Are you thinking this is your year to leverage CRM? With CRM in place, you can develop a sales and marketing framework that will better target marketing to prospects, leads and customers.
A defined CRM strategy will allow you to concentrate on better, more qualified leads and and on nurturing prospects. With CRM, your sales team will be more effective at attracting prospects, closing sales, generating referrals, managing the sales funnel and optimizing customer relationships.
It’s called Customer Lifecycle Marketing and it’s a foundation of great CRM, (Customer Relationship Management). A CRM system will power your business to manage its customer relationships better by optimizing client and prospect data. Your business will be more intelligent when it comes to planning and managing a myriad of connections and opportunities for closing sales — resulting in business growth.
With a CRM solution as part of your marketing and sales effort, you will automate contracts, projects, events, price quotes, email campaigns, social media incentives. Quite simply, with a centralized location to collect and create personalized nurture campaigns, and analyze results, your CRM will equip you with the tools that you need to generate more qualified leads and, best yet, free your sales team to do what they do best — close sales.
How CRM Can Turbo Charge Your Sales
Your Sales Team Will Do Better at Tracking Prospects
With CRM, your sales team will be effective at attracting prospects, closing sales, generating qualified referrals and managing existing customer relationships. Your business will grow in revenue by utilizing a CRM application that helps you track sales activity, lead generation and customer status — capitalizing on the data management power CRM delivers.
Your Sales Team Will Do Better at Nurturing Leads
Qualifying leads is a tricky proposition for some businesses. Time can be wasted by nurturing leads that ultimately never result in closing sales. With a CRM software solution, businesses can dive into customer and prospect data more effectively and better gauge the likelihood of a prospect converting to a sale. Wouldn’t qualifying leads more efficiently save time in the sales pipeline? Businesses that broaden their sales efforts with CRM think so.
Your Customers Are Mobile and Your Marketing Will Be Too
By 2016, two-thirds of the workforce will own a smartphone, and 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile. The demand for mobile marketing is increasing and mobile CRM is now becoming a must-have for many small and medium sized companies. A CRM solution that recognizes and maximizes mobile sales and marketing opportunities and data management creates more effective customer and prospect outreach and support.
You Will Enjoy Social CRM and So Will Your Clients
Social CRM is the integration of social media with CRM strategies and applications. Social media delivers tremendously for competitive businesses today of all sizes and in all markets. Social media boosts brand awareness and promotes social engagement with existing and potential customers. Today, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are highly utilized social platforms for communicating with customers and attracting new business opportunities. By embracing a CRM software solution that enhances marketing with social CRM tools, you can engage customers throughout every stage of the buying journey.
You Will Manage Customers Better Promoting Customer Loyalty
CRM systems help enterprises get the best possible view of their customers, including those who are most profitable — and in the greatest position to make purchases. By using the tools and functionality of today’s CRM solutions, companies can track successful marketing campaigns, target and anticipate customer requirements, adjust sales tactics and strategies to meet targeted customers, identify customer attrition and improve the overall customer experience. CRM systems make it easy to manage customers with a clear view of their needs and expectations. Most important, this data-driven customer management results in more satisfied — and loyal — customers.
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The good thing about CRM is that you get to know your prospects and existing customers better. With this, you know how to approach them and how to turn them from leads to sales.
Interesting information, CRM platform has effective functions to improve customer satisfaction and enhance business profit. I work with McGladrey and here’s an interesting whitepaper on our website that will interest readers of this piece. http://bit.ly/mcgldryxrm
It’s good to inform readers about what a CRM is, but it is important to emphasize that it isn’t a magic bullet. You need to make sure you choose the right CRM for your company and team, that it meets your needs. It is essential to make sure that the CRM you have is one your sales team will use and will not feel like it is a burden or another task. Remember to do you research and try out a number of CRMs before you settle on one.
If CRMs are so effective at driving sales (and therefore the commissions tied to them) why does virtually every sales person you speak with despise them? Sales people like money right? Who wouldn’t like a tool that makes your job easier while simultaneously making you more money?
Why do businesses replace their CRMs more frequently than some people change their underwear? Businesses like making money, right? Businesses like tools that make processes more effective, right?
Since the observations regarding businesses and their salespeople are irrefutable why do CRMs have the lowest LTV of virtually any enterprise application? Is it because unlike accounting applications whose LTV is, on average, over 20 years (unlike CRMS with less than 4) CRMs do not deliver what is promised? The answer is unequivocally yes.
This is how it has been since ACT! over 30 years ago. Maybe it’s time we stop the paid hype and hyperbole and started stating facts regarding increased sales.
The FACT is there is not connection between having a CRM and increased sales other than the worn out correlation that organizations who have CRMs generate more sales than those who do not. Hmmm. Wonder how marketing/sales oriented a company is who doesn’t spend $500 on a CRM? My guess is not very. Nothing to do with the CRM – just indicates it’s a culture run by people not very sales oriented and nothing more.
I think you raise good points, RL, but I would push back on some of the conclusions.
In my decades of experience I’ve found that great sales people are actually very very savvy at tracking prospects and leads, and tracking sales progress. But more likely they use a spreadsheet they’ve developed and customized to be effective for them. In essence, they’ve built their own personal CRM.
As an executive outside of Sales, I was always super impressed by those homegrown personal CRMs.
However, rarely was that data EVER shared with management. To the contrary. That data was carefully guarded.
But having little visibility was always a source of huge frustration and friction among the rest of the organization. Executives needed to know where sales stood but felt they were being kept in the dark. Hours and hours would be spent grumbling about why getting information from Sales was like pulling teeth.
Now I am not saying one group was right and the other wrong. Just pointing out the other side of the story.
If sales staff truly despise a company-implemented CRM, is it really about the system? Or is it about who has control over the information?
That is what I wonder.
Thanks everyone for your comments and observations! To one point, as with any technology or approach, it’s only as effective as is its implementation and utilization. That speaks to any technology or best practice. A business can increase its sales without CRM by mapping out a plan that includes market development and fine tuning best practices that work for them. CRM is not “inventing” new ways to sell better or creating the greatest sales pipeline ever. CRM won’t make a sales team superstars! CRM is a tool that some businesses will use and, when the sales and marketing teams are on board and engaged, there is the opportunity for enhancing sales strategies and performance. CRM is like any other tool, it’s what you make of it. It may not be a tool suitable for some businesses and, for others, it may be a tool that helps improve sales and marketing approaches. CRM is not a magic bullet. There are no magic bullets. CRM is an approach to complimenting sales and marketing activities and, for some businesses, it delivers value.
Thank you for starting off with the recognition that you need a Relationship Strategy in the first place. So often it’s put across that Software alone will improve relationships, boost productivity and as good as guarantee you’ll make a fortune 😉
In response to RL: As with any software implementation, one of the most important aspects of putting a new system in place is ensuring that all of the prospective users buy in to the system. Of course the system you are putting in place has to be user friendly, but more than that it is important to establish what are the key facets of how ALL USERS are currently working and why is it important to them that they work this way.
Only once everybody’s requirements have been understood, considered and catered for can you expect everybody to buy in.