If you run a start-up, you probably know that the difference between survival and failure lies somewhere in the balance sheets — in other words, how well your company can generate revenue.
Traditionally, unless you run a business where the value of your services thrives with a more active, larger user base (think Twitter or Facebook), the need to stack up more revenue should always trump accelerated user growth. The same is especially true in today’s unforgiving financing climate, where pitching MVPs to investors to generate funds without revenue can be a pretty hard sell.
Enter CRMs. In times past, CRMs failed to grab their fair share of recognition for their role in revenue generation. Not anymore. Business owners, all in a bid to match customer expectations, are starting to appreciate the straight-line correlation between customer relationship management and bottom-line across industries.
The vast potential to acquire new customers and maximise customer lifetime value has seen both fortune 500 powerhouses and smaller start-ups alike adopt CRM as the core of their information systems.
To aid revenue generation for your start-up, whatever your business size or domain, you need a CRM. But don’t take our word at face value; here, we’ll roll out the relevance of your CRM to your start-up’s income.
How does CRM increase revenue and profitability?
According to sales experts, some of the key requirements for successfully closing a sale are: good prospecting, relationship selling, identifying accurate pain points, making persuasive presentations, overcoming objections, getting the sale closed, and earning repeat sales/referrals.
But stringing together all of these intricately-connected aspects of the sales process is not only tedious but time-consuming. Hence, start-ups need CRM systems to help streamline operations and exponentially grow sales towards profitability with less effort.
With a CRM, team members — whether across sales, marketing, or customer support — get a detailed view of customers to gain insight into their activity and behaviour. As such, datasets like historical purchase information to suggest customer preferences for a more personalised experience are available in one single source of truth.
A case-in-point: by deploying Efficy’s CRM 360° customer view feature, members can blast through information silos, giving departments (sales, marketing, finance, and production) a comprehensive view of the customer relationship to create better-personalised experiences.
Remember, as a company, your employees are somewhat of an internal-facing customer of your company. And real-time reporting can be a good way to keep members of departments in-sync and on-task in relation to meeting their KPIs in due time.
Efficy’s Reporting tool features customised dashboards that give members of different departments autonomy in how they choose to report progress. Maintaining confidentiality, each member has access to their own reports, and direct supervisors in each department can view all relevant reports for monitoring and evaluation purposes.
Not only does this make sure team members are held accountable, but it also improves sales outcomes since your sales process becomes more results-oriented. Storing information into one single source of truth helps centralise business intelligence that can tip the scale of sales in your favour. Even better, this information storehouse is easily accessible and available to members of your team — all for one, one for all.
How to increase revenue with CRM
According to Harvard Business Review, a mere 5% decrease in your consumer defection rate can shoot up your profitability by 25%-85%. Instructively, companies looking to increase revenue can benefit largely from the data insights available with CRM technology to arrest customer defections for a start.
Moreover, a well-implemented CRM system remains an invaluable tool to grow revenue as it helps businesses better understand their customers.
When marketing and sales teams show regard for customer preferences gleaned from data insights, they spin up targeted campaigns that inspire engagement, conversions, and increased sales.
By leveraging these features of a CRM system, businesses are well-positioned to drive long-term revenue growth and profitability:
Align internal teams for efficiency
Integrating your CRM system with other business functions across marketing, sales, production, and finance can actually boost profit for your company. The seamless transfer of customer-related data can help teams act on accurate information in a more precise and timely manner.
For marketing teams, CRM systems unpack a wealth of valuable data about customers, including their contact information, purchase history, and more. This data can be extremely helpful for developing targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to result in conversions.
Efficy’s marketing campaign tool helps ensure collaborative work among marketing, sales, and customer support teams with a centralised database that displays marketing campaigns and the contacts linked to these campaigns in real time. This prevents cases of siloed information, which would’ve been helpful in fostering stronger relationships with customers.
In sales, your CRM system can be used to track leads throughout the sales process and identify opportunities to increase average order value either through an upsell or cross-sell. You can also leverage CRM data to develop a territory plan for your sales team and can help them focus their efforts on areas that are most likely to result in sales.
Your finance team could also benefit from CRM integration. For instance, using data from your customer relationship management software, you can develop more accurate financial forecasts that consider customer behavioural patterns. As a bonus, linking invoicing and payment processes to your CRM tool can help you get paid faster and improve cash flow.
Finally, integrating your management software with production can also positively affect profit margin. For example, if you use data from your customer relationship management solution to manage inventory levels, you can avoid costly stockouts and overproduction. Additionally, linking production processes to customer service data in your CRM platform can help you identify and correct issues causing customer satisfaction rates to suffer.
Get insights into customer buying behaviour
With the aid of artificial intelligence and machine learning, marketing and sales departments can leverage top-of-the-line CRM systems to measure performance and analyse trends & patterns to forecast sales or changes in revenue behaviour.
Efficy’s interaction log gives sufficient context around customer interactions for teams to harness to serve up a more impactful customer experience. The tool displays an interaction screen detailing all of the communications (and their outcomes) had with CRM users (internally) or customers (externally).
Internally, teams can link an interaction to a new sales opportunity for the sales team to pursue or, in the case of an external customer, link a complaint letter to the customer support team to resolve.
To match customer expectations, most start-ups adopt an omnichannel approach to sales. Discovering the most profitable channel can be a real game-changer, as it lets you iterate marketing efforts with a renewed focus on winning platforms.
Ultimately, your CRM’s advanced analytics gives you the 360-view needed on customers to make an informed decision. What to do with all that insight? Drop dead leads like a hot potato, redirect the focus of your marketing team to warmer leads and intercept downward trends right before they impact your bottom line.
Forge stronger customer relationships
Effective customer service can turn leads into buyers and loyal brand ambassadors of your business. However, you must first develop relationships and build trust.
An efficient CRM offers a swell of benefits, but perhaps the most consequential to your bottom line is how it tracks the status of customer accounts — whichever stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in. You can step in when you notice a drop off in the likelihood to convert and leverage actionable insight in real time to keep them engaged.
Sometimes, knowing the right time to message your customers can be the difference between a productive interaction or an attempt destined for the spam folder. You’re able to earn trust and loyalty by keeping every member of your sales team on their toes and arming them with the accurate insight to message prospects and customers with the right strategy and timing.
Increased trust and loyalty mean not only repeat business but referrals for a significant uptick in your customer base and drive revenue growth. Efficy’s interest feature is yet another way to segment customers based on certain points of interest identified based on their activity or interaction with the business.
These generated insights can then be used to personalise communications better or explore up-selling and cross-selling opportunities with prospects and customers.
In addition, using your CRM data to segment audiences into targeted groups can help you target them with more personalised marketing messages that resonate better.
Another revenue-generating weapon in the arsenal of marketers is Efficy’s Segmentation tool. Using this tool, you can delineate audiences across criteria (here, any data item — e.g., the prospect’s company, geographical location, birthday date, request, ongoing opportunities or past purchases — can be used as a criterion for segmentation etc.), and target them with more personalised messaging.
Enhance employee productivity and output
Efficy CRM helps you increase turnover by planning and organising your tasks in a unified dashboard, thereby granting team members needed access to the tasks and information at any time. Say “goodbye” to the days of overlapping tasks or allocating tasks to the wrong quarters!
A quick clearing of task backlogs can eliminate unproductive “busywork” that has no real impact on the bottom line. That’ll leave more space for meaningful work and higher revenue at the end of the fiscal year. Not much else to do? Nary a bother, since less work for sales teams implies more time spent attending to customer needs.
Efficy’s campaign automation puts ease into the management of multiple campaigns, with the functionality to pre-set marketing triggers activated after a specific action. To illustrate, a sales team member can plan a certain automation feature, like sending a reminder to subscribe to a service after the customer signalled a serious intention to convert on a telephone call.
Accelerate sales lifecycle
As your customers progress in their buyers’ journey, you need to constantly assess their needs and levels of satisfaction and be on-hand to fix any flaws in the sales lifecycle and provide useful information to nudge them to the next stage in the journey.
One way a CRM helps accelerate the sales cycle and revenue is by providing a centralised hub to store all customer data in one place. When required, teams can easily view and analyse comprehensive customer profiles, which include contact information, sales history, emails, purchase behaviour and more.
This makes it easier to quickly access vital customer data to create pitches tailored to the needs of each customer, thereby making it easier to close deals faster.
Another way a CRM helps to speed up the sales cycle is by automating tedious tasks that would otherwise take up precious time. By setting automated workflows, companies can save valuable time and resources, eliminating manual data entry and ensuring timely follow-ups with customers.
To illustrate, a company can set an automated workflow to send reminders or follow-up emails to customers to make a purchase when they reach a certain point in the sales cycle. This helps quickly bring customers closer to making that desired purchase, thus speeding up the sales process.
When it comes to accelerating customer lifecycle, Efficy’s product catalogue feature serves as an encyclopaedia of sorts, holding information about general product features, pricing, sales pitch, inventory or promotional rates/date.
The product catalogue serves as a valuable internal reference point for sales teams to better understand their products and selling points when pitching to customers. Having this readily available information on hand can be the difference between a successful conversion and another abandonment statistic — a common occurrence when sales reps demonstrate insufficient product knowledge. A CRM not only makes the job easier for your Sales team, but can also translate to cost savings and higher profits.
Download our handbook 5 ways to boost your sales with a CRM and discover how it helps small and medium-sized businesses.
Do it all with Efficy CRM
The insights available in CRMs are a great leveller for start-ups in ultra-competitive industries looking to get the best revenue from their marketing campaigns.
Are customer needs shifting as a result of emerging trends? Can customer satisfaction levels be better than they currently are? Which offerings are topping the performance charts? Data provides the workbench to answer these business performance-related queries — in real time.
Going to market with this insight, you can then better allocate resources, spending only on what matters, and supercharge your customer experience to yield a corresponding boost in sales efficiency. A ripple effect of CRM-led relationship building with employees and customers is investors happily bringing out their cheque books because your operations are streamlined, data-driven, and efficient.
Efficy CRM helps you achieve this and more with first-hand insights to help you work smarter and eliminate busy work. Our time-saving suite of features will boost business performance and attract qualified leads that later turn into long-term loyalists.
Curious to see how this works? Request a demo for free to begin the journey of an assured future for your business. Turbocharge your sales efficiency with Efficy CRM today.
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