8 Reasons CRM Software Reduces Expenditure and Increases Productivity

8 Reasons CRM Software Reduces Expenditure and Increases Productivity
Increasing organizational efficiency with CRM
When considering the implementation of a CRM solution, most companies think of the obvious reasons this software can benefit their business - increase sales and revenue! What most people don't consider is that CRM software is an effective and proven way to reduce costs.

So that’s a great double whammy – increase sales and cut costs, which again, means more revenue! A few simple things to consider-
  • The cost of initial CRM setup and implementation?
  • Which model - cloud CRM or enterprise CRM? 
  • Software purchasing and licensing costs? 
  • Will there be ongoing subscription costs? 
  • Are there upgrade fees?
  • Will the CRM solution be cost-effective and future-proof? 
  • Deployment of software (converting all business operations to the new software, training users and sometimes loss of productivity while training them). 
So, before implementing CRM, first be clear on what type of system best suit your company’s needs. You want to be sure the CRM software solution you choose will be worth the money and lead to a good return on investment (ROI) in the middle and long term.

8 ways a CRM sofware can effectively reduce costs for your business:
1. Simplify secure information sharing across the company
CRM supports integrated functioning across all departments. All departments and roles can use the system and view all interactions taking place with the customers from across applications. Also, activity management ensures open and closed records are accessible to all related participants and stakeholders.

An effective CRM makes access to information easier. No more running around from department to department chasing invoices, quotes, correspondence and digging through your mailbox for emails, or trying  desperately to locate the last interaction customer service had with the customer. Everything is in one place - saving time and costs. Also avoiding delayed responses to customers which causes them frustration.

An integrated IT infrastructure means connecting various tasks, for example, ordering and billing combined into one easy function which improves productivity and lowers administration costs.

2. Lower production costs
CRM solutions, such as those for retail, are able to provide a daily stock inventory which also feeds into the ordering system. Items that are selling fast are identified and can immediately (even automatically) be placed for reorder while items that are not selling are temporarily discontinued. This means the business does not run out of fast-moving stock and does not waste time and money manufacturing products that are not in demand which will end up taking up space in a warehouse and possibly be discarded or perish - a huge waste of money and resources!

3. Reduce new customer acquisition costs 
Acquiring new customers incurs a cost. There is the sales force’s time and their basic salary, travel allowances, cellphone allowances, marketing campaigns, telephone bill (making calls to prospects/ following up on leads), internet bandwidth (email, direct marketing) and a host of other costs to try and land a customer. With an effective CRM in place, as customer satisfaction levels spike, a large volume of referrals and word-of-mouth advocacy is generated leading to an exponential growth in warm leads. In addition, running successful campaigns for target audiences through your CRM solution also ensure larger lead conversions and better win ratios for deals. 

4. Streamline the sales process
Sales force automation helps the sales team work more intelligently. Via the dashboard they can keep track of new leads, schedule a date and time to contact new prospects, book appointments, schedule follow-ups, manage quotes and orders, set reminders and identify stalled opportunities. This significantly reduces the time, and therefore the cost, in closing a business deal. This means faster sales, at a lower cost and frees the sales rep up to continue pursuing new customers which increases revenue.

5. Reduce duplicate customer records
We all know how irritating it is to have more than one sales person or telemarketer contact us with the same proposition. Irritate a potential customer and you’ve lost him for good! Another benefit of CRM for the sales team is reducing duplication of lead and customer records through complete transparency in identifying and displaying suspected names along with a quick follow-up action. Because all relevant members of the sales team can have access to the customer account, each rep can view who has contacted the customer and the outcome. As a result, the sales rep does not waste time and cost by contacting a customer who has already been approached, thereby risking alienating a potential customer who feels harassed.

6. Minimize travel expenses
Sales reps are out on the road most of the time and their travel expenditure can be on the high side.

Now, picture this scene, a sales rep rushes from seeing Client A in one area, all the way over to another area to see Client B and then over to another area to see Client C. Not only is this running up fuel costs, but, in the meantime, the rep has spent hopping the city, he could have seen a few more clients.

CRM solutions enable the sales force to filter and view all clients/ prospects in the same vicinity and schedule his day for this specific area, resulting in less frustration, less fuel consumption, more client visits and a better use of the sales rep’s time. 

7. Improve customer service 
CRM improves agent efficiency by making them capture service issues quickly and with a bird’s eye view of all customer interactions at their fingertips they can deal with the issue effectively the first time and simultaneously build rapport to raise customer satisfaction levels.

8. Create a self-service customer portal
CRM self-service tools include automated systems to help in cost reduction. A 'self service or customer portal' (SSP) is a strategic way to ensure quick turnaround time for creating and resolving cases without pressuring your call center staff.

In addition, customers can use various communication touch points, such as a form on the website, which reduces person-to-person time, administrative costs and overall costs of customer service, to share their queries or request information. The website form can feed back to the CRM software to create a record with basic customer information which can be used to generate automated response messages like informing the customer that their query will be attended to in a few working hours. A quick survey on the website to capture how the customer rates the service becomes a useful tool in measuring the quality of service and identifies areas of concern that need to be improved.

With CRM software, new records can be automatically assigned to the most specialized users through workflow rules on the basis of their type, territory, product, etc. and follow-up action can be ensured through escalation and conditional rules.

While cutting operational costs is important to the bottom line, companies should not do this to the detriment of customer service, but ensure that improving the level of customer experience is still uppermost on their agenda. This is, after all, what translates to a "healthy" bottom line. Happy and satisfied customers equal a healthy bank balance! CRM success increases profits while keeping expenses as low as possible without compromising on the quality of goods and services available for customers.


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