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Did you know that a whopping 79% of businesses use a CRM – or a customer relationship management – solution? The CRM industry, which is expected to reach $146B in 2028, is one of the fastest-growing sectors in digital marketing. This makes sense, given that at the heart of any thriving business lies customer relationships, and CRM systems help companies manage just that.
From generating higher revenue and improving customer satisfaction to boosting productivity, a customer relationship management solution can help a business in many ways.
Let’s now see why you should add a CRM to your business mix now (unless you haven’t already!).
The single most important thing that a CRM system does for your business is this: It brings every business opportunity to a central dashboard.
With a few integrations and settings, you can get your CRM to log every incoming opportunity. These can be leads you generate from the different landing pages on your website, referrals from existing customers, or even contacts from channels like Google My Business.
And from here, your sales team can determine if it’s a quality lead and follow up on it accordingly.
Any business, including yours, typically has people cycling through the exact same buying journey. They start as leads and then, ideally, at some point, convert into a customer. With a CRM, you can define all the stages of your buying journey and then track every lead’s journey through it. By default, most CRM tools ship with the following sales cycle stages:
If your sales cycle looks different, you can easily adjust these preset stages.
Using CRMs, you can also easily see how many leads you have, how many are in negotiations, and which deals are being discussed. As a result, with a CRM, you instantly get full visibility into how your business is doing.
Once you move to a CRM (and ensure that all incoming leads and communications) happen on it, everyone on the team can see what’s going on with a lead.
A CRM also lets you see what documents, quotes, or contracts have been exchanged with each contact, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
That’s not all… with a CRM system in place, you can ensure that you revert back to your leads timely and that no sales discussions fall through the cracks. CRMs also support features like email snippets. Using email snippets, you can insert your most common email responses into your emails with just a few clicks. This can save a lot of typing and time. CRM features like snoozing and reminders also come in handy when streamlining communications.
Task management is also included in most CRMs. Therefore, any follow-up tasks on a contact can be added directly to the contact record, where everyone on the team can see them.
CRMs also improve internal communications. They eliminate a lot of back and forth between departments by enabling everyone on the sales and marketing team with complete access to all the updates on each contact.
A CRM system isn’t just a sales tool. It’s equally effective at offering support as well.
Let’s say you have a high-value client who encounters a problem and contacts their sales representative for assistance. An integrated CRM allows your sales team to monitor the support the account holder is receiving and adjust their communications accordingly.
In the same way, if a new customer has a problem while they’re still onboarding, your salesforce can monitor the situation through the CRM and save the account.
Many CRMs also double up as sales support desks, fielding all incoming support requests. If you plan to use your CRM as your service desk as well, ensure that you choose the right one.
When you know everything about your customer (their purchase history and all), you can make better upselling and cross-selling offers. For example, with a CRM, you can know which users have purchased a certain product and when it would be an appropriate time to pitch them a maintenance service. You can also offer them an upgrade based on the current model they’re using.
Generating new business opportunities also becomes handy with a CRM in place. For example, you can set up an email outreach campaign and ask your current customers to send you referrals. You can also incentivize the process and give them a discount on their next purchase or offer other bonuses. A CRM helps you track all of this and more.
A CRM also forces you to document more details about every deal that you either lose or close. Over time, this can translate to a lot of actionable insights for you. For example, if 7 out of 10 deals you lose mention that they’re going to some competitor X for their pricing structure, you might want to experiment with some more customer-friendly terms. Likewise, if you lose contracts to a competitor for lacking a specific product or service feature, you might want to do something about it. If you realize that you take too long to close a deal, you might want to work to shorten your sales cycle, which can, in turn, improve your cash flow.
Another way that a CRM system helps a business is by adding automation to its sales and marketing mix.
For example, once a lead becomes a customer, the next step for your sales team would be to follow up with them in a week to see if they need support with onboarding or with anything else.
Now without a CRM system, your salesperson would have to manually follow up with such a new customer. However, thanks to the automations that most CRMs offer, such work can be fully automated. You can set up workflows to automate such repetitive and time-consuming manual work. For instance, in this case, you can set up a workflow where once a salesperson upgrades a lead’s stage to “customer,” they automatically receive post-sales service emails.
Alternatively, if a lead expresses interest and requests a demo or a meeting, you can set up an integration of your CRM tool with your video conferencing tool (like Zoom) and automatically have an invite sent to the lead (that also gets sent to your salesperson and is added to their calendar automatically), thus saving a lot of time on repetitive work.
Depending on the CRM you choose, you can automate a lot of sales and marketing routine work and put it all on autopilot.
When you add a CRM to your business, make sure to choose the right one right from the go. Because the minute you add a CRM, all your sales and marketing infrastructure starts living on it.
Migrations can mean having to move a lot of data. Also, note that a lot of times, you’re forced to move away from your current CRM setup because of pricing issues. As you add more seats to a CRM, it can get costly to maintain. So factor that in while choosing one.
Additionally, to make the right choice, make a list of the features that are essential in your case. The things we saw in this post are all needed. That said, you don’t necessarily need advanced AI features. You get the drift.
Over to you… Do you use a CRM currently to manage your customer relationships? If so, which one?
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