So you think you need a CRM system? What kind of system would suit your sales process? What can you do to convince management to implement CRM? Many companies are asking these questions every single day. While some in senior management have embraced CRM, others are very cautious. Why? All companies want to increase sales, grow their company, increase profits, and stay ahead of the competition.
CRM is the core business strategy that manages all aspects of interaction a company has with its customers, including prospecting, sales and service. By integrating sales, marketing, and customer service functions, it is easier for team to work together and share critical information. Sales, marketing, and customer service teams gain the tools they need to find new customers, close sales faster, and build long lasting profitable relationships. CRM applications provide access to ‘customer-related data’ and insight into company/customer relationship by combining all customer details, interaction, history, opportunities into one picture. It is grounded on high quality customer related data and enabled by information technology.
Some of the major modules within CRM are :
- Campaign management
- Event based trigger marketing
Sales force automation
- Account management
- Lead management
- Opportunity management
- Pipeline management
- Contact management
- Quotation and proposal generation
Customer Service automation
- Case (incident or issue) management
- Service level management
Marketing automation applies technology to marketing processes. Campaign management modules allow marketers to use customer-related data in order to develop, execute and evaluate targeted campaigns.
SFA applies technology to the management of a company’s selling activities. The selling process goes through number of stages, such as prospect identification, lead generation, lead qualification, needs identification, proposal generation, proposal presentation, negotiations and closing the sale. Automation of selling activities is often linked to efforts to improve and standardize the selling process.
Customer Service automation
Service automation allows companies to manage their service operations, whether delivered through call centre, contact centre, web or face-to-face. CRM software enables companies to handle and coordinate their service related inbound and outbound communications across all channels providing real-time access to relevant customer data including orders, call and escalation history, interactions, support cases, e-mail and documents sent and received, sales opportunities, and more.
Some of the benefits your company can derive:
- Empower your staff with enterprise-wide access to vital customer, partner, and prospect information
- Manage and synchronize sales, marketing, and customer care activities across all points of interaction
- Automate key aspects of the sales cycle and analyze, forecast, and report on key sales data
- Create, schedule, and track marketing campaign activities, and measure the performance of every campaign
- Access critical customer data anytime, in the office, on the road, or from your mobile device
If you are finding it hard to make a decision to implement a CRM and at what stage of business lifecycle, then brainstorming on some of operational challenges might help to take a decision
- Are your company’s revenues increasing according to projections?
- With the top five deals you lost last year, why did you lose these deals and who did you lose to?
- What are the top three reasons that customers stop doing business with you?
- Do you know how much it costs to attract a new customer as compared to keeping an existing customer loyal to you?
Basis the discussion, have an action plan in place, back this up with research and you should be well on your way in your CRM system evaluation.