As you probably already know, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager. What THAT means, however, is open to interpretation.
For many businesses, CRM means sales sales sales! Managers want to see pipelines, projections, and progress reports; sales reps are expected to log in to close opportunities.
For other businesses, CRM is more about customer service and building great relationships with customers. Managers like to see lots of data on a contact’s profile, while employees use the CRM to find the right people to stay in touch with.
Nothing to Fight About, Really
This is not a winner take all fight. CRM software is a flexible tool that can be a good fit for many parts of your business. The thing is, you don’t have to use CRM just for sales or just for customer service. In fact, it’s better if you use it for both!
Don’t look at it through the eyes of your departments. Instead, evaluate your CRM strategy through the eyes of the customer. They should have a seamless relationship with your business from first contact by a sales rep right through to that lovingly handcrafted note written to thank them for being a long time customer.
When you need to pass off customer information from one person to another you can just point to the contact profile in your CRM. Everything that happens in sales matters to the customer support folks and every bit of detail that support comes across can help inform the sales team.
So, how do you do both things well?
Integrate Your CRM Workflows
If you are going to use your CRM for every customer interaction, from sales to service, you’ll need to spend a bit of time thinking through a good workflow. This will help everyone stay on the same page. The last thing you need is the sales team using the tag ‘awesome’ to mark their favorite customers, while the support team uses the tag ‘stupendous.’
Using the same tags, the same custom fields, and understanding each others processes for dealing with contacts will help you to work as a unit.
Share More Contact Data
The best thing sales and service can do for each other is to share more data. This includes copying in emails and social updates, as well as passing in information from other tools. Integrations with other software help you bring in details about marketing campaigns, open invoices, sales quotes, lead forms, social networks, and more.
All of this data gives everyone a more complete picture of who each contact is. This kind of insight is super valuable when it comes to things like winning sales and winning loyalty. Without a team based approach to CRM, much of this data would stay locked away within individual corners of the company.
Always Be Opening
You’ve heard the sales mantra of ABC, always be closing? It says that with each interaction you have with a contact, you should be thinking about how to close the sale. A closed sale sounds so final, when in reality what you are really doing is opening up future opportunities.
By using one tool to win sales and build relationships, the cycle doesn’t ever end. Each new sale leads to a new relationship, while each improved relationship leads to more sales.
And that’s how you build relationships AND make money using your CRM. By working as a team and putting the focus on the customer, you can share the information that will help everyone make each contact happy. And did you hear? Happiness leads to success!