Every company, whether they engage in services, sales, or creating artistic masterpieces, needs to interact with their customers. Of all the myriad software tools in existence, the most widely applicable for customer interaction are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
“But wait,” you say, “I already manage my customers. Why would I spend money and effort on a new system when my current methods work?” There are a slew of benefits of CRM technology, ranging from “it decreases paperwork” to “people expect them”. Here we will talk about the top five business benefits of CRM, regardless of your company size.
5 Key CRM Benefits
Increased Revenue and Decreased Overhead
There are two ways to improve a company’s financial status: increase revenue or decrease expenditures. CRM solutions can help you in both situations.
Most importantly, a CRM system can help shorten sales cycles and improve win rates. It does this by aiding in the identification and prioritization of the most profitable accounts and marketing efforts. By focusing sales and marketing teams on the customers with the most profit potential, you can minimize wasted effort. A side benefit to the account identification is its inverse: identifying non-profitable or troublesome customers who need special handling.
A CRM can also reduce overhead. By integrating with other financial systems, the CRM can provide a unified view into all revenue-affecting information, thereby reducing the effort required to see related data. And by automating regular tasks, the system minimizes manual procedures and reduces the amount of time spent on them.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
A happy customer is a loyal customer, and a CRM can help improve a customer’s overall experience with your company. Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and other departments that directly interact with customers can share information about specific accounts. So when a given customer is handed off from marketing to sales, and then on to support, all parties are kept in the loop.
By tracking a customer’s history, the CRM can also provide insight into potential future needs of the customer. Knowing if a customer tends to buy a certain type of product or have a repeated service need, your personnel can be better prepared for future requests.
One of the largest issues with marketing efforts is making them effective. CRMs can analyze past campaigns and customers to help you tailor upcoming marketing to be more profitable and effective. Responses to automated campaigns, such as email or social media marketing, can be automatically scored by the CRM, and then passed on to sales personnel, thereby helping sales focus on the best potential leads.
Increased Collaboration and Coordination
Interdepartmental coordination is often an issue, particularly in a fast-paced sales cycle. A Customer Relationship Management system, especially mobile and cloud-based CRMs, can increase collaboration across the entire cycle. Shared calendars, customer information, and work items provide insight into ongoing efforts across the organization.
The increased coordination and collaboration makes teams more efficient, reduces redundant effort, and minimizes missed opportunities which result from a lack of communication. The shared data can also help identify which team members or departments are the best performers, so you can more readily discover what they are doing that could help improve the remainder of the teams.
Improved Data Insight and Analytics
All the data in the world is useless if you cannot access it. CRMs provide ready visualizations and reports about your customer information. The system lets you see sales and customer trends, provide insight into the sales pipeline, and gives information into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Potential resource bottlenecks can be identified prior to becoming an issue. Multi-department reports can be easily generated without the need to manually sift through mounds of data.
Overall, the business justification for a CRM system can be summed up as “It saves effort, makes customers happier, and helps increase revenue.” The big question is not “why should I use a CRM?”, but rather why don’t you have one already?
If you’re shopping for CRM, consider checking out our latest CRM Software Analyst Report. See who matches up best against leaders like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.