Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) are simple tools that help businesses to be more streamlined, efficient, productive, accessible, connected and GDPR compliant. The benefits of CRM are numerous, but here are ten reasons why they are good to have – whatever size your company is.
1. CRM keeps your organisation organised
A CRM is a simple database at its most basic. You can keep your company & contact details for your customers, prospects & leads, and suppliers in one place, accessible for all. If accessibility isn’t wanted for all, then security groups for confidential or sensitive details can be easily set up.
In other words, you can store and retrieve all your data in one place. Users or managers can set up your CRM system in the best way that’s unique to your business to create intuitive, time saving processes. This simple system can then evolve to create more and more benefits as time goes on.
2. CRM creates a strong team ethos and encourages engagement
It’s important to create an ethos where CRM is a fundamental part of the team’s daily life, where data must be kept up to date and any ongoing appraisal or targets within the team stem from the use of it. Sales teams love a sense of competition so set up Leader dashboards. Marketing activities can be tracked and reported on. Customer Service cases can easily be picked up by anyone in the team, as all the information is there. Everyone’s in it together.
For CRM to be effective company-wide, everyone needs to use it. It’s the sum of the parts that create the whole picture for the company – everyone has a role to play. Make it part of your process.
3. CRM enables efficiency & productivity
If your technology partner delivers you a brand new, bells and whistles CRM at great cost with big promises, yet fails to understand your business and how you work, then you are wasting money. Probably big money too.
CRM does not need to be expensive but your technology partner does need to see how your business processes work before they can install an effective system. It doesn’t matter if you work in the legal, finance, manufacturing, media or any other sector – weaving the way you work into the CRM set-up will make your CRM effective. CRM that reflects your company process creates effective management.
4. CRM saves time for your sales teams, account people, finance department, customer service and managers
A flashy CRM with lots of add-ons but no real team training or understanding will result in users not updating the system or worse, using it improperly. So data gets out of date, data becomes misleading, and this could be potentially harmful to the business.
So whether you have 2 users or 202, you need to talk to them and involve them in the scope for your system. Engage with them and listen to their needs. It’s going to work a whole lot better if your team are part of the evolution of the system, and are trained how to use it, than if they are presented with a pretty homepage and some login details. Once they can see the time saved by automated processes and centralised data, their time management and productivity will increase tenfold.
5. CRM puts an effective road map in place
Again – there is little benefit to a CRM system that is scoped out in the moment, with little discussion and user/manager participation. We need a plan.
Organisations may not have big budgets to create an evolved solution from the start. But a good partner will discuss the business, how it works, how to start, where process improvements can be created and go from there. Start with the quick wins, get the team on board and simple processes can begin. CRM works best if you start with small steps and build from there.
6. CRM keeps your business in the know
No customer likes to feel that their suppliers or partners don’t know them or understand their needs. We expect people to know our businesses – histories, transactional details and issues – without having to tell them more than once. CRM helps enormously with this – the details are all in one place.
Especially in the current situation, when you can’t just shout across the office to ask your colleagues in Sales or Finance what the latest is – just log in and check the details in the system. If people are off sick or someone leaves, the details are all still there – nothing changes, continuity for the customer and your company maintains control.
7. CRM provides reporting, analytics and reminders
What better place to be than having a CRM system that can deliver reports on sales, opportunity pipeline, customer turnover, marketing campaigns, contact & contract management processes and more.
Once you have worked effectively with your CRM partner to establish your system and you have worked internally with management, as well as users, you will be in the right place to create reports, reminders, tasks as well as in depth analytics for the different processes in the business.
8. CRM helps to keep you compliant
Whilst CRM systems can fill up with data, with the correct management they can be used to make sure your Contacts and Company details are kept clean and compliant.
A database that’s used by the business in all departments will have more chance of staying up to date than a sporadically used one. This will help your marketing team identify whether contact information is GDPR compliant or not, and ensure material is sent only to the customers who want it. Clean data can save you time and money e.g. by not sending information to contacts who may have moved on and are no longer in an organisation. The more people in your business keep your data up to date, the more likely it is to be compliant.
9. CRM is portable – so save time on the go
Traditionally, CRM could be the bane of a sales person’s life. A long day on the road and then more time on admin to get the CRM up to date at home. It was often seen as the enemy of the sales person or account manager – CRM was just a Management Tool – nothing in it for the users on the ground.
This has changed with the evolution of CRM on the phone, being accessibly any time, anywhere. Now you can sit in your car (not moving) and dictate notes directly into CRM. You can use the Bing Map Connector to set your customer visits into an organised journey then send it to your phone – saving time and creating efficiencies. Even at home you can use your phone to create the next task after a phone call – no need to log in to the laptop if it’s not convenient.
10. CRM connects people
As CRM evolves we can now use connectors and Middleware to make our CRM experience even wider. You can connect to apps, finance systems and operational systems for an even richer solution.
Maximizer CRM can connect to Sage 50 or 200 with an app (Sage Financials Data Connector) that cuts out time spent in discussion with the Finance team – see live transactions at the touch of a button. The Avrion Bing Maps Connector will help you to map a journey between customers and prospects, and help you segment your contacts geographically for you with a simple interface.
As your system evolves, make sure your CRM Partner helps you put a road map in place. Discuss how your CRM solution can evolve as your business evolves. This may involve using Middleware to connect your CRM to operational systems for further improvement in productivity and time saving. Or using Business Process Automation to speed up and improve the accuracy of processes.
The opportunities are truly endless.
If you are interested in reaping in the benefits of CRM, contact us now.
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