If only I can hire the services of elves and increase my sales overnight, I would have. To have something that would provide a favorable sales report in a minimum amount of time is every business owner’s dream. But in this kind of venture, there is no shortcut.
To make a business grow, you have to find ways to generate more sales. When I was introduced to CRM, let’s just say that I found my modern version of magical elves.
What is CRM and why do you need it for business?
For businesses to thrive, it’s a no brainer that they need to establish a healthy customer base. CRM aids in achieving this goal.Customer Relationship Management or CRM is a system that helps businesses improve their customer-related services. Through the use of various software apps, CRM can give you an increase in sales, an improved marketing strategy, and a strengthened customer service. It is considered both as a business strategy and an application of a more advanced technology.
Why do businesses need a system tailor-fitted to improve customer relations? Here are just some of the benefits that you can gain from CRM:
- It provides an easier way to collect and keep track of customer information.
- This helps business owners monitor which of their goods and services are giving them maximum profit.
- It helps you understand the behavior of your customers better, so you can introduce more products or services that will cater to their requirements.
- It is a software designed to support the needs of the business, as CRM offers a wide variety of apps including sales force automation, marketing automation, and customer support applications.
Looking for a CRM software
CRM programs are not something new. The evolution of technology, however, is so fast that it brings about periodic updates for different types of CRM software. If you are not using one yet for your company, I suggest that you look at a number of software and apps that CRM has in store for you.
Here are a few pointers you can keep in mind when looking for good CRM software:
- Make sure that it is cost-effective and customer-friendly. Investing in technology, no matter how advanced, does not always mean that it is cost effective. CRM is costly. And if the customers do not find it easy to use, you will risk losing them as well as a big portion of your investment.
- Know what it is that you want to keep track of, and custom-fit the software for your goals. Do not simply invest on a software, or any technology for that matter, without any idea of the needs of your business.
- Measure the return on investment, as this is one of the factors that will determine whether CRM was worth implementing.
- Evaluate the ease of use. Is the software easy for the employees to understand? If not, then you probably need to initiate training programs.
- Where will the data be hosted? This will give you and your customers a sense of peace regarding the security of the data.
Benefits of using CRM for your sales
A higher amount of sales means your business is on the right track. This is the reason why a good number of businesses nowadays have invested in CRM. Among other functions, CRM proves to be great asset in pushing that sales report off the charts.
- Organize all customer information in one database. I often hear of customers complaining about companies mixing up information and giving them the wrong kind product. CRM provides a tool for organizing all customer information (e.g. past purchases, preferences, demographics, etc.), in order to minimize the incidents of missing or duplication of data. It also helps the sales team to access information quickly.
- Know the best cross-selling strategies. Picture this: you now have a more organized data of your customers’ preferences and purchasing behavior. You know what they want, when they usually buy, and how much they are willing to expend in a particular period of time. What do you do? CRM gives businesses the possibility of re-selling or up-selling products to existing customers.
- Have qualifying leads. It is a known fact that not all leads equate to sales. CRM provides metrics and tracks performances, which will give business owners the opportunity to focus on leads that have a higher potential of qualifying as sales.
- Help leaders track their sales team. Team managers can now have a good idea of their sales performances based on the reports given by CRM. It will give them a clearer picture of their progress and point out which employees are having problems with their work.
- Manage the sales activities. Managing the sales activities benefits both the team leaders and the employees. CRM allows everyone in the company to check out the line up of their tasks and properly delegate them be it daily, weekly, monthly or annually. A more organized team means more productivity for the business.
- Improve information sharing within the departments. Often, mistakes are made due to misinformation. CRM synchronizes all customer information into one database and grants access to all departments. This way, customers will not receive a different answer everytime they call a different department.
- Take advantage of remote access capabilities. CRM also allows sales people on the field to access customer information, review their accounts, and even work on the plane or while on travel.
- Save time for generating and preparing reports. A lot of CRM software allows employees to set report templates, which will save the entire sales department plenty of time.
- Handle the company’s cash flow better. CRM provides companies with a better idea of their cash flow in terms of sales. It answers a lot of sales-related queries such as the number of existing leads and which of these have a higher possibility to be converted into sales. Consequently, the owners will then know where to direct their budget.
- Plan for the future. Using the data gathered from the software, businesses can now plan and prepare for a more realistic sales projection. With this information, owners can recommend more effective sales methodologies based on activity reports.
Just like how the elves helped that poor old shoemaker and his wife, CRM can produce wonders for your sales. With the right kind of software and the proper implementation, CRM will give your customers more reasons to continue patronizing your products and/or services.
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