Wednesday, July 4, 2012

6 Tell-tale signs you need CRM - Part 1

At some stage, many businesses will recognise that they need to improve the way that they manage their customers and contacts - this is when they typically begin to ask "Do I need CRM?".

If your business is at this stage then this blog might help you identify specific areas in which CRM can be useful. It also identifies some of the key criteria and features that CRM should have for it to be successful.
  1. Frustrated customers complain that your staff don’t know their specific requirements
    An effective CRM will enable you to store all the data you need to about a customer, typically in custom fields. This data usually includes demographic details and product interests which have been collected over time. Organisations that do not have a CRM are likely to find this information scattered in Excel/Word Documents, Outlook emails and brief notes jotted around the place.

    Having this valuable data centralised into one location that everyone can access provides the ability to be instantly informed about a customer. It also allows the organisation to provide more specialised offerings for different groups of customers based on location/product interest etc.
  2. Your sales team not knowing what issues your service team/accounting team is currently working on before calling the customer

    When data is not shared throughout the organisation you will find that each department may create its own ‘silo’ of information. The problem with this is often staff in different departments will have no idea of what is going on and have to request the information, wasting valuable time that could be better spent on other tasks.

    Whilst it is important for departments to share data, one of the complexities of introducing a CRM is to find one that can meet the needs of every user - keeping in mind that CRM is designed to manage contacts, not services or accounts. This is where integration and customization comes in - the CRM you choose should be capable of bringing together the important information about your customers to all the staff that need it.
  3. Not knowing whether valuable sales leads are being followed up
    When staff are dealing with multiple customers, suppliers and prospects every day it can be difficult to lose track of the potential sales. Without an effective system of storing the information (including products/services, value of the potential sale, what is happening now and what needs to happen next) sales opportunities can easily walk out the door.

    CRM is an effective way to manage potential sales. An effective CRM will enable you to create and manage your own sales process. It will enable you to:
    • See all of your upcoming sales opportunities then prioritise and manage them based on their potential value to the business or their probability of converting to a sale
    • Keep a record of all the notes, activities, products and people involved in the opportunity,
    • Assist you with sales budgets and revenue forecasting

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