s up to you to choose the ideas that fit your company’s needs.
Just one last tip. Once you’ve aroused your manager’s interest, it’s time to show how a CRM tool works.
CRM offers you a fully functional demo for 14 days. Just start adding some accurate customer data and prepare a little demonstration. This will help you make the advantages of CRM clear and tangible.
Use CRM To Improve The Customer Experience
Today, it’s all about the customer experience.
To be competitive, you need to go above and beyond expectations and deliver a great experience.
This article will share how a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can help you improve the experience you provide to your customers.
The dawn of the new customer
The tech-savvy Customer 2.0 relates to all things digital, starts their purchasing process online, chooses to conduct all research digitally, seeks feedback through social media, and prefers emails to phone calls.
Pinpoint Market Research and Anderson Jones found that 93% of buyers begin their buying process with an internet search. As a result, they can choose products, services, and even people to do business with.
But above all, Customer 2.0 – wants to have an experience!
There’s data to back this up, too, as an astounding 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
So, how can you adjust to meet the expectations of such a demanding customer?
Customer experience is a top priority.
In a survey by Customer Management IQ, 76% of customer management executives and leaders thought that customer experience was a high priority to their business.
Today, according to Gartner, these numbers have grown, and it is already 89% of companies that are determined to compete mainly based on customer experience.
PwC’s Digital IQ survey claims that 25% of businesses expect their digital enterprise investments to create a better customer experience.
Are you convinced yet?
OK, one more statistic to nail the reign of the customer experience.
Furthermore, a study published by Walker states that customer experience will soon be the leading brand differentiator for a buying decision, leaving behind such criteria as product and price.
So, what is it that you have to do to create an exceptional experience for your customers?
You have to be proactive!
This means anticipating and catering to customers’ current and future needs. To do that, you need to put yourself into your customers’ shoes and walk a purchase mile with them.
Fortunately, there is technology available to help you proactively accept the challenge called Customer 2.0.
And the best technology on the market is CRM software.
CRM software enables you to get a 360-degree view of your customer, which you can then create highly customized offers based on their interests, purchase history, and more. Let’s take a look at how you can use CRM software to improve your customers’ experience.
Keeping in touch
A great customer experience is impossible without ongoing and meaningful communication. Kevin Stirtz, the author of ‘More Loyal Customers,’ said in his book: “Every contact we have with a customer influences their decision as to whether or not they’ll come back. So we have to be great every time, or we’ll lose them.”
And in this area, a CRM system can be a great help, as it is increasingly used as a customer loyalty enhancement tool.
So, how can you make sure that your customers stay satisfied and loyal?
The answer is – by simply keeping in touch!
A CRM system contains a wide range of information about your customers and how they interact with your business – including past activities, conversations, and purchases.
Use the data in the system to keep your existing customers updated with company news, offers, sales campaigns, or other initiatives. CRM software also allows you to segment the customers and address the right audience with the right message instead of sending them the same information.
Listening to customers’ needs
Customer 2.0 is very talkative, sharing opinions and information about products through various communication channels, such as social media. So, if you want to be in the loop of what’s hot and what’s not, you’d better start social listening to what they have to say!
One way of doing this is by asking your customers for their opinion. Send them a survey through email marketing and ask them what they think of your products, services and what you can do to make their experience better. In this way, you will show them that you care – and that’s exactly how you keep your customers happy!
Creating personal relationships
Do you remember what “CRM” stands for?
It stands for Customer Relationship Management.
Using relationship marketing, you can create a stronger connection.
How? By personalizing your marketing communication.
Customers can contact your company through a variety of channels, including email, phone, and website. They can also get you through different departments, such as sales, marketing, and customer service.
CRM software captures all of these conversations over time, regardless of the channel or department they occur in – giving you and your entire company access to the same information. That’s a lot of helpful information!
You can use this information to give the customer a unique experience by addressing them by their name or when they call, knowing precisely what the issue is without asking them to repeat themselves.
By personalizing your communication, you will see how your customers’ perception of your company starts to improve.
Offering what customers want
Customer 2.0 has plenty of choices.
To win their heart and wallet, you need to offer them a relevant product or service proactively.
A CRM system gives you the knowledge of what your customers need by telling you what products or services they’re interested in, have asked for, or have already bought. You also know what problems they have had before, and whether they were happy with the solutions, you offered them.
In other words, a history of your customer interaction recorded in a CRM system helps you offer your customers what they want, not what you think they want.
With the help of CRM, you can also offer your customers to sign up for updates and opt-in or out of messages or activities, which is very important for being compliant with the GDPR.
Providing attentive customer support
A unique customer experience also means that you offer help and support to your customers on how and when they need it.
Remember, Customer 2.0 prefers online communication when it comes to solving their problems and handling their complaints.
The good news is that CRM offers precisely that!
Customer service software helps you ensure that no customer inquiry is lost, as each request is logged into a central system that can be accessed online. In addition, once a customer sends in a request, you can set up the system to automatically send an email to inform the customer you have received it.
This email can include a tracking number, information about the received inquiry, and even suggest helpful FAQs and links to other self-help resources, such as a knowledge base. This way, all customer requests receive attention and don’t disappear into the unknown.
Responding quickly to requests
When Customer 2.0 has a question, they want an immediate response. There’s no time for delay in today’s world. So, if you don’t respond promptly, you risk losing him!
Given their impatience, you would think that companies would respond quickly to customer requests. Yet, we found this to be quite the contrary in our very own Customer Service Benchmark Report.
For example, we found that 62% of surveyed companies didn’t respond to customer support emails at all!
Furthermore, the average response time is more than 12 hours.
With CRM software, you can speed up your responses to customer inquiries by using ready-made email templates. With pre-made templates, you can quickly answer the most frequently asked questions by selecting the system template.
Another benefit of using templates is that each email is consistent with your brand’s tone of voice.
Keeping up with the customer needs
Customer 2.0 demands not only to be listened to, but they also want to be responded to on their terms, not yours. This means that you will have to connect with your customers at a time, place, and form they choose!
Since Customer 2.0 has online access to many competing offers, you need to increase the speed at which you can present your recommendations. Otherwise, you risk losing deals.
One way to speed up communication is by using CRM!
When the fate of a new business is a matter of minutes, accessing all customer information and offering a suitable product is very important.
Mobile CRM allows you to provide a better customer experience by being able to instantly offer the latest information on the products, deals, and contracts, as well as to answer customer questions quickly – whether you’re in the office or out on the road – so you never have to keep your customers waiting.
In addition, Mobile CRM helps you to follow up on leads and opportunities at the right time – so there’s no need to wait until your colleague returns to the office.
In today’s technology-dominated world, customers demand and expect a whole new level of attention.
And they expect you to do business with them on their terms.
Customer 2.0 wants you to know who they are, understand their specific situations, keep in touch with them, listen to their needs, and provide quick and attentive support.
CRM software helps you to do all of this and more.
With CRM, you can create a full 360-degree view of your customer regardless of who in your company is talking to the customer. It also gives you a chance to:
- Personalize your communication
- Offer relevant content and service
- Respond quickly to their requests
- And ensure that no question goes unanswered
This is what makes for a great customer experience.
How do you use CRM to improve the customer experience?
Focus on Force is the ideal preparation for your Salesforce Certification. I’ve spent more than 10 years working with the Salesforce platform in various roles (including business analyst, project manager, consultant, solutions designer, and solutions architect), and worked my way through 12 certifications in order to move up the career ladder.
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