CRM Solutions – virtually all of us have them, and for most, they form the cornerstone of our sales and marketing technology stack.
But growing commercial pressure to boost productivity, increased competition, and customer demand for more sophisticated, intelligent and responsive engagement means that for many of us, simply having a solution to capture and share account data is no longer enough.
This leads us to question whether CRM has become outdated in today’s information-driven, customer-centric business environment.
The value of CRM diminishes quickly
Here is the crux of the problem. CRM solutions are static environments. The data rarely changes, but your customer’s worlds are changing every day. You need to keep a finger on the pulse of your prospective accounts to monitor what’s really happening in their world.
Compounding this issue further is the sheer volume of information businesses are able to capture. With the evolution of digital media, the amount of information grows at an exponential rate. Often unstructured, this data is increasingly hard to rationalise and interpret.
However, a sales and marketing operation that functions without a dynamic stream of business intelligence has several inevitable consequences:
- Opportunities to respond to real-time customer news and market insight are missed
- Forecasting accuracy diminishes as risks or opportunities go unnoticed
- Customers looking for instant action and results are left disappointed
- Targeting and communication errors become more frequent
- The decline in operational efficiency and competitiveness reduces conversion and win rates
- Trust and adoption of the solution wanes as the accuracy of high volumes of data comes into question
- Time spent updating the system reduces productivity and detracts from valuable, external facing activity
Maximising the value of CRM
As CRM providers continue to adapt develop their products and external providers seek to fill the gaps in consumer demand, several trends have become apparent. Next generation CRM needs to:
- Deliver a complete 360° view of a prospect’s or customer’s ecosystem
- Augment static data with real-time, contextualised customer insight
- Monitor and filter latest market trends, news sources, social media and corporate data based on a wide range of attributes, individual preferences and relevancy, delivering actionable insights alongside accounts, contacts and opportunities
- Deliver a single view of all points of contacts, with their social profiles, opinions and expectations
- Deliver the functionality to respond immediately to live customer dynamics
Augment your CRM opportunities with real-time actionable insights such as management changes, mergers and acquisitions, financial results, growth and risk stories, and you instantly have the opportunity to maximise the value of your CRM solution.
- Your sales leaders gain an in-depth understanding of their pipeline, allowing them to uncover risks, act quickly on opportunities, anticipate needs and engage proactively in more sophisticated ways
- Your marketing team can segment and target audiences based on a real understanding of trends, sentiments and needs
- Collaboration between sales and marketing improves, as they both start to align activities toward the customer agenda
- Productivity improves as manual research is replaced with automated insights, saving admin time and keeping teams up to date on their accounts