Organisational design | Jul 5

Would CRM suit my business?

Organisational design | Jul 5

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) seems like a great idea on the surface, but is it right for your business?

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can help improve the service you provide to your customers by managing and analysing all communications with them.

We’ve covered the basics in our article, Introduction to CRM software. Here, we’ve highlighted some specific features to help you decide if it’s software that would benefit your business.

Contact management

This feature of CRM gives you a detailed picture of every interaction with your customers and helps you to offer a faster more personal service. Benefits include:

  • A 360-degree view of your customers’ activity: CRM software records every call, email and order in one place. This also helps you spot customer preferences and emerging spending trends.
  • Personalised and automated communications: for example, including first names in emails and sending automatic replies to acknowledge messages or interactions.
  • All information in one place: do you spend too much time tracking data across various databases and spreadsheets? CRM replaces this with a single, accessible system.

However, if you’re a sole trader and don’t share information across teams, or if you have a small customer base, then the cost of CRM may outweigh the benefits.

Workflow automation

CRM also helps automate time-consuming tasks, such as inputting data and generating reports. With CRM:

  • Customer queries go to the right team quicker: with an organised central system, an online complaint goes straight to customer services and product enquiries go direct to the sales team.
  • Identify which customers are profitable: with a CRM and the right processes in place, analysing which customers spend the most with you, and which require the highest number of support hours will become easier to spot.
  • Data can help feed into performance reviews: sales data, for example, can help shape your team’s individual performance reviews and reports can be generated to help allocate tasks.

If you don’t have teams with separate responsibilities, CRM may not be for you. Using more generic, free tools that enable you to easily share documents may be all you need.

Dashboard views and reporting

CRM software can cut down the time spent searching for data manually and analysing it. And with all data in one place, it helps everyone in your business collaborate more easily. This could include:

  • Instant access to data: for example, your sales team needs to see specific customer data details at a glance so that they can get a better picture of each customer’s preferences.
  • Making cross-selling easier: with more detailed knowledge of customers’ buying history, it’s easier to cross-sell or suggest relevant alternatives or improvements.
  • Create data-driven campaigns: basing promotions and discounts on customers’ order history and preferences ensures that marketing campaigns reflect what customers are most interested in.
  • Data sharing across teams: for example, instant visibility of a lead from a marketing campaign can help result in faster response times and higher close, or win, rates.

If you want your marketing activity to benefit from the insight provided by a CRM, then it’s important to think about how your CRM will integrate with your email marketing tool, or whether it has that functionality built in.

These benefits are mostly aimed at businesses with a significant volume of sales and customers (more than 50—100). Businesses that rely on a low number of higher value sales may not feel the full benefits mentioned above.

CRM software gives you the information you need to effectively manage turning large quantities of leads into customers and generate more sales. It can dramatically improve efficiency after an SME’s initial growth period, but it is important to remember that not all businesses will benefit from a CRM.

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