Customer Relationship Management (CRM), or as we like to call it – Consistent Relationship Management, solutions have been around for decades now and most everyone has tried to institute some level of CRM processes whether it is basic contact management or implementing a robust system like Salesforce. However, most companies have failed at adopting CRM processes and solutions. So why is implementing best practices within a good CRM solution so critical? Here are three main reasons why we think CRM is the most critical business process within your company and also why it’s important to have a good solution in place to manage these important business processes.
If CRM is Broken, Your Company is Broken
Sales is the lifeblood of any organization. It doesn’t matter how great your product is, if nobody buys it. It doesn’t matter how great your sales team is, if you can’t replicate their success or manage their progress. The key to sales is CRM and the key to good CRM processes is all about following a consistent process and tracking key activities within the CRM solution. CRM is much more than sales – it’s the hub of your entire business. Everyone needs to follow the same process so customers receive a consistent experience. Likewise, the team needs to track everything within the CRM so you have good data about customers and the market. The data allows you to adapt and evolve your processes quickly using real, market-validated information so you can serve your customers better.
If you don’t follow a standard CRM process, how will you achieve consistent results? How will your prospects and customers receive a consistent experience? How will you train your existing employees and onboard new team members? How will you be able to deliver your products and services consistently when sales doesn’t interact with prospects the same way? The answer is that you can’t. Yes, you can do it with a small team for a short period of time, but your business won’t scale over the long-term. When your business won’t scale, you don’t have a real business. Good CRM processes and a solid CRM system fix so many of these organizational issues. When you fix these problems upstream during the sales process, you are able to deliver your products and services with higher customer satisfaction and increased profit margins.
Your Company Is Worth a Lot Less Without a CRM
Want to sell your company one day or at least go on vacation? You need a CRM. How will someone ever run your business when you don’t have good processes in place and historical data that validates your business model? CRM processes and data prove to outsiders that you have a real, viable business. It’s awesome to have great people, however, sellable businesses are built on great processes and great people. Even if you don’t have aspirations to sell, you need a CRM so you can grow the business without imploding. A CRM solution ensures your team follows consistent processes and captures key data so you know what is going on without having to be involved in every single detail. CRM brings freedom to both the business and it’s management. It also creates tremendous enterprise value and increases your valuation multiple.
Get Good at CRM or Someone Else Will
The businesses that know their market, understand their customers, and deliver consistent results will win. Most markets are hyper-competitive and differentiation is difficult. The companies with the most data, best processes, and great people will win in the long-term. You can’t differentiate yourself by simply having good people. You have to have good processes and systems in place to support them. Otherwise, your competition will poach your key people and you’ll work yourself to death trying to keep up. A CRM ensures you have key data about prospects, customers, and the market so you can make wise decisions. More importantly, you have real-time insights to how the business is performing. As we mentioned above, sales is the lifeblood of the company and you need to have good CRM data so you can identify problems early and fix issues before they are too late. The reality is that if you don’t master this part of your business, someone else will. They will quickly overcome you with better sales and relationship management. Over-time, the lack of a CRM will overcome any other advantages you may have.
CRM processes and solutions are critical to growing a real business. While implementing these systems and processes can be difficult, it’s worth the investment and effort as you’ll build a sustainable business that delivers consistent results.