CRM – 3 ‘Back to basics’ Benefits

I spoke at a conference yesterday, about CRM of course, and it struck me that it is always worthwhile to keep on going ‘back to basics’, i.e. to keep repeating why companies should use it.

It’s a bit like that old trainer adage:  Tell them what you’re going to tell them, Tell them, Then tell them what you’ve told them!

So here are 3 important reasons why companies should use CRM:

  1. Improve your sales forecasting

The number one question that CEOs ask is ‘Where is my revenue coming from next quarter’?  So if you do nothing else with your use CRM, use it to improve your sales forecasting.

Define a simple sales process with well-defined and understandable stages, agree what data you want recorded and give a clear instruction to your sales team about when it must be updated.

Making your sales forecast more accurate will make a significant difference to the bottom line and it’s not difficult to do.

  1.  Provide better service to your clients

Your clients will be speaking to various departments and people in your company.  They will include account management, marketing, customer services, operations and accounts.

All of these client contacts should be captured and recorded, in the right place, so that everyone can see them – Is there are confidentiality issues these should be taken into account.

This means that anyone who answers the phone or an account manager who bumps into or meets a client can proactively tell them what’s going on, not the other way around.

One of the key ways of competing with your competition is in providing a really high level of service.  Oh yes, directors should not be exempt from doing this and I very much hope that they are meeting clients too!

  1. Get sales and marketing working together

Isn’t it strange that in many companies sales and marketing just don’t seem to get on very well.

Sales say they never get any decent leads and marketing are always wondering what happened to the qualified leads they supplied…

Both are talking to the same companies and same clients but they don’t always have the same agenda. There are reasons for this, different focus, different objectives and often different reporting lines – and because of this, I wonder if they are giving the same message to their clients?

If both of them are using the same CRM system, take the opportunity to review the processes and interactions between the two groups, and if they’re not, I suggest they start doing so.

You will have your own ‘must haves’ but whatever you do, please just start using it!