Is It Magic? Is It A Crystal Ball? No It’s CRM

force4change Blog

If I told you when you implement CRM, that you are really implementing magical powers for your business that help you see the future, you would probably say, hey I think that’s a bit…

Yet with in depth customer data and analytics, CRM is your crystal ball, giving you the answers you need to make the right decisions for your business.

 7 Questions For Your CRM Crystal Ball
  1. What sort of customers should you target?

  2. What activities should your sales teams focus on?

  3. What will your customers be doing in 6 to 12 months time?

  4. What are the key metrics that affect your organisation?

  5. What’s important to your leadership team?

  6. What levers can you pull as a business?

  7. How will these key levers impact our customers and our numbers?

Through your relationship with your customers, you can collect key information using your CRM. This is easier when the tools are simple to use, mobile, and available when your teams need them e.g. automatically adding follow up tasks for sales reps so that the right customer contact is made at the right time has big benefits. Better that you do it rather than your competitors?

The more information you gather, the clearer the crystal ball becomes and asking the right questions is critical.

Similarly, trend reporting of what your customers did last year vs this year can provide key indicators as to what they will likely do in the future, helping you retain customers and spot opportunities in the market before your competitors.

Colin Shaw, CEO, Beyond Philosophy shares some compelling stats about CRM and customer retention in his blog post “15 Statistics That Should Change The Business World – But Haven’t”. These spell out the benefits in black and white:

  • A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% – Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy
  • It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one – Bain & Company

Still, businesses fail to join the dots between having in depth customer data and the ability to retain customers. Many also underestimate how crucial retention is and not just for their competitiveness but also for sustainability which is a burning issue for organisations today.

We’ve moved into a new paradigm where businesses have to work harder for every sale. Once upon a time, customers came to you but now with industry disruption, economic changes and rapid change due to technology, you need to work smarter to find opportunities.

CRM, your crystal ball, helps you do that by making customer data available to your team anywhere, anytime. This includes the opportunities, the relationships, and their plans for the future and your insights.

CRM can also help you meet rising customer expectations. Customers today have more options and greater power. They expect a great service from beginning to fulfilment, from the first time they land on your website or first sales call to billing. Customers’ expectations for great service and quality are also increasing as we move into an era where technology is enabling this for many of the products they consume in both their personal and business life.

The quality of your customer interactions is critical and if you don’t have the ability to engage your customers when and how they want, through digital and social channels and with content that suits them, are you really in a position to meet your customers’ expectations, let alone exceed them?

Essential also in this new paradigm is the ability for businesses to adapt quickly. Strategy is now strategies and not three year plans but much shorter and dynamic.

Without CRM and good customer data many businesses struggle to adapt. They are unable to predict the future needs of customers and their ability to use technology and empower their people are hampered by poor customer data and CRM capabilities.

So consider the benefits of creating your own magic and having your own crystal ball to drive your business forward.

force4change originally contributed this article on the Salesforce Australia Blog.

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