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CRM is a Journey, Not an Event

CRMs will give you a greater insight into your customers and empower you to engage with them at the right time and in the right way—with maximum efficiency.

But while businesses across industries stand to benefit from using CRM, many out there fail to use them to their full potential.

Let’s explore.

CRM shortsightedness: A pressing issue

According to recent studies from the Harvard Business Review, a third of all CRM projects fail. And if that isn’t enough to stop you in your tracks, 43% of businesses with CRM platforms use fewer than half of the features their CRM platform offers.

But why are so many businesses failing to use CRMs to their full potential? The short answer is that when it comes to CRM, many businesses focus on one specific element or department rather than the organisation as a whole.

Instead of considering customer relationship management and customer experience (CX) as an ongoing and ever-evolving journey, countless companies think in terms of “just sales,” “just marketing,” or “just customer service.” As such, many users ignore the wealth of business-boosting tools and functionality that modern CRM systems offer.

Did you know? CRM tools are known to boost customer retention by as much as 27% when used effectively.

In the digital age, CRM is a journey, and every key department must work cohesively to achieve collective business aims or goals.

When you work together to consider your organisation’s main mission as well as your specific goals, you will soon see that CRM platforms aren’t designed for a singular event or function—they can improve every key area of your business.

Did you know? The average return on investment (ROI) for CRM is $8.71 (£6.33) for every dollar or pound spent. If you use your CRM to its fullest potential, you’re likely to enjoy an even healthier ROI than average.

The whole journey: Uses of CRM tools beyond sales alone

The primary use of a CRM is to effectively collect and analyse customer data to nurture leads and improve sales. But with a panoramic (or company-wide) approach to your outlook, you will soon realise that you can use your platform for so much more.

Here are some other key functions to give you insight into the true value of CRM software:

  • Trend identification: You can use CRM data visualisations to benchmark your performance in a wealth of areas (including customer responsivity, marketing campaigns or communications across touchpoints, and lead generation success) and compare data to identify potential trends or weaknesses in your customer-facing processes. This will allow you to make strategic tweaks or changes across the board that will increase productivity, sales, and customer loyalty.
  • Multichannel campaign messaging: Rather than working with sales data alone, you can use your CRM’s customer insights and buying preferences to segment your audience into categories and engage people with marketing communications across multiple channels (email, social media, online chat, phone, blog articles, whitepapers, etc.) with messaging, deals, or offers tailored to their specific needs or interests.
  • Maximising value: Offering a seamless level of customer experience requires cohesion and consistency. By working with a broader range of valuable data and giving more people access to these invaluable insights, you will improve internal communications and, in turn, offer more value to your customers. Cross-selling and upselling is an excellent example of using CRM software to offer personal value to customers and increase sales revenue.
  • Monitoring customer & client feedback: Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, customer feedback and reviews are important. Qualitative feedback is a powerful complement to data (metrics that cover sales information, demographic and geographic insights, browsing behaviour, and more) and will help you improve your service, sales processes, and marketing campaigns on every level. You can use your CRM to collect and store customer feedback in a smart, effective way and access this library of insights when you’re looking to improve your performance in certain areas of the business.

Internal improvement: By using your CRM to bring departments together and empowering people to utilise your platform’s wealth of data to their advantage, you will increase company-wide transparency. As everyone can draw from one reliable and centralised source of data, all stakeholders within the organisation will be able to identify inefficient processes (complicated lead nurturing methods or ineffective customer response techniques, for example) and work together to improve them. They will make informed decisions on what to do next with a particular customer or prospect, fully aware of the engagement history to-date,*- whatever the department involved.

Read: Our whitepaper “CRM to optimise your business

Final thoughts

What we really need is a mindset shift that will make us relevant to today’s customers, a mindset shift from telling to selling to building relationships.”—Jim Stengel

Rather than looking at CRM platforms as sales monitoring and analysis tools alone, it’s essential that you widen the scope and look at the bigger picture.

To get the most from your CRM, you should see it as a tool for constant improvement, unifying departments like sales, marketing, and customer service for the good of the business rather than using the platform for singular purposes and creating organisational silos.

Of course, your CRM is there to help you capture more sales opportunities and increase your revenue. But by using it to create cohesion and provide value at every stage of the customer journey, you will push yourself ahead of the pack.

CRM tools are about improving relationships—both with your customers and internally. Adopt a broader approach to your campaigns, explore the CRM uses we’ve mentioned, and consider the journey as a whole to enjoy the ROI you deserve.

Get in touch with us to find out more about our CRM platform and understand how it can benefit every aspect of your business.