10 Things CRM Can Do for Your Business

Updated: September 20, 2007

Issue


By now, you know that CRM technology can help your business. But what you may not know is just how many different things CRM applications can do for your company. In fact, it's hard to think of another business-related technology that's as versatile, and pays as many direct benefits, as CRM.
Unfortunately, most businesses fail to use CRM technology to its full potential. Many organizations acquire CRM software to automate a specific task, such as call-center operations or sales-force management, and never move to the next level. That's a shame, because CRM technology can benefit almost any business in several different areas.

List of CRM Benefits


To clue you in to (or to refresh your memory on) CRM's multiple uses, here's a look at the top 10 things the technology can do for your business:

1. Improve decision making: CRM sheds light on crucial information. Business owners and managers can benefit from detailed and comprehensive reports that forecast sales and returns, measure service activities, and track business performance in detail. CRM analysis tools can also follow both short- and long-term trends and problems, as well as alert users to potential business opportunities.


2. Provide anytime, anywhere information access: Key data is no longer anchored to the office. CRM can give mobile employees instant access to a centralized, customizable view of sales and support activities. Management, sales representatives and support staff can access complete customer histories, pricing information, inventory data and other types of intelligence from any location via a Web browser.


3. Provide enhanced sales tools: Businesses can use CRM to drive shorter sales cycles and improve close rates with software that nurtures lead and opportunity management. Organizations can also use the technology to create and enforce workflow rules, customize automated sales processes, expedite quotes and streamline order management.


4. Improve call-center service: In the call center, CRM technology enables employees to quickly assign, manage and resolve incidents with automated routing, queuing and service-request escalation.


5. Identify repeat customers: CRM applications can enable call-center agents to automatically identify incoming phone calls from past customers, instantly recalling relevant data from an enterprise's CRM system. When a call from a known customer comes in, the agent receives a pop-up window on his or her desktop presenting a complete picture of the customer's relationship with the company, including information about the individual's past purchases, product and service preferences, and payment history. The technology also boosts the cross-selling of other products and services by highlighting and suggesting alternatives or enhancements.


6. Access new sales avenues: CRM applications allow businesses to accept orders over the Web and from mobile devices. The technology also enables businesses to build marketing presences on, and accept orders from, social-networking sites.


7. Enhance productivity: With CRM, sales and marketing functions can be safely, seamlessly integrated and automated. By storing critical business data in a common environment, users can quickly gain access to and share mission-critical information, helping them significantly boost business productivity.


8. Secure customer loyalty: Employees with detailed CRM information have the data and processes required to know their customers, allowing them to form individualized relationships. This type of business-customer bonding can boost customer satisfaction and maximize profits.


9. Superserve your best customers: CRM data can help employees identify their most profitable customers and offer them the highest level of service. This approach enables businesses to increase value from their existing customers and reduce the costs associated with supporting and servicing them. Such "superservice" can increase the business's overall efficiency and reduce the total cost of sales.


10. Promote teamwork: With important customer information in hand, employees can easily share sales and order information with colleagues who specialize in specific types of accounts.


Next Steps


Now that you know what your CRM system can do for your business, it's time to make sure your solution is set up to deliver. Adjust your CRM metrics to ensure that they capture the right kinds of data. For example, CRM can secure customer loyalty, as explained above in item 9. Yet the system can only deliver on that benefit if you have set it up to measure data such as repeat purchases, positive customer feedback and more.

Featured Research
  • 8 Reasons SMBs Should Invest in a CRM

    Adopting a CRM platform early offers many advantages, including the fact that it increases the odds of long-term success. While the cost of CRM software used to be prohibitive for most small businesses, this is no longer true. Cloud-based solutions have made the pricing much more competitive, and as many as 87% of companies now rely on them for their CRM software. more

  • 7 Ways Your CRM Helps Convert Leads

    Failure to convert interested leads can impact your bottom line drastically and simultaneously increase your operational costs and decrease your profits. The most common reason for this failure is lack of follow through from a sales team. Did you know that 74% of CRM users said that their CRM gave them improved access to customer data? And that by properly implementing a CRM, a business could shorten the sales cycle by 8 to 14%? more

  • Is Your CRM a Liability

    Is your CRM a liability? Before you answer too quickly with a no, just think about all the advancements that have taken place over the years regarding this technical solution. In fact, just in over the past decade there has been a dramatic shift away from on-premise systems to cloud based solutions. more

  • 12 Must-Have CRM Features

    Having a CRM is absolutely essential to any modern day business's success. In fact, 91% of companies with 11+ employees now utilize a CRM solution in their business. When making the decision to purchase or upgrade your CRM solution, it can be quite overwhelming determining which features are essential to your success versus those that pack more fluff than punch. more

  • Making the Case for a New CRM

    Did you know that having an outdated CRM is just as bad as not having one at all? Do you find yourself working even just a little too hard to make your current CRM work to maintain your contacts and relationships? While it is increasingly more difficult to reduce customer churn, modern CRM tools are much more powerful and provide much more opportunity to develop stronger relationships with your clients that can provide more stability and revenue to your company and bottom line. more