Customer-relationship management, or CRM, is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal behind it is simple: to improve business relationships.
Besides helping companies stay connected to customers, CRMs also take on a number of other tasks such as streamlining various daily business processes and operations and improving profitability and ultimately, the bottom line. CRM software isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it is expected to grow to a $36.5 billion market worldwide within the next three years. This growth shows that organizations are realizing the most valuable assets they have are solid, long-term customer relationships.
If keeping in contact and managing your interactions are fundamental elements that are core to growing your business, then employing CRM technology should be on your to-do list. Need a bit more information about CRM for business and how can software really help you grow? Let Code Authority be your guide…
Effective Use of CRM in Businesses
A CRM solution helps businesses to focus on their organization’s relationships with individual people such as customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers, throughout your lifecycle with them. Additionally, it aids in tasks such as finding new customers, winning their business, and providing support and additional services throughout the relationship. Think of it as an expanded and much more detailed address book. Similar to the “contacts” app you have on your smartphone – or for those who have a longer memory, an upgraded, upgraded, UPGRADED version of the Rolodex!
CRMs work for many aspects of the business environment, and with many roles in a business – from sales to customer service, business development to recruiting and of course marketing. Some of the biggest gains in productivity can come from moving beyond CRM as just only a sales and marketing tool, and embedding it in your business – from HR to customer services and supply-chain management.
The key word to remember in CRM is RELATIONSHIP. The wealth of information contained in CRMs about your contacts is extremely valuable – and so is the way you use that information.
How A CRM Works
A CRM tool lets you do a number of tasks, including:
- store customer and prospect contact information,
- identify sales opportunities,
- record service issues,
- manage marketing campaigns,
- Map demographic analysis and profitability of current and potential customers, including their behavior patterns (levels of approval, rejections)
- Analyze customer behavior, including attrition, turnover, outstanding balances, payment terms, and collections
- Track interactions through a variety of touchpoints such as contact forms, search engines, emails, phone calls and social media
All of the data is stored in one central location, making information accessible about every customer interaction available to anyone at your company who might need it. Additionally, CRM software, in combination with marketing automation, can provide sales and marketing teams with a set of tools to manage the entire sales and marketing funnels, from lead qualification to opportunity management, forecasting, and deal closure.
Many CRM platforms offer opportunities to include information from social media activity that can be helpful for sales/marketing teams when doing outreach to current or potential customers. Data such as likes/dislikes, what people are saying about your product (or the competition), can be viewed.
The Proof: Statistical Impact of CRM on Business
The impact a CRM has on a business can be quite substantial. Consider these statistics:
- The average return on investment for CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent. Calculating an accurate ROI for a CRM investment can be tricky, but improved productivity is a prime benefit of CRMs, especially in key departments such as sales.
- CRM applications can help increase sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by up to 34% and sales forecast accuracy by 42%. By using a CRM with sales forecast reports, sales teams can fine-tune their selling strategy. Sales reps can see how they’re tracking against their quotas at any given moment, while sales managers can make more informed business decisions on how their team should manage its resources.
- 74% of users said their CRM system gave them improved access to customer data.
- 47% of polled CRM users said that their CRM had a significant impact on customer retention, and an equal percentage said their CRM had a significant impact on customer satisfaction.
Proven Benefits of a CRM
Companies of every size are realizing that CRMs aren’t only suited for large-scale organizations that have massive databases of customers. Small and medium sized businesses are also seeing the impact that a CRM has on how they do business and conduct that all important outreach to their customers.
We’ve looked at how a what a CRM is, how a CRM works, and the impact from a statistics standpoint. What may be most important are the benefits that it can bring to your business. Take these 5 into consideration:
Customer satisfactionCRMs allow businesses to handle all dealings involving servicing, marketing, and selling your products and services to your customers in an organized and systematic way. You can also provide better service to customers through improved understanding of their issues.
Increased customer retention and possibly even revenueAccording to Harvard Business Review, a 5% reduction in your customer defection rate can increase your profits anywhere from 25% - 85%. By using data collected via a CRM, you can proactively address at-risk accounts as well as reach out to satisfied customers at the right moment, to encourage repeat purchases.
Improved internal communicationSharing customer data between departments encourages employees to work as a team, which in turn, optimizes the customer experience.
Marketing optimizationBy understanding your customer needs and behavior, companies can better identify the correct time to promote products. This also helps identify relevant promotions for your groups and ensures you execute them at the right time.
Up-selling and cross-sellingUp-selling is where you offer customers an upgrade or premium products that are related to their purchase. Cross-selling is where you offer complementary products that fall into the same category of their purchase. Both strategies can be completed thanks to data from a CRM, as you will have an understanding about customers’ wants, needs and patterns of purchase in order to offer the best options to them.
If you don’t know how well your organization is performing in terms of relationships or how you’re contacting/appealing to customers, maybe it’s time to look into to CRM software management. Code Authority offers various CRM for business solutions as well as CRM business integration and software management tools that allow you to reach your intended customers, and keep up with the ones you already have. Contact us to learn more about the various enterprise software options we can show you today that will have a big impact on the way you do business in the future.