Today, many businesses adopt CRM tools to aid their sales team move prospects through a sales pipeline. CRMs are mainly used to capture new opportunities and nurture future customers to the point of buying and becoming actual customers. A customer then typically moves into the accounting system in place, and from there, the customer lives on through records of purchase and paid transactions. More often than not, notes regarding the customer are kept in a accounts receivables module. If the business relationship ends, that customer is likely archived, never to be seen again.
However, the lifeblood of any business is its customers – without them, you have no business. Regardless of what you sell, be it product or service, client retention should be an aspect of your business that is equally important as your client acquisitions. The bottom line, if your company has customers, your business needs a CRM.
CRM is a Customer Relationship Management software. Defined by Google as a “ a process in which a business or other organization administers its interactions with customers, typically using data analysis to study large amounts of information.” To limit our thinking of a CRM to the sales department contradicts the true definition of a CRM. There are many ways your business can benefit from a CRM beyond the sales aspect; here are a few for you to consider:
Keeping track of contacts
We already know how powerful word of mouth can be when promoting our products or services. When a contact person within a company moves on to another job, we risk the loss of communication with that individual. As a result our product or solution is replaced by the new person's vendor of choice. A good CRM will track individuals as well as companies. For instance, a Biotech company would want to keep track of the researchers it has worked with in the past. Quickly being able to communicate with that individual can be very valuable. Helpful information like their current LinkedIn profile, contact information, and other pertinent details for that contact means staying in touch. This individual is someone who has been championing your business and is likely to refer you wherever their future endeavors may take them.
Emails are a regular part of a business’s communication, and often several people within the organization need to communicate with the same clients. A robust CRM will keep track of communications and documents attached to the individual or company's record. This way, everyone in the organization can easily see the thread of communication and stay current with the activity regarding this client. You can build templates quickly within your CRM, ensuring that communications follow your company's processes.
Different departments may assign tasks to specific individuals within your organization. We typically are in the habit of referencing a task list or managing our calendar. Without a CRM, the two do not naturally integrate. This leaves room for double bookings or other conflicting items within one's workday. CRMs synchronize tasks within an individual's calendar. This ensures that tasks, reminders, and appointments are complete and convenient for those involved.
Using a CRM to track customer satisfaction should be an integral part of your business growth. They provide you with valuable insight into how you can improve the customer experience. Measuring needs and responses through reports shared with everyone within the organization. Collaborate your company data and use it to excel customer expectations. This eliminates customer frustration and has everyone involved in the organization on the same page.
As you can see, a CRM goes beyond just tracking sales acquisitions. Applying a CRM provides many vital uses within your company. From marketing to customer support, customer service, and team collaboration. The data within your CRM contains almost every piece of customer-related information you have. So, when organized and appropriately implemented, a CRM is a powerful tool that helps to achieve overall company growth. Customer Relationship Management involves the entire company and not just the sales team.