Why do you need a CRM?

James Welch-Thornton
06.08.19 17:36:33 Comment(s)
CRM system showing sales pipeline analytics on a laptop

"We've grown successfully so far without the need for a CRM; why should we implement one now?"

That's an objection that I occasionally come across when discussing our practices with prospects. It's a valid point in that the system you use to record prospective and existing customer data is unlikely to be the fundamental reason behind the success of your business, but that certainly doesn't mean that you should overlook it as a means to improving productivity and ultimately, helping your business to grow. 

I'm not going to sit here and say that spreadsheets are useless, far from it. I use Microsoft Excel all the time for data import, extraction and manipulation, but how does that work when you are trying to report across the activity of your sales team? Do you have a clear way of recording new updates and prioritising your sales pipeline? Surely there's a better way...

Actually, there is, and the solution isn't as difficult as perhaps you might think.

Whilst the CRM marketplace at the moment seems complex and overcrowded, we can scale back to your requirements and help simplify the evaluation process. You'll see competing companies bragging about all the features that their platform offers - from Artificial Intelligence to complex automation. Of course, these features can be extremely useful additions to your existing setup, but it's important to scale back to the basics first.

Your CRM should primarily be the source of all your customer data. You can track all correspondence and purchasing history whist building a clear profile of each of your customers. At the same time, customers and prospects alike can either be directly assigned to members of the sales team, to prevent crossover, or opened up across the board to increase visibility of communications and collaboration between departments. Clearly showing the latest status and most recent communications with customers - across all channels be it email, a phone call or interaction on social media -  help increase the productivity of those directly involved as well as anyone who needs to pick things up a short notice.

A clear buyer profile will help you both to meet the needs of exiting customers, improving retention, and identify the needs of your prospects, helping them convert into new business wins and increased sales for your company.

In order to build this profile you will need to capture information that gives you key market insight from which you can position your product or services. Where a company selling into the healthcare industry is going to be concerned with different information from those selling into financial services, it is important that the fields available for you to capture information are relevant to your organisation. Once you have a clear set of fields you will be given the ability to report on any of the data points that have been captured. Detailed analytics can be displayed in real-time dashboards to track progress or evaluated in detailed reports to monitor market share and identify opportunities - both the top level management information and granular details to assist each member of the sales team.

Reports can then be automated to track progress, whilst forecasts enable you to see what the sales pipeline is looking like in the future, allowing you to act and make changes in advance so that results come as no surprise. 

Getting these foundations in place should not be complex. Use the key features as the starting point for what you wish to achieve and then you can clearly build out your spec from there to develop into an all-encompassing platform that transforms your business into its' next stage of growth.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you build the system you're looking for.


James Welch-Thornton