If you’ve recently picked up a business development book, kept up with marketing / start up blogs or even sat half-way through an information systems 101 university lecture, chances are you’re probably familiar with the term “CRM.”
The CRM, short for Customer Relations Management, is essentially a tool that’s used to manage and streamline your interactions with your customers. At its most basic, it does this by offering a uniquely arranged set of organised data that you can refer back to when needed.
So, what are the implications of not having a CRM in place?
Well, let us start off by saying we understand where you are coming from. A CRM is an entirely new system, meaning it’s unventured territory for you and your employee. And everyone knows how much of a pain learning curves can be. Especially on a corporate level.
And then there’s also the ROI factor. Sure you’ve read about it helping all these other startups and businesses, but all these startups aren’t your business. Right ? How much of a good fit will it be to begin with ?
So, that’s why we’re writing this blog.
It’s purpose is to put a much needed twist to the benefits of having a CRM and show you what happens when you don’t.
And to ensure these points are as factual as possible, we’ll be quoting key stats that we believe fit into the equation.
Let’s see what makes having a CRM worth it.
Let’s get into The Pitfalls of Not Having a CRM.
#1 : No CRM = A Disorganised System
Saying that having no CRM means having a disorganised system is a pretty harsh allegation, but to some extent, it’s true.
Customer data needs to be stored somewhere, somehow.
That’s a no brainer.
If a customer calls in, you’ll take their details to follow up. When an old time client comes by the office and you’ll need to rely on more than just muscle memory to help them out, or get them signing, maybe another deal off too.
Now, when you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, it’ll be more than just you using and looking for an email thread to reach out to those rusty dormant deals that you only just missed. Your team will need autonomy and they’ll need data.
The type of data will vary, but the inevitable fact would be that they’ll need it. And when they do, chances are they won’t be too happy having to look through rows and columns of numbers to find the right one.
That’s where a CRM will help.
As hinted earlier, having no CRM, won’t necessarily mean you’ll be swimming in a pool of unbridled, unstructured numbers and strings, but it will mean your systems can be a whole lot cleaner and processes a whole lot clearer.
So here’s why and how we think having a CRM will help you chlorinate your business’s information systems.
(Sea what we did there?)
So, What Makes a CRM so Organised ?
To answer this question, we’ll look at two crucial types of data records :
Individual Data and Mass Data Capabilities.
A CRM lets you keep all your clients’ contact information, complicated requirements, past and future activities and even side notes about your clients all in one place under a single, intuitive view.
The “data structures” adopted here can be customized as you need and are designed to enable flexibility when it comes to using the data :
Permissions, collaborations, automations and third party integrations are all features that become an option as a result of this structure, and, as we’ll see shortly, are all top contenders for the “Fear Of Missing Out” (or FOMO) of not having a CRM.
Mass Data Capabilities :
Besides individual client data, a CRM gives you a massive data bank of past, present and future contacts (or leads you might want to reach out to).
And these too, with advanced configured assessments of those contacts, so you won’t have to go through them one at a time to recall which ones you wanted to reach out to. Your Deals Modules and Record Tags will sort that out for you !
How might this help your business ?
Direct Actionable Process Flows
Without a CRM, businesses fall into the trap of having to go out and look for leads to reach out to. Especially when dealing with B2B clients. And, as mentioned earlier, the CRM specialises in organising your data, so whenever a lead comes through, be it through a call or someone you might’ve met at a networking event, it’s just a few clicks on your phone even and the client data is automatically stored in the database.
A CRM allows you to cater all of the unique process flows of your clients at a large volume, which saves you both time and effort in sorting out the information and instead gives you more time to actually put it to good use.
It lets you have a Direct Actionable Process Flow.
Get the calls out and leave the organising to your CRM.
Improves Customer Service Reliability
Another interesting finding we came across was the report of a survey conducted by Forrester Research back in 2016. This report outlines a few key statistics we found to be quite relevant to the point we want to make here :
Among the other interesting points found, the 74% rise in customer satisfaction is what we want to focus on. Customer satisfaction is key, particularly for those industries such as manufacturing having to navigate their way through the current frosty global trade relations.
The significance of having your Customer relations data stored in an intuitive system like the CRM is reflected when you try and maintain customer service standards throughout a team of sales and marketing staff.
This is because the system’s innate features enable a clearer communication between team members regarding clients and contacts, provides a personalised customer experience for clients and gives your team a detailed history for each record, in case those old time clients swing by.
So, the first thing you’ll be missing out on when choosing the more primitive means of data collection is an organised and collaborative system that can directly impact your customer service and overall company efficiency, so basically two major players in how your company is viewed.
#2 : No CRM = More Manual Labour !
One of the biggest plus points of a CRM is its mass automating capabilities.
Generally, moving into a tech savvy, modern solution for your business means receiving a better, tech savvy modern solution to store and automate your data. And what’s more tech savvy than sales automations?
Just to give you a background, we found an interesting article offering an even more interesting notion :
As much as that title reminded us of a classic 90’s Arnold Schwarzenegger film, it does bear some truth.
As technology becomes more and more advanced, so do businesses with the need for a system that allows more native and functional complexity than the generic excel sheets. The need to streamline costs, personalise services and seek out constant improvement in business processes becomes a second nature.
This is where a CRM comes in. It gives your business the necessary tools, to potentially cut costs while still improving service quality and one of the main ways it does this is, by cutting the amount of manual input involved.
Just to give you a run down on of the CRM’s tenacity in automation, here’s a list of relevant features our favourite CRM offers :
The Set Up of Custom Workflows.
Webhooks Configuration Options.
Assignment Rules & Customizable Accessibility Options.
Scoring, Escalations, and Stage-Based Rules.
Automated Schedules and Actions.
A variety of Marketing Automations like Lead Nurturing and Card Scanners.
So, for this pitfall, having no CRM means no sales automation and that means missing out on a bunch of cool automation tools and workflows ; you’re basically choosing to get out of a direct leeway into an improved sales process and enhanced infrastructures for your data management and records.
#3 : Without a CRM, Your Team Will be Working With One Hand Behind Their Back.
Insights, reports and smart data manipulation.
When you think of implementing newer technologies in your business, an integral part of that decision will be the computerised, analytical side of things. How much easier does the data extrapolation become ?
And that’s where these reports come into play.
A modern CRM doesn’t just keep your data all in one place. It lets you keep track of the data too.
From finding out how the quality of leads your sales reps are bringing in to how well your current business processes are working, a CRM will give you a detailed account of what your data means.
This extends to more than just the Sales sides of things ; Your Marketing, Customer Service and Business Development sectors are all lined up to benefit from a CRM tool.
Main Measure of Customer Focused Data
Examples of CRM Reports
So, here are a few examples of the types of reports a CRM can get you (and what you might be missing out on if you say no) :
Sales : Lead Generation Numbers & Deal Conversion Rates.
Possibly the most obvious set of metrics used to determine the effectiveness of sales strategies and outreach programs. And for good reason too. They work.
And with a CRM, they’re generated just as well.
Marketing : Survey Tools (A/B Testing, etc.), Campaign Reports, Social Media Integrations and Insights.
The only way to get the most out of your marketing campaigns is to understand the effect it has on your target audience. And with a CRM this is made so much easier.
From facilitating the full extent of the marketing plan to getting a comprehensive return of data from it, the marketing capabilities through a CRM are boundless, to a practical extent of course.
Customer Support : Degrees of Customer Feedback, Custom Client View Reports.
Once the product is sold and marketed, it’s important for customers to feel a sense of belonging and loyalty to your brand and business.
Modern CRMs enable this by being capable of providing reports and insights into key factors that determine customer success and retention, which can further cast a light into the effectiveness of other business strategies being implemented including sales, marketing and customer service techniques.
Business Development : Customer Smart Analysis and Real Time Performance Tracking
Intelligent Insights that pick out overlooked client information and bring to surface the parts of your business that you should be focusing on are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to utilising a CRM’s capabilities of data exploration and analysis.
So, as you can imagine, opting out of a CRM here would really just take you backwards a step into a more primitive solution, while the world moves towards a system that enables smarter decision making and drastically improved implementation times.
And that’s not fair play. Is it?
Wrapping Up (tl;dr)
So, to wrap this guide / CRM glorifying blog up, we’d say that without a CRM :
- One, you’re looking at an ocean of data that’s extremely easy to lose track of.
- Two you’re missing out on making your life easier by utilising the modern day CRM’s automation capabilities.
- And Three, you’re saying no to quicker and more efficient insights into how your business is performing, both with numbers and with clients.