If you go into a typical organization and start talking about Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, the average employee would rather run out to the parking lot and start banging their hand in the car door than listen to you!
Managers get heated and start telling you that CRM is a waste of time—unless it’s working well—and who’s ever seen that happen?
CRM has been a catch phrase since the 1990s. But most organizations don’t really understand the term.
They’ve heard that they need CRM, but don’t understand its purpose and value—and the search for the right CRM solution ends up being a big problem!
- It’s so much work!
- Too complicated!
- Too steep of a learning curve!
- I’m the only one doing it!
- How does all this extra work benefit me?
And you know what? They’re right!
I’ve heard them all. It’s all those excuses, and more!
CRM stuff can straight up suck!
Well today I’m going to show you why CRM doesn’t have to suck for you and how you can use it properly to grow your business..
Why CRM Is Important
Customer Relationship Management has become a common phrase for describing what’s really an age old business practice: building relationships with customers.
CRM is about bringing relationships back to business by using the new technological capabilities we have.
In the days of mom & pop stores, the relationship between buyer and seller was intimate and nearly immediate. You knew who came into your store, their kids went to school with your kids, you may have even had them over for dinner from time to time. Business was done face-to-face and mutual trust and understanding were just a natural part of your proximity to each other.
The rise of large corporations shook this up significantly, and the internet has shaken it up even more.
Now when customer buys online, you really only know them by a few scant details—
- things like an email address
- previous order history
This may be about all you have to go on as far as developing a relationship.
Instead of a conversation face-to-face, it’s pageviews and clicks or perhaps calls into your sales center.
Selling online still presents many advantages: your storefront is global, meaning many more potential customers. But the disadvantage is that relationships with the customer, the foundation of the trust that convinces them to pick you instead of your competition, is much harder to come by.
CRM is all about bringing the relationship back into your business, even when you have thousands and thousands of customers to talk to.
How CRM Works
CRM is a data aggregator, the place where all of your points of contact with a customer get integrated into a single coherent space. CRM exists as a database of all of these profiles, allowing you to examine the relevant information about individuals one at a time or see meaningful trends in your customer base and performance overall.
The CRM Problem
Going back to our mom & pop example, it used to be pretty easy to come to know who you were doing business with. You had only a handful of patrons to remember and recognize, all of them were local to you, and you were working face-to-face.
You could learn naturally over time their idiosyncrasies, needs, schedules, attitudes—all of the qualities you’d want to know and understand to give them the best service possible and a great customer experience.
This idea of community changed once everyone was connected.
Businesses were forced to choose between two marketing approaches… neither of which really got the job done.
The wide and shallow approach allowed a company to market to the broadest possible audience. But a focus on reaching large audiences, denied companies the potential to target individuals effectively.
It was the marketing equivalent of casting out a large fishing net full of gaping holes.
The narrow and deep tactic, on the other hand, relied on building strong relationships with a more limited number of clients. This more restricted 'pool' meant fewer clients would be attracted… but those that were caught would hopefully be caught for good!
If the wide, shallow approach could be likened to a loose net, then the narrow and deep method of marketing was more like spearfishing: deadly, but only effective against one fish at a time.
CRM, was hyped as a best of both worlds model to try and marry these approaches, letting you build deep relationships across a vast array of clients.
So what went wrong?
The Integration Hell Zone
Businesses spend a bunch of money for their CRM system to keep track of everything... Only to find it only offers you a slice of what you need in order to run your business.
So they purchase a subscription for:
- Shopping Carts and Merchant Accounts
- Email marketing software (Mailchimp or Infusionsoft)
- Social Media Management software
- Landing page creation tools (LeadPages or Clickfunnels)
- Meeting and calendaring software
- CRM and Contact Manager (Like Salesforce or Pipedrive)...
- Text Messaging
- And More....
They end up spending thousands of dollars a month. And what’s the result?
Instead of focusing on customers needs and growing the business, the sales team ends up spending most of their time trying to figure out how to juggle all of these different apps that are incompatible with each other…
We have a name for this at Sellution.
We call it, The Integration Hell Zone.
This is when it becomes impossible to access business intelligence because of barriers or limitations to the flow of data.
Businesses that are stuck in the Integration Hell Zone have a hard time getting out.
To make matters worse, they end up having no way to accurately track their customer’s engagement across the entire organization.
And guess who everyone blames?
That’s right, Mr. CRM.
This has become such a serious problem that software companies are creating entirely separate software packages just to analyze all of your scattered data and get it to flow into your CRM system.
But even the best of those packages mean two unfortunate realities for your business:
- Higher cost.
- More effort to actually get to your business intelligence.
How do you overcome this obstacle?
How do you get out of the Integration Hell Zone?
You need to eliminate barriers to the flow of data.
CRM doesn’t have to suck!
You can bring the human element back to your business, even if you have thousands of customers to talk to.
You can give your customers exactly what they want — you can deliver a seamless shopping experience and offer your guidance as if it’s coming from a friend.
It’s been called “the new mantra for retailers,” “the next wave in marketing,” and simply, “a must.” According to a recent survey, 85% of retailers plan to implement this kind of system the next five years because they know they will be left behind if they don’t
Imagine if your Sales, Marketing, Commerce, Customer Service all worked together, in one unified platform.
You would be able to:
- Build strong relationships with leads, and close more sales
- Effectively manage your contacts, staff, stock and opportunities
- Cut down on overheads, by automating common business functions
- …and spend your time more productively as a result.
If you’re in business, times are changing, most products today can be bought from just about anybody, so how are you going to differentiate yourself?
One thing is for sure, and the experts agree. You’re going to need Unified Commerce.
Want to learn about Unified Commerce?
Sellution is a fully integrated Unified Commerce & Customer Experience Management Platform with a complete range of tools already integrated and available at your fingertips from day one.
It works around-the-clock and behind the curtain in order to efficiently and effectively build and maintain loyal, satisfied, and even passionate customers.
If you’re serious about setting your business up for success you should sign up for our next webinar.