Right Sizing CRM for the Business
Adopting a new business management tool like a CRM system never comes without obstacles. In the case of one of our customers, a payroll company, their main obstacle was something from their past that they are now diligently overcoming.
Recently the business owner, who really wants to make his business more successful, asked their special projects person to “find a CRM system we can use.” The first step she took was to ask their sales team what they need to track--what a CRM solution needs to deliver for them.
The idea of CRM is not new to them. Five years ago they got their first CRM system, Microsoft Dynamics. That was not a positive experience. It proved to be cumbersome, especially since no one provided much training to them on how it worked. Thirty of their people had access to it. Only two used it. Something they had invested significant resources in resulted in a big disappointment.
At that point we got a call to help them define their needs. Because of their negative experience with the previous system, they were scared at first. It took almost two months for us just to create a relationship with them so we could help them assess what support tools they need for success.
Everyone's Productivity Increases with Shared Info
Once that was done, we got them started on Sage ACT! 2013. We worked with them to implement it with both sales and customer service because they needed a 360-degree, holistic view of what everyone was doing, for effective strategy and communication in-house as well as with customers.
One issue that surfaced was that customer service was bombarded with calls but had no way to document how much of their time was being spent on those calls. Therefore they could not show that without more help to handle all the service requests, the customer experience would suffer. Now they can, because they are capturing all their customer interactions in their CRM customer records. Plus, that documentation means they can identify what’s generating the service requests, in this case a hole in sales training, which they are now fixing.
- Sales staff is learning enough about existing customers to cross-sell and up-sell to them.
- Working together, sales and customer service can rate customers. Which ones are too expensive or high-maintenance because of their volume of service requests?
- Their system requires less maintenance because every night ACT! updates and syncs with their other internal software.
Lessons to be learned from this company’s experience?
It might take a while to grow a relationship with a potential customer, especially if you have to overcome their previous bad experience with someone else. But it’s worth it. You gain a customer. They gain a trusted advisor.
An effective CRM system, an experienced CRM professional as an advisor, and appropriate assessments and training will provide benefits to propel any business to greater success.
How about your next actions?
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