Why Do You Need a CRM?

Why is CRM Important for Sales?

CRM software is typically an integrated suite of cloud applications, such as marketing cloud, sales cloud, and service cloud, that collect and store customer data. It provides a central platform for sales teams to manage customer interactions and prioritize activities, ensuring no customer feels neglected and thereby enhancing the customer experience (CX).

CRM software is one of the most important sales tools in a sales representative’s arsenal. It’s more than just a contact management system. When used to its full capacity, CRM enables sales representatives to spend more time with customers and potential customers. The more time spent with customers, the more deals are closed, and the more loyal customers are retained.

Companies of all sizes will benefit from using a fully integrated, cross-functional CRM solution.

Signs You Need a CRM Tool

Like most cloud software purchases, CRM software solves a problem. Sales are slipping. Customers are leaving. Growth is stagnating.

A CRM system increases the number of incoming leads and helps your marketing team find new customers faster by intelligently storing and managing your customers’ information. It supports your sales teams in closing more deals faster. It also enhances customer service. For example, by adding customer data to your customer service software, call center representatives can meet customer needs more engagingly, productively, and efficiently.

To be more specific, here are eight signs that it might be time to consider implementing a CRM system:

  1. Sales is a struggle.

At some point, all businesses need to enter new markets or introduce new products. But if you’re struggling to keep up with the business you’ve already created, it might be time to invest in an integrated CRM solution. A CRM can prioritize potential sales leads, analyze them, and put them in order of priority, allowing your sales team to focus on opportunities more likely to close and provide fast and efficient responses to customers. Your customer service team will also have the information they need for upselling and cross-selling.

  1. Creating customer profiles is difficult.

If you can’t find all your customer data points, the only thing you can do when it’s time to create an ideal customer profile is guess. Not only that, but you won’t be able to see your sales team’s activities either. You’ll need to hold more status meetings to learn this information, pulling your salespeople away from customers and worsening the problem.

  1. Customer service isn’t good.

Is your customer retention rate dropping?

Do you have a terrible Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

Are call center processing times in the stratosphere?

What’s your average first response time?

If your customer service representatives are not being responsive to customer issues and not proactively working with customers, it might be time to invest in a CRM tool that can give your service team the information it needs to deliver excellent service. Your CRM should also provide:

Digital assistants/chatbots to answer low-urgency, high-volume questions and route cases to the right representatives for resolution.

Knowledge management tools to help representatives answer questions and provide self-service help for customers.

Various digital customer service tools, including live chat, video chat, phone, and co-browsing functionality, that allow customers to interact with your customer service team in the way and time they prefer.

  1. Marketing and sales departments aren’t collaborating.

A good CRM can be a gathering point for all kinds of information since it can hold all kinds of data. Lack of collaboration between departments is a common source of many customer woes. They find themselves repeating themselves. Promises made to them slip through the cracks. No one seems to know their history. Without smooth collaboration between all teams, customers will leave.

Aligning processes across sales, customer service, marketing, and even some back-office roles (such as billing, inventory, or logistics) is a difficult task. However, if all components of a CRM share a common data model, all employees can access, use, and contribute to the data. They can work together and share insights, prospects, issues, and purchase history. When information is shared among teams, productivity and efficiency skyrocket, data silos disappear, and your entire company appears to the customer as a single unified entity. You’ve created a data-driven organization.

  1. High-value accounts are unknown.

You don’t want your best customers to feel unappreciated, but it’s hard to do that if you don’t know who those customers are. A proper CRM tool can identify them so that any employee interacting with them can acknowledge them, provide the right incentives, and nurture them to increase customer loyalty.

  1. Key contacts in an account can’t be identified.

CRM solutions can help track relevant people within your business to personalize communications for both sales and marketing teams. Good CRM solutions can complete account and contact data by leveraging third-party data sources for dozens of firmographic and signal data types. So if a key contact moves to a new job, your sales, service, and marketing teams know about it and can continue to nurture and rebuild those important relationships.

  1. Customer data is missing or incorrect.

Missing and dirty data is a big problem for global brands. Good CRM solutions can automatically update your CRM system with second- and third-party account and contact data, filling in any gaps sales reps might have missed and intelligently removing duplicates.

  1. Forecasting and reporting are difficult.

If reports are still being produced by downloading data into spreadsheets, they’re taking too long to create and are likely to be error-prone. Faulty reports lead to faulty planning and forecasting. Time-consuming administrative tasks distract your sales team from doing what they should be doing, which is selling. A good CRM system keeps data in a centralized, easily accessible location and facilitates accurate, real-time reporting and forecasting.

Why Should You Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solution?

When your data is organized and managed by a CRM platform, you gain a more comprehensive understanding of your customers, leading to more cohesive messaging. Many activities (both behind the scenes and direct interactions) can be digitized and automated, enabling you to target your marketing efforts, expedite sales cycles, and deliver better, more efficient customer service. Finally, with a fully integrated CRM, data silos are eliminated, and interdepartmental collaboration is facilitated, allowing you to present a unified front to customers.

What Are Some CRM Examples?

Let’s take a look at two scenarios from a customer’s perspective.

Consider needing service for a product you purchased from a company you’ve done business with before. You even registered the product. When you call the customer support line, the representative has no idea who you are, what you purchased, or when the purchase transaction took place. Now, you have to go through the tedious process of providing the representative with information they should easily have access to, such as model or serial numbers. Not only are you wasting your valuable time providing information that should be readily accessible to them, but you also feel like you’re not very important to them since they seem to know nothing about you. Even though you might get the service you need, you’ll be scrutinizing the competition closely next time you consider buying from that company.

Now, imagine another scenario. You make this support call yourself. The representative can access all your purchase and service history with just your name and verification of who you are, and they treat you as if you’re a valuable customer. Even if there’s an issue with a product, this kind of personalized treatment will keep you coming back for more.

CRM supports the second type of customer experience. Every interaction based on CRM presents an opportunity for your customer to have a more personalized and engaging experience. It’s also an opportunity to build brand value, increase satisfaction, and make more sales. That’s how you create customer loyalty and increase revenue.

What Do CRM Systems Provide?

Sales and Marketing Automation

A CRM system provides automated workflows that allow your marketing team to focus on strategic tasks such as creating resonating marketing campaigns, analyzing data from these campaigns, and testing different approaches based on that analytics. Customer service representatives can spend their time dealing with more complex questions, issues, or needs. In short, more efficient customer service processes enable companies to build better customer relationships.

AI-Powered Sales and Marketing Tools

With AI-powered CRM, you can:

Automatically score leads to prioritize qualified leads (MQLs) and sales opportunities.

Use machine learning to analyze data associated with each sales opportunity to predict the likelihood of an early close.

Utilize digital assistants, chatbots, and other automated messaging systems to handle simple customer queries like order status and outstanding payments.

Access company data compiled by artificial intelligence for dozens of company data types, such as firmographic and signal data, to better target your audience and strengthen account-based marketing (ABM) strategies.

Use artificial intelligence and machine learning to create an ideal customer profile based on compiled data and machine learning that can be used to identify similar sales opportunities.

Provide smart talking points to improve email campaign conversion rates and support more efficient sales conversations around relevant topics.

Better Collaboration Across Sales, Marketing, and Service

Your CRM system serves as the single source of truth for all transactional, business, and customer data about your customers. Employees across your organization can work with the same customer or track a customer’s progress through marketing, sales, and service. Anyone with access to your CRM has the latest information, so they can work together effectively.

What’s the Return on Investment (ROI) of a CRM System?

CRM provides a high return on investment. Of course, if you’re a small business, you can get by without making that investment. You might be able to cobble together a CRM solution from Excel spreadsheets and email. But as you grow, you’ll quickly run into the law of diminishing returns. In 2014, Nucleus Research found that ROI increased by 38 percent to $8.71 for every dollar spent compared to 2011.

A fully integrated CRM can provide even more profitability. Nucleus also found that CRM integration with other internal applications brought “sales, service, and operations productivity increases and business growth of 20 to 30 percent” to the business world.

ROI isn’t the only key performance indicator (KPI) you should be tracking, though. Other KPIs to monitor include your Net Promoter Scores (NPS), your customer acquisition costs (CAC), the length of your sales cycles, the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, and the growth of your email distribution lists.

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