In nearly every market and across every vertical, today’s customers have come to expect a seamless and personal relationship with their sales representatives. According to Walker Inc.’s Customer’s 2020 report, “customer experience has overtaken price and product as the key brand differentiator.” Customers nowadays expect that they will have a strong voice in how you are communicating with them, through what channels, whether it be via phone, email or app, and when.
When we take into consideration how many relationships each sales rep typically manages, this hyper-personalized approach requires more time and resources than the average person has. This all too common deficit has compelled many organizations to start automating many of the tasks involved in their ongoing customer management. However, since this is a relatively new phenomenon, it isn’t always clear which aspects should be prioritized for the ultimate customer satisfaction.
In order to provide customers with a flexible, streamlined and highly-personalized process for doing business, executives should focus on four key areas when it comes to CRM:
1. Improve Speed of Engagement
Organizations should think of processes like they would think of an assembly line. Research from the Aberdeen Group found that companies who have moved to automate proposal, quote and contract processes save more than two hours on average per document, and deliver more than double the number of proposals and/or quotes to customers and prospects per sales rep, per month.
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For Temple University’s Fox School of Business – one of the best part-time MBA programs in the nation, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report – the push to create an automated, paperless application process helped the school’s recruiting team double enrollment within just two years. Before automating, the team had been copying and printing application documents out of Salesforce, then physically transferring them to various stakeholders overseeing admissions decisions. Each stakeholder could take weeks to include their decisions in the files, leading to a backlog of thousands of applicants. Juggling student essays, letters of recommendation, test scores and transcripts had created a tangled mess for the school’s recruiters, and long turnaround times on admission-based decisions was hurting enrollment numbers.
By streamlining records – condensing multiple disparate documents and processes into a single PDF generated from within Salesforce – businesses can speed up their decision-making timeframes and spend more time strengthening relationships with their customers.
2. Fortify Data Security and Compliance
Data security has become a critical C-suite issue that many executives dread discussing with the board. Securing organizational data has become a critical step to ensuring the vitality of not just your own business, but also your customers’ businesses, particularly in industries like finance and healthcare where regulatory safeguards around sensitive data can be time-consuming and costly. In today’s complex and fast-paced business landscape, a major security or compliance failure can lead to huge financial losses or even bankruptcy.
Rather than scrambling to meet new regulations and reacting to new threats, organizations must embrace a platform that builds those regulations into the process. By embracing a fully-baked CRM to help them meet shifting requirements in real-time, organizations can ensure the data security and regulatory integrity of their customer base. This peace of mind will make all the difference to your customers – and your board.
3. Create Seamless Personalization
When it comes to critical CRM functionality like document generation and contract management, organizations need solutions that will align neatly and seamlessly with their own brand’s identity. Presentation goes a long way, but it is frequently overlooked in the push to automate processes.
In a sense, presenting the exact brand experience you want is as important as getting a signature on a new contract. Providing an easy way to create an elegant experience that is consistent with a brand’s identity will make your customers lives easier.
4. Institute Annual Auto Renewals
Organizations need to give sales reps the tools to make their contract renewal process as seamless and painless as possible. Sales teams can spend hours creating each annual subscription renewal within Salesforce, which is time that could be better spent elsewhere.
By automating that process, those sales reps can easily identify all their accounts coming up for renewal, then quickly generate and send out custom renewal invoices. This will have massive effects on the entire lifecycle of your customers.
As a service or sales rep, your customers expect doing business with you to be easy. But making things easier for them has historically made managing the relationship harder for you. By following these four tips, you will be better equipped to build strong, lasting relationships and ultimately grow revenue.
Do you have any other CRM hacks that helped your business improve relationships with customers and grow revenue? Share in the comments!