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Which companies get the most out of their CRM?

Companies with large volumes of data can't just combine spreadsheets and Gmail and hope to convert prospects into opportunities, and then turn them into loyal customers. If a company wants to get the most out of its data, it needs a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Let's just start by noting that companies that use CRM have a higher conversion rate for less work.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It's a solution used by companies to manage their interactions with prospects and customers, store contact information, boost sales and improve the effectiveness of marketing actions. In a nutshell, a CRM can be seen as a database from which companies manage an immense volume of information, such as: customer records, purchase history, progress of a sale from the point of contact, calls, messages or any type of request.

Such a vast amount of data can quickly become unreadable, and CRM systems are the best way to store, organize and analyze all this data to draw useful conclusions for the company's overall activity.

What are the benefits of a CRM ?

Contact management

Contacts are the people stored in one place following an interaction with the company. (Purchase, direct contact, contact form, newsletter subscription). All the information concerning them can be found on their personal file. (Last name, first name, telephone number, e-mail address, position held, company name, etc.)

You can classify your prospects, contacts and opportunities according to the stage of the sales pipeline they are associated with. The data can be used to create personalized messages and targeted marketing campaigns.

Sales management

Thanks to the CRM, the commercial service can identify products and services the most requested as well as customers the most likely to buy them.

The objective is to help the sales teams to accompany their prospects during the sales process, thanks to a hierarchical function criteria chosen. The reports and graphics are standard features of the CRM, which help commercials to make the right choice by identifying prospects with the highest conversion rate.

The CRM helps commercials to consider the potential income and probability of concluding each case, which allows improved sales forecasts.

It is also possible to send follow-up emails (a function that can be automated with appropriate upgrades), record calls and schedule meetings with prospects.

Marketing campaign

CRM makes it possible to correlate sales and marketing actions. This enables optimum development of marketing actions and strong collaboration between these two departments. The result is mutual stimulation between two branches of the same company.

By segmenting customers into categories based on their purchase history and preferences, the marketing team can better understand who its target audience is, enabling it to effectively maintain customer relationships.

CRM can also be coupled with automation tools that enable mass e-mailing for targeted campaigns, with precise tracking of marketing results.

How do companies use CRM ?

A CRM is the tool that helps you target different audiences, design intelligent automations based on a prospect's or customer's activity, work proactively with contacts and manage relationships.

Although features vary according to department or sector within a company, CRM platforms enable general process improvements across an entire enterprise. Here are three examples of how a company can use CRM.

  1. Gathering, sorting and using customer information.

  2. Dashboards as a decision-making tool.

  3. Customer-centric automation.

1. Gathering, sorting and using customer information.

One of the key benefits of a CRM system is that it gives teams a single, unified view of the customer, which translates into other advantages when you have actionable data at your fingertips. You can also generate reports to find out where your opportunities are, how you're interacting with prospects and customers, what the trends are in your sales and customer service efforts, and much more. This data influences every experience you offer your customers, from e-mail marketing to the online features you make available to them.

CRMs don't just tell you which advertisement a potential customer came from. They can show you exactly where someone clicks when you send them an e-mail marketing message, how often they open an e-mail, how often they have conversations with your sales team, what they need when they contact customer service, and much more.

Detailed reporting is one of the most valuable benefits of CRM platforms. Actionable data enables you to communicate more effectively with your current audience, while facilitating contact with those who have shown interest in the past. These reports provide invaluable guidance for your decision-making process. To keep an eye on the latest statistics for up-to-the-minute or day-to-day decision-making, your business needs data visualizations at your fingertips. That's where another CRM advantage comes in: dashboards.

2. Dashboards, a decision-making tool.

You can create a customized dashboard for each employee to translate information into action. A dashboard is a grouping of reports on a single page within your company's Salesforce CRM.

For example, a marketing manager will be most interested in email marketing metrics, particularly click-through rates for each campaign. He or she can set up a dashboard that immediately displays the number of people to whom a particular e-mail was sent, the number of people who opened it, the click-through rate, and so on.

A sales manager, on the other hand, would like to know how many calls were made per hour, and how many of these resulted in a positive action, such as a future meeting or demonstration.

Highlighting specific indicators can help to illustrate a pattern of customer behavior, for example, by showing which sector of business gives rise to positive actions. Dashboards allow users to quickly see the data most important to their workflows without having to dig, sift, sort or run a report.

3. Customer-centric automation.

Because you're constantly gathering data about your audience, market and industry, you can create more relevant and personalized messages and outreach, tailored to each customer's unique needs. That's the advantage of dynamic content and automated messaging: you can place people who share an important similarity - for example, an interest in a niche product - in different broadcast campaigns.

This capability is a CRM advantage that lets you set up a series of automated e-mails that are specifically aimed at this audience and triggered by specific actions. Drip campaigns can be used throughout the sales funnel.

For example, on a tour operator's website, if someone creates a customized itinerary for a trip to Thailand, instead of sending them generic travel-related emails, you can launch them into an email drip campaign for people creating customized itineraries for Southeast Asia. Automation also lets you remove people from a drip campaign at any time, based on their actions. If, for example, the person who was interested in a trip to Thailand finally books the itinerary, your platform will automatically remove the person from that particular drip campaign to avoid redundant emails and confusion.

Who uses CRM in a company?

Sales teams, to improve :

  • Their management of prospects and opportunities.

  • The management of their tasks and events.

  • Collaboration with other departments within the company.

Marketing team, to improve :

  • The management and implementation of their campaigns.

  • Their lead generation strategy.

  • Customer segmentation, to refine and increase the effectiveness of their campaigns.

  • Collaboration with other departments within the company.

The customer service team, to improve :

  • Customer case intake and personal information.

  • Waiting time for a customer ticket to be resolved.

The Human Resources team, to improve :

  • Candidate search and integration. An HR manager can track and prioritize candidates according to their experience and skills.

  • Document organization. (Bonuses, sick leave notifications, commissions and vacations are all stored in one place).

Supply Chain team, to improve :

  • Supply and order management. (CRM systems enable supply chain teams to better monitor and control customer orders and stock levels, material quality and prices, delivery times, logistics and distribution).

  • Demand planning, by analyzing purchasing history and customer behavior, supply chain departments get a better idea of demand trends, control stock levels and can prepare for possible supply chain disruptions.

Now that you know who benefits from CRM...

How to choose the right integrator?

The integrator is the third party who bridges the gap between the company's business needs and the CRM tool. The integrator performs a number of tasks to ensure that the company adopts and uses the tool optimally.

An integrator is first and foremost a company that provides the consultant(s) responsible for configuring and training the various end-users. First and foremost, it's important to ensure that the consultants who support you in automating your processes are certified, or even multi-certified.

Certifications are a good way of gauging the general skills of the company in charge of CRM integration, and are a guarantee of in-depth mastery of the CRM tool.

Beyond the technical aspect, there is the human aspect: the consultant(s) chosen for the implementation will be present in the company on a regular basis to carry out their tasks. Workshops to gather requirements, meetings to improve the process, handling tickets, are all cases where good collaboration is essential. Ensuring that you work with consultants who know how to listen to your needs and business specifics is an important aspect of your project's success. Choose an integrator for whom each customer is an entity in his or her own right, with whom you can work closely.

In the final analysis, consultants become members of the company in their own right. No manager would hire an employee solely on the basis of his or her technical skills, but the same logic applies when choosing an integrator and its consultants. So, choosing an integrator in line with your company's values is a non-negligible factor.


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