7 Reasons to Invest in CRM
Forming and maintaining relationships is probably the most crucial aspect of any business irrespective of the size of the organisation and, investing in a CRM system can not only make your day-to-day working life so much easier but, it can be a critical tool to your organisation’s success.
The key benefits of investing in CRM software include.
1. Data Centralisation and Ownership
Let’s face it, our memory is not perfect and unless information is recorded, things get missed! With CRM, critical business information is stored on one central place instead of saved on numerous spreadsheets, word documents and email accounts across the network or worse, in your head. Information and commercial intelligence is shared across the business rather than being locked up in personal silos on users’ desktops. When an employee is absent or leaves they do not take critical customer information with them.
2. Consistent Sales Processes
A good CRM solution will give you the tools to implement a ‘business owned’ sales process ensuring target companies and leads are categorised in the same way by each sales person. This then allows the business (or sales manager) to review the progress of an organisation as it is nurtured onto your sales pipeline. Leads can be reviewed as they move through the pipeline as they are qualified in or out of your target market. Overall, this provides for better reporting and therefore better sales forecasting/visibility of future revenue for each sales person and the business.
3. Flexible Working
Gone are the days of having to install a monolithic application on your network that can only be accessed when you in the office. With the growth of Cloud/SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions you can now log into your CRM solution from anywhere. This means that tasks, follow-up emails and notes can be entered from smartphones or tablets straight after a meeting from the car, at home or from anywhere with WiFi or 3G.
4. Manage the Whole Business
Most CRM platforms now allow for expansion through add-ins, modules and apps. The two key reasons for looking at expansion are (1) integration with other systems you’re using and (2) management of other business processes/departments. Picture a single sign-in solution giving you management of marketing, sales, billing and finance, operations, human resources, assets and more, all speaking to each other and sharing information in one place accessible from anywhere!
5. Increased Efficiency
Never miss an appointment! CRM solutions prompt users to follow up on activities and automate alerts when important events occur, or if actions are missed. Centralised calendars can allow users to see other colleague’s diary with a view of their tasks and meetings etc. if they are absent unexpectedly.
6. Relevant Marketing Communications
Any CRM solution worth its salt will have an integrated mailshot and email marketing solution built-in. Segmentation of the data is a key aspect of effective marketing communication so you can engage with, for example, all customers using specific products or services, email organisations not yet on your pipeline or let warm and hot prospects know about the latest case study or testimonial from another customer in their space.
CRM allows you to keep a record of what and when a company has received communications which, in turn, allows you to segment by regency of communication (for example, which opted in prospects haven’t received any communications within the last 2 months)
7. Reporting and Analytics
It is possible for a business to get too pre-occupied with detailed metrics and KPIs but a carefully selected set of simple KPIs help you to understand if you are making progress or failing to meet targets. Centralising lead management, call activity, tasks management allows you to track new leads in, conversion ratios, revenue achieved, activity levels, etc. by sales person or team. These reports can be invaluable when conducting sales review meetings or appraisals and also help the business understanding what is ‘normal’ or ‘average’ so you can see who is under or over achieving.