In its most basic sense, a customer service management, or CRM, system is software used to keep track of a company’s contacts. But, if we look a little deeper and think a little more strategically, CRM systems can be leveraged to deliver much more value than a glorified address book.
If you already have a CRM system, ask yourself: Am I actually getting everything I can from this application? Or is it just sitting around, waiting for my people to look up only the most basic information on my customers? When you don’t utilize your CRM system to its full potential, you’re literally leaving money on the table.
A real-estate development and management firm was challenged to stay on top of day-to-day project management and task assignment within the organization.
They were originally using Microsoft Access to manage multiple projects, but as they grew, Access no longer met their needs—performance and scalability were a major issue, as they had significantly increased the number of people working remotely across the globe who needed to use it.
We recommended they use CRM as a platform and build a project management application into Microsoft CRM, versus creating the entire application from scratch. Wecould’ve created an entirely separate application, but it would’ve cost the client at least 3x as much. Building on top of a CRM system has successfully allowed the firm to keep track of key information.
Using CRM The Right Way
Unlike the real company described above, businesses tend to underutilize their CRM systems. Instead of managing customer relationships, many companies let them stagnate.
A more effective way to use CRM systems is to draw on your personalized knowledge of your customers, and their businesses, and let that drive your interactions with them. Would you call up a potential lead without doing a little research? Or suggest a product for them without knowing which ones they already have? Absolutely not. A CRM system features this goldmine of customer information, but the key to achieving revenue generation lies in how you use the data.
Most CRM systems can be used as “social CRM” systems, enabling companies to integrate their social media accounts, offering real-time data and metrics on various Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter activity.
A CRM system also has the ability to pull data from other sources and provide insight into any connections that you and another business might share, helping your sales team shorten the sales cycle or cross-selling services to a variety of people within the same company.
And, as we outlined above, CRM systems offer a range of functionalities—from tracking opportunities, to organizing recruitment pipelines, to assigning tasks within an organization.
Today’s CRM systems are able to organize, categorize and align your company with target customers. As they evolve and offer better ways to capture and analyze data, they provide even greater opportunity for developing customer relationships. To seize the true potential of CRM, your company must start thinking differently about its function and value.
To learn more about how your business might maximize your existing CRM software or how you might install your first CRM system, contact us today.