When we say that implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can be life-changing, you might think we’re being dramatic.
But you know what? We’re sticking to our guns!
With the right CRM system, your team can become:
- More efficient
- More profitable
- Happier in their jobs (seriously)
We’ll show you the stats to prove it, and we’ll even give you tips on how to make it work for your business.
What are the benefits of CRM for your business? Read on to find out.
1. Benefits of CRM for your data
As you probably already know, a CRM brings together all of your existing customer management processes into a central system.
- Lead generation and marketing, for example through social ads
- Direct outreach to new leads, including calling and SMS
- Lead nurturing campaigns
- Sales pipeline management
- Conversion tracking and renewals
- Analytics and forecasting
As well as being way less hassle to navigate – seriously, who doesn’t get sick of juggling spreadsheets just to update one lead’s information? – this also has huge benefits for your data.
Firstly, it’s all in one place, which means when you’re pulling together reports, they’re much less likely to be missing key data points.
And secondly, teams only have to access one system, so they’ll be up-to-date with recent activity.
In fact, a whopping 74% of CRM users say that CRM software has improved their access to customer data.
This is better for your team because they don’t have to hunt through a dozen documents to find the information they need; it’s better for your customers, because you’re less likely to lose track of them, and it’s better for you because you’ll get a more accurate view of your business.
How to do it
Now, we know what you’re thinking – it’s great to have your data all in one place, but getting it there is going to be a pain in the arse.
So… much… data entry…
Okay, now who’s being a drama queen?
Any good off-the-shelf CRM system will allow you to import your data from wherever you’re currently keeping it, with many boasting one-click data transfers.
Take Zoho One – you can upload .XLS, .XLSX, .VCF or .CSV files containing your lead data directly to the CRM. No fiddly copy and pasting or (shudder!) typing.
With Zoho, you can even upload your notes on the leads you import so none of that juicy qualitative knowledge is lost.
That’s just for off-the-shelf solutions – if you work with a really great custom software developer…
… then the secure transfer of your data will be incorporated into your bespoke CRM implementation plan from the outset. It’ll all be managed by your development team, taking a stressful task off your hands and putting it in the hands of experts. That sounds way better to us.
2. Less time (and money) spent on boring tasks
Hey, let’s play a game.
You have to guess what proportion of daily sales tasks can be automated with a good CRM. Hint: it’s higher than you think.
Okay, are you ready?
A whopping one-third of all sales tasks can be automated, according to McKinsey.
We know. It’s nuts.
But don’t panic and start Googling “robot replacements for my sales team” just yet.
This isn’t a sign that you need to fire all your salespeople. On the contrary, it’s a sign that your sales team has been stuck doing repetitive admin tasks when they could have been doing revenue-generating tasks all this time.
Here are examples of automation that could occur at the very top of the sales value chain.
|Sales value chain||Example tasks||Percentage of tasks that are highly automatable|
|1. Sales strategy and planning||Forecasting|
|2. Lead identification and qualification||Pipeline management|
Action plans for customers
|3. Configuration, pricing, and quotation||Quota setting|
Configuring technical solutionsNegotiationContracting
With sales force automation taking boring tasks off your team’s hands, their mood and their productivity will get a serious boost – which in turn will lower your overhead. A win-win!
How to do it
There are a tonne of sales force automation examples out there, which include (but are by no means limited to)
- Lead capture from web forms
- Contact centre technology, in other words, directing incoming calls to the right people
- Lead distribution
We’d happily spend hours telling you about all of them, but for now let’s look at one example: lead qualification.
Instead of using guesswork or manually scoring leads, a good CRM will give you the option to automate this process. This has knock-on positive effects on your sales pipeline and conversions.
Take Hubspot. This off-the-shelf CRM offers a predictive lead qualification feature that allows you to combine your specific criteria for lead scoring with Hubspot’s machine learning features.
This feature allows you to determine the positive and negative attributes that help judge a lead’s closeness to a deal. The types of positive indicators you could use will vary between businesses and industries, but examples include
- Social interactions – have they engaged with any of your social posts lately?
- The annual revenue of the lead’s company – are they likely to be able to afford your product or service?
- Whether they’ve bought from you before
- How recently they’ve bought your service or product if so
Having lead scoring visible at-a-glance activates your sales team, who can quickly tell which leads require immediate action and go hunting.
Less time spent twiddling thumbs, more time spent selling and nurturing. It’s a no-brainer.
3. Fewer silly mistakes
The natural knock-on effect of pulling all your data into one system, especially when you automate the processes within that system, is that there’s less room for error.
Think about where a lot of human errors come from: repetitive tasks that involve a lot of copy-pasting or switching your brain to autopilot.
Automating these tasks with a CRM not only saves time but reduces these kinds of silly mistakes.
Here are some of our favourite examples of the errors you can avoid with a CRM:
|CRM feature||Mistakes avoided|
|Centralised data||No data missed from copying cells from one spreadsheet to another|
|Contact management||Calling a customer by the wrong name because all their information is right in front of you|
Fudging the details when covering for a colleague
|Pipeline management||Letting leads stagnate early in the pipeline|
Underestimating the number of your current leads you need to convert to meet your targets
It pays to prioritise this: studies have shown that removing human bias and errors increases companies’ satisfaction with their forecasting accuracy to 76%.
How to do it
One easy place you can remove human error using your CRM is by implementing email templates.
Instead of asking your employees to write a hundred perfect emails, you just need to write the perfect email for each situation once, making sure to fill in the customisable fields that will personalise the messaging.
Not only can you use this feature for fixed events, like birthdays and renewals, but dynamic ones.
With automated drip marketing, you can set different customer actions as triggers for a certain set of marketing activities, for instance downloading free resources from your website.
We’ll get into drip marketing more later but for now, here’s a quick example from Amazon: to reactivate inactive users, they send out automated emails prompting users to resell their old products.
4. No customer left behind
Funny how the benefits of CRM implementation snowball, isn’t it?
By processing your data through a central system, you’re cutting down the time and money your team spends on boring tasks and allowing them to focus their energies on high-value activities.
This means your team makes fewer silly mistakes, and that naturally means that fewer customers get left behind.
But this isn’t just a side-effect: any good CRM will have dedicated sales automation features to stop you from letting leads fester at the bottom of a spreadsheet ever again.
Automations that can help you do this include
- Outreach reminders
- Meeting scheduling
- Lead nurturing
- Drip marketing
Here’s an example of how you might use these features.
How to do it
One of the most basic ways of making sure that no lead goes unnoticed in your system is to create an automated workflow.
Most CRM systems offer this, but let’s have a look at Pipedrive as an example.
The really useful thing about Pipedrive’s Workflow Automation dashboard is that it offers template workflows for you to build on, and it even tells you how much time each automation will save.
For instance, creating a deal every time a new person is added to the database can save users a whole hour according to the interface.
Here’s an example of a workflow you might set up:
- A new lead is added to the CRM via a webform.
- Depending on the information they provided in the webform, the relevant member of your team receives an email notification about the new lead.
- The team member is prompted to set up a call with the new lead ASAP (the five-minute rule for lead responses is a little outdated, but time is still of the essence when keeping a lead toasty warm!)
- Calendar management automations help find an appropriate slot.
- Your sales expert takes it from here!
5. Automated lead nurturing
We’ve mentioned this briefly already, but automated lead nurturing takes one of the most time-consuming sales jobs off your hands.
Lead nurturing is basically the process of you lovingly moving your customer from “lead” to “paying client”.
You do this with “sales touches”. Sounds a little creepy, we know, but it just means emails, calls, any contact you make with the customer as you shuffle them closer to a closed deal. It’s the same principle as drip marketing.
Without a CRM, lead nurturing is cumbersome, requiring a lot of time, organisation, and – let’s face it – guesswork.
As we’ve already seen, CRMs offer increased oversight of your data and sales pipeline, and this can be helpful when building out a successful sales cadence and lead nurturing process.
Studies have found that targeting users with content relevant to their position in the sales funnel yields 73% higher conversion rates.
How to do it
If we go back to the trusty Zoho CRM, you can manage drip marketing campaigns pretty easily from your campaigns dashboard.
You can set up any number of nurturing campaigns, for example
- Welcome and onboarding
An example of a lead nurturing campaign that can be triggered by a specific action is an abandoned cart email. If you’re an ecommerce platform, you can use lead nurturing tools like Zoho One to ask users if they want to return to items they didn’t complete the purchase on.
Here’s an example from Casper:
6. More conversions
We’ve covered a lot of the benefits of implementing a CRM system:
- Centralised data and improved reporting
- More energised salespeople
- Fewer silly mistakes
- Fewer customers left hanging for an answer
- Automated campaigns to keep your leads engaged
So far we’ve focused mainly on the way these features make life easier for you, the salesperson, but they also make the experience better for new customers.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
When you’re being managed by a CRM system, you’re not left behind, the reps you speak to are up to date with your needs and history, and you get prompts as you move along the pipeline. Best of all, you don’t even notice all this is going on behind the scenes.
It makes sense that conversions would skyrocket, right?
In fact, CRM systems have been shown to increase revenue by up to 41% per sales rep in companies where they’re implemented.
Testimonials for specific CRM systems bear this out: a New Zealand-based digital agency saw revenue growth of over 300% after switching to Zoho CRM.
Likewise, UK-based taxi company Addison Lee managed to achieve massive growth using Salesforce.
These are out-of-the-box solutions – imagine what you could do with a custom software solution that’s been built specifically to cater to your processes!
At Human Pixel, this is our speciality.
Listen, we love out-of-the-box CRM systems, and we work with them all the time. But they’re often limited in what they can do, particularly if you’re in a highly-specialised industry requiring a lot of custom features.
By working with business process improvement experts like Human Pixel, you can ensure your new CRM:
- Has all the custom features you need
- Mirrors your organisational structure
- Improves – not just mimics – your existing processes
We do this by using a business process mapping workshop to evaluate how your business is currently running.
We’ve been in the game a long time, so we know a broken process when we see one. Here are some of the warning signs:
- It’s been around since the business was much smaller.
- Not yielding the same results, but you’ve not changed it because “That’s how it’s always been done.”
- It’s causing frustration in your teams.
- You’ve thrown money at it and nothing has changed.
There’s no need to be shy about it, we’ve seen it all before.
By speaking to your teams about their frustrations and looking closely at where your sales are actually coming from, we can make recommendations for how to improve your processes and increase conversions.
This means that when we do start building, you’re not just getting a software solution, you’re getting a transformational sales tool.
Think it sounds like just hype? 9 out of 10 attendees of our workshops believe that the insights they gained will help them achieve success. Not too shabby if you ask us!
7. Better customer retention
With a fit-for-purpose CRM system, not only will new customers get the full experience, but your long-term clients will be cared for, too.
In fact, when customer experience (CX) professionals were asked which strategies they were prioritising to meet their customers’ skyrocketing expectations, they named almost all of the features we’ve already discussed. Take a look:
|Strategy||Percentage of CX professionals prioritising this strategy|
|Simplifying products and processes||45%|
|Investing in advanced analytics||34%|
|Combining disparate sources of customer information||33%|
|Developing and executing a digital transformation strategy||22%|
|Implementing an omnichannel strategy||20%|
When looking at data like this, it’s no surprise that CRM systems are known to increase customer retention by up to 27%.
This might sound like a “nice to have” feature, but it’s actually pretty essential. Did you know that increasing your customer retention by even 5% can increase your profits by up to 95%?
We’ve given you a taste of the good life with these benefits of CRM implementation, and no offence, but it’s pretty obvious what you’re going to ask next.
What we’ve outlined here is the potential of this amazing software to change your life – but to actually reap these benefits of CRM, you’ll need an expert who knows not just how to create great software, but to totally transform your business processes for the 21st century.
That’s where we come in.
At Human Pixel, we apply human creativity to software development. We’ll give you the digital tools to make more real connections with your customers and bring all of these benefits back to your team.
Reach out to us today to get started.