Every business wants to grow, most realize that the customer is the key, but few realize how powerful a CRM can be in strengthening customer relationships and making sure they’re nurtured properly over time.
According to Yahoo, a CRM can increase sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by up to 34% and forecast accuracy by 42% for your business. It sounds great, but how do you make it work for you?
Here are six steps to growing your CRM exponentially year after year:
1. Focus More Efficiently on your Niche
From the very beginning it should be clear what your ideal customer base looks like, whether it is comprised of 18 – 25 year old males interested in sports or female business owners, to ensure that your time and effort in generating leads and nurturing those leads into customers is spent efficiently on the right type of prospects.
By focusing on your niche at every stage of the prospecting process, you’ll be more likely to understand where they live online, what content they like, their interests and business needs.
Creating this interest graph of data around your niche will more effectively connect your business with the right customers genuinely interested in your products and services since your approach is catered to them specifically.
2. Plan an Extensive Lead Generation Strategy
Lead generation is crucial to building a network of potential customers in your CRM, which can be done through content, events and pure advertising, to name a few approaches.
A lead often visits your website, downloads content, fills out your contact form or calls your business because they’ve already received value from your business or because they believe they can gain value from your business.
Your lead generation strategy should be centered on how your business can provide value to leads or give the impression of implied value. You can provide value to a lead through creating and distributing engaging content like an eBook or blog post, offering a free trial or consultation or by giving a demo of your products or services.
Implied value is when a lead has not yet experienced value from your organization first hand, but has gotten a positive impression about your business through word of mouth, at an event or in an advertisement online or offline. Develop a clear strategy that keeps in mind both approaches to value when it comes to bringing qualified leads to your business.
3. Integrate Other Business Functions to Improve Your Bottom Line
Integrate your CRM across your organization to better prepare for monitoring your company’s performance and to spot customer trends as they happen.
Capturing all the interactions current and potential customers are having with your website and brand like downloads, page views, subscribes etc., will help make your CRM more actionable and robust with a more complete picture of each of your customers.
It is important to strive for accuracy across each business department including sales, marketing and customer service by integrating the technology each is using in one platform to boost productivity and save time and money. This is often done through the integration of your API’s through your organization, with the use of a cloud based platform or a combination of both approaches.
4. Encourage Employee Compliance Across the Company
Similarly, ensuring that all your employees are following the same procedures when it comes to how your CRM is used, how communication should take place with your prospects, how to score your leads and how each department should collaborate at each step of the process.
Requiring the use of your CRM may seem strict, but it is crucial for the sake of consistency that all actions with a customer are conducted and recorded through the platform in the same way.
With consistency in your CRM comes cleaner data, a more robust database of customers and less time wasted on inefficient procedures since your team is constantly collaborating about how the CRM is best utilized.
5. Incorporate all Client Communications Through One Platform
All communications with your customers from sales, marketing and customer service should be completely integrated and standardized to make the most of the value a CRM tool has to offer.
This means that the same customer that downloaded an eBook and discusses business tactics with your marketing team through your CRM should also be chatting with customer service to handle their issues on the same platform. Having your company’s history with a particular customer’s correspondence will help empower your employees to provide more value in future conversations, which ideally will lead to customer retention in the long-term.
Consistency across your communication channels guarantees efficiency when any member of your team interacts with prospective customers and current customers alike.
6. Analyze, Rinse and Repeat to Find Out What Works and What Doesn’t
Analytics are crucial to the growth of your CRM because extensive reporting can help give deep insights into what is and isn’t working when it comes to onboarding customers, among other company functions.
Being able to identify and analyze trends that affect your businesses’ bottom line is a helpful tactic to help strategize for future attempts at customer retention, lead generation, marketing and other business needs.
Customize your CRM reporting to match the goals of your organization and focus on the areas that are business drivers for the company and where your team can deliver the most value.
How are you growing your CRM to the next level? What strategies seem to work best for your company? Best comment wins a re-tweet for your business!