Some businesses are still frozen in time relying on the antiquated index card Rolodex to keep all their customer information. As much as some sales reps are used to these archaic methods it may be time to wheel out the index card cabinet and bring in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
The example described above might be an exaggeration, but some companies still rely on obsolete methods such as spreadsheets coupled with Personal Information Managers such as Microsoft Outlook.
Before elaborating on why businesses need CRM, managers have to understand that CRM is much more than just a type of contact management software.
At its core, Customer Relationship Management is a management philosophy according to which a company’s goals can be achieved through identification and satisfaction of the customer’s stated and unstated needs and wants. When implementing CRM it is imperative for customer facing departments (Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service) to revisit their strategies and adapt to a CRM focused model.
You might think that if something is not broken you should not fix it, but trust us, having CRM will simplify most of your Sales, Support and even Marketing processes.
If you identify with one or more of the following signs, it might be time to think about CRM.
- You Have More Than One Employee Interacting With Customers
The best way to discredit your business is when two or more employees interact with a customer and don’t know what their colleagues told the customer. If a customer calls support four times in one week and has to explain his issue every time, he is NOT going to be happy.
A well-executed CRM strategy can mitigate this by giving all customer facing employees access to that customer’s history starting from their first contact with your business up to their latest interaction. With CRM regardless of who answers the support call that agent will know exactly what the issue is, and where the previous rep left off.
- You Got More Than A Few Spreadsheets With Customer Information
As previously stated, if more than one person has to deal with customers it is time to say hello to CRM. Relying on spreadsheets is not effective, especially if you have a few employees. Microsoft Excel was designed to be used by only one user at a time and not by 8 different people using 8 different colours with 8 different ways of logging in data.
A spreadsheet is a great way to organize large amounts of data, but once more than one person is working on the same spreadsheet, things can get messy in a very short time. And if this document is hosted in your network and your server fails, then you may lose all your information.
Consider a cloud hosted CRM where different users can enter information at the same time from different locations and without having to worry about losing the data.
- Employees Leaving
Employee turnover can wreak havoc on any business. If you don’t have CRM and your sales or support reps leave the company, how will their replacements carry on the relationships with customers and prospects?
Sales is all about trust and relationships, and a CRM is an effective tool to seamlessly transfer customer information from one employee to another.
- You Have a Hard Time Tracking KPIs
If at the end of the month, you dread having to track these Sales Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) then you know it is time for CRM.
Every sales organization has to be able to at least track the:
- Rate of Contact or Reach Rate
- Lead Response Time
- Rate of Follow-up Contact
- Opportunity-to-Win Ratio
And ideally they should be able to create an accurate revenue prediction.
With a CRM Solution, you can create a 96% accurate revenue prediction.
Now you can’t do that with spreadsheets or index cards!
- Management Has a Hard Time Making Decisions
Without access to accurate KPIs, management does not have a true snapshot of what is going on in the company and lack the basic information to make informed strategic decisions.
For example, if sales management does not know how many leads sales reps are contacting or how long the average sales cycle lasts, there is no way they can optimize these processes.
Having all this information saved in a CRM system and displayed in easy to read dashboards allows management to make quick decisions and ultimately become a data driven organization.
So, why hasn’t your businesses adopted a CRM System?