When used correctly, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform can be a powerful tool for streamlining a company’s sales processes and increasing conversion rates. Still, we’ll explore the proof that you need a CRM—and why it’s more than just software.
Problem: Often, leaders look at a CRM as simply a marketing or sales tool. Moreover, they give short shrift to the technological framework it provides businesses.
Opportunity: Realizing the power and architectural frame of a CRM allows leaders to grow businesses exponentially.
Resolution: Going beyond simply looking at a CRM as a database is the first step for leaders. Next is to understand the power of what top CRMs offer your company.
A top-line CRM is a company's most important marketing resource. For instance, businesses that implement a robust CRM solution significantly increase customer retention rates.
A constituent relationship management system makes it easy for sales reps and other members of a company's sales team to stay in touch with leads and customers. Also, it helps them not inundate audiences with irrelevant messages. As a result, companies that use a CRM solution can significantly increase their customers' time interacting with the company.
In turn, it increases the odds of a potential customer becoming a paying customer. That's why, if your company is serious about increasing revenue, you need a robust CRM solution. So, let's explore the proof that you need a CRM.
What Is a CRM?
A CRM is a software application that helps sales and marketing teams keep track of the relationships they build with leads and customers. Using a CRM, businesses can create a centralized record of each customer’s interactions with the company. For instance, some information within a constituent relationship management platform includes:
- How long a customer has been a customer.
- What products or services did the customer purchase?
- How much revenue did the customer generate for the company?
- Which other customers is that customer connected to via social media, referrals, or other connections?
The information that a CRM system collects about its customers gets used for several purposes, including the following:
- Automatically sending relevant emails to customers from the CRM. Moreover, it's based on actions they've taken with the company.
- Scheduling regular communications with customers. For instance, account management calls, scheduled meetings, etc.
- Creating reports showing which customers are opening emails, clicking on links, and visiting the website.
- Reporting which customers referred associates and colleagues to the business.
How a CRM Increases Revenue
The most apparent reason you should have a CRM is to increase revenue. After all, a CRM is a tool designed to help companies connect with leads and customers on a more strategic level. And while a CRM won't increase your revenue on its own, it definitely helps you get there by improving the overall effectiveness of your marketing and sales teams
But simply knowing that a CRM will increase your revenue isn't enough. You need to pick the right solution for your business. These solutions range from affordable yet effective cloud-based CRM solutions to more complex on-premises solutions. The right CRM for your business depends on some factors, including:
- Size of your company.
- Level of customer engagement you provide to customers.
- And the complexity of your sales process.
Keep in mind that the more customers you have, the more essential it is to have a CRM. As your business grows, the greater the likelihood you’ll want a robust solution that scales with you.
How a Platform Increases Conversion Rates
Customer relationship management solutions aren't just helpful in keeping track of contacts and their interactions with your business. They're also crucial for increasing conversion rates. Organizations that implement a CRM solution see a lift in customer retention rates. That's because a CRM makes it easy for a company to stay in touch with its customers. In other words, companies create meaningful relationships with customers.
In a world of digital noise, companies must cultivate relationships. As leaders know, it's too easy for customers to go elsewhere. And with stiff competition, businesses can't afford to nurture relationships. Therefore, companies using a CRM solution significantly increase the time their customers interact with the business. If that's not undeniable proof that you need a CRM, not sure what is.
How a CRM Gets Used in B2B Sales
Business-to-business (B2B) sales companies rely heavily on digital communications to keep in touch with their customers. But these messages tend to get buried under a pile of other notifications. For example, teams can better manage these communications with a CRM by setting up targeted and well-timed email campaigns. They could also send tailored emails at specific times and organize their emails by topic.
As we know, things move quickly in the knowledge-based economy. So, you have to lead change within your company. Further, when customers buy B2B products, they often look for advice, learning, and ideas. Therefore, your business has to pivot and produce thought leadership for leads and customers continuously. A CRM helps guide these interactions and ensure the company presents its customers with the best possible offers.
How the Right Platform Gets Used in B2C Sales
Business-to-consumer (B2C) companies also use CRM software to manage their customer interactions better. Still, these companies tend to rely more on face-to-face interactions than B2B companies. And again, constituent relationship management platforms help them nurture the relationships. So, that's another proof that you need a CRM.
With a CRM, B2C companies better organize and prioritize their customer interactions and ensure that the time spent with each customer is meaningful. A CRM also helps with post-sales support and warranty management, for example. That allows companies to save time and money by quickly identifying and addressing issues with their products.
How a CRM Can Help with Marketing Automation
At its core, marketing automation is software to automate business processes once done by hand. Marketing automation helps companies maximize the return on their investment. It uses data to better target marketing communications to specific audiences and creates more personalized communications. As a result, there's a higher likelihood of getting read, viewed, or acted upon by prospects. A customer relationship management system helps with this kind of marketing automation.
And when it comes to customer relationship management and marketing automation, a CRM is a powerful platform. A CRM supports lead nurturing and conversion. Also, it helps sales and marketing teams better engage with prospects and move them closer to making a purchase. The reality is that companies cannot afford not to implement marketing, sales, and operational automation. Why? Well, because your competitors are doing it. In other words, automation helps companies scale, and that's a must.
How a Customer Journey Map Can Help Your Business
Do you still need proof that you need a CRM? Well, let's look at the customer journey. Customers form different relationships with companies based on their sales stage. As a result, it can affect the relationships customers have with the business. For instance, you need to treat customers differently during prospecting than at the follow-up stage.
If you want to build stronger relationships with your customers, you need to understand how each stage of their journey affects their decision to remain as a customer. By understanding your customer’s journey, you create a tailored experience. That’s vital in the information era. And it moves customers through these different stages and encourages them to stick with your brand.
Why a CRM is Right for Your Company
A customer relationship management system is an essential tool for businesses that want to improve the quality of their customer relationships and increase revenue. Further, the proof that you need a CRM is that it helps you stay in touch and message appropriately. A CRM is used to help automate repetitive tasks. That frees up time for your team to focus on more strategic activities.
A CRM is a powerful platform for automating repetitive tasks when it comes to marketing and customer relationship management. In partnership with your team, it helps you better organize and prioritize communications. And it guides customers through the different stages of their relationship with a company. In sum, your business can't afford not to have a scalable CRM.
Ben Stroup is Chief Growth Architect and President at Velocity Strategy Solutions where he helps leaders design, develop, and deploy smarter business growth strategies. Ben is a futurist, disruptor, and data champion. He leads a team that takes a structured learning approach to business challenges, which allows them to assist leaders in bridging the gap between ideas, innovation, and revenue—taking ideas from mind to market.
Velocity Strategy Solutions is an on-demand, next-generation business strategy and management consulting firm which provides clients with a relentless focus on data, execution, and results that positively impact the bottom line. Velocity delivers integrated people and revenue strategies combined with a disciplined approach to growth architecture that elevates the capacity of leaders, teams, and organizations to succeed and win more.