4 CRM Hacks to Improve the Customer Journey, Strengthen Relationships

In nearly every market and across every vertical, today’s customers have
come to expect a seamless and personal relationship with their sales
representatives. According to
Walker Inc.’s Customer’s 2020 report, “customer experience has overtaken price and product as the key brand
differentiator.” Customers nowadays expect that they will have a strong
voice in how you are communicating with them, through what channels,
whether it be via phone, email or app, and when.

When we take into
consideration how many relationships each sales rep typically manages, this
hyper-personalized approach requires more time and resources than the
average person has. This all too common deficit has compelled many
organizations to start automating many of the tasks involved in their
ongoing customer management. However, since this is a relatively new
phenomenon, it isn’t always clear which aspects should be prioritized for
the ultimate customer satisfaction.

In order to provide customers with a flexible, streamlined and
highly-personalized process for doing business, executives should focus on
four key areas when it comes to CRM:

1. Improve Speed of Engagement

Organizations should think of processes like they would think of an
assembly line. Research from the Aberdeen Group found
that companies who have moved to automate proposal, quote and contract
processes save more than two hours on average per document, and deliver
more than double the number of proposals and/or quotes to customers and
prospects per sales rep, per month.

For Temple University’s Fox School of Business – one of the best part-time
MBA programs in the nation, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report – the push to create an automated,
paperless application process helped the school’s recruiting team
double enrollment within just two years. Before automating, the team had been copying and printing application
documents out of Salesforce, then physically transferring them to various
stakeholders overseeing admissions decisions. Each stakeholder could take
weeks to include their decisions in the files, leading to a backlog of
thousands of applicants. Juggling student essays, letters of
recommendation, test scores and transcripts had created a tangled mess for
the school’s recruiters, and long turnaround times on admission-based
decisions was hurting enrollment numbers.

Engage with customers in real-time across every channel, no matter the medium. Use visitor tracking and email analytics to know what your customers are seeing.

By streamlining records – condensing multiple disparate documents and
processes into a single PDF generated from within Salesforce – businesses
can speed up their decision-making timeframes and spend more time
strengthening relationships with their customers.

2. Fortify Data Security and Compliance

Data security has become a critical C-suite issue that many executives
dread discussing with the board. Securing organizational data has become a
critical step to ensuring the vitality of not just your own business, but
also your customers’ businesses, particularly in industries like finance
and healthcare where regulatory safeguards around sensitive data can be
time-consuming and costly. In today’s complex and fast-paced business
landscape, a major security or compliance failure can lead to huge
financial losses or even bankruptcy.

Rather than scrambling to meet new regulations and reacting to new
threats, organizations must embrace a platform that builds those
regulations into the process. By embracing a fully-baked CRM to help them
meet shifting requirements in real-time, organizations can ensure the data
security and regulatory integrity of their customer base. This peace of
mind will make all the difference to your customers – and your board.

3. Create Seamless Personalization

When it comes to critical CRM functionality like document generation and
contract management, organizations need solutions that will align neatly
and seamlessly with their own brand’s identity. Presentation goes a long
way, but it is frequently overlooked in the push to automate processes.

In a sense, presenting the exact brand experience you want is as important
as getting a signature on a new contract. Providing an easy way to create
an elegant experience that is consistent with a brand’s identity will make
your customers lives easier.

4. Institute Annual Auto Renewals

Organizations need to give sales reps the tools to make their contract
renewal process as seamless and painless as possible. Sales teams can spend
hours creating each annual subscription renewal within Salesforce, which is
time that could be better spent elsewhere.

By automating that process, those sales reps can easily identify all their
accounts coming up for renewal, then quickly generate and send out custom
renewal invoices. This will have massive effects on the entire lifecycle of
your customers.

As a service or sales rep, your customers expect doing business with you to
be easy. But making things easier for them has historically made managing
the relationship harder for you. By following these four tips, you will be
better equipped to build strong, lasting relationships and ultimately grow

Do you have any other CRM hacks that helped your business improve
relationships with customers and grow revenue? Share in the comments!

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