CRM is an acronym for customer relationship management. It started out with Rolodexes and sticky notes before the proliferation of the digital marketplace morphed it into something far superior. While some businesses still document customer information the old-fashioned way, it is not extremely effective or efficient.
Not only does customer relationship management software save time and money but it can offer a significant return on investment for the company. It also provides customer insight with valuable analytics that allows management teams to make important decisions for asset allocation and future growth.
If you are still on the fence about investing in customer relationship management software, here’s what you need to know.
How to tell if your business is ready for CRM
Customer relationship management software, or CRM, is an investment in your company and it is one that will almost always produce a return. It is never easy to implement change within a business, especially when it requires a financial investment.
However, the key is implementing change at the correct time. First, take a step back and examine company processes and productivity. There are some key factors that should influence your decision whether to purchase and implement CRM software.
These red flag elements will not only be painfully obvious when scrutinized, but they will also improve with CRM software.
You are managing multiple spreadsheets across employees
These types of manual processes are not only time-consuming, but they also eat up valuable resources that could be better utilized elsewhere within the company. Countless human hours are wasted daily managing spreadsheets and email chains that could easily be automated with CRM software.
This quickly improves operational efficiency and productivity by automating repetitive tasks. It also helps mitigate the risk of human error in data entry and eliminates duplicate processes within the company.
Managing customer information in this manner increases the integrity of that information while allowing multiple users to access said information simultaneously. It also improves communication because all relevant information is in one place.
Employees can collaborate on a project without fear of unreliable information or a forgotten notepad. How’s that for efficiency?
Your customer history is everywhere
If you must look at multiple places to get a full customer profile or understand their complete history, your company may be ready for CRM software. Customer relationship software keeps all relevant information in one easy-to-access place.
Anyone dealing with a client can see every company interaction in that client’s history at the touch of a button. It eliminates multiple sticky notes, numerous databases and spreadsheets that must be cross-referenced. It also helps prevent contradictory information from seeping up through the cracks to kill a sale or make a client unhappy.
This type of traversing information can also throw off monthly reports and wreak havoc on an accounting department.
You are missing follow-ups on deals
Since every customer interaction is stored in and easily accessed from a single file, the risk of missing follow-ups is virtually eliminated. This improves customer service and increases customer satisfaction dramatically, increasing the likelihood of repeat sales.
You can still incorporate automatic timers and email reminders into the software as a safety precaution. However, everyone in the company can see exactly where that customer is on their journey along with every company interaction.
The customer conversion journey is much smoother and more organized since all relevant information is at a touch of a button. Additionally, reliable CRM software makes it easier to identify sales opportunities that may have otherwise been missed.
It produces actionable customer analytics that can fuel growth and increase revenues. Studies show that incorporating CRM software can lead to over 40 percent higher revenue per salesperson. This improves customer service and increases customer satisfaction dramatically.
There is a security issue
Most CRM software runs on cloud-based SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, applications. They do not require maintenance from company users. While CRM software is an investment, it is not cost-prohibitive as with on-site hosting.
The best part is that all data is automatically backed up off-site and can’t be destroyed by a single calamity. This often increases the security and reliability of the information being stored. It reduces risk to the company while building trust with clients who tend to become long-term or repeat customers.
Various employees managing multiple spreadsheets and tracking customer information by hand is just not secure and it puts everyone at risk. The added security of CRM software takes a company liability and turns it into an asset.
Most CRM software is also scalable, so consumer information is secure even as the company grows.
What businesses can expect from a CRM
Exact CRM software capabilities will vary across platforms and industries. Generally speaking, customer relationship management software enhances the B2C relationship while maximizing sales. It is a tool that empowers businesses and teams to build more effective customer relationships.
In turn, this helps reduce the length of the sales cycle while standardizing the entire sales process. An effective CRM software provides valuable consumer insights through analyzable data that is easily accessed. The data may be segregated by demographics, departments or even by profitability.
It gives management the fundamental information necessary to set realistic growth and sales goals with dependable data forecasts. This important software can even isolate breakdowns in the sales cycle and identify new opportunities.
It gives businesses the ability not only to analyze consumer behavior in a cost-effective manner, but it also allows them to access real-time consumer history at the touch of a button. This improves efficiency and productivity, reduces costs, streamlines daily tasks, helps standardize procedures and improves the customer experience.
At the end of the day, management has a realistic forecast for growth and the sales team can concentrate on what they do best.
CRM is a worthy investment
Customer relationship management software is an investment in your company. Research shows that for every dollar spent on CRM, a business recoups $8.71. That is a reasonable return and a very worthy investment for any company. However, growing companies must allocate resources carefully. It is sometimes necessary for them to secure funding to invest in CRM software.
Reliant Funding makes that possible. We understand the importance of investing in your company. That’s why we offer business owners reliable access to capital without lengthy approval processes and restrictions. If your company is growing and you are ready to invest in CRM software, contact Reliant Funding today.