To Get Maximum Benefit From Your CRM, Don’t Overlook These Capabilities

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Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are available in abundance; in fact, we’re spoiled with choices. There is a wide variety of both open-source and proprietary applications, and these can be adapted to fit most budgets and business models.

CRM applications are also so popular that the leading CRM platform, Salesforce, aims to achieve $60 billion in revenue by 2034. This should not come as a surprise, as CRM can have a significant impact on sales.

However, not all sales teams make maximum use of the capabilities of this technology. Sure, you can seamlessly contact new leads, follow up with old ones, set up meetings, and check on the progress of your deals, but CRM can do so much more, from customer experience personalization at a granular level to uplifting customer service channels.

Like anything else, CRM solutions are only as effective as the way you use them. So what features and capabilities are sales professionals still failing to use? Let’s take a look.

Identify the Right Customers and Target Them

Leading CRM systems in the marketplace can be leveraged to segment customers at a granular level. By gathering and analyzing data based on specific subgroups, your sales team will be well-equipped to develop highly effective marketing tactics.

What features should you look for in a granular customer segmentation tool?

  • Highly user-friendly data collection and analytics
  • Seamless integration with shopping carts and checkout
  • Flexibility and scalability

Segment Customers Based on Engagement

You can zero in on your target audience by their levels of engagement. These levels can be grouped according to user activity on your website and social media pages, click-through rates, and so on.

Whenever certain customers fail to engage with your marketing campaigns, you’ll have to adapt your approach. For example, click-through rates will tell you if customers strongly dislike receiving direct marketing emails.

If this is the case, you have to reduce the number of emails you send them and shift your focus to other types of outreach.

Segment Customers Based on Past Purchasing Behavior

You can also segment and target customers based on the products they have purchased and make product recommendations for cross-selling. Whenever they abandon a shopping cart, your CRM system’s automation feature will kick in and send them an email reminder to re-engage them.

If a customer tends to come back without any effort on your part, you can reduce or cancel the number of reminders that are sent to them.

This type of granular segmentation can also be achieved across channels where a potential customer is targeted with relevant ads while they browse through other websites. This approach will negate the need to send emails that are often perceived as impersonal (and then deleted).

When your customers are happy with their brand experiences, you will be well-placed to build sustainable relationships.

Forecast and Retarget Existing Customers

All the data gathered during each exercise can be used for forecasting and retargeting.

Past behavior is an excellent predictor of future buying behavior and response to your campaigns. This information can help your team develop highly personalized and effective campaigns that can convert at different touchpoints.

Whether you’re collecting data on your website, customer service department, or during in-store purchases, make sure to segment these customers based on shared behavior patterns.

However, for this type of customer segmentation to work, high-quality data is critical. If your information is inaccurate, you’ll be wasting your time and resources crafting personalized experiences that won’t appeal to the target audience.

So make sure to choose tools that integrate seamlessly with your CRM solution. This approach will help reduce the amount of time you spend transferring and analyzing data from multiple end-points.

Enhance Customer Retention Rates with Chatbots

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way, and today chatbots can deliver authentic customer service experiences. It has become essential to leverage chatbots, as the differences between competitors are narrowing, and buying decisions are dictated by real-time customer experiences.

Smart Algorithms Enhance Customer Service

Expectations are also much higher, and it’s no longer possible to deliver enhanced experiences with human effort alone. Adopting smart algorithms for intelligent customer care automation is also the cheapest option to keep the conversation going in real time, 24/7.

Smart Algorithms Enhance Operations

Chatbot features integrated into CRM systems can do a lot more than customer service. Businesses can use them to boost productivity and operational efficiency.

They can remind employees, for example, of scheduled meetings. They can also answer simple questions without disrupting whatever activity employees are engaged in.

Below are the key benefits of chatbots:

  • They enhance your brand image, through being available around the clock.
  • They cut down on the costs of processing customer requests by as much as 30 percent.
  • They’re highly efficient at first-level filtering of customer requests (and hence improved customer service experiences).
  • They appeal to Millennials, who generally prefer self-service options.
  • They reduce operational costs.

It’s as simple as that: When your customers are happy with the service they are receiving, they will be more likely to stay loyal to your brand.

Better Allocate Resources and Boost Productivity

All the data generated both internally and externally can be leveraged to better allocate your sales resources. For example, sales teams can leverage metrics like “qualified prospect meetings” and focus resources on high-value activities.

Use GPS in Your CRM App to Connect in Person

The global positioning system (GPS) feature can be leveraged on a CRM application to lead your salespeople right to the prospect’s door. Not only will this tool help you identify potential leads in your area, it will also provide a map and directions to their location.

If that wasn’t enough, CRM apps can also be used to get the contact details to set up a face-to-face meeting. For products that demand a significant investment, this approach can prove to be highly effective.

Leverage Gamification to Boost Productivity

CRM software can also be used to create some healthy competition within the organization. For example, staff data can be analyzed to develop a leaderboard and benchmark performance.

By leveraging gamification, you can improve productivity, increase sales, and boost your bottom line as a result. However, it’s important to understand the specifics of how you’ll gamify your process, and how you’ll drive (healthy) competition.

When all the different CRM features and functions are used properly, your whole organization can reap the benefits. While increasing sales and creating new revenue models, CRM software can also help reduce operational expenses and enhance efficiency.

Denis Kostusev is the vice president of business development at Itransition, a software development company.

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