Businesses that employ CRM solutions are looking to realize quantifiable savings and ROI through their new technology, and they do. But what companies are often measuring as cost savings (and in turn ROI) are only hard dollar savings. Hard dollar savings are quantifiable savings that can be proven without a doubt. There is however another type of savings that companies receive when they leverage a CRM solution, soft dollar savings.
Soft dollar savings are benefits and savings that you can't measure; they are non-quantifiable savings that still have value for your business, CRM soft-dollar savings save you time, money or offer you a competitive advantage over your competition. The value of soft-dollar benefits like lower employee turnover or higher customer satisfaction cannot be calculated easily to prove a return on your investment, hence the term soft-dollar.
While it is easy to wax philosophical about the value of improving your customer experiences, lets consider the following slightly-more-tangible indirect savings with CRM that many executive and management types may not be thinking about:
When you employ a CRM solution you are streamlining processes that used to be done on paper and haphazardly, this makes your businesses greener, leaner and more thorough. Giving your employees tools like forms ensure that your unique company processes are followed each and every time, because let's face it your employees are only human and mistakes happen.
Your worst employees likely won't be around long, and your best employees should be promoted to ensure that they will stick around. Either way you are going to have employee (or position) turnover. By employing a tool like CRM you can ensure that procedures and processes continue no matter who is working in each position. This is especially critical within customer-facing departments like sales and marketing where turnover is high and continuity is critical to ensure you don't lose customers, sales and income.
Employee training is an often overlooked benefits of CRM; it is also a weak spot for most small-to-medium companies. Most non-enterprise businesses use peer-to-peer training to train new employees, another process that is vulnerable to human error. Using your CRM solution to train new employees will ensure that they learn the proper procedures, and have all the customer and company information at their fingertips. Not only will this produce more effective staff, but can do it in significantly less time than traditional training models.
Most people in your sales and marketing department are not right brained and will have difficulties remaining organized, if they didn't they would be in accounting or human resources. To help your staff stay focused and organized (in less time) you need a CRM solution in place. With a CRM they can easily input, organize and access countless details on customers, leads, opportunities, buying patterns, trends, behaviours and deficiencies. They can then use the time they saved for following up on the now categorized leads.
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