The Benefits of CRM
By John Chan
CRM has become a necessity for today’s organization. It is a technology and a process for obtaining and appealing to new customers, along with strengthening relationships with current customers. With CRM analytics, organizational management can document and assess customer/prospect actions for future marketing campaigns. A customer lifecycle can be determined from the analysis of the past customer activities. CRM can additionally set off a two-way communication between the organization and the customer or prospect.
The organization’s marketing staff can access CRM data to set up effective marketing campaigns and out of these campaigns, send qualified leads to the sales staff. The sales staff in turn can close deals and create offerings of the organization’s products and services to potential clients. Customer service staff can personalize the organization’s efforts for each individual customer towards bringing about customer-centric endeavors using CRM data.
CRM can provide benefits for an organization’s partners such as for a supply chain. The CRM application can be used as a mutual platform to access communal analytics to be used for determining customer needs, behaviors, demographics and Social Media habits.
Organizations that do not utilize their CRM application in an effective manner will be negatively impacted by competitors effectively using CRM. A competitor that is using a CRM application in an effective manner will turn their sales prospects into customers at a high rate, leading to greater profitability and higher market share. CRM data can be additionally used for a steady flow of relevant information for process improvements. The organization’s sales and marketing staff will know their customers’ and prospects’ needs/desires and be able to access the pertinent personalized knowledge.
With the advent of Social CRM, organizations and their customers can conduct new methods of communications. Organizational staff can pay attention to online conversations, understand the advantages and disadvantages of their brand, while learning what customers/prospects approve or disapprove about their products/services via Social Media data stored and analyzed from their own CRM system. A vigorous Social CRM approach can lead to a continuous enhancement of an organization’s customer-centric efforts.
The CRM marketplace continues to have robust growth as at the end of 2017, worldwide CRM software revenue reached $39.5 billion. The Gartner Group predicts that the CRM market will continue growing throughout 2018 and beyond. In 2018, CRM software will be the fastest – growing software market with a projected growth rate of 16%. Developments in mobile technologies and the Internet of Things have led more organizations to invest in CRM – related technologies such as in the areas of lead management, voice-of-the customer tools and field service management. These three areas are projected by Gartner to represent 20% of the growth of the future CRM market.
These four key questions will assist in determining the usefulness of CRM in your organization:
- Is there clear potential for significant improvements in marketing efficiency, sales or customer service?
- What are your competitors doing in CRM?
- Would better customer profiling improve your company’s performance?
- Could Social CRM work for your organization?
If your organization is seriously considering CRM tools, or expanding its use of CRM, these are the four initial questions to be answered before embarking on a CRM – related implementation program. Categorizing the many CRM choices, comprehending their effect and making a determination about what CRM application(s) to implement should be your next steps.
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John Chan is the ISM Software Lab Director, is responsible for software testing and defining the evaluation criteria for The Guide to Mobile and Social CRM and the CRM software offered on ISM’s Reviews Online service.