CRMs, or “customer relationship management” tools, are now essential in modern business processes. These helpful pieces of software allow firms to organize their customers so that people in their team have access to all the relevant information that they need about them.
For instance, suppose that a customer calls a company in January to request a trial product. During the call, the sales rep collects information about the customer, such as their name, email address, job title, and reasons for wanting to trial the product, and enters it into the CRM. The customer then goes away for 30 days, testing to see whether they like the product and are willing to sign up.
When the customer returns a month later, they get through to a different rep. However, even though the rep has changed, the CRM still provides all the information they need about the customer. Thus, the customer doesn’t have to repeat anything. Rather, the rep is then ready to guide them through the next stage of the buying cycle.
This is just one example of how CRM software can benefit your business: better customer service. However, there are many other ways it can help, too as we will see below.
More Detailed Analytics
Imagine if a computer system was able to tell you which customers you should call and follow up and which you shouldn’t, all based on data. Well, while that might sound like a futuristic application of machine learning, it is actually something that many CRMs implement right now. Software digs through the data, looks for patterns, and then automatically flags accounts that you should attempt to contact.
The actions that CRMs recommend that you make also vary. Based on the data, sometimes they will suggest that you call the client, while other times, they will recommend that you attempt to cross-sell or upsell. Again, it’s the analytics that helps you. Your reps might not know which approach to take with a customer, but the CRM tells them.
A Centralized Database
You never quite know who in your company will need to access customer data. Sales reps require it for their conversations with clients. However, marketing teams and even executives may also have use for it.
Traditionally, companies siloed customer data. It was hard to make it available company-wide. Cloud-based CRMs change this dynamic by making information available to anybody with an account. You simply log in and then use CRM tools to access, analyze and evaluate data.
Better Customer Segmentation
Customer segmentation is the art of organizing your clients by their characteristics. Again, this was hard to do in the past because firms did not systematically collect information on their customers. However, with a CRM, it is trivial. Often it is as simple as filtering customers by a variable, such as gender, age, or the products they are interested in buying.
Once you segment customers, it lets your sales reps tailor their approach to each. Theoretically, this should result in more conversions and higher sales.
Automated Sales Reporting
Manually putting together sales reports is time-consuming. In the past, companies had to do it because there was no other way. However, modern CRMs automate the process. They provide real-time information and statistics on all sales reps on a dashboard. This allows firms to evaluate and track team member performance, providing training or support where needed.
Improved Customer Retention
Finding new customers is always beneficial. However, retaining existing customers is often the most lucrative. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be challenging for firms to generate loyalty. Customer service is difficult to achieve.
CRMs get around this by providing information that sales reps can use to generate repeat business. In many cases, simply having a record of customer interactions gives reps the ability to improve their conversations with clients. Knowing the customers lets them make better suggestions and offer more relevant assistance.
Going back to the example in the introduction, you can see how the absence of a good CRM would lengthen sales interactions. Customers would have to repeat information each time they called, not only diminishing their experience but also wasting rep time as well.
CRMs get around this by removing the need for customers to repeat information. What’s more, sophisticated software also does much of the analytics automatically, guiding reps as to what they should do next, instead of them having to figure it out themselves.
In summary, CRMs benefit businesses in many ways. Yes, they are critical for improving customer service, but they also offer businesses flexibility and enhanced output per worker.
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