• You want to implement business growth strategies.
  • You want to increase customer retention.
  • You want to improve customer satisfaction
  • You want to improve the overall customer experience
  • You want to increase sales.
  • You want more repeat sales and
  • Overall you want to increase profits.

The “thing” which brings all these aspects together is the implementation of integrated customer relationship management strategies. Such CRM strategies will account for your many different customer interaction processes, in sales, customer care and administration processes.

Many businesses view technology such as CRM and marketing automation systems as “magic bullets” i.e. when they are installed, they will be able to just watch the sales and profits improve and customer satisfaction ratings increase.

Technology is only an enabler and facilitator of a business’ processes. It is not a “magic bullet”!

To achieve the benefit of integrated CRM strategies it is important for the business to understand their business strategies and processes and then decide how the technology will be used and how its performance is to be measured.

When you know these then you can select the systems which will enable you to achieve the best possible results.

The Single Source of Customer Truth

Employees of businesses which do not have a CRM, or not keen on using the CRM provided, will often store contact information in spreadsheets, business card holders, contact only databases, mobile phones and notebooks to which only they have access.

It is critical to ensure all business related information owned by the business is accessible by the business.

The business may have multiple sources from which customer, prospect and contact information may be available. These may be:

  • Accounting systems e.g. Xero, Quickbooks
  • Marketing automation systems e.g. 366 Degrees, MailChimp
  • Administration/process management systems

Best practice would see customer facing staff accessing a CRM system containing information from across the organisation. They would also have a process to update or send updated information back to these systems or their administrators.

Ideally, through direct integration and/or possibly regular data imports, the business’ Customer Relationship Management system would be come it’s Single Source of Customer Truth. It will cover the various key touchpoints as described in “Customer Touch Points”. The CRM will also cover the various systems used by employees to maintain contact with their customers, prospects and contacts.

The diagram highlights the key activities managed by employees using an integrated CRM would include.

Which CRM System is best?

This is the $64,000 question. The good news is there are more than 360 CRM systems available in the market place. These systems include: Salesforce, Nimble, MS Dynamix CRM, Zoho, Insightly, Pipeliner, ACT!, Base, Infusionsoft, Hubspot, SugarCRM, Pipedrive.

What a CRM Should Have

“Basic” CRM features should include:

  • Contact details
  • Lead management
  • Contact history
  • Email integration to some level
  • Task management
  • Calendars integration (most)
  • Opportunity or deal management
  • Social Media information

Other features (directly or via integration) may range from Support desks, marketing automation, sales force management, project management and financial information.

Should You Customize Your CRM?

A common cause of dissatisfaction with newly installed CRM is due to the business not documenting it’s requirements and ensure the selected CRM can meet them.

Commercially available CRMs cannot be designed to meet every requirement of every business. It’s just not possible.

Therefore it is important to document the business’ requirements for the CRM they wish to implement. It is common to find the new CRM will have to be customized to meet all the requirements.

The 80/10/10 Rule

The Client Orchardist suggests to clients they work to the “ 80/10/10 Rule”. This rule states:

  • 80% of the documented requirements should be available to users on Day 1 (the “Go Live” date)
  • 10% of the documented requirement should be considered and prioritized for release on Day 2 (a date between 2 – 12 months after the “Go Live” date). These may include some of the more difficult customizations, but not all.
  • 10% of the documented requirements are likely to cause the CRM project to be significantly delayed or require significant development, to such an extent the budget will be over-run and the business cannot achieve the desired ROI or ROI pay-back period.

It is suggested these final customized requirements are not implemented. Further business should be conducted to identify other ways to achieve these or redevelop the business processes so they can be incorporated into the CRM.

10 Reasons to Use a CRM in Your Business

Download this free e-guide to learn 10 Reasons for Having A CRM.

You will want this e-guide if you are considering implementing a CRM system in your business or upgrading or replacing an existing CRM. These reasons are research based.

Before selecting any CRM system, it is recommended you talk to a customer relationship management specialist. This person understands both how to develop the strategies and processes to achieve a successful implementation and how to assess if a CRM system is a good fit for the business.

The Client Orchardist specializes in assisting businesses review their CRM requirements and help develop CRM strategies for the business. Arrange a free 30 minute online session today to discuss if a CRM is right for your business.

Our Preferred CRM Solution

Our preferred CRM solution is Nimble CRM. This multi-award-winning CRM was founded in 2010 by its CEO, Jon Ferrara. It has consistently been ranked among the top CRMs by users on G2 Crowd as a sales intelligence tool, ease of use and for customer satisfaction.

The Client Orchardist is a Nimble Solution Partner and Ross Keating is a Nimble Ambassador

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