If you're wondering whether your business should use a CRM, the answer is: yeah, you should definitely use a CRM! In summary, It's like having a superpower for managing your contacts and keeping track of all your interactions with them. Amazing, right?
But what is a CRM and why (and how) should you use it? Brace yourselves! We are here to answer all these questions for you. Follow the article!
What is CRM?
Have you ever received a telemarketing call from someone trying to sell you something, as if you weren't already a customer? Have you noticed how common it is whenever a store changes its sales team, there is a momentary drop in the quality of service?
Did you know that your neighborhood bakery owners, for example, manage CRMs in an amazing way?
These examples above (in addition to being linked to team training), are also connected to a good CRM management by these companies.
For those who are not yet familiar with the acronym CRM, it means Customer Relationship Management. But CRM is not just a platform, It is a way to register, manage and analyze your interactions with your Leads and Customers - an essential part of the success of your business. It can help you keep track of important information, such as customer preferences, purchase history, and communication history. This, in turn, can help you provide better customer service, streamline your sales and marketing efforts, and increase overall efficiency.
CRM in your company's routine
Having a CRM management strategy goes far beyond choosing the best tools. By using information generated by your leads and customers, you can enrich your interaction with them, generating even more revenue for your company. At the same time, it helps you to integrate the entire marketing, sales and customer service team on the same platform, keeping access to the same information in a more centralized manner, resulting in a company with a more unified focus.
First, let's detail what you need to have in your company to strengthen your strategy and enrich your relationship with the market. Let's dive in?
Why use a Customer Relationship Management platform?
We mentioned at the beginning of this article that a CRM is much more than a sales tool. It is a great enhancer in the strategy of interactions with your leads. But why do we use it to evolve our sales routines?
In the past, all the interactions with customers and leads were registered in notebooks or even memorized. However, we know how easy it is to lose written documentation and how difficult it is to train a team based on each person's memory.
Like all human beings, our memory is flawed (today more than ever due to the volume of information we consume on a daily basis) and we can forget sensitive information, harming the transfer of knowledge to team members, at the same time that we harm our relationship with potential customers.
Therefore, the primary function of a CRM platform is to manage information from the moment we initiate a negotiation (or generate a lead through Inbound Marketing), until the moment that same person remains a customer.
With a CRM, it is possible to know how the negotiation progressed - because the entire history of the sales process will be recorded, and, with that, prepare to assist the customer in the best possible way, directing efforts to deliver the best experience based on the needs you already have knowledge, and have been registered by the sales team.
Another relevant point is the centralization of all contact information in one place. Returning to that example at the beginning of the content, an employee without a CRM will probably call a lead several times throughout the day to offer a plan they have already contracted, because this information is not registered in the right way.
These points are essential when hiring the tool. However, if you have a CRM, and you don't update it properly, you will probably annoy your leads and potential customers in the same way a telemarketer annoys you.
CRM Culture - What is it?
We talked a little bit about the benefits of adopting a Customer Relationship Management platform for your company. It is important to centralize your information, monitor the progress of your negotiations, facilitate the execution of the process and in the end, (if well used), greatly improve your customer service.
But there is no point in adopting such a tool if your company does not have a CRM culture. If your sales and customer service team don't see the benefits of adopting your CRM software right, you're throwing money down the drain.
When we talk about filling out the tool correctly, I don't mean bureaucratizing the process by creating a thousand forms or fields that the team has to fill out all the time.
We are talking about segmenting the information that is actually relevant for decision-making by management and the team. Below, is a simple example that we mentioned at the beginning of the content:
The person responsible for the service at a bakery you go to everyday knows your favorite order by heart. So, whenever you show up there, he or she will already suggest your most common request ASAP.
If that order is not available, he or she will be able to tell which are the menu items that are closest in flavor to your favorite. In this way, he or she can offer the product that best suits your needs.
This professional doesn't need to know which team you like the most, the size of your family, whether you're a dog or cat person, etc. Having the other information can help you with the sale, but it is not vital to satisfy the demand at that moment.
Therefore, in this hypothetical scenario of the bakery, in the baker's CRM the vital information to be filled in would be the dish most requested by the customer. All the others I mentioned in the paragraph above are good, but not essential and, if they were mandatory, they would only make the work of customer service more bureaucratic and impractical. This can also happen with your salesperson if you request too much and unnecessary information, causing your team to become demotivated when using the tool.
In summary, when defining your company's CRM culture, know how to divide what is essential information from what is good to keep as a routine within your market and according to your Lead.
Jacco van der Kooij, author of the book "Sales as a Science", said that implementing a CRM without strategy and process is the same thing as opening a restaurant and not having a menu. The founding chef may have 5 stars in the Michelin Guide, make excellent dishes and have a lot of media, but without a menu to help customers choose dishes (either by taste or price), the experience will not be the best.
Do you understand the importance of having an aggressive CRM culture? Without it, your team won't understand why they should fill in all the necessary information, what benefits will be extracted from it, and it will be another "boring" tool they will feel obligated to use on a daily basis.
CRM Strategy - Which is the best to adopt?
"The best advertising is done by satisfied customers." Kotler, Philip.
For those who have had some contact with the Marketing area, you will easily recognize this name: Philip Kotler is an important guru in the field.
He has been working with Marketing for over 30 years and knows a lot about the subject. The sentence above, more than popular knowledge, is supported by numbers and data.
Invesp Consulting reached interesting results, but here we will focus on two specific data:
- Acquiring a new customer costs up to 5x as much as retaining an existing customer.
- Increasing customer retention by up to 5% increases profits by over 25%.
Breaking down the items mentioned above even further, a satisfied customer is:
- 5x more willing to buy again
- 5x more willing to forgive
- 4 times more willing to refer
What can we conclude from these numbers? The best possible growth strategy for any type of business is to retain the customers you already have, meeting their expectations and nurturing a healthy relationship.
With a good Customer Relationship Management tool to keep track of all contacts, centralize all information, and automate the bureaucratic parts of the process, your team can focus on providing personalized and first-rate service.
By correctly filling in the information in the CRM, and avoiding treating Leads and customers as if they were the first contact, the chance of success increases even more.
In this way, we see that the best strategy for your business is to combine technology for collecting and centralizing data with a differentiated service.
However, saying this is easier than doing. We cite throughout the article some problems that end up impacting the CRM strategy. Below we will go a little deeper into this topic so you don't risk falling into the trap of using the CRM incorrectly.
Most common mistakes in Customer Relationship Management strategies
I have been working in Sales Consulting for a long time in my career, including founding one of the pioneering companies in the implementation of scalable processes here in Brazil.
On this journey, I realized that companies end up stumbling over some common problems when managing their CRM strategies and platforms.
I'll list them below so you can check if one or more is happening in your company's business routine right now:
1. Too many sales funnels
Do you work with more than one Sales Funnel in your CRM platform? I'm asking this question because it is a very common situation in many sales teams.
Typically, we see managers creating funnels to niche key accounts, and another one for smaller companies. One more for Outbound Marketing and another one for Inbound Marketing. In some cases, one for external sales and another one for internal sales. This process makes the work of managing these funnels an endless nightmare.
What I mean to say is that tracking just one funnel is no easy task. Now, visualizing two, three, five, ten different sales funnels makes your routine even more complicated.
From my experience, if you are not a large company, with many managers, and specific ones to monitor each one of these funnels, you are probably making your process more bureaucratic than necessary. It is necessary to check the result of each one of them separately, to analyze if there are not the same contacts in different funnels, among several other factors. This problem of duplicate contacts is even more complex for those who have an Inbound and an Outbound process.
The best scenario (if you are not a company with a large sales structure) is to keep all information within a single funnel, centralizing all data and records, avoiding duplicate contacts and maintaining the quality of the team's work, thus also reducing bureaucracy for managers.
2. High turnover in the sales team
Another interesting data in sales that is worth paying attention to is that 35% of a total sales team is usually replaced after 1 year.
Now, let's think about the day-to-day life of a sales team:
The salesperson, the Customer Service and Customer Success team are always in touch with Leads and customers. They establish a relationship, carry out negotiations and evolve partnerships on a day-to-day basis.
Throughout these activities, this team usually collects a lot of information about the people they are talking to. Doing so, they are able to personalize their contacts, and tend to improve the quality of service and customer satisfaction.
Now think with me: if you have 100 people on your sales team, the tendency of 35 of these people to leave your company next year is enormous, regardless of the reason.
This greatly impacts your CRM strategy. Several customers and Leads will experience a "break" in service at least for a while, until the new team members get acclimated with them.
Therefore, the lower your turnover, the lower the chance of this "break" happening. At the same time, taking into account that even in the best scenario, some substitutions will happen, it is important to have a good CRM platform well fed with relevant information to always have the history of the entire context well documented.
3. Too much bureaucracy and tools
It is very common for some companies to make the process of filling out the CRM quite bureaucratic.
By placing several mandatory forms for the sales team to fill out, with each movement of the Lead or customer in the funnel, the speed of the process ends up being greatly reduced.
Not to mention the level of satisfaction of the team, which ends up feeling more like a tool pilot than its front line in customer satisfaction.
Many will say that this is necessary to compile the necessary information for a good treatment. This is only half true.
We document the relevant information to provide good service. But, if this stage of the process complicates the work, reducing the time the team has to provide quality service, the order of things ends up being inverted:
Your team will end up working for the CRM platform and not the other way around.
Therefore, it is important to study the information that must be filled in and cut out everything else, leaving them as optional.
Having multiple different tooling environments for the team to work on is also tricky. If you don't have a development team or if you don't have systems that integrate with each other, it's not really recommended to have a tool for marketing automation, another one for sales management, one more for sending emails and so on...
There is a high probability that you will miss relevant information along the way, which will greatly impact the shopping and service experience you want to provide, while generating an excess of operational activities for your team.
4. Lack of technical criteria when purchasing the CRM
The moment of buying the customer relationship management platform is something extremely sensitive. Migrating from one solution to another is not a simple task. It is very easy to lose information along the way, messing up the entire structure of KPI's, in addition to the need to train the entire team to work in the new system.
To make this job of CRM choice even more difficult, most of them, at least in the user interface, look a lot alike. Looking at the price and functionality pages ends up making it even more difficult to choose the best solution. So, how to make a good decision?!
This path is not so simple and requires at least a minimal knowledge of technology, or even support from someone who does have this knowledge. After this step, perform the following test: go to Google and type API + the name of the CRM. If it has an open API, great! CRMs need to be integrated with several other tools such as Sales Engagement solutions, ERPs, administrative/financial management solutions, digital signature tools, among others, to operate at their maximum capacity.
After verifying the existence of the CRM API, it is also interesting to analyze whether it was well structured, after all, the integrations that will be built will need constant maintenance.
After all this technical study of the CRM, you should start an initial test of 15 days to fully validate if the functionalities offered are also interesting. From my experience, CRM solution offerings are very similar, but delivery varies greatly from one to another. Therefore, the least traumatic path is to verify that everything promised is functional.
In parallel, the team, primarily responsible for operating the system on a day-to-day basis, should actively participate in CRM validation. Their feedback on how easy the platform is to operate is vital to whether the solution will be a hit in their routine. It is very common for some extremely robust CRM tools not to be strongly adhered by the team, also due to their handling complexity.
So, don't fall into this trap. Sometimes it's better to have a slightly less technically robust solution than a complex one.
Also, beware of tools that promise to include all stages of the process. Developing just one module, such as the contact management part of the CRM, is already extremely complex. Natively structuring an email marketing, VoIP, data analysis, proposal trigger and electronic signature solution is something even more complicated.
Even companies like HubSpot, which are the main reference when it comes to CRM, offer these services more robustly through partners and not through their own solution.
5. No personalization
Have you ever received an email similar to the one we are going to describe below?
Hello "fictitious name", how are you?
I'm from company X, I solve problem Y!
- Text without context of 10 lines -
I would like to talk to you, "fictitious name", so that we can show you in practice how we solve these problems. Can we schedule a call on Monday at 10 am?
Many will point out that this is a problem for companies that use Sales Engagement tools, but I can say with great knowledge that this is not the case. In fact, there is a lot of information in the body of an email that can be repurposed between leads and customers. Doing all this work by hand, depending on the volume, is inglorious, tiring and will not always generate results, so these tools are very important, even more so in scenarios where the average ticket is low and the sale is not very complex.
There must be personalization, even if it is minimal, in the part of the email that connects the value proposition offered with the scenario of the prospected company.
As we are talking about CRM strategies here, and not just about the platform, always remember that a bad contact can have a devastating effect on your company's brand strength.
This also applies to the quality of the proposals sent, personalization of the salespeople's speech in meetings, among several other points.
Being seen as an inconvenience by your segment will make it very difficult for your sales strategy to evolve well. So, take good care of the construction of your speech and material.
Ready to implement the CRM concept in your company?
Now that you know what having a CRM in your strategy means, and the best practices in using this tool, I believe that the importance of this concept in your business is clear.
More than having a good platform, you also need to define the best strategies for your routine. In addition to selling more, your retention will also increase, making your company grow every day.
Evaluating a CRM in a technical and accurate way is not simple, but the sales manager needs to keep in mind that this solution will be his partner for many years to come. Therefore, it is necessary to work a lot on anxiety to make the right decision and not become hostage to a CRM platform that does not serve you correctly. Taking it easy in these scenarios always pays off.
After all, as we said in the article, a satisfied customer is much more likely to refer you to others and this is the cheapest sale you can have.
If you want to know more about how to hire the ideal CRM for your company, and how to collect and analyze these numbers and information in the best way, get in touch with our team through the form! We will be happy to assist you.