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Do I Need a CRM?

Is it time to get a CRM?

Well, more than 91% of companies with more than 11 employees have a CRM.  

However, this doesn’t mean a CRM system is essential for your business. You might well thrive using a simple system based on Excel or paper notes.

You might not need a CRM, if

  • Your team is small and close-knit
  • You have few clients
  • You get few leads
  • You have few products and make few sales
  • Repeat business isn’t common
  • You operate in a B2C market where simpler ecommerce style systems may be better suited to your business

However, you’d be in a minority of businesses, as most benefit from using a CRM. Research shows CRM pays back a return on investment of over 870%

You probably need a CRM if…

You have a sales team bigger than one

Crowd scene

As soon as you have multiple salespeople, you’ll need a system for storing and tracking leads. Your CRM will minimise data entry time and free up salespeople to sell. Given that 27% of sales professionals spend over an hour a day on data-entry work, there is huge scope to save time and money

Even if your salespeople work independently of each other, it’s important to store their lead information centrally and analyse it to help understand what works.

Many of the benefits are in sales admin. You can use CRM to

  • Manage each salesperson’s workflow, so they can see quickly who they need to contact each day.
  • Set automated follow up reminders so salespeople get a prompt to chase a lead before it goes cold
  • Use automated lead scoring to help prioritise a high-volume sales funnel
  • Send out personalised courtesy emails to warm up cold leads
  • Record all your historic interactions with each lead to get a deep understanding of them. Additionally, this information is shared so colleagues can contextualise any other communication they have with the lead

Managers can view data to:

  • Monitor sales performance
  • Learn which sales approaches work best
  • Look for bottlenecks and areas to improve

More about sales CRM systems

You run marketing campaigns

Unless you have very few contacts, a CRM system will make executing campaigns at scale, much easier.

  • You can use intelligence about each contact or lead to add them to marketing segments. You can then send uniquely targeted information to each segment, depending on their
    • Interests
    • Location
    • Behaviour
    • Purchase likelihood, and many other factors
  • Sending campaign emails is simple, as most CRMs have an integrated bulk emailing system.
  • Most CRMs will also include marketing automation to perform actions based on people’s responses and data.
  • For example, all people who clicked on an email about a product can receive an email with a special offer.
  • When a lead score rises above a threshold, schedule a task for the salesperson

A study from the Marketing Tech Blog revealed that CRM systems can help businesses reduce the cost of lead generation by 23%.

You run a customer service or support function

Running a customer support service or a contact centre is almost impossible without a centralised store of data

  • With a shared store of data, you’ll know all the customer’s interactions with your colleagues.
  • Contact data for each case is logged automatically. All calls and email data are recorded with no manual input.
  • Handing cases over or escalation is simple as the full case history appears in each case
  • Automated responses reassure customers that they are being looked after
  • Collect tips and guides in a centralised store to help agents fix common problems
  • Many CRM systems feature Omnichannel communication, which means that the system allows contact on many channels such as social, telephone, email, chat. The beauty of omnichannel is that all discussions are stored together so context isn’t lost
  • Self-service portals allow customers to find help and manage their tickets

Your sales pipeline is long or complex

  • If sales in your business can take a long time to close, salespeople will need to look back over previous interactions to be freshly informed for each call.
  • You’ll need a structured series of reminders so that the lead never goes cold because of lack of sales effort.
  • If many people or complex criteria are involved in qualifying a lead. Business process flows help to rationalise that.

You want to keep your data safe

  • If you store data in Excel, it is easy to lose or become corrupted
  • You can control access to data so that sensitive data is hidden
  • Most CRM data is held centrally in the cloud. This is backed up and has a high availability. Data loss is rare

You have employees who work away from the office

Whether it’s engineers, salespeople or home workers. You’ll find it very hard for people to access your data away from the office without a CRM.

They’re easy to access on a mobile phone and are available anywhere where there is an internet connection

Your business decisions are based on hunch, rather than data

  • You can take real-time snapshots of your sales pipeline. Forecast likely sales over time with ease
  • Discover what works
    • Average length of a sale
    • Conversion %
    • Which marketing channel is most useful?
  • Discover insights such as
    • The number of touchpoints to make a sale
    • How many sales are likely to close this financial year?
    • How many service cases are open?
customer service dashboard

You want to grow your business

To grow and maintain consistent quality, a CRM is essential

  • As new salespeople arrive, they need to understand the structure of your sales journey. All well-structured CRMs will guide you through the sales process
  • A centralised system will help foster a culture of sharing information, and help with onboarding
  • Help managers keep a track on targets
  • A good CRM will manage workloads centrally

Where do I start?

It’s a good idea to find a consultant to take an independent look at your business and make suggestions.

We sell Microsoft Dynamics 365 products, which we customise to suit your business. Try our free audit and discover if you’re a good fit for Dynamics.

Please get in touch if you’d like a free audit – there’s no obligation, of course.

Don’t forget

The average return on investment for CRM is £8.71 for every pound spent.

📆 Last update: March 20, 2024

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