Kevin Stirtz once said "Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet." This concept comes fairly easy when a business is new and there are only a few customers to cater to. Keeping up with the details of every prospect and every customer comes easy in the beginning. You know customers by name, remember what products they have purchased or may want to, remember every promise made and confidently produce reliable and friendly service.
However, as the business grows, relating personally to each and every prospect and customer becomes a challenge. There are many more details to keep track of and simply managing a team of employees and processing the day-to-day operations of a busy company take precious time away from what you should be doing: engaging your customers aiming to better understand how you can meet their needs best.
When your business takes a formal approach to CRM, the focus returns to the customer and benefits your operation as a whole in 5 important ways:
1) CRM stores customers data in one central place.
With one well-organized database containing the customer’s name, address, contact details, marketing preferences, marketing history, purchase and customer issue history there is a much better chance of records being accurate and up to date.
2) CRM facilitates collaboration.
Different members of your team can share and assign information. You can opt to “follow” key accounts or deals and stay up to date with what is happening on them. You can share key documents – such as the proposal or contract.
3) CRM brings effiecncy.
Implimenting end-to-end process becomes a breeze, aligning marketing, sales and customer service. The positive results of marketing are floated to the sales team, who are able to maximize every opportunity by coordinating and collaborating on the best approach to each deal. Once the deal is closed, CRM enables prioritizing and tracking of fulfilment and service needs. Regular tasks like customer communication can be automated, scheduled and assigned and stay organized.
4) CRM allows you to report, measure, track and forecast.
CRM gives valuable insight to your company's customer base enabling the ability to identify customer traits, trends and cross-selling opportunities. CRM allows measuring of the value of the clients by sector or by product, see which marketing streams provide the greatest return, compare performance of different team members. Dashboard metrics pull the information together for you. Meetings are shorter, take less preparation and are more productive.
5) CRM enables freedom.
Any user can do any and all of the tasks above anywhere: in the office, on the road, or even when working from home. The Internet and CRM bring your business and your team new power to connect beyond the office.
It is perfectly normal that as a business grows, the team’s capacity to manage the number of clients and the number of conflicting tasks brings to break down. Hiring more people or just better people and then sending them on time management and sales effectiveness training will have limited impact unless you also give them tools and processes which are designed to scale to this kind of volume.