What is a CRM for a business?

A CRM, what is it for? "we know our customers and then we have always done without, so...".


That was before the Yellow Vests, the Covid and remote work.


Given the extent of your customer file, multi-source and multi-channel prospects (web, telephone, social networks, etc.) and history carefully kept in accounting or ADV (sales administration) , you find it difficult to gauge the importance of a customer at a glance. If your salespeople (and marketing) are spending a lot of time capturing or extracting data instead of selling, and if managers are tearing their hair out trying to produce reliable, real-time reports, then this article should be of interest to you.


Indeed, what are the tools and methods to be put in place so that you no longer have to dig between the files (or too many Excel files) and find the hundreds of information scattered here and there in the company, or in the your best salesperson? A good CRM, of course!


A CRM (for Customer Relationship Management in VO or GRC for Customer Relationship Management in VF) is a tool that allows, among other things:


  • optimize the quality of the customer relationship: before, during and after the sale
  • to retain
  • maximize revenue: increase in turnover (by activating the Recency, Frequency, Amount and upsell/upmarket levers + cross-selling/cross-selling) or the margin per customer.
  • manage real-time business and portfolio monitoring (and speed up the sales cycle with modern tools for your salespeople)
  • to have own reports


I promise, you will no longer say "Maryse, do you have the history of the RunCompagnie customer? How long has he not purchased? Who is the salesperson who manages this account? Who is your contact-decision-maker?" or "it would be good to know who buys what from us, because we have customers who only buy part of us" or "it would be nice to set up quotes with electronic signature"...


Companies equipped with a CRM weren't on the streets until 5 years ago, unlike Anglo-Saxon countries who are used to these tools. Indeed, only one in four companies was equipped with it in France (27% to be precise), and one in six locally, according to Digital Réunion.


But the situation has changed. The demand for CRM is increasing sharply, especially since the health crisis went through there.

Sales and marketing have had to, sometimes at a forced march, quickly deploy solutions to continue to operate. We are talking about the star tools (CRM, Zoom, Meet, Teams, Slack...) but also the sales methods and techniques that go with them.


If accountants have accounting software and payroll managers have payroll software, then salespeople and marketers have commerce software. Obvious, right?


In front of the visios which follow one another, the multiplicity of the sources of prospects (business cards, trade fairs, website, social networks, telephone platform...), it is essential today to centralize all the information for a better commercial follow-up and not run out of business.


If you still work with dispatched databases, you spend a lot of time extracting, importing and deduplicating data, managing opt-ins and outs, CRM is a collaborative tool, accessible everywhere, which will change your life. Just that !


Activate Hubspot CRM (free for life)

It allows you to manage all the information of your customers and prospects and the various interactions with them. For managers, it also offers a real-time view of sales force activity, the famous "pipe" or conversion tunnel.


When we know that an average salesperson spends 65% of the time doing tasks other than sales (Prialto), rummaging through excel files and reporting the same data three times, we quickly see the advantages of such a solution.


Not to mention that after the seizure, he must still warn (often "by hand" or by telephone):


  • the production
  • the shop
  • accounting

Maryse at ADV

Optimize customer service to deliver a flawless customer experience every step of the way


The CRM is the commercial memory of your company and its goodwill. It allows you to qualify and segment your customers and your audience, but also to follow prospects in their buying journey. Even after the sale.


Pre-sales CRM

As a sale today begins in more than 80% of cases with an internet search (source IFOP), you must be able to record vital information from before the sale (search for information, answers to questions from prospects) to after-sales (advice for use, after-sales service, loyalty).


In France, if customer service is not the priority (read this article here), a CRM tool will allow you to collect and store a volume of information fundamental rmations for your sales and marketing teams to finally achieve their goals.


For the company, it is as much information that aims to improve the effectiveness of campaigns, loyalty but also customer engagement.


CRM during the sale

Customers today are looking for a holistic and seamless customer experience. They get used to the standards of e-commerce giants who know how to offer them this omnichannel experience simultaneously (synchronization of physical, digital, mobile, social networks, etc.) And, you guessed it, CRM software guarantees this experience unified customer, at each stage of the customer journey.


CRM after the sale

As for the after-sales service part, you can manage post-delivery satisfaction surveys (the famous NPS score, Net Promoter Score) or customer requests (after-sales service and ticketing). Even better, you can automate them by email and/or SMS.


Example :


When an after-sales service request comes in via the website, the chatbot, on the phone or by email, then "create" a complaint ticket to customer service, and automatically notify the customer that his request has been taken care of, that it will be processed by Jean-Pierre and that he will be alerted when it is ready....At the same time, internally, Jean-Pierre receives the request by email and can process it. Everyone in the company knows that there is an open ticket with this customer.


Maximize business and marketing results

And it is still one of the essential points. If you adopt a new way of working, you have efficiency and effectiveness combined: the right actions, well done and with a minimum of resources.


In figures, this gives these results:


  • Productivity increases by 14.6% when salespeople have mobile access to their CRM (Nucleus Research).
  • Once adopted (see point 4 below), a CRM can increase sales (up to 29%) and forecast accuracy (40%) according to the publisher Salesforce.
  • Companies using business mobile apps also benefit from a 74% improvement in customer satisfaction by responding more quickly to customer questions and requests (Forrester)


Doesn't that make you want to try?


To save precious time

Do you know the common point between you and Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world (financially...)? Answer: your day and his are 24 hours.


Any tool should save you time. Thus, like the chainsaw for the lumberjack, the CRM for your sales and marketing teams must allow you to focus on high value-added tasks and in particular to be close to customers.


Never forget "time is money". Since at least 1748 (Benjamin Franklin).


The good news is that the advanced version of the CRM also allows you to automate many tasks. We are talking about Sales Automation.


Example: when my estimate is signed, then send a notification to Maryse at accounting to establish the invoice, then a notification to the store, then to production. And also send an email to the customer (and why not an SMS to thank him), plus a notification to my N+1 to let him know that the deal is closed. Which will avoid the eternal "where are you with Runcompagnie?"


Nothing if there is no adoption


And yes, before jumping on the first tool that comes along, you should know that 49% of CRM projects fail (Forester Research).


So no need to jump on your DAF (administrative and financial director) or jump on your DSI (information systems director) at the end of reading this article to claim such an investment.


Why do they fail?

More than one in five implementation issues are people-related or related to user adoption (Forrester Research). Moreover, 83% of senior executives concede that their biggest challenge is getting their teams to use the software (Really Simple Systems).


In other words, there is no point in equipping yourself until you have explained that the way of working will change. Once the method is understood and accepted, you can start this CRM project. Otherwise, you will be entitled to the famous "new tools and old methods", which we relate a long time ago in this article.


By centralizing data, it is obvious that a CRM has many advantages: facilitating access to information, controlling customer relations or even increasing sales, all while saving time.


But make no mistake: the goal of any retailer will always be to anticipate needs, satisfy and retain customers. In this sense, a CRM is the commercial capital (your customer file) and the value of your company (in case of resale).


If it is adopted and you connect it to your website and to a marketing automation tool, it is an indispensable and formidable weapon.


To go further, I invite you to consult our dedicated page on commercial prospecting or to download the free guide "3 steps to a successful commercial strategy in the digital age".

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