A CRM solution is a database that support centralizing, securing and managing your customer related data. This type of software will help you to structure your business and to increase significantly your performance.
As a marketer, you are most probably familiar with a CRM software. If not, you don’t have to worry because we will provide you with everything you need to know about it in this article.
Many CRM are providing with a large number of features, ranging from the most easy to the most complex ones. Companies therefore often end up with a much more complex software than they really need. Most of CRMs are customizable almost to infinity, and the range of data that can be followed-up and measured is very wide. Furthermore, it is usually possible to integrate the CRM with other softwares and popular applications.
This article explains clearly what are the CRM and their benefits for the development of your company, so that you can chose the CRM that is the most suitable to your needs. Some CRM are very exhaustive and you must keep in mind all the benefits described below in order to chose the most relevant one for the business and marketing process of your company.
When your sales representatives work with a CRM integrated with your marketing software, they can access data from the same interface.
For example, if you use HubSpot as a marketing software and Salesforce as a CRM, your sales team won’t need to disconnect the CRM to access all your precious prospect information. With an integrated CRM, all your sales representatives are most likely to better understand the needs of your prospects, because these data are not gathered only by your marketing software anymore.
Indeed, when the members of your team are in touch with a prospect, they can add information to the profile set in the CRM. This way, each person that will contact the prospect in the future will have a much more comprehensive picture of him thanks to the previous interactions and information recorded in the CRM.
With the automation of redundant manual tasks (creation of e-mail pattern and automatic mailing, automatic business reports, etc.), you will free a huge amount of time for your sales team.
They will be able to spend time with your prospects and clients, to sharpen an offer thanks to a better understanding of the needs of your client, for example.
The quality of your after-sales services will also be improved, with agents that are much more available to take care of your clients after they bought your products or services. And as everybody knows that happy customers are often coming back to the same supplier, your customer loyalty rate will greatly improve.
A CRM will also provide you a full visibility of your sales tunnel, and help your sales representative to prioritize their call lists in order for them to not miss the most interesting prospects.
When the sales and marketing teams are setting up a CRM, they can identify important fields and setting up a lead qualification system. If you don’t have such a system yet, you can establish a priority system.
This way your sales representatives will be able to focus first on the best opportunities instead of starting unorganized researches in a tunnel full of leads that are never at the same position within the buying cycle.
A CRM doesn’t solve the alignment of your sales and marketing teams, but it simplifies it a lot.
Your sales and marketing teams must reach monthly targets. When they work with a CRM integrated with a marketing software, each user can quickly assess how the team working, spot any problem before growing and solve it immediately.
You will be able to set up your reporting so that you can inform the sales team if the marketing team manages to reach its monthly leads objectives. Your marketing team will also be able to know with a report if the sales representative can handle the flow of qualified leads.
Please note that CRM are not only used for the leads but also for the customer relationship management. It is easy to record communications for the customer service team, so that its member could access it for improving the service they provide to existing clients.
Companies are often investing large amount of money for management software. It won’t be necessary with CRM since it includes features of many softwares. It is available in different versions, paid or free, basic or customizable ones.
Furthermore, with the development of CRM as a Saas product (Software as a service), it is not necessary to invest in an expansive IT system in order to use best the CRM. Current CRM usually propose an all inclusive offer including the software and its updates, together with an online support that includes IT maintenance.
The secret for justifying any investment is to have a relevant return on investment that is understandable by everyone. You must first consider the total investment cost on a 5 years period, and then compare it to the number of sales you have lost during the past two years. Ask your sales team to provide you with an overview of the projects, opportunity, interactions that haven’t pushed through because of a lack of follow up. From this turnover you can calculate the margin. You have obtained the lost profit.
In order to be fully convinced about investing in a CRM system, you can also calculate a profitability report. It is the number of clients that each member of the sales team had two years ago and now (total number of clients / number of sales representatives). If you have lost clients, if they went to you competitor because of a better service.