For businesses worldwide, customers are now more than merely the other party involved in a transaction. They aim to go beyond the status of buyers and sellers and actually cultivate a lifelong relationship.
To do so, segmented processes and plans no longer suffice. All customer-facing teams are required to join hands in Customer Relationship Management and that is where the need for a CRM process arises.
What is a CRM process?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategic process businesses adopt to create and nurture a positive relationship with their present and prospective customers.
The CRM process framework is set up to build brand awareness and cultivate that into loyal customers who make repeat purchases.
The CRM process allows businesses to turn their vision into action. The elements of a robust CRM platform improve customer service, assist in customer retention, and ultimately drive revenue growth.
The CRM system streamlines and organizes operations, making customer interaction more efficient. It relies heavily on data to manage customer information. A CRM analyzes the data gathered from customer interactions to generate insightful reports.
It is a one-stop solution, covering all customer-centric aspects of running a business - sales, marketing, customer support, and success.
Why is CRM so Important?
CRM tools provide a centralized repository for storing and maintaining customer information such as contact details, communication history, purchase requirements, and other necessary specifications. Having all this information in one place provides a comprehensive view of each customer, thus enabling better decision-making.
The elements of the CRM process allow businesses to better understand their customers by tracking interactions. This understanding enables personalized communication and targeted marketing efforts that ultimately help build stronger customer relationships.
A CRM bridges the gap between all customer-facing teams. The reports provide insights into customer behavior that help with lead management and ensure that all efforts are aligned with the sales goals.
Now that you know what a CRM is and how a CRM process framework can help business growth, let’s explore the steps in CRM process.
CRM Process and Customer Lifecycle
Before going into details about the CRM process workflow, we should have knowledge about the customer lifecycle. This is one of the fundamental concepts for understanding how to attract prospective customers and turn them into loyal consumers.
Customer Lifecycle denotes the stages a customer goes through before, during, and after they make a purchase from your business. It begins with prospective customers becoming aware of your business and its products, followed by them buying the product and remaining longtime customers.
In this regard, the customer lifecycle can be considered to be composed of five stages:
- Reaching potential customers
- Acquiring leads
- Converting these leads into customers
- Providing customer support to facilitate retention
- Upselling and Cross-selling
Through these stages, the marketing, sales, and support teams gain a complete overview of the customer’s journey and their respective functions to ensure an excellent customer experience.
The CRM process is simply an organized way of putting the customer lifecycle stages into action.
The next section discusses the steps to set up a CRM process in detail.
Steps to Set Up a CRM Process
- Reaching Potential Customers
If you want customers to purchase your product or service, you first have to make them aware of your existence and help them learn how your product will solve a problem they have.
Creating brand awareness by reaching out to potential customers is the first step of setting up a successful CRM workflow. Getting customers’ attention can be done through different marketing channels - both traditional and digital.
Before formulating a marketing strategy to garner interest among prospects, a ton of research needs to be done to determine your target audience and create your buyer persona. This is also called identifying your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
Determine who your ideal customer would be by researching their demographic, purchasing behavior, interests, and other relevant factors like age, gender, and socio-economic status.
If your target audience consists of multiple buyer personas, segment them into groups. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts while keeping each segment's interests in mind.
A/B testing and the implementation of marketing automation serve as valuable tools in discerning effective strategies and tailoring campaigns for specific customer segments, whether on social media or through email.
Going beyond demographic similarities, marketers can delve into sales notes within their CRM technology to grasp the factors contributing to past conversions. This insight into what resonated with leads helps craft impactful campaigns.
2. Acquiring Leads
The initial stage of creating brand awareness is followed by efforts to acquire or generate leads. This comes from engagement with your target audience through available channels such as social media, webinars, ad campaigns, landing pages, etc.
Leads have to be nurtured to know more about your business and provide that extra nudge so that they come close to becoming a paying customer.
The information gathered through omni-channel interaction can be the source of detailed information about your prospect. This is then stored automatically in the CRM as customer data.
Leveraging customer data allows you to customize your initial outreach to leads, ensuring a strong start to the relationship. Moreover, it eliminates the need for extensive lead research, saving a significant amount of time.
3. Converting Leads into Customers
Now that you have successfully engaged with your leads and nurtured their interest in your product, it is time to turn them into customers.
Sales agents must be adept at gauging the level of interest and the probability of a lead becoming a customer to allocate their time and resources accordingly. A CRM tool that analyzes past sales and comes up with an effective lead-scoring system makes the process more efficient.
Depending on the lead score, the agents can then follow up with the leads and nurture them to convert. A good CRM platform comes with the feature of setting up reminders and tasks to further engage with the leads.
4. Providing Customer Support
The CRM process and sales cycle do not end with converting a lead into a customer. Customer retention is paramount in order for your business to grow. So, how do you keep customers coming back to your product or service?
The answer lies in providing excellent customer support. Customer service is an important factor that determines your customer’s loyalty to your brand. According to a study, 83% of customers agree to feel more loyal to a brand that provides prompt response and resolution to their complaints.
Use a CRM that helps you keep track of customer queries and complaints and automates their assignment to respective support agents. Corefactors CRM has an automated ticketing system that ensures all customers receive a prompt response to their issues.
5. Upselling and Cross-selling
Securing customer loyalty and turning them into repeat purchasers is one accomplishment while persuading them to invest more represents another challenge. Yet, this is precisely the objective.
The concluding phase of the CRM process involves presenting your premium or associated products/services to encourage upselling and cross-selling, ultimately driving increased consumer spending.
Upselling is a sales strategy designed to persuade existing customers to opt for similar but more premium products or services than their initial purchase. An example of upselling could involve recommending a customer upgrade from a basic to a premium subscription plan.
On the other hand, cross-selling aims to enhance the value of a single purchase by proposing complementary products or services. For example, a business signing up for a basic phone plan might be offered additional features like video conferencing, call recording, or international calling options, while the customer is still in a purchasing mindset.
A CRM system records past purchases by customers, helping you to categorize them based on their buying history. This enables the creation and dispatch of personalized email marketing campaigns featuring a curated selection of products likely to pique the interest of buyers.
Going beyond direct upselling and cross-selling, businesses can also introduce loyalty programs, offering perks to specific customers.
Implementing and adhering to an effective CRM process empowers you to enhance the customer experience at every phase of the customer lifecycle.
Success hinges on a deep understanding of your audience, anticipating their needs, and delivering prompt, top-notch support.
As a collaborative endeavor, CRM involves seamless coordination among your support, sales, and marketing teams, working in tandem to both acquire and retain new buyers.
Essential components of this strategy include a robust CRM system and proactive support tools. Reach out to our experts at Corefactors to get started with setting up your CRM process.