CRM, Customer Relationships

What does it mean to work without CRM?

In this day and age, CRM has become a familiar term. Everywhere you go, you have agencies clamoring to be the best in providing CRM services. Or, a business which claims to be successful owing to its magical software CRM.

So why is this craze for CRM that seems to have rapidly surged in the past few years? What is the need for CRM in a business? How did entrepreneurs and business owners operate before the emergence of CRM?

Well, business owners were able to run their companies successfully I am sure before the rise of CRM, but seeing the digital outburst in every field now, CRM is a blessing for all. However, I won’t say that this software is hunky-dory and doesn’t have any challenges or it will solve all of your problems and your company will never face another challenge again.

What I will tell you is that a CRM solution will overcome a lot of those challenges and may even make it easier for you to address other challenges as your organization grows.

Amazingly 52% of SMBs categorized as “stagnant/declining” (Salesforce 5th edition SMB Trends 2021) , doing business without a CRM! Such companies face a whole lot of challenges without a robust CRM solution. Let’s take a look at some of those issues that they encounter:

 

Customer data frenzy

Without CRM, they probably have a marketing team with customer information and a sales team with customer information and yes, the customer service team with a completely different set of customer data. Three strong pillars of the company, with three different sets of data! Wouldn’t it  make so much more sense if all the data wasl in one singular pane? And, all departments could see exactly where each customer was in the pipeline? That’s exactly what a CRM would do.

 

Manual updates galore

On a daily basis, a business owner or a team member might perform certain tasks manually, which can easily be done through automation with a scalable CRM in place. For example, a contact form from the website doesn’t have to be entered manually into a database. A CRM can actually take that data from that form submission, create a record, and even send them a custom, personalized email response.

 

ROI guesswork

Predicting your returns will be less of a hassle or guesswork. The challenge of sifting through humongous amounts of data in pages of reports,  to understand if a sale was associated with a specific marketing campaign or not, is over. With CRM, one can track digital marketing campaigns, associate leads to specific campaigns and follow that lead through the sales/marketing funnel in order to evaluate the campaign’s ROI.

 

Wasting resources

When data is not centralized Imagine the amount of time, energy and resources being spent in gathering data, especially if you’re pulling it from multiple internal applications, systems and external websites like Google analytics. Can you also imagine how much data is duplicated?

A Customer Relationship Management system will reduce wastage of resources and data duplication.

 

Scattered data

A lot of companies still believe in keeping several spreadsheets or other documents that are manually updated and saved in different places. Some employees may even be saving it locally on their laptops and forgetting to upload it to the server. There are times when you do know where everything is, yet it doesn’t relate to each other seamlessly. CRM is the call of the hour. You can upload all your data centralizing it in a CRM; and it is accessible to everyone and easily updated.

 

Customer Service gets side-lined

All businesses are customer-centric and keeping customers happy should be on the top of the priority list. Especially with today’s technology, most customers expect a speedy response when they have an issue  or question. When they are met with a slow response or no response or a response which is obviously auto generated, they will take their business elsewhere. 

When a company that doesn’t use a CRM, can you imagine the toing and froing an agent has to perform to get a complete picture of the customer’s  information?  In such instances, CRMs are great for customer service. They help your customer service team to address customer issues and questions, and feedback within the CRM and receive notifications when there are responses from the customer.

 

Challenges finding and retaining customers

How is a business  going to find time to market to new and existing customers if its team is too busy doing manual tasks and pretty much everything else I mentioned above?   Without a CRM, it’s going to be very difficult to find the time to market to new customers and then retain them through lead nurturing and exceptional customer service. With the added time and the valuable insights a CRM will give you, there’s no way you will lose it when it comes to customer satisfaction (Capterra reports that CRM software boosts both retention and satisfaction rates by 47%).

 

Growing pains

I have kept this at the end because if a company without a CRM faces many of the aforementioned challenges (and also ones that aren’t mentioned) then where is the time to focus on marketing, improving your product or service, and nurturing leads. These are key aspects of business you need to do in order to grow as an enterprise. 

A CRM isn’t just a solution to keep all things in one place, readily available for all to view. The  main factor is the CRM integrates processes and activities across the business saving you and your team time….lots of it! And, let’s face it, in the business world…time is money!

 

To sum up

In Walden, Henry David Thoreau said, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Thoreau has a good point for entrepreneurs, business owners and executives…you’ve already got a great business, but you need a support structure to keep it standing and a strong, scalable CRM will do exactly that for you. If you want to know more about how CRM can transform your business, connect with me.

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