Signs that you need a customer relationship management (CRM) system
So why do you need a CRM? As with most cloud software purchases, CRM software solves a problem. Sales are slipping. Customers are leaving. Growth is stagnating. By intelligently storing and managing your customers’ data, a CRM system increases lead volume, helping your marketing team find new customers faster. It supports your sales teams in closing more deals faster. It also enhances customer service. For example, by adding customer intelligence to your customer service software, contact center agents become more productive and efficient.
To get more specific, here are eight signs that it’s time to invest in CRM software.
1. Sales is a struggle.
At some point, all companies need to enter new markets or introduce new products. But if you are struggling to keep up with the business you are generating now, you might need to invest in an integrated CRM solution. A customer relationship management system can sort, analyze, and prioritize your sales leads so that your sales team can focus on opportunities that are likely to close and provide accurate answers to customers—quickly and efficiently—and your customer service team has the information they need for upselling and cross-selling.
2. Customer profiles are difficult to build.
If you cannot locate all your customer data points, all you can do is guess when it comes time to build your ideal customer’s profile. Not only that, you will have no visibility into your sales team’s activities. To find out this information, you will have to hold status meetings, which will take your salespeople out of the field and exacerbate the issue. For more information on understanding an ideal customer profile, check out this blog.
3. Customer service is not good.
Is your customer retention rate slipping? Do you have an abysmal net promoter score (NPS)? Are contact center handle times in the stratosphere? What is your average first response time? If your customer service reps are reacting to customer issues and not proactively working with customers, it’s time to invest in a service CRM system—one that can not only provide a unified view of your customer so that reps have the tools they need to provide spectacular service, but also provides:
- Digital assistants/chatbots to handle low-urgency, high-volume questions and route cases to the right agents
- Knowledge management tools to help agents answer questions and can be used for customer self-service assistance
- A variety of digital customer service tools including live chat, video chat, telephony, and cobrowse functionality that allows customers to interact with your customer service team how and when they want
4. Marketing and Sales departments aren't collaborating.
Since a good CRM can hold all types of information, it can be the rallying point for different departments in your company. A lack of inter-departmental cooperation is the source of many customer pain points. They’re forced to repeat themselves. Promises made to customers slip through the cracks. No one seems to know the customer’s history. Without smooth cooperation between all teams, customers will leave. Coordinating sales, customer service, marketing, and even some back-office roles (such as billing, inventory, or logistics) is a tricky affair. But if all the components of a CRM share a common data model, all employees can access, use, and add data. Then your staff can work collaboratively and share insights, leads, issues, and purchase history. When information is shared across teams, productivity and efficiency skyrocket, data silos disappear, and your entire company appears as one cohesive unit to the customer.
5. High-value accounts are unknown.
You don’t want your best customers to feel unappreciated, but that is hard if you don’t know who those customers are. A customer relationship management (CRM) system can identify them so that any customer-facing employee can acknowledge them, provide the right incentives, and nurture them to increase customer loyalty.
6. Contacts within an account cannot be identified.
CRM solutions can help keep track of contacts within a business, to allow both sales and marketing teams to personalize communication. Good CRM solutions can supplement their account and contact data through third-party data sources so that all information is complete and up to date. So, if a contact has moved to a new job, your sales, service, and marketing teams know about it, allowing them to maintain and rebuild these important relationships.
8. Forecasting and reporting is difficult.
If reports are still produced by downloading data into spreadsheets, they are taking way too much time to create and are probably inaccurate. Inaccurate reports lead to faulty planning and forecasting. While time-consuming administrative tasks keep your sales team from doing what they should be doing—selling. A good CRM system keeps data in one centrally located, easily accessible place, making accurate, real-time reporting and forecasting a standard.