3 simple words that are becoming increasingly important for any business.

Customer Relationship Management or popularly known as CRM is becoming increasingly important for any business to succeed. It is well known and used for managing your sales lifecycle through a staged process. In this blog post, we shall understand how CRM works and how it is beneficial to your business.

What does CRM actually do?

In layman terms, it’s a central database or repository where you store customer information such as names, phone numbers, email IDs, business name and so on. The reason we need such a central database is because this level of information can be used for efficient interaction with the customer.

Obviously, every business has a sales process all the way from identifying a prospect to a paying customer and CRM helps you streamline those process so that every single sales representative within your organisation operates like sales machine.

The advantages of using a CRM being, effective communication with your customers, efficient collaboration among your sales teams and more importantly improves productivity which directly impacts your profitability.

Is our business ready to use CRM?

I would be surprised to hear any business say we are perfect and not ready to adopt cutting edge technologies to improves our sales life cycle. Any business whether small or large requires a CRM to identify and close sales opportunities. From Pre-sales, sales, marketing and business development, CRM provides everyone an opportunity to manage their communication with their customers and more importantly internal/external stakeholders.

A customisable dashboard provides a bird eye view of sales pipeline for a particular function, product and/or service and at which is your customer in the various stages of sales lifecycle. CRM is helping many organisations to drive growth by simplifying the customer interaction.

How can CRM help in my organisation?

Although the business process may vary from size or type of business but the general workflow remains the same for any business all the way from finding a prospect to closing a deal. It helps you reduce cost by simplifying repetitive tasks such as sending emails, logging phone conversations and sharing marketing content at various stages of sales life cycle.

Today, most of the sales reps in the small businesses either use a physical notebook or some note taking app on their mobile phones to log their customer interactions leading to an impromptu experience. Details can be lost, follow ups can be missed and guesswork overtakes prioritisation resulting in poor sales performance.

But how do I implement CRM in our organisation?

CRM, from a sales perspective should be inline with your organisation’s sales process. Generally, in small business it is very likely that your organisation may not have a sales process and CRM becomes your go to tool to define one in the first place. There are so many cloud based CRM’s out there which can serve the purpose but you need to choose wisely as the tool needs to be “easy to use”. Well, I am going to write a separate post on how you should choose a CRM for your organisation.

Let’s start by defining your typical sales process i.e. what are those stages that your customer has to go through to be able to sign the contract.

Stage 1 – Backlog: You collect contact information of your prospects and log them in the contacts/deals section of the CRM.

Stage 2 – Contact established: You open the communication channel with your prospect and ensure you have identified the right contact.

Stage 3 – First pitch: You make your first pitch about your product/service to your prospect and understand if there is a need.

Stage 4 – Qualification: This should be a very important step in your sales process where you identify if the prospect is interested in your product/service, has the money to spend and more importantly you now have the access to decision maker

Stage 5 – Technical Deep Dive: This is an optional step where you evaluate if your product/service is a straight fit or requires customisation

Stage 6 – Submit proposal: Most of the businesses submit proposals before they even establish communication with their prospects, the best and most effective way to win deals is to qualify and then submit your best offer

Stage 7 – Commercial negotiation: This is all about your negotiating skills and reach a conclusive number with your prospect

Stage 8 – Won/Lost a deal: This is final step in the process where you either closed a deal or lost it due to various dependencies.

A simple, easy to use CRM like OneDigiFlow covers these simple stages but any CRM should have the capability to customise the process which suit their business.

What are the benefits of using a CRM?

  1. Gain visibility into your sales forecast, otherwise you will never be able to compare your sales performance month on month.
  2. Improves your probability of closing more deals. Every time a business has implemented CRM, they have seen massive growth in lead conversions, sales productivity, customer satisfaction and more importantly smart decision making.
  3. Helps you organise and standardise your sales teams by managing prospects, accurate categorisation and defining percentages on leads which you think can close faster than usual.
  4. As the data is visible to the whole sales force, collaboration amongst sales teams improves probability of identifying cross selling and up selling opportunities
  5. On the go CRM can help you communicate with your customer any time of the day or night and immediately logging the interact so that you don’t miss the next follow up action

Lastly, why cloud based CRMs?

  1. On demand access, any device, any browser, any time.
  2. Simple and easy to use interface doesn’t require any special skillset
  3. Usually most CRMs follow per user per month subscription model which is cost effective and can easily setup budgets
  4. No need to maintain infrastructure and it’s updates

In summary, if you are looking to boost your sales and drive growth in your business then you should start leveraging CRM and ensure every single sales rep in your organisation uses it. OneDigiFlow can help you get started quickly with it’s simple and easy to use interface and affordable subscription plans.