7 Signs That Your Business Needed a CRM Yesterday If your organization is missing a usable customer database, it's a sign that you need a CRM system
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Most organizations believe that customer service is integral to their success. But while they understand the importance of customer service, they find keeping up with customer needs more difficult than wrestling a giant.
The main reason for this is the reliance on rudimentary tracking mechanisms like pen and paper, or the mind. The mind can only remember so much. In today's distracted era, memory fades faster. And it's easy to misplace paper, or not remember where one had noted an important detail about a customer.
The solution is simple – embrace technology. It can make life easier for your organization and at the same time, quadruple its productivity.
Most people equate technology with smartphones. But it's much more. The technology that can address all your heartburns is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
What is CRM?
CRM is a strategy to manage your organization's relationships with customers and prospects. CRM software enables you to stay connected with them, streamline sales and after-sales processes, and improve profitability.
The goal of CRM is simple – improve business.
According to a Gartner report, CRM became the largest software market in 2017 and continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Does Your Business Need One?
You know the challenges you face regarding timely interactions with customers. But I'm sure the question in your mind right now is, "Do I need a CRM?"
The rest of this article will answer that pressing question.
Three aspects crucial to your organization's success are:
After sales support
Let's examine common scenarios in each of them.
Scenario 1: You don't have a consolidated, up-to-date database of your customers. Details are scattered in your and your salespeople's phones, or Excel sheets and Tally.
Scenario 2: One of your people wants a customer's contact details. Because he can't find it, he asks you about it. Even you're not sure if those details are relevant because you had updated them two years ago.
If your organization is missing a usable customer database, it's a sign that you need a CRM system. This might appear like a small issue right now but will have far-reaching repercussions in the long run.
CRM software is a single location to store all important details of your customers. Not just contact numbers, but also what they purchased and when, how many interactions they've had with you, and so on.
If it's cloud-based, your team can access it even on the go.
Scenario 1: During reviews, your salespeople talk about the same recycled pipeline month after month. When you point it out, they give reasons like "the concerned person is unavailable" or "meetings are in progress." You rightly doubt the credibility of these words but have nothing to prove it.
Scenario 2: You've commissioned a digital marketing agency to generate leads. Each week, the agency sends tons of leads, but you have no idea whether your team took action on them. You're also unaware about how long each salesperson takes to close a deal, or whether the leads are relevant for your product.
Scenario 3: For long, no salesperson calls a customer or prospect. Sometimes, they receive calls from three salespeople within a day. The irate customer wonders aloud whether your people are playing a prank.
If these scenarios are commonplace in your organization, you're bleeding money on resources that interact poorly with customers and prospects. Or worse, on resources that don't interact with them at all.
And you wonder why sales dropped.
When you deploy CRM software, salespeople will update their meeting statuses in it. You can use these statuses to track their progress and "call their bluff' if they're running in circles.
A CRM tool also lets you track the time between a lead being assigned to a salesperson and first contact. When you bring this time down, you increase chances of conversion. You also know whether the leads you receive from campaigns are relevant or not. Thus, you can provide feedback to your marketing agency about the same and improve your ROI.
After Sales Support
Scenario 1: An irate customer calls you because his issue hasn't been addressed for over a week. When you raise the concern with your support team, they claim to have resolved it.
Scenario 2: Your after-sales team solves an issue for the customer, which is different from what he raised. And you cannot figure out who's right – your team or the customer.
This often occurs due to lack of clarity in documentation and understanding. It involves rework, time wastage, and a potential churn of customers.
A CRM tool is a Customer Relationship Management tool. This means it doesn't stop with a sale. It enables you to add support tickets and track their statuses.
If your support team misses a deadline to resolve an issue, the tool will shoot you an email. This means you can take action before the issue escalates. It also makes your support team more accountable since you can track their effectiveness.
CRM software brings in transparency and reduces ambiguity. Using it the right way will eliminate the need for to-do-lists to monitor performance. Data will empower you to track your people's efficiency and effectiveness. All of this leads to an increase in productivity and revenue.
In my next post, I'll discuss the important metrics you must focus on while deploying a CRM tool for your organization.