It is about acquiring, retaining and developing profitable clients and strategic business partners.
Becoming smart about effectively using a CRM system as the foundation for business development - is a core strategy.
Core People and Business Relationships:
Select a contact management and customer relationship management that has core capabilities to identify key characteristics of people and of a business. Focus your CRM business strategy on what information you need to know to improve relationship growth and the value of the solutions your business provides to people.
Use a CRM system that can easily link how one person knows another, how one business is associated to another. This will provide additional insight for improved relationship development.
Every business has unique characteristics and business needs, so select a CRM solution that can be easily modified. Make sure the core database schema is modifiable. You will need to extend information about a customer's business such as what they like, who are their customers, what they don't care for, and where their business is going in the future... You will need to extend information about your contact's likes and dislikes, their favorites such as sports teams, restaurants, and travel destinations.
Also consider the need to provide security within your CRM system. Can certain information be hidden like net profit or margin for specific requirements? Do you need to set up teams of users who have different needs to view, read, or edit information?
Facilitate Effective and Efficient Communication
- Tracking email, meeting and phone conversation notes- ideally from a mobile, portable device.
- A streamlined platform for communication throughout the company so all the people who need to know are in the loop with current knowledge.
- Instant access to and generation of reports - such as a customer status report of key contact information, latest status of sales opportunities, latest status of service issues and their resolution, travel directions, etc.
- The ability to segment, classify and organize contacts, company accounts, sales opportunities and customer service tickets.
Automation for Easier, Faster Workflow:
Use CRM as a solution for the automation of business development processes. It may be as simple as having automated responses to web and email requests or scheduling quarterly follow-up meetings for your high value clients.
Use CRM to help a business cut costs and improve the bottom line through a simple, streamlined and automated system. Make sure your contact management and customer relationship management system has automation capabilities.
Seriously consider a process-driven CRM for marketing, sales and service such as Bpm'online. BPM +CRM provides:
- Have agility to change processes in CRM faster than ever
- Institutionalized best practices
- Repeatable processes to improve time and cost effectiveness
- Get out-of-the-box best practices from Lead to Loyalty with your customers
- Automate manual tasks, allowing user to user their strengths
Better Decisions - Measurement of Business Success:
Use a CRM system with the ability to easily track a wide range of business intelligence metrics:
- Which marketing campaigns are generating qualified leads.
- Time it takes for your sales staff to follow up with leads
- How hard sales staff is trying to follow up and convert sales leads.
- Which members of the sales team are performing best.
- What is the follow-up time and closing rates of service issues
- What business KPI's - key performance indications -- are trending positive and which need review.
- Comparative year-to-date customer sales and product sales.
- What up-selling and cross-promoting of other products and services fit best for your customer base.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2011 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Topics: Customer Communications Business Visualizations Business Growth Enabler Make your business work smarter Better Decision Making Business Relationship Development Foundational CRM Strategic Business development Growing Your Stronger Business Sales Productivity Improvements Business analytics Customer Retention Customer cultivation Workflow Improvements TaskCentre Perspective Improvement BPM-Business process management Infor CRM ACT! bpm'online CRM