Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Customer Relationship Management: Do You Have a Strategy for 2014?

Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions don’t have a great history of adoption from sales staff. In the early 2000s, Gartner shared research that showed only 50 percent of CRM solutions were meeting the expectations of its users. Almost a decade after that initial customer relationship management study, the firm presented another one that showed extremely little progress.

By 2009, a whopping 47 percent of companies said their CRM had failed to live up to expectations. The problem seems to be that designers put more emphasis on technology rather than strategy.

The reason you use CRM is to better affect your sales abilities. There are several tools in CRM that have the power to make those positive impacts because they help you engage the customers. Without CRM, your customer loyalty would suffer. However, the solution can’t be used as a tactic all of its own – you need to use it as part of a strategy. If you’re not getting what you want out of your CRM, there is a chance you haven’t fully developed your strategy and/or haven’t fully integrated the solution into other processes you use.

The customer relationship management solution your company invested in 10 years ago might not fit your profile today, which means you should constantly analyzing your CRM to make sure it fits in with your overall strategy. Consumer behavior changes frequently, speeding up the irrelevancy of your CRM. In fact, many old solutions actually put your company at risk for reducing quality, give you inaccurate information about your price points and reduce customer retention.

Is your current CRM system taking into account your business practices as they relate to marketing, sales, customer care, customer analytics, tech support and business intelligence? Does your current customer relationship management solution offer your sales reps the quick reporting tools they need to efficiently give your sales managers need? Most would answer “no” to some of those questions, especially when it concerns being sales friendly.

It’s important to create a CRM strategy because you won’t get the most out of your current or new solution until you do. Every organization needs a good platform on which to build. Is your organization completely buying in to the strategy? Make sure your goals and intentions are clear from the beginning so your sales staff is on board with changes.

Front Row Solutions, we are managed by former sales reps who know how clunky CRM can be of little to no use to the salesforce. We’ve built a mobile app that allows them to stay in the field and send off their reports in 30 seconds or less.

You want your sales force to spend the bulk of their time doing what they do best – making sales calls. You don’t want them struggling to learn a new and difficult CRM, and then more time filing reports. Front Row offers a solution to the problems that have plagued CRM users for too long, allowing you to see the results you need.