Thursday, September 8, 2011

CRM Interview – How to Use CRM to Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness

In today’s business environment, forward-looking companies are on the look out for anything that could give them the edge over their competitors. It could be argued that nowhere is this more apparent than in the drive to improve efficiency and effectiveness. After all, these two areas provide the foundation for all business success.

The problem lies in the fact that while all businesses would like to be more efficient and effective in all they do, it is often far from clear exactly how this may be achieved. Businesses spend hundreds if not thousands of hours searching for ways to streamline their processes while maintaining strong products and/or services and hopefully improving levels of customer service.

The good news for any business who finds themselves in this position is that there is a superb resource available that can help move these goals from wish list to part and parcel of every working day.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a flexible and powerful tool that can give a business a new level of impetus and help it move to the next level and beyond.

So how does it do this? For any business unsure of what CRM has to offer, or for those who want to take the next step, a good idea would be to investigate an appropriate webinar to help get a firm grasp on what CRM can do for a business.

Essentially, CRM can benefit a business by improving efficiency and effectiveness across a wide range of areas. There are a number of ways in which it can be used:

  • Front line staff benefits. CRM provides a platform for sales, support and service staff to become much more efficient and effective in all their dealings with customers. The reason for this is simple: because CRM allows them to have immediate access to a history of all interactions with customers, they are placed in a much stronger position to offer bespoke advice and suggestions. The great thing about this is that it benefits both business and customer. The customer gets information relevant to his or her interests/buying habits and the business can save a large amount of time (and money) by targeting appropriate products or services.
  • Marketing campaigns revolutionized. It is no exaggeration to say that CRM revolutionizes marketing campaigns. It does this by helping create much more targeted marketing through efficient use of the customer database. The difference can be astounding. Instead of sending out details of a new product aimed at parents at everyone on the database, CRM could easily help a business target its customers much more effectively thus saving a considerable amount of money. It also helps build customer relations, as inappropriate marketing materials do not frustrate customers.
  • Working better together. CRM promotes a closer working relationship between teams as it encourages sharing of information in a mutually beneficial manner. This leads to improved efficiency as less time is lost by different teams attempting to access the same information. With CRM, it can be accessed through a central database. This also means customers are not being constantly asked the same questions. Once the information is gathered, it is there for every team to view and use.
  • Managing the pipeline. One of the key areas of success for CRM is the way in which it significantly increases efficiency and effectiveness of pipeline management. By having an up-to-date database of customers, CRM helps a business predict future trends and therefore puts it in a much stronger position to capitalize on future market directions. Of course, one of the best ways to do this is by analyzing historic trends and using CRM to interpret this data in order to best position the business for what is to come.
  • Cross-selling. In many ways, the holy grail of business – the ability to sell more than once to the same customer. This is a highly effective way to increase the bottom line. CRM comes into its own here by helping a business see purchase history and therefore being in a position to offer products that have been improved or are in a new edition.
CRM is a powerful tool to improve efficiency and effectiveness and drive sales efficiency by helping create an enhanced level of customer service which in turn leads to a more receptive customer base.