Modern enterprise-grade Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools act as de–facto hubs for the domains of sales, service, and marketing and house all organizational customer data to aid in the creation of cross-department strategies on acquiring new customers and retaining and growing existing ones. This ensures that every aspect of the customer’s journey is calibrated to maximize value and trust between the parties is deepened in ways that ensure success on both sides. There are many ways a CRM helps this cause and the factors below are front and center of adding value and impacting growth and profitability to an organization.
1 – Simplifies lead management
A lead is a business term for raw prospects (or an expression of interest for your product or service) that is yet to be or has been qualified (through a process) to consider it as an opportunity to do business. The management of leads over the years has become quite complex as the increased avenues in which the leads come in, the enhanced ways in which they get qualified and the sheer volume of them makes it harder to decipher one from another without a mechanized tool that brings it all together. CRM’s integrated lead management processes and workflows allow nurturing of these prospects throughout the customer acquisition process and allow sales folks to not only manage pipelines better but also customize their pitches based on the individual needs of a customer. This simplification itself allows a 30% uptick in lead conversion (Salesforce), which, by no means is a small impact and can lead to a good chunk of business growth.
2 – Amplifies marketing outreach
We are all victims of badly timed, badly worded, non-contextual, and non-personalized spray and pray marketing messages by businesses around us and all have wondered if these businesses are even serious about pitching their offerings to us. Skilled marketers know better. They operate with a view that personalized and contextualized messages can be 3-4 times more successful and a structured CRM can aptly enable this by addressing prospects by their first names to producing dynamic landing pages for every visitor to email and social media marketing integration using pre-built templates that can be automatically triggered based on certain consumer actions at certain time intervals for specific customer segments, personas. CRM also provides contextual data analytics to improve the process over time and the inbuilt AI models can further personalize experiences by algorithmically producing messages based on the next best offers for an increase in cross-sell and up-sell success rates.
3 – Improves employee productivity and performance metrics
From email templates to reminders on tasks to mobile push notifications with insights, a CRM can be a salesperson’s best friend (if they allow it to be). Taking more of an associate’s role rather than just a tool, a CRM keeps the folks updated on the ways to increase productivity and performance metrics so more focus can be put on enriching client relationships rather than on mundane tasks of entering data and writing emails. This beefs up employee productivity by 34% (Intuit). For marketers, data pulled from social profiles and databases (demographic, geographic, behavioral, psychographic) helps understand the critical success factors for each relationship that aids in a targeted effort on growth and profitability as metrics like customer lifetime value, customer equity, cost of customer acquisition, etc. can be reliably monitored in real-time and accuracy.
4 – Lowers cost of customer acquisition and retention
The process of acquiring new customers and maintaining existing ones can be costly and time-consuming, especially in the elongated, modern-day sales journeys. A methodical approach of CRM shaves off 30% of the time spent on the qualification of leads through pre-defined parameters that continuously update and adapt to the usage of the system (Salesforce). This also streamlines the cold calling process and increases win rates by at least 25%. Similar gains are achieved on the marketing front where automatic campaign management and email marketing templates save countless man-hours typically spent on trying to make sense out of the available data and the matching of the right content with it for distribution. On the retention side, the 360-degree view of the customer alone in the hands of a customer service representative reduces the effort in identifying hurdles and solving complaints, causing a 22% decrease in support costs (Salesforce), improving retention rates by 5% and depending on the use case, increasing profits between 25% to 95% (HBR).
5 – Enriches quality of service
Service is considered the new ‘sales’ of the business world since peak customer loyalty can provide better publicity than any promotion today. A CRM ensures the quality of experience for customers, be it through boosting case resolution times, more relevant product offerings, or personalized communications. By improving online support (through forums, communities), it also further reduces the burden on call centers that are already experiencing benefits from voice and chatbots of late. This, along with integrated Knowledge Management, which enables customers and agents to solve their queries easier and faster, is why 47% of CRM users report an improvement in customer satisfaction standards (Capterra). And if we go with the Pareto rule of thumb (80% of business comes from only 20% of consumers), a CRM can be instrumental in keeping these customer “whales” happy by anticipating their needs and targeting them with customized offers.
6 – Enhances Cross-Sell & Upsell Efficiencies
Understanding existing customers and deepening relationships with them is where success really lies as these are responsible for 60-70% of a typical revenue stream (Marketing Metrics). With its integrated, centralized dashboards, a CRM ensures that these relationships can be maximized in worth and insights are captured from internal and external sources (web tracking, search queries, asset downloads) that flag them as targets for potential cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Further efficiencies are gained by algorithm-based intelligent insights that understand the multiple dimensions and dynamics of such customers and suggest the next best offers to be presented to them. Also, alerts based on key milestones in the customer journey, lifecycle are good indicators of times for reaching out to them for targeted data-enabled conversations and conversions. Cross-sell conversations are not confined to selling methods only and can also occur during service calls while one has the customer’s captive attention.
7 – Maximizes Profitability of Loyalty Programs
A phenomenon popularized in the ‘70s and ‘80s, loyalty programs are omnipresent today as about 3 out of 4 customers prefer doing businesses with organizations that offer them (Virtual Incentives). Sadly, most of these programs have not been as successful and fail immediately after the launch. While there are plenty of reasons for this that are beyond anyone’s control (culture, geography, industry), there are some like timing, types of rewards, etc. That can be controlled for a program to succeed. A CRM can play a pivotal role in it as it can provide the right insights and intelligence (internal and external) to offer a mechanized way to map the right reward to the right customer. This can be done based on their past interactions and tastes, which is important given that differentiation of loyalty programs is increasingly becoming a challenge and offering customizable offers that deliver value to each individual can promote long-term relationships and increase the retention rate to the tune of 26% (Salesforce).
Achieve CRM success; the TransformX way
As expected, a tool like CRM that adds value to every visible or hidden aspect of the enterprise naturally demands much premeditation from a division, process, strategic, and employee standpoint to realize its potential. The TransformX Customer Success Model assists clients in achieving this by assessing their readiness to take on a CRM implementation and leveraging a methodical, proprietary and industry-leading approach to help select the best fit solution that will add comprehensive value for their customer-related goals. The processes include sessions and interviews with key organizational stakeholders to comprehend the real needs and showcase short and long-term roadmaps for achieving customer success across the board. A bespoke CRM RFP effort is also conducted to compare the solutions against 15 dimensions of success from the model. In cases where a CRM is already in use, a comprehensive value and impact review is performed to underpin any potential failings in the current solution and similar tacts are leveraged to recommend one that fits the need better. TransformX clients have leveraged this model over the years to add value to their customer relationships, reduced costs of acquisition, increased customer satisfaction scores (CSAT, NPS, etc.) increased customer retention, grown customer lifetime value, and achieved further benefits and growth in this realm. We welcome you to review the Success Page on our website to gain more insight into the success stories of our clients and we look forward to engaging with you and your teams to assist in the success of your next CRM or customer-related effort.