What are the Real Benefits of a Good CRM System?

Boost productivity, work more efficiently, streamline processes…these vague phrases are used all the time to describe what new technology systems can do for your business.   But unless you understand how they actually benefit the bottom line, these are just empty words.  You don’t invest in new technology simply because someone says it’s good for business – you have to understand what you need and why you need it.   What does it all mean?  How can a CRM system improve my bottom line? 

What does CRM do?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a commonly used approach for managing relationships with customers and prospects.  However, it doesn’t only focus on sales activities – it can also integrate marketing, technical support and customer service interactions in one place.  At a high level, a CRM solution provides a comprehensive view of your organization’s pipeline, order entry, revenue, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) that support the most important thing: your customers.   At a more detailed level, it allows you to see the number of emails and calls made to a specific prospect, or find out the last time your salesperson followed up on a hot new lead.  

Over time, CRM systems have evolved to do much more than track interactions between the sales department, clients and prospects.  They have become an integral part of many businesses by consolidating and simplifying important everyday activities; effectively make sure the proverbial Right Hand is talking to the Left Hand.

How Can It Benefit My Business?

Let’s look at a few real world case studies to illustrate the tangible benefits of a CRM solution for different industries.

1. IT ServicesCompellent is a data storage provider that sells exclusively through channel business partners.   They needed a cost-effective solution to help share information across the company and with their resellers.

Problem:  Since their sales process depends entirely on business partners, it’s essential for Compellent to be easy to work with and provide a simple, efficient way for resellers to do business.

Solution: Microsoft CRM, which integrates with their existing accounting and manufacturing systems.

  • Resellers get all the information they need to be successful from an easy to use business portal.
  • Microsoft CRM scales easily – it was implemented during the company’s first year and it will scale as they grow.
  • Increased visibility into the business, including sales activities, making it easy to collaborate with resellers and close deals.
  • Provides more accurate revenue and manufacturing forecasts.

2. Manufacturing & DistributionMitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift Europe is an international manufacturing and distribution company.

Problem: They needed an organized, efficient way to handle dealer requests and an order entry method able to integrate with their existing ERP system.

Solution: With Microsoft CRM, the company now has a solution that allows them to see all dealer information in one place and that is easy to customize.

  • Faster, more accurate order processing.
  • Integration with ERP system.
  • Increased productivity – IT staff can focus on business critical technologies instead of “putting out fires”.
  • Company can focus on helping dealers succeed and creating future business strategy.

3. BankingBarclays Bank, based in the U.K., is one of world’s largest banks and offers commercial, private and investment banking services.

Problem: After recent expansion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it became clear that their current processes for handling customer service inquiries and tracking sales leads were not working. Complaints were escalating, and managers needed better tools to track and report data. 

Solution: Microsoft CRM allows Barclays Bank to be proactive in sales and customer service, thanks to the business intelligence (BI) capabilities in CRM.

  • Improved customer service and satisfaction.
  • Reduced operating costs.
  • Improved efficiency thanks to easy integration and user adoption.
  • Users can create customized reports without IT assistance.

We hope these examples have helped paint a picture of the real impact a good CRM solution can have on businesses across different industries.  The positive effects resonate throughout the organization – they don’t just benefit the sales team.  It really does boost your productivity, help employees work more efficiently and streamline business processes.  Hopefully, these are no longer meaningless phrases, but an inspiration to evaluate your business needs and potentially find a solution that will do this for your company.

Author Shawn Taylor