The drivers of CRM adoption vary by department – here are some tips for each team leader.
You may be convinced of the case for CRM. But what about the people who work for you?
If you lead a team or department, you know it’s the people on those teams who’ll determine whether a CRM effort succeeds or stagnates. But too often, CRM is positioned as a mandatory take-it-or-leave-it to employees… without articulating how it can deliver better outcomes for their working lives.
Here’s how Directors and other C-level people like you can make sure your people know the size of the prize.
Marketing: swing in sources from Sales
While the best marketing departments are made of individuals who are as numbers-focused as any accountant, they often act on instinct. CRM can take away the doubts around decision making – by showing marketers solid metrics about what customers are actually doing during campaigns and programmes, especially in the long term.
That industry event everyone seems to be going to. That critical decision point in the sales cycle. That red-lined date beyond which nothing happens. All the information salespeople take for granted – since they talk to customers every day – but sometimes escapes the attention of Marketing, one step further away. A unified dashboard that shares insights leads to better campaigns, higher response rates, and more marketing successes.
Sales: see how leads are not created equal
In today’s Big Data world, 5,000 records counts as a small database – but even a few thousand names are too many for an individual Sales Executive to put on their call list. CRM can help again – by showing them how to prioritise for the best prospects.
What if their dashboard could show them insights, not just figures? Perhaps cold calls work best in Autumn, near the target sector’s year end. Or personal visits work best in conference season. Clues to improved performance are hidden in your CRM data, and the right ones can turn a mass of unsorted leads into a precisely-prioritised approach strategy that boosts every salesperson’s income opportunity.
IT: turn your users into your helpers
While CRM may be most used by Sales, it’s the IT guys who carry the burden of training and support. This often makes them reluctant to adopt another new system. So if you’re high up in IT, show your staff how adopting CRM can make their lives easier… by turning end-users into support staff.
Every department will have its advocates of CRM: the people who’ve discovered how to get the most from it. If you empower these users not just to use, but to teach, you’ve taken a continuing burden off your IT workers. Best of all, you’re embedding CRM in company culture.
Finance: to count the beans, get the beans delivered
A huge hassle for junior (and even senior) Finance people is simply collecting data – chasing people for spreadsheets, collating information, formatting everything into a shape you can work with. Today, many CRM applications extend to financials – automating much of that that data collection.
If customer-facing people like Sales are using CRM as their principal infrastructure for order entry, a huge chunk of busywork for Finance dissolves. This can lead to the loudest CRM cheerleading coming from an unexpected corner – happy Finance folk.
Customer service: respond as a person, not a script
At the customer service coalface, a common complaint is lack of information. These people may desperately want to help a customer, but don’t have the information to hand to do it effectively. Surprise, surprise: CRM can make their lives easier, too.
By linking processes like order entry and trouble ticketing into your CRM, you make it part of your broader CEM (customer experience management) strategy, where every contact between the customer and your business feels like part of the same whole. It makes for happier customers and improved CSAT scores – which are successes for CS agents, too.
Operations: connect the processes to see the gaps
Operations is all about process improvement, and the best improvement initiatives come from solid monitoring and measuring. While CRM isn’t commonly thought of as an ops tool, Operations people often find the data within it an absolute goldmine.
Does a product have an unusually high return rate? Or are dropship deliveries consistently slower from one supplier? Operational faults are often signalled by a small number of edge cases, like similar complaints or issues from the same geographical area. Catch those cases, and you’ve got reasons to improve. And operations people love that.
Summing up CRM: it’s all about the people
Six great departments, six great reasons to adopt CRM. And the best people to drive that adoption are already working for you. And that’s a great starting point for improving departmental performance.
- CRM is great for Sales – and just as great for marketing, operations, finance and customer service.
- Make sure CRM answers staff needs as well as corporate goals.
- Connecting different functions is where CRM magic happens.
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