First of all – a concept and clear goals
Many companies, overcoming doubts and still implementing a CRM system, nevertheless, do not get the necessary or desired result. The reason for this is that the management of companies may simply not understand the very concept of CRM. Such companies can be conditionally divided into the following two groups. The first group consists of companies that were looking for a new and modern management and marketing tool, but their projects did not have specific goals and objectives for business development. There were just, as it were, vague wishes like “it will be more convenient for us to work in the system”, but at the same time there was no specific meter. The second group – companies that considered it reasonable to implement the best systems with sufficient funds for this, but for some reason found themselves in difficulties and funding was cut. At the same time, the problems that they wanted to solve did not disappear.
Also, an important problem is the very organization of the CRM system adaptation process in the company. Development and promotion of CRM should take into account the specifics of the industry. Today’s CRM systems are created by various companies such as SAP, Oracle, Salesforce.com, Microsoft, Amdocs and others. Of the domestic ones, most of all it is worth mentioning about Bitrix24, Megaplan, amoCRM. Each of these products has the same idea but different functionality. In this regard, each case requires its own approach to the stored and processed information. After all, only with the correct organization of work in the CRM system, you can achieve some expected results.
It should be noted that there are very few studies and publications on the effectiveness of CRM use. We can even say that there are almost none. This is due to the fact that CRM technologies are just beginning to really penetrate into commercial activities. For example, here is a very good study: [Leshchev V.A. The effectiveness of the CRM system // Young scientist. – 2016. – No. 12. – S. 165-168.]. This source is one of the very few, but a very successful attempt to formalize the very first knowledge and ideas in this area.
The greatest effect CRM systems bring to companies in the “business-to-business” sector. These are computer, advertising, consulting firms, banks, etc. Sales in them imply direct long-term interaction with the client. And the success of the interaction often depends on how well the manager prepares for the meeting with the client. It is the quality of work with the client, which is ensured by the redundancy of information about him, that becomes the most important competitive advantage of the company. This is especially true in cases where the company’s business is built on transactions with a long cycle of their implementation.
A properly implemented and well-managed CRM system significantly improves the work of the company’s departments that directly interact with the client (sales department, website, online store, marketing department, service and customer services, call center). This, in turn, makes it possible to:
- store, plan and track the history of work with clients;
- ensure the independence of customer information from different or specific managers;
- identify organizations with which there has been no interaction for a long time – this can increase the efficiency of work with the client base;
- do customer segmentation (by industry, status and / or region, etc.);
- prepare and track future transactions (agreements) and payments under them;
- have a system of notifications, reminders and alerts (for example, about the expiration of a task or the arrival of a new client in work, etc.).
Such use of CRM will allow you to get advantages in your business as a whole, in the system of relationships with your customers, in the activities of structural divisions of your company (companies). This, in turn, will make it possible to make competent management decisions, as well as build optimal strategies for the development of the company in the markets of goods and services that are promising for it. Therefore, first of all, the advantages of a CRM system are manifested in an increase in sales indicators, in particular, the volume of sales increases, their efficiency increases, and the cost of attracting customers decreases.
What specific results can CRM give?
The main advantages of a CRM system as a management and marketing functionality include:
- Increasing the speed of decision-making and the efficiency of using working time. By combining disaggregated customer data, the processing and analysis process is accelerated. Those responsible for interaction with customers can see the entire history of contacts, more quickly respond to requests and make decisions on them. CRM systems allow you to automatically track important events related to customers and issue notifications.
- Improving the effectiveness of marketing activities. Since CRM systems store all customer information and interaction history, marketing campaigns are becoming more customer-oriented. The company’s employees have the opportunity to organize marketing activities aimed at each specific client.
- Improving the reliability of reports and the accuracy of sales forecasts through comprehensive systematization of information.
- Determining the value of each client. This allows an organization to identify and plan the resource requirements for a given customer. In addition, here CRM systems allow you to prioritize resource attraction depending on the value of the client.
- Reduction of paperwork. By automating the process of interaction with the client, all documents can be converted into electronic form.
- Reducing customer churn. Thanks to the use of a CRM system, employees have access to all the nuances and details of interactions with customers. This, in turn, improves the quality and efficiency of servicing their requests.
- Eliminate duplication of tasks. CRM systems can be integrated with other management systems, eliminating the double work of transferring and processing data.
- Streamlining business processes. CRM systems allow you to combine all customer interaction processes into a single system. Process inputs and outputs are made available to different employees, which makes it easier to manage contracts, projects, events, products, etc. that are associated with each specific client.
- Improving management culture. Automation of the process reduces the dependence of the tasks to be solved on the subjective actions of each of the employees. Here CRM systems set uniform rules for working and interacting with customers.
- Data protection and safety. Through the use of a CRM system, it is possible to organize centralized control of access to customer data and ensure their safety. After the employee is fired, the database will not disappear anywhere.
What is the bottom line?
And so we smoothly nevertheless came to the main result of the above reasoning. Which, we hope, gradually emerged as I read the article. So, perhaps the most interesting distinguishing feature of commercial activity, in which the use of CRM can be especially effective, is the need and / or planning of constant communications “Supplier (performer, contractor)> Client (customer, recipient)”.
Summing up all the reasoning and calculations, as a conclusion, we have compiled our list as the quintessence of what was previously written and said. There were 15 positions in it. In these types of commercial activities for small and medium-sized businesses, there is just an element of constant communications of the very nature that was mentioned above. We ranked the positions according to the degree of obviousness and effectiveness that seemed to us the most correct. Here’s the list:
- Travel companies and travel business – Customization of on-premise Bitrix24 for a travel company.
- Developers, realtors, real estate.
- Sale, supply, maintenance and repair of various industrial, food, trade, measuring and communal equipment.
- All types of scheduled maintenance and repair of (auto) transport vehicles and equipment.
- Wholesale supply of food products and other various goods to retailers.
- Supply of office supplies to offices.
- Bottled water supply and cooler service.
- Maintenance and repair of coffee machines.
- Insurance companies and insurance business.
- Network marketing companies (for example: pharma, cosmetics and nutritional supplements).
- Various IT services and IT products.
- Dry cleaning of clothes, carpets, other light industry products, laundry services for various organizations.
- Various outsourcing services.
It goes without saying that this list does not at all claim to be sufficient or exhaustive. Or correctness. You can add or change it for yourself. In any case, with this printed material, we are trying to start a big and important conversation about the effectiveness of using CRM in various types of business and commercial activities.