It's an undeniable fact – and one that can no longer be ignored; to prevent competitors gaining an advantage, to increase profit without increasing budget and to finally bridge that gap between sales and marketing, businesses can no longer rely on unstructured spreadsheets and word-of-mouth communications. To achieve crucial business objectives, use resources effectively and avoid wasting time and money, a CRM system is no longer a 'nice-to-have' luxury; it's now a crucial necessity.
Revenue is, of course, a top priority for any business and CRM can play a big part in helping to achieve an even healthier top line. Whilst it is not intended to be a revenue generator as such, the use of a forward-thinking CRM system can, indeed, have a significant impact on profit. This is due to the fact that;
Businesses have access to key information that can help to make those all-important forecasting decisions and, consequently, generate more predictable revenue
More detailed information to hand means that marketers can create much more targeted communications. Additionally, sales teams are armed with the necessary ammunition to close deals more quickly.
- Through the use of automated workflows within advanced CRM systems such as Microsoft Dynamics, time spent on manual, administrative processes is reduced significantly, ensuring that more of Sales' time is actually spent on selling
It's a well-known fact that retaining business is significantly cheaper than on-boarding new customers. With this in mind, it's essential that businesses have every tool available to secure the loyalty and custom of their key accounts. This is where a CRM system can truly come into its own. A system such as Microsoft Dynamics can offer:
In-depth customer insight – With personalised dashboards and detailed analytics, sales teams can quickly identify where the majority of their revenue is being generated, ensuring that the necessary time is spent on those most profitable accounts
- Improved customer service – Access to the total history of a customer ensures that, should they require support, the best – and quickest way – to help them can instantly be identified by service teams. Not only does this free up the time of the customer service agent, thus improving ROI but, crucially, the quality of support received by the customer is likely to increase their loyalty and satisfaction, which in turn may potentially secure their custom.
Considering legacy systems of the past, it could be argued that it's difficult to see how CRM systems will 'outlive' their now outdated counterparts; a legacy system was once considered the height of customer management – but it can now seriously limit the growth and scalability of a business. How do we know that a CRM system we implement today won't have the same effect in a few years' time?
It's an understandable concern but, fortunately, not a valid one. Advanced CRM systems are now taking advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, allowing them to grow with a business – not hold them back. From instant updates that require no IT input to a disaster recovery service and speedy set-up, a CRM in the cloud allows a business to future-proof their investment, guaranteeing maximum ROI.
From revenue to retention, efficiency to productivity, the benefits of a modern-day CRM system are just as vast as the requirements of a modern-day business. The two can work hand-in-hand to not only improve day-to-day activity but, crucially, surpass the long-term objectives that can take a business from average to exceptional.