Beyond goal setting, sales dashboards and tracking customers’ buying behavior, CRM software is becoming a tool that provides support other functions as well, extending far outside of the sales department. The efficiency and convenience CRM tools offer have, in some cases, made them more of an operating system for companies than a single-use platform. If you’re looking for ways to get more ROI out of your CRM investment, here are seven ways CRM software can be used outside of sales:
It’s not altogether surprising that a CRM tool would also be an asset for marketing. Beyond its ability to track customer data and communicate with buyers in a more intentional way, a CRM shows you the effectiveness of your efforts. For example, you can see how a specific marketing campaign is performing and drill down to see who exactly became a new customer or lead, and which methods helped convert them.
Customer information is stored in the CRM tool, making it possible for any member of the organization to retrieve that information. This is especially important when a non-sales member of the company is interacting with a customer. Because they have access to that person’s history, they can provide a quality customer experience and continue to nurture that relationship.
CRM software provides a real-time look at team performance. Your managers and admins can see rep activity, broken down by specific times, as well as track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to company goals. This allows you to see where there are gaps in productivity (or a decrease in sales) and adjust right away instead of waiting for a monthly or quarterly check-in.Some CRMs even go as far as offering leaderboards, giving everyone in the company visibility into high and low performers. Once you identify who the top performers are, it’s easy to figure out what they’re doing to be successful and then replicate their behavior.
You may be surprised to find out that you can use a CRM tool much like a project management tool; some systems will let you create automated workflows for setting up the application process when recruiting and hiring new employees. Combined with contact management features, this makes for a perfect hiring tool.You can also set up a process for completing onboarding of those new employees using file sharing and task management. This is a less common use of CRM software, but if you’re trying to save money by managing different areas of the business from a single platform, it’s worth a try.
Over the years, we’ve become so dependent on technology as our preferred mode of communication that we’ve largely let go of the use of paper and “snail mail.” In fact, receiving something in the mail has become something special. Your CRM can become a personal relationship manager and help you decide when it’s time to reach out to customers in a more engaging way . . . like an old fashioned letter, for example. With the right integrations, you can even automate some of this process and trigger letter sends based on lead score or buying stage.
By now, everyone understands the importance of content marketing. Not only is it important to create content, but to also have a plan for your target audience and editorial calendar. In some cases, your CRM tool can help you create, schedule, manage, and track your content marketing to make sure your content calendar is full and ready to release well in advance, and that you have the ability to track each asset’s success. If you mention a target account in one of your pieces, you can even tag them in the CRM, so the sales team knows they can use the media mention as a new talking point.
There are many strategies to implement CRM software into product development, but the system used depends on the needs and goals of the company. Monitoring communications from customers allow Product Managers to have a better idea of what’s working and what could be improved. Notes from user research & usability tests can be logged alongside a contact, and if there is information relevant to other team members, attention can be brought to the situation. Product Managers can also identify which customers will contribute to validating certain features and then develop a product roadmap that reflects users’ voices. At the end of the day, your CRM tool is helping you manage data quickly and effectively. This is why you’re able to utilize it for far more than the sales function. Rather than viewing your CRM as a sales or customer response tool, start looking at it as a customer intelligence and performance management tool. Consider how your CRM can provide you with the opportunity to better support customers, hire new employees, increase team performance, and manage your content marketing.
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About the author****Jessica Barrett Halcom is a freelance writer with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.