Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology has long been regarded as an essential tool for all businesses. Sector or size is not important; everyone needs a CRM. It empowers first class customer experiences whilst simultaneously driving revenue and giving you a competitive edge.
The implementation of a CRM system is vital in ensuring your key customer centric strategies are achieved. The software provides a range of tools, enabling easy management of interactions and relationships with all your business contacts. Your workforce feels empowered as a result, boosting productivity and enhancing their customer management activities.
Nothing about CRM is new, it is a tried and tested strategy. Businesses who have pursued a CRM system have witnessed an increase in their customer retention rates of up to 27% (this fact we will give to you for free!). Inaccurate and out-dated customer information is a thing of the past. CRM software improves customer data quality and enhances your ability to acquire and retain new and profitable customers.
A CRM facilitates the centralised storage of all customer data. Accessible to all departments, the system provides a 360-degree view of your customers in real time, 24 hours a day. Customer facing teams can rapidly access the data they need to continuously delight your customers, driving value, engagement and sales.
Here are the top five reasons you need to implement a CRM system today:
1. Improves productivity by as much as 50%
A CRM system can perform many activities. One of the simplest yet most effective is its ability to automate time consuming, manual tasks by leveraging workflows. Simple to create automated actions can be triggered at scheduled times, by system defined conditions, or by user and customer activity. Users will have more time to put customers first, nurturing relationships and creating experiences that will delight them.
The automation of administrative activities enables the introduction of efficient business processes. This has been proven to shorten your sales cycle by 8 – 14%. Sales teams will no longer spend their time completing admin tasks (usually on spreadsheets) and chasing cold leads. With CRM software on their side they can now focus on selling with all the facts at their fingertips.
CRM enables the integration of third party applications such as ERP, so teams have access to all critical customer data, all of the time. Collaboration and communication across different departments becomes more efficient. Having access to a single source of truth about your customer base enables teams to better understand where their focus should lie. Long term goals can be set and coordinated across departments based on accurate data.
2. Increase sales by up to 29%
A well implemented CRM system makes pin-pointing existing opportunities and creating new ones easier.
Sales and marketing teams can easily segment customers according a wide range of criteria such as spend, activity, market sector etc. Identifying and re-engaging dormant customers and scheduling automated email marketing campaigns is a straightforward CRM task.
Reminding customers that you feel their absence could be all that’s needed to get their attention and generate new sales. CRM alleviates data silos within businesses. Teams are easily able to collaborate and access rich customer data at any time allowing them to better service your customers. Trends in buyer behaviours and cross-department touchpoints make way for cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
3. Boosts customer satisfaction by 47%
A business’s greatest strength is having a satisfied customer base. A basic business tenet is that it’s much more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain and satisfy existing ones. Delighting customers is no longer optional, it is necessary. CRM enables you to deliver business strategies designed to engage and empower your customers.
Relationships with customers are easily managed and nurtured with a CRM in place. Teams have the necessary tools to gather enhanced customer data which can be used to provide a personalised service that clients will engage with. A CRM will help you to exceed customer expectations, creating loyal brand advocates in the process.
If you have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in place with your customers, then SLA performance tracking can be enabled through the use of a CRM system. Monitoring and measuring compliance can be carried out by both you and the customer via their own portal. The CRM can be programmed to warn users and managers when performance drops below satisfactory levels displaying warning messages and escalation procedures. Delivering great service strengthens customer relationships.
Customer satisfaction levels can also be monitored using the software through the use of surveys. Providing an opportunity for honest feedback promotes a caring persona which customers will relate to and appreciate. Understanding what your customers think of your brand and product offering will allow you to innovate and grow. Harnessing the power of these insights will allow you to delight them daily.
4. Enables testing and refining of marketing to obtain 37% higher engagement
Without the use of a CRM solution, your marketing teams will find it difficult to determine the marketing campaigns that have brought the best engagement and ROI. By proactively and continuously enhancing your marketing content, you will engage your audience and enhance brand and customer loyalty.
Marketing teams can use the available tools to analyse every aspect of your marketing campaigns and messages. It allows them to delve deep; understanding what has driven engagement and what hasn’t. By analysing content in this way, teams can start to piece together and refine their voice. Basing future marketing collateral on these findings will put you in a stronger position to connect with your audience.
A well designed and well targeted campaign, using segmented data from your CRM system, can produce impressive results. Sales and marketing teams will love the ability to create and close new business opportunities quickly, effectively and efficiently.
5. Increase in forecasting accuracy
Unreliable data could compromise the future of your business. When different internal departments manually collate information from their own sources such as spreadsheets, this can easily happen. There are many Business School case studies about the dangers of modelling your business in spreadsheets. The results and consequences can be frightening.
Alternatively, a well-designed and implemented CRM system acts as a single source of truth for all your customer and related business data, in real-time. As clients continue along their customer journeys, their associated data and profiles are updated simultaneously. With up-to-date data always at their fingertips, sales and marketing teams are in a strong position to prioritise and target customers that are demonstrating buying signals.
Real-time, graphical executive information dashboards can be created providing drill-down key business metrics Powerful and insightful business information empowers managers to make better informed decisions and impact positively on sales and profits.
Armed with reliable reporting tools, access to customer history and upcoming actions, it is easier than ever to accurately forecast your pipeline. Every stage of an opportunity’s lifecycle can be monitored and reported on. Surprises are minimised. Everyone across your business is on the same page and strategically aligned.
SuiteCRM is one of the world’s most popular CRM applications. Our feature-rich enterprise-ready alternative to Salesforce enables your sales teams to sell, market & service smarter by providing all the benefits of CRM at substantially lower costs, with the freedoms and flexibility of Open Source.
You can download and host SuiteCRM on your own servers, you can put it in a public cloud, a private cloud or you can access it as software-as-a-service. It is the ultimate freedom, allowing you to stay in full control over your business data. You can try SuiteCRM for free here.
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