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10 Benefits of Using a CRM System
Written by: Victoria Yu
Victoria Yu is a Business Writer with expertise in Business Organization, Marketing, and Sales, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business.
Edited by: Sallie Middlebrook
Sallie, holding a Ph.D. from Walden University, is an experienced writing coach and editor with a background in marketing. She has served roles in corporate communications and taught at institutions like the University of Florida.
Updated on September 5, 2023
10 Benefits of Using a CRM System
If you run a small business with just a few clients, you might not think a customer relationship management (CRM) system is worth the cost. But these tools help businesses manage interactions with customers and prospects and can be a game-changer for sales, marketing, and customer experience.
No matter how big your company or how many customers, a CRM system potentially offers a host of benefits that could drive sales and business growth. Do you really want to miss out on that?
Read on to learn all about the benefits of CRM and how these tools can drive business success.
What is CRM?
CRM systems are software tools that organize customer data in order to make projections, synchronize interactions between a business and its clients, and provide a detailed and long-term vision of the relationship.
CRM systems track and record customer and prospect data as well as interactions and purchases. With a centralized CRM database, businesses gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers and their sales funnel, which helps manage sales and adjust strategy.
Skeptics view CRM as a newfangled technology that steals sales reps’ jobs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Every time you treat your customer like a person and respect them by remembering their needs and preferences, that’s good customer relationship management!
CRM makes this much easier and can lift your customer service to new heights by tracking, processing, and presenting more data than you thought possible. This frees up sales reps to focus on the crucial part of their job – building customer relationships.
Nowadays, competition is stiffer than ever and companies are always seeking even the slightest edge. It’s no longer enough to have a unique product – customers now differentiate brands based on interactions and experience.
As a result, companies that provide excellent customer experiences gain a competitive advantage. This is the promise of CRM, which enables businesses to easily track customer data, customize client interactions, and create a more focused and streamlined customer experience.
Benefits of Using a CRM
Now that you know what a CRM system is, let’s get into all of the different ways this tool can improve your business processes.
1. Customer Data Management
Your CRM platform will automatically log all emails, calls, meetings, and other interactions with your prospect, which your sales team can view and use 24/7. This reduces the amount of manual work required by sales reps, resulting in time and cost savings for the business.
As the customer passes through the sales pipeline, any sales rep can see their background, contact info, preferences, and interactions with the company. For example, a sales rep will be able to see which products a customer showed interest in and when. With this information, they’ll be able to customize their pitch, improving the customer experience – and the likelihood of a sale.
CRM will likely improve your sales efficiency and velocity, potentially impressing your customers with the personalized experience and driving them to return again and again.
2. Customer Database Analytics
CRM systems provide a thorough overview of all your prospects that you can organize by segment, location, demographics, industry, and so on. If your CRM doubles as a lead database, you can filter sales prospects by the same criteria.
Your CRM software will provide metrics about each market segment, so you can easily see if, for example, you source more leads from a certain area or if prospects from a certain industry are more likely to become customers.
This info will help target your marketing and sales toward segments that yield the best results.
3. Sales Pipeline Management
A CRM system provides a visual overview of how many sales leads, prospects, and opportunities are at each stage of your sales pipeline, as well as estimates for how many deals you’ll close and the revenue you’ll earn in the period.
These data points are important metrics for several business functions. For example, finance will want to know when to expect a large windfall from a big deal, and marketing will want to know if you’re running out of leads to pursue.
On top of viewing bottlenecks in your sales funnel, your CRM tool can help prevent build-ups by sending automated reminders to sales reps to follow up with prospects. If there are any inefficiencies in your sales pipeline, your CRM will highlight them and their causes, improving your sales pipeline strategy.
With access to real-time sales data, businesses are able to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
4. Data Analytics
Rather than hand-calculating which customers move to the next stage of the sales cycle or how many come from the next state over, a CRM system comes with built-in tools to measure data such as click-through rates, demographic breakdowns, location, and much more.
These statistics are always up-to-date, helping you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing and sales strategies.
5. Customer Analytics
Some CRM systems use customer data to project future customer behavior and make assumptions about their purchasing power. These systems, called analytical CRM, are able to provide a much broader picture than a single sales rep ever could. From there, the CRM will recommend courses of action to help your sales team target their efforts.
6. Customer Communications Management
Website not up to scratch? No problem. Your CRM platform can probably double as a communication platform for customer interaction, hosting live chats, scheduling meetings, sharing documents, and running video calls.
If you only manage a few customers, this saves you the money of developing a new website or buying communication tools, while making your company look sleek and professional. Again, all of these interactions will be automatically logged into the CRM for future reference.
7. Marketing Automation
Some CRM solutions offer integrated CRM platforms, including marketing automation tools. With this, your CRM will handle menial tasks like organizing leads, overseeing marketing, and sending out emails and surveys. This keeps your campaigns and sales cycle on schedule while freeing up your sales team for more important work.
8. Sales Team Reporting
Besides customers, a CRM system tracks and analyzes the performance of your sales reps. You’ll be able to easily see if your sales reps are meeting their quotas and how they interact with customers. Your reps will know how they’re performing compared to the rest of the team, providing a constant incentive for laggards to work harder.
9. Report Generation
Every month, sales managers dread writing and presenting their sales pipeline report for the period. A CRM system might not be able to string the words together, but it can analyze data and calculate KPIs to help build your case, and create appealing graphs to strengthen your report.
Similarly, your CRM tool will automatically calculate statistics like revenue growth rate and compare sales from year to year, showing trends in the data and forecasting future performance.
Such forecasts will help your business adapt its sales strategy as needed, and your CRM will help do that by showing which leads and activities are the most profitable.
Importance of CRM
So what if a CRM can do all those tasks? If you only have ten active customers, there’s no need for fancy million-customer tracking systems, right?
Well, rather than focusing on specific tasks, CRMs are important because they generate long-term growth by helping close more sales, boost customer retention, enable complex strategies, improve resource management, and keep the business relevant in today’s experience economy.
1. Close More Sales
From the beginning to the end of the sales funnel, a CRM adds a little something to improve the sales process.
First, some CRMs double as a lead generation database that automatically locates and qualifies leads, creating more potential customers for you to sell to. Automatically qualifying and sorting leads based on their lead score means that employees can focus on prospects who best fit the company’s buyer persona and are most likely to complete a sale.
Then, during the sales process, each sales rep assigned to the prospective customer will be able to see the person’s background and previous interactions with the company, letting them build off those interactions to personalize their sales approach. This increases your sales reps’ chances of closing the sale.
CRMs also track how long a potential client takes at each stage of the sales process. If a customer has been stuck at one stage for a while, the CRM will let your sales rep know so they can follow up with the client. This prevents sales from stalling indefinitely and removes old leads from your sales pipeline so your reps can focus their attention elsewhere.
From lead generation, qualification, and management, a CRM does nothing but aid your sales reps, increasing the number of sales closed per period.
2. Customer Loyalty
CRM software tracks and records customer interactions and keeps the information in one place for sales reps to access anytime.
With this information, a sales rep can fully understand the customer’s background and interactions so far and tailor their approach to match their needs perfectly. Even if customers switch between sales reps, they can rest assured that they’ll receive the same quality of care at every step of the sales process.
As we said before, customers now differentiate brands by the level of service rather than the product. Enabling quicker and more thorough customer service increases customer satisfaction; in the long run, this turns into customer loyalty, locking in a customer’s patronage and almost guaranteeing more sales in the future.
3. Complex Strategies
Using a CRM, company analysts can sort and organize their customers by factors such as demographics, industry, and location, revealing trends in the data and opening up the possibilities for more complex targeted campaigns.
A CRM allows you to make data-driven decisions and strategies and implement them with agility.
For example, your CRM could tell you that leads from a certain zip code are statistically more likely to buy add-ons with their purchase. On top of focusing your lead generation campaign in that specific zip code, a CRM immediately lets your sales rep know if a new customer is from that area. From the CRM’s instantaneous document and media storage, the rep can then swap out their sales script and promotional materials on the fly for ones that push for add-ons.
Additionally, CRMs give a live overview of a company’s current leads in the sales process. In other words, it allows you to holistically view company operations and see how changing one process might impact others down the line. Consulting your CRM before enacting any big changes reduces the risk of implementing potentially-disastrous strategies.
3. Optimize Resources
Though a CRM may seem like a big investment at first, it ultimately saves businesses time and money by streamlining sales operations and automating information management.
Tasks like manually inputting data, organizing leads, and sending out emails and surveys are both mentally draining for your employees and budget-draining for you as you pay employees to complete these menial assignments. A CRM automates these processes, freeing up employees for more important tasks.
And, as a live database that can be updated anytime by anyone, a CRM instantaneously breaks down information silos between different departments. For example, if the marketing team updates a customer’s profile, the sales team will see it immediately and be able to shift their approach to the customer. Rather than running the risk of sales wasting time on a pitch made with outdated information, a live CRM ensures that employees’ actions are taken with an up-to-date understanding of a customer.
On top of instantaneously providing information about a single customer, a CRM saves your sales managers the effort of number-crunching metrics. Your CRM could automatically tabulate and report on customer analytics, sales pipeline stage conversion rates, sales team performance, future sales revenue, as well as advanced predictions of customer profiles. Not only are they live numbers, they’re guaranteed to be accurate!
Overall, CRMs take over and automate minor tasks, freeing up the most important resource your company has – skilled employees.
4. Maintain Relevance
While the future of marketing, sales, and customer support is only beginning to come into focus, there are certain trends that are becoming apparent that you might not be prepared to handle without a CRM.
First, customers are expecting shorter and shorter turnaround times for questions and complaints: a 2018 Statista survey revealed that more than one out of three customers expect a same-day response to their questions and complaints, while one in five expect an immediate response! CRM systems automate responses to simple queries, freeing up your customer service reps to provide more involved care and get some rest.
More than reacting to a customer query, analytical CRM can take your customer service one step further and predict your customer’s profile, wants, and needs from pre-existing data, swiftly offering a personalized experience and potentially solving problems before they arise.
Second, customers now expect companies to know about them and their issues at every step of their customer journey. When a customer has an issue, they might first ask the website chat, then email customer service, call a rep, and escalate to a manager. If they’re forced to repeat and re-explain their issue each time, by the end they may well be apoplectic. I know I’d be.
Deloitte came to this conclusion in 2021, reporting that nearly 9 out of 10 callers (87%) found it frustrating to repeat themselves on multiple channels. By tracking and recording all customer interactions, good CRM lets marketing, sales, and customer service reps learn about a customer’s needs and issues without forcing the customer to explain time and again.
This saves everyone time and effort.
While you could also accomplish this by designating someone to manage each customer, customers are also on the fence about balancing privacy and personalization. They want companies to know about them. But are they okay with a real-life person knowing their personal information in excruciating detail?
You certainly don’t want your customers feeling like they’re being stalked by a hypervigilant service rep. In this case, a CRM system’s benefits are twofold: the CRM can provide automated answers to frequently asked questions and issues, and customers can get help from different reps with the same level of attentiveness at all stages.
CRM systems can deliver benefits on multiple business fronts, from customer interaction and data crunching to company-wide strategy and decision-making. No matter how big your business or how many customers are in your sales funnel, a CRM system probably offers some advantage.
With a CRM handling the minute details and providing a broad overview of your marketing, sales, and customer service, your employees can work more efficiently, streamlining your operations, improving customer relationships, and driving sales growth.
A CRM benefits sales reps and top-level executives alike by managing and analyzing customer data, the sales pipeline, and customer communications. It can automate marketing functions, generate sales and service rep reports, and forecast how your business will function in the future.
Which CRM software you choose to purchase will depend on your budget, needs, and your customer base. Some CRM programs also double as a lead generation database or include administrative tools.
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