I’ve seen some great CRM implementations in my career… and some absolutely terrible ones. Like any technology, ensuring that your team is less time working on it and more time providing value with it is the key to a great CRM implementation. I’ve seen poorly implemented CRM systems that froze sales teams… and unused CRMs that duplicated efforts and confused staff.
74% of CRM users said their CRM systems offered improved access to customer data. Tweet This! and the CRM industry is predicted to be $36 billion by 2017.
What is a CRM?
While we all call the software that stores customer information a CRM, the term customer relationship management encompasses the processes and strategies as well as the technology. The CRM system is used to record, manage, and analyze customer interactions throughout the life of the customer. Sales and marketing utilize this data to improve the relationship and, ultimately, the value of that customer through retention and additional sales.
What are the Benefits of Using a CRM?
Do you have a sales team that manages their own prospect database? Account management and service representatives that manage their own notes about each customer? As your company grows, your people turn over, and more and more people need to communicate with prospects and customers… how will you track it?
Customer Relationship Management systems provide:
- Achieve a single customer view.
- Create integrated 360° customer profiles.
- Reach customers more effectively through addressable media.
- Recognize their customers across channels.
- Decrease wasted ad spend.
If your account managers, customer representatives and sales personel – as well as your other systems – are recording each interaction with a customer, now your business owns that customer intelligence. Now all of your staff can be in sync and have a full understanding of the value and history of each prospect or customer. And, by paying attention, can improve the relationship with that customer.
A great CRM implementation should allow for quite a bit of integration and automation, they’re not quite as useful out of the box as your CRM marketing material might pretend them to be. And if you’re investing in a SaaS CRM, be prepared for it to be an enormous dependency for future technology enhancments and budgeting. High volume SaaS CRM interaction typically means spending more money. Make sure you have a system that scales affordably and integrates with a ton of other systems. Even if you’re not looking to integrate on day one, trust me… you will be!
Take a closer look at how marketers can unlock the value of their CRM data in Signal’s newest infographic: