CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is often thought of as simply a sales tool. Many organisations using CRM harness it to manage outbound communications to prospective and existing customers to sell-in products and services, while monitoring sales and marketing activities. While these are certainly valid use cases, many users of CRM are unaware they can use that power to transform their business into a customer-centric organisation which drives significantly increased productivity – and profits.
To do so only requires a change in perspective: from outbound only to a holistic approach which embraces multiple departments throughout your entire business.
‘Stand-alone’ is unconnected
But companies using CRM as a stand-alone resource often miss the boat. Let’s look at a use-case which illustrates fairly typical issues confronting businesses who use CRM as a simple, unconnected sales tool.
The marketing team of Southwest Catering Ltd (a fictitious company) implements a CRM-driven campaign. The team use their CRM software to email over one-hundred existing restaurant customers with a special offer to sell-in a new range of convection ovens. Historically the department, staffed by only two people, has not had the benefit of a fully-integrated CRM solution. While they use responses from the campaign to take orders and update the likelihood of future purchases, they also receive back a wide range of other responses which includes everything from “I would like to schedule a service for my existing equipment” to “Can I please get a copy of my latest statement from you?”
For the marketing team to respond, each task must be handled manually by that same small team. Often, those responses take too much time to go out to customers because staff must query the accounting department for information or contact the service department to set up a follow-up appointment. Additionally, the small team must re-enter customer information which is a time consuming chore and prone to error.
Further complicating matters is the fact that marketing personnel are unaware of the company’s field sales team efforts in real-time: as it happens, they did not know that John, a hard-charging field sales rep, had already approached an existing customer and signed an order for a new convection oven the previous evening. Still on the road, John had not yet been able to submit his manual sales dockets to accounts for processing and invoicing so no one in the company knew about the sale.
Of critical importance: John had closed the deal by providing a 5 percent discount. The emailing, received by that same customer that very morning, offered a 10 percent discount. The customer was now hopping mad. She had already phoned John demanding her discount be increased or she would cancel the order. John was also angry, and had been in touch with the managing director to complain.
When the dust settled, the managing director demanded an analysis of the problem and a recommendation to ensure it would never happen again. The marketing team realised a simple truth: the lack of inter-departmental communications in real-time, as well as the absence of a customer-centric database which could be accessed and updated by any authorised company employee, would consistently hinder customer sales, service and goodwill until those problems were resolved.
The Solution: Reaching In to Effectively Reach Out
To solve the problems, within months Southwest Catering had deployed a state-of-the-art CRM platform. The difference between the old solution and the new? The new solution was based on a customer-centric strategy which connected the business’s various departments to a single, cloud-enabled CRM database using a powerful user-friendly interface. With this new solution:
Marketing, Accounting, and Service databases were integrated
Any authorised user in any department could access the same database to find up to date requests and tasks
All new and existing customer data – everything from outstanding invoices and statements, to new sales, to scheduled services – was instantly available
Field sales reps used a mobile, cloud-enabled platform to quickly communicate new sales orders back to head office for processing and invoicing. That data was instantly migrated to the centralised database. Data did not have to be re-entered so errors resulting from manual re-keying were avoided
The marketing team was provided with data in real time which they could use to more effectively sell-in additional products and services, and use to answer most queries instantly
The results? Customer satisfaction and loyalty increased significantly because everyone at Southwest Catering was on the same page, while sales and profitability accelerated.
Sage CRM: Empowering Your Business
DB Computer Solutions has long recognised Sage CRM as much more than a simple marketing tool. Instead, it provides a centralised solution your business needs to transform the way you interact both within your organisation, and with the customers you serve.
With Sage CRM, you can connect every part of your business through powerful integration tools. You can customise Sage CRM to meet specific and unique customer requirements and internal tasks. You can use cloud-enabled mobile applications to make your field sales reps more effective. And you can use it to expedite responses to customer queries, helping to drive additional sales and profits.
With Sage CRM, your staff no longer works in isolation. Instead, they operate as a single, holistic team of experts, empowering them to better serve your most important customers.
Want to know more?
For more information on Sage CRM, go to http://www.dbcomp.ie/products/crm-software/sage-crm. Or contact us directly and we’ll be right there with an answer: call on 061 480980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org