CRM – consumer relationship management – has always been a part of the business world, although it is only relatively recently that the technology and software to automate this process has begun to gain traction.
Software such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, along with the advance of cloud computing, has made it increasingly easy for firms to incorporate automation into their marketing processes.
From the financial services sector to the resources industry, there are a host of possibilities offered when it comes to adopting CRM technology, as long as organisations have the planning and talent in place to take advantage of the programme.
But what are the specific benefits of the technology? Here are five reasons while your business needs CRM if it is to perform at the best of its capabilities.
Because a CRM system can help firms manage information about clients and customers, allowing them to keep it all in the same place and making it easier to browse, it can reduce wasted time spent attempting to collate this data.
With the levels of information companies are being asked to deal with expanding, software such as this could be crucial if firms are to avoid spending huge amounts of time and money on big data analytics.
And as marketers are put under an increasing amount of pressure to justify their work as budgets are trimmed, productivity should be at the forefront of their minds.
Reducing personnel costs
CRM is not a magic bullet for all the marketing issues facing British firms – having the right talent and expertise in place is still crucial if companies want to engage with potential and existing customers.
However, it can reduce personnel costs by automating a host of processes that would otherwise need to be done by staff. The software also has the potential to cut attrition rates by lessening the stress placed on workers – simply having information placed at their fingertips will make their role considerably easier.
Finally, because CRM spreads data among a team it ensures everyone can work on it, making it easier to introduce flexible working within a company.
Increasing sales profits
CRM is fundamentally about driving up sales through more effective data management. By allowing companies to have more knowledge about their existing customers, it enables them to develop focused, effective marketing campaigns – meaning return on investment should increase.
It allows firms to build up a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to attracting clients or encouraging them to increase their orders, thus ensuring that businesses don’t repeat the same marketing mistakes time and time again.
This, along with the cash savings CRM can offer, should see profits begin to rise for firms that integrate their software properly and ensure staff are well-trained when it comes to its use.
Cutting integration costs
This benefit is specifically linked to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which allows firms to elude one of the issues that can emerge when attempting to utilise this kind of software.
Because many companies already operate on Microsoft systems, using its CRM solution tends to be an easier, quicker and more efficient procedure than bringing in an external programme and attempting to make it work.
When it comes to training employees on how to use CRM, Microsoft’s offering can also be easier, as people who are used to the company’s software portfolio are likely to find the learning curve less steep.
Monitoring the success of campaigns
As marketing budgets are squeezed and chief marketing officers asked to provide definitive figures regarding their return on investment, having a quantifiable way of measuring a campaign’s success (or otherwise) can be vital.
CRM allows companies to track each advertising scheme they launch and assess how well it is performing, meaning under-par concepts can be easily dismissed and popular ones maintained or repeated.
Ultimately, it makes the marketing process easier to measure, producing hard data and figures that can be used to support a particular campaign.
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