Gayatri Goda

We all know the age-old adage - "Customer is King"! Over time, businesses have learned to effectively manage their relationships with customers and potential customers, giving rise to CRM systems.

Every organization uses some version of a Customer Relationship Management Tool in alignment with its processes. Arming sales, marketing, customer support, and operations with correct weapons in their arsenal is a top priority for you - and it is incredible how different departments can add valuable information to the CRM, enabling these customer-facing entities to thrive!

Technology has enabled the customer to bond with your brand through several avenues.Whether it is a review given on Facebook, to clicking personalized advertisements on websites, expecting recommended products on your eCommerce platform, or raisings issues using your mobile app - customers are reaching out to you in a wide variety of ways!

Your CRM can connect to these various data sets within your ecosystem and provide valuable insights.

Here are some scenarios which could impact how you use CRM in the organization.

1) Smarketing

Gone are the days when Sales and Marketing teams worked with a few touchpoints but were otherwise independent entities.

According to Wikipedia, Smarketing (Sales + Marketing) can lead to annual growth of up to 20% - when sales and marketing have a unified, integrated approach.

It is how we can have the convergence of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) through a process that measures, disseminates, and follows up on possible leads for your business.

Your CRM is the central repository for all things customer - past and present behavior included.

Ask your team these questions -

  • Does the CRM enable the customer to receive consistent marketing material based on his sales history?
  • Does our CRM provide a view of customer behavior towards our marketing efforts to the sales team?
  • Does our sales team have insights into the lead behavior?
  • Are we able to provide consistent service even when Sales Reps leave?
  • Does the marketing team have insights into how much of their efforts are leading to successful conversions?

2) The Omnichannel Customer Experience

When considered from a customer's standpoint, every transaction with your company should be a part of a singular experience – not a siloed, repetitive one. A seamless, smooth connection between the online and the offline worlds can be a highly satisfactory experience for your customer.

Imagine you have to book a plane ticket just a few hours before hopping on a plane. To beat the clock and make your flight, it will require a visit to the company's website, might take a few tweets, possibly a call to the airline's customer support, and a quick check-in once you are at the terminal.

When this kind of interaction happens seamlessly and online and offline channels work in sync, your needs are met quickly and painlessly (and you are not left behind at the terminal). This is the omnichannel experience – customer-focused.

Check within your org -

  • Do your customers feel that you know "them" whether they hop across channels to talk about the same thing with you?
  • When is a sales rep conversing with a customer – is he oblivious to the actual needs and requirements of the person he is talking to? Or, does he have a clear, holistic view of a customer across online channels like – website, emails, chat, phone, or offline ones such as – kiosks, in-store purchases?
  • Does your customer support know every transaction a customer has made – when they get a case to resolve?

3) Reaching your customers – the social way

The more you understand your customer, the more targeted and strategic you can be in your communications.

And today's customer is all over various social media channels.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if you were able to engage with your customers based on their interaction with your brand on social media right from your CRM? How cool if you could redirect a negative comment on Facebook about your product into a personalized customer support case right in your CRM.

And how about those paid advertisements to be remarketed to interested customers instead of others who may not have any interest?

A CRM allows you to achieve all the above – and more. More than 86% of customers want a personalized experience when they interact with you – utilize the information that the CRM provides to give them just that.

Think: bots, knowledge bases, social engagement, and so much more!

Source: Salesforce

4) Analytics Across Siloed Data Sets

The CRM is not the only tool in your arsenal - your business possibly uses various platforms internally – such as marketing tools, ERPs, warehouses, reporting, and BI and offline kiosks, amongst others.

Today's CRMs are flexible regarding the ease of integrating with all such systems - internal or external. Sometimes this could introduce a challenge with analyzing ROI - when there are disparate datasets, each with its unique customer identification system.

You could, however, learn from all this siloed data and feed information back to the CRM.

  • Need to know how the email campaigns are working – and what is the CTR?
  • Who is reaching out to customer support the most, and for what – is there a common problem that needs to be addressed?
  • Need to integrate offline data or one-off data and funnel the results back?

Your CRM will work across teams and provide analytics based on what they need to see.

Source: Salesforce

5) CRM on Mobile

What does a Sales rep need to focus on during a sales meeting? Making the sales pitch, of course! It would be detrimental to his productivity if he spent more time doing digital "paperwork" back to the CRM.

If your CRM comes with a mobile app – that syncs all notes, creates contacts and references, sets up the following meetings, and is ready to move on to handle the next sale. Even more - can he work offline - possibly during a flight - and expect everything to sync up to the central systems once he is back online.

Check with your teams:

  • Is your customer able to utilize personalized information – just for him – on the go?
  • Is your marketing team able to push relevant and exciting information to the customer based on his activities and location?
  • Is the customer able to self-serve – and push data back into the CRM?

It is powerful how a mobile app for your business can impact all the different people and roles it comes in contact with!

The concept of CRM is age-old - from most primitive ways to advanced technologies. However, if your CRM is not geared for connecting with the latest in the sales and marketing world – it is perhaps time to think of a new way to manage your customer relationships.

Helping you serve your customers more effectively means better business. At V2Force, we have a brilliant team of CRM specialists that can help you in your journey.

Gayatri Goda

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