CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MARKETING
CRM… Who needs it!
Highly successful companies recognize that Sales and Marketing must be tied together and work in tandem along company aligned goals and objectives. One of the tools used to maintain alignment and measure the success of sales and marketing efforts is something called CRM. But what is CRM and does a metal stamping company need it?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process, normally software based, used by a company to track and organize the various contacts (people and touch points), accounts, leads, actions and interactions related to the same. People, tasks, phone calls, emails, opportunities, campaigns, follow up issues and more are all captured in one place. But why is keeping track of all this information so important to the sales process, and potentially to your organization overall?
First, information has real, actionable value. Just ask Martha Stewart! Remember the little tidbit of inside information she used to trade a few shares of stock? Information, no matter how insignificant, has value. CRM records, classifies, and organizes all the little tidbits of information collected at the various customer touch points into one comprehensive view. To maximize CRM effectiveness, the approach must be holistic – everyone must be on board the CRM train collecting tidbits!
Second, we live in an age where information is collected at staggering rates. 1.8 zettabytes of data was collected in 2011 alone. A zettabyte is 10 to the 21st power by the way. We are bombarded by more and more information, and it is coming at us faster and faster every day! Without a way to record, organize and make the information that comes to us actionable, the value of the information is lost; we forget, we don’t act, we react late, or simply do not recognize an opportunity because it is tied to earlier unrecorded information. Customer related information from across your entire enterprise, fed into and organized by CRM software can be really powerful stuff!
Third, CRM systems increase the efficiency of the sales process by organizing tasks and customer contact frequency, improve internal and external communication, and serves as a link between the customer and operational areas of your business. CRM decreases the cost to acquire, retain and serve customers and increases revenue through higher sales close rates due to closer follow up. What’s not to love about that!
So there you have three quick reasons why a CRM system is becoming necessary in today’s highly competitive business environment. The key is finding a CRM tool that integrates with your existing systems, is easy to use, and makes everyone’s job easier!