Updated: Aug 28, 2021
If you’re not treating your CRM as an asset, you are not alone. HBR.org published findings from the Big Data and AI Executive Survey of C-level executives. The results of this research are interesting and alarming at the same time – revealing the majority of C-level executives are failing to see the CRM as the revenue gold mine it has the potential to be.
Here are a few key findings from the Harvard Business Review Big Data research:
72% of survey participants report that they have yet to forge a data culture
69% report that they have not created a data-driven organization
53% state that they are not yet treating data as a business asset
93% of respondents identify people and process issues as the obstacle
40.3% identify lack of organization alignment as the reason for not having a data culture
We believe there are veins of gold in your CRM if you start treating it as a business asset.
In our work as Zoho CRM workflow consultants we have seen everything from homegrown CRMs as Excel spreadsheets, or other systems (i.e., Zoho, HubSpot, Salesforce) that resemble a the Wild West as a free-for-all. We see multiple records created for one contact (misspellings, address changes, abbreviations, etc.), non-existent or broken sales processes, messy or non-existent dashboards, or marketing and/or sales not using the CRM system. These findings are in companies of all sizes, it is not a symptom of company size. Most typically we find the CRM being managed by someone who is not deeply familiar with the customer base, marketing, and sales. More often than not, the lack of discipline around a company's CRM system and processes, creates chaos and makes the revenue engine sputter with inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Equally concerning is the difficulty companies have projecting revenue accurately - which can be remedied with a proven sales process that is mapped in the CRM to include percentages as likelihood to close.
We offer one piece of advice about your CRM, and hope you are able to take advantage. Set up your CRM with workflows and dashboards to suit your needs. Knowing the health of the sales funnel, customer base, and company, will put you in the best position to make real-time decisions, with confidence.
Make more revenue and lower the overall cost of sales? This sounds fantastic if you say it fast -- but it is not an easy undertaking or everyone would already be doing it. Clean reliable and current data is a revenue game-changer.
Implementation of a CRM is just that, implementation. Selecting your implementation partner is important - we work with one of the industry's finest. Implementation of customized workflows and dashboards transforms your CRM to a data gold mine.
4 ways to use your CRM to grow your business
1) Activity-based (lead scoring), automated conversion from marketing to sales. Speeding the delivery of a lead, based on that lead’s activity being tracked and scored, allows the sales team to strike while the iron is hot. Without lead-scoring, knowing which leads to pursue becomes a guessing game, and likely, a waste of resources.
2) Capture the customer journey and provide a more customer-friendly experience. In a well-designed CRM system, the marketing and sales staff are continuously updating and progressively capturing more information. Ultimately, a CRM can provide a relevant resource from which you can recommend solutions, processes, or other help to demonstrate and affirm your understanding of the customer’s needs. In a competitive market, where changing providers is easy to do, what separates you from your competitors may be your ability to be timely, relevant, and attentive to customer needs.
3) Increase likelihood of a win, reduce the cost per lead (CPL). The probability of winning more business from an existing customer is much higher than the probability of selling a new prospect. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) have a 2% to 5% likelihood of closing, where as existing customers are more than 50% likely to buy more from you. Studying customer data within your CRM can illuminate paths to more revenue, faster.
4) Monitor to manage sales funnel activity. Accurate sales projections are the result of a proven sales process where the sales organization knows with certainty the likelihood of a close – and the data in the CRM reflects this. If your revenue projections are off, several factors may be to blame. Leads may be poor quality, sales people may need training, the sales process may need work, or more. Monitoring a sales funnel that has bogus leads in it, or leads that are not fully qualified to be at the level they are at, will yield inaccurate revenue projections. It is our job to fix these situations and to design workflows that customize your CRM to be that revenue gold mine others will wish they had.