7 Trends in How Client Expectations are Changing for their CRM Solution

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Defining desired business outcomes,  focusing on the relationship, and understanding the value in business optimization.

Over the last several months I have been involved in assisting several of our CRM customers with planning and implementing upgrades to improve their relationships with their customers or clients.

The organizations range from traditional industrial/supply chain companies and professional services organizations to industrial service suppliers in the financial industry and even two technology-consulting companies. While every one of these organizations takes a different approach to attracting and building relationships with their customers/clients, they do share a few common CRM objectives that will better align their teams to achieve their business goals.

  • Improve Customer Relationships
  • Improve Business Optimization & Efficiency
  • A better experience for everyone involved including the sales and customer service folks.

These objectives significantly differ from the objectives/goals initially identified by many organizations when first selecting and implementing a CRM system. This new approach of focusing on desired business outcomes, as opposed to the functional/tactical expectations for systems (we need to implement a database to gather our data; we need to track our sales resources activities, etc.), is driving solutions with greater efficacy, improved adoption across users, and better overall results both for the solution and for ROI.

Here is a brief overview of some of the “functional” aspects of the CRM solutions that our clients are requesting which is allowing them to meet, and in some cases, exceed their goals:

  • Visibility to gain a stronger understanding of how they interact, with their prospects and customers, to grow the customer base and increase the loyalty of their existing customers/clients
  • New ways to work and communicate to take advantage of all the organization’s assets (systems and resources) to increase their new customers/clients and grow the relationships with each existing customer/client
  • Marketing and communication integration is the ability to provide the right information to the right audience, segmented by their desires, at the right time; then, track their inquiries/responses and present that information, when qualified, to the sales team through the system without a great deal of manual intervention.
  • New ways to grow existing “customer” relationships utilizing the information available in the new system to identify opportunities that can be shared with marketing, inside and outside sales teams (or client/member managers in the case of professional services and non-profit firms), along with leadership, to offer solutions to existing customers/clients as to how to improve their businesses resulting in positive growth and increased customer/client satisfaction and loyalty. Being able to suggest recommended alternatives, or additional items based on other similar customer/client interactions, will create better solutions, and is one example of demonstrating functional need.
  • Inclusion reaching across departments and teams that have daily interaction with the customer/client, and bringing all team members into the “system”. Inside sales, order entry, customer service, support, and even design/development teams that interact with the customer have valuable information that affects the relationship and how we interact.
  • The inside sales team’s responsibilities by recognizing the value and increasing the interaction of the inside sales team as a part of the overall customer/client relationship
  • Mentoring and managing by using the tools to accelerate the sharing of information, that can help team members be more effective, identify potential areas for focus and improvement to reduce admin meeting time, which then allows them to spend more time working “on” the business of selling and supporting their customers/clients

Not every organization we work with is looking to achieve all of these functional aspects; most are looking at multiple functions to help them achieve their objectives.

As these desired functions have kept recurring in our range of customers, I thought it would be valuable to share more details about each of these focus area, highlighting not only how our customers are implementing these requirements, but also some options that you can use to determine if this approach might also improve your CRM solution.

Here’s to moving your business forward, faster.

The Benefits of Optimizing CRM Visibility within your Organization

How to Optimize CRM Team Work & Collaboration

CRM Optimization:  How to Improve Marketing & Communication Integration

5 New Ways to Grow Existing Customer Relationships

4 New CRM Optimization Strategies for Inside Sales

Why Affiliated for your CRM Implementation & Integration

by Affiliated, Inc.

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