If you’re asking, “Why do I need a CRM system?”, then the experts at YourShortlist are here to answer.
Business success inevitably brings a higher demand from customers, which means a higher standard of communication and relationship management is required to meet their expectations.
To help you deliver exceptional service, you may bring on additional team members to handle the demand. However, as most businesses will attest to, people-power alone is not enough to effectively manage customer relationships.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has long been the go-to solution for businesses looking to track, streamline, and improve their interactions with customers or prospects.
Whether you already know the ins and outs of CRM software or have only just learned about the software, it’s important to determine if it will be a worthwhile investment before you make any decision.
If you’re asking, “Why do I need a CRM?” then this article will help explain the features and benefits of the top CRM systems on the market and how these can add value to the customer-facing side of your business.
Customer Relationship Management Software
CRM software provides business decision-makers with the oversight and insight needed to make informed choices when it comes to customer-facing communications and management of customer data.
It also allows the automation and optimisation of tasks such as forecasting, email and social media marketing, customer support, and more.
Businesses that implement CRM software in their operations ultimately prioritise customer satisfaction as a key metric, resulting in a faster resolution of customer service issues, increased sales, and a better customer lifetime value.
Ask any high-performing salesperson their personal opinions about CRM and its benefits, and they will likely stand by the fact that CRM is key to the success of their sales process.
This is because it allows them to nurture prospects into hot leads who can then become loyal customers and even brand advocates, all managed from a single CRM interface.
Customer relationship management is a process that takes time and patience, but in the bigger picture, it is the cornerstone of customer satisfaction, and therefore, retention.
Why Do I Need a CRM System for My Business?
For any business still using a manual customer management system such as a spreadsheet, tracking any more than fifty daily enquiries or sales cycles spanning longer than a week would be far too difficult.
This is without even factoring in the interactions between a single prospect and multiple company representatives from the marketing, sales, and support departments.
A CRM system performs the bulk of this work, serving as a central platform connecting relevant departments while organising activities, notes, and metrics into a single streamlined system.
Most CRM software also connects directly to communications tools such as email and voice/video calling to link the customer relationship journey right from initial contact through to after-sales service.
Within a CRM system, every authorised user has direct real-time access to customer data whenever it is needed. This facilitates better coordination across different departments and teams and even makes it possible to personalise individual customer experiences for occasions such as birthdays, annual holidays, or stages of your online sales process.
And with the growing prevalence of cloud-based CRM platforms, CRM has become more affordable, accessible, and easier to adopt than ever.
If you’re asking, “Why do I need a CRM system for my business?” the answer is that it is almost impossible to manage the customer-facing side of your business without it, and your competitors are likely already leveraging the software to their advantage.
The Benefits of CRM Software
Customer Timeline Overview
Most thriving businesses will have so many customers to deal with that sales or customer service agents will each need to manage dozens daily. Keeping track of their individual timelines and customer journeys then becomes impossible without software that consolidates all relevant information in one place.
A CRM system enables agents to start building a timeline of their interactions with customers once they are added to the sales cycle and schedule reminders or follow-up dates so nothing gets forgotten.
Custom Dashboards for Simple Process Analysis
With CRM software, analysing your pipeline and processes is simple thanks to reporting features and a central dashboard, which in some software can be customised to suit your required analytics and reporting needs.
Custom dashboards and reports enable the user to visualise CRM data in any way they like, as well as provide real-time previews that can be scheduled and shared automatically with the wider team.
Analytics tools packaged or integrated with CRM systems can help provide a bird’s eye view of business performance. Taking information from emails, social media, websites, and even phone calls, CRM platforms centralise customer data so that it can easily be accessed by relevant personnel.
CRM analytics tools provide users with the insight to identify patterns and trends, pulling key data to understand customers and develop accurate profiles of each.
For instance, individual information such as spending habits on an eCommerce marketplace can be used to predict when a customer is likely to make their next purchase.
With that, the business can then decide whether to send an SMS message or email to nudge the customer to take action that results in a purchase.
Why Do I Need a CRM for Automated Tasks?
Being able to automate important but mundane tasks is essential to client management and business operation in general.
Customer support, marketing, and sales tasks can be automated through a CRM system to free up time for staff to focus on meeting client needs.
Marketing and Sales Automation
CRM solutions help to automate important marketing activities such as email campaigns, allowing marketing teams to focus on the broader strategy or more reactive activities.
From a sales perspective, automating parts of the process such as follow-up messages can help the team stay on track with generating new leads and delivering timely responses to urgent queries or complaints.
Customer Service Automation
Availability and prompt response to client enquiries and complaints are key to effective customer service delivery. Many companies spend a fortune refining and marketing their products, so losing customers due to poor service is often hard to excuse.
That is why it is important to automate the basic parts of customer service to ensure consistent and quick responses.
AI-driven ‘chatbots’ or automated responses often serve as the start of the process, with companies switching to a sales rep only when the customer has requested further assistance with their particular need.
When customers do not feel appreciated or are unable to find answers after being put on hold for too long, they are bound to stop doing business with a particular company.
If customer retention is important to your business, then you should consider improving your customer experience through CRM software automation functions.
Why Do I Need a CRM for Streamlined Communications?
Too often, customers must deal with multiple sales or customer service representatives within a company about individual issues, which can lead to miscommunication, confusion, and repetition.
It can be easy to lose track of the information being shared throughout the duration of a sales cycle, especially if someone takes a message and forgets to relay it to the appropriate account manager.
Additionally, some sales cycles can last for months, making it difficult for reps to remember what happened in the last call with each prospect and where they are in the sales or complaints pipeline.
With a CRM system in place, all agents, reps, and account managers across the business can access a documented history of all interactions with any client on demand so they can track what was said by whom at any particular point in the timeline.
Why Do I Need a CRM to Inform Sales Forecasts?
Data made available by a CRM system is a vital resource from which managers can make informed business decisions.
CRM data can enable sales forecasts, either through built-in features or additional integrations, which allow decision-makers to know everything from the probability of closing a sale to the number of customers who have shown interest in the most recent activities of the business.
Forecasts based on CRM data can help you decide where to make specific investments of time and resources or pause an activity in favour of reviewing the strategy currently in place.
When NOT to Invest in CRM
Although CRM systems are a fantastic resource for effectively running a business, they are not ideal for all businesses.
Most obvious is how CRM software is often designed for hundreds or even thousands of customers.
Smaller operations catering to a dozen or so clients may find that a CRM system is inessential as they have enough account managers to deal with customers directly.
Businesses in the early stages of growth may also find CRM software to be too costly for the size of their current staff and customer base.
If you’re in either situation and asking “Why do I need a CRM?” the answer is probably that you don’t.
Here are some instances where implementing a CRM system for your business might be more of a liability than a solution:
- Sole traders/one-person operations without sales staff to manage an entire CRM system.
- Businesses with short sales cycles and no need to record customer history when there are only one-time purchases and no repeat business.
- The business only gets a small number of leads each week, meaning details that need to be remembered are fewer and should be easy for agents/reps to keep track of using a spreadsheet, project management software, or traditional address book/email system.
- Some eCommerce platforms come with built-in CRM functions, meaning the business wouldn’t need to have a separate CRM system.
The right CRM system can supercharge any growing business that chooses a system tailored to its specific needs.
However, while it is generally a valuable asset for automating tasks and keeping track of sales cycles, a CRM system will only deliver value for companies able to fully utilise all the available features.
How Can YourShortlist Help?
When you’re searching for suitable CRM software for your business, it can be difficult to gather and compare all the options on the market to find which system best meets your requirements.
YourShortlist helps make CRM procurement simpler, faster, and more cost-effective for buyers at every stage of the process.
Our team of consultants helps match buyers with their ideal software provider, creating bespoke shortlists from our diverse database of over 2400 trusted partners.
Whether you’re actively searching for a new CRM solution, dissatisfied with your current software, or if you’re still asking, “Why do I need a CRM system?”, then we can help guide you in the right direction.
Speak to a member of our team today to begin the journey towards your bespoke shortlist of CRM solutions.