Implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is vital to growing a company’s business because having a relationship with customers is vital. In this post, I will detail how to use crm to grow your business by implementing it correctly, making sure staff are using it and providing a few really good tips to automate business processes which will help reduce costs and drive revenue.
What is CRM
Depending who you ask CRM could stand for a lot of things – at the end of the day it’s a software infront of a database that allows your sales team and customer support team to fill in forms and allows the management team to run reporting. If you aren’t already familiar with CRM, I recommend reading the Beginner’s Guide to Understanding CRM we explain a lot more about what it is.
Incorporating Marketing Automation is vital for B2B businesses and B2C business. Marketing automation is all about optimization whether it be employee time (sales staff, repetitive marketing tasks, etc), and improving revenue.
In my blog post What is Marketing Automation I cover a lot more about what it is and what the benefits are. In short, I strongly recommend taking a look at it. You don’t necessarily need to purchase the large enterprise systems out of the gate to see benefits, although I believe the most ROI is going to come from them if you are already using Salesforce.
A well integrated and setup marketing automation platform can make it much easier to sell to existing customers and new customers because it send particular promos or offers when the lead / contact does something or when data changes in a particular way.
Automate Mundane / Repetitive Tasks
A lot of the CRM platforms have ways to automate the mundane tasks such as preparing a contract, a quote, or sending a particular email. It may not seem like these things take up a lot of time, but it can be hundreds of hours a year across even a small team of 5 to 10 staff. This automation can also help make the sales process actually be an enforced and more predictable process.
Searching through emails to find out what the status of a potential deal is can be very time consuming if there’s a ton of communication between the sales team and the primary contact. It also becomes a management nightmare, as generally you don’t have access to the employee’s email. In most CRMs, there’s a way to sync emails to the system and associate them to a contact or to a particular deal.
With Salesforce, in particular, it’s possible to setup all emails to forward automatically to the CRM so that everybody on the team can see the emails between the contacts and sales manager. This enhanced visibility can help in a number of ways whether it be the sales manager being out of the office, or for the manager needing to know if something will ever actually close.
Increase Revenue & Improve ROI
Having better visibility into what’s going on with a customer makes it significantly easier for customer support and sales to provide much better customer support which results in a much better user experience. It’s no secret that happy customers spend a lot more money and generally get passionate about a product. Treating every customer like they are the most important one can definitely help with word of mouth marketing.
Analyzing performance is vital for a company because a weak employee can cause an entire department to be brought down especially if the employee is in sales or support. By analyzing performance you can examine the performance of each individual and help them to grow and constantly improve.
Forcasting is another vital part of the reporting spectrum. A lot of the major CRMs have pretty standard Forcasting Reports whether they be a pipleline which shows where deals are in the sales process and when / if they are likely to close. For publicly traded companies, the quarterly results will probably depend heavily on some of these reports and on the previous reporting.
Make sure staff can and will use it
When first evaluating different software, make sure that you have a few different sales and marketing employees involved in the selection process. If the software is far too difficult for them to use or significantly changes the company’s processes it could cause a lot of problems.
In our post, 5 ways to increase CRM Usage I cover a whole bunch of different techniques for getting staff to actually use the CRM. Including new and upcoming techniques like gamification.
Author: Brian Cline