Learn how to use customer relationship management (CRM) software to improve your customer experience and maximize your marketing ROI.

Trying to maximize your marketing ROI? Start with a CRM. More than 90 percent of companies with 11 or more employees have a CRM system, per Base data, and Gartner notes the CRM market now exceeds $65 billion, making it the largest enterprise application the agency tracks.

Yet, when you ask small-business owners what’s standing in the way of their companies implementing a CRM, 32 percent say their company is too small, and 13 percent believe a CRM won’t benefit them, according to GetApp surveys. A further 22 percent will reply with “What’s a CRM?”

Suffice it to say, a CRM is one of the most beneficial investments your business can make. The value of CRM systems cannot be overstated, and they’re helpful at any stage of growth. But, what exactly is it about these platforms that make them so powerful? Let’s take a look.

What’s a CRM?

CRM is short for customer relationship management. Although it can refer to the process of building and maintaining relationships with your clients, in this context, it’s a reference to a system or software that puts all your customer information in one place. At a basic level, you should expect your CRM to:

  • Allow you to store and manage contact information in an easy-to-use database.
  • Track interactions with clients.
  • Manage new leads throughout your sales pipeline.
  • Automate tasks.
  • Offer dashboards with key metrics and reporting tools.
  • Help align your sales and marketing teams.

More advanced platforms may also:

  • Provide communication tools like real-time chat for employees.
  • Include helpful integrations like email programs and VOIP for phone calls.
  • Offer advanced marketing automation tools.
  • Allow you to send quotes or proposals.
  • Help you create forecasts or include a forecasting automation tool.
  • Schedule sales teams and/or specific activities.
  • Serve as a customer support module or offer support integrations.

5 Reasons You Need a CRM to Maximize Your Marketing ROI

As you can see, CRM solutions go well beyond data entry and contact management. A great system will transform the way you do business, tie all your data and marketing channels together, and increase profits. Now, let’s take a look at why you should make CRM implementation a priority.

1. A CRM System will Help You Build More Sustainable Customer Relationships

Even on a basic level, CRM software gives you actionable data within each customer profile. For example, you can see what purchases they’ve made and all prior communications, making it easy to personalize interactions with leads and existing customers.

More advanced systems will track everything from website visits through social media engagement, and email opens too. Some will aggregate the data and look for trends, then let you know helpful details like the time of day they’re engaging with your brand, so your team knows when to call. Exploring customers’ behavior at this level makes it easy to see what your prospects and clients are genuinely interested in so you can tailor the approach when reps reach out.

2. Your Cost of Sales Will Reduce

A CRM will enhance business performance, so the cost to make a sale reduces too. Take into consideration that 79 percent of leads don’t convert, per Pardot data, and a huge component of this is lack of nurturing. Because CRMs can automate emails or work alongside other automation tools, relationships grow naturally over time with minimal effort.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder just 5 to 20 percent of sales with new prospects are closed, as Forbes research indicates. Yet, the same data shows 60 to 70 percent of sales with existing customers close. With a CRM showing you who is interested in what, and often including tools like lead scoring, upselling and cross-selling becomes significantly easier. Rather than spreading themselves, your dollars, and other resources thin, salespeople zero in on those most likely to convert, so you spend less on each sale too.

3. CRM Software Can Boost Your Customer Service    

Data is key in creating a positive customer experience. More than three-quarters of customers expect a service rep to know their contact, product, and service information/history per the Microsoft State of Customer Service report. Yet, less than one-third say reps often or almost always have this data.

Meanwhile, one in five say the single most important aspect of a good customer service experience is not having to repeat themselves if transferred to a new agent. In addition, more than two-thirds say they have a more favorable view of brands that proactively reach out to them with customer service notifications too.

All these aspects can be tied back to leveraging a CRM. Clearly, if you’re trying to boost customer satisfaction, investing in a solid CRM is one of the best things you can do.

4. Customer Retention Improves with Effective CRM Use

Retention rate is one of the most important metrics to measure your marketing success. As noted earlier, your long-term customers are far easier to sell to than prospects, and it’s less expensive to maintain good relationships than to forge new ones.

With improved customer service and relationship-building afforded through your CRM, customer loyalty will naturally increase too. Best of all, happy and loyal customers refer their friends. So referred clients are not only easier to close but have a higher customer lifetime value too. Plus, your CRM will make it easy to see who is sending referrals your way, so you can nurture those relationships even more to boost referrals.

5. You’ll Be Able to Find New Customers More Easily with Data from Your CRM Platform

It helps to have insight into your current customers when trying to attract new customers. Your CRM will be a goldmine. For example, if you’re in the B2B sector, you can track job titles, companies, or departments as well as traditional demographic data such as age, location, and gender. This information is helpful when you’re building personas, creating content, running targeted ads, and so much more.

Get Help with Your CRM Implementation

When a company brings me on as their business and digital marketing consultant, one of the first things I do is help them find a CRM that fits their needs or ensure they’re effectively leveraging the one they already have. Not only is it key to maximizing marketing ROI, but it also boosts operational efficiency and plays a pivotal role in aligning the team. So if your small or midsize company is struggling to grow or needs help with CRM implementation, contact me for a complimentary consultation.

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Husam Jandal

Husam Jandal

Husam Jandal is an internationally renowned business and marketing consultant and public speaker with a background that includes training Google Partners, teaching e-business at a master's level, receiving multiple Web Marketing Association Awards, and earning a plethora of rave reviews from businesses of all sizes.

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