CRM (Customer Relationship Management) can serve a multitude of purposes for the enlightened organisation.
Here we will take a very brief look at just one of them – improving revenues and cross-selling.
Know your customers and their behaviours
For decades, if not centuries, companies have collected significant amounts of information about their customers.
Typically, that was often obtained unintentionally and the organisations concerned didn’t even realise the potential the available information was offering them.
CRM software changes that. It allows you to collect information, from potentially disparate sources in your company, then consolidate it in to an integrated single-customer view.
That’s important because once you have the total view of a customer you may be able to better understand their behaviours.
Understanding customer behaviours
There are three main reasons why you need to understand things such as what your customers are purchasing, when they are purchasing and where and how much they are paying. These are:
- Identifying opportunities to cross-sell. This is an established technique that allows you to formulate sales propositions, delivered directly to an individual customer, that may be particularly appealing to them based on their past commercial behaviour patterns;
- Customer retention. It’s sometimes overlooked that trying to retain and expand your existing customer base is as important as trying to acquire new ones. CRM can help you to analyse and understand customer attrition and then take the important step of stopping or reducing it;
- Improving profitability is easier if you understand and can segment your customer base into profitable sub-categories. That allows you to identify those that are profitable and concentrate your product development and sales priorities into such areas. However, it also helps you to identify segments that are less profitable and potentially to disengage from those if you cannot identify remedial actions.
Avoiding guesswork and intuition
In the past, much commercial development in the above areas was based upon guesswork combined with high-level statistics and an inherent assumption that one-size-fits-all.
Today, CRM techniques allow you to ultimately bring down your selling and product development levels to the lowest level of granularity – i.e. an individual customer.
These are powerful tools and techniques which, used appropriately, might revolutionise your sales and customer acquisition/retention.
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