CRM Tip: What do you really need a CRM for?

The business world is littered with CRM solutions that are either poorly used or not used at all. Unfortunately, this occurs in large and small organisations. People will not adopt a system just because it has been implemented, they need to see an advantage for them to get on board (the WIIFM rule).

To avoid the CRM wasteland, you need a compelling reason for wanting or needing a CRM. There are many “use cases”, but let’s look at three popular ones.

Single View of Customer

A Business Valuation Expert colleague of mine says that it is one of the first questions that they ask when assessing a company – “What do you use as a CRM”? If the client doesn’t use one, then this is a major negative. Having your key customer data in a central repository rather than held in emails, individual spreadsheets and other mailing lists is a major asset for the organisation.

If you add to this integration with email, website and phone, then you are building up a comprehensive picture of all the touchpoints you make with your customers. However, it’s not all about data going in – what data you get out is also important. KPI reports are a good solution – build reports and dashboards on key success criteria and use this as your source of truth (and not random individual reports).

Workflow and Automation

Can sound scary but isn’t. Most CRMs can be quickly set up to automatically create reminder tasks, follow up phone calls, welcome emails and daily to-do lists as examples. A customer of mine uses their CRM to send a purchase order to a supplier, and a note to the finance team to create an invoice, once a customer accepts a quote. This is where a CRM can really help consistency of process, and enhance productivity in your team.

Customer Outreach

Marketing campaigning is not only the domain of large retailers. With many CRM’s you can keep in contact with your customers via newsletters, blogs, special offers and annual anniversaries just to name a few. Customers can be segmented so that they don’t all receive the same things, and reports are automatically generated to understand the effectiveness of the campaign.

In summary, I don’t want to put you off starting off on your CRM journey, because the benefits to your company will be massive. However, my advice is that you need to find that compelling reason or use case for going down the CRM route. This will make the transition and adoption so much easier!