Precious time saved automating your sales and customer relations is time that can be spent winning new, more profitable business.
There’s certainly no shortage of compelling reasons to adopt CRM. The headline benefits of a well specified and well deployed CRM system are clear for all to see.
- Quick and easy access to up to date customer information.
- The simple scheduling of tasks and reminders.
- More profitable sales cycle management.
- Deeper, better informed management decision making.
What’s not necessarily recognised as well are the day to day benefits of automation. The kind of automation that eliminates repetitive, time-consuming sales and marketing chores and allows your salesforce to consistently focus their efforts on what really matters – winning new business. With between 30% to 50% of the leads entering your pipeline unready to buy, any automation that can help your team work those leads to the point of conversion has got to be a good thing.
The advantages for organisations using strong automation are ongoing. According to the Lenskold Group, companies using marketing automation report a 28% increase in revenue per sale. 66% of respondents said they expected faster growth than their competitors.
Put simply, CRM matters, and if applied well, is a path to both stronger profits and healthier long term growth.
Here are 5 things you’ll never have to do again once you have CRM:
- Input new or revised data into multiple forms or databases – Automated mapping and bi-directional synchronisation takes care of version control and means that your sales force is connected and aligned. Organisations waste a huge amount of time hunting for up-to-date information; CRM presents a single, consolidated and consistent window on your sales opportunities.
- Miss out on important prospect behaviour – Customer and prospect activity such as visiting a web page may be an indication of progress along the sales funnel. Setting up alerts to monitor actions gives you the opportunity to engage at exactly the right time.
- Assign the wrong lead to the wrong person – Not all leads are equal. Automation grades your marketing leads using demographics and email marketing data to prioritise and allocate them to the right sales staff.
- Manually write acknowledgement emails – Automation delivers instant email responses to support cases and other email issues. As well as client-bound email benefits management can be automatically emailed information – for example details of a high value opportunity.
- Guestimate campaign success – Tracking campaign revenue allows you to know which campaigns are proving successful and optimise resource allocation accordingly.
Simply entering data into a system isn’t the key to profits. Effective CRM sets workflow routines designed according to the most effective sales rules and processes. It doesn’t just focus on existing processes but seeks to consolidate, to enhance and to streamline. It’s CRM that applies consistency, best practices and reduces manual input. The benefits appear naturally and profitably:
- More sales
- Better customer retention
- More profitable relationships
The Future of CRM
According to a Forbes review of the Gartner findings, CRM and marketing automation provides significant benefits for sales and marketing organisations by delivering better qualified leads to the CRM system, helping sales improve conversion rates and increase ROI.
Little wonder that so much attention is now being focused on CRM and marketing automation with Gartner analysts predicting that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.