Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software were traditionally built to walk businesses through paths of building and maintaining relation with their potential and existing customers. Through the years, CRM has become an intersecting point for different departments of a company. The goal has evolved from simply maintaining the contact to tracking the journey of different categories of clients while managing the accounting, sales, vendor, point-of-sale (POS) among other business operations.
How and to what extent your CRM system syncs with your company will determine its growth. Generally, companies either choose a CRM system which assumes the needs of your company to be identical with those of the conventional sales team or else, enterprises consider building a custom CRM system. However, both these options can be canceled out to track down the CRM system which will exactly fulfill your needs.
How do you choose the perfect CRM system for your company? Here are four stages to reach a CRM system which will customize the features according to your needs and build a platform to nurture your brand.
Stage 1: Know Thyself- Define Your Sales Plan
The prerequisite to selecting a CRM is to know the way in which you wish to approach your customers. That is, you need to track how you will move your customers from discovering you to purchasing from you. This is called a sales funnel.
Earlier, the steps were condensed and the sales team would go for the kill (close-of-the-sale) directly. But today, there is an elaborate process of convincing the potential buyer not only of the product’s quality but of how they would be treated as member of the brand community. Each step you take towards convincing the potential is called micro-conversion. These could include sending across a client-specific sales mail or downloading of case study.
By keeping an eye on your sales plan, you will be able to identify and categorize the customers according to the probability of their conversion into purchaser. This would permit you to apply different strategies corresponding to the categories.
Stage 2: Customer Retention Plan
Generally, CRM is only considered significant for building new customer relationships. However, retaining the existent clients is the only source of bringing in new customers from a wide network and of cementing the company’s credibility in the industry. For this reason, it is necessary to employ your CRM system for retaining previous customers. What kind of CRM system can help you in this retention? One that not only focuses on the sale, but integrates the members of other departmental teams to follow up on the sale and keep the customer satisfied through consistent check-up and feedback.
So, when you are choosing a CRM system, you have to make sure that it has functional layout for each of the department’s participation in customer relationship.
Stage 3: Sync Sales Plan with Buyer’s State-of-Mind
How do you decide which sales strategies to apply on a specific customer? Is an email enough or should it turn into a call? This can be answered when your sales plan is in tune with your potential client’s expectations and behavior.
The win/loss analysis is one of the famous ways of gaining insight on what you need to do to amplify the revenue and nourish the business. How can you bring the sales process in line with the customer behavior?
- Customer engagement is primary. Make sure you are in constant touch with the customer to recognize their views about buying the product;
- Work with your marketing team to pick up signs on when the customer signals towards a potential purchase;
- Follow up on such signals by categorizing the visitor as potential customer and carrying them forward to the next stage of customer journey; and
- The most important step is to have a set of sales strategies connected to each step of the customer journey. This way, you will have a uniform pattern at hand.
Stage 4: Mapping the Required Features
The first step towards jotting down the features is to remember that the motive is to build and develop interaction with the customers. All the features have to cater to this singular need. Select a CRM system which focuses on assisting the team in selling more efficiently to both the new and pre-existent clients.
Here are five major features which must inhabit your CRM system:
- Contact Management
Interacting with potential customers and developing such interactions into long-term relationships are the building blocks for any sales plan. Today, in companies, there are different types of contacts and their sources. The CRM system must be able to categorize and track the development of relation with each of the clients.
- Deal Tracking
Apart from managing the contact through categorization, the CRM system must be able to have a structure solely dedicated to tracking the deals underway. By keeping an eye on the deals, you can predict sales and thus also positively affect the sales pipeline.
- Sales Team Collaboration
Managing the sales plans of an entire team is a tedious task. The CRM system you choose must be able to give you a dashboard-view for each of the sales pipelines.
Business management has slowly moved towards creating a holistic approach to dealing with customers. For this reason, any CRM system that claims to be effective would have to make its data accessible to the other departmental teams so that it could be used for customer care.
- Interaction Management
Throughout the customer journey, there are series of interactions between the clients and company, via different sources. These generally include telephonic, mail, online feedback/reviews and others. It is significant to record such interactions for tracking the life of a customer with the company and secondarily, for training purposes. Thus, select the CRM which has unlimited storage capacity.
When you choose a CRM, remember that it is not the quantity of features but which features cater to your company that matter. Once you have a clear grasp of the first three stages, choosing features will be a simple task! With an efficient CRM system, you can strengthen your sales team and pump up your revenue exponentially.
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