By Nicole Laurier on Dec 16, 2013 10:12:00 AM
Once you have taken into account all the people and their needs, you need to have processes that successfully tie them together. Effective CRM processes link your people with the people who are your customers. Your CRM consultants can help identify the process that will do the best job of forging those links, strengthening them and preventing or repairing breaks in the chain of connections.
Software is not the process. It’s a tool to implement your CRM system. Process comes before software. A business can have a CRM process without any software at all. Those Sumerian merchants had only stylus and clay tablets, but they knew their customers. They tracked the transactions they had with their customers and adapted to better serve their customer needs.
CRM consultants can look at your current processes and suggest ways to improve them or adapt them. They can identify duplications and inefficiencies. And they can identify potential points of information capture that can be used to improve your business’s customer management.
"Processes" for Improvement in Effectiveness and Efficiencies
Reorganizing business process efficiencies and bolstering revenue are good drivers for a CRM strategy. Do you have a process in place? Many companies need help putting processes in place that ask the questions needed to grow the business. Who are our best customers? Do we have a way to identify which sales people are successful and which ones need help?
Groups of processes can be tied together to create useful systems. There needs to be a customer acquisition and attraction process. There needs to be a process for qualifying a lead and then a process for converting that lead into a customer. Following up, there needs to be a process of nurturing prospects clear through the customer life cycle. And there needs to be a process for sales opportunities and matching up with the prospect’s buying process.
Success With CRM tries to look at “the day in the life of a sale rep.” What are they trying to accomplish? Those who are good at CRM are using it every day for everything they do.
Sometimes the process of identifying the elements of the system can help the sales staff digest the system and see where they fit into the puzzle. Staff may have been performing actions without realizing where they are in the system.
Sales effectiveness can be enhanced by streamlining and standardizing sales methods. You can create a common selling process that capitalizes on best practices within the sales force. You can enable your mobile sales force to have access anywhere and anytime to useful customer information – and share what they learn with the entire company as well. It’s especially important once your business has grown so large that everybody can’t have a personal relationship. An office with six people in it can handle many things informally and with a certain amount of individuality. A department with 40 or 60 people has to have a system in place.
Marketing effectiveness can be improved by a CRM process that automatically routes hot leads to sales persons for action. Your system can nurture leads, avoid duplication and identify potential follow-ups. Your CRM system can help you track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and hone the precision of your targeting while identifying less productive approaches that should be abandoned or played down. It can aid in qualifying your leads to maximize the success of your sales team and prevent them from wasting effort on poor prospects.
An effective CRM system will improve customer support by identifying trends in calls, find defects and empower customers to get fast and responsive support. This will build customer loyalty and satisfaction.
An effective CRM implementation will integrate with your business’s Information technology processes. This leverages the potential for increased productivity from your IT tools. A good CRM solution keeps in mind the need for security that protects confidential customer information and company intellectual property.
Your business has processes. Understanding those processes will result in improvements that can automate those employee activities that cost the company valuable time and money and get in the way of employees paying attention to the customer.
A CRM system can help your business integrate sales and marketing and deploy each to support the other. If you’re good at marketing, half your sales work is done. And your sales can build marketing awareness. Formalizing with a CRM system can create consistency in how sales are handled which can make things more clear for both customers and sales people.
Dick Wooden: Bio - I'm a generational farmer turned applications designer/developer turned business management consultant in 1980'-90's. As a consultant, implementer and system support person I have focused on success of my clients. My business philosophy is around a remarkable customer experience, effective marketing and profitable sales using CRM strategy and tools. My 2 daughter's and their families live close by so my wife of 40+ years and I are able to participate in the lives of our 6 grand children. We love to travel the western US and participate in the National Park experience! There is so.... much the United States has to offer - for those who seek success.