In the pre-technology days, businesses made notes of their customers' details on index cards and placed them in recipe boxes. With the amount of competition and demand out there, this was acceptable. In fact, it was widely practiced. Not any more. Today, lead acquisition isn't restricted to on-field sales teams. It's also done through social media, online and offline activities. Businesses can capture a lot more than just a prospect's contact details. Her age, profession, qualifications, earning, family, interests, and buying behavior – they can capture all these details and more. A customer relationship management tool populary known as CRM is the answer.
It doesn't just consolidate leads from various platforms. It also helps businesses organize data and make sense of it. Such insights enable them to take key decisions based on segmentation and predictive analysis. The data generated by CRM tools is commonly known as Big Data. It has opened a whole new world of possibilities for marketers, not just to on board customers but also to increase customer lifetime value (CLV) by improving their experience.
In-depth, swift and accurate data from CRM's has enabled businesses to make decisions faster, and shorten the customer buying cycle. This presents businesses with two massive advantages. One, it reduces the cost per customer acquisition. Companies can accurately measure which platforms are effective and optimize them. Sales and marketing teams can also craft appropriate messages for prospects based on data captured. All this makes prospects take decisions in their favor faster.
Two, it drastically improves productivity of employees. Not only can the sales team seal a deal faster with customers, but the operations and after sales teams also know how to delight them, based on past data and intelligence. A reduction in cost of customer acquisition and increase in per-hour productivity of employees positively impacts both the top line and bottom line of companies.
Without analysis and strategies to build on, Big Data is just a buzzword which companies cannot capitalize on. According to a study of over 1,600 businesses, a whopping 76 percent lack the understanding of the potential value of their information. But don't worry. The picture isn't so grim. If you want to optimize your customer-oriented business strategy with the help of a CRM, here are 4 steps you should take.
Step 1: Identify your business goals
The first and most essential step to build a sound strategy is to list specific company goals. Do you want to target prospects online? Or do you want to capture an existing segment? Enter a new market? Or introduce a new product or service to existing customers?
Step 2: Zero in on relevant data
It's now time to figure out what data you need to help your business achieve those goals. For instance, if you want to sell furniture, you might want to target customers who are ready to take possession of a new home, or people who are relocating to your location, what their earnings are, and so on.
Step 3: Design an irresistible offer
Next, design an offer which stands out in your customer's mind. The marketing message is an integral part of this offer, so craft it to resonate with your customer's needs, rather than promoting your product or service.
Step 4: Use effective people
Capturing data is fine. But unless it has the right people to analyze and act on it, it's a sunk cost. Ensure you hire the capable data analyst to empower you with what you need to take accurate decisions. But if you can't find someone to do that just yet, don't worry. Many CRM providers will offer you the necessary support to get started, after which you can get someone onboard.
In the age of technology and increasing competition, businesses move at the speed of trust. CRM tools are increasingly helping businesses build this trust among their customers. They're helping businesses come closer to their customers, and understand them better. But it's important for a business to identify which CRM tool best serves it needs based on business objectives.
The author is CEO of Enjay IT Solutions. Views are personal.