In today’s market, a customer relationship management (CRM) system is an invaluable asset to any business. As the name implies, CRM helps a business to manage relationships with its customers by facilitating the storage of relevant information and data, such as contact details, past transactions and sales opportunities in an easy-to-access format. The benefits are endless: for example, information can be shared instantly across the business with any employees who have contact with the same customers and data regarding spending habits can be analysed and used to design sales strategies tailored specifically to customers. CRM can also play a huge part in forecasting sales, performance and even staffing needs.
Forecasts play a key role in planning your business. Elements such as previous sales estimates and proceeds, sales team performance, and industry trends are considered while predicting monthly or quarterly sales targets. This is where software such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM excels. Businesses may have their own CRM systems, but these generally don’t use big data in their forecasting calculations. Big data is a term used to describe large volumes
of fast moving data that standard procedures of data storing are not designed to analyse. Big data is generally information gathered from social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook or analytics (e.g. clicks). By analysing information like customer experience and patterns from these sites, CRM systems can highlight trends that could have a huge impact on your brand, and you can react accordingly.
Because Microsoft Dynamics CRM uses big data as well as your company data, forecasting is more accurate. Additionally, by offering businesses powerful tools capable of identifying sales opportunities, as well as analysing how customers respond to products, this can greatly enhance the success of marketing strategies and cut costs for companies. Because of the massive amount of information CRM gathers, you can shape customer experiences for increased engagement and revenue, it is a great way to understand consumer behaviour by allowing you to see things from their perspective.
The effectiveness of all of this, however, is also dependent on the quality of the data stored within the system. Say you have a sales team out on the street meeting new customers, generating new leads and creating new sales opportunities – basically, gathering a wealth of useful information. They’re probably committing all of it to memory or writing it down in notepads. Not only could this information be forgotten or lost, it would be awkward and time-consuming to share across the rest of the business. For effective CRM, this information needs to be entered quickly, accurately and completely into the system. In this respect, the more you put into CRM, the more you get out!