CRM: Benefits and Best Practices
Businesses can’t survive without customers. It’s important that you establish and maintain good relationships with customers to retain and gain more customers. Quite often, that’s hard to do as your customer base grows. It may become impossible for your sales team to engage regularly with each customer. Advanced technology solutions like CRM platforms make it easier for businesses to connect with existing and potential customers.
Benefits of CRM Technology Solutions for Businesses
Here’s why 91% of small companies with 10 or more employees already use a CRM tool.
Better Customer Relationships.
A CRM solution stores and manages contact and customer information, including their demographics, preferences, purchase histories, and interactions with your business. This makes it easy for companies to continue their relationship with existing and potential customers.
Why? When you know what your customers need, what they’ve purchased, or what they’re now inquiring about, you can tell them precisely what they need, when they need it.
For example, if you know that a subscription is expiring or a warranty is ending, letting your customer know this information reinforces trust and reliability with your brand. Additionally, their user experience improves, and so does your customer service. According to Forbes, a CRM solution can enrich your company’s customer service, enhancing customer loyalty to your brand.
Organization Of Customer Data
CRM tools gather and centralize customer data. Typically, a CRM provides insights and reports of customer and prospect behaviors, which gives the sales and marketing teams insight into current product interests, concerns, and needs. Knowing this critical information can help you tailor a contact’s experience based on specific criteria. Statistics show that sales reps using CRM platforms meet their sales target 66% of the time, whereas those who don’t use a CRM tool meet their sales quotas only 22% of the time.
Customer Segmentation And Retention
Technology solutions such as CRM platforms give your company a competitive advantage by offering key information to your sales, marketing, and customer service departments. A CRM system enables you to easily segment your contacts based on specific contact data.
When segmenting contacts, a CRM tool breaks down customer data based on location, gender, demographics, and more criteria. It then groups similar contacts so you can create custom messaging, marketing, and sales initiatives.
Segmentation helps businesses to run personalized campaigns for their customers, which results in a greater retention rate. A recent study revealed that 49% of the participants said that they bought something impulsively only because they got a personalized message about the product.
Improvement In Sales & Productivity
Streamlining your sales process can shorten your sales cycle and help you close deals faster. CRM technology solutions help you move prospects through their purchasing journey by identifying where they are in the sales cycle. It also enables you to organize and manage customer data.
Through automating tasks and having customer data in a centralized location, productivity improves because it’s easy to locate information and have a holistic view of the customer or prospect. This makes it easy for sales teams to set up dashboards and reporting to efficiently manage their pipelines and processes.
Efficient Communication And Strategies
CRM significantly improves internal communication by sharing and integrating customer data across different departments and business solutions. All the interactions with customers and prospects via emails, chatbots, and calls can be automatically captured, organized, and managed by CRM platforms.
CRM enables small- and medium-sized businesses to target customers’ specific needs by using refined data and feedback. When you understand your customers and have insight into their needs, you can guide them to products and services that best fit their needs. Using automated, streamlined, and integrated communication between systems, CRM systems help remove questions and decrease the time it takes to make a sale.
Best CRM Practices to Keep in Mind
As with any business solution, without correctly using the platform, you’ll end up wasting time and money. Having a CRM system to store customer and prospect information without integrating it into other systems is just an expensive spreadsheet. Doing the initial setup work at the beginning may take time, but it will be highly beneficial down the road. Follow these CRM best practices to get the most out of your solution.
Create a CRM Strategy
Understanding your needs and objectives for using a CRM system is essential. Before you start, clarify your requirements and expectations. CRM tools have many useful features, but you may not need all of them. Before you create your CRM strategy, make sure to do the following:
- Develop your goals for the CRM solution
- Identify customers and prospects
- Map out and understand the possible buyer journeys
- Create KPIs for the CRM tool
Thinking through why you need a CRM system, how you plan to use it, and what success looks like will help you find the best solution and get the most out of it.
Automate Your CRM Sotware
Automating CRM operations can help you save time and make things more efficient and streamlined for your business. You can improve and reduce human error risk by automating small CRM functions, such as scheduling tasks as well as implementing and monitoring workflows/data entries.
Be Open To Change
For small- and medium-sized businesses making changes is part of the growing process. So, instead of relying on business strategies, be open to necessary business and sales operation changes when implementing a CRM solution. For example, be prepared that a new CRM system may require certain shifts in order to adopt newer technology solutions.
Create Simpler Workflows
Always look for ways to simplify processes. Simplifying workflows for your sales and marketing team using CRM automation tools will help employee adoption of the platform and improve productivity. Identify tasks that are repetitive and over complex and make them easier through automation.
Audit Your System
Your CRM solution is only as good as your data and how you use it. Running periodic audits on your system will help ensure data quality and identify gaps in the feature set. Audits will ensure that the system is being used correctly and will provide insight into whether any changes are needed. Additional training may be necessary if data quality suffers, or features aren’t correctly used. If features are not required, then you may be able to reduce costs by removing features you’re not using.
Today’s technology solutions, including CRM systems, make doing business much smoother than just five years ago. SMBs can now make use of business solutions that were only affordable and usable by enterprise organizations in the past. Through advancements in cloud services and help from managed services providers, SMBs can now build their businesses using the same tools as larger companies. Following best practices will ensure that tools like CRM solutions are used correctly and help meet company goals.
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