A CRM is a critical component of any business.
There are many benefits to having one, and in this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common reasons for getting started with a CRM.
At its core, customer relationship management (CRM) is all of the activities, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage their interactions with their current and potential customers.
A saying frequently heard and said in many businesses is “customer is king.”
CRM helps businesses build a relationship with their customers that, in turn, creates loyalty and customer retention. Since customer loyalty and revenue are both qualities that affect a company’s revenue, CRM is a management strategy that increases profits for a business. At its core, a CRM tool creates a simple user interface for collecting data that helps companies recognize and communicate with customers in a scalable way.
The better a business can manage its relationships with its customers, the more successful it will become. Therefore IT systems that specifically address the problems of dealing with customers daily are growing in popularity.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is not just the application of technology. Still, it is a strategy to learn more about customers’ needs and behaviors to develop stronger relationships. Therefore, it is more of a business philosophy than a technical solution to assist in dealing with customers effectively and efficiently. Nevertheless, successful CRM relies on the use of technology.
Most Popular CRM Software for 2021
The pandemic has made staying in touch with happy customers more of a problem than ever, and that’ll likely continue in the age of hybrid work. The way your sales staff communicates with customers, and even more importantly how your customers want to communicate with them, is going to change permanently. That means many businesses are going to have client communication problems and therefore, potential revenue and marketing troubles, too.
If you’re looking at that scenario, then you need the best customer relationship management (CRM) system you can find. To help, we’ve tested and compared 17 of the top players, though only 10 made the list this time around. The number of Salesforce certifications has increased which opens up new job opportunities for developers as quoted by cio.com.
A CRM’s value is much more than simply maintaining a customer list for contact tracking. These services also track every interaction your staff has with any given customer and provide a means of measuring those touchpoints.
This can include everything from the customer’s initial purchase to their support history all the way to what the conversation was about during that last lunch they had with your regional sales rep. But more than just a bucket for comments, CRMs also store this information safely and where they can track, analyze, and surface the data when it’s needed.
So, now you have probably hinted that “why use a CRM” means “why to use a CRM system”. CRM refers to the tools and the technical system that is used to perform optimal customer relationship management.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Though the term is self-explanatory, nobody would know how to do it right without some guidance. Of course, you can learn from your experience, but that will come at the cost of some significant mistakes in your business. So, why fail yourself when you can learn from the mistakes of others?
Some entrepreneurs have learned the importance of CRM the hard way, but you don’t have to. Thankfully, this is because CRM systems will do the work for you in this digital era. All you need to do is understand the trends and personalize the system according to the needs of your existing and potential customers.
In the commercial world, the importance of retaining existing customers and expanding business is paramount. The costs associated with finding new customers mean that every existing customer could be crucial.
The more opportunities that a customer has to conduct business with your company, the better. One way to achieve this is by opening up channels such as direct sales, online sales, franchises, agents, etc. However, the more channels you have, the greater the need to manage your interaction with your customer base.
Customer relationship management (CRM) helps businesses to gain an insight into the behavior of their customers and modify their business operations to ensure that customers are served in the best possible way. In essence, CRM helps a business recognize the value of its customers and capitalize on improved customer relations. The better you understand your customers, the more responsive you can be to their needs.
CRM can be achieved by:
- finding out about your customers’ purchasing habits, opinions and preferences
- profiling individuals and groups to market more effectively and increase sales
- changing the way you operate to improve customer service and marketing
Benefiting from CRM is not just a question of buying the right software. You must also adapt your business to the needs of your customers.
Business benefits of CRM
Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution might involve considerable time and expense. However, there are many potential benefits.
A significant benefit can be the development of better relations with your existing customers, which can lead to:
- increased sales through better timing due to anticipating needs based on historical trends
- identifying needs more effectively by understanding specific customer requirements
- cross-selling of other products by highlighting and suggesting alternatives or enhancements
- determining which of your customers are profitable and which are not
This can lead to better marketing of your products or services by focusing on:
- effective targeted marketing communications aimed specifically at customer needs
- a more personal approach and the development of new or improved products and services to win more business in the future
Ultimately this could lead to:
- enhanced customer satisfaction and retention, ensuring that your good reputation in the marketplace continues to grow
- increased value from your existing customers and reduced cost associated with supporting and servicing them, increasing your overall efficiency and reducing the total cost of sales
- improved profitability by focusing on the most profitable customers and dealing with the unprofitable in more cost-effective ways
Once your business starts to look after its existing customers effectively, efforts can be concentrated on finding new customers and expanding your market. But, again, the more you know about your customers, the easier it is to identify new prospects and increase your customer base.
Even with years of accumulated knowledge, there’s always room for improvement. Customer needs change over time, and technology can make it easier to find out more about customers and ensure that everyone in an organization can exploit this information.
Why CRM is essential for sales
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an integrated suite of—usually—cloud applications, such as marketing cloud, sales cloud, and service cloud, that collects and stores all customer data. It provides a centralized platform for sales teams to manage customer interactions and prioritize activities so that no customer feels ignored, thereby boosting the customer experience (CX). CRM software is one of the most important sales tools in sales reps’ arsenal because it allows them to spend more time with customers, and the more time spent with customers, the more deals are closed, and the more loyal customers remain.
Signs that you need a customer relationship management (CRM) system
So why do you need a CRM? As with most cloud software purchases, CRM software solves a problem. Sales are slipping. Customers are leaving. Growth is stagnating. By intelligently storing and managing your customers’ data, a CRM system increases lead volume, helping your marketing team find new customers faster. It supports your sales teams in closing more deals more quickly. It also enhances customer service. For example, contact center agents become more productive and efficient by adding customer intelligence to your customer service software.
To get more specific, here are eight signs that it’s time to invest in CRM software
Sales is a struggle
At some point, all companies need to enter new markets or introduce new products. But if you are struggling to keep up with the business, you are generating now. You might need to invest in an integrated CRM solution. A customer relationship management system can sort, analyze, and prioritize your sales leads so that your sales team can focus on opportunities that are likely to close and provide accurate answers to customers—quickly and efficiently—and your customer service team has the information they need for upselling and cross-selling.
Customer profiles are challenging to build
If you cannot locate all your customer data points, all you can do is guess when it comes time to build your ideal customer’s profile. Not only that, you will have no visibility into your sales team’s activities. To find out this information, you will have to hold status meetings, which will take your salespeople out of the field and exacerbate the issue.
Customer service is not good
Is your customer retention rate slipping? Do you have an abysmal net promoter score (NPS)? Do our contact centers handle times in the stratosphere? What is your average first response time? Finally, suppose your customer service reps are reacting to customer issues and not proactively working with customers. In that case, it’s time to invest in a service CRM system—one that can not only provide a unified view of your customer so that reps have the tools they need to provide spectacular service but also provides:
- Digital assistants/chatbots to handle low-urgency, high-volume questions and route cases to the correct agents
- Knowledge management tools to help agents answer questions and can be used for customer self-service assistance
- A variety of digital customer service tools, including live chat, video chat, telephony, and cobrowse functionality that allows customers to interact with your customer service team how and when they want
Marketing and Sales departments aren’t collaborating.
Since a good CRM can hold all types of information, it can be the rallying point for different departments in your company. A lack of inter-departmental cooperation is the source of many customer pain points. They’re forced to repeat themselves. Promises made to customers slip through the cracks.
No one seems to know the customer’s history. Without smooth cooperation between all teams, customers will leave. They coordinate sales, customer service, marketing, and even some back-office roles (such as billing, inventory, or logistics). But if all the components of a CRM share a standard data model, all employees can access, use, and add data. Then your staff can work collaboratively and share insights, leads, issues, and purchase history. When shared across teams, productivity and efficiency skyrocket, data silos disappear, and your entire company appears as one cohesive unit to the customer.
High-value accounts are unknown.
You don’t want your best customers to feel unappreciated, but that is hard if you don’t know who those customers are. A customer relationship management (CRM) system can identify them so that any customer-facing employee can acknowledge them, provide the right incentives, and nurture them to increase customer loyalty.
Contacts within an account cannot be identified.
CRM solutions can help keep track of contacts within a business to personalize communication for both sales and marketing teams. Reasonable CRM solutions can supplement their account and contact data through third-party data sources so that all information is complete and up to date. So, if a contact has moved to a new job, your sales, service, and marketing teams know about it, allowing them to maintain and rebuild these essential relationships.
Customer data is incomplete or inaccurate
Some solutions automatically flow second-and third-party account and contact information into your CRM system, filling in missing information that salespeople left out and intelligently removing duplicates. For more information on cleaning up dirty data in your CRM system, check out this blog.
Forecasting and reporting are difficult
If reports are still produced by downloading data into spreadsheets, they take way too much time to create and are probably inaccurate. Inaccurate statements lead to faulty planning and forecasting. In contrast, time-consuming administrative tasks keep your sales team from doing what they should be doing—selling. A good CRM system keeps data in one centrally located, easily accessible place, making accurate, real-time reporting and forecasting a standard.
Looking at some broader perspectives given below, we can quickly determine why a CRM System is always important for an organisation
- A CRM system consists of a historical view and analysis of all the acquired or acquired customers. This helps in reduced searching and correlating customers and to foresee customer needs effectively, and increase business.
- CRM contains each and every bit of details of a customer. Hence it is effortless to track a customer accordingly and can determine which customer can be profitable and which not.
- In a CRM system, customers are grouped according to different aspects according to the type of business they do or according to a physical location. They are allocated to other customer managers, often called account managers. This helps in focusing and concentrating on every customer separately.
- A CRM system is used to deal with the existing customers and is also helpful in acquiring new customers. The process first starts with identifying a customer and maintaining all the corresponding details into the CRM system, also called an ‘Opportunity of Business’. The Sales and Field representatives then try getting business out of these customers by sophistically following up with them and converting them into a winning deal. An integrated CRM system very quickly and efficiently does all this.
- The most vital aspect of Customer Relationship Management is that it is very cost-effective. The advantage of a decently implemented CRM system is that there is very little need for paper and manual work, which requires fewer staff to manage and fewer resources to deal with. The technologies used in implementing a CRM system are also very cheap and smooth compared to the traditional way of business.
- All the details in the CRM system are kept centralised, which is available anytime on fingertips. This reduces the processing time and increases productivity.
- Efficiently dealing with all the customers and providing them with what they need increases customer satisfaction. This increases the chance of getting more business which ultimately enhances turnover and profit.
- If the customer is satisfied, they will always be loyal to you. They will remain in business forever, increasing the customer base and ultimately enhancing the net growth of the company.
In today’s commercial world, the practice of dealing with existing customers and thriving businesses by getting more customers into the loop is predominant and is merely a dilemma. Installing a CRM system can improve the situation and help efficiently challenge the new ways of marketing and business. Hence in the era of business, every organization should be recommended to have a full-fledged CRM system to cope with all the business needs.
Potential drawbacks of CRM
There are several reasons why implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution might not have the desired results.
There could be a lack of commitment from people within the company to implement a CRM solution. Adapting to a customer-focused approach may require a cultural change. There is a danger that relationships with customers will break down somewhere along the line unless everyone in the business is committed to viewing their operations from the customers’ perspective. The result is customer dissatisfaction and eventual loss of revenue.
Poor communication can prevent buy-in. To make CRM work, all the relevant people in your business must know what information you need and how to use it.
Weak leadership could cause problems for any CRM implementation plan. Therefore, the onus is on management to lead by example and push for a customer focus on every project. If a proposed plan isn’t suitable for your customers, don’t do it. Instead, send your teams back to the drawing board to develop a solution that will work.
Trying to implement CRM as a complete solution in one go is a tempting but risky strategy. Instead, it is better to break your CRM project down into manageable pieces by setting up pilot programs and short-term milestones. Consider starting with a pilot project that incorporates all the necessary departments and groups but is small and flexible enough to allow adjustments along the way.
Don’t underestimate how much data you will require, and make sure to expand your systems if necessary. You need to carefully consider what information is collected and stored to ensure that only valid data is kept.
Once you start, If you can avoid the above mistakes, your CRM system will pay off. Once you begin correctly using CRM software, you will see the importance of CRM in the profits of your business and the running of your office. Once you see the results of using a CRM system, you will recommend friends to use it for their startups too and will have all the answers when they ask, “why use a CRM system?”