Keeping your customers happy is the top priority for SMEs. And one way to do this is by using customer relationship management software. Before using this important technology, SMEs need to have a clear understanding of how they wish to utilise the system and develop an appropriate strategy. Ambroży Rybicki, CEO and Co-founder, ARP Ideas, explains how to create an effective strategy.
For SMEs to optimise workflows and ensure sustainable growth, it is crucial they employ strategies that can support their journey. One such strategy is customer relationship management (CRM) that helps businesses manage interactions and relationships with external contacts, including prospective leads and existing customers. It is a crucial strategy for SMEs, attributed as being one of the fastest ways to accelerate growth, often leading to high quality customer service and increased revenues via higher sales. But how can SMEs execute the goals included in a CRM strategy?
One of the methods to properly implement the strategy in a company is to choose the right tools, including dedicated CRM software. This will allow the company’s goals to be transferred from the strategic level to the tactical and operational levels. So before deciding on particular CRM software, it is crucial SMEs have a clear understanding of how they wish to utilise the system. Even with the high success rates accompanying CRM implementation, the software will be relatively meaningless unless used appropriately. It is therefore crucial for SMEs to outline their goals, identify customers and grasp their customers’ journeys before developing their strategy and turning it into tangible actions through CRM platforms.
The first step is to have a consolidated understanding of the ideal customer and define their needs. This can be achieved through establishing customer profiles or creating a target market overview to ensure successful marketing campaigns. Remember that the customer is always a person and each needs an individual relation and dedicated offer. CRM, as a tool, should answer a question ‘what is the client’s story and what is our relationship with them?’
The second is to understand your offering, which is a difficult task. Your offering is not just a list of products or services. Each purchase is based on experience and lots of additional aspects regarding the client’s needs. Only when a company understands their client, do they really know the offering they can improve.
The next essential step for companies is to establish the goals for the CRM platform. Whether the business is an e-commerce store or consultancy business, it needs to be clear what the aim of the CRM data is for; from registering customers to retaining and growing a customer base. This is especially important if the CRM strategy is supported by an external IT consultancy as it would offer a customised service and approach to your business’ aims and therefore be able to advise on the best practices when planning the goals of the CRM implementation.
It is also vital to understand the customer journey. As a customer base continues to grow, there will be different buyer journeys for different customer segments so it is important to meet them all.
Now the basis for establishing a strategy is clear, it is important to touch upon the numerous advantages that CRM implementation brings and therefore demonstrates its importance to SMEs, including increased sales and revenue, improved customer relationships, improved decision-making and increased efficiency.
Driving sales and revenue
Ultimately, the aim of a CRM strategy is to drive the growth of both sales and revenue through the attraction of new customers and the retention of existing ones. With a CRM strategy in place, SMEs can offer personalised services, track customer interactions and targeted marketing campaigns; all to ensure the provision of a high quality customer experience. For example, companies are able to track both the customer lifetime value and the conversion time for clients. As a result, companies can see which stages took more time in the sales pipeline and optimise the process. Through a focus on customer retention and satisfaction, SMEs can grow their revenue streams and achieve long-term success.
One of the biggest advantages of an effective CRM strategy is the ability to improve customer relationships. By providing personalised experiences and catering to the specific needs of customers, businesses can create a loyal customer base. With a CRM strategy in place, SMEs can track and analyse customer interactions to identify their preferences, interests and behaviour. This information can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and deliver personalised services that meet their unique needs. By providing excellent customer service and developing strong relationships, SMEs can attract loyal customers who will return for repeat business and recommend their products or services to others.
Having an established and effective CRM strategy can also help SMEs to make better-informed decisions. By tracking customer interactions and analysing data, businesses can identify trends, preferences and behaviours that can inform marketing and sales strategies. For example, businesses can use CRM data to identify the most popular products or services and adjust their inventory or marketing campaigns accordingly. By making data-driven decisions, SMEs can better understand their customers’ needs and preferences, build forecasts and get insights which leads to improved sales and revenue growth.
Implementing a successful CRM strategy and tools can help SMEs to increase efficiency and streamline their operations. By automating routine tasks such as data entry and customer follow-ups, businesses can free up staff time and resources for other important tasks. With a centralised database of customer information, employees can quickly access data, track customer interactions and respond to customer enquiries in a timely and efficient manner. This improved efficiency can help SMEs to save time and resources, which can be reinvested in other areas of the business.
In conclusion, the implementation of an effective CRM strategy is essential for the growth and success of SMEs. By improving customer experience, increasing efficiency, making better-informed decisions and ultimately increasing sales and revenue growth, SMEs can achieve their business goals and compete effectively in the market. With the help of CRM software and the right strategy, SMEs can create a customer-centric business model that delivers results and ensures long-term success.Click below to share this article