What are the top ten benefits of CRM?
Over the course of the 30 years that we have been delivering CRM solutions for SMEs, we’ve gained in-depth insight into our customers’ businesses, changing needs and indeed changing markets. Last month I highlighted the five core goals that we see businesses typically setting when opting for a CRM solution; this month I’d like to examine the benefits that organisations derive from a best practice CRM implemention.
1. Improved customer insight
CRM solutions centralise all of your customer data. Interactions with the client from any department are held centrally and every stage of the sales journey is tracked in real time. Whereas once it would be true to say that the sales team had the closest relationship with the customer, now all departments can have the same insight, with everything they need to know to deliver an outstanding customer experience at the click of a button.
2. Valuing each customer
The right CRM platform transforms your data into intelligence. With data analysis and visualisation tools you are able to evaluate buying patterns, track use of products or specific customer profiles and identify which actions you should be taking to deliver optimum after-sales service. The detailed picture of each customer that this produces allows you to determine your customers’ true value to your business, both now and in the future.
3. Accessing and updating real-time data on the go
Thanks to the evolution of Cloud CRM and real-time data synchronisation, all employees using the solution will have access to the most current customer information wherever they are, via mobile, tablet or desktop. This reduces the need to phone the office or another department to cross-reference or update details. In fact, one of our customers whose employees are often on the road visiting clients recently told us that their Cloud CRM solution has halved the amount of calls back to the office – significantly boosting productivity and data integrity.
4. More effective marketing
Marketing teams using CRM benefit from direct visibility of sales information, which can be used to finely tune and target their marketing campaigns. Tools within the CRM allow them to track and measure every campaign and use information garnered to ensure future marketing initiatives are as profitable and effective as possible.
5. Improving your sales figures
A CRM infrastructure provides your sales people with tools that can measure sales activity and identify trends in customer behaviour, thereby making it possible for them to time their approaches more strategically and exploit all up-selling or cross-selling opportunities.
6. Retaining customers for longer
It costs far more to secure a new customer than to keep an existing one. CRM should provide the foundations to build stronger relationships, deliver exceptional service and keep customers happy and coming back for more. This is certainly a key benefit according to one of our customers in Ireland, who has found that their CRM has given them a methodical, organised way of ensuring that every single customer receives appropriate, value-added interactions that improve their overall experience and satisfaction.
7. Fulfilling potential and maximising value
Making the most of the tools within your CRM helps you to identify buying patterns and trends for specific customer segments. Applying this knowledge puts you in a better position to spot sales opportunities and improve customer service delivery, maximising revenue in the process.
8. Increased productivity
With individual teams working more efficiently, and departments collaborating more effectively, CRM helps businesses save time and boost revenue. One of our customers, a leading communications and technology strategist in the North West, Think 7, explains the improvements CRM has brought to their day-to-day productivity: “We are now able to complete tasks in a tenth of the time it was taking us previously – not only are we more efficient, our productivity levels have soared … What would previously take the business 3 hours to complete (for each individual deal) is now being achieved in just 20 minutes, some 89% improvement.”
9. Keeping ahead of the game
A CRM platform gives you a competitive edge over rivals. Data analysis and tracking capabilities allow you to anticipate and respond more quickly to market changes and events with a degree of flexibility and responsiveness that would previously have been impossible.
10. Securing new customers
Having analysed and visualised your existing data to create detailed customer profiles, finding new prospects who match the criteria of your ideal customer becomes much easier and less costly. Sales and marketing campaigns can be tailored to meet these criteria and new deals closed more speedily.
CRM is an indispensable tool for any business with a customer-centric outlook and growth in its sights. This brief review of the key benefits of a successful implementation tells us that the organisational gains tend to centre on improved customer service, satisfaction and retention; productivity enhancements; and boosted revenue streams. With the right solution, guidance and training, these benefits are within reach for every SME.
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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...