Customer Experience News & Trends

CRM: 3 under-the-radar sales and marketing benefits

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are playing an ever-increasing role in improving the customer experience. Still, some companies are reluctant to adopt this new technology. The biggest reason? They don’t see enough of a payoff in it. But the reality is: They’re missing something.

Most companies do acknowledge the fact that CRM adoption can help improve customer loyalty. After all, it provides a window into how customers are interacting with a company and what sparks the best response from them. That, in turn, helps businesses create personalized messages for customers that continues the conversation and strengthens the business relationship.

But some companies mistakenly believe that’s where the benefits of implementing a CRM system stop.

Three benefits of CRM adoption that are flying under the radar:

1. Helps Marketing improve lead generation efforts

It’s a fairly common scenario: Marketing generates a bunch of leads and then passes them along to Sales. And from there, Marketing’s attitude becomes, “Well, they’re out of our hands now.”

This can happen in a lot of companies that don’t have CRM systems in place. Marketing will throw leads over the sales wall — never to hear from them again. Marketing then figures, as long as it’s generating leads, it’s doing a good job.

The problem with that is not all leads are created equal. Leads from one source may convert at a much higher rate than leads from another. And if Marketing’s not tracking which lead sources are working to generate actual customers and which aren’t, it’s throwing good money after bad.

Example: There may be a channel that’s producing a lot of leads, but none of them are converting into customers when they get over the sales wall. And Marketing would never know it’s wasting money investing in that channel because all it sees is that the channel’s a lead producer.

But if those leads were in a CRM system, Marketing could see those leads are worthless and decide to invest its resources in a more profitable channel.

2. Keeps Sales accountable, up to speed

The other problem with simply throwing leads over the sales wall and failing to add them to a CRM system: There’s no effective way to track how quickly Sales follows up with them.

Of course, you all know that the sooner Sales follows up with a lead, the more likely it is that lead will convert to a customer.

And if CRM is involved, Marketing and upper management will know if Sales is acting quickly enough.

Sales, too, can benefit from CRM adoption.

For example: A CRM system will help salespeople target the ideal time to follow up with leads — and let them know whether it changes — as well as target the ideal way to follow up (i.e., via email, phone, etc.).

3. Increases word-of-mouth

When you have a CRM system that tracks what customers are doing on your website, what they’ve purchased, which salespeople they’ve dealt with and what marketing materials they’ve received, you can create extremely personalized communications.

And recent research found more than a third of customers said they crave that level of personalization, but they’re not getting it because the companies they’ve dealt with fail to keep track of their interaction history.

In addition to increasing personalization, a CRM system will put a bevy of information in front of customer service representatives that will help them streamline problem solving processes.

That combination of personalization and streamlined customer service creates a unique customer experience people will talk about.

And what follows will be a boost in word-of-mouth, referrals and online buzz.

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