It is the relationships your business enjoys with its customers that determines its success. Customers generate sales, give focus to product development, inspire marketing campaigns and drive strategic thinking.
Without customers – their loyalty and their feedback – we wouldn’t have any idea about the needs and wants of our market. In fact, we wouldn’t have much of a business at all.
As Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, once said:
“It is better to stay focused on customers as they are the ones paying for your services. Competitors are never going to give you any money.”
The key to customer success
Customer relationships are no different to other types of relationships. You have to know each other in order to derive the most benefit. For a potential client, that job is easy: they read your marketing materials, read case studies, and get a good idea of what you do and how you do it through social proof. For a business, however, understanding customers is far more complicated. Not only are there tons of customers (hopefully), but they all have their own wants, needs and challenges, all on their own unique time frames. The only way that you can ever hope to properly service them all is to collect accurate and informative data about each one: transaction records, personal concerns, preferences and needs.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “data is the new gold”, but for a customer-oriented business – as we all should be – this is actually an understatement. Possessing accurate customer data in today’s world is more like oxygen. It’s a necessity, rather than a nice-to-have. It’s also a full-time job. The chances are you don’t have a team of analysts recording and maintaining your customer databases, so you run the risk of incomplete or redundant data – this can skew your sales figures and result in wasted time.
In this case, you need a customer relationship management system (CRM).
The benefits of a CRM
CRM systems allow you to manage your interactions with current and potential customers. They offer analytical tools and record management systems that enable you to identify, assist, and, ultimately, understand and satisfy your target market. With a CRM in place you can offer a customised, more engaging experience to individual people, and that is a powerful thing.
1. Go from impulsive to data-driven
A business without a CRM is like a waiter without a notepad. If you don’t have the tools to note down what your customers want when they say it, and to deliver what they ask for, and then use that information in the future to add extra value, you will struggle against more data-oriented businesses. CRMs help remove impulsivity from business decisions and ground action in reliable data. This allows everybody to move forward and continuously improve the customer experience.
2. Elevate customer service
In the modern world nobody has time for bad experiences. If you want to be successful you should prioritise removing friction in your customer interactions. With a CRM, all current data on a particular account can be reviewed in seconds, allowing customer service and sales representatives to deliver a personalised, impactful service that people will remember and return to.
3. Improve cross-communication between departments
Having customer details, emails and recent interactions all recorded in one place allows multiple teams to plan their next moves in tandem. Sales, marketing and customer service can work together to deliver pitches and content that are of the highest value, at the exact moment a prospect needs them.
4. Automate your sales and marketing machine
The minutiae of obtaining a sale are often overlooked. Reports need to be sent, contracts need to be signed, emails need to be forwarded. For marketing, nurturing and lead generation campaigns need to be distributed at the optimal times. All of these repetitive tasks can be automated. Over time, you build a finely-tuned machine that delivers leads and engaging customer experiences without constant monitoring.
5. Better data = better decisions
Many CRMs are part of a larger suite of tools. Having access to other programs and plugins allows CRM users to personalise reports and dashboards, giving the entire company a comprehensive overview of current status and next steps for any given account. With powerful and accurate data being shared, opportunities can be spotted and exploited in real-time.
The HubSpot CRM
Market-leading marketing, sales and service technology provider HubSpot provides an out-of-the-box CRM for sales leaders worldwide. It provides real-time visibility on your sales pipeline, allows you to track email open rates, schedule calls and report on commercial activity. And being part of the award-winning HubSpot technology stack, you have the potential further down the line to integrate it with other ‘hubs’ – including CMS Hub, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub – which will give you the tools you need build a powerful digital ‘machine’ that delights your customers.
Ready to upgrade your sales results with a brand new CRM? Get the best on the market. The powerful HubSpot CRM is free. Get started today:
by Tim Witcherley May 19, 2020
As the Managing Director of Cognition, Tim's drive is to ensure every Cognition client gets tangible, commercial outcomes. In increasingly complex marketing and sales environments, his relentless focus on delivering value, quickly and simply, is one of the main reasons why Cognition is now one of the UK's leading digital agencies.