The challenge in realising the benefits of CRM
All too often, businesses buy a new CRM system expecting it to transform their business overnight. Then it ends up just acting as another customer database, with a bit of sales pipeline and customer interaction tracking attached. So you end up in a situation not that different to the one you were in before you spent all your quarter’s budget on your shiny new CRM system – namely, one where all of your information is in silos.
Marketing doesn’t know what the sales team is doing, who in turn don’t know whether accounts has raised and issued invoices for the sales they have completed. Customer service may have no idea that certain customers even exist.
The importance of implementing a CRM system that breaks down the data silos throughout your entire organisation is paramount. So if you don’t want to join the 85% of companies which install the wrong CRM for their business, or the 42% who don’t use their licences (according to Gartner), read on.
The benefits of CRM should include an overview of the true cost of turning a lead into a customer, which shows you exactly when they were invoiced, when they paid and whether they have accessed any support. All in one place.
The benefits of CRM to SMEs
There is one chain of thought which takes the view that CRM is just for bigger companies and that an organisation has to be of a certain size, with so many clients, in order to receive the benefits of CRM and the returns such an investment can offer.
There is some truth in this point of view, but quite frankly, my view is that CRM and more importantly, a CRM programme and strategy should be put right at the top of the list of objectives for all SMEs.
There are multiple benefits of CRM to SME’s
Getting new clients and retaining them is crucial in any business. For an SME, it is vital. Having to contend with funding and cash flow issues, masses of varied things to do with limited resources and many different calls on your time, running an SME requires you to be nimble and forward thinking, as well as having an innovative approach to customer and new business management.
1. Key benefits of CRM is in transforming your top line performance by improving revenue generation.
With the right CRM system data can be shared across the sales and marketing teams. You can manage your leads, contacts, pipeline and forecast better. This means you won’t be one of the companies that doesn’t follow up 80% of the leads generated at trade shows.
Quotas and business performance for each person can be easily monitored – so you don’t have to be one of the many organisations that don’t follow up 50% of their leads.
Each team member has a personalised dashboard so they can instantly see where each deal is at and process it quicker. Sales reps spend just 47% of their time on sales – 39% of their time is spent on administrative tasks.
2. Another of the benefits of CRM is in helping improve bottom-line performance through automated profit and cash management . With the right CRM system you can achieve full lead to cash visibility. This gives you the true cost of turning a lead into a customer. It should also provide you with the data on how a customer found you providing valuable marketing ROI data.
3. When you consider that a typical company’s customers leave at a rate of 10-30%, implementing a CRM system to help you stem that flow could have an enormous impact. The research has shown is that increasing your customer retention by just 5% can increase your profits by a respectable 25%.
4. Most SMEs have some sales people, but all SMEs have employees, so think about all the people in your company, what they do and who they talk to. They don’t only talk to clients, but they have their own contacts as well. Encourage fellow directors and others to be customer and people friendly. This is not to suggest that everyone should become a salesman, merely that they should keep their eyes and ears open and pass on interesting ‘leads’. Using the CRM to do this enables them to become informal adjuncts to your sales team.
5. Give all your employees the occasional talk about selling (don’t inundate) and more importantly, what benefits your products provide. Incentivising may be part of this strategy, but often, just being recognised for effort can produce surprising results!
6. Keep a record of where sales come from. This is one of the great benefits of CRM, tracking lead source. Remember that happy clients tell others, so make your clients happy – with you! Keep in touch with them, give them what they want, respond to their queries quickly and efficiently, answer the phone with a ‘happy’ voice. Make sure that all client facing staff are kept informed about previous client interactions and aim to deal with any issue on the first call.
7. Start thinking about the information you need to know about your clients and what you would like to know about prospective ones. Discuss with the team where your business is most likely to come from and once established, add more effort into doing those ‘things’ that will encourage more to come from that source.
8. Decide your company message and brand to ensure consistency. Be a little bold, be different, stand out from the crowd.
Given your limited resources, take some time to map out how you will market for new business and decide how you want to be perceived. The plan for your website, blogs and company literature should all reflect your rationale, your philosophy, what sets you apart, as well as the benefits you bring and the targets you want to achieve. This can all be phased: start with spreadsheets, then move forward with simple to use technology, at the appropriate time.
Two summary points on the benefits of CRM to SME’s.
Firstly, it will encourage you to become ‘client aware’, to put clients at the top of your agenda and to make sure that all activities are undertaken within the company, which keeps customers in mind. It means that a positive culture of sharing, collaboration, recognition and reward will be set in place throughout the company, right from the start.
Secondly, the need for technology and, by inference, the right technology will become a ‘no brainer’ very early on in your business operations. Start simply, get staff going and then add to it. The benefits of CRM will facilitate the strategies you have developed and will enable everyone to record and share information easily and quickly, to hold all relevant client and prospect details, to generate and save all client communications and provide immediate meaningful reports; this will drive the business forward in an exciting and enjoyable way. The benefits of CRM will become clear very soon.
ProAptivity can help deliver the benefits of CRM
ProAptivity are an independent CRM solutions provider. We focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software supported by our sales training provide customers with the tools needed to deliver successful CRM projects. We can help you realise the benefits of CRM .
Fundamentally, we help organisations embed CRM best practice throughout their organisation. This helps organisations become more competitive, customer focused and ultimately more profitable, realising the benefits of CRM to all our clients
If you need help in understanding why my business needs CRM, maybe some of our eBooks could help! Alternatively visit Maximizer CRM for more information. Contact us today in Belfast on 028 9099 6388 or at our Bedford office on 01234 214004. Alternatively email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact us today for a free CRM consultation that will assess if your business is CRM ready.