The marketing budget allocated to retaining customers and increasing loyalty through customer service will more than double between now and 2015, according to Gartner.
Underpinning the effective centralising, managing and improving of relations with customers is the CRM system. If the information it holds is not up to date, then a big chunk of the investment you make could trickle down the drain as you spend time nurturing unprofitable customers and miss opportunities to cross sell, for example.
A wealth of information on customers is readily available on your CRM systems and from external data sources. With the right information on company financials, for instance, your sales teams can segment the market and focus efforts on the companies likely to be most profitable, reducing waste and making sure you do not target those that may end up being ‘high risk’.
Knowledge about a company, the industry it operates in, its competitors and its business pains will help you shine a light on cross-selling opportunities, and build a highly relevant proposition that strikes at the heart of the area of need. What’s more, being able to demonstrate to your contacts that you take time to understand their business is a powerful loyalty-builder.
Yet keeping the information on a CRM system up to date, clean and accurate remains a key challenge. Having too much information, or flawed information, on customers, prospects and suppliers is just as detrimental as not having enough.
Many organisations struggle with managing the pace of change and maintaining data quality within their CRM system but the rewards are there to be grabbed: according to research from Sirius Decisions, data management best practices can realise a 66% lift in bottom-line performance.
This three-stage ‘virtuous circle’ will help you to keep your business data accurate and complete, with exactly (and only) the intelligence you need to build in-depth pictures of each of your customers.
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