In my previous blog, we’ve spoken about how a CRM can help you personalize and accelerate the customer journey. The rubber hits the road when it’s time to select the right CRM for your business – perhaps one of the most important decisions in enhancing your customer experience.
This blog highlights the top 6 aspects one needs to consider while selecting the CRM best suited for the today’s digital world.
#1 Unified data model that connects all customer stages
In a typical awareness to advocacy journey, a customer moves through various stages and functions, such as marketing, sales, and service. The CRM should have a data model that unifies and enhances the data at each stage of the customer journey. It’s best for the CRM to have a common data model that has single metadata definition that can be customized, a standardized schema that makes it easier to connect several business entities and the progressive profiling that enables you to deliver consistent customer experience.
#2 Feature rich platform to meet the demands of all functions
While the data model can connect various entities in an organization, the platform must come with rich features to be able to customize them to each department. E.g. The CRM platform must allow the marketing function to execute personalized campaigns, the sales function to track and rapidly convert the leads, and the service function to proactively support the customer. Not just that, a good CRM goes beyond these three functions to allows the finance function to track the invoices and payments, product development teams to get customer insights required for innovation and gives the leadership needed visibility into the overall customer experience.
#3 Platform extensibility and scalability to the changing business models
It is no secret that the world is rapidly changing from the product-centric economy to the service and subscription centric economy. Rest assured, tomorrow it will be a different model. E.g. A change from a traditional perpetual licensing model to a SaaS model would mean at least a 3X to 4X increase in the number of customers and the entire philosophy of customer experience. The CRM platform should scale to meet the changing models. In this case, it needs to capture a lot more customer data, personalize the communication, manage the subscriptions, provide insights on the dropouts, enable proactive support and importantly track from quote to cash and beyond.
#4 Self growing ecosystem
A great CRM is the one that can be relevant to all seasons, sizes and user requirements. It can happen only when the platform has a robust ecosystem. This ecosystem challenges the CRM to continuously innovate and also enriches the underlying platform in line with customer expectations. E.g. The innovation that happens in Salesforce App Exchange and Force.com is much beyond the novelty that any single CRM provider can think of. This ecosystem provides a multitude of options and enables the business users to customize the platform as per their vertical and business goals. Another advantage of the ecosystem is the support business can get from implementation to maintenance to even troubleshooting any issues.
#5 Insights and recommendations delivered by the platform
Gone are the days when the CRMs are used as the data entry tools. Today, every user expects the CRM to provide deep insights and recommendations to take real-time decisions. As per the Nucleus Research, the average ROI for CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent. This means that the CRM is helping businesses get more business for the same dollar spent by delivering timely insights. E.g. the CRM should be able to provide recommendations, such as which customers have a high probability of closure, what are the relationships and opportunities the business needs to focus on, which customers are probably to drop out in the next 3 months, what are the high potential opportunities, how to preempt customer issues and so on.
#6 Higher adoption with ease of use and superior experience
Customer experience is taking top spot to win more business and retain them for longer periods. Similarly, for the CRM users, the UX/UI and the ease of use is a critical factor in improving the platform adoption. Good user experience of a CRM goes beyond just the adoption. We’ve observed businesses enhancing their productivity and efficiencies with simplified UX. E.g., Teams who used to scroll through endlessly to generate a report of high-probability conversion customers should be able to do that within a few clicks. Such reports should be generated automatically once configured. A great UX ensures that the teams spend less time on mundane tasks and focus on real value making programs. For the business, it would also lower the support, help desk, and even training costs.
Truth be told, there are very few CRM platforms that meet all these criteria in a true and a holistic sense. Salesforce is one of those very platforms that trumps in all the requirements. It has gone through several transformations itself and positioned well to meet the new-age business requirements where customer experience has taken center stage. The broad ecosystem ensures that they are always at the cutting edge of innovation and the partners, such as Brillio provide the right consulting, implementation and custom support to ensure that the Salesforce ROI is beyond expectations.
The Big Question
Does your CRM meet these criteria and is it ready for the customer experience economy? Talk to our experts or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the road ahead with the CRM of your choice.
About the Author
A CRM and Customer Engagement Transformation Practitioner. Loves working with clients to transform their customer experience to make them Digital Native. Specializes in IT Consulting, Salesforce, Cloud Solutions, Digital transformation, Organization Strategy & Transformation, Design Thinking