6 Big Benefits of using CRM software

Understanding the Benefits of CRM

The benefits of using CRM (customer relationship management) software for small and mid-sized business owners are covered in this article. As a business owner, I can share with you the beauty and feeling of empowerment you and your team will experience by having a complete view of your customer instantly available. The phone rings, you answer, and up pops up all of the history for that contact, including purchases, contact details, interactions across all channels, and more, all in one beautiful view.

A CRM system is just a piece of software that will provide you access to all this information in one place. Your CRM system can help businesses of all sizes quickly and easily see their customers' journey from inquiry to order. This information will help your small business or mid-sized company improve its customer experience ratings dramatically.  

Explorer starting a journey to zero in on the benefits of using crm software.
Feeling lost on your journey to understanding the benefits of using CRM software?

Let's face it: information is power. I can not overstate the Importance of using CRM software to help your business organize customer information. You will quickly gain insight into the metrics that define your customer relationships. For example, a sales rep can quickly view a customer's journey to see where they are. Sales management can quickly view a sales pipeline to see exactly where all prospects are in the sales process.

This is one of the key benefits of using CRM software; it lets your team sort through large amounts of data quickly to gain insight. From this insight, you can enhance your existing relationships and understand the unique personas that make up your best and worst customer profiles. Sales cycle management lets you be more proactive in developing new customers that fit your target customer profile.

The 6 Key benefits of using CRM software

At a high level, once you have chosen your CRM solution and are up and running, you will quickly see the advantages. Let me start with a short story: in my last company, we were an early adopter of CRM software. We very quickly integrated all of our communication channels into one platform. At the time, our channels included social media, phone, text messaging, and website contact forms. To learn more about CRM and SMS integrations, check out our companion Guide To The 7 Best CRM Software with Texting Features.

As customer leads appeared in our CRM, they were instantly routed to the correct team. From there, we could follow up via the same or a different channel. The beauty of the one integrated system is that every contact with each customer, no matter the initial channel, was unified in a single customer stream or record. Seeing ALL communications with a single customer is impressive and powerful. Let's explore the specific benefits of using CRM software in greater detail.

Time clock representing an implementation schedule for CRM software
Does your team have a short timeline to get your CRM solution up and running?

Enhance Customer Retention and Satisfaction

Keeping your customers aboard and happy is the ultimate goal of any business and one of the main benefits of using CRM systems. We have all had that experience of reaching out for help and feeling as if the person on the other end of the conversation was scrambling to figure out who we were and how they could help us. Now imagine that same conversation with a person on the other end of the conversation that had a full profile of us, all of our orders, and previous contacts before they even picked up the phone.

This 360-degree view of the customer is one of the benefits of using CRM software that companies of all sizes can enjoy. Providing this access to customer information to your customer-facing teams is a first step. From a customer's point of view, think of how much better their interaction with this company would have been had the information been readily available. This is one of the most significant benefits CRM users will appreciate.

Enhanced customer loyalty and satisfaction is the first significant benefit of using CRM software that is well thought out and integrated with all your systems. Integrating all channels is not as daunting a task as it may initially seem.  If you want to improve customer experience and increase your CSAT scores, you can see how having the right CRM solution is an essential first step. Happy customers stick with companies that understand their needs and can quickly and efficiently respond. Satisfied customers are the end goal, and a well-integrated CRM is the key to getting there.

Related Article: CRM Software: The Ultimate Guide For Businesses Of All Sizes
Sales growth rocket blasting off.
Looking to rocket your sales? A CRM sales solution may be the answer.

Sales Growth and Revenue Generation

Another quick story: in my last business, we achieved year-over-year growth targets consistently. This was mainly due to our well-integrated marketing and customer service systems. In the early years, many of our top competitors had legacy systems that did not or could not integrate to take advantage of the benefits of using CRM software. Let's face it: one of the biggest challenges for small business owners is integrating data from divergent systems; a CRM can help with this task.

Rekeying information from one system to another manually leads to errors in data. To achieve the sales and revenue growth your business needs, having a unified view of your customers is critical. Your CRM system can integrate with your sales team and their pipelines and funnels to help your organization stay on track. Your customer-facing sales and customer care teams may be on the front lines, but having everyone working towards the same goals will make getting to where your organization wants to be much easier. 

As sales leads come into your system, one of the benefits of using CRM software is that it can route the leads to your team quickly and efficiently for immediate follow-up. Strike while the iron is hot, as the old saying goes. By following up on opportunities, your team will quickly land deals and grow your sales before a less efficient competitor. Sales growth and revenue generation are some of the key benefits of using CRM software.

Superior Analytics and Reporting Capabilities

Another critical advantage of CRM systems is that they allow the sales to be attributed to the proper lead source to help you understand where your best leads are coming from. Google Analytics and other popular analytics packages can be integrated with many CRMs to help you correctly attribute your lead and customer sales data. Be sure that your team is taking advantage of the reporting capabilities of your new system, as this is one of the most significant benefits of using CRM software.

Revenue recognition is essential business intelligence for any marketing and sales organization to track. At a top-level view, is CRM the source? If so, it is tagged when a lead enters your CRM. In our example above, any leads from online sources can be easily tagged at the source for proper attribution. But you may ask how I can tag offline line channels such as phone calls, walk-in customers, and leads generated by face-to-face visits from your sales team. Well, this is one of the benefits of using CRM software that helps your business shine.

Let's face it: most of us have better things to do than spending our days tagging leads manually. And others in your organization may be downright lazy! To this end, CRM systems can also prompt your team to select the attribution method as they work with the lead in the system. Here is an example of this automation. The phone rings, and your customer support agent fields a call from a new customer.

The system automatically captures the contact's phone number, sets up a text record, and asks your agent to choose from a predefined list of sources. At the end of the call, the system can automatically generate a series of follow-ups for you and your team. For face-to-face contacts, the process is similar and happens as your team enters the lead into the system. As you can see, the benefits of using CRM software can be consistent across channels.

With your attribution and tracking in place, let the reporting begin. You can now compile the data by viewing reports in the CRM to help you see the bigger picture. You can see everything from sales and conversion rates to average response times and CSAT scores in your CRM interface. One of the most useful features is the ability to visualize leads going through the funnel. As you understand your metrics, you can better forecast your revenues and the required input to attain your sales goals. 

Automate and Streamline Your Business Processes

Every organization has its unique way of doing things when it comes to operations. With that said, you can better control your outcomes by having systems in place with clearly defined processes and procedures. Let's face it: McDonald's is the ultimate example of a company with well-defined processes and procedures. A hamburger purchased in Demoines, Iowa, is made like a burger produced in Saigon. This ability to automate and streamline your processes is one of my favorite benefits of using CRM software.

This level of consistency can be a critical differentiator between your company and your competition. It can help your business grow and produce measurable, repeatable experiences and results. Another one of the benefits of using CRM software is the ability to get new team members up and running quickly. You can automate your onboarding process and bring new team members aboard quickly. Our company uses our CRM to automate our new partner outreach to track the onboarding process.

CRM cost savings shown in an artistic image of a dollar sign.
The cost savings and increased operational efficiency are just two benefits of a CRM implementation.

Cost Savings and Efficiency

It is easy to see how automating your operations can lead to cost efficiencies. Reducing repetitive tasks and automating what can be automated will reduce your labor costs. By relieving your team of the more mundane tasks, they can now focus on higher-level projects that will propel your organization forward. Another one of the benefits of using CRM software is to achieve cost savings by digitizing many of the previously printed and mailed documents. Utilizing a CRM platform will accelerate the distribution of your contracts, sales, and marketing materials and achieve cost and time savings.

The benefits of using a CRM to achieve cost savings and efficiency increases also improve customer satisfaction. By implementing CRM solutions, many companies have achieved these types of savings. For example, Wells Fargo has seen savings in labor, increases in developer productivity, and decreased end-user downtime as real results from their salesforce CRM implementation. Another example would be Kimberly-Clark, which has used a CRM system to improve its sales and marketing processes. The CRM they implemented has helped them identify new sales opportunities, track customer interactions, and improve customer service.

Considerations When Choosing CRM Software

Like all business decisions, choosing a CRM solution is a decision that requires careful attention and consideration. The good news is that you have many great solutions that you can choose from to find the best CRM for your needs. As you review the options, here is our short list of key points to consider as you take advantage of the benefits of using CRM software.

Data Privacy and Management

List the customer data points you will interact with in your new environment as a starting point. Based on your region and compliance requirements, be sure that your solution will meet your regulatory needs. You will also want to check your banking and insurance agreements to ensure you consider all the privacy requirements. While having a centralized database across your sales organization is essential, it must be secure.

Identify Your business needs

What other tools do you already have in place? Will you integrate them with your new CRM system or migrate to a new one? If you are migrating, ensure you have access to all of the customer data and the ability to move your data from your existing solution provider. You will also want to explore the capabilities of your new solution. If you are implementing a CRM solution from a new provider, see if they offer a free migration service. Many of the best CRM tool providers will offer this service to new customers looking to capitalize on the benefits of using CRM software.

Scalability and growth potential

As my father would often remind me to measure twice and cut once. If you are trying to move to a new platform, ensure the solution will scale with your needs well into the future. You might be a small to mid-sized business now, but you may quickly scale. Ensure your solution meets the task and can grow with your needs. From additional storage and data processing capabilities to integration options and future compliance needs, research the solution from many angles. The features and benefits of using CRM software will vary from one SaaS solution to another. If a detailed look into CRM features is essential, check out our companion article entitled 10 Powerful CRM Software Features.

Accessibility options

Many of the latest solutions offer many options for accessing your data. A web-based SaaS solution may be the perfect fit. Some providers also offer cloud-based solutions where you can be in charge of your solution, which is hosted on an AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud platform. Another popular option is an on-premise, self-hosted, or managed solution in your data center. No matter the scenario, a CRM for your business should fit your needs and use case. As you can see, no matter where your solution is hosted, you can take advantage of the benefits of using CRM software.

Integration capabilities

Accessing your existing customer and sales report data in the new system is essential. In many scenarios, you may be able to use an existing integration that is available as a preconfigured app in your chosen solution. In other scenarios, you might need to integrate other systems with tools like Zapier to arrive at your desired endpoint to realize the full benefits of using CRM software from a specific vendor.

Product Reputation and customer reviews

With so much feedback data readily available online, researching product reliability and reputation is much easier than in the past. Read reviews from reliable sources, and do not be afraid to ask for a few references from existing clients. Make yourself a list of must-know questions, and take the time to reach out to those references. It is a big decision, and you should invest the time upfront to ensure you make the best choice. Having been through several CRM transitions over the years, I can tell you that you will be happy you invested the time to make the best decision possible.

Comparison of 9 Leading CRM Software

In the chart below, we compare several of the most popular CRM solutions available as SaaS solutions. This chart includes our detailed research showing each platform's key security and data protection and the benefits of using CRM software from each alternative solution provider.

CRM Product Key Features Pricing Free Option
  • Email tracking
  • Lead intelligence
  • Email templates
Pricing starts at $50/user/month Free trial available
  • Lead management
  • Deal pipeline management
  • Email integration
Pricing starts at $14.90/user/month Free trial available
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • CRM
Pricing starts at $19/month No
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • CRM
Pricing starts at $25/month Yes
  • Contact management
  • Sales pipeline tracking
  • Email integration
From $20/user/month Yes
  • Contact management
  • Email marketing
  • Sales automation
Pricing starts at $12.74/user/month Yes
Capsule CRM
  • Contact management
  • Sales pipeline tracking
  • Task management
Pricing starts at $18/user/month Free trial available
  • Contact management
  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages
Pricing starts at $159/month/billed annually Free CRM option available
  • Contact management
  • Email sequences
  • Pipeline management
Pricing starts at $49/user/month/billed annually Free trial available

Implementation and Best Practices for CRM Software

A successful rollout of any new platform requires lots of planning. Take time to get it right, and bring in the best experts to help you succeed. No matter the size of your implementation, having a well-assembled team of experts involved who have done this before is critical. 

Steps for successful CRM implementation

Having been through several rollouts, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. The key to any successful rollout is planning and getting buy-in from everyone involved so that you can realize the full benefits of using CRM software. Be sure that everyone on your team understands the reason for the transition and has input into the process. Also, ensure you have tasked one individual to be the project lead. This person will coordinate as needed between the internal and external teams.

Get Ready to take advantage of the Benefits of using CRM software

  • Understand your Business Goals
  • Choose the Right Platform
  • Map Out Your Needs

Training and adoption strategies for CRM usage

  • Assign your Team
  • Start Your Training and Orientation Early
  • Map out your data migration, features, and integrations

Assemble your internal team and external team of experts. Your external team of experts will guide your internal team through the process. Internally, you will want to be sure that you have at least one person representing each functional area of your organization who is tasked with providing input along the way. This person will also be in charge of testing the system before going live from the viewpoint of their functional area. Be sure to start training the troops on the new system so that everyone is ready to hit the ground running when you do go live. The new system should feel like an old friend by your go-live date.

Successfully launch your CRM by preparing with your internal and external teams.
A CRM software implementation team looks at a rocket depicting their upcoming software launch.

You can push the whole system live on day one or have a phased cutover where you roll out the new system in phases. The best approach will be different for each organization.

Post Go Live

  • Get Feedback
  • Give more training
  • Monitor performance
  • Tweak the new system

Tips for maximizing the Benefits of using CRM software

Once your rollout is behind you, you will be ready to start quickly and begin exploring the benefits of using CRM software. Below are our top tips for getting the most out of your new solution:

  • Automate and set up rules wherever possible
  • Create and tweak your templates to provide canned responses by functional area
  • Add new channels of communication for your customers
  • Make sure that you have tied together all of the functionality that your new system offers
  • Do not be afraid to roll out new features one at a time
  • Make sure your team is keeping data current and updating records with each customer interaction
  • Have periodic training and support for your team
  • Analyze your data and metrics
  • Create product champions who can advocate and train fellow team members

 The future is bright for the CRM market, but knowing what is coming and how the trends will impact you is essential. Below, we break out the most significant trends coming by category. While some of these benefits of using CRM software are available today, they will only continue to improve in the future.

  • Integration of Voice and Natural Language Processing (NLP) 
  • New AI Technologies will make CRM more intuitive and easy to use
  • IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity will increasingly tie together connected systems with CRM
  • Mobile will continue to evolve and eventually be the primary platform for CRM

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