As a business owner, you know that positive cash flow is crucial. It’s the lifeblood of your enterprise; your business can’t thrive without it. While working toward success, you’ll undoubtedly come up with many ways to improve your cash flow. Most of them are commonsense ideas that can apply to varied situations. One thing you may not have considered yet is bringing in the power of customer relationship management (CRM) technology to boost cash flow. CRMs have the ability to make a substantial difference in profitability and are at the foundation of most successful businesses. Here’s a basic outline of how CRM systems work and how they can help you increase your cash flow.
What is CRM?
CRM is a type of technology that manages every company relationship and interaction with customers and potential customers. It’s also scalable and customizable — the people you serve can still feel connected to you in a personal way. If you use it effectively, there’s nothing mechanical about it. However, the system does help you streamline processes so you don’t waste precious time repeating actions that you could just as easily automate. The goal of a good CRM is to improve your business relationships to grow your business.
CRM systems help with sales and contact management, agent productivity, and more. Tools within CRMs can be leveraged to manage relationships with customers across the entire lifecycle, encompassing marketing, sales, customer service, and digital commerce communications.
With a strong CRM solution, you are freed up to focus on your company’s relationship with individuals. They might include service users, customers, suppliers, or colleagues. You can spend your time seeking customers, winning their trust and buy-in, and providing additional services and support through the relationship.
Your organization’s growth is fueled by good customer relationships, so it’s imperative that you manage them as effectively and efficiently as possible. Managing cash flow becomes much easier when you have an excellent CRM in place. There are several ways that CRMs can improve performance, stay connected with customers, and increase the rate of cash flow into your business.
Improving Customer Service
Likely, you’ve spent lots of time and most of your resources on generating leads, but what comes after that? If the leads are passing to your sales team, do your representatives know who to focus on? If you’re a young company and want to grow fast, time is of the essence. Connecting your marketing tools — social, email, and marketing automation — to a CRM platform will make the most of your opportunities. The marketing and sales departments will gain a useful overall perspective on prospects and leads. Then, they can coordinate effectively to target and create engaging content and communications to transform prospects into customers and get access to key decision makers more quickly.
Increasing Employee Productivity.
If you adopt suitable technology (a CRM!), your employee teams will be released from process-heavy tasks and have more time to connect authentically with customers, vendors, and other people who interface with your business. Manual assignments like entering data and looking up contact information can be eliminated or automated. A CRM can help you automate across marketing, service, and sales so your employees can devote their time to talking with prospects and strengthening existing relationships. These are areas that make a significant impact on cash flow.
Building Customer Relationships
Once you cultivate an in-depth understanding of your customer’s business, starting with a complete overview of their history with your company, you’ll be able to forge a strong relationship based on mutual flourishing and trust. With a good CRM system, you can help an organization in these ways:
Build your 1:1 connections: As a growing, rapidly scaling business, your customers value you for the personalized experiences you bring. With growth, it can be challenging to remember the details of every single customer and how/when to follow up with them. Hosting email templates, setting up task reminders, and enabling phone calls are all things that a CRM platform can host and coordinate.
Engage with congruence: Once you thoroughly understand a customer’s goals and challenges, you can make appropriate recommendations for content that’s relevant to their interests, useful products, or special promotions — at the ideal time. With a full-featured CRM system, you’ll also know how they’re using your services and products and what they’ve purchased. Then, you can provide them with relevant information and content.
Ease their minds: Take time to investigate what matters to your customers — their preferences, goals, and challenges — and at the end of every communication, be sure you’ve formulated a method to follow up. Recording these notes in the CRM system will enable you to pick up right where you left off the next time you talk to them after a quick review.
Reduce sales costs: While new customers are a key part of ongoing growth, they’re expensive and hard to come by. If you are able to make sales to your existing customer base, it’ll help offset the cost of acquiring new customers. CRM can help you gain better visibility into the cross-sell, upsell, and renewal opportunities that exist in your customer portfolio. You’ve already earned trust, so there’s a high probability of repeatable sales.
An effective CRM system can boost business performance and profit by improving efficiency, increasing effectiveness, improving cross-sell and upsell opportunities, revealing opportunities for referral business, and reducing closing time. If you prioritize opportunities and leads likely to convert and close on the basis of customer communications with your company, you’ll focus your energies wisely. Sales effectiveness goes up when your sales staff knows (based on actionable data from your CRM) which customers are most likely to buy, and the best time to reach out for a response. At a glance, you can see opportunities that are the best fit for add-on promotions. Instead of wasting time cold calling or chasing dead-end leads, existing relationships become untapped opportunities. Once it’s time to close, your team can align quickly when you have a holistic view of your customer thanks to a CRM.
Maintaining Customer Relationships
High-level CRM systems are only as good as the personalized service that comes with them — before, during, and after the sale. Even if you’re enthusiastic about your prospects, refrain from bombarding them with a flurry of marketing promotions that will cause them to step back or step away. If you disappear after a sale, you’ve squandered the effort and time you devoted to bringing in a valued customer. Use your CRM to maintain customer relationships. When your whole team has easy access to your customer’s overall history, all can rapidly provide personal solutions/messages and helpful resources. The smoother the interactions, the greater the trust — and the higher probability of repeat business.
Transparency across all your relationships can help you and your employees be proactive in addressing potential issues and present happy customers with fresh opportunities at the right time. With the visibility into campaigns, open cases, and customer histories that a CRM provides, you and your team can offer the most satisfying service experiences and purchases that make loyal and fulfilled customers. Investing your time and capital wisely now will lead to strong, authentic customer relationships that bring in positive cash flow for years to come.
CRMs can help improve your cash flow in many ways, and most of them have to do with making your customer-facing processes as seamless and personalized as possible. Consider these factors as you build your business: you’ll likely find that incorporating a CRM system is a wise investment in your future.