Are you wondering if investing in a CRM solution is a wise decision? Let's look at how popular it is - worldwide CRM revenues touched $20.4 billion in 2013 and the total software revenue growth for CRM software in 2013 was 13.9%, continuing the double-digit growth trajectories observed during the previous decade. (source: Gartner).
Let us begin by exploring what are the common reasons companies often site for not investing in a CRM -
We already have some single-problem solutions
We are not in the business to use CRM
We're too busy with other initiatives
We think it is too expensive to implement a CRM
We think it will take too long before results are seen
Isn't CRM for bigger organisations?
Isn't CRM for call centers?
Until a serious CRM initiative is underway, the primary source of customer intelligence in an organization remains the finance department. No wonder so many decisions go wrong!
In absence of a comprehensive CRM solution, businesses often spend up to 70% of their time on non-core activities - valuable time lost that lowers productivity. This means that when companies look to do more, it is natural for them to look at adding more people, hence directly inflating fixed cost. Is there a smarter way to do more with less? To answer this, let us begin by exploring what causes productivity to be drained and the associated cost implications.
As most organizations grow, seldom do they change the way they do business with their customers. This means doing more of the same in larger volumes rather than optimizing the way itself. Let us examine some of the top ways that productivity is drained -
Does your team have access to unified customer data on a single click? Often teams spend a lot of their time trying to collate data from various systems or departments to create their version of the truth. As companies grow, the struggle deepens, resulting in a further dip in efficiency.
You know that your customer needs certain things done in a hurry. However, fulfilment often spans multiple departments, each with its own priorities and problems. Hence, valuable time is lost in chasing various departments to ensure work is done within the expected time-frame. Worse, it is often impossible to get accurate status visibility across departmental walls, directly compromising the team's abilities.
A lot of time is spent chasing similar accounts across departments, building individual bridges, attending to duplicate leads or services requests across channels, etc. This drives up transaction costs and inversely impacts team productivity.
With attrition companies often lose visibility into sales pipelines, contacts, prospects and deal navigation strategies. While some of it can be salvaged, in absence of a process, data is seldom available. It is estimated that more than 81% of pipeline momentum is lost, as new account managers struggle to reclaim control.
In absence of CRM, there is no common platform to keep structured relationship information like interaction history, key contacts, account insights, preferences etc. Hence, years spent in building relationship are either not leveraged by other departments or lost to attrition.
Due to a mix of excel reporting and various systems it is often impossible to correlate reports. Hence, visits can't be accounted for, claims can't be verified and false movement is hard to detect! This directly impacts the ability of the management to do mid-course correction for strategies.
After analysing how crippling it is without a CRM, let us look at some of its advantages -
CRM empowers organizations to become more customer-centric by streamlining processes and practices. In the areas of marketing, sales, servicing and delivery it reduces cycle times considerably.
Sales managers and representatives get an end-to-end visibility into their pipeline due to sophisticated organizational tools - a key to take decisive course correction actions.
By offering reliability and consistency, CRM software paves a concrete path towards living up to your brand promise and improving customer loyalty plus strengthening relationships.
Speed up information dissemination with consistency and accuracy by giving employees all the information they need within their capacity.
With the advantage of having a full 360° view of customers, employees can easily cross-sell and up-sell to customers based on their buying patterns and profiles.
Identify new customers by running marketing campaigns that ensure promotions do not target customers who have already purchased that particular product. Employ selective targeting of potential customers based on the buying patterns of existing customers.
Allow sales reps to concentrate on their primary activities, making them devoid of data integrity checks, timely escalations, inter-departmental flow routing, etc.
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