Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can do a lot for your company. It can store all your data on other companies, contacts, communications, and meetings. Among the most important in functionality is managing your current accounts (account management). After all, it is named for customers not contacts, but ultimately, most CRM solutions on the market today try to do both well.
In fact, many are now geared more towards marketing to and managing opportunities as opposed to handling customer service. This has opened the door for more advanced prospecting and a larger increase in total business, but it means customer service may have lacked in the same kind of improvements. It’s important to use your CRM to the fullest and maximize its potential for handling both customers and prospects.
Centralize Customer Data
One of the key benefits CRM brings to a company is the management of data and centralization of all the data for each customer and prospect. For example, a company’s name, address, phone number, demographic data, employees, and shared documents such as quotes, orders, and payments are all stored in a company record.
You can store these in individual employee records as well, where they can still be seen under the company record. This includes all email communications (whether trying to generate interest, upsell, or checking in on current purchases), snail mail pieces, phone calls, web meetings, in person meetings, and other methods like texts or online chats through the company website.
This is extremely valuable for multiple reasons.
- First, users can take a look at the company page and be immediately up-to-date on the communications had with the company as well as a history on purchases, if any are pending, or if there are future opportunities. This is of more value when you have multiple people who would be interested in viewing or seeing an account, such as a sales rep and a sales manager.
- Second, the information is updated in real time so someone viewing from a different computer can still see any recently updated information. This is especially important in a scenario where two telemarketers may be calling from a list, and they need to make sure they do not call the same person or company.
- Third, a CRM mobile app can open many doors and make things easier for sales reps in the field. For example, a sales rep on the road can see other customers and prospects in the area and stop by to check in to see how things are going (showing good customer service), take advantage of any potential to upsell a current customer, and check in to try and generate new business.
Splice Data How You Want To
With the ability to store so much data and information, the task of analyzing and tracking it to improve business processes is the next logical step. You can set up custom fields in CRM however you want, but it is very important because any field or any option also gives you the opportunity to search or track by the choice as well. For example, if you want to see what customers haven’t purchased anything in over a year and might be ready for an upsell or another purchase, you can create a query that generates a list of all the companies that fit your criteria.
From there, communicating with these companies could lead to more sales and more revenue. You can also break it down by other criteria such as sales rep (so you can see who has which accounts, how many sold recently, and how many are still being worked on), location (to see if there are any regions not getting attention that should be), and many more.
On the prospecting side, you can break it down by what point a company or contact may be at in the sales cycle, where they are located geographically, what product or service they may be interested in, and many more.
Better Targeting, Customer Service, and Incident Management
Sset up specific campaigns to better target your prospects and generate a response to find a warmer lead. These campaigns could be for snail mail, phone calls, or emails. In particular, emails can be quite effective if you are able to track it based on who visited your website or filled out a form you can put in the email as well.
In the case of customer service, CRM allows you to document incidents, help get the right person to handle the issue at hand, and resolve any and all complaints. This process is as follows: a customer calls, emails, or finds another way to reach out when they need support or with questions, you can create an incident in the CRM.
Once the incident is created, the CRM can send the incident to the proper contact within your company so that the issue can be addressed right away or you could set up an automated task for the employee based on what the incident is. You also can track which companies and employees have requested customer service, what their issues were, how fast they were and if they were resolved or are still being worked on. So, in one view, you can see how often you get incidents, how quickly they are addressed, and how many are still open.
This can help lead to finding ways for you to improve on your product or service, if for example, you notice the same issues over and over again. It will also help you stop any weaknesses in your customer service process or team so that you can make necessary adjustments or changes to improve your business.
Clearly, there is a lot a CRM software can do to help you manage customers and prospects. Compared to other methods such as spreadsheets or email calendars, the time, cost, and stress savings are very quantifiable. From the centralizing of data, to the ability to report on customers and prospects to find new opportunities for revenue, to handling customer service, the value of a CRM is unparalleled in the sales, marketing, and customer service world.