Investing in CRM is a great idea if you want to digitise your company, minimise administrative work and optimise processes such as sales and marketing. What is a cloud CRM and why do you need one? This article will show you how cloud CRM can boost your business revenue.
What is a CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system stores all contact information from leads & customers, but also external parties like suppliers, vendors and distributors, in a centralised location where all co-workers who need it can get access.
Cloud CRM vs on-premise CRM
Cloud CRM stores your CRM and CRM-related data in the cloud - that means it’s securely stored online, instead of an in-house server. Cloud CRM offers lots of advantages: for example, you don’t have to provide an infrastructure yourself or worry about maintenance - support and updates are in the hands of your software vendor. By managing your data in the cloud, it becomes possible to always update your CRM in real-time.
You can tailor cloud CRM much easier to your requirements. In the majority of the cases, the lower the amount of data storage and features you need, the cheaper the tool. At the same time, you get a lot more expanding capacity for storage space, as you scale cloud CRM along with the company, without having to worry about future technical problems.
The benefits of CRM
Why is CRM software such a great idea in the first place? Well, it helps your company to:
- Beat the competition
- Sell more and better
- Improve customer relationships
- Be more cost-efficient and save time
- Enhance your company processes
1. Beat your competitors
The work space is becoming more digital every day. Digitisation is taken seriously, with the European commission investing more than €5 billion in the digital innovation of European industries. If you want to stay competitive, digitising your company is key - and investing in digital tools like a CRM is part of that.
Another important strategy in beating your competitors is putting customer satisfaction first. Making the life of (potential) customers much easier, CRM helps your company become more customer-centric.
What service would your customers prefer: getting a quotation by mail, manually signing it for approval, putting it back in an envelope and finally go to the post office to send your approval over… or approving a quotation online, with just a click of a mouse? Cloud CRM offers you that possibility, making every point of contact run as smooth as customers expect.
How does cloud CRM help you beat your competitors?
2. Improve your sales process
Follow up on your target audience
Increase revenue by investing in a CRM to follow up on your sales pipeline. The software helps you to keep track of the different stages leads are in and which actions should be taken next.
Having an oversight of the amount you’ve invoiced each client, you can also determine in a blink of an eye which clients are most profitable. Use that information to discover patterns and anticipate on your findings: suppose you see a lot of customers owning a one-man business in the consulting. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to target those types of clients, instead of putting all your sales efforts in closing deals with retailers who have over 100 employees.
Identify sales opportunities
In many businesses, cross-selling (selling related products) and upselling (selling more expensive products or a bigger quantity) are valuable sales opportunities. Your CRM tells you which client already considered buying certain products or services, so filter on those criteria in your database in order to find new selling opportunities. No a bad idea, if you know that it’s up to 50% easier to sell a service or product to an existing customer.
How does cloud CRM help you sell more and better?
3. Establish better relationships with your customer
Build stronger relationships
Consult all customer data at any given time to build on every interaction you had with customer, strengthening your bond. For most businesses, staying in touch over time has a big impact on their relationships.
Keep track of personal contact details with an organising tool like CRM. What if a sales deal was on hold because the CEO went on a holiday? When you contact the CEO again, ask about that vacation. Maybe you sometimes attend events abroad and have customers in that area too. Contact them in advance and ask them to get together for coffee or a business lunch - it’s an effective way to prevent them forgetting you.
Keep track of all customer feedback
What do your customers want? What are they asking from you? What if a lot of your customers were coming back with similar requests for product changes? You should store that feedback in an accessible, centralised place. Cloud CRM helps you build and maintain relationships by consolidating all your information, keeping track of all prior communication and syncing contact information easily.
Grow your network
How many people do you meet every day? Not only clients and leads, but what about potential partners or even investors? How will you remember the context in which you met someone and the topics you discussed?
Shockingly, saving that information on your smartphone or leaving their business cards lying around somewhere aren’t best practices. A CRM helps you neatly store data. You even can add emails, messages or notes, so every team member always is fully aware of what’s going on.
Eventually, building strong relationships will help you generate more revenue. Where there’s trust, selling and retaining customers becomes easier. If you know that acquiring a customer costs five times as much as keeping one, it’s worth the effort to invest in the long term.
How does cloud CRM help you build stronger relationships?
4. Be more cost-efficient and save time
Add and update customer data faster
A cloud CRM makes it possible to save and update data right away. Often, you also have the option to add data automatically, instead of manually. Think about the tons of time you save on checking and updating customer information one-by-one.
Check your CRM anyplace, anytime
Cloud software often comes with a mobile app, so being on the road is no longer an excuse to forget about it. Adding information in real time minimises the risk of error and maximises the opportunity to gather as much contact data as possible. That makes an app version of your CRM a valuable extra, because keeping track of all details gets you along in the sales process.
Having a straightforward system in place helps you eliminate human errors. Urge your co-workers to update your CRM constantly and correctly, making it easier for them to transfer and share notes correctly.
Automate administrative work
How much time do you spend on creating quotations and sending and following up on invoices? Look for a CRM that offers an invoicing module or integrates with your invoicing software. Instead of creating your invoices manually, CRM opens the possibility to convert deals, quotations and projects into an invoice. Not only will you save loads of time with digitising the invoicing process, you’ll also gain much more insight in outstanding invoices and your cashflow.
How does cloud CRM help you save time and money?
5. Enhance your company’s processes
Improve communication and collaboration
Transparency and less mistakes will bring your co-workers closer together. Align different departments by providing a shared communication channel: your CRM.
Having access to all information at all times, colleagues will have more insight in each other’s tasks and results. Use those insights to create common goals and expectations. This will help you support each other in working more efficiently.
With a CRM that offers a calendar module or an integration with the calendar tools you already use, you can keep control of all your co-workers’ agendas. Follow up on their tasks and meetings and stay up-to-date on every phone call. With cloud CRM, you’re able to see this kind of information anywhere, anytime. Sharing work calendars also helps co-workers find the right slots to plan appointments with clients or internal meetings.
Situations where a co-worker calls in sick or takes a holiday don’t have to be obstacles anymore. Using cloud CRM, you can easily take over and follow your clients up yourself!
Centralise your information
Centralising information can make a huge impact on your processes, from sales to offering support. Haven’t you ever felt like a walking encyclopedia in your company? Instead of having a human person as the point of contact for all important information, CRM is a smarter way to store all that data. Each team member can access all customer information, tasks, notes and projects, making it way easier to share information.
And CRM is more than just a place to store your data: it’s an actionable tool, helping you plan and delegate tasks, send invoices, learn from results and managing your business.
Learn from your results
It takes time and effort to keep track of your company’s results. The comprehensive statistics a CRM offers, reduce that work to a minimum. The available numbers on your performance depend on the software you choose. Investing in a tool that provides in-depth statistics isn’t unnecessary luxury: it’s a real advantage to have a clear overview of your sales pipeline, the percentage of leads converting into clients, the amount of calls your salespeople made and so much more. Having a clear overview helps you follow up on individual as well on group performance, so you can support your co-workers in getting the most out of their job and ultimately, generate more revenue.
How does cloud CRM help you improve company processes?
Choose a CRM that caters to your needs
Your cloud CRM helps you gain valuable insight in your customer data and the performance of your co-workers. It allows you to focus on customer satisfaction and collaborate more efficiently, track recurring problems and carry out global analysis. As a CRM tool automates your administrative tasks, your team will save precious time which can then be used for more important and more profitable tasks.
Not all CRM software is the same but oftentimes, cloud CRM does offer the chance to adapt or integrate easily, so you can keep working with your favourite tools. Bookkeeping, marketing, online payment methods - you name it! Choose a CRM that fits the needs and wants of your business, and you will save time and money and generate more revenue.