Social media – no panaceaSome businesses are turning to social media business solutions to plug the gaps they are seeing in CRM systems – but this can be expensive and the business does not hold the IP of the contact information. It is time to do something different if you are going to get the hoped-for benefit from your CRM investment. [rb_inline_related] Here are some practical and quick ways to reinvigorate client and prospect management:
(1) Tailor your CRM system to reflect your businessWhen businesses deploy CRM, most solutions are plain vanilla systems that rely on people using them effectively. The most effective and engaging solutions are those that are tailored to reflect sector-specific ways of working. At the very least, the terminology should be right for your business.
(2) Consider using the latest technology that overlays traditional CRMThis works by automating contact data collection and mining your existing CRM for the relationship Intelligence it is intended to provide. That might include data on recent email exchanges, phone calls and interactions on social media. It then takes no time at all to prepare for client meetings because all the information about previous interactions and discussions is immediately to hand.
(3) Use data about customer interactions to improve sales performanceThis data might reveal that you already have an employee with contacts inside a prospective client who could provide a warm lead. It might also reveal that salespeople need to communicate with a client more as a contract comes up for review.
(4) Retain valuable IPAn Intelligent data driven approach to client management will flag up that most of the contact with your most valuable client is through a single sales executive. If that person leaves, the relationship will go with them. In that case it is time to take action to ensure contact details are stored and extend the businesses interaction with this client to additional sales executives.
(5) Bring social media relationship data under the umbrella of your CRM systemThere is a risk that important client interaction that takes place on external social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter is not part of your customer relationship activities. A CRM system that does not take account of these interactions is missing a large piece of the customer relationship puzzle. The initial reaction of many businesses that are failing to see the expected benefit from their customer relationship solution is to look around for a replacement. That is expensive and unnecessary. Businesses that take their existing CRM system to the next level will see real world benefits almost immediately. Intelligent use of relationship data underpins better control of the sales life-cycle and more accurate business planning. It flags up warning signs that a relationship is not being nurtured so that organisations can improve client retention. Armed with comprehensive and actionable client data, there is a real opportunity for SME businesses to outsmart the bigger players in the market. Stewart Walchli is co-founder of Introhive
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