The digital world has changed the way we do business. It is no longer about what your product or service can do, but what your customer wants. How can your product or service solve your customer’s problem? Your customer’s intentions should lead your marketing efforts. To pull this meaningful information from your customers, you need to have a system at hand that will track their every interaction with your retail business.
In the retail market, you need to know what your customer wants and follow them throughout the sales funnel. Let’s talk about how important a CRM system is for your retail business when it comes to increasing productivity and profits.
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What Is a CRM System?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and as the name suggests, it is a comprehensive system that helps you keep track of your customers. CRM is not only a tracking tool, in fact, but will also help you generate reports and forecasts so you can make sound decisions in the future. When the CRM first was used in businesses, it was primarily used as a sales tool. With time, it has come into its present form: a complete platform where you can not only capture sales, but also customer interactions and intentions. When looking at different kinds of CRMs, we can divide them into the following categories:
- Collaborative: This kind of CRM brings different departments of business together onto the same page, so that they can collaborate effectively.
- Operational: Primarily used to capture all the touchpoints that your customers have with your business, this CRM usually has automation features.
- Analytical: An analytical CRM will analyze data to create reports and perform forecasting based on the data captured. These reports will be used to make decisions about the company’s future actions.
Most CRMs available in the market today will provide an overlap of these three features. Some CRMs are specific to the industry; for example, The Real Estate CRM provides customer insights for real estate agencies. If you are in a specialized industry like real estate, it might be worth purchasing a CRM that is specifically for that vertical.
Read more: Different Types of CRM Software & Tools
What a CRM System Can Do for You
A CRM can transform your retail business. If you are a new business and would like to make sure all of your staff are on the same page, then having one platform where all important data can be fed into will provide more opportunities for you to use this data efficiently. A CRM will perform the following basic functions for you:
- Manage contacts
- Track interactions
- Organize marketing campaigns
- Manage sale leads
- Manage workflows
- Capture documents
- Encourage cohesion between Sales and Marketing
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Track Leads to Turn Them Into Sales
Your primary concern as a retail business is making sales and bringing in profits. If you are not doing that, you definitely need to re-examine your sales strategy. Before implementing a new CRM system, you should do an overview of how sales are doing right now. After that overview, you can then look at how you can improve your sales funnel and remediate issues.
A CRM will actually give your sales team important information about each client, so they can have that ready when they are trying to make a sale. They can know about the intentions of the customer by looking at the data captured by the CRM; the system will give you more customer insight.
Forecasting Using Your CRM System
When looking at how CRM systems can increase sales and bring in profits, we must pay attention to the forecasting features of CRM systems. If you see some trouble ahead, you can always pivot and change strategy to protect your business. Without forecasting tools, you will not be able to make these decisions — instead, you will have individual salespeople interpreting data differently, and this will result in confusion for your business.
Without a CRM, you will likely be using Excel spreadsheets and manually entering data. This can lead to human error and will waste a lot of time for your staff. With a CRM, sales forecasting is automated. Businesses saw an increase of 28% in forecasting accuracy when using a CRM. The next state of forecasting after implementing a CRM system is making predictions using Artificial Intelligence. AI is now the future in regards to digital marketing and sales. In CRMs that use AI, the technology will help you fine-tune your analytics and take your forecasting to the next level. Here are three ways AI will improve your forecasting:
- Scoring: With AI, you will be able to score specific deals to see how likely they are to close. This will help you determine how much time you should be spending on certain clients. It will make your sales team more efficient and effective in closing deals.
- Customer stages: AI will help you determine the stage each customer is at. If you know where a client is in the sales funnel, you can target them with specific messaging that will help you close the deal.
- Identify growth paths: AI will help you identify the areas that could potentially give your business more sales. You can then assign more resources to those specific actions.
Strategic Needs of the Business
Looking at the overall goals of your business is essential. Executives are always trying to look at the big picture and foresee the future. The strategic needs of your business are important in order to make sure you can fulfill your long-term plans. Strategic needs include performance goals that your business sets. In order to achieve those, you need to work out a plan step-by-step to get there. A CRM can help you chalk out that plan so you know if you are on the path of achieving your business goals. And if you are not on the right path, it can alert you so you can make changes in your strategy.
CRM Systems Increase Productivity and Profit in Retail Sales
For retail businesses, having a clear path to sales and profit is essential. A CRM system will provide you with the platform to achieve that. Without it, your retail business will be searching in the dark for ways to succeed. Keeping staff on one page, all working towards the same goal, will bring your business closer to what you want to achieve.
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