Why do You Need CRM?
Customer information is a valuable asset for a company. If you can manage it properly, you can expand the performance of your business. Do you know that there is a customer information management system called CRM and that implementing a CRM can bring a lot of benefits to your company?
In this article, I will explain the benefits of CRM from various perspectives.
Table of Contents:
- Advantages of implementing CRM
- Visualization of customer information
- Develops existing customers into good customers by retaining them
- Smooth access to the information you want
- Easier to approach customers by understanding their needs
- Improve the performance of salespeople
- Equalize allocations and reduce workload
- Improves operational efficiency
- Customers also benefit from CRM
- Easier to get the information you need
- Obtain accurate suggestions from the person in charge
- What's important to note besides the benefits of implementing CRM?
- You won't see the benefits right away
- Ensure that input is done in real-time
- Integrate the data into your daily sales program
- Points to consider when selecting a CRM
- Does it have the features you need?
- Is it cost-effective?
- Is it a cloud-based CRM?
- Can it be integrated with other systems?
- Does it have a better support system?
- Leverage the benefits of CRM to strengthen organizational capabilities based on data
Benefits of Implementing CRM
What are the benefits of implementing CRM? There are many different ways to use it, and depending on how you use it, you can analyze and approach your business in many different ways.
Let's take a look at some of the basic benefits of implementing a CRM.
Visualization of customer information
One of the first great benefits of CRM is the ability to visualize customer information. By capturing customer information visually, you can manage it more clearly.
If you just traditionally manage customer information, you will have to analyze it by comparing all the information. You will not be able to get the information you want right away.
On the other hand, CRM systems allow you to visualize the information you want to see instantly, as you can create graphs and tables with all kinds of angles in a matter of seconds with just one click on the data you are managing.
In the past, when you wanted to analyze data in detail, you had to manage the information by categorizing it more finely. With a CRM system, all the information is consolidated in one place. You will be able to visualize all the details of how your company has responded to customers and their reactions to those responses, which will significantly improve the efficiency of your work.
In addition, by managing customers with CRM, the information is constantly shared within the company, so even if you run into any problems or issues in the marketing process, you will be able to collaborate with other people in your company to come up with a smooth solution.
Develops existing customers into good customers by retaining them
One of the points you can realize the effect quickly after CRM implementation is utilization for existing customers. By analyzing customer information and identifying their needs, you can provide them with products and services that meet their needs, which will enable you to implement strategies to increase customer satisfaction and increase repeat customers.
The advantage of this system is that you can retain existing customers at an early stage. If you can grow your existing customers into good customers, you will continue to be profitable, and your company will be able to estimate a certain amount of profit.
If you can build good relationships with your customers while continuing your analysis, you may be able to increase the unit price per customer and the purchase price.
By retaining your existing customers, you can simultaneously reduce your operating expenses.
Acquiring new customers is generally several times more labor than retaining existing customers. Operating expenses also require a considerable amount to acquire new customers.
If you use CRM to retain existing customers, you will have a good chance of acquiring new customers by introducing good customers and spreading word of mouth.
Smooth access to the information that you want
Until now, customer information has been managed in various media. There are many ways to do this, such as filing business cards one by one or keeping a customer list, but if you are not careful with business cards, you may lose them.
If you lose them, you will have to look for them, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to find them, and you may end up losing a lot of time.
Even in the customer list, it takes a considerable amount of time to access information if you turn it page by page.
When you implement a CRM system to manage customer information, you don't have to worry about losing it once it's in the database; and you can also approach the customer information more smoothly. In addition, you will be able to approach customer information more smoothly, which will improve your business efficiency.
In addition, since CRM also has marketing functions, such as direct messages, it is possible to limit the customer base to approach. It is also possible to strike a pinpoint strategy such as "We aim to increase the unit price per customer by developing marketing targeting people whose job title is section chief or higher." Even if you face some problems, you always find a way to solve them by devising how to use them.
Grasping the needs of customers and approaching them more easily
If you want to know what your customers want, you need to do a more detailed analysis and keep track of what they are doing.
If you implement CRM to analyze customer trends, you can get answers to any questions you have. With a detailed analysis, there is no need to worry about uncovering the wrong customer needs.
You will be able to promote and realize the development of repeat customers and secure profits if you can increase your customers' desire for products and services by taking the right approach to the needs you perceive.
If the information collected includes email addresses and SNS account information, it is possible to analyze customer attributes such as age, gender, and region of residence. It is easy to narrow down targets with the same characteristics and conduct marketing in real-time using a CRM system. If you can grasp the characteristics of your target audience and carefully select and provide them with only the information they need, it will be easier for you to build an ongoing relationship with them because they will feel that you understand them well or that you will surely satisfy their needs.
Improves salesperson performance
Using a CRM can also affect the performance of salespeople. CRM allows you to set up evaluation indicators for salespeople, such as the number of business meetings, quotations submitted, and the number of orders expected.
CRM allows you to monitor whether each salesperson is taking the right actions to reach the target.
The numerical values will highlight various factors and allow you to give appropriate advice to salespeople who are not getting results.
If a customer has a high order probability, it will be possible to reconcile the vision of "Are we really taking the right actions?". On the other hand, if you know that a customer has a low probability of receiving an order, you can prevent blaming them unnecessarily, for example, by only following up with them to the minimum. You can also motivate your salespeople by advising them to focus on high-priority customers.
Leveling the allocation and reducing the workload
One of the benefits of CRM is that it reduces the burden on salespeople. By inputting data into CRM, it becomes possible to list prospective projects in the sales department.
You will be able to provide support to the person in charge and take measures such as, "Because new projects have a lot of trouble, let's assign them to another person until they settle down."
If you can reduce the burden on salespeople, you will naturally be less worried about missing orders.
If you can reduce the burden on salespeople, you will naturally have less worry about missing out on receiving orders.
However, in order to implement CRM, it must be used properly. If it becomes too much of a burden for the users, it is no wonder that they will gradually stop using it. Nothing is more time-consuming than the double-entry that enters the same information into each system. In order to make the most of the advantages of CRM, it is also important to create a system that can avoid double-entry and reduce the workload on site.
Improving business efficiency
In recent years, there has been an increase in omnichannel channels of contact with customers, such as physical stores, e-commerce sites, mail-order sales, and social networking sites, making it necessary to manage customer information centrally and efficiently.
CRM enables customers to seamlessly and centrally manage customer information, using various IDs, points, purchase history, and payment methods in stores and e-commerce sites. And customers benefit from the same quality of service through any purchase channel.
CRM enables companies to analyze customer information in a centralized manner. By collaborating across departments, they can add value to the data and provide appropriate follow-ups at the right time, leading to increased operational efficiency and sales.
Customers also benefit from CRM
CRM is not only beneficial to the company. There are also benefits to the customer side, all of which are interesting.
Easier access to the information you need
As a result of the fact that consumers can now select information on their own, their preferences and needs have become more fragmented. It is no longer necessary to receive one-way information from a limited number of media as it was in the past, so it is better to provide information that can meet the different needs of each individual.
The development and spread of digital products such as smartphones have created an environment where individuals can actually search for the information they need when they need it, making it harder for mass marketing to reach them than before. In line with this trend, One-to-One Marketing, which approaches customers through communication via the Internet, such as email and SNS, has become common. The relationship between companies and individuals has become closer than ever before.
As CRM adapts to these times, systems are in place to meet the demands of each customer. For example, you can set up a website to exclude information that is not of interest to the customer on the customer's individual "My Page," which will directly connect the customer's needs with the information that satisfies them, making it possible to collect information more smoothly.
You can get precise suggestions from your staff.
To meet your customers' needs, you need to know what they want exactly. If you misunderstand their needs, no matter how much you try to be customer-first, you will not be able to meet them.
To ensure that customers' needs are met, you need to make proposals while analyzing customer characteristics and purchasing data in detail. In the fierce competition of the market, you have to take a different approach to reach our customers even a little.
Customer information tends to be managed sparsely across multiple media, but CRM can consolidate it in one place, making it easier to share information within a company. In addition, more precise analysis is required to capture customer demand accurately, and CRM enables detailed analysis from various angles, such as instant graphing of each data, which can efficiently increase customer satisfaction.
Even if you think from the customer's point of view, the sales staff will inform you of your information in advance, so you will be able to receive more accurate proposals. In addition, even if the salesperson changes, your information will be taken over smoothly, so you can receive suggestions with confidence.
What's important to note besides the benefits of implementing CRM?
When implementing a CRM, you need to understand not only the benefits but also the cautions. Here is a detailed explanation of what you need to keep in mind when using a CRM:
Not being able to feel the effects right away
CRM is a system that aims to improve customer satisfaction, develop new customers, and foster and maintain good customers, so it is not something that will immediately increase sales. It is necessary to take a long-term perspective until the effects appear.
Let's overcome the issues by repeating the PDCA cycle, such as reviewing the internal business flow, until CRM becomes firmly established in the company and gradually improves sales and business performance. It is easy to become reluctant to operate the system if the effects are not visible, but it is important to continue without losing sight of the objective.
Therefore, it is important to establish a system that will allow people to continue using it without haste, without being distracted by short-term effects until the system becomes firmly established in the company.
Nothing in CRM starts without data entry. It is necessary to have sales representatives enter information as needed. However, there is surprisingly a lot of information to be entered, and sales representatives also have their own work, so it takes time for the system to penetrate.
In addition, if you input them all together later, there will be a gap between data and reality, so you will not be able to demonstrate the true power of CRM.
The most important part of leveraging CRM is to ensure real-time input, and the people who will benefit the most from the CRM implementation are not the sales department but the management. In order to encourage voluntary data entry, it is better to explain the background of the implementation.
Incorporate the data into your daily sales program
Immediately after the CRM implementation, it may be difficult to integrate CRM information into the sales process due to a lack of familiarity. It may be difficult to understand at first, but that is why you must actively use the data on a daily basis for behavior management, advice on how to win orders, and during sales and management meetings.
Also, if you are not effectively utilizing the data that your salespeople are entering well, it will demotivate them. To prevent this from happening, it is important to consciously continue to use the accumulated data in the sales process.
Occasionally, changes in business processes may be required. In such a situation, the power of the secretariat will have a great impact on the consensus of opinions. It is preferable to organize the project firmly and establish a system that can solve the problems realistically with the top-down managers and the key person in the field.
Points to consider when selecting a CRM
Here are five points to consider when selecting a CRM:
Does it have the necessary functions?
There are many CRM tools available from various companies today. The most important factor in selecting a CRM tool is whether it can help solve your company's problems and issues and whether it has the functions to do so. It's not just about having more features, but if you have too many features, you won't be able to use them and fail. Therefore, the system must be easy to use in order to be established in the company and used on a daily basis.
If the interface is complicated to use, or if the information is hard to read, the CRM will become a burden to the front-line salespeople, and they may stop using it. The CRM needs to be easy to use, operate and does not burden the users.
It is also important to make sure that the information is easy to read and there are functions to graph and table the collected data. Too many aggregation functions can be a problem. Choose a tool with functions that are not excessive or deficient and can be acceptable by the field.
Is it cost-effective?
When any company implements a new system, cost-effectiveness is one metric that determines whether or not it can be implemented. In order for managers and the person in charge of the systems department to determine whether the system is really effective, it is necessary to indicate the cost of implementation and operation and the expected effect of the introduction as figures. It is essential to verify the cost-effectiveness of the system in order to avoid implementing the system with a vague feeling that it looks good and then failing to achieve the expected effect after actual operation.
The cost of implementing a system includes the system implementation cost and the labor cost required for operation.
System implementation costs include the initial costs, monthly license fee, maintenance cost, renewal cost, server fee, backup cost, terminal cost, and training cost.
System installation costs include initial costs, monthly license fees, maintenance costs, renewal costs, server fees, backup costs, terminal costs, and education expenses.
Labor costs are often overlooked at the time of implementation. However, it is important to note that even if the implementation cost is low, it may become less cost-effective due to labor costs for operation after implementation. In order to avoid problems later on, make sure to confirm the time and hours it will take to get the system up and running with the person in charge of using and operating the system.
Is it a cloud-based CRM?
Most of the CRM tools available today are cloud-based. In contrast to the on-premise model, where the company prepares its own server and installs the software, the cloud-based model requires the tool vendor to pay for the installation and maintenance of the server. The user pays only the initial cost and the monthly fee, making it very cost-effective.
The initial cost is often low, and the monthly fee is usually based on a pay-as-you-go system according to the number of user accounts used, which allows for low-cost operation.
In addition, the cloud type does not require maintenance or backup, and the tool vendor also fixes when there is a system failure and improves security, so users can always use the latest system by simply updating. You can start using it immediately after the implementation. As long as you have an Internet environment, you can use it not only on your company's PC but also on the go without troublesome settings on your smartphone or tablet.
Can it be integrated with other systems?
CRM accumulates customer information obtained through communication with customers, analyzes the data from various angles, and provides products and services that match customer preferences to improve customer satisfaction and increase LTV (Life Time Value: customer lifetime value). One of the conditions for this is that it must be able to work with other systems.
CRM is not a universal tool that can manage all processes. In order to utilize the information accumulated in the company, it is necessary to select a CRM tool that can be linked with other systems. In addition, there are manual and automatic integration methods, and manual ones can be implemented at a low cost, although it takes more human resources. Automatic ones are initially expensive, but they don't require any hassle after implementation.
Is there a support system in place?
When selecting a CRM tool, it is important to choose one that offers a solid follow-up service until the tool is firmly established, including pre-implementation consulting, post-implementation environmental support, operation briefings, and suggestions on how to use the tool.
If you have any requests for additional or improved functions, automation, detailed security settings, etc., while using the CRM on a daily basis, be sure to check if the company will customize or upgrade the software to meet your needs. Some products charge for support, so be sure to consider support costs when comparing prices.
Take advantage of CRM to strengthen your organization based on data
CRM not only allows you to manage customer information but also enables a variety of data analyses. To maximize the power of CRM, you must take advantage of the benefits and strengthen your organizational strength based on data. Let's use it appropriately while paying attention to the cautions.