CRM is about gaining and retaining customers. By leveraging a CRM system, organizations can document and react to a customer’s experience based on information collected over time.
There are many benefits to implementing a CRM system, but the top six things CRM can do for you are:
1. Create A Standardized Process
Each of your company’s departments has a unique process—not only how they work individually, but how they work together. For example, think about the various stages in a sales cycle versus how your marketing department creates campaigns targeted to prospects. Because each department relies so heavily upon each other for success, it’s important to have a defined process for how your departments function individually and how they interact with one other.
A CRM system gives you the tools to manage, measure and improve your processes. Creating workflow rules, for example, ensures that your sales reps follow specific stages throughout the sales cycle. A CRM system also allows you to automate the processes you have in place, from the sales stages your sales reps go through, to managing approvals, to logging all communication between reps and customers. As a result, not only are departments working smarter on their own, but departments are working smarter together.
2. No More Weekly Status Reports
One of the immediate and most visible benefits of a CRM system is the elimination of the weekly, manual status report. Salespeople who track all their opportunities in a CRM system no longer have to manually create a spreadsheet and send it as a status report to their manager at the end of the week. With a CRM system, salespeople can track their opportunities in one place, and their managers won’t have to stress about compiling and organizing data from multiple documents. The more data documents you have, the more likely you are to misplace or lose that information.
A CRM system can automatically run a status report and email it to your sales manager. Management similarly has access to all the sales data online and can run its own reports without even having to wait for status updates.
Minimizing the lag time between your salespeople and their managers allows your company to make the most of its efforts. Time is money, so why waste it when you could be capitalizing on your opportunities?
While a CRM does not do away with status updates,
your employees no longer have to spend hours pulling all the information together. The time your company saves eliminating disorganized reports can instead be focused on your customers. The bottom line is that a CRM system provides better organization and better insight into the overall performance of your company.
3. Automate Your Unique Sales Process
One of the biggest objections salespeople have to adopting CRM is that they already have too many processes in place. However, any good CRM system should be flexible enough to allow sales people to seamlessly integrate their existing processes into the CRM system without additional burden.
A CRM system will automate the sales team’s manual and repetitive steps, giving them more time to sell and focus on turning leads into customers. Simply put, a CRM system is a positive extension to the processes you already have in place that lets your team reach its full potential.
4. Improve Collaboration
Communication is key for each department to work efficiently with one another. Lack of collaboration on a departmental and organizational level can lead to confusion, longer sales cycles and incorrect information. Remember that while you’re tracking various documents, past or concurrent sales opportunities and other forms of data in CRM, you’re collaborating with your colleagues to ensure a successful process. It is likely that you’re not the only person who needs to view all of this necessary information about any given customer case.
A CRM application gives you visibility across departments, can help you track your marketing efforts all the way through closing a deal, and can even manage post-sales support. When using CRM, your employees can more easily share information with each other, which may result in a faster sales cycle and increased revenues.
5. Greater Visibility
Without a CRM system, it is hard to have detailed sales numbers and compare them with your company’s past performance. Spreadsheets only tell a small part of the story, so trying to correlate marketing activities to sales performance is even more difficult.
A CRM system should come standard with reporting capabilities. This allows you to slice and dice historical and current customer, sales, marketing, and support information any way you want. With this detailed information, your company can determine what practices are successful and which ones need improvement.
6. A Single Place To Keep All Your Customer Data
Many of us already keep our customer contacts in some sort of system, all the way from business cards to notebooks; Post-it Notes to Excel spreadsheets; email to contact databases; and in some cases, even our memory. With these systems, there are several pitfalls. What if you lose your computer? What if your top salesperson leaves the company with his little black book? What if you forget the customer information that is so vital to your company’s success?
A CRM system allows you to store your information in a third-party system. This means that if you were to lose your computer or your top sales person were to leave the company, you would not lose your information. The information would remain in the on-site server or cloud services provided by the CRM vendor. These services mean that you can breathe easier knowing your information is always accessible when you need it.
Ultimately, a CRM system helps you attract and retain customers. Think about how you’re doing this today, and think about how technology can support you in improving your company’s processes now and over time.