Many companies across different industries have already adopted Customer Relationship Management (CRM), hoping to increase sales and build customer loyalty and retention. Yet many businesses just see CRM as a software solution, whilst it is best to view CRM as a business strategy. To truly reap the many benefits of CRM software, you need to understand the potential that the solution has to offer.
Over recent years, CRM software has dramatically evolved, in particular Microsoft Dynamics CRM, offering social media integrations, Advanced Sales Force and Marketing Automation, allowing businesses to connect with their customers in innovative new ways. In fact, different companies believe that CRM is vital to their business and it is important to invest in technology which allows them to understand and connect with customers. Businesses need to realise that they cannot entirely rely upon the software alone and that they need to establish a business strategy to put the customer at the heart of the business.
Ensuring return on investment
Companies need to know they are getting a return on their CRM investment, but this can only truly be monitored if they are correctly utilising the CRM software. The business needs to have strategic plans involving the CRM software, making sure the requirements of the CRM project are decided across the whole business and not simply determined by one department. Your business needs to see CRM as an overriding business vision and strategy in order for it to be a successful investment.
What is a CRM strategy?
A CRM strategy produces outcomes that optimise profitability, revenue and customer satisfaction through the segmentation of customers and implementing customer-centric processes. There are several factors which should be included in the CRM strategy to ensure you maximise the effectiveness of your CRM software:
- Your business can maintain customer relationships and decide to focus on particular customers, whether they are those who need more attention or the most profitable, whichever is the most strategic at the time.
- Included in your strategy should be measuring profitability per customer. This means you can focus on customer profitability instead of only measuring products, product line and divisional profitability, customer costs and customer value perceptions. This allows you to you to track long-term profitability and monitor the return on CRM investment.
- There are many businesses who do not ensure all of their users know how to use their software when it is implemented. In your CRM strategy you should specify that all users are to be rigorously trained. This not only improves productivity, but increases the chances of Return on Investment (ROI).
- Shift your strategic focus from being products and services centric to being customer orientated. By including this in your strategy, your business can ensure increased profitability and customer loyalty.
CRM meeting your business needs
To be able to meet the needs of your customers, first of all you need to have software which is able to meet the needs of your business. CRM software has been designed to maintain and improve the relationships and processes between your sales, marketing and customer service teams and your customers (these departments in your business act as a crucial part of developing the relationships with your customers, who without your business would not be able to function). By refining your CRM strategy to meet the needs of your business as a whole, you can introduce smooth processes across customer-facing departments.
How can Prodware help your CRM project?
At Prodware, our experts understand the importance of CRM and how vital it is to include this in your business strategy. With this in mind, we can provide the right CRM for your business. The CRM comparison tool makes a personalised recommendation based on your requirements and is highly recommended for businesses all of sizes and industries. Download our CRM migration white paper for more help on getting started.