Customer relationship management is often an under-optimized growth lever for businesses. However, in today’s tech-powered age customers are increasingly seeking the human touch. Thus, making Customer Relationship Management tech a major player in every businesses’ sales force. Studies show that it takes 5 to 10 times the cost to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Therefore, creating or using a system that focuses first on keeping existing customers is fundamental. A CRM can help optimize client relationship management. However, the task of effectively integrating a CRM into your company’s process can be a challenge.
The great news is you do not have to tread down this path on your own as there are many tried and true methods to CRM optimization that we’ll be sure to cover in this article.
How a CRM Works
In general, a CRM is a system that helps companies to manage their interactions with customers and potential customers. An effective CRM focused on the following functions:
- Client retention
- Client acquisition
- Client relationship / trust-building
An important aspect of such a system is the collection of data through subsystems. Such data might be acquired through different channels of communication like the website, email, live chat, marketing materials, telephone, and social media. The goal is to learn more about customers and their needs to further improve the products and services of the company.
Standard CRM Features
Every CRM is different and of course, includes many proprietary features that make it unique. However, in general, you can expect that most CRMs will include the following features.
- Contact management
- Distribution prediction
- Instant messaging between employees
Each feature in a CRM has a unique function. Let’s explore some examples of these functions below in further detail.
- Content management details recent information about customers like contact data and service chats.
- Lead management provides an overview of the customer journey and their current position in your funnel.
- E-mail-tracking synchronizes e-mail clients directly with the CRM. Thus, allowing employees access to a history of customer interactions.
CRM Optimization and Sales
Whether you are using an existing CRM or considering implementing one for your business there are several optimization points that can help increase your sales. The most important thing is to always update customer information. They form the basis of every action that is taken by your company. Your staff should always be informed about changes in a client’s journey including:
- Company name
- Preferred method of contact
- Transaction history
- Last interaction
- Last transaction
Ensuring these details are up to date also provides data integrity, which is fundamental to proper optimization and in many cases, one of the biggest missed opportunities for growth. Data integrity ensures client relationships are properly represented in the customer lifecycle. Without accurate information, the CRM will remain ineffective.
For example, accurate details like:
- Transaction history,
- last purchase, and,
- last interaction,
all allow you to pinpoint the stage of the funnel your client is currently in. This gives you an opportunity to improve messaging and provide timely sales-focused interactions.
Reporting CRM Optimization to Increase Sales
Another important aspect is to learn from analytics. With a CRM you can analyze recent trends in customer behavior. What factors were responsible for the success of an email-campaign in the past? You can then use this information to design campaigns in the future. Moreover, you can identify times of the year when purchases peak and start campaigns in the next year just during these periods of time. In short, if you do not have metrics and virtualization set up in your CRM, be sure to take care of it immediately. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on clear sales opportunities.
CRM Optimization Through Integration
Another important component of CRM optimization for sales are integrations. For example, a simple integration like appointment scheduling can shorten the conversion cycle. Another example includes account software integration. For instance, combining accounting software that integrates client reporting will help provide accurate projections and also give you real-time access to revenue growth data or allow you to easily identify spikes in sales when they occur.
Final Thoughts on CRM Optimization
There are many different methods to optimize your CRM. Key things to remember with regard to optimization are data integrity, reporting, and integrations (DRI). These key levers will always help you identify growth opportunities and can certainly help you increase sales.