For most CEOs control is a key issue. They know where they want to take their organisation – most have a 12-18 month strategic development plan. They know what needs to happen for them to get there. The challenge for most is getting control over the organisation to make it happen.
At its core this is an issue about visibility. If you know what is happening in your organisation you can make decisions about what to do. This happens across many different parts of the organisation. You need to understand:
- What level and type of investments in sales and marketing will grow your business.
- Where you incur operational costs and where these can be brought down.
- The strategic decisions that are best for your business.
If a CEO can get visibility on all those topics they will be able to have a positive impact on shareholder value. And for many organisations, CRM is a key tool in achieving that visibility and control. Indeed when we recently surveyed UK SMEs, 70% already used CRM – and more than 60% of those who didn’t were planning to roll it out at some point in the near future.
CRM gives them insight into their customers – who they are and what they want. This information allows them to make decisions that affect the customer experience. It may be that there is no strategic imperative to improve the customer experience, or it may be the key to unlocking the future of the organisation. Whatever it is, CRM gives the CEO control over it.
Equally it allows them to see which salespeople are delivering, which marketing campaigns produce results, which products sell, which channels are effective, and so on. It arms the CEO with facts, so that they can make investment decisions confident of the outcomes it will produce.
Aside from customer retention, growth and acquisition, the other primary lever the CEO has for controlling the business is operational costs. While 66% of respondents to our survey said improving the productivity of customer-facing employees was the primary benefit of CRM, and 62% pointed to enhanced customer experience, 49% said reducing operational costs. It’s an increasingly important benefit for CRM users.
If you know where you are spending money, you can make decisions on how to spend it most efficiently. CRM gives you that knowledge – that control. More and more CEOs are recognising this, and are using CRM to gain control of their organisations. Find out how in our whitepaper: CRM to Grow your Business – A Guide for Management.