The success of any business heavily relies on its ability to connect and nurture relationships with clients. Before companies can even begin marketing their product or service, they need to know their customer’s needs, wants and pains. Even going as far as remembering a client’s birthday can leave the impression that your organization highly values customer service.
When your business starts to grow, however, your time is spread thin and managing the growing list of clients and information becomes unrealistic. Sure, you might be able to list details of 10-20 clients off the top of your head, but there’s a limit to how much you can remember -- especially if you have hundreds of clients with specific requests. By relying too heavily on manual processes you risk losing the business partnerships you worked so hard to acquire.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) rectifies this problem by allowing you to manage and analyze customer interactions. As you’ll soon find out, this solution doesn’t just forge stronger customer relationships, but CRM is also an invaluable tool for your sales department.
In sales -- or frankly, any business for that matter -- efficiency is king. Manually searching through inboxes and call history to recall previous conversations with clients is a huge waste of employee time and hinders company productivity.
With a CRM solution, sales staff can view accurate customer records, previous interactions, and the sales pipeline all in one, intuitive user-interface, thereby reducing the time needed to rifle through stacks of documents in search of relevant customer information. This allows your staff to use their time more effectively; for instance, they can follow up on sales leads and convert those prospects into paying customers.
Writing sales reports can also be a pain, mainly because they disrupt your staff from the groove of warming up potential clients. CRM technology enables sales teams to instantly compile information across different databases and produce a comprehensive sales report in minutes, cutting down tasks which would otherwise have taken several hours to accomplish.
Provides better customer experience
When two competing companies practically offer the same services or products, strong customer service can separate the wheat from the chaff. Therefore, customer satisfaction and insight should be at the heart of any sales pitch and follow-up. After all, your sales team may be comprised of the most charismatic people in the world, but this means nothing if they can’t recall much about their clients.
When your sales staff receives a call from an existing or potential client that is already in the system, CRM will automatically display their contact history and relevant information. Instead of bumbling around during important phone calls, sale staff can project an informed and professional image.
CRM also supplies you with detailed business insights that enables you to tailor your marketing approach for each client. For example, if you track customer complaints and order trends, your sales team can better offer products and services that fit your customer’s needs. This catered approach shows you understand your customers, and it can usually guarantee you continued business from satisfied customers down the line.
Turns customer loyalty into profits
Naturally, salespeople often have their sights set on increasing revenue and acquiring more leads. With CRM this is all possible. CRM can reveal leads produced from website visits, email campaigns, phone calls, and webinars. At the same time, CRM gives valuable customer analytics, which allows you to close deals with a targeted marketing approach. However, when it comes to maximizing profits, many people tend to be blinded by the allure of gaining new clients.
Although sales personnel spend a great deal of time and resources acquiring new clients to increase profitability, they often forget that the answer is right in front of them -- their existing client base. In fact, studies have found that customer acquisition costs six to seven times more than it does to retain one. By staying in tune with the customer’s needs and wants, your sales reps are in a better position to upsell and cross-promote products that clients are probably already considering. And as we all know, targeting the right products to the right people maximizes sales and profits accordingly.
Gives an informed sales strategy
We’ve often witnessed businesses crash and burn because they targeted the wrong demographic and misspent resources on fruitless ventures. CRM technologies can provide you valuable business intelligence about market trends and past sales performances, helping to adjust your marketing efforts to the right areas. For example, imagine that sales numbers recorded in one of your clothing retail branches was not performing well with the 25-40-year-old demographic, while revenue derived from the teenage demographic was on the rise. CRM produces an accurate report of these findings, allowing you to make an informed business decision. In this case, it would be wise to focus on appealing to high school students while gradually pulling back on selling products intended for adults.
If you think that keeping a mental note of your clients trumps CRM’s capabilities, think again. CRM is a dynamic tool that doesn’t just record client information; it can be used to prospect new clients, improve customer experience, maximize profitability, and provide you with incredible business foresight. As a matter of fact, choosing CRM shouldn’t even be up for a debate if you wish to streamline your sales department -- it’s a necessity.
Spreadsheets and planners can come and go, but CRM is well worth the investment. Here at WhiteOwl we facilitate the implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of CRM systems so the only thing you need to focus on is sending your sales figures through the roof. To find out how you can start using a CRM solution of your own, contact us today!