Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are highly effective in both day-to-day customer management and relationship building with existing customers, as well as the acquisition of new prospects and customers.

Many CRM systems are web-based and are reliant on technology, but CRM should not be seen as a purely IT solution, because truly successful CRM is built on a solid sales and marketing strategy.

It is more about your company customer relationship philosophy rather than your enterprises’ technical systems.

Building face to face contact

CRM systems save time, money and headcount by allowing both Inside and Direct Sales teams to automate day-to-day relationship building through low-level marketing communication activity such as automated email sales contact.

This low-level CRM automation means these teams have more time to engage in higher level relationship building and customer acquisition through face to face contact or personal phone calls. But CRM automation also delivers even greater benefits.

Improving customer insights

When properly configured, CRM systems can track customer behaviour, helping build valuable buyer personas in your data systems, and helping you know your customer better, and allowing you to offer ever-more insightful responses to their needs. With CRM you can:

  • Track customer purchase patterns and preferences
  • Profile individuals and groups to target more effectively
  • Improve customer service and meet changing needs

CRM ROI: Does it all add up?

Buying or subscribing to a CRM system, and setting it up can be costly and time-consuming. It is therefore essential that when set-up and implementation costs are identified, that either new or improved revenue streams are calculated as part of the business case.

It is also important to engage specialist help to install and set up the system and train sales teams in order to optimise system performance. This can be done with help from an experienced digital marketing agency. A well optimised system will:

  • Increase sales volumes through predictive analysis of historic sales trends
  • Deliver a clear understanding of specific customer requirements
  • Enable cross-selling and up-selling through historic sales analysis
  • Allow accurate measurement of individual customer profitability

Better customer services

This closer, more accurate understanding of customer behaviour and their needs means you can now target existing and potential customers with buyer persona-specific personalisation and personalised offers.

This will not only help increase sales volumes and profitability, but will improve customer retention and in so doing, improve sales function efficiency by lowering costs per customer.

CRM and increased market share

While achieving a greater understanding of customer behaviour and customer needs through data driven personalisation and sales, the development of this large body of buyer personae and buyer behaviour data, also gives you the key to further market development.

Finally, the data you use to better serve your customers can also be used to develop more targeted marketing communications, helping you target new customers with offers you know they want, because your CRM data is now able to tell you just that.

This post was originally published on the Novacom blog.