There are two fundamental ways to achieve the growth that all businesses depend on: increasing revenues and reducing costs. To influence either of these key measures you need clear visibility of what’s happening in your business – and that’s where CRM comes in.
Turning data into intelligence
CRM helps you track and segment information about your customers and your market – and then turn that information into valuable business intelligence that will help you grow.
It informs your thinking about what sets your company apart and how you can secure brand loyalty, helping you to stay ahead of the curve in your efforts to give your customers what they need.
By tracking KPIs, performance, stages of the sales cycle, qualified-out opportunities and more, CRM gathers the sort of information that helps you make better decisions. When you have the power to interrogate data from across the business, glean patterns and trends or identify issues, you obtain insights that drive innovative thinking.
The way CRM supports decision-making is best summed up by one of our clients, Nathan Aspin, Managing Director of Aspin, which make sales order processing apps. He says: “It allows me to understand what is working well and what needs attention. This helps me focus my time on what matters, where my input is required and where I can add value. I get a clear view on quotes, and so am able to confidently forecast what is coming in and can plan resource more accurately”.
Improving agility, efficiency and effectiveness
CRM gives you agility and efficiency across marketing, sales and customer service.
CRM helps with customer profiling and targeting, gathering business intelligence, and running email campaigns and events. It enables you to prioritise your marketing resource effectively, ensuring your sales teams follow up the leads most likely to convert. It helps you to deliver campaigns on time and it captures key campaign information.
CRM helps you manage opportunities better, driving up conversion rates. It improves your insight into your sales pipeline and performance, helping you refine your sales process and optimise each sales cycle. You can deliver professional quotations in minutes and turn quotes into orders with a single click. It will automate lower-value interactions, freeing up sales and account teams to focus on higher value interactions. It will automatically notify account managers when contracts and subscriptions are up for renewal too, helping to prevent any nasty surprises at renewal time.
CRM puts the information your customer service teams need in one place, helping them to track and manage support tickets and manage cases. They’ll get better at spotting common problems and recurring issues. You’ll also be able to use your CRM platform to host online self-service, posting solutions to common problems for customers to quickly and easily find their own solutions, freeing up your service team to concentrate on higher value activities.
Reducing costs in your business doesn’t have to take a lot of time or even a lot of effort. In many cases, it’s about making smarter choices when deciding where to invest.
You’ll be able to dispense with any redundant legacy systems – and the costs associated with them. The detailed view CRM gives you of individual customers and their purchasing history can lower your production costs by helping you only produce what you know there will be demand for. Use it properly and your CRM will also cut admin costs – including stationery, travel and reporting.
Take control of your business
More and more business leaders understand the benefits of CRM and an increasing number of them are implementing it to get more control over their businesses. 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.
Most CRM users cite contact management, opportunity management, sales analytics and forecasting, lead generation, workflow management and customer service as the primary functions of the system.
Modern businesses need CRM to flourish – even to survive. CRM gives you visibility of your business, it allows you to take control over it like never before, and that gives you more power over your own destiny.
For more information about how Workbooks can help you gain more control over your business, read our whitepaper: CRM to Grow your Business – A Guide for Management.