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How to Drive Growth using CRM Software – An interview with John Cheney, CEO, UK

With many businesses looking at ways to kickstart their growth post Covid, Workbooks CEO, John Cheney talks about the value of CRM and provides answers to the top 10 most popular CRM questions:

1 – Why should an organization invest in CRM software?

There are several positive outcomes from investing in CRM software: revenue growth by finding new customers and selling more to existing customers, improving the customer experience and reducing operational costs – a CRM can help with all these.

A CRM system streamlines business processes. It leads to better insight and decision-making.

2 – Which departments benefit from using CRM software?

Sales and marketing benefit in the most obvious way, but also customer service and finance. A CRM is perfect for tracking customer inquiries, and you can also integrate customer payments and credit control.

In short, a good CRM should have a positive impact on the whole business, helping to track and manage the entire customer journey.

3 – Why is CRM software essential for a sales team?

In order to answer this question, you need to split your sales team into buckets.

First you have your sales leaders – what do they want? They want a clear view of their pipeline, they want to be able to forecast accurately, and they want to measure the progress and productivity of their Sales team and individual sales reps. They also want to measure the effectiveness of marketing and how the leads that are generated are driving pipeline and revenue.

Then there are the sales reps – what do they want? For them, it’s all about productivity and being more efficient at their job. They want to be able to manage their workload and prioritize their tasks. They want to have as much background and context on the customers and prospects they are dealing with in order to take more informed decisions on what to do next. They want support in driving best practice through the sales cycle and more.

A good CRM should be helping both of these sales groups!

4 – How can CRM software help you find and convert the right customers?

The first thing to agree on is what your ideal customer looks like. Hopefully information about your existing customers in your CRM should help you in that process: which segments of your customers are the most profitable, which customers are generating the most revenue etc. Then, once you have that defined, you can look at how a CRM can help you reach more of the same type.

At the top of the funnel, you want to attract those ideal buyers. CRM software can help here. For example, if your CRM can track website traffic, then you’ll know which pages are popular and what content people are engaging with. You can use these insights to improve your company’s marketing, with better targeting of leads and more relevant content.

Further down the funnel, use your CRM to track the conversion rate. Which types of leads are actually translating into business? Again, use those insights to influence which leads you’re targeting and engaging with.

5 – How does CRM software reduce the cost of sales?

One way to reduce the cost of sales is to make your marketing more efficient! It’s often overlooked by sales leaders, but it can be a very quick win.

Use your CRM to measure the success of marketing. Which area is performing best – is it PPC, email, events or SEO? When something’s working well, focus resources on that area.

For the sales team itself, productivity is a big factor. The less time your Sales reps spend on sales admin, the more calls they’ll make and the more deals they’ll close. The more best practice processes you have the shorter the sales cycle. Every little helps to drive cost down.

6 – How does CRM software increase sales productivity?

There are three main ways:

  1. Salespeople are able to find the information they need more quickly.
  2. By being more aligned with sales, it will be easier for marketing to provide warm leads directly through the CRM.
  3. Streamlined processes. For example, electronic signing in the CRM, automated order processing…anything that makes your sales team’s lives easier!

The main point here is that a CRM system puts everything in the right place. Any information that you want to share or see can be filed or found, exactly where you’d expect it. This makes research, planning, collaboration and sales strategy that much simpler.

7 – How does CRM software increase upsells and improve customer retention?

The fastest, easiest growth driver is selling more to your existing customers.

Study the transactional data in your CRM to see what your customers have purchased before, and determine what they’re likely to buy in future. Feed that information to your marketing team. They can create content specifically to engage that audience and prove the value of the upsell opportunity.

If you want to improve retention, then you have to look at the customer experience. Analyse the data for your customers in the CRM. How many tickets have your customers raised? If it’s too many, that’s a warning sign.

At Workbooks, we use a traffic light system. If a customer raises a certain number of tickets, they go from green to amber to red. A red rating means it’s time to put in place an action plan for that customer. Use the CRM to identify ‘at-risk’ customers early and you can quickly turn things around.

Also, use regular customer surveys and log the results in your CRM. The best way to find out if your customers are happy is to ask them! After you get the results back, check your CRM data for trends.

A good CRM system will help you to spot areas for improvement before they turn into serious problems.

8 – How does CRM software help to align sales with marketing?

An integrated CRM and marketing automation platform is essential. Both teams should be using the same tech! It’s no good having your sales team using a CRM and your marketing team using a different platform – it’s best when everyone works together and look at the same data set! Growth happens when sales and marketing are on the same page.

If your ICP (ideal customer profile) changes based on sales information from your CRM, it’s important that marketing should be able to quickly recognise this and review their content plan. This is an example of marketing and sales using the CRM to create a more efficient workflow.

Instead of talking about the sales and marketing funnel – talk about the revenue funnel! It should be all one funnel, measured by the same metrics and underpinned by the same tech.

9 – I am thinking about investing in a CRM – where do I start?

Ask yourself 3 questions – “why, what, how”:

  1. Why are you looking to make the investment?
  2. What kind of business outcome(s) do you want?
  3. How are you going to achieve it?

Once you’ve got the answers, go ahead and invest! Don’t get hung up on features or functionality. Instead, find a CRM that provides the clearest route to achieving your goals.

10 – Why do businesses choose Workbooks over bigger brands like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics?

Our customer base is SMEs, so we’re a very price-sensitive option – 50% of the price of Salesforce!

We also have a unique onboarding process called “Shared Success” – we run workshops with our clients to uncover the “why, what and how” behind their CRM investment. If we think that Workbooks can deliver them, we implement our tech for free!

Workbooks isn’t just a software company; we’re a fully-fledged CRM consultancy. Our goal is to build long-term relationships with our customers. That’s what separates us from other CRM software providers.