In my first post on CRM optimization and the evolving needs of our clients, I outlined the trend for organizations to shift their focus and expectations regarding their CRM system. By changing their mindset from a strictly sales force automation tool to a business solution, they allow their CRM system to actually help them achieve the outcomes that align with their business objectives. Today, that translates to improved customer relationships, business optimization and efficiency, and creating an all-around better experience.
In this entry, I’ll highlight how a business-aligned CRM solution can improve the way your teams work and collaborate to provide a positive prospect/customer/client experience, all while increasing productivity for the individual team members as well as the organization.
So why is this so important? Think for a moment about the challenges you face across your organization; we are constantly expected to do more with less: have information and answers at the ready when our prospects/customers/clients make requests – regardless of who they asked; enlist our team members for assistance building a proposal; provide account management and relationship services; and above all, provide exemplary customer service. Therefore, it is necessary to be positioned to work together and respond efficiently, in a manner that demonstrates competency and builds trust with every interaction. Recent studies have identified:
- Up to 40% of worker’s productivity is lost due to switching between tasks/systems and engaging in “manual” follow up to understand status/provide updates
- By 2020, the “customer experience” will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator
- Organizations implementing digital transformation (CRM solutions) can drive up to 8% more operating income than peers that have not made the change
Here are 6 examples of common goals and the corresponding benefits of how an advanced CRM solution can improve the way your teams work collaboratively:
Goal #1: More staff members are involved in supporting the “customer”. In today’s business environment, it is common to have Marketing, Field Sales, Inside Sales, Design/Engineering, Customer Service/Support, Production Engineers, and leadership (or similar roles for professional services and not-for-profits organizations) all having critical roles in the customer/client relationship.
- Provide all staff access to marketing messaging directed toward a specific prospect/customer/client permitting the ability to quickly understand/reference the reason for the call
- Supply one location where all interactions (emails, meetings, phone calls) are tracked and easily reviewed, so that the status may be ascertained, and intra-company calls for updates, commitments, and next steps in the relationship may be reduced
- Establish a formal approach for various steps in the marketing, sales, support, and account relationship processes that are accessible for all relevant team members to utilize to be prepared for and equipped to advance the customer/client relationship
Goal #2: Customers expect the organization members to know what’s “going on” with their accounts
- Remove individual islands of information (individual files, spreadsheets, spiral notebooks, etc.) used to maintain prospects/customers/clients information and requests
- Provide access to all team members, from marketing through service/support, on planned, active, or recently completed activities, allowing answers, or follow up to be provided in an accurate, real-time response
- Reduce “surprises” with prospects/customers/clients, by allowing team members to be prepared for account/client calls, by using a system that provides access and visibility into all interactions
Goal #3: Customers receive and respond to communications from multiple channels
- Ensure that messages are consistent across channels
- Provide immediate response/feedback to appropriate team members for follow-up and message adjustments
- Use tools to test messages, then use marketing automation to send out the “best response” messaging
Goal #4: Customers may have multiple locations, divisions, and departments that are serviced by a variety of team members
- Provide the ability to coordinate “corporate” sales/support activities, allowing team members in separate locations to see what is occurring in each location, and to strategize an overall approach to the relationship
- Allow leadership to see a consolidated view of an organization allowing them to advise on the cultivation and preservation of the overall relationship
Goal #5: Field staff requires flexible, faster access to status and information
- Access to the system via mobile devices to obtain contact and account information for calls, appointments, and rapid response to inquiries
- Reduce “homework” and improve system utilization by using Talk to Text functionality to enter notes and follow up tasks
Goal #6: Internal resource availability cannot negatively impact the customer relationship
- Accessibility to assign tasks, or to cover for resources that are “out of the office”, and allowing supporting resources access to the information needed to provide for smooth transitions
- Permit leadership the ability to delegate tasks and activities utilizing a dashboard based review of workloads and team member availability
It is increasingly critical to use your systems effectively. By providing the visibility and tools your team needs, they are able to communicate with and support your prospects/customers/clients, giving you the competitive advantage necessary for success in today’s fast paced, ever changing environment.
In my next entry, I’ll focus on how our customers are making this shift and using their CRM systems to improve their marketing and communication integration to better serve the organization and their prospects/customers/clients.
If you would like to discuss how your team could benefit from realigning your CRM system with your business goals, please contact me and I’ll be happy to coordinate time to talk with you and your team.
Moving your business forward faster.
Read the other blog posts related to the Affiliated series on CRM Optimization: