A great responsibility rests on the shoulders of a CXO of any small, medium, or large enterprise; controlling costs when investing in future-ready technology, all the while leveraging their current investments. As CX is becoming more prominent in brand strategy, the CRM dashboard should be capable of living up to the set customer experience standards of today.
Companies struggle to deal with complex data every single day, especially with new communication channels added to the already growing list. There’s so much big, complex data produced that businesses can’t afford to lose the valuable analytics to be gained from harnessing this information.
But not all of this data and insights are uniform across every company. Different business landscapes need a unique platform that’s custom-built with industry and business-specific modules. When the CRM is tailored in this manner, only then companies can improve the customer experience they provide as a brand.
As such, when CXOs make the crucial decision of choosing a CRM platform, there are a few questions that need asking:
- What is CRM? – It pays to start with the ABC:
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a software system with a single interface to work on many business operations at a time.
When this tool is utilized by a company’s employees, irrespective of whether they’re from sales, marketing, operations, or any other department for that matter; one too many fruitful things are bound to happen:
- Employees’ workload drops by a consequential percentage.
- Resolution times for various tasks are reduced.
- Expect to see a rise in sales, bookings, service requests, revenue, leads.
- Making a difference -What are the benefits of Customer Relationship Management?
Using a CRM means to have a big eye on every way a customer might communicate with your brand. All the important ways in which customer relationship management will make a difference to your organization include:
- Connecting the dots – Integrating different communication channels and applications through which customers might speak with your brand.
- Developers and strategists are free from having to build complex software from scratch to make this possible.
- Familiarising with your customer – You can tune in to your customers’ choices, preferences, and purchase patterns. Knowing them in this manner is known as customer 360 views.
- Dependency – Should I buy a CRM solution or build a customized one?
Two words – ‘Cut costs’. The biggest advantage probably, that CIOs will be happy to know is that a CRM is essentially a SaaS platform that lifts off a huge burden for companies:
- The burden of putting in money, time, resources to build customized solutions.
- Besides, a CRM can easily accommodate new things as opposed to in-house development that demands additional time and investments.
- Implementation time – How long does it take to implement a CRM solution?
As mentioned previously, getting a CRM to start working for you needs little to no effort on your part.
- Your CRM provider will take care of implementing your CRM from start to finish. That’s the beauty of a SaaS CRM platform.
- The maximum implementation time for a CRM provider with a dedicated implementation team is 60 days.
- What modules can be included in CRM? – Business Intelligence tools
Business Intelligence is what makes a CRM so valuable to businesses in this era. Business intelligence tools include:
- Predictive Analytics to measure the performance of operations and predict the immediate future.
- Reporting tools to forecast revenue and manage daily operations.
- What is a better deployment model, hosted or on-premise?
A hosted CRM is a better deployment model when compared to on-premise since a hosted model doesn’t entail the cost of infrastructure, as it exists on the CRM vendor’s servers.
- You don’t have to pay a huge license fee for a hosted model since it’s a pay as you go pricing structure.
- Since an on-premise deployment model needs capital, it is better suited wherever needed, like in large enterprises that hosted models cannot support.
- What companies can benefit from CRM?
The simples answer is ‘ANY’, but generally companies with:
- Dedicated sales, service and marketing operations tremendously benefit from using a CRM.
- Small and medium-sized enterprises will find that using a CRM is a big game changer in the years that follow.
- What are the advantages of using CRM on mobile devices?
A major advantage of using CRM on mobile devices is the ‘work from home’ mostly enjoyed by sales teams who are usually never within the office premises during work hours.
CRM on mobile devices reduces the budget for accessing the system.
Since users are not bound to complex systems, productivity and efficiency automatically increase.
- How can I import data to my CRM?
Importing data is a meticulous task that companies cannot afford to do wrong.
- Importing data on a CRM is usually one-touch and water-tight so that existing operations can continue smoothly.
- Your CRM vendor’s implementation team will take on the task of importing data to perfection.
- How does CRM help sales?
CRM in sales not only helps double closures in a short span of time but also streamlines the process so that sales can intertwine with marketing and other operations to maximize data.
- CRM in sales automates manual tasks to increase productivity.
- CRM in sales identifies, classifies and qualifies leads to maximize conversions.
- How can I handle Analytics within CRM?
Analytics within a CRM mines the immense data processed to depict and predict patterns.
- Analytics within CRM improves decision making thanks to the valuable insights that you get.
- It’s a visual representation of what otherwise would be complicated statistics.
- How to keep my data safe in CRM?
If you’re associated with a reputable vendor, data protection and privacy guidelines will be fully taken care of by them while your business will be educated about data privacy best practices.
- Data in a CRM is protected by Global Data Protection Standards.
- A CRM vendor that’s ISO 27001, GDPR and HIPAA compliant encrypts enterprise data to ensure that data and security breaches never occur.
- What customizations can be done to CRM?
A reputable CRM vendor will provide uninterrupted customizations within standard pricing plans to ensure that the CRM works according to the nature of the business.
- Industry-specific modules are integrated into every business.
- API’s as per choice can be integrated.
- How can CRM be integrated with any payment gateways?
CRM vendors provide options for integrating with popular payment gateways. The integration is done by the vendor by adhering to safety and security standards.
- Popular payment gateways including Stripe, RazorPay, PayPal, PayU Biz can be integrated with the CRM.
- Ask the vendor – Is your product scalable?
When a CRM vendor approaches your company with a demo, this is an important question that you need to pose to them at the very end. Sub-questions regarding CRM scalability:
- Storage space offered with the CRM.
- Data retention with upgrades.