A lot of businesses struggle when it comes to getting the best ROI from their CRM implementations. The usual complaints include phrases like
“We implemented ‘XYZ’ CRM and our Sales haven’t shot up”
“My users are spending a lot of time in manual data entry”
“Our users are still using the old methods/tools of Sales”
“I am spending a lot on CRM subscription and not sure why”
“Our CRM doesn’t seem to show exactly what’s happening”
It is exactly why we have gathered these useful tips from industry experts including CRM Search’s Karen D. Schwartz and Christopher Bucholtz from CRM Buyer. Using these, you can not only pinpoint what is going wrong in your CRM strategy but also see what can make your CRM ROI shoot up exponentially
So first let’s see why you fail in getting the optimal ROI from your CRM investment. You should ideally avoid these practices when working to maximize your CRM ROI:
1. Infighting between Sales & Marketing CRM
Industry experts agree on one thing: data is going to be the decisive factor between successful and unsuccessful businesses in 2017. Data is valuable when it is used to qualify leads for the sales department and in showing which marketing campaigns lead to closed sales.
But these insights can be missed due to the age old infighting between the marketing and sales departments. If sales and marketing don’t work together the insights from the data become useless. So the first thing to do is to get both departments in a room to map out common goals, and to discuss how to use the data to achieve their individual goals. And it is always useful to have mutual goals for both the departments to encourage them working together.
2. Acting on your Data
One of the foremost features of any CRM application is to create reports from your business data. The right CRM application can present data in an almost effortless pre-formatted report. But this analysis will do you no good if it is ignored. What should you be doing then?
Take the time to not only read the reports, but also to understand and ‘ACT’ on them when needed. If your data could speak to you in your language it would tell you one thing for sure “Act on what I’m showing you”. Most companies don’t, the ones that do succeed.
3. Building “Relationships” with Customers
CRMs are excellent tools to connect with your customers and build long-lasting relationships. The experts warn you against assuming that everything is fine and well just because you’re connecting with your customer with a CRM. Building relationships with your customers is an evolutionary process. Be aware that customers evolve and change and your business may need to evolve and adapt to their ever changing needs.
So then the question arises: what are you supposed to do in order to maximize the ROI from your CRM?
1.Choose a Cloud-Based CRM Solution
All major CRM companies offer cloud versions of their software. Why should you choose this software as a service (SaaS) model? This simply means that you no longer need to deal with things like servers, software issues, and new version upgrades.
Not only do you save expenditure on having an in house system and IT expert (which cost much more than the subscription cost) at your business but also get great efficiency on your CRM system.
2. Integrate with Applications that Provide Value
Integrating your CRM with other useful business and social applications cannot be stressed more.
Such applications can include Marketing Automation, Accounting Software, Email tools (Like Gmail) plus key social tools, which allow your company to follow people, information, and groups on social networks, and capture real-time data.
3. Allow for Mobile Integration
It is not possible to have a business without someone handling the Sales. You need to make everything accessible on mobile devices for your salespeople so they can work on the go. They can review correspondence, manage contacts, and accounts even when outside the workplace.
These integrations should also ideally work with back-office systems, social networks, and web conferencing. This makes you fully covered to tackle any Sales and customer experience challenges that you may confront.
Time and again we all read about the importance of becoming customer-centric? Is that the key to becoming successful?
Yes! Just look at Apple. Despite its size it welcomes customer criticism with humility and ‘ACTS’ on it. On the other hand the businesses that struggle are the ones that either do not listen to what the customer is trying to tell them or if they listen they fail to act on it. This is where a good CRM comes. It lets you achieve these goals quickly, efficiently and seamlessly. But this happens only when you take notice of the best practices that I have outlined earlier. Focus on them and you are sure to see your Sales pipeline overloaded with happy customers; after all this is exactly how industry experts help companies get the best ROI from their CRMs.
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