Sales planning, quota and territory management, forecasting, and incentive compensation
Depending on the vendor, software can support sales planning, quota and territory management, forecasting, and incentive compensation. With these additional capabilities, less high-value deals go unnoticed, and you get a full picture of what deals are going to close and who on the sales team will meet quota. Knowing projected sales will help you plan marketing campaigns and manage resources spread out among different sales territories more effectively. You can see what efforts you’ve put in, if those efforts produced a return, and where or if you should reallocate your resources.
Data and its importance in CRM
The most important part of any software solution is the data that’s put into it. The basis for a successful customer relationship strategy hinges on what you know about your customers and how effectively you use that information.
Bad CRM data can come from several places, including:
- Fraudulently entered data, for example, customers who enter "Mickey Mouse" or key in a fake phone number to try and get a customer perk or avoid having to register their purchase
- Keystroke errors when entering data
- Duplicate customer information due to a slight misspelling or from the fact that different people can enter information about an account
- The natural moves and changes that take place in business every year: people leave jobs, people get promoted, companies are bought out
No matter the source, the effects of having bad data can snowball and quickly degrade the economic value of your CRM. The cost alone of having to go in and clean up invalid or incorrect customer records can be substantial, along with the concomitant costs of human intervention as a result of invalid or incorrect customer records.
Your customers’ voice is contained in your data, and it forms the basis for strategic planning, sales growth, service quality, and more. Keeping your customer data accurate and complete maintains its economic value today and in the future.
Using CRM to manage subscriptions and renewals
If you’re looking to support recurring billing and subscription management, you need a CRM solution that can automate the majority of the subscription and renewal management process. This could include automatically sending out renewal notifications to those customers with soon-to-be-expired contracts or instead sending out reminders to the sales team to prompt them to reach out to their customers in a timely manner about renewals.
Artificial Intelligence in CRM
When it comes to technology capabilities, the best CRM systems offer robust analytics coupled with AI and machine learning. AI is the future of CRM, not only tell you what has happened in the past but also guiding users toward the next best actions and product configurations—specific to each customer opportunity. AI also delivers timely customer intelligence that helps you optimize your brand experience across marketing, sales, and service. Finally, a good solution should also offer usage analytics that provides a 360-degree view into how teams use the tools.