9 Benefits of CRM in 2021
If you’re wondering if or why you should be using a CRM (customer relationship management) system, you’re in the right place. From detailed data analytics to improved customer relationships and seamless collaboration between your teams, CRMs provide a host of benefits that growing and established businesses can take advantage of.
Continue reading for our top nine benefits of using a CRM system, and discover which are most relevant to your business.
Our Top 9 Benefits of Using a CRM System
Customer relationship management (CRM) software has been a huge driving force for businesses for a number of years now. By collecting data from customers and leads, it allows you to better understand the needs and wants of your audience so you can keep them engaged, satisfied, and coming back for more.
But now more than ever, the use of CRMs is skyrocketing, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2% in 2021. You can’t ignore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in these figures: now that there’s an even greater reliance on the digital world, companies across all business sectors have accelerated their demand for CRM analysis and automation so that they can continue meeting the growing digital needs of their customers.
The pandemic has also made remote collaboration between employees a necessity, with over 56.8% of teams in America working from home. This has also driven the need for CRM software and platforms, which provide comprehensive tools that are typically cloud-based. This means that you don’t have to download software or keep the data on your computers; you can simply access it all via the Cloud any time, any place. This brings us to the first of our benefits of a CRM system: real-time online collaboration.
1. Real-time online collaboration
CRM systems are a great way to keep everyone in your team connected and working together. There are many ways this is made possible, depending on the system you choose: some platforms offer “feeds” as a kind of bulletin board, where you can keep everyone updated, collaborate on ideas, and broadcast important announcements, while others give you the opportunity to integrate your CRM with chat tools. It all depends on which system you go with, so make sure you do some research to get the one that will work for you and your team.
Additionally, all CRMs allow you to assign various levels of access to your employees depending on their roles. For instance, you could give your marketing team access to the database and analytics on a per geographical area basis. You can also customize your company dashboard and assign roles to your employees so that everyone knows what they’re doing. In this way, real-time online collaboration facilitates work efficiency regardless of the location of your staff. As long as they have a computer and an internet connection, they can access your company’s CRM system.
There are several free platforms you can use for real-time online collaboration, including Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, and the Hubspot CRM basics package. However, if you’re working with a large database of customer information or are starting to see your business grow rapidly, you’ll likely want to upgrade to paid CRM software, which provides a lot more functionality and depth.
2. Make use of detailed data analytics
Collecting audience data is one thing, but interpreting and then using that data is key if you want to convert and retain your customers. Data is useless if you can’t relate it to certain metrics and specific business goals. Luckily, CRM platforms typically have built-in analytics that can contextualize your data.
Analytics are used to break down data into easily understood categories and correlations, meaning that your data then becomes actionable. For example, if you have data on your cart abandonment rate, your data items can be actionable in terms of sending follow up emails to customers who abandoned their carts.
3. Provide better customer service
CRM systems can help your e-commerce or e-business, and even your brick-and-mortar business, improve customer service by being responsive to the needs of your customers based on what stage of the sales funnel they’re in.
You can do this by customizing your offers, services, and content marketing according to the data that you’re able to collect using your CRM system. For example, data on purchase history will allow you to recommend more relevant products or content to specific customers.
Using a CRM also helps to improve your customer relationships. By understanding your customers’ needs and wants, you’ll be able to engage leads more effectively, as well as tailor your communications to every individual.
The best example of this is the use of customer information collected from sign-up emails, such as birthdays. Knowing things like this may seem trivial, but it gives you the chance to add a personal touch to your emails and online communication, either by sending customers automated “happy birthday” emails, or even just calling them by their first names. Small things like this are what set you apart from the competition because it humanizes your business and shows your customers you care.
4. Improve your bottom line
As you improve your customer service, your leads and your customers are more likely to be satisfied, and you can expect to see improved sales as a result. Your CRM can provide you insights related to what stage of the customer journey your leads are in, which means you can focus on their specific desires and target them effectively. You won’t only increase your conversion rate by doing this, but will also be able to earn the loyalty and trust of your existing customers.
5. A centralized database of customer information
Most CRM systems are offered as SaaS (software as a service), which has the advantage of saving data in the Cloud instead of taking up room on your computer. This also means that your CRM database can be accessed and updated in real-time.
Also, since different teams can be granted different levels of access to information, the integrity of your data is better maintained. Another benefit of having a centralized database is that it avoids the risk of conflicting entries and possible double entries of the same data.
6. Segment your customers
CRM systems are customizable and have integrated AI tools that allow you to properly organize your customer data. This is called customer segmentation, and it’s important because it allows you to tailor your marketing strategy to the specific needs of specific customers, based on things like their location, age, online behavior, and psychographic characteristics.
As we all know, one size definitely does not fit all when it comes to marketing a business or product. With a CRM, customer segmentations can either be entered manually, or predefined in the settings. You can then use filters to access the data on specific demographic groups or categories of customers.
7. Efficient communications with customers and leads
Ultimately, by using your CRM’s analytics on different customer segments, you’ll be able to achieve better communication with your customers by knowing what makes each one tick.
As well as this, your CRM system will be able to track the transactions and progress of each customer, and tasks can be assigned to your employees based on these transactions. For instance, you can assign one team to follow up on closing sales, and another to contact leads who have shown an interest in your product.
8. More accurate sales forecasting
CRM systems aren’t only about collecting customer data; they’re also about making sense of that data. We’ve already mentioned how useful CRMs are at providing detailed data analytics, but what we haven’t mentioned is how these can aid you in accurately forecasting sales within a reasonable time range. As a result, you’ll be better equipped to handle things like business planning, budgeting, and risk assessment.
9. Increased efficiency with functional automation
Aside from automating the data collection function, your CRM system and its accompanying tools can also help you automate some of your business processes. For example, you can create email auto-responses that are tailor-made to the recipients. In fact, CRMs have AI functions that can smartly compose customized email auto-responses, including things like the customer’s name.
Recurring tasks can also be effectively automated, giving your employees the chance to focus on more complicated tasks. Some CRM systems may also integrate AI chat bots that can answer customer queries in real-time, giving them the answers they need right there and then before they have a chance to click away.
Want to find out how to use CRM to take your business to the next level? Let’s talk.