When you’re feeling the pressure of a dwindling pool of prospects, unmotivated sales staff, and mounting back stock, it might not occur to you to ask yourself, “Do I need a CRM?” This sort of stress, however, is exactly what a customer relationship management platform, or CRM, should alleviate. By incorporating a CRM into your business processes, you can make your business more organized, communicative, and responsive, and in turn have a happier sales staff and a better relationship with your prospects and customers.
1. No one (on your sales team) knows who’s doing what.
Interoffice communication can be the difference between a good business and a great business. When communication breaks down, becomes repetitive, or loses coherence, frustrated employees and customers are not far behind. The workplace can quickly adopt a stressful atmosphere when salespeople lack vital email communications or are inadvertently working with the same prospects. Such a situation also harms the sales support staff, creating bottlenecks of service and support in the sales funnel. These bottlenecks can lead to fewer sales and a tarnished service reputation, especially without a plan in place to handle them.
By introducing a CRM into your sales process, you can equip the sales staff with the information they need most. A CRM also provides a clear overview of the sales process and each potential customer’s progress through the sales funnel. The best CRM programs allow management to track the activities of each person on their team, both sales staff and support staff, leading to a streamlined follow-up process. When you have a CRM, your business runs more smoothly, your staff is more informed, and your customers have confidence in your ability to meet their needs.
2. You’re not communicating regularly with customers
Understanding customer relationship management means knowing that communication includes more than just frequent interaction within your organization. The availability of information to the masses means customers and prospects expect a higher level of information-sharing throughout the purchasing process. Confirmation emails and thank-you notes have conditioned customers to accept regular contact from businesses they care about. This expectation can overwhelm an unorganized business, leading to duplicate emails, forgotten service requests, and lost application documents. Not only it is embarrassing to expose your company’s weakness in communicating with customers, but this embarrassment often turns into lost business and bad reviews..
A CRM software program eliminates virtually all of these service gaffes, allowing salespeople and managers to set up automated communication campaigns that ensure the right people are getting the right messages at the right times. The CRM’s filtering system catches duplicate emails. The system also marks and sorts service requests and application documents for you, putting vital information exactly where you need it. Each customer-employee interaction is also stored for later discussion or action. Thanks to a CRM, you can provide the highest level of service and interaction readily and easily, leaving your customers feeling appreciated and satisfied with their purchasing experience.
3. Every prospective customer gets the same treatment.
One of the worst things any sales staff can do is make their customers and prospects feel like a number. Even though this is a time-tested and research-backed concept, it still leaves many sales teams out in the cold. Potential customers want to feel as though their individual business is important. Unfortunately, bulk emails and impersonal messages can damage this feeling, as they don’t account for each prospect’s unique situation or needs. This kind of one-size-fits-all communication can turn customers off, leaving them uninterested in services or products and making them much harder to court.
When you are picking a CRM software solution, pay specific attention to choices that offer your business the ability to individualize and personally interact with customers and prospects. These platforms retain the capacity for automation while still allowing the human element to shine through. Not only can you personalize individual emails, but you can also use the best CRM solutions to personalize entire workflows based on demographics, interest, or products. By doing so, you can maintain a low-cost, seamless sales and service process, while at the same time meeting each customers’ individual needs and making them feel valued.