Maybe your business hasn't grown for several years; or perhaps it has grown, but at a snail's pace. It could be that your salespeople aren't able to effectively follow up on leads, or that when they do, they don't have the information they need to close. It could also be that you don't have the tools you need to promote customer satisfaction, productivity and collaboration in your business, like customer relationship management software (CRM).
What Is CRM?
CRM is software which places all your customer data in a single location where you can easily access it to improve customer relations. TechTarget defines CRM as follows:
"Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth."
An increasing number of businesses like yours are adopting CRM to help them meet their goals and drive sales. According to Capterra, for example:
- 65% of businesses now adopt CRM in their first year
- More than half of top-performing companies use CRM to boost sales and productivity
- 80% of businesses that use CRM increase lead generation
- Half of CRM users experienced a substantial increase in customer satisfaction
- 4 of 5 businesses that use CRM report increased access to critical customer data
How Do I Know If It's Time for My Business to Use CRM?
Only you can decide what's best for your business. That said, there are some common indicators that signal the need to automate the way you engage with customers and prospective customers. Here are 4 signs that it might be time for your business to adopt a CRM solution:
1. You're not as productive as you want to be
If you manage customer information manually, using paper and spreadsheets, you're probably wasting a lot of time which would be better spent helping those customers. CRM will automate data entry and replace long email threads with a single communications interface. This will make your business more efficient and increase sales. According to one recent study, adoption of CRM increases average revenues per sales rep by 41%.
2. Your customers are bounced around from one department to another
When a customer calls your business, they expect the first person they speak with to have the answers they need. When data is distributed among several departments, your people are forced to transfer calls until they get to the person who has the answer. Because CRM puts all customer data into a single location and makes it easily accessible, everyone in your organization has access to it whenever they need it. That means fewer transferred calls, and fewer frustrated customers.
3. You're having trouble analyzing and leveraging data
When your data is stored in several locations or on cumbersome spreadsheets, it's very difficult to interpret and use. For example, a member of your sales team might follow up with a prospective customer that another sales rep has already contacted; or you might send promotional emails to a group of customers who have already told you they're not interested in a product or service. This diminishes trust and hurts sales. With CRM, you'll have more robust reporting and data analysis capabilities to better understand and serve your customers.
4. Your customers are not satisfied
If you're not regularly measuring customer satisfaction (for example, using customer satisfaction surveys), you should be. If you are and you find a low level of satisfaction, or if you're getting too many customer complaints, you need to remedy the situation.
The best CRMs will give you the business intelligence you need to enhance customer experience at every touchpoint. You'll know if they prefer contacts by email or phone, what time of day they want contacts, and what products and services they're most interested in. When you meet or exceed your customers' expectations, they buy more products or services from you, and they're more likely to refer their friends to your business.
As noted above, only you can decide what will work best for your business. On the other hand, if you're experiencing slow growth, anemic productivity, weak sales or dissatisfied customers, it's probably time to consider adoption of a customized CRM solution.
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