In this blog we discuss how businesses need to take a better look at how we are using technology to serve our customers. We can all agree that 2021 has been a tough year for customers and businesses around the world. In a pandemic-stricken world the average Joe has had to rely on technology for even the most basic of services.
Simply thinking of CRM as a tool to conduct day-to-day business is not enough to make your business stand out.
Instead, CRM needs to be thought of as a core business strategy that focuses on being customer-centric. In a “what’s in it for me” world, it is businesses who adopt, entrench and internalise putting their customers first that truly gain a competitive advantage. For this reason, CRM is not only at the heart of your business - CRM is your business!
What is CRM, really?
Many may think they know the answer, but what is CRM - really?
The easy answer is that a CRM is a piece of software that consists of different tools that help your customer-facing departments (marketing, sales and service agents) harness the customer data you have collected and stored within the CRM tool itself.
However, simply implementing a piece of software does not mean that your team is leveraging the full power of CRM. It is the way in which you manage your customer relationships based on the data you have collected that will set your business apart and ensure success.
CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management” and to manage customer relationships effectively, everyone in your business should be putting the customer first, and thinking like the customer. Your CRM should not only be seen as a set of tools, but also an overarching philosophy used by everyone in the business - which is why getting buy-in from key stakeholders is critical to any CRM program’s success.
The benefits of CRM
Utilising CRM means that you are able to better retain existing customer relationships and attract or build new ones. Below are some of the ways CRM can help your team become customer-centric and entrench themselves in the CRM mindset.
Single source of truth
Working without a CRM system can mean a lot of time wastage for your teams that are trying to track down specific customer information. Trudging through day-to-day emails, searching endless spreadsheets, and scrambling through scrunched-up post-its means that valuable customer information may not be shared with team members who need it.
Having CRM software ensures you have a central database with every interaction your customer or prospect has had with your business, from a phone call to a specific email click to a webpage visit. Everyone in your business is working with the same information which is quickly and easily accessible. They are working with a single source of the truth.
Not only does this mean your team can be more productive, but by having the insights they need to customise each customer's communications, they can manage each customer relationship efficiently and effectively.
Thanks to CRM technology, many manual admin tasks are able to be taken care of with handy automation which leaves more time for you and your team to do valuable work, such as lead prospecting or crafting marketing communications.
Items such as reminder task automation can be employed to ensure your sales team are staying on top of the leads they are actively working. Complex automated lead nurtures that span over hours, days, or weeks (depending on a lead’s behavior) can be set up to engage as needed with your leads until they are ready to convert.
What this means is your team is not manually emailing and sorting these leads, with the potential of annoying those who are not ready to make a purchase. Rather, your team is able to focus their attention and relationship building on the leads that want to be contacted.
Having all your customer data in one central database is fantastic. But what makes this even better is being able to report on and share insights from within the same tool.
Using a customer focussed lens, you and your team can easily dig into what is or isn't working to better your customer experience.
Tools like attribution reporting can help your team understand and gain insights such as:
How long does it take for the average customer to convert?
What sales tactics lead to quicker conversions?
How do we ensure that as a business we are being customer-centric and putting the customer first?
You can read more on attribution reporting and other marketing strategies to boost your marketing results in our post here.
Alignment across departments
Having a singular view of data and being able to automate and report across your business means that your teams are not working in silos. Instead, with your teams having access to the same information, processes can be streamlined and the communication your customers receive will be consistent.
Consistent communication not only comes down to using the same messaging; it also involves the methods being used to communicate. A CRM allows your teams to easily follow the same procedures and processes.
Having your different departments aligned in this way means that no one is out of the loop and your customer can be catered to specifically based on their previous interactions. Your business will not need to worry about if your sales agents and marketing team are on the same page because you know they will be. All of this ensures you’re delivering a more customer-centric experience.
Which CRM software should you choose?
With so many benefits of using CRM, it is little wonder why a recent 2021 researcharticle estimated that in the US today, around 91% of businesses with 10 or more staff are using some form of CRM.
But, given the importance of using CRM, how do you know which one is the right one to pick?
As a business, you need to think about why you are using CRM. CRM is not just a set of tools, it is a mindset of entrenching customer-centricity throughout the entire business. So the question really is, “What CRM will help me put my customer first?”.
At Huble Digital, our digital experts have worked with many CRM systems but always circle back to the same CRM: HubSpot. Why? HubSpot is built with the customer in mind.
Competitor tools like Salesforce also allow you to reach and engage with your customers along the entire customer journey, but what sets HubSpot apart from other tools is, unlike Salesforce, HubSpot is built with one easy to use interface with all the necessary tools already connected.
This means that your teams have access to a singular source of truth so they can focus on the end customer, and for you as a business owner, it means not worrying that a key part of your CRM may be missing. For more comparisons between HubSpot and Salesforce, read why businesses are moving to HubSpot here.
CRM is your business
As a business owner, you want your business to succeed, and to achieve this, you need to ensure that both your new and existing customers are satisfied.
Having a CRM which puts customers first is a sure-fire way to achieve this. A CRM not only benefits your team by making their day-to-day lives easier, but when used as an overarching philosophy and way of thinking, your team will understand that it is the key to your business’ success.
We know a singular article can only cover so much and you may want to understand more on how you can make integrated CRM decisions, so we have put together this free eBook which we hope will help you leverage your CRM to its full potential.
Virtual ideas to keep your team connected during COVID-19