Customer engagement and relationship management is perhaps the most important aspect of sales and acquisition of client revenue. Especially with so much customer-driven feedback on the Web, which has forced companies to take another look at the importance of utilizing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software beyond the “squeaky wheel” crisis stage. Basically, SMBs and even larger corporations and startups need to take a closer look at CRM – long before the “squeaky wheel” effect happens, where managing client relationships gets to the point of being so messy and potentially disastrous that you finally say, “We need CRM.” Though it’s not near the top of the to-do list for businesses, it should be right in there with IT management, productivity, and accounting. Here’s why:
- Loss of key customers hurts more than not getting new leads. It’s thought of simply as a sales automation system, but CRM contains the word “relationship,” and is an outgrowth of a core business principle: Keeping good customers is much more preferable and profitable than losing out on new sales leads. In fact, just one good consistently-paying customer can be worth ten good sales leads. Even just reaching out to a former consistent-paying customer who’s fallen away and saying, “Hey, we miss your business!” is a worthwhile CRM tactic.
- Make up for the loss of a star sales rep. Let’s say you have a superstar sales rep making lots of deals happen by bringing in all kinds of new leads that convert. Let’s say that that person gets called away by another firm who’s willing to pay him or her a lot more money. You lose them, and now you have to go through and manage their customer communications and sort through their sales files in general. This is also where CRM comes in handy, when it acts as a housecleaner and collating system. Just plug that former sales star’s sales leads and customer info into the CRM database, and it will even handle any security, legal, or proprietary issues surrounding customer interactions.
- Your revenues and profits have fallen and can’t get up. Sales and revenues are down and you can’t figure out why. CRM can quickly figure out the “why” for you and address those whys with answers that can drive profits back up again. A system of record like CRM can even locate cross-selling and up-sell opportunities where at-a-glance analysis or assumptions can’t.
- CRM helps drive efficiency and growth management. With CRM on the job, you have an efficient and systematic way to manage the sales process from start to finish. You can better integrate the changes that occur with rapid growth, streamlining the sales process from lead to conversion to relationship management and future conversions.
- The ability to make regular reports, translatable to all departments. With CRM, you can get as detailed as you want to, and answer such questions as, “What did sales rep X do to follow up on that lead?” or, “Will we hit our sales target this quarter, or year?” and be able to analyze CRM data and disseminate findings department-wide.
The Future of CRM
CRM as a future sales tool will actually come to play an even more important or needed role as the Internet of Things (IoT) evolves and involves more and more of the business world. As digital business systems and strategies evolve, and sales reps find themselves immersed in the IoT world while still focused on making and keeping sales leads and customers – CRM, especially as a cloud service or SaaS (Software as a Service) platform will come into increasing demand.
If you have questions about setting up CRM software for your business network, CPU, Inc is the leader in providing managed IT services in the United States. Contact one of us today at (419) 872-9119 or send us an email at info@CPUonline.com, and we will be happy to answer all your questions.
Published on 9th September 2016 by Jeanne DeWitt.