CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. The goal of a CRM is to improve the customer experience as well as make things easier for the company and employee and generally to improve efficiency and save money. However, despite the fact that CRMs are increasing in popularity many companies are still hesitant to get integrated. This is often due to the cost and labor involved with setting one up, as well as the intimidation factor of not understanding its full potential and use. Despite these justifiable concerns, avoiding a customer relationship solution is not the answer. In this article we will address the top 5 reasons to get a CRM.
Identify Your Best Customers
Customer relationship management software makes it easier to find and focus on your best customers. This is because CRMs come equipped with reporting tools that you can use to find your results on sales volume, frequency, etc. Often these findings may surprise you because it is possible that the customers you hear from less frequently are the ones who place larger orders.
Reporting granularity makes the customer analysis purely about the numbers and figures. This is helpful because everyone suffers from perception biases and it is likely that some customers or orders are more memorable than others for the wrong reasons. With a CRM it is much easier to take the emotion and perception out of the process and focus on the sales and revenue.
Target Your Customers
Most marketing campaigns are much better suited to a segmented list as opposed to your whole account list. This can be because the marketing campaign might be more applicable to certain industries, geographic regions, company sizes, or a range of other factors. In any case you will want to target these campaigns to the most appropriate customers to avoid wasting your efforts or worse alienating or annoying potential customers who have no interest in the current campaign.
CRMs make this kind of targeting much easier. The data available in a CRM can be arranged and analyzed in a number of different ways which allows you to quickly and easily classify and sort your customer base. This will help ensure that no one slips through the cracks.
Improvements in Customer Relations and Communication
One of the primary focuses of a CRM is the quality of contact with customers. CRMs accomplish this by centralizing a customer’s contact information, allowing you to set up automatic emails or reminders to yourself to contact them, and facilitating note taking and other information recording about the contact that takes place. At its core a CRM provides a centralized, organized way to keep track of all the various customer interactions.
CRMs also make it easy to see when you may be unintentionally ignoring some customers, or inundating others with frequent messages. Rectifying both problems with yield obvious, significant improvements in customer satisfaction. CRMs also help you see when other people in your company have been contacting customers. This prevents you from unintentionally duplicating your efforts, or worse, contradicting your coworkers.
Ease Sharing Data With Coworkers
As mentioned above one of the best features of a CRM is the centralization of data. Inefficiencies can arise when multiple people from your company such as tech support, accounting, or sales, all interact with customers and get different sets of data that cannot be easily shared. For example it can benefit your sales team to know that a customer has been having tech issues with certain problems. Another common occurrence is for a customer to provide contact information or other general information with one individual at the company, but not with everyone, despite the fact that it could benefit the company and the customer if everyone had access to that data.
A CRM makes this data centralization much easier. Instead of each employee at your company keeping their own, separate notes everything is in one centralized location within the CRM. That significantly helps improve the overall quantity AND quality of the data as a whole. It also makes your company much more efficient and productive.
Ease of Doing Reports, Proposals, and Forecasts
Various departments within your company are likely to do different projects as part of their jobs. For instance one department may need to put together a report that compares this year’s sales to last year, while another may need to create a marketing campaign or business proposal. You may also need to put together a forecast of sales predictions, or an estimate of how much inventory you need for various products. For each of these tasks there is quite a bit of data involved and it can be very time consuming.
A CRM will help make doing these reports, proposals, and forecasts much quicker and easier. Once again this is due to the centralization of the data. Instead of different departments having to send requests to each other for relevant data they can simply access everything they need in one location.
The above mentioned benefits of a CRM are by no means exhaustive. In fact this is just a small sampling of some of the top advantages of having a CRM. The ways in which this software can benefit your particular business will depend largely on individual information about your company. However, it is very likely that regardless of what industry or sector you work in, a CRM is likely to be able to help in several major ways.
By Kevin Knight