By Kim Koster, Director of Product Marketing at Unanet
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is simply a discipline that manages a company's interaction with current and potential customers. The reason companies are making CRM a priority is to improve overall relationships with customers, specifically to focus on customer retention (stickiness) and to drive sales growth. Tracking and documenting customer touches is a critical part of the overall discipline because fact-based data and the resultant analytics play a major role in understanding customers’ needs.
Let’s further discuss a customer touch. Traditionally we thought of a “touch” as a phone call or a face-to-face meeting or conference but there are so many other ways to touch a customer today – Webinars, White Papers, Blogs, Email, Your Company Website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Product Briefs, and other marketing materials. It is important to analyze all the available customer information/touches to understand the needs and pains of your customer. Understanding who (role, title, persona) is buying your product will help you truly understand the buyer’s journey, which in turn will lead to increased sales. “Sales” means not only the initial sale of product or service but should also include future upsales and renewals. Having a great relationship will build the trust your customers need to have to continue to partner with you. The overall buyer’s journey could literally last years and in some cases decades.
Your contacts are one of the most prized assets of your company so why would you trust them to silos of Excel spreadsheets or worse, post-it notes. CRM should be managed in a tool that accounts for the entire lifecycle of the project. Customer relations go from suspect, to prospect, to buyer, to customer (product and services), user of customer service, and then back to buyer again in an endless loop. Well it’s endless as long as you keep your customer delighted.
Because this loop is endless, you want a system that can track the entire the project lifecycle. A system that is not tracking the execution of the project does not truly cover the breadth of a successful CRM practice.
What are the Benefits of an integrated CRM Tool?:
- Instant access to prospects and customers in one central location
- Tracking of the buyer/customer journey through the entire project lifecycle
- Ability to analyze data and make good business decisions
- Study market trends and customer pains
- Understand future revenue potential and resource forecasts
- Access to a weighted forecast based on probability percentages
- Increased visibility and control over future financials – profit, revenue, growth, and new orders
Unanet was designed from the ground up with the entire project lifecycle in mind so it is not surprising that CRM is embedded in the ONE tool. Call us today to understand how we can help your business development and customer success teams today.