CRM – Defining your top 5 goals
With companies now more customer-focused than ever before, state-of-the-art CRM technology is fast becoming an indispensable platform that businesses rely on to get closer to their clients and to run efficient, joined-up operations that improve customer satisfaction levels and maximise revenue.
In our experience, clarifying your goals is a vital part of paving the way to a successful CRM implementation – and it’s surprising how many companies don’t put in the groundwork at this crucial stage. Here is my view of the top five goals that companies typically set when setting out on their CRM journey.
Goal one: Put the customer at the heart of your business
A CRM solution should help equip your organisation with all the tools it needs to put your customers firmly at the core of the way you do business. I’m sure your sales representatives have already built solid relationships with your customers and have a detailed understanding of their needs; this knowledge needs to be accessible to other departments as well, such as marketing and customer service, if you are to truly claim to be customer-centric in your operations and culture.
With real-time data centralised in one convenient database, each of your customer-facing teams has easy and immediate access to relationship data and the specifics that will improve efficiency and customer interactions. For example, your marketing department can use CRM to gain improved insight into customer challenges, needs and expectations, previously sourced by and siloed in sales. The result? More targeted (and ultimately more profitable) marketing campaigns.
Goal two: It’s all about the data
Your business data is undoubtedly one of your most valuable assets but we all know that it can pose substantial risk as well as reward. CRM can serve as a vital tool to help you manage the risk inherent in holding customer and prospect data, not least from a regulatory perspective, such as complying with the new data protection regulation (GDPR). Have a read of my previous blog for further discussion on this (link).
The right CRM should help you open the throttle to deriving real value from your data. Data analysis and visualisation tools, for instance, will enable your business to identify various trends in customer behaviour that may otherwise have gone unseen and which then give you a competitive edge in closing deals, creating new leads, up-selling goods or services and ultimately keeping your clients happy.
I’m reminded here of the words of one of our customers in the recruitment sector, who’s been using CRM for nearly 20 years and relies fully on the technology to keep a firm grip on their client data. They recently commented to me that the primary goal of their CRM is to help them lay their hands, quickly and easily, on any one of their thousands of records. For them, the poweful indexing and search capabilities of a CRM take the pain out of their day-to-day business activities.
Goal three: Let the numbers do the talking
Do you really know who your most valuable customers are? Most companies will struggle to come up with accurate, informed insights about who’s making them the most money without having access to the type of granular data that a CRM lays at your fingertips.
Drawing up detailed customer profiles that give a good outline their lifetime value should be a goal of any CRM project. This information can then be used to prioritise retaining clients that meet these profile specifics and also to attract others with similar characteristics in order to drive profitability.
One of our customers in Ireland – a social enterprise – with a large and complex service portfolio approached us to help them analyse – in their words – ‘who is buying what’. It is precisely this vital business intelligence that many companies aspire to when implementing CRM.
Goal four: Reinforce responsibility
When businesses lack the tools to provide a joined-up approach to managing their customer relationships, mistakes will inevitably be made and revenue opportunities missed or clients left unsatisfied.
A CRM solution can plug any gaps in customer interactions by adding a layer of accountability that spans all departments. A well-implemented CRM platform gives better visibility into the organisation’s customer-facing activities so that everyone understands the role they play in the customer lifecycle – and helping managers to spot any problems at an early stage.
Goal five: Boost customer satisfaction
Every facet of CRM technology drives towards improving customer experience, building loyalty, securing new business and maximising revenues. You could say that the overriding goal of the solution is to help your organisation engage with its customers to the best of its abilities.
At Maximizer we have seen how this equips businesses with the ability to accurately segment and analyse its customer base and identify and track their needs at specific points in the customer journey. Gaining a better understanding of needs and preferences at every point will help you provide a better service to customers, shorten lead times, close more sales and boost their overall satisfaction.
These are the five core, customer-focused goals of CRM that are achievable for companies of all sizes and which will help you reap the promised returns from your technology investment.
Mike Richardson - Managing Director, Maximizer EMEA
As Managing Director (EMEA), Mike is charged with leading and delivering the marketing, sales, service and operational strategy for the EMEA region, alongside the management of the Certified Solutions Provider network.
Mike joined Maximizer Software in 2000, by which time he...