Do I Really Need A CRM System?
A good customer relationship management system (CRM System) is essential to any business.
Here are 6 reasons why:
- It aids sales people with their interactions
It can be difficult to remember all your customer information. Information you might want to capture includes details the customer or prospect may have given on previous calls or call back days and times. The more customers and prospects you expect your sales people to interact with, the more onerous this becomes. A CRM system will help sales people manage their time and activities so that the onus to remember isn’t placed upon them. If you have more than 50 contacts or prospects you really can’t expect a sales person to manage this on their own.
[click here to read 6 Tips For Making You a Super Salesperson]
- You can retain all your prospect information safely
Any data added to the system becomes the property of the company. A sales person might own the relationship but the data belongs to the organisation. Sales people, by updating their pipeline and prospect information on a system, will be ensuring the safety of that data. From a data protection perspective this is important, to keep the customer record safe from abuse. But it also means that if your sales person leaves the business, they don’t take their customer records with them. You will be able to lock down most good CRM systems so that data can only be extracted by someone with authority to do so. This means that you are reducing the risk of data theft, whether external or internal.
- Sales forecasting is automated within a CRM solution
Sales people are often expected to submit a sales forecast. Without a CRM system in place, the forecast can often be subjective. Each sales person in the business might have a different idea of the likelihood of conversion of a particular prospect and “hand cranked” pipelines are often not work the paper they are (literally) written on. A CRM system will help you define a process for pipeline management and forecasting. Creating distinct “statuses” for each part of the sale and assigning a % probability accordingly takes some of the effort out of forecasting, and standardises the process across the sales floor. With a good CRM system you won’t have to ask your sales people to submit a forecast. The system will automate the process as the sales people transact on it.
[click here to read how you can drive your business forward using CRM]
- Customer Case Management and Marketing can be included within your CRM
Many people think that CRM systems are only desigend to help sales people manage their interactions and their time. Some of the best of breed CRM software also has capability which extends beyond this. Many CRM systems will also have the ability to raise and manage cases for customer service management. This will allow either your customer or team to raise a case within the system, track the response, escalate if necessary and close. You might also be able to add a Knowledge Bank to your CRM system and allow your customers to access it themselves – eliminating the requirement for large inbound call handling teams. The best CRM systems also have email marketing capability. Emails can be sent straight from your CRM system, with tracked responses, click through rates and profitability analysis.
- You’ll get access to more powerful business intelligence
If you don’t have a CRM system, you’re probably tracking your customers on a spreadsheet or within a different system (like a finance system). There are always limitations to this. For example, the finance system might track converted customers through invoice values, but not prospects. You might be able to derive some key business intelligence from your spreadsheet in terms of conversion rate or customer types but it will involve large amounts of time manipulating the data, creating data validations, formatting fields and pivoting your data. A CRM system will provide you with all your key information effortlessly. Plus, a CRM system will help you identify crucial key performance indicators such as new leads entered into the system over a certain time frame, or tracking overdue phone calls. This is more difficult to achieve when your data is being added to a single large spreadsheet. Of course, one of the most important elements of great business intelligence, is that you can start to better predict the future of your business. Make better, faster, business decisions with a CRM system in place.
[click here to read about how M&S lost the plot with their CRM System]
- Beat the competition
Your main competitor might already have a great customer relationship management system in place. At the very least you want to make sure you are not giving them competitive advantage by lagging behind. The best case scenario is that your competitor hasn’t yet moved to a good CRM system, or has an outmoded and inefficient CRM system. This allows you to steal a march and gain some real ground. All the above points indicate the reason why a CRM system will give you a competitive edge in your market space.
Written by Emma Stewart – Sales and Marketing Director at Cofficient
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