Centralized Client Data – An Incentive to Implement CRM Solutions

CRM solutions for centralized client data

Many businesses use a multitude of solutions in different departments, including a number of online subscription-based tools. As you can imagine, this approach creates multiple data sources and customer contact strategies.

When companies lack a comprehensive overview of their business operations, or do not have a single, well-defined client contact strategy, decentralization can put them at risk. An overview of company affairs is especially important in the current climate, in which customer follow-ups must carefully be monitored. Otherwise a business may incur heavy fines.

To name few:

  • the over-solicitation of clients,
  • inconsistencies in communication,
  • lost or stolen data, or
  • the inability to consistently measure success and failure.

Does this scenario look familiar to you? Here is an example:

Department Tools Used Goal
Human Resources Social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc…) Candidate recruitment
Sales Cloud-based departmental CRM (budgeting: VP’s expense account). Follow up on sales leads and activities
Sales Monthly subscription to a bulk email service Automate prospect and customer follow-up activity

Send out surveys during and following the sales process

Internal Sales Order database software (in-house MS Access database) Manage incoming calls and orders
Marketing Social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Google+)

Social media management tools paid for on a monthly basis.

Boost visibility

Interact with current and potential customers

Marketing Monthly subscription to a bulk email service – this may be a different system from the one used by Sales. Manage e-newsletters and measure email marketing campaign success.

Manage customerconsent to receiving emails.

Marketing Web content management systems (CMS)

Analytics services (monthly subscription)

Content management

Reporting

Understanding website visitor behaviour.

Marketing Loyalty programs on the cloud (monthly subscription) Foster client loyalty and boost  sales
Marketing Outbound call management software (in-house system or Excel files) Telemarketing campaign management
Customer Service Call centre incident management tools

Subscription to a cloud-based incident follow-up service

Manage incidents and complaints

Monitor complaint escalation

Operations Mobile strategy (SMS service provider) Inform customers of order status
Upper Management Contact management system (Outdated CRM tool) Organize upper management’s contacts
Customer Service Self-serve information portal (which comes with the incident follow-up service) Access to product information and FAQ, with the possibility of generating service requests by email
Internal Sales Website chat (per monthly subscription) – add-in to CMS and used to manage website content Order online using the company website

In the table above, we haven’t even listed the contact details that employees keep on their desktop or in their mobile phones, or apps used for work purposes! Nor have we discussed ERP solutions and project management tools.

This scenario might seem farfetched or exaggerated. However, over time, many SMEs develop alliances, sign up for various online tools and implement a wide range of department-specific solutions. As a result, companies are faced with a jumble of independent, disconnected tools and solutions living in the same ecosystem.

How often have you heard or said that as the solutions “don’t interact”, employees need to learn to use multiple tools and re-enter the same data in different systems just to complete their tasks?

At first glance, it may seem that only the sales team in our example makes use of a CRM and that other departments have internal tools. But when you think about it, the combined solutions and processes act as a makeshift CRM solution. All you need to do is connect the dots!

Multiplying data sources may allow departments to retain their independence, but it does not allow for the possibility of leveraging data obtained by another source, just to improve knowledge of your customers.

Migrating data and related processes to a single centralized CRM system provides a number of advantages with excellent ROI potential.

Indeed, such a project will allows companies to revise and modernize practices and optimize business processes. What’s more, not everything needs to be centralized. Certain tools can exist in parallel or be linked. Finally, you don’t have to migrate everything all at once. This type of project can span several budget periods and be completed in order of priority.

An overarching customer engagement strategy works well with a corporate CRM. You’ll soon see that such a CRM solution is easier to manage than a multitude of department-specific tools lacking the benefits of a 360-degree customer view.

Equipped with customer segmentation and a specific engagement tactic per segment, you will be able to improve customer experience and potentially increase revenue and quality data collection.

To find out more about custom CRM solutions for businesses, visit our CRM implementation page.

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