Each week, we like to try and bring you 5 topics from across the spectrum relating to CRM news from various news and blog sites. This week we have found our top 5 topics with links to the relevant sites
1.CRM software industry grew significantly in 2013
According to recent analysis by Gartner, the customer relationship management (CRM) software industry grew by about 14 per cent globally last year, and the numbers for 2014 are looking very positive.
The Gartner report, called "Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2013", indicates that there was a very strong demand for SaaS, or software as a service, a category that includes CRM software.
Back in 2012, the CRM software market was worth around £10 billion. Last year, CRM software revenue was almost £12 billion.
The report also shows that the competition within the CRM software industry has become even fiercer than before, with the top five players comprising almost 50 per cent of the sector’s total revenue. Microsoft CRM was in the top five.
Customer experience and digital marketing initiatives are the main driving forces of the CRM software market.
"CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years," stated Joanne Correia, Gartner’s VP of research. "This is one technology area that will get funding because digital business is critical for companies to remain competitive."
It is worth mentioning that the IT services, communications, and media industries happen to be the biggest spenders within the CRM software market, primarily because they focus on large groups, which tend to use call centres. These industries also require strong analytics in order to improve the overall customer experience – a principle of any CRM strategy.
2.CRM secrets every small business should know
The internet can be a difficult place to compete, especially for small businesses. However, small businesses can thrive online with the right strategy and plenty of focus.
That’s where CRM – customer relationship management – comes into play. The customer experience is what drives sales and builds a loyal, satisfied clientele. Small businesses simply need to identify their strengths and build on them to make their customers happy.
The small business competitive edge
Small businesses often have an advantage over their larger counterparts because they can take the time to really get to know their customers. The competitive edge here is that small businesses can offer things that big business cannot, such as personalisation. Get to know the customers and give them the benefit of small business customer familiarity.
A strong CRM strategy doesn’t mean just investing in the latest CRM software; it means also taking action to provide the best possible customer experience. That is why businesses should have knowledgeable staff members who are prepared to answer any and all questions. Investing in additional training for sales and customer service staff is always a good idea.
Act like a small business
Even the savviest of customers appreciate the feeling they have when they patronise a mom-and-pop shop, which is why small businesses should act like small businesses, albeit carefully. Emphasising staff training, as mentioned above, is a must. However, it goes further than that. Make sure the staff spends time with customers, either via the chat programme, emailing or even on the phone.
These ideas aren’t exactly revolutionary, but they do often fall by the wayside as small businesses try to compete with larger companies in their respective sectors. All too often, they forget that there is a certain advantage to being a small company. Remember, CRM is so much more than a programme; it is also a strategy.
3. When CRM fails, it is usually because of the team
Many times, CRM is thought to simply be a technology, but it is not so much a technology as it is a business discipline. However, it is not a discipline to be practised by one person; it is actually a group effort. Everyone in the business must be committed to CRM to enhance the overall customer experience.
However, CRM practises aren’t always embraced right away, often because implementing a solid CRM strategy comes with integrating CRM software. There is always a learning curve, and a little bit of time is usually needed to adjust to the new system.
Sometimes, management deems CRM to have failed, but why? In most cases, the cause isn’t the CRM system but rather the failure of those using the system to fully embrace it.
Here is a look at the staff that can often make the most – or the worst – of a new CRM strategy or system.
- Sales executives. Often, a new CRM system is brought in because of perceived problems in the sales process. However, if the executives don’t fully buy into the strategy or system, there will be no benefits. Even if the sales team uses the programme, the data will go to waste if the higher-ups aren’t using it.
- Support staff. Customer service representatives are constantly in contact with customers and play a huge role in building loyalty. If these employees see entering data into the CRM system as optional, the bottom line will fall. Make sure that the support team enters everything they can into the CRM system.
- Marketing department. If the marketing department doesn’t add sufficient information about each lead into the CRM system, how will sales and support know what the next step is? If sales and marketing aren’t communicating, customers could feel neglected and might not trust the business.
- Sales staff. There is no doubt that the more information a salesperson has about a particular customer, the more likely they are to close that deal. Often, the failure of sales staff to use the CRM system effectively starts with leadership.
The success of the CRM strategy should be shared with all employees so that everyone commits to its adoption. Remember, this is a team effort!
4. Improve fitness sales with a CRM system
An increase in sales is always good for the bottom line in any industry, which is why even fitness facilities should consider adopting a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Tracking sales opportunities, analysing customer data, and predictive analysis are all essential tools to a business’s success. They are all also very difficult to achieve without an automated system. That’s where CRM software comes in. A CRM programme turns these challenges into opportunities by uniting the sales, marketing, and customer service departments via a single platform that everyone has access to.
It doesn’t matter what size a facility is or its service scope; a good CRM system is a must-have for any company that wants to attract and keep members. Often, the perception that CRM is only for large businesses stops smaller companies from taking advantage of the benefits that CRM has to offer. Remember, CRM isn’t just about the software – it is also a strategy.
Getting to know the customer is not a trend. It is a legitimate business strategy that can reap long-term rewards.
So, how can a CRM system help a fitness facility? First of all, the cost of finding new customers is more expensive that retaining existing ones. A CRM system can help increase sales by helping marry customer needs with facility strengths to keep customers happy and loyal.
Another way that a CRM system can help boost sales is through better lead management. The days of losing hot leads are gone when everyone on the sales team has access to up-to-the-minute information. This means a decrease in response time and more efficient customer service.
So, what’s the delay? Invest in a CRM system right away!
5. Turning CRM around with reporting tools
Business intelligence, or BI, is a vital tool that helps businesses make the most of their efforts. Often, BI is thought to be limited to customer information, but that isn’t exactly the case. In reality, BI plays an important role in the CRM strategy.
The CRM system helps businesses gather lots of information about leads, customers, and sales practises, but it can also help record data about the way a business actually uses its CRM strategy. This can be a great help to any business, but the trick is actually using the reporting tools to turn the CRM strategy around.
One of the great “forgotten features” of the CRM system is the internal reporting. This is unfortunate because there is so much it can do for a business.
Using the tools
If more businesses would simply use the internal reporting tools that come with the CRM system, they would have a much clearer understanding of their business’s efforts. Knowing how widely, how frequently, and which employees use the system is extremely beneficial in understanding the effect the CRM strategy has on the company’s success. This information can help determine which departments are lagging in performance and which ones are excelling.
The internal reporting tools can also provide evidence of patterns, which might help managers coach personnel to improve their use of the system and increase sales. These patterns can also help identify leadership issues.
There is a lot that CRM can teach managers about the business itself, and it can teach them even more about the customers. So, if business owners are open to learning these lessons, they should make better use of the reporting tools in their CRM system.
MyCRM limited are a managed service CRM provider of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, currently in our 5th year of trading with customers in 26 countries. We can provide either a full managed service platform based on Microsoft technology or have a range of software extensions though our App Store which enables end organization’s to adapt and extend their CRM systems. We have a full in house product design and development team, along with support and service team to help organization get the best from their Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation.
App Store & Download Centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/