Customer relationship management (CRM) software has become an essential element of the IT arsenal of businesses of all shapes and sizes. Different businesses follow different CRM implementations. The following are a few examples of the way in which CRM has solved an important business issue.
CRM software can be particularly valuable for businesses that sell over the phone. A specialist business magazine has found that its current practice of keeping leads in different central databases makes it difficult for sales people to systematically call prospective subscribers. The publisher implemented a CRM solution with a single, central database connected to a telesales software package. Now the publisher's sales force has an automated system that brings up the details of a lead whilst dialling the number at the same time.
Large businesses with multiple product divisions sometimes have single clients that buy products across the company. However with separate sales and support teams for each division, client data is entered over and over by different teams and one particular sales team may have no idea as to what other purchases the client may have made. A CRM solution with a centralised database allows everyone in the company to access all available data on a particular customer which enhances cross-selling opportunities, reduces repetition and allows for a more informed sales and support team.
Firms that sell products with an extensive order and delivery workflow, such as an aircraft manufacturer, frequently need access to client data at different points in the fulfilment process. If the client's data is in a number of discreet places, considerable time will be wasted trying to find details on different aspects of the order. A centralised CRM solution focused on workflow optimisation gives everyone access to the complete order details such as seating specification which reduces any errors or delays in the fulfilment process.
Perhaps the quintessential role of CRM software is to make it easier to market to existing and prospective customers. A pet supplies company that sells via mail order found that sending out catalogues to their internal Excel contact list is unprofitable and does not reach all of the firm's previous and prospective customers. The CRM solution the company installed made it easier for all staff members to enter the details and preferences of every single customer including those who have enquired but not as yet ordered. This has enabled the pet supplies company to send a vastly more targeted catalogue maillot to a broader set of contacts.
Adding up monthly sales figures and analysing which products are best sellers can be tricky when the source data consists of a mountain of invoices and order forms. A supplier of computer components has found it difficult to determine which of its products lines are best sellers and what type of customer is, in fact, the most profitable. This company decided to implement a CRM solution focused on the order process and now has the ability to extract detailed management reports using a variety of criteria.