Companies using CRMs increase their sales by 29% on average, with accuracy of reports improved by 42%.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a widely used technology for managing your company’s relationships and interactions with customer and potential customers. CRM is a system, a tool that helps improve business relationships to grow your business. A CRM solution helps your company stay connected to customers, streamlines processes, and improve profitability and it does across the entire customer lifecycle, from marketing, sales, digital commerce, and customer service interactions.
Who Needs CRM?
If your organization is experiencing a decline in sales or there’s evidence that your sales team is struggling to keep up with the business being generated, you need CRM — it can sort, analyze, and prioritize your sales leads so that your sales team can focus on the opportunities more likely to close and provide quick, efficient answers to customers. CRM also gives your customer service team the information they need to upsell or cross-sell.
Other strong indicators that you need CRM might include:
- Building your customer profiles is near impossible because you don’t know who they are
- Your customer rate is slipping because your reps don’t have a unified view of who the customer is
- A lack of collaboration between sales and marketing causes a lapse in delivering what customers need
- If you don’t know who your high-value customers are, you can’t show them appreciation
- Not staying relevant on customer contacts leaves questions unanswered
- Dirty data such as duplications or missing information is showing up
- Forecasting and reporting has become sluggish or downright inaccurate
How Will CRM Make a Difference?
A CRM system gives you a clear overview of your customers and lets you see everything in one place within a simple, customizable dashboard. You can see a customer’s previous history with you, the status of their orders, any outstanding customer service issues, and more. You can even include information from their public social media activity — their likes and dislikes, what they are saying and sharing about you or your competitors.
Marketers can use a CRM solution to manage and optimize campaigns and leads with data-driven approach, providing better understanding of sales or prospects coming in and making forecasting easier and more accurate.
From inquiries to sales, you have clear visibility to opportunities or leads. When you embed CRM into your business — from finance to customer services and supply chain management, you will see large gains in productivity. This puts customer needs at the forefront of business process and innovation cycles.
A CRM solution helps you:
- Find new customers
- Win new business
- Keep new customers happy by organizing customer and prospect information
- Build stronger customer relationships with them and grow your business faster
A CRM system achieves this by:
- Collecting a customer’s website, email, telephone, and social media data and more across multiple sources and channels
- Automatically pulling in other information, such as recent news about the company’s activity
- Storing personal details, such as a client’s personal preferences on communications.
- Organizing this information to give you a complete record of individuals and companies, so you can better understand your relationship over time.
With a consolidated view of every prospect and customer, a CRM system is then be used to manage day-to-day customer activities and interactions. From a marketing perspective, this means engaging your prospects with the right message, at the right time, through targeted digital marketing campaigns.
Sales reps can work faster and smarter with a clear view of their pipeline and accomplish more accurate forecasting. Commerce teams can quickly launch and scale ecommerce — from online orders to curbside pickup. And customer service agents can respond to customer needs on any channel — from home, in the field, or in the office.
How to Choose the Best CRM?
Choosing the right CRM system for your business can be daunting, with so many options to choose from. What’s the best way to choose which array of tools and features will work best? Here’s 8 easy tips to guide you.
1. What are Your Goals?
Identify the problems you’re trying to solve by prioritizing your goals:
- Track Leads and Lead Activity
- Track Customer Base
- Track Opportunities and Closing Rates
- Offer Connectivity Between Teams
- Manage Relationships
- Generate Customized Reporting
- Organize Business Operations
- Increase Profitability
- Increase Productivity
2. Understand What You’re Implementing
Any time you introduce change, there will be a learning curve during implementation. An outside consultant or a dedicated staff member should head up the deployment. A period of training and testing will establish best practices. This stage may be time-consuming but it is key.
3. Prepare Your Team
Regardless of what CRM solution you choose, there will always be some people who resist changes. Sales people may feel that giving up their customers’ contact information puts their positions at risk, when it, in fact, CRM makes their work easier. Still, they own the personal relationship with the customer, so keep them involved in the selection process.
4. Know the Value of Mobility
Your CRM tool must be flexible and accessible using a variety of web-enabled devices. Since most sales people are early adopters of technology, they will expect a platform that is updated regularly with new technology.
5. What are Your Processes?
Every business has different processes, so it’s important your CRM is flexible enough to handle yours. At the same time, you want a CRM that will grow with your business and adapt to your changing processes without having to be replaced.
6. Does CRM Interface With Current Software?
Check to ensure the CRM system you choose can interface with other applications you already have in place. If you need help connecting all of your systems through APIs, look for a third-party platform that can integrate your systems to streamline your data organization.
7. Fully Comprehend the Product Demo
Use the product demo. Dig in and test the system to understand its strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t just assume it will work and all is well. Take a little extra time to really test the demo and it may save frustrations later on.
8. Get Customizable Reporting Capabilities
Reporting capabilities are extremely important. After all that’s what can really help you pass up your competition. By customizing reports based on your unique data, you will showcase your wins, losses, and opportunities for improvement.
HubSpot CRM is prized by many of its longtime users because the software allows them to categorize customers according to their expectations and commit time to prospective buyers—capabilities that convert to more tangible values especially in tandem with their sales and marketing systems.
The CRM market is enjoying some of the most prolific years it has seen in a while, allowing it to leapfrog the database management market by some margin in the latest round of industry reviews. This breakthrough leads us to one obvious maxim: investing in CRM is one of the most crucial decisions your organization could ever make.
As a HubSpot Partner, Witmer Group leverages this robust platform to help customers accelerate engagement with more qualified prospects, land new business that aligns with their company goals, and automate processes to streamline the sales and marketing workload. Get in touch with WG.