For many entrepreneurs and business owners, moving from one stage of a thriving business to the next one can be quite a challenge. Research shows that only a mere 0.1 percent of businesses hit the $250 million mark in annual sales. That number gets smaller for the billion-dollar group, with only 0.036 percent of companies making it to $1 billion in revenue. These figures paint a grim future for ambitious businesses that look to compete and grow in the current cut-throat business environment.
Sustainable business growth is an element that often eludes even the biggest of businesses. Many entrepreneurs often find it easy to come up with and execute solid business ideas, only for the business to fizzle out within the first few years of existence. Achieving sustainable business is often the sum-total of different factors, but chiefly how well the business manages its sales pipeline, usually with a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
CRM platforms enable businesses to manage their customer databases, giving teams an accurate forecast of their sales and marketing efforts. Here’s a little bit more of how CRM systems in sales departments are associated with sustainable business growth.
1. Enables businesses to follow up on each lead
It makes no sense to invest heavily in getting visitors to your website using expensive customer acquisition tactics and waiting for them to make a purchase and become loyal customers. You need to keep tabs on any visitors that come to your site, ensuring you follow up on each visitor to find out why they did or didn’t complete their journey.
A CRM platform enables you to track and follow up on each potential lead that comes into contact with you – via both online and offline channels. Following up with each lead on your CRM database gives your sales team an opportunity to nurture relationships and eventually turn leads into loyal customers. With strong relationships in the sales department and both current and potential customers, businesses are more likely to withstand the test of time and realize sustainable growth.
2. Improves relationship between sales and marketing teams
In many organizations, the sales and marketing teams are often lumped into a single department, usually because they’re meant to feed off each other. The marketing team is ideally supposed to bring in and nurture leads while the sales team is often tasked with servicing customers and ensuring overall customer satisfaction. However, sustainable business growth requires these two departments – and other organizational departments for that matter – to work as a single, well-oiled machine.
A CRM system enables sales and marketing teams to work together as members of one organization, which helps promote business growth. For instance, both marketing and sales teams have access to complete records of leads and customers, which makes it easier for them to target highly profitable prospects.
3. Provides a better analytical view of individual clients
A salesperson’s contacts are the biggest asset in the sales and marketing department. They act as valuable leads, potential customers, and can also be leveraged for more leads via networking. In fact, a good number of marketers often feel that one of the main reasons why they fail to understand their target audience is the lack of a disparate source of data. This is where CRM systems often come in handy.
A CRM system gives sales and marketing teams a single data source that can be used to provide useful information on individual clients. A contacts report on basic CRMs can give sales and marketing executives detailed information on a lead’s stage in the sales pipeline, contact date, demographics, channel or source, and other important information. This information can be used to find new networking opportunities, close new leads, and identify weak spots in the sales funnel.
4. Improved customer support
Customer satisfaction has always played a major role in creating sustainable, profitable businesses. At its core is customer centricity, a key business strategy that brings together all the elements of customer experience to drive sustainable business growth. CRM systems are among the most effective platforms for managing leads and customers, making them a useful addition to a customer-centric organization.
CRM systems enable sales and marketing teams to learn about different aspects of their customers’ requirements and pain points, helping to improve sales and customer loyalty.
5. Improved organizational efficiency
Sales and marketing teams often work as part of a larger organization with different moving parts. To achieve organizational efficiency, different members of staff must work together as members of the same team to achieve a common goal. A CRM platform gives staff members an effective communication platform that enables everyone to keep track of the goings-on in the organization.
Staff members can use the CRM platform to track developments in other departments. Managers can use the CRM-enabled pipeline to develop effective growth strategies for the business by coming up with efficient organizational processes.
6. Improves targeted marketing efforts
In a world where every marketing dollar counts, wasting precious resources on false impressions can be devastating. This is why it’s always important to ensure every resource that has been committed to finding leads brings in a respectable level of ROI. In fact, businesses have been shown to gain up to 30% in efficiency by simply taking control of wasted impressions. Using CRM data in your targeting efforts can be a game-changer for sales and marketing departments. Your CRM data gives you access to both offline and online customers coming from multiple marketing channels, enabling you to target the right audience and save your precious marketing resources.
Allows segmentation of leads and customers
Whenever you shop on some of the big online stores like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, you often get buying suggestions based on your shopping habits on these sites. These companies are able to implement such marketing tactics by automation and segmentation of their customer databases, often using CRM systems.
For smaller businesses, a CRM system helps the business increase efficiency by targeting segmented groups of leads and customers with appropriate sales proposals and marketing messages.
Implementing and managing a CRM system is only one of the many facets of a business on a sustainable growth curve. To guarantee sustainable growth, the CRM system must be maintained by regularly updating the system with relevant customer data and removing obsolete entries that might have a negative impact on the integrity of the system.