A CRM system offers a lot of advantages, including relationship management taken care of down to the last detail. No more lost correspondence, quotations can be looked up in an instant, emails are automatically linked to the right organization, and sales figures can be accessed at a moment’s notice.
These are just a few examples where a good CRM system excels. Everything surrounding the customer or partner is collected in one place, from correspondence to Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations. And, importantly, it's easy to retrieve when needed.
A practical example
The power of a CRM system is also evident in emergency situations when, for example, a company's top seller decides to look for another job. There is always a chance that customers will join in the switch, to what might be the company's direct competitor.
Without a good CRM system, all the information about the customers he's been managing might be in his head, or in documents and spreadsheets that he saved to his own laptop.
Such a switch requires a quick response, but if you don't really know who your clients are, what the turnover is and who are the relevant contacts, then it becomes quite a search. In the meantime, customers may be encouraged to switch to your competition. Time is a crucial factor here.
In an ideal situation, the top seller has neatly kept track of everything in the CRM system, making it easy to transfer his or her appointments to the new account manager. The customers involved can then be easily informed — which is also a nice contact moment to get an update on them.
In a worst-case scenario, the top seller has been working on his switch for some time and has deliberately withheld customer information. But even then, it’s still possible to respond adequately using the information available in the CRM system.
All customers are known and a quick overview can be generated of outstanding quotations and offers. It’s quick and easy to compose and send an email to all customers and partners mentioning that the seller has found another job. This email is also a good opportunity to introduce the new account manager, who customers can turn to if they have any questions.
The most important customers, the ones who have outstanding quotations, could be contacted by phone to let them know there’s a new account manager. This call list can be easily generated by the CRM system.
Ongoing projects can be quickly transferred to other sellers through the system. Using something like the Attention Monitor, you can determine whether contact moments should be stepped up. You can see clearly how much attention the customer has received.
Quick access to information is important. Using the monitoring tools provided by the CRM system, you can keep a regular eye on whether important customers are displaying unexpected behavior that may indicate they're switching to a competitor.
An up-to-date CRM system is worth its proverbial weight in gold in these kinds of situations, and we've only described one type of emergency so far. If the information about customers and partners is kept up to date, then there can be a quick and adequate response, not just in emergencies but also simply during everyday business activities.
CRM in the cloud
Another reason why a CRM system is useful is the ways in which it can be accessed. Many suppliers of CRM software, including Archie CRM, make it possible to keep the software and database in the cloud. The system can then be accessed using a laptop, smartphone or tablet, making the information even more widely available and eliminating the need to be in the office to have access to the CRM data. The need to have a server on company premises for the software to run on has also disappeared. This also means it is no longer necessary to make a backup of the software and data yourself or to perform frequent software updates. In the case of Archie CRM, for example, this is all taken care of by the supplier, so you can be sure that you are always working with the latest software and don’t need to worry about making backups. Your CRM system will always have the latest features the software has to offer.
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