Whether it is banking, retail, telco, IT, manufacturing, or wholesale, companies need to understand their customers in the best possible way and put them at the center of what they do; that goes across all industries. It all about is making sure that there are automated engagements, and that you can make use of new emerging technologies. Companies face challenges in terms of data privacy and security, which is why there is a strong emphasis on CRM in the market today. Keep reading to get the main points of the discussion, and don’t forget to watch the full episode.

Alex Srebny, Team Lead, Sales at CLARITY together with Maurits van den Berg, Sales Director of Sales and Service Cloud at SAP, CLARITY.SHOW discussed customer-centricity and hyper-personalization, smart selling with virtual assistance, and how mobile CRM influences various departments, processes, and stakeholders worldwide.

CRM is about more than just sales; it is also about service.

Ensuring your business can provide comprehensive customer service across your entire organization is crucial for an efficient end-to-end process. A major part of a CRM solution now is integrating and unifying service automation software and sales automation software into a single, unified solution.

The service department is responsible for more than just answering questions and assisting businesses with their problems, services, or products. The service department often has more interaction with customers than the sales department, giving them more chances to make a sale. But if they can go the extra mile and wow the customer, it will create an even greater level of loyalty.

There are so many solutions on the market which makes it hard to pick the optimal CRM solution for your organization. By knowing the trends, you can easier identify the best solution.

Virtual selling and virtual engagement

Virtual selling is becoming increasingly important, so we need to develop solutions differently than we used to. Enhancing sales effectiveness can be done by providing guided selling capabilities with playbooks inside the CRM, which help guide sales through an opportunity and offer customer insights. We can also use data to uncover our biggest growth opportunities, automatically score pipeline health, and leverage intelligent forecasting capabilities.

Social CRM

The rise in online purchases, especially those done through mobile phones, has led to social media apps like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram becoming buy-and-sell platforms and mini-CRMs in themselves. This calls for development in the CRM market that enables social selling, so customers don’t feel like they are being sold to when they recognize their environment. Social CRM also facilitates friendly conversations between companies and customers as it gathers all relevant information for data analysis.

Virtual assistance

Nowadays, when dealing with call centers, there is a certain amount of routing needed before getting the desired answers; however, with voice-recognition technology, one just needs to say the problem and automatically get redirected to the correct department in a few minutes. This could effectively be replaced by self-service chatbots that understand customer requests and answer them accordingly while leading them directly to the solution’s web page for more information – saving companies time and money on overnight workers needed for 24/7 service.

Sustainable CRM

Customers want to make decisions based on more information; they want to know what they can expect going forward. This applies to sales and service processes alike, where specific capabilities may be required to ensure sustainability. Customers may want to know how much CO2 a certain order emits, and, in a service setting, they could be given two or three different options with the CO2 footprint of each one. That way, they can choose to wait a few extra days for a shipment instead of taking the fastest one, but with a bigger carbon footprint – this is an example of when sustainability is integrated into CRM. This year, we have smart CRM solutions that can help tackle logistics issues, while helping companies reach their goal of a zero-emission net by highlighting the most efficient routes.

How to start the CRM project?

Organizations are at very different stages of maturity. Some customers are already very mature and very advanced when it comes to delivering a delightful customer experience, they have a lot of customer information available, and some companies are just starting their journey and maybe do not have even a CRM system. Regardless of the maturity level or company size, it is important to put first the customer at the center of your organization.

Understand your needs

Think about what you want to achieve, and then look at the technology you need to deliver it. CRM is only one part of the process, so focus on an end-to-end perspective and make sure it integrates with existing systems.

Find an industry expert solution

Every industry is different, and every sales or service process across the industries are different. You need to find a solution that offers innovation as well as proven results. If you think about it with today’s technology, innovations can be delivered overnight/on a weekly/monthly basis. You want to make sure that you invest in a company that continues to invest in CRM and innovation of CRM for you as a company to stay ahead of the competition and to have all of the functionalities available.

Prioritize functionality. Sometimes less is more.

The system can do so much that sometimes it is too much. Make sure users don’t become overwhelmed by having too much functionality available to them at once – turn on only what you need. Talk to several vendors, get demos, and find a solution that fits. Make the process as simple as possible for your employees to buy into the solution. It will help them to do their day-to-day activities and not to get lost.

Start small but think big

We can easily have a project live within four to eight weeks predefined scope previously or you can just start using the solution and start experiencing and adapting it to your needs. Instead of being in a project and planning phase for more than a year and trying to already have figure out everything before starting, the technology today allows you to start small, adjust on the go and meanwhile just grow with the solution as it also delivers your business benefits.

The Bottom Line

CRM success is everyone’s responsibility and benefit. CRM’s purpose, especially in today’s subscription economy, is to retain your customer, to make them a customer for life, to convert them into a customer who hasn’t just bought your solution once, but who is paying for this solution on a monthly, yearly basis, and returning to your organization. Knowing how to do it effectively will help you save time and money and avoid possible mistakes.