CRM solutions are as diverse in their size, purpose and complexity as the organisations who need them and the industries they are in. All CRM solutions can be tailored to the customer’s requirements, so how do you make yours a success? The answer will depend on where you are on your CRM journey.
The role of a CRM partner
Your CRM journey begins with selecting a CRM partner who will work alongside you over time, forming a technology partnership. The strength of this relationships hinges on your CRM partner’s ability to evolve and adapt both the solution and their approach to making CRM work for your business. After all, what makes you successful today will no doubt change in the future as your business evolves and adapts to both internal and external changes.
So depending on where you are on your CRM journey, here at Avrion, we have different approaches.
Do I really need CRM?
“I want something simple, that doesn’t cost the Earth.”
This is a common thought from small companies. Often, they won’t approach CRM partners in case they are seen as “too small” or they think that CRM will be too costly for them.
But CRM is for everyone. You can be a 1 – 5 user company and still benefit hugely from a basic system – without costing the Earth. Everything you, and your colleagues, may have stored on a spreadsheet can be easily uploaded. Sure, there are certain operating costs involved with installing and running a CRM system, but the benefits to be gained far outweigh those costs.
These benefits are numerous. As all the customer information you need is in one place, you can access this data easily and quickly for sales, marketing and customer service purposes. It also means that information is there for everyone to access, so, if you have a colleague on holiday or off sick, you can still answer a customer’s questions or follow up on where the task was left. There are no more silos where information gets hidden or lost. Furthermore, having data centrally and securely stored is also great news for GDPR compliance, data security and the general efficiency of your organisation. Win, win, win!
My CRM is pretty simple, but it could do more for me.
“I could do with some trigger alerts and simple integrations.”
Simple developments, like trigger alerts, can be put into a CRM system to prompt reminders about vital activities, such as account reviews, contract renewals, overdue invoices and more. A conversation with the Avrion team can reveal ways you can improve your level of efficiency and take your CRM solution to the next level.
You may also want simple integrations with other systems to make working life a little bit easier. For example, you may want your financial information integrated with your CRM system so that data can be quickly and easily seen from one area. If that’s the case, you can make use of our Sage Financials Data Connector app, which links your Sage 50 or Sage 200 system to your CRM system. And we are currently working on more connector apps for other financial systems! These apps are simple and not expensive but hugely beneficial.
Integrations with other applications – such as marketing tools – are also possible. Although you can set up your marketing campaigns from within your CRM system, you may want to give your marketing team that extra boost by connecting to other eMarketing tools such as Mailchimp or dotdigital. This integrated approach allows for simple ways to monitor all your email campaign activity, all from the same system. Contacts can be kept up to date with any GDPR exemptions.
Another very useful form of integration is with maps. With so many customer and supplier addresses in your CRM system, imagine being able to see them plotted on a map! Well, now you can with our Bing Maps Connector. Once you have this set up, you can plan customer visits with directions and find prospects/customers nearby with the radius search (UK only) features. Marketers can also use this tool to plan campaigns where location is key. This has proven to save lots of time via efficient route planning and accurate market segmentation.
We are ready to take our system to the next level.
“We need to take advantage of our CRM to develop some integrations with in-house operating and finance systems.”
Once you have an established CRM solution with some integrations and triggers in place, it would be advantageous to look at how you should evolve. It goes without saying that a good CRM partner should take the time to understand your business and how it runs. But helping you evolve over time and looking at ways to maximise efficiency within your operating, finance and CRM systems is key to ensuring longevity and continued success.
This is where business process automation and middleware solutions can really help. We have successfully completed projects for automating invoicing and statement activities, which can be convoluted, time consuming tasks. These type of automations help the end-to-end process for the sales team – from sales quotes, right through to contract-creation – which are sent and signed all from within CRM. Our work with Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform makes the reports and information that’s available from your system in an automated way truly remarkable.
Taking systems even further, we have developed Middleware Software, using industry standard frameworks, to create unique business applications that automate tasks and processes where speed and efficiency is essential.
If you are interested in any of these levels of engagement with CRM, contact us now. The sooner we start talking, the sooner progress can be made – helping you along your CRM journey.
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