Maximizing your 2012 CRM Returns
In my last blog, I discussed some basic principles to follow when considering how to maximize ROI with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
The basic premise was that simply buying CRM software will not deliver ROI any more than writing a business plan will start a business … you also have to implement it strategically and commit to it.
Here are the most important aspects I outlined:
- Your relationship with your CRM vendor, starting with selection of the right one
- The supporting strategic alignments your company has put in place
- The time spent and money invested in a proper implementation
While those elements do contribute to approximately 75% of your success, however, there’s still the 25% or so that is dependent on having the right software capabilities.
Here’s the bottom line:
Not having a CRM in place puts you at an immediate disadvantage: Sales are probably declining due to lack of organization; customers feel you don’t understand them; salespeople are frustrated by a lack of support; and management has no idea what’s happening because reports take days to create and are often outdated or incomplete.
If you have a CRM in place, then you’re at least in the race, but there’s still a whole new level of ROI to be discovered.
According to a survey conducted by Nucleus Research in Nov 2011, the 3-year average ROI of CRM regardless of industry is $5.60 for every $1 spent, or 560%, even if the company was on their 2nd or 3rd CRM system. And those are REAL statistics.
Like I mentioned in the last entry, CRM is a different investment animal. It doesn’t readily adhere to the law of diminishing returns. In fact, Nucleus claims that additional CRM investments driving greater productivity, mobile access, or improved management can still deliver triple-digit ROI.
How can you take advantage of this for sustainable growth and returns? Consider a CRM that follows these technology trends and shifts:
1. Standardizing of Cloud CRM – with smart phones and Internet access everywhere, what good is a CRM that can only be accessed from an office PC? Cloud-based solutions give you more freedom in how you manipulate the sales cycle and manage growth. This increased accessibility also means salespeople will be more likely to use it, making them far more productive.
2. Focus on Ease-of-Use – since the best CRMs are now web-based, ease-of-use becomes paramount. Giving salespeople access anywhere is great, but only if they understand it. Ever notice how web browsers seem to get faster, more readable, more automatic with auto-fill options, and more point-and-click focused with every update? It’s because web-development tools are getting more advanced every year. Think of your CRM as a “browser” for your Customer information. Shouldn’t that be just as easy and powerful to use?
3. Demand for Mobile CRM – In my opinion, any CRM vendor that doesn’t offer free mobile access is clearly out of tune with a salesperson’s needs. Regardless of your sales model, mobile access can be beneficial to every organization, especially with the growing power of smartphones. Find a CRM that is up to par with the iPhone 4S and the integrated voice-to-text application. Tell your sales team they can dictate sales call notes straight into the CRM using their iPhone as they drive to their next meeting (or even walk to the water cooler from their desk), and I’ll bet my job that CRM productivity doubles.
In today’s world, technology is estimated to double every 24 months. Consider that for a moment ... technology is constantly evolving. Even now, your company is developing more advanced products and more efficient methods of delivering services. Your customers demand the latest and greatest. It’s necessary to maintain your market share and profits.
Doesn’t it just make sense, then, to provide your salespeople with comparable technology to drive those sales?