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Data qualityProductivityProspecting

This post was written by Efficyers

If you still don’t think your company needs a CRM software, see how you could gain from a CRM implementation in terms of efficiency and revenue

Many companies still think that a CRM system is not useful for them.

Why Do Some Companies Not See the Need for a CRM?

Often what we hear is that: “CRM systems are for Very Large Enterprises. It takes a long time to set up. It will slow down my business. It is too expensive for my SME. We can manage fine with Excel, …”.

Yet this is not the case; CRM solutions are overwhelmingly becoming more accessible and simplified.

Moreover, in many companies, CRM software has become the cornerstone of the company (e.g. Impulse Brussels), and a real competitive advantage…

Often a company without a CRM system reaches a peak… or even declines! Unwittingly, companies without CRM systems are slowly and surely losing out to their competitors and losing customers without realising it…

Why Do They Actually Need a CRM?

The reasons are often indirect. For example, your customers leave you, without any notice, due to problems with the quality of service,responsiveness, attentiveness, lack of personalised offers… or simply because you do not contact them regularly. Also, your sales and marketing people waste a lot of time managing their files and priorities or doing administrative or low added value work.

You are always retaliating against your competitors and your market because you are only able to manage from day to day—flying by the seat of your pants, in other words. You waste a lot of time on manual tasks (reporting, data retrieval, etc.), and few things are automated enough to allow you to get away from everyday tasks;
you are not able to put your business on autopilot; you still have to supervise or be there to confirm things.

You waste a lot of time and efficiency on handling multiple files with contact details, sales forecasts, prospective customers, etc. that are outdated and all over the place. You keep receiving avalanches of emails with the same questions asked 100 times;

You lose a sales and marketing person from your team and it takes weeks for their replacement to take charge of the area and the files.

In the end, your business reaches a plateau; you have made every effort, but you do not manage to grow your business—or worse, your turnover declines from year to year.

Don’t worry, you can buck the trend!

Capitalise on your most precious asset: your customer base & prospect base

The first thing is to centralise all the information relating to current and prospective customers in a single database. Your most important assets are your customers and your prospects.

They should no longer be left to “sleep” in Excel files, on smartphones, in drawers with business cards, in your ERP system, etc. On the contrary, you must turn them into active customers and increase customer revenue by communicating with them regularly through the CRM system.

You are going to increase your turnover by staying in the minds of your customers, by extending different offers, by putting a promotional policy in place, by sending out targeted offers, etc.

Likewise, you will be able to increase customer revenue by:

Up-selling, cross-selling, offering extra products, offering additional services, etc. that your sales and marketing people cannot offer for lack of time.

Automatically sending messages according to a pre-established timing (e.g. sales, new versions, etc.) or scenario (e.g. sending 5 messages a month to all new prospects, etc.).

Implementing other strategies

In this way, you can avoid hidden costs and obstacles in your business, such as:

Prospective customers who are “lost” because their contact details remain at the level of the salesperson, or who are never contacted again if they do not have an immediate need;

The loss of turnover due to not regularly contacting your customers. Creating advertising campaigns manually (instead of automating them), and the time it takes for targeting and data retrieval (prospective customers / inactive customers / active customers, etc.).

Time spent on follow-up calls to everyone in your prospect base or customer base, when you could be analysing the behaviour of warm prospects (those who clicked on a link, opened offers, etc.) and focusing your efforts on the most responsive targets.

Time spent on finding an email or a document, to be reminded that you need to make a call to a customer, etc. Your contacts unsubscribing from your newsletters, special offers, etc. due to your offers not being adapted or segmented to their needs.

Drive your business forward instead of flying by the seat of your pants

If you do not have an idea of what the month’s turnover will be until the 20th of the month then you are in great danger. Indeed, the margin for correcting your direction and achieving your objectives becomes extremely tight.

You should be capable of finding out in the first week of the month whether you have the financial means to achieve your objectives or, if this is not the case, be able to implement marketing campaigns.

Likewise, you will be capable of finding out how much your marketing activities are costing you and how much they are bringing in!

For example, if you take part in a trade fair, you will be able to record the number of prospective customers that were generated by that activity, and analyse how much turnover was subsequently generated.

And this is applicable no matter which marketing channel is used—whether it is through Google AdWords, the downloading of white papers, sponsorship forms, brand ambassadors, etc.

Finally, teamwork must be encouraged, whether it is through sharing documents, agendas, contacts, etc.

This allows you to avoid hidden costs

The 2 to 4 hours spent weekly by sales and marketing people on drawing up their sales forecasts. The stress of having to launch last minute sales and marketing campaigns or of having to justify a disparity between your forecasts at the start of the month and what has been achieved.

The responses “He isn’t here. Call back in 2 hours”/ “He’s on holiday. Can he call you back?”/“I don’t know about this. Could you explain your need to me?” when a person is unavailable;

Marketing expenditure on “ongoing” campaigns (e.g. spending €1,000/month on AdWords) without knowing exactly how much they bring in when other strategies could be much more profitable (sponsorship, social media, network of brand ambassadors, etc.).

Make your customer service a strength

More than 90% of unsatisfied customers never say as much; they content themselves with never ordering from you again…You must check your customers’ level of satisfaction—with an automatic post-purchase survey, for example—in order to ensure that they are going to use your product and that they are not going to spread negative word-of-mouth.

Likewise, you must identify dissatisfied or inactive customers in order to retain them before they decide to leave.

With a CRM system, you can make your customer’s life easier:

Through a customer extranet where the customer can key in their orders, track their after-sales service calls, etc. Through CTI that automatically displays the customer’s name during the call.

With a history of their requests so they no longer have to repeat their problem 10 times. By sending unsolicited informative messages to help them start using their product or to pre-empt technical problems, etc.

You can even offer new services

Premium technical support with guaranteed response times. Low-cost technical support via email, FAQs, etc. “On demand” technical support through tokens or a credited number of hours.

Your after-sales service technicians can also contribute to the growth of your activity by detecting business opportunities during after-sales service calls. Thanks to the CRM software, they can transfer prospective customers to sales and marketing people, and then be remunerated for deals that are closed.

You will avoid hidden costs

Customers who contact your support service 10 times through 10 different channels (email, phone call, tweet, etc.) because they have not received a response.

Customers who complain on social media because you have not been quick enough to respond.

Customers who are disappointed by your quality of service because some of your technicians miss the point due to the lack of a shared knowledge base, because they receive emails riddled with mistakes, etc.

The surprise of learning that a customer has left you or that they no longer use your product, because the warning signs of dissatisfaction have not been taken into account.

Improve your deal closing rate

On the Internet, as when selling on the phone or in person, closing a sale can come down to little things…

Some small details that will allow you to increase your business by several percentage points are:

Drawing up estimates, taking orders, etc. while away from your desk with a tablet or smartphone allows you to close more sales more quickly (e.g. at a fair, during a call, etc.).

Competitive battle cards and sales leaflets that are shared and pooled by everyone allow you to better counter your competitors. Mobile access to the catalogue, stock numbers, accounting information, etc. allow you to improve your response time.

Testing different versions of an email, web page, etc. enables you to find out which selling points, benefits, etc. have the most impact. Analysing the individual and collective performance of employees (e.g. sales of a range of products, etc.) allows you to mentor people who are in need of it and share the best practices.

Multichannel communication enables you to send messages at the right time to the right person through the right channel (email, SMS, phone call, etc.).

You will avoid hidden costs, such as:

Lost time and turnover related to prospective customers who change their mind between the moment they were contacted and the moment they sent the purchase order or who have been called by a competitor while you were editing a document, etc.;

The loss of earnings following the failure to produce a good sales leaflet at an appointment in front of competitors. Salespersons or technicians not performing as well as they could because they have not been sufficiently trained on a product or service.

How to calculate the cost of inaction?

Estimating the cost of not using a CRM system can be done quantitatively and qualitatively. Here are some elements to take into consideration as you calculate the cost of inaction:

The number of customers that you lose each year due to poor technical support, irregular communication, their moving over to the competition simply because they have been called, etc.

Method of calculating: take a sample of 10 customers you have lost and ask them their reasons for leaving.

How many prospects were not followed up by your sales and marketing people?

Method of calculating: make a list of 50 prospective customers that you found 6 months ago, and check whether they were all contacted, whether all their questions were answered and whether their need has changed in the meantime.

How much time do your sales and marketing people spend each month drawing up their sales forecasts, writing their expense reports, etc.?

Method of calculating: Ask three of your sales and marketing people what they do and how much time it takes them to do it. Compare this to the hourly cost of your employees and to the number of prospective customers that they would have been able to call instead.

The time wasted on calling prospective customers who are not interested in your offers.

Method of calculating: out of 100 calls, how many are useful or targeted?

Marketing activities that do not bring in money.

Method of calculating: out of the last 5 sales and marketing campaigns that you have implemented, do you know how many prospects were generated by these, and—above all— how much revenue was generated? If this is not the case, perhaps you used money from your budget for nothing.

How are your sales and marketing people using their sales efforts? Are they always seeing the same customers or are they hunting out new prospects?

Method of calculating: in the last two weeks, how many prospects have they called or found? How many new clients were represented in the overall turnover?

The last time that someone from your sales and marketing team left the company, how much time did you spend on training their replacement on the sector, the customer base, etc.? Was the prospect base and customer base up to date, and was the current portfolio usable?

Method of calculating: Determine the number of days wasted on inducting a new salesperson due to the unavailability of information or the time spent on looking for the right information or on updating the system.

Data quality Productivity Prospecting