Customer Relationship A Dozen Tried Tips to Better Know Your CRM

Customer Relationship and A Dozen Tried Tips to Better Know Your CRM

CRM | by David Klein

Veteran marketers mostly pride themselves on their connections and of the capabilities in understanding their customers.

However, on the flip-side research on this subject shows that although 76% of smart marketers claim that they are aware of their customer’s requirements, only 34% have ever asked their customers as to what their customers want.

This Perception Gap a word coined by Brian Solis and his team at Pivot is the breach between what the customers need and what the company executives think that their customer wants.

A pretty fascinating topic for discussion.

Just as making an assumption about your customers can prove to be costly, similarly, on the other hand, understanding what your customers need can enable any business to leapfrog their competitions.

If you are of the opinion that you understand your customers, can you answer these few questions to find out if your assumptions are true?

Here we go:

  • What are the three most common problems that keep your customers up at night?
  • What are the three most sought after services or products that you provide, that can solve your customer’s greatest woes?
  • When was it last that any customer purchased these three products or services from you?
  • How long did it take to complete your sales cycle in selling these products and services to your customer?
  • How many touches did this sale require from your sales reps?
  • What are the opportunities that you have for shortening your sales cycle?
  • What are your up-sell opportunities?
  • How many up-sell opportunities did you lose?
  • How satisfied are your customers with your buying process?
  • Do you have any other contacts for building a new relationship in your customer’s organization?
  • Do all your team members have the access to the data to collaborate and nurture leads that will ensure the best possible experience for your customers?

It is unfortunate that although many small and medium businesses may have this information in their head, this data is not tracked anywhere. Hence, this information most often remains in the minds of the product-marketing managers, sales reps, CEOs, and customer support representatives.

If you want to dive deep, here is the infographic developed by Brian Solis and Pivot based on their Perception Gap research:Perception Gap
Image Source:
https://visual.ly/community/infographic/business/perception-gap

The power of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can make or break your business. CRM offers most basic insights that can improve collaboration and revenue while decreasing the length of sales cycles in the fields of marketing and sales of a company.

It is a commonly known fact that it is always much easy to sell to a happy existing customer than to acquire a new one.

So, why so many marketers skip the most important thumb rule of sale-retaining ongoing customer relationship management?

Do you have any idea about what businesses you are leaving behind on the table for not being proactive in doing your homework about knowing the needs of your customers on a daily basis? How many relationships could you have not nurtured properly with your customers because of broken communications and unavailability of data to identify your customer’s needs that stopped you from embarking on the next step?

Knowing your customer do not just mean understanding their buying patterns and social behaviors or simply reading industry reports on what your customers may need now.

It has been often noticed that marketers get so busy doing upfront market research before a product launch, that they lose sight of the importance that nestles beneath continuous understanding of the customers, which keeps any business relationship thriving.

All businesses have a multitude of opportunities to gather customer data throughout the customer lifecycle.

However, the secret to success lies in interpreting those data to better serve the customers, retain them and ultimately sell the customers more products and services.

CMS platforms enable business leaders along with their sales and marketing teams to stay on top of the customer buying patterns, a trend that can directly affect their sales, delivery, and customer service successes.

Even an unimportant customer data can prove valuable over time, particularly when it is coupled with additional data sources.

There are many organizations those who invest in complicated or complex CRM systems, only to find they do not have sufficient in-house resources to manage these platforms.

Therefore, before buying your CRM for small and medium businesses, focus on right sizing your CRM system, and buy a CRM built exclusively for SMB processes.

Here are 12 killer tips for buying a CRM that will help you to take your customer relationship to the next level this year:

  1. Before purchasing a CRM system, identify your tactical and strategic needs. Research and find the best platform that will suit the requirements of your business. Not all CRMs are meant for everyone- as one size does not fit all.
  2. Know what you expect out of your CRM. Identify your goals and metrics that will help to guide your transformation to the new customer relationships that your desire.
  3. Get a real feel about your available resources to acquire, prepare, implement, and maintain your new CRM.
  4. Ask hard questions to your CRM vendors so that you can be certain about knowing what you are getting regarding all cost and time considerations.
  5. Find out if you need to outsource additional help for implementation, maintenance of the CRM or for any other kind of CRM related strategic guidance.
  6. Ask for additional customer testimonials from your CRM vendors even if they have readily available testimonials of their customers from your industry niche on their website. Once you are in possession of these extra testimonials, call those references and ask them what challenges did they experience while implementation of their CRM.
  7. Never underestimate the power of your peers. Ask them what CRM platforms they use and why they admire their CRM. In addition, read online reviews of different CRM, search for forums, and groups those who are devoted discussing CRM related issues.
  8. If you are migrating from an existing CRM system to another, find out what are the necessary steps, cost and time that is associated with the transfer process.
  9. Even before buying a CRM, prepare a detailed plan for execution of the system. Set solid goals, timelines, milestones, SLA responsibilities and encourage absolute collaboration across your organization for implementing the system.
  10. After implementation of the CRM platform, continuously manage your progress. Find out if you are utilizing your CRM to its fullest potentials.
  11. Find out if your agents and other employees are filling the CRM with every single valuable customer data, as you instructed them during installation of the system.
  12. Most of all, after installation of CRM, evaluate how or what you are continuously learning about your existing and new customers so that you can enhance your customer relationships using the system.

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The more you do this upfront pre-sales research, the greater will be your satisfaction and happiness with whichever CRM you choose as an ideal customer relationship management platform for your business.

Nurturing customer relationship is not just a one-time event. In other words, excelling in customer relationship is not a destination but rather a journey.

Remember, the more you can learn about your customers, the better you can serve them, which is directly proportional to your company’s growth and ROI.

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