Why should you adopt a CRM platform?

Are you missing key data points on a regular basis? Is the data that you are collecting handled in a sloppy way? Are you systematically tracking each customer? How comprehensive is your reporting and is it currently all compiled in Excel?

crmCustomer Relationship Management platforms are a significant tool in business today. How a business thinks about integrating their enterprise system and what additional applications they must integrate into a CRM (e.g., email systems, vertical markets, etc.) will indicate whether they will be successful or not. In addition, a CRM system allows a company to effectively and systematically manage both new and existing customers.

Equally important for any business is the ease of extracting the data from the CRM and the ability to import data to the CRM from other critical business applications. The capacity to use and analyze CRM data can result in increased customer retention. And this increase in retention can translate very nicely into company profits!

So what elements should a business consider when selecting a solution? A CRM should have the ability to:

  1. Seamlessly integrate the company’s email system into the CRM.
  2. Allow your sales force to freely customize fields within the CRM.
  3. Use any mobile device – anywhere.
  4. Set, track, and manage sales goals for sales teams.
  5. Call leads directly from a browser (click-to-call).
  6. Customize a contact strategy for sales reps to follow.
  7. Provide easy, predictable, and accurate sales forecasting.
  8. Incorporate social information including weather, Wikipedia-type information, LinkedIn, etc.
  9. Allow the business to scale without worrying about its CRM platform breaking.
  10. Easily assign, route, track, and score leads.

As you are reading this piece you may be thinking, “Why do I need these extra items if I select a real robust CRM platform?”. This is an excellent question which points to a very real pain-point that every sales associate echoes – “I live and breathe in my email platform!”.

To ensure user adoption, every CRM must respect each employee’s workflow. It must adapt and weave the email, calendaring, and note processes into one. Plug-ins were the solution for a long time. But because they are inherently limited in their scope, reliability, scalability, and full syncing ability, a robust server-side application had to be developed to address these issues.

Riva CRM Integration makes life easy and allows a better flow with NO plug-ins required. With Riva, syncing your CRM and email platforms becomes automatic and completely seamless to the end-user. Because sales associates use CRMs in different ways, your CRM must be able to address each individual sales person that still likes to work in Calendar and/or another application, but also relies on the CRM to track and win opportunities.

In 2013, the CRM market was worth $20.4 billion, according to Forbes. By 2016, the value of CRM platforms will increase an additional 12 percent — and shows no signs of slowing. And while Salesforce leads the pack at nearly 20 percent when it comes to the “big provider” market share, half the market is made up of startups and smaller vendors. This sets the stage for developing CRM software “value-add” applications you can expect to see over the next few years.