Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is not a novel concept, arisen from the technological boom or the needs of economic globalization. In fact, our great-grandmothers’ grocers undoubtedly used it – the register book they kept behind the counter and which listed who bought what each day or who owed what was an early predecessor to the current CRM applications.
The price of light is less than the cost of darkness.
Arthur C. Nielsen
However, in the fast-paced, highly competitive corporate world we live in, the need to get more and more detailed information is paramount to business success – and the CRM systems play a key role in this, as having all information available in one single place at all times gives sales teams a definite advantage. But why exactly?
1. The power of understanding your customers
Customers are the most valuable asset in any organization – and for Acolad as well. As such, they need not only to be appreciated, but also understood. And, as in any other relationship, it takes time and effort to get all the details and understand the complete story.
CRM platforms have been developed to provide you with a simple, safe and organized environment in which to keep all that data – the people, the situations, the numbers, the ups and downs of the relationship, the little do’s and don’ts… All combined to give sales teams across the globe the valuable insights that can determine whether or not a business relationship goes forward and to provide the customer with the kind of positive experience that creates (the often elusive) customer loyalty.
2. Enabling and improving communication across the organization
Working in a global environment, with colleagues that can either be in the next room or across an ocean, means an added responsibility to keep accurate data within easy reach for the entire team – and that means leaving behind sticky-notes and personal worksheets, and using your CRM platform instead. This will guarantee that no matter who is in touch with the client at the moment, they will be using the same source of information – which means less probability of mistakes and misunderstandings and less wasted time for clients and the sales teams themselves.
Your CRM platform should foster a positive team culture and improve communication, as individuals share information, cooperate effectively and seamlessly and gain a better understanding about co-workers and customers in other parts of the world.
3. Giving the client a sense of security
None of us, whether we are in a business or personal situation, enjoys having to repeat the same story over and over again when trying to find the right person to help us out. When, for some reason, a customer needs to talk to different people in the company, he will obviously be frustrated if he has to retell his story even though he has been a client for years. He expects to be familiar and well-known to everyone – even if there are hundreds or thousands of customers in your database…
The point is – making sure the client knows we know them will make them feel safe, special and wanted. And using CRM is a sure way to do so.
4. Easy and transparent analytics
Storing information in a single system (or one that speaks to all other systems) leads to improved analyzing of data as a whole. Personalized dashboards can help you quickly analyze performance (for yourself or your team) or locate customer data, while the reporting features can help you locate untapped opportunities, sleeper customers, identifying the most valuable accounts or the problem areas, etc. For top management, comparing results across teams can also be easier and quicker.
Performance transparency is also achievable via these features, as data is readily available – which means that achievers are clearly identifiable and visible, leading to a CRM-based culture of staff empowerment and self-motivation.
5. Securing your business
Problems happen and unexpected situations can wreak havoc in a business. Making sure your data is protected from technological glitches or human error is one of the main advantages a good CRM platform, one which guarantees advanced protection and automatic back-ups – not always the case in local-based storage or personal drives.
And although team-working needs to rely on reciprocal thrust, CRM security settings and role-based profiles can ensure that individual users have access rights consistent with their roles – limiting data export, withholding delete permissions, etc., are all safety measures that guarantee data is kept safe at all times, even in an organization that promotes transparency.
Your CRM platform should allow sales teams to work smarter instead of harder, even if, in reality, Customer Relationship Management goes way beyond any tool, software or strategy.
Digital experience management can only be achieved through the integration of CRM with marketing applications. For this reason, Gartner views digital marketing hubs as the core applications for the digital revolution of marketing.
Acolad’s Customer Experience product portfolio includes several products that are available for CRM integration with applications for online marketers such as integrated campaign planning, content creation and optimization tools, email marketing, social media management, personalization options, analytics dashboards, and A/B testing of different content types.