Why (and How) to Take CRM Beyond the Sales Team
The use of CRM in business is not a trend. The benefits of using CRM software clearly outweigh the drawbacks, which are few and far between. Evidence of the rapidly increasing CRM market is the fact that by 2021 the CRM software market would have increased by over two and a half billion dollars from its $24 billion value in 2015.
A common misconception about CRM is that it can only be used by the sales team in an organization. Though sales departments experience tangible benefits from adopting CRM software, its use shouldn’t be limited to your salespeople.
Let’s take a look at why every department in your organization needs to adopt CRM.
Why you need to incorporate CRM in every department
As ubiquitous of CRM has become, you would be surprised at the number of people that still have no idea what is. CRM stands for customer relationship management, and as the name implies, it is used to improve the relationship between a business and its customers. By keeping data like customer contacts, product or service preferences, and history, you can use the information to form meaningful connections with your customers.
It is essential that your CRM system isn’t limited to your sales team, as this puts a limit on the benefits you can derive from the system. Among others, most companies immediately experience three key benefits in adopting CRM.
Improved information organization
The basic idea of CRM is to know enough about your customers to personalize their experience. It is pretty simple. The more you know about them, the better you are at providing a positive experience. By making the software available to all departments, everyone can make quick decisions based on the information provided on the customers.
Communication is a key driver of success in any organization. CRM systems allow employees from various departments to communicate more easily regarding decision making in various customer situations. Information can be shared easily around each department using the software, which also leads to faster, more efficient decision making.
Improved customer service
Regular interaction with customers is sometimes unavoidable depending on your type of business. It’s likely that multiple departments, from sales to finance to production, will be in direct contact with your customers. Therefore, it’s essential that all your employees have access to the CRM so they can provide maximum support for your customers using the data in the system.
Taking CRM beyond the sales team
By considering the benefits of CRM from a non-sales perspective, you’ll start to see that there’s a positive impact on every department that incorporates CRM software into their daily workflow. Taking some departments as examples, we are going to see how you can go about introducing the tool to every department in your organization.
If you find that you’re experiencing low adoption in certain departments, you can use these examples to brainstorm other ways CRM will directly impact your employees in different roles.
Think about things from the perspective of the individual department, and you’ll have a much easier time explaining why everyone in your organization should be using CRM.
The HR department is one of the most important departments in the organization and they use many different tools and software in their daily activities. The CRM software is important for HR because it allows you to monitor the performance of your employees independent of peer reviews and conduct.
Another, less traditional, way CRM can be used in the HR department is in recruiting. If your company hasn’t yet invested in software to properly screen and filter candidates, you can set up a list of prospective employees in your CRM, just as your salespeople manage their prospects.
The recruitment process can be quite daunting and it is vital that no step is missed when hiring new employees. The CRM can be used to arrange interviews, send emails, creating workflow rules, and take notes. You can also use it to maintain a database containing candidates, their skills and their interview scores for future use.
If no other department is going to use your CRM, focus on ensuring your finance department does. The finance department is always the first to alert you if your company isn't getting its money's worth.
They can use vital statistics from the CRM to alert you of problems with cash flow and profitability, for example. This type of transparency in the financial situation of your business will allow you to make crucial decisions that will impact your bottom line.
With proper knowledge of your CRM’s capabilities and training on how to use the software, your finance team will be able to pull reports for deal forecasts, valuable customer data, and revenue projections, thereby ensuring that you have real-time data to make important financial decisions.
The difference between sales and marketing is more obvious in bigger organizations. While the core responsibilities of salespeople haven't changed much over the years, marketing, on the other hand, is quite dynamic. The marketing department needs to use CRM to reach out to leads, customers, and prospects.
Everyone with whom your marketing department interacts should receive specialized communication depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey. CRM gives your marketing department the ability to quickly see where someone is in the customer lifecycle and easily nurture potential customers.
By understanding when and how to properly communicate with customers and new prospects alike, your marketing team’s efficacy will greatly increase.
Additionally, the automation that CRM provides allows your marketing team to be as efficient as possible. Rather than spending time on redundant tasks like sending emails and managing customer data, they can strategize and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Companies that regularly execute projects know the importance of setting up a capable project management team. A well-managed project will save an organization a whole lot of vital resources that can be reallocated to meaningful tasks, so you should ensure that your project management team adopt the use of CRM software for their tasks.
CRM can be used to help track budgets, timelines, milestones, and so on. Events can also be synced with calendars of team members and data access allows transparency into the status of projects for everyone in your organization. This type of management allows for maximum efficiency in completing projects and gives your team the ability to be proactive in addressing issues with deliverability and project completion.
Another advantage for your project management team is that you can run project reports automatically, so team members can submit their progress reports without having to come together face to face.
While it’s possible to highlight how additional departments in an organization can benefit from CRM, these examples serve to help you think about the software from a non-sales perspective. It’s important to understand that every department in your organization can benefit from CRM adoption.
You simply need to take the time to consider how CRM impacts departmental workflows and individual roles, then encourage adoption by explaining the benefits each department will experience.
Every year we see more advancements and innovation made in CRM systems, which means that we are bound to see even more benefits from its use as the years roll by. At this point, it’s essential that your company adopt the use of CRM software, keeping in mind that it can be used across the board, not just within the sales department.
It is very possible that your company hasn’t started using CRM, or it’s currently only limited to the sales department. If that’s the case, consider what we’ve discussed today to explain to your managers and department leaders how implementing CRM throughout your company will lead to greater efficiency, stronger communication, and an increase to your organization’s bottom line.