With the possibilities the Internet of Things offer, customers now expect instant interaction with businesses as well as gratification, no matter which platform they are using. Conscious of this change, businesses are now surprisingly giving prizes away and adding extra benefits to monthly packages. However, despite the access to a substantial amount of personal data, they have yet to grasp its potential in improving customer experience according to Bain & Co’s latest report: whilst 80% of businesses surveyed believed they offered superior service, customers stated only 8% of those companies were really doing so.
This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) comes into play. By offering access to customer data, it enables businesses to offer greater customer service and convert leads into opportunities. Recent research notably revealed 60% of client journeys are now done online before the first sales interaction. Gathering data before the first pitch to the customer will then put companies ahead of the game.
Here are five ways CRM can help companies gain the competitive edge by nurturing leads into customers:
Automating administrative tasks: CRM automates data research tasks and analytic practices, which would normally be a time costly exercise for businesses. Admin tasks such as filling out spreadsheets or collecting data can be very time consuming, and due to this laborious process, the data is not often shown in real-time. By automating these tasks, the sales team will have more time to pursue more profit making endeavours, such as following up leads or reviewing sales pitch content.
Information accessible to all: CRM will provide an access to a centralised system of leads at the businesses fingertips, as it complies data into an accessible layout highlighting key information. Silos of information often occur as data is scattered across different spreadsheets and programs, therefore, teams cannot find relevant information easily. By enhancing the ability to view data in an accessible manner through a centralised system, the up to date informed workforce will better be able to adapt to changing marketing strategies or tough sales periods.
Allowing a flexible workforce: By having all the information centralised and accessible, it can now accommodate a mobile workforce. As AIS research recently showed, deploying mobile solutions would improve productivity by 30%, and increase revenues by 14.2%. Also, as technology now allows companies to have remote employees, it is essential that they know where CRM data is located to be able to use it whilst on the move.
Data analytics: Business data volume is doubling every 1.2 years, which is far beyond the human’s brain analytical capacity. CRM can gather data and produce quality results in an automated hassle free manner through extensive analytics. The tools provided from a good CRM system will simplify the information gathering process, so the most up-to-date data is at the fingertips of the marketing and sales teams.
Active engagement strategy: Misguided outreach strategy annoys all parties, from the C-suite not seeing the results to customers wondering why they are getting spammed with irrelevant offers. The only way to achieve a successful outreach strategy that isn’t based on blind firing of emails is incorporating data. A strategy based on customer information will create a catered contextualised approach and is more likely to achieve a successful ROI.