The talk about CRM has been going around the industry from the 1980s. Having its origins in the basics of customer management, CRM has turned out to be an essential tool for corporates for advocating the interaction between businesses & customers and to leverage important data for improving marketing and sales.
Why CRM is needed in today’s Business world
CRM software is one of the most effective tools in the modern world that corporates can use to track the activities of clients as well as employees for improving the overall performance which can result in increased revenue. CRM can help to give a personal touch to each & every message that is passed along to clients no matter how small or large a company is. Integrating a CRM platform is advantageous for both large-scale & small scale industries. The companies who have started using this technology have seen huge advancement in their overall process especially in meeting sales quotas & about 91% of companies with more than 11 employees now use CRM software for their overall improvement (source).
Driving sales is mostly a cyclical process. If the customers are happy with the product & services provided to them, the happiness later changes to repeat sales & growing customer bases. But the issue that companies faced in the past were that, there was no way for them to track their relationships with individual clients as the sales people’s job was not just maintaining old relationships but also meeting new people almost every day & the companies had to depend upon the words of their sales people. A systematical analysis of measurement was needed to tackle these challenges, which is now easily accomplished with the CRM software.
In the case of marketing, CRM allows to organize marketing campaigns & assets in one place. This helps in running multiple marketing campaigns simultaneously & segment the audience for maximum application. The marketing team will have an unparalleled visibility with one central hub for marketing campaigns which will result in better leads.
In the context of customer service, a CRM solution helps to provide a 360 degree service to each customer. The company representatives will have access to complete case histories, detailed account information & can also get the preferred way of communication which will be suitable for the client. All this will help in providing the best service to customers which can turn them loyal to the brand.
Other than sales, marketing and customer service, CRM-like software is also used by organizations for managing their own human capital. It is the responsibility of organizations to manage and fulfill all needs of its own employees. This approach of organizations called Employee Resource Management (ERM) has been integrated to CRM software and is being used for filling the gaps between organizations and its employees to create a professional and strong emotional bonding among them.
CRM- Not just a System but also a Strategy
Even though there are many who consider CRM as just software for inputting data, CRM should be used in a more strategical approach to segment customers to give the best understanding of the customer to the business & to track customer experience from marketing to sales to customer service.
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Protecting valuable customer data
The chances of missing data when saved in spread sheets, word documents or notepads are high compared to data stored in CRM software. It’s also comparatively easier to change the data according to the updates in CRM software than in an excel sheet.
Retaining customers & creating brand loyalty with customer service enabled CRM
One of the primary reasons that customers leave companies is poor service levels. Customers want to be treated well even after the sale is over. The strategies that can be devised through data analysis with the tools CRM provides can help companies retain their customers like never before.
“82% of customers leave as they think that companies do not care enough about them” – The Rockefeller Corporation
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360 Degree view with CRM
Data regarding each call made, e-mail sent, purchase made or an enquiry can be recorded in CRM software. This complete view of information regarding customers can be said as the 360 degree view which can be accessed with CRM software& never through any excel or word document.
Guaranteed complete understanding of Customer with CRM
CRM systems help to gather all the data regarding customers to one centralized place, which the companies can use for analyzing & forecasting in order to improve sales, marketing & customer service. Customer experience can be greatly improved with this & according to a research by Nielsen, it’s likely for customers to recommend a brand to others if they are happy with the service.
“Three out of four consumers say they spent more money with a company because of a positive customer experience” – Global Cutomer Service
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Identifying potential leads with CRM
One advantage of CRM is that along with providing access to all customer interactions, it also allows analysis of the data. Customer analysis can help companies in various ways that include selling, up-selling, retaining existing customers or attracting new ones by reviewing the customer’s behavior pattern by analyzing the data.
“More than two-thirds of U.S consumers are willing to provide personal information to receive more personalized services-Cisco”.
It’s no secret that personalized selling is the norm of today’s market & CRM can help companies achieve it through data analysis.
CRM for sales, marketing & customer service
While the majority people think of CRM as just a tool for customer database management, it’s been helping companies (IT departments to finance) for their activities regarding sales, marketing & customer service across the world. CRM software is great source for managing & nurturing prospects, identifying their needs and marketing relevant content while being able to get a 360 degree view of each and every customer.
Integration of CRM software to cell phones
Cell phones are no longer a luxury & it’s kind of a must-have in the corporate world. If you examine the routine of salesmen who work in an organization, it can be noticed that majority of their life revolves around cellphones. They are not expected to be chained to their office desk in contrast they need to hit the road and get business for the companies unless they are involved in inside sales. With rise in technology it’s possible to integrate CRM software to cellphones which helps the sales professional to access their data on the go.
“Mobile access increases sales force productivity by an average of 14.6% – Nucleus.”
Benefit of Social Media integration to CRM
During the second quarter of this year, Facebook reached 2 billion monthly active users while Twitter & LinkedIn collectively have 828 million users. Corporates have recognized these platforms to be really important for promoting their businesses as the sheer number of users of these mediums itself show their power. CRM now has the option to link the company’s social media channels along with the social media activity of their customers. This enables the corporates to track & manage the conversations each time a customer tries to contact them through any of their social media channels in much more detail as compared to an enquiry through telephone or an email enquiry. Moreover, it is simpler to track the effectiveness of social media campaigns regarding marketing or promotion.
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Forecasting and Opportunity Management with CRM
With the proper utilization of CRM software, timely, accurate and focused forecasting that gives critical data into the future needs of the customer can be attained which can be used by corporates for improving their customer experience. Exact forecasting helps in aligned opportunity management and helps companies in planning their future marketing campaigns for connecting faster with customers. CRM is just like any other software, i.e. the more you use, the more opportunities it will bring to the organization.
CRM – Essential tool for today’s Corporate
As businesses get bigger it becomes increasingly difficult for corporates to focus on customers on an individual basis. Companies become more successful when they get better in managing the relationships with their customers. With the help of CRM software, companies can achieve this by reaching out to clients and solving their problems with a personal touch. Putting the customers first is the smartest way to stay ahead in business & without CRM software, corporates will find it difficult.