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Investing in a good CRM helps businesses break deliver a memorable customer experience for existing, potential and returning customers
Customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the most crucial facets of business operations, involving the management of all communication related to your customers from the moment they exhibit interest in your brand until they convert into long-term buyers. Investing in a good CRM helps businesses break through the clutter and deliver a memorable customer experience for existing, potential, and returning customers. The term encompasses not only active customers, but also leads who are at the early stages of the sales funnel. In deploying the right CRM tools, businesses can help give prospects the extra nudge they need to make a purchase and return as loyal customers.
Regardless of size or industry, the end goal for every business owner, marketing strategist, or sales director is lead generation. CRM helps businesses stay ahead of important sales and marketing opportunities. For example, an e-commerce brand’s CRM tool can craft and automatically disseminate inbound marketing campaigns for potential customers in order to promote occasion-based items or ones in which the prospect has shown interest during a recent store visit. Using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence makes automation as easy as a click of a button, or even a voice command.
For a salesperson, successfully meeting a sales target is the culmination of small daily activities that include speaking to prospects, scheduling meetings, attending events, gathering contacts, and more. Sales teams can gain more control and higher visibility when all the daily communication and follow-ups are automated through CRM. As the sales team becomes more efficient at managing the day-to-day tasks, they can focus more on meeting yearly targets.
CRM also helps businesses identify, filter, and collate information from prospects, then draw insights on who could potentially turn into a customer. To derive such insight, the key word here is data. A good CRM tool helps sales teams prioritise their most valuable prospects and simultaneously enables marketing teams to craft the right campaign messages that help move prospects further down the sales funnel.
In an internal survey run by Zoho for Zoho CRM customers, a majority reported some 300 per cent improvement in lead conversion rates, and a 41 per cent revenue increase per sales person, after investing in CRM. CRM tools can prove to be a company’s most prized asset, as they ensure customer data is secure in the system and therefore that communication with the customer remains seamless even when the sales team has changed.
Over the years, CRM tools have evolved to offer advanced capabilities such as customer journey orchestration, no-code customization, and deep machine learning. These capabilities have been helping businesses gain actionable insights on consumer behaviour, such as the best time to call a customer or send out a sales email—when it’s most likely to get a response. Additionally, technologies such as virtual and augmented reality have forged their way into CRM systems, powering operations and re-imagining the way businesses manage leads, as well as delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Looking at the future ahead, a significant part of the next development lies in CRM platforms’ ability to integrate—or, better yet, unify—all these various pieces and act as one central system representing the beating heart of businesses, such that they’re able take the customer experience to the next level.
Hyther Nizam is the vice president of product management at Zoho.
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