Customer first, for the win
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is all about finding, acquiring, and retaining the best, most profitable customers.
CRM systems automate the management of loads of valuable information about your company accounts and all your dealings with people. Used wisely, you can make faster, smarter decisions based on this actual data. You can work more productively, too, focusing on the best customers and new prospects, and staying top of mind when they need something you offer.
CRM appreciates in value
CRM strategy places the customer at the center of a business.
The more it’s used, the the progressively deeper information it provides about customers -- information that supports marketing, product planning, sales, service and support.
The goal is to promote loyalty, increasing the lifetime value of each relationship. As the value of customer relationships increases, so will that of the business and the data in your CRM.
CRM aligns strategy and automates operations
Since it first came on the scene, CRM has matured in both small business and corporate arenas. It is now recognized as a "must-have" improvement technology. Today’s award-winning CRM solutions like bpm'online with built-in business process management, Infor CRM or Act! Growth Suite make it possible for small and medium-sized companies to automate their own processes with CRM.
Our ever-changing business environment requires an adaptable CRM system that works the way you do, now and into the future. Bpm’online, for example, is built to make it easy for “citizen-developers” to customize their own platform as needs change, with 24 x 7 x 365 mobile access.
CRM business strategy centers business operations around the customer and better ways to serve them. One company president told us, "CRM makes our people look much more professional." Sales reps are familiar with open service issues or sales order status before they make a follow up phone call. Customer service reps can ask better clarifying questions when a customer calls because they have easy access to everything that has happened in the account.
Customer-first strategy drives change
Business success with CRM entails changing our processes, systems and culture. While change can be challenging, it’s not something to fear when the benefits outweigh the risks.
It’s about more than new software. The shift to customer-centricity impacts the entire organization, requiring changes in your business culture, processes and supporting systems. When organizations are configured on a product-focused basis, they tend to organize with processes and systems revolving around those product lines.
The shift to a customer-centered approach is necessary to remain competitive in our business environment. It requires realigning everything around the customer and retooling processes and systems accordingly. CRM is essential to making this transition.
CRM is comprehensive
CRM affects all aspects of the customer interaction, whether marketing, sales, or service. It will improve every step of your customers’ experience, from initial contact, to follow-up communications, to ordering, to service delivery, to ongoing engagement. Each process is an opportunity to enhance the customer relationship.
In addition to "customer-facing" functions, CRM also impacts back-office operations and new product development. Although initial implementation goals might focus on sales, forward vision should address how these other areas will sync with your CRM initiative. For instance, a small business should consider integrating with Quick Books,
A fully developed CRM system will connect information from related systems as needed.
CRM helps you put the customer first
As we’ve said, customer-centricity, or organizing the entire business around putting the customer first, will drive a redesign of company processes and workflow. Here’s how the use of appropriate CRM technology will enable you to meet your organization’s new objectives.
- CRM enables you to identify and focus on your company's most profitable customers, manage marketing campaigns with clear goals and objectives, and generate quality sales leads.
- CRM improves lead qualification and management of accounts by optimizing information-sharing by multiple employees. It will streamline existing sales processes, alert you to new leads, and automatically generate follow-up activity.
- CRM personalizes relationships with customers with the aim of improving the all-important "customer experience" and maximizing profits. CRM creates a two-way dialogue between you and each individual customer.
- CRM provides employees with the information and processes necessary to better understand their customers and be more successful at their jobs. Your team will appreciate the value of integrated business process management, workflow solutions, and CRM in a platform like bpm'online.
- CRM makes trends visible more quickly so the business becomes more proactive in meeting customer requirements. Customizable management dashboards found in bpm’online, Infor CRM, and Act! Growth Suite put business intelligence and analytics at your fingertips.
Project financial analysis in bpm'online
6 metrics on the value of CRM
Adopting a customer-centric CRM business strategy can involve significant change and bring significant benefit.
Rest assured that you don’t have to go it alone. A strategic minded, experienced CRM business partner like Success with CRM Consulting will provide guidance along the way as well as CRM design, implementation and on-going support.