“What exactly does CRM do? Specifically, how will it improve my business?”
Working in the CRM industry, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that many people have never even heard of Customer Relationship Management software. Or if they have, they only have a vague notion that it’s some kind of sales software. In fact, we frequently meet with business owners and executives who know their companies need CRM, even if they only have a rough idea of what they’re looking for and how it will help them.
So in this post, let’s get back to basics and examine a few ways that CRM can solve common business problems.
One of the core elements of any CRM platform is the ability to put all of your customer data in one centralized repository. Then this vital information will be accessible to the entire company, instead of being hidden away in a binder full of business cards. It’s staggering how many day-to-day problems this feature of CRM solves.
Not sure which customer contracts are on the verge of expiring? The answer is in the CRM. Want to know what point a prospect is in the sales pipeline? Look in the CRM. Need a place to store standard contracts and sales documents, so every rep can easily access them? The CRM is the perfect place.
And these examples only represent a few of the benefits of CRM.
Without a system in place to track the performances and activities of your staff, your sales managers have little legitimate information to go on. It’s great to know how many deals each sales rep closed in a given week, and how much money they brought in. But this kind of data only provides a tiny window into the health of the entire sales organization. To effectively grow sales, you need as much knowledge about sales operations as you can get.
To understand how transformative CRM solutions can be, consider the typical sales meeting. Most sales organizations still use round-robin formats. In these meetings, reps talk about the deals they’re currently working on, but ignore the deals that aren’t going so well.
But in a CRM-driven sales meeting, the sales manager can instantly pull reports for every rep. This feature allows the manager to see the following:
Then if a rep is stuck or needs help, the entire team can brainstorm about solutions in the meeting.
There are countless ways to store information—from Post-It notes to Excel spreadsheets. But if you’re not careful, it can be easy for that information to become fragmented and inaccessible. The more siloed this data is, the less useful it becomes to businesses. So if you move this data to CRM, everyone in the organization will have access to it.
One obvious advantage of CRM is that it allows your company to easily update customer data. If your company does a lot of B2B sales, it’s essential for you to have up-to-date records about your contacts. So you’ll want to track which company they work for, what they bought from you, when they purchased it, and when they’re likely to buy again.
Without CRM, looking up all this data is a tedious, slow process (at best). But with CRM, every detail is available in seconds.
Today’s customers can be pretty demanding. When they have complaints about your products or services, they expect quick responses. So the longer it takes for you to get back to them, the unhappier they’ll become. They might even start checking out your competitors, which isn’t good.
While CRM is primarily viewed as a sales tool, it’s just as valuable in customer service applications. Centralized customer records and ticket-tracking tools can absolutely make responding to complaints more efficient than a simple database. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
CRM can also help teams prioritize complaints, send out automated updates about service outages, and allow customer service reps to personalize their customer interactions. In addition, it allows you to automate a wide range of customer service activities, and scale those activities as your business grows.
To truly understand what your customers are up to, you need all the data you can get. CRM doesn’t just allow you to collect and store customer and sales data; it also allows you to put that data to work. Every detail can be analyzed and examined. And it can be mined for hidden trends and insights that would be too obscure to see on an individual basis.
Additionally, CRM allows you to track every KPI that matters to your business, so you can turn dense strings of data into charts and graphs that anyone can comprehend. This benefit allows you to see seasonal trends you’d miss otherwise, and learn about ways your customers will behave in the long term. In short, it allows you to craft new strategies by using the best available data.
CRM can solve countless business problems, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of their benefits in this article. Overall, CRM can dramatically boost the efficiency of your workers by saving them time, automating common tasks, and making it easier for sales and customer service reps to do their jobs.
By integrating your CRM with your ERP, email, or other systems, you can boost efficiency even more. Outside the office, these benefits can even be applied via mobile CRM apps, which makes life easier for sales reps in the field. CRM isn’t just useful technology for managing customer relationships; it’s also a highly versatile tool for solving countless business problems.
To learn more about how CRM can solve business problems at your company, contact Intelestream for a free consultation.