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Is your data telling you the right story about your customers?

Are your marketing and sales teams spending excessive time pulling together customer information to do their jobs better?

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You probably think you know who your best customers are, but without the data to prove it, you are just guessing.

Most businesses spend a lot of time trying to figure out who their best customers are. In most cases it’s usually cheaper for your company to sell more to existing customers than it is to go out and get new customers. With the right CRM system in place, identifying your best customers, and using that information to find more of the same, should not be a challenge.

How much time do your sales and marketing teams spend searching for customer information that should be in the CRM system? Most importantly, how much more efficient and effective could your teams be by eliminating their need to search for this information in multiple places?

Gorkana, a public relations company in London, asked themselves this exact question. Their business grew through acquisitions, so their sales and marketing teams spent hours a day compiling information only to discover that it was out-of-date by the time they needed to use it. It was clear they needed to aggregate data from their various brands into one CRM system.

"We used to spend time talking about data quality. Now we focus on cloud innovation," says Alex Bates, head of channel marketing at Gorkana.

A unified view

A CRM system can make information easy to track and manage, improve operational effectiveness, and maximize productivity. It should:

  • Be a company-wide hub for information about prospects and customers
  • Provide a complete picture by combining sales, marketing and customer service data
  • Have a user interface that makes it easy to input and review information
  • Provide reliable dashboards for reporting metrics
  • Connect to external channels such as social media to pick up indirect customer interactions

You probably think you know who your best customers are. But without the data to prove it, you are just guessing. A good CRM system can provide a perspective of your customers, both collectively and individually. Identify your best and worst customers by looking at:

  • How much revenue they bring in
  • How many products they own
  • How much of your time they spend with little or no return
  • How long your sales cycle is with them
  • How many hours they spend with your customer service department
  • How much negative or positive exposure they generate in social channels

Once you have a clear picture, you can determine your future relationship with them. Use your CRM system to help you target your best customers and identify the best way to sell to them.

Automate for efficiency

Later, use the same system to ensure they are getting the best service. Automate customer service processes, allowing agents to instead focus on resolving issues and pinpointing best practices. Automated processes can also help customer service manage data entry and resolve customer service inquiries.

From marketing to sales and customer service, a CRM system is at the core of a successful business. It accurately targets your best customers so you can put your efforts into keeping them. The same system can then focus your customer service efforts, ensuring that these customers remain loyal.

For more information on the multiple facets of a CRM system, read the white paper "Improve Service with a Single View of the Customer."

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