Companies cannot exist without their customers. It’s a business reality. Gone are the days of customers vying for your attention; customers have more intelligent buying power than ever. Rapid advances in technology and data – from the Internet of Things (IoT) to machine learning – are drastically changing the way companies interact with customers.
In response to this purchasing evolution, leading organizations are investing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies. By combining the dynamic capacity of a CRM solution with customer-centric thinking, top-performing companies are reaping rewards by reaching and retaining new customers, increasing sales and improving ROI.
Your company, too, can shift focus to be more customer-centric with CRM. Why now? Forbes Insights found 53 percent of top-performing companies are investing in CRM technology to boost sales productivity.
Here are three reasons why companies looking to compete more effectively and grow revenue prioritize CRM strategies:
The Value-Added Potential of CRM
From recognizing who, when, where, what and how to communicate with customers to analyzing potential, new or legacy customer lifecycles, it’s no secret to business marketers or sales teams that a CRM solution plays a powerful role in a company’s ability to manage customer relationships. However, less often discussed are the added business benefits:
-Close gaps and reduce redundancies by increased visibility into the company’s workflows and processes.
-Boost employee productivity with a combined platform for sales, marketing and customer support solutions.
-Optimize and tailor processes to each business line and employee role.
-Collect and compare data to measure analytic frameworks and business intelligence solutions against organizational objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs).
-Monitor employee performance to measure and find areas for improvement.
Even more exciting is the potential for your CRM to help businesses keep up with their tech-savvy employees. Millennials – who currently make up the largest share of the American workforce – have grown up on technology and they expect to find the same access to technology in the workplace as they have in their personal lives.
CRM offers a new mobile experience that increases productivity and efficiency. If executed properly, CRM will also help companies know how, where and why to engage with their millennial customers. An effective CRM will do much more than just manage sales contacts. Find a full list of a CRM’s capabilities in our latest e-book.
The Power of a Customer-Centric Mindset
If there’s any question about whether or not customer experience matters, just listen to this statistic from Cloudswave: 70 percent of customers who have had a positive experience will refer that company to family and friends. One strategy for delivering this is to focus on the three P’s of customer-centricity: proactive marketing, predictive sales and personalized support.
Proactive marketing starts with showing your customers that your company values their opinions and is dedicated to meeting their needs. Apply this mindset by monitoring social media channels to hear what is being said about your brand and tapping into IoT to gather personalized data. Use your CRM to capture the specifics and stay one step ahead of your customers.
A CRM solution can also help detect patterns to quickly identify emerging customer trends. This can be used to guide marketing, sales and customer service strategies that fulfill customers’ needs even before they know what they desire.
Finally, customer service teams can use customer history and preferences to meaningfully engage and determine the right time, right method and right solution to deliver to each customer. Personalized support can make customers feel remembered and valued. As customers grow and change, a company’s strategy in how it builds relationships with them must also change.
The Capacity of a Combined Strategy
An example of a company that leveraged the power of CRM and customer-centricity is Fastenal, a construction products supplier with annual sales of $3.75 billion. By rolling out a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution the company was able to meet two objectives: manage customer relationships more personally and effectively and, on a management level, improve operating efficiencies and develop lean workflows for the sales team.
Harnessing the power of a CRM platform alongside customer-centricity is one of the biggest transformational initiatives a company can experience and can ensure increased productivity, improved collaboration, greater insights into your customers and most of all, improved ROI.
If you’re ready for what’s next, but not sure where to begin, start by downloading our free CRM e-book, How to Make Your CRM Indispensable to Sales and Marketing. We’re sure it will help point you in the right direction.