In a 2014 report from Gartner, research vice president Joanne Correia wrote, “CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in the coming years. This is one technology area that will get funding because digital business is critical for companies to remain competitive."
Correia points to a high level of investment in both digital marketing and customer experience initiatives as the primary drivers of growth in the CRM market. According to Gartner’s report, the largest spenders on CRM include:
Communications, media, and IT companies. These organizations tend to invest in analytics and providing better, more consistent customer experiences.
Manufacturing, including consumer packaged goods. These industries rely on CRM for product and channel management.
Banking and securities. Banking and securities companies rely on CRM to facilitate better customer service and upsell products.
But it’s not just companies that fit neatly into these verticals that benefit from customer relationship management solutions. With major enterprises forging the path to more personalized customer experiences, CRM is more critical than ever before to the growth of any company.
CRM Systems Meet the Challenges of Modern Sales
The rise of the social web provides an abundance of opportunities to reach and engage with potential customers, but these added touchpoints muddy the waters when it comes to effectively tracking and monitoring your company’s interactions with individual prospects.
CRM solutions have evolved to meet the challenges faced by modern sales organizations, integrating with other services and encompassing the multitude of channels through which leads and customers engage with businesses. In addition, CRM enables marketing and sales teams to collaborate effectively, and share resources while avoiding duplication of efforts.
Coupled with tools that recommend the most effective and relevant content for specific selling scenarios, your sales team is empowered with fail-proof tools that enable them to close more deals, more quickly. This level of personalization is virtually impossible to achieve -- particularly in fast-growing organizations and large enterprises -- without the organization and workflow management facilitated by a CRM.
Rapid Growth Introduces New Challenges
When organizations enter phases of rapid growth, it’s too easy for valuable leads to fall through the cracks -- not because Marketing isn’t doing its job, or because Sales isn't closing, but because both teams are overloaded with information. Improving sales productivity is critical to hitting revenue goals, but so is growing the business. According to Docurated’s 2014 The State of Sales Productivity Report, 50% of sales teams are faced with growth goals that are at least 20% higher than last year's.
Without a central, streamlined CRM system, your marketing and sales staff spend hours searching through emails and trying to connect with coworkers to get the most recent, accurate information on the status of leads. This might lead to missed or double-booked appointments, or a failure to follow through on vital tasks essential for nurturing leads through the sales funnel.
What’s more, each sales rep on your team may rely on a different sales process. In this scenario, communication with leads will lack consistency, or worse, prospects might even have to repeat the same information each time they connect with a representative from your company. Prospects may engage with your brand on social media channels, yet because Marketing isn’t clear on where the lead originated, marketers provide information out of sync with the prospect’s needs or demands.
Modern CRM Solutions Support Complex Workflows
The best CRM systems like HubSpot CRM solve the many challenges faced by rapidly growing organizations in the modern marketing landscape. CRMs effectively organize contact information, as well as every interaction that takes place through the multitude of customer communication channels, including your website, email, phone calls, social media, and other channels. It’s more critical than ever for marketing and sales teams to function as a cohesive unit, and CRM systems are the perfect solution to help scaling organizations achieve that goal.
Perhaps most importantly, modern CRM solutions support the complex workflows of fast-growing sales teams. CRM systems keep your team on task and in sync, facilitating more effective use of time and eliminating many of the nuisance tasks that take up time without adding value (read: searching through email archives for the most recent communication with a lead, or tracking down the marketing representative who was last in contact with a key prospect for information needed to close the deal).
Today’s companies can’t risk losing valuable leads in the increasingly competitive business landscape. Your competition is ready and waiting to capture the leads you allow to fall through the cracks. When growth is a priority, CRM systems enable the processes necessary to facilitate the one-on-one, personalized communication your prospects and customers have come to expect. Not only is a CRM critical for long-term growth, it's a competitive advantage.
Originally published Apr 15, 2015 8:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017