• Amanda Nicholls

A solid CRM is not just for your sales team

Updated: Jul 13

To put it simply, if your business was a car, your CRM would be the engine. Not a nice-to-have set of alloy wheels, or even fundamental brakes, but the core component of a vehicle that transforms fuel into power and drives your business forward.

A CRM should be the baseline component in any business. Why? Customers make up the foundation of your business, your business's reason to exist. Think of your customer data as fuel, what your engine needs to run. Your CRM takes that fuel and uses it to not only keep the business running, but accelerates growth.

Being able to access, manage and use this quality customer information within a CRM is beneficial to a business for a number of reasons, the more obvious being:

  • A streamlined sales process, alongside centrally stored customer and sales data, can increase your productivity and sales

  • Once your prospects have converted, CRM equips you with the tools and data to keep your customers engaged, increasing retention and loyalty

  • Knowing your customers well means your team can provide better service and in turn improve customer satisfaction

Coming from a background of leading and developing high performance sales teams, having a well set up CRM not only enabled my team to do their job better, but allowed me to better coach my team by leveraging the data points in our sales process. Having the right data available meant I could easily identify gaps in the pipeline and be targeted with my coaching conversations.

A common misconception I hear a lot now is that a CRM is only beneficial to a business's sales team. The reality however is that a solid CRM can provide benefits to all teams and members of an organisation, from a field worker to your CEO. Let's take a look at a few:

Centralised customer data, a single source of truth for your business.

As previously detailed, an obvious win for your sales team. But, beneficial for a number of other teams:

  • C-suite or executive team: Not only does CRM provide a single source of truth for your customer data, but for the performance of your business through dashboards and reports. From top level KPIs to granular detail, information in CRM is readily accessible, easy to view and paints a detailed picture of your business’s current and future health.

  • Marketing team: Better customer data equals better marketing. CRM can be used to supercharge your marketing efforts, whether that’s sophisticated email marketing, utilising first party data to find prospective customers, or analysing effectiveness and attribution of campaigns.

  • Customer service team: In order to deliver truly exceptional customer experiences, service, sales and marketing teams should be working together. CRM enables this and ensures that each customer interaction is captured in the same place, ultimately providing the customer service team with a detailed history on any given customer.

  • Finance team: Through robust APIs, CRM can connect to a number of external systems, including your finance system, helping to alleviate pain points around customers using streamlined and automated processes, reducing the administrative burden on the finance team.

Understand gaps and make informed decisions based on consistent data.

I’m sure in any organisation you’ve encountered an array of methods employees use to capture and file information. A few personal favourites:

  • Desktop Dan: Saves everything to his desktop, relies on search functionality. No filing system, nothing is backed up.

  • Organised Oliver: Intuitive filing system and uses appropriate naming conventions. But, saves everything on their personal drive, where no one else can access it.

  • Pen & Paper Peter: Your traditional salesman, swears by his tried and true methods, desk is riddled with scraps of paper and used notebooks.

  • In-my-head Helen: Exceptional performer, yet rarely writes anything down. Relies on her ‘good memory’ to get the job done.

Other than being extremely frustrating to witness and raising several security red flags, there is one major thing these methods have in common - risk.

Information and data can be extremely powerful to a business, however if not captured consistently it will undoubtedly lead to inaccuracies and ill-informed decision making. A CRM creates business continuity around data capture, ensuring that each user is following the same process and capturing the same information. This is all assuming successful adoption, of course - and don’t worry, we can help with that.

In turn, this accurate data capture allows key business leaders to make informed decisions around areas such as; business critical clients, portfolios, areas of focus and investment opportunities. Better yet, artificial intelligence will analyse that data for you, surfacing actionable insights that will impact your KPIs. Additionally, in the turbulent world we find ourselves in today, it mitigates risk associated with employees working from home, falling ill or those who participate in the Great Resignation.

Drive efficiency.

This last one is straight-forward. A solid CRM means your team can spend more time doing work that matters most. I often encounter the all too common, “we don’t have time for CRM”, “it’s just one extra step”, “data entry is too time consuming”. Whereas in reality, CRM is the most important tool your business can use to save you time and money.

I get it, you might love your Excel spreadsheet. But trust me when I say using CRM is faster, more powerful and intuitive than even the best of your vlookup and concatenate formulas.

Yes, there will be resource and time commitments required to set-up, deploy, transfer existing data and train your employees on how to use the system. But, this will be well worth it once you're working in one connected system, utilising the power of process automation and artificial intelligence to streamline activity and drive efficiencies.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, using smart technology that will drive growth, create efficiencies and improve ROI, then the only answer is a CRM - the powerful V8 engine to your beloved sports car. Don’t know how to drive? At Be Intelligent we can show you how.

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