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Why the right CRM system is a win‑win

A customer relationship management (CRM) system typically focuses on automating and streamlining your sales, marketing, field service, and customer service processes. Having the right CRM system will be beneficial for both your staff and customers.

How a CRM system helps your staff

Exceptional CRM systems offer agents the latest customer and client information in real time, so they can easily view customer data and create personalized experiences in these ways:

  • Get up-to-date data and analytics that help your sales staff identify and prioritize opportunities.
  • Gain insights into customers and their needs so staff can tailor marketing communications, sales offers, and service.
  • Centralize customer information, which reduces search and follow-up time for your employees

How a CRM system helps your customers

The right systems also benefit your clients and customers. You can give them the tools to help them interact with you and become loyal customers. Other benefits include:

  • Allowing customers the ability to communicate through any channel and on any device.
  • Giving customers access to more data so they feel informed and empowered in purchasing decisions.
  • Offering customers the tools to schedule service that accommodates their preferences and availability.

CRM systems: marketing, sales, and service

Let’s start with the basics. Here are the key areas a CRM system supports:

Marketing

Execute multi-channel campaigns and improve marketing ROI. CRM marketing capabilities also:

  • Determine the types of customer messages you need to send and the right time to send them.
  • Seamlessly integrate with sales and analytics to find, nurture, and convert leads.
  • Help create and send messages using your customer’s preferred channel.
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Sales

Give your sales staff an overview of your customers, while helping you identify new business opportunities. It should also offer options that help you:

  • Share sales performance and key metrics with your staff.
  • Identify and engage with the right buyers to grow sales relationships.
  • Use artificial intelligence (AI) to help you know what steps you should take during every step of the sales process.
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Customer service

Help your brand stand out and meet client service expectations, so they’ll want to do business with you, and in a perfect world, give you their trust. CRM systems also let you:

  • Engage with customers on their preferred channel or device.
  • Use data and intelligence to learn how to provide better service and reduce costs.
  • Offer a 360-degree view of your customer to help your agents deliver personalized service.
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Field service

Offer connected and proactive service that helps your technicians deliver positive onsite experiences for customers. It should also provide tools that:

  • Help your technicians improve service, resolution times, and earn customer trust.
  • Automate scheduling so that the skill set of the technician matches the service request.
  • Offer customers an easy-to-use self-service portal to track technicians or get recommendations.
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What a CRM system solution should offer

It’s important to choose a CRM system that’s adaptable. Not only should it work with your legacy system, it should also be:

Extensible

Your CRM system should support different types of deployments, whether they’re cloud based or on premise.

Secure

Look for a system that customizes security levels for users and works with their security role.

Scalable

Get a CRM system that can keep up with you when you grow into other markets, while it streamlines everyday processes.

Three steps to finding the right CRM solution

It can be overwhelming to try to figure out what to add to or take away from your current CRM system. We’re talking about implementing one system that brings it all together. Start here by asking a few what, how, and when questions:

1

What works?

Make a list of the customer management systems you’re already using. Even if it’s only a basic sales, marketing, and customer experience process, that’s a start. Now make a list of the features you’d like to have. It’s important to choose applications that will work with what you’ll continue to use.

2

How much do we have to spend?

Now that you have your current CRM wish list, create a budget. How much do you want to spend? Do you want to do a complete system overhaul, add a few features, or invest in a combination of both?

3

What do our end users want?

Get your staff onboard. If they’re not, or you’ve kept them out of the decision-making process up until this point, it’s time to involve them. After all, they’ll be the ones using this system.

CRM in the cloud: the pros and cons

Many companies fear that a move to the cloud will be expensive and compromise security. The fact is that there are more pros than cons when it comes to moving your CRM processes into the cloud.

The cons can include:

  • Unexpected costs that come up as your business grows.
  • Relying on a hosting provider for any updates or repairs and the timing of updates.
  • Complications that arise trying to move data to the cloud when working with disparate systems.

The pros include:

  • Not having to purchase pricey hardware at the start.
  • Updates and repairs are done by the hosting provider.
  • Decreasing your IT department’s service and maintenance responsibilities.
  • Having your infrastructure grow with you as your business expands into other markets.
  • Offsite storage of company and client data that makes it less vulnerable to on-site disasters.
  • Giving your entire team the ability to quickly view, access, and share the same client and customer information in real time across different channels.

If you’re still worried about moving all your data off premises, we encourage you to look for a technology partner with track record of putting the security of client data first.

Learn about a company that’s successfully implementing an CRM system

Discover how a British institution, Marston’s integrated easy-to-use analytics and a range of internal and external data sources to enhance customer service and the warm community feeling UK pubs are known for.

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See what a modern CRM system solution can do

You’ve seen how the right CRM system can benefit your staff and customers. We invite you to discover the ways that Microsoft Dynamics 365 delivers modern, connected, and intelligent applications that help bring all of your CRM functions together.