In the initial stage, CRM software appeared as a sales management tool that would capture customer data from multiple channels and help in synchronizing conversations with customers throughout the sales cycle. Then step-by-step, it developed from a customers’ bookkeeping system into daily assistant in building durable relationships with customers.
A sales-oriented CRM will store important information about customers and activities, visualizes lead’s movement through the sales pipeline and allowing easy updates and shares of the data in order to enable collaboration of all the involved members (salespeople, customer service supporters, account managers, etc.). Through the automation of regular tasks, it allows companies to increase sales process efficiency (for example, to win and maintain more customers with the same workforce).
Nevertheless, the sales-support capability of CRM software (assisting in sales process standardization, lead nutrition, and customer retention) is recognized by 90% companies (figures by SuperOffice), our CRM consulting practice shows that the following 5 strategic capabilities of CRM tools are often unnoticed. Let’s have a look in more detail.
1. CRM for better sales management
CRM tools allow automation of sales workflows to add stability, consistency, and speed up sales activities (such as systematic lead nurturing). Rewarding as it is, this is not the only dream of sales managers. Additionally, a CRM system can be used by sales managers to set sales goals and track their fulfillment, as well as to envision the progress for assignees to keep them motivated.
Team Performance Analysis, both in its wholeness and broken down by individuals, can make consistent performance reviews facts-based and more active. For instance, CRM data can help sales managers to:
- Pinpoint top and weak performers
- Spot specific sales performance issues and their causes (for example, Jane wins fewer clients because she spends twice as the members of another team have closed a deal)
- Identify poor and strong strategies in the sales cycle (for example, during customer acquisition or retention)
In the next step, CRM can serve as a sales supporting tool. For example, efficient sales behaviors recognized after analyzing the activities of top performers can be brought as in-CRM tips to weaker team members. Also, special algorithms can be implemented so that they can suggest cross-selling and appealing or upselling opportunities to a salesperson on the basis of their customer’s purchase history and previous similar cases that achieved success.
2. CRM for protection against competitors
Whenever a competitor starts an aggressive marketing campaign, customer loyalty is tested. While new market players can reach the same resources and use the same channels, strong customer relationships are the best safeguard against attacks on a company’s market share.
As per Rockefeller, 82% of consumers switch brands because they don’t feel care. As a result, personal communication with customers today can be a source of competitive advantage for the future.
With the CRM software in action, such personalization takes reasonable efforts. CRM consultants suggest starting the journey with 360-degree customer profile priorities. Those should collect data from sales force and customer service reps at all touchpoints, as well as analytical insights on the basis of customers’ purchase and browsing history and social network activities (for B2C).
Knowing the customer well allows a company not only to eliminate irrelevant communication (duplicate email, annoying surveys) but also providing extraordinary service at every stage of the customer journey.
For example, a service assistant immediately learns the details of the customer’s purchase through the CRM, or a salesperson showing care with a customer call after an issue is fixed by the support center.
A company doesn’t have to create an illusion of a personal touch if it enables the staff to be caring. With tips attached to CRM user role, service assistants and salespeople will be assisted by the special share of 360-degree customer profiles that are appropriate for their tasks.
3. CRM for strategic marketing
Sufficient CRM data is also helpful in pre-sales and post-sales stages. Customer sentiment gathered by salespeople and through the medium of surveys can indicate the marketing department at the market opportunities (e.g., the idea of a new or supplementary product/service, improvements in the present offering).
CRM data analysis will help to timely identify market trends and levels of interest in the company’s products by automation to some extent. Consequently, marketers can use these insights to adjust marketing strategy.
Also, in-CRM analysis of customer data can be used to reduce customer segments and target them with more accurate (and effective) messages. And finally, with some analytical factors introduced by the system by CRM consultants, marketers will be aware of the results of their marketing efforts in terms of revenue and pipeline activity.
Fact-based analysis of marketing campaigns, identifying best-performing channels and even advertising messages – this is the basis for future marketing advancements.
4. CRM for proactive strategic management
Either it’s regarding entering a geographic market, launching a product or surviving competition, CRM enables executives to quickly identify problems before losing a company’s money and customers.
Changes in lead generation and their pipeline movement, a decline in a response of loyal customers are of the signs of launching a dynamic in-CRM analysis to know the reasons for the decreasing results (perhaps, they are trends in the market or industry or the opponent’s predatory pricing?).
Accompanying custom dashboards best suits to executive roles, CEO, CFO, CMO, VP of marketing, or VP of Sales will be able to monitor those important indicators so that they make more informed decisions.
5. CRM for increasing profitability
In-CRM customer data analysis gives the company more information about their most worthwhile and productive customers in order to maintain relationships with them. Monitoring the purchasing history of high-LTV customers and the responses to sales and marketing activities will help timely respond to negative signs and as a result, such key customers will be better retained.
Company executives (CEO and CFO), in turn, can use CRM data to predict revenue and manage profitability. In order to increase revenue and reduce costs, comprehensive goals can be divided into smaller ones and monitored in the CRM system.
For example, to increase cash arrival, a company can set cross-selling and upselling goals. At the level of sales agents, best practices are noticeable for weaker performers in a CRM will be allowed to convert more leads in CRM, while automated nurturing notifications will save time for all sales agents, allowing more lead processing per quarter, and this will result in increased employment costs.
Advanced CRM as the next step
The meaning of this article in regards with CRM use cases doesn’t neglect the benefits of a sales-oriented CRM device. Its initial aim will be, no matter how many years will pass. Still, CRM consultants today recommend seeing CRM software from a wider perspective and using their data for the company’s strategic development. We think this is the next maturity level for the adoption of CRM, right? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments feed.