Customer Relationship Management – CRM. It’s critical for just about any size organization, simply because the stakes are too high today, to lose a customer. An efficient CRM tool helps ensure that existing customers are always looked after; it also helps turn leads and prospects closer to what you want them to be – paying customers.
The world of CRM has come a long way from the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet (remember them?). Here’s a summary of what you should look for when choosing a CRM tool for your business.
Your CRM Tool – What it Needs to Achieve
There are a number of critical components within an effective Customer Relationship Management tool. NetSuite CRM, for example, includes and simplifies the integration of all of the following:
Track Leads and Lead Activity – your existing customers are very important, but so are the leads – they are your future customers. A primary function of any CRM program is the ability to effectively track lead status, from intro letter to first meeting to proposal submission, and on down the playing field to a first sale. Too many companies leave this critical part of the sales process to chance – good CRM leaves nothing to chance.
Track Your Customer Base – once a lead becomes a customer, the goal is to keep them as customers. Competition is too fierce to allow them to drift away from you through inattentiveness. CRM ensures that all correspondence, order history, outstanding orders, and issues are kept up-to-date and, importantly, promptly addressed as they come up.
Track Opportunities – Closing Ratios – one of the powerful features of a good CRM database is its ability to analyze and report on all activities, from both prospects and customers. Such analysis should also provide insights as to where campaigns and proposals are effective, percentage-wise, and where they fall short. The end in mind is to constantly improve closing ratios; CRM can be a vital tool in this regard.
Connectivity Between Teams – having a common platform to work from is crucial between departments – sales, customer service, marketing, accounting, etc. Having a good CRM tool in place allows all the parties who touch the sales process to read off the same page, resulting in fewer crossed signals and negative impacts on the customer experience with your organization.
Manage Relationships – so much of the sales process is about relationships; whether it’s between sales and the customer, sales and marketing, sales and customer service, or customer service and the customer – good customers are the result of positive relationships. Your CRM tool should be the lynchpin, tracking it all.
The End in Mind for Any CRM Tool
The goal of any Customer Relationship Management tool should be to increase the productivity – of departments, individuals, and the organization as a whole. Just as its name implies, the customer part of CRM is placed first, where they should be. The elimination of guesswork and double handling of issues and priorities, through the common window of the CRM, contributes to this goal, resulting in the desired bump to productivity, customer satisfaction, and at the end of the day, profitability. NetSuite CRM, for example, offers an exclusive, 360-degree view of your customers, from the initial identification of the opportunity, through to sales order, fulfillment, renewal, upsell, cross-sell, and support.
We’d be happy to tell you more about it and CRM in general, to help you find the right CRM tool for your business.