Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is a term that refers to practices and technologies companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. CRM is used to streamline sales processes and increase profitability in sales, marketing and service divisions. CRM platforms are designed to compile information on customers across different channels or points of contact between the customer and company. Without CRM, companies can miss growth opportunities and lose revenue because they are not maximizing business relationships.
So, should your company be investing in CRM?
Most new companies probably opt-out of using CRM, at least initially, because what’s the point of paying for customer relationship management technology before you have customers to manage? Spreadsheets can certainly suffice until your business breaks a certain threshold.
But you do expect to grow your business and customer lists, right? Consider the confusion associated with spreadsheets and the manual processes that result for your sales team. Spending time and effort in spreadsheets might cost your company more than you think, so tackling the challenge of setting up a CRM might be worthwhile right off the bat.
In this blog, I will highlight five benefits of using CRM and why all companies should invest in this sales tool.
Lead Tracking and Qualifying
You never know when a lead is ready to buy from you. With CRM, you can track lead activity and warm them up!
CRM can be used to acquire leads from various lead-generation tactics, such as your website, email campaigns, landing pages, conferences, trade shows, etc., and send them directly to your sales reps. The system can automate lead assignment and immediately rotate them among your team so they can catch the customer in a timely fashion while your business is still top of mind.
It’s never too late to begin organizing your contact database, and CRM allows you to track engagement of each lead and follow up with quality prospects — not false leads. Determine which leads have the highest chance of conversion, reducing the sales cycle and increasing your wins!
Improved Communication and Team Efficiency
A well-oiled machine equates to higher profitability. Investing in CRM will help your company tie together various departments into a single system to address customer inquiries and concerns faster with more consistency. In addition, CRM will help your team react to customer behavior and market trends faster. With quick access to real-time sales, customer sentiments and trends from various channels such as web, social and e-commerce transactions, your team will have the tools available to make the right decision at the right time.
CRM will help you reveal possibilities and determine which of your marketing efforts are driving the most revenue. For example, how many prospects in your database have you not sold to yet? How many have a birthday coming up? Which ones are ready for renewal?
Detailed information about your customers and their behaviors can help you build a targeted marketing plan to support your sales team. CRM can enable you to create the illusion of personal touch with every interaction — or what I like to call “Human to Human” marketing. CRM can provide customers with the impression that you understand their needs and preferences in a scalable way to allow you to build targeted campaigns for thousands of customers at any given time.
CRM will also help you segment your campaign performance based on source. Which campaigns are driving the most leads — social media? Email? Content? Take the guess work out of your marketing efforts and begin connecting your marketing and sales.
One of the most beneficial components of CRM is having a centralized customer and business database in one secure ecosystem. Moving your data into one CRM system makes it more manageable than storing that information in various computers or departments. There are many situations where account turnover results in dropped deals that caused missed sales and dissatisfied prospects.
When using CRM, it takes only seconds to globally edit accounts and re-assign a task, account or territory. Using seamless transfer, the tool provides management functions to shift accounts and responsibilities to different sellers without dropping the ball. CRM also tracks past conversations and engagements so salespeople can understand the previous relationship the customer had with your company, making it easier to control sensitive information.
Sales Tracking and Analytics
As mentioned earlier, CRM allows you to track and monitor every stage of the customer lifecycle. The CRM metrics data is stored in your system, making it easier to manage your leads from site visitors to paying customer. Not only do you have a clear picture of the acquisition and retention strategies that work, you also have a comprehensive insight into the overall sales health of your business for any given timeframe.
Using pipeline management, CRM systems also provide task management and tracking features that allow sales professionals to stay on top of important tasks, such as a reminder to send a follow-up email, call a customer or send a proposal. Sales managers also have the ability to assign tasks to team members who can then set relevant reminders that can be pushed to their phones when they are out in the field, ensuring that no lead falls through the cracks.
Finally, dashboards can be created to manage your sales funnel and organize your customer data into digestible reports for future sales forecasting.
The rapid pace of innovation and technology has changed the business landscape in a big way. People are demanding better products and services, and they want businesses to be available and reachable through a variety of means — website, phone, social media, in person, etc. CRM software centralizes customer interactions, among other things, and can help your business greatly increase your chance of providing the exceptional service your customers expect and deserve.