There are no two ways about it- CRM tools have revolutionized the way companies manage relationships. You may ask: How? The answer is quite simple- By keeping the lead hunting process agile, organized and rewarding!
However, a CRM solution does a lot more than that. Essentially, a good CRM tool uses your data to create the perfect recipe for success by-
- Storing customer data
- Managing multiple pipelines
- Nurturing existing customer relationships
- Managing marketing campaigns
In fact, Gartner predicts that CRM systems will soon take the lion’s share of revenue in enterprise software. The lion’s share is justifiable. If you are a growth leader, you are looking at a strategy for the future.
Getting up-to-date and reliable information on your progress can be tricky and you may find yourself asking this question- How do you translate the streams of data coming your way into useful, coherent information?
Less is More
A CRM solution does that for you. It gives you a chance to step back and look at the bigger picture. Or to put it differently, CRM systems provide growth leaders a macroscopic view of their customer relationships.
There is evidently a lot of chaos in customer management- details can get lost, follow-ups may not be prompt and addressing the customer’s needs can become a matter of guesswork instead of being a rigorous exercise based on fact and data.
With a good CRM solution in place, you can see everything in one place. A simple, customizable dashboard can give you easy access to the customer’s previous history. Asking questions like these may help-
- How have the customers been communicated with?
- What did the customer purchase?
- How much did the customer pay?
- What is the status of their current order?
- Are there any outstanding issues?
Therefore, it becomes easier to identify pain points and bottlenecks.
This generous share in revenue is also justifiable given that CRM systems have proved to be useful beyond sales. Marketers have been using CRM systems to understand the pipelines better, making the forecasting process more efficient and reliable.
Customer Service teams are also seeing great value in CRM systems. A customer may raise an issue on one platform – say, Twitter – and then switch to a call to resolve it. A CRM platform makes it possible to manage and track an inquiry across platforms.
Is Less really More?
Needless to say, organizations have relied heavily on CRM systems. It is the perfect example of automation making sales processes easier! To the extent that a lot of sales managers may actually pose the question-
Why get an ICM software when you already have a CRM that works perfectly?
It is true that both CRM tools and ICM softwares are automated solutions that streamline the sales process. Both the tools help you break the silos of legacy systems by collecting your data from multiple sources (spreadsheets or any other homegrown systems) and streamlining it into a single source of information.
This macroscopic viewpoint makes your data usable, helping you create more accurate forecasts and make better business decisions. With all the relevant data in one place, sales managers can proceed to analyze it more deeply and give holistic insights.
However, it is important to understand that they serve very different purposes.
At the root of it, CRM systems are customer-oriented and play a vital role in sales performance management. These systems will constantly churn data to make sure that sales managers have all the feedback that they need to optimize the customer experience and drive sales team effectiveness.
On the other hand, ICM Softwares are pivoted around your reps. A good Incentive Compensation Management software should communicate to your reps what they need to do and how they can earn more.
Therefore, while it may be easy to club these solutions under the umbrella term ‘Automation’, the truth is that they are strikingly different.
Think of it this way. You have the best CRM in place. You make sure it ticks off everything on your checklist. The system is generating the best leads for you. However, your reps are the ultimate driving force. They are the ones closing deals!
Automating your ICM solution means that your sales team can remove the manual, repetitive task work and instead do what matters the most. Real-time insights and visibility provided by an ICM solution will eventually motivate reps to translate the leads generated from the CRM systems into profitable deals.