What Does A Great CRM System Look Like?

John Eccles, 13 November 2015


Whether you are evaluating your existing CRM system or considering embarking on a CRM project, it is worthwhile to step back and think about what a good CRM system looks like.

Not the UI (user interface) although that’s important, I’m talking about what your organisation will be like when a good CRM system is installed and working as it should.

It enables your strategy

The chances are that if you have a CRM system or are considering one, then you have strategies around fostering customer relationships and maximising the value of those relationships.

A number of CRM-related strategies are summarised in my blog on CRM Strategy.

Your great CRM system provides the means for your staff to carry out your strategy effectively and efficiently.

For example, you may have a strategy of collaboration to provide maximum value to your customers. You want all your staff, and particularly the sales team, to help each other for greater overall benefit to your customers and ultimately to your organisation.

So your CRM system allows customer information to be shared within your organisation.  Detail on all customer interactions is captured and made available to all staff working with the customer across marketing, sales, customer service and accounts receivable.  Furthermore, your CRM system seamlessly integrates with an internal social network to enable your team to collaborate more effectively.

It generates value

It cost you serious money and effort so it had better provide a healthy return!

Your great CRM system adds value in all of the following ways:

  1. More revenue. Better managed customer relationships inevitably leads to more sales because existing customers stay and more prospective customers come on-board.
  2. Greater effectiveness. Your sales team is equipped with faster access to the latest information about customers and has tools to help them plan their time and ensure all opportunities are systematically explored.  Your marketing is more measureable and smarter and your marketing team is better connected to your sales team.
  3. Efficiency. Your CRM system reduces data input time, eliminates double-entry of data, reduces costly errors and automates many of your processes.

One more thing.  You know the system is creating value because you have metrics that measure its success.

Your staff love it

They love it because they are empowered to do a better job which leads to personal satisfaction, a more successful organisation and hence more opportunities for them.

They understand why it exists and they are well trained so they can interrogate the system to gain insights that help them prioritise their effort. Procedures are in place to ensure that new staff are quickly brought up to speed.

They love it because it’s customised for them and it’s easy to use.

The system can grow with your organisation

As the business environment changes, so will the needs of your organisation.  Besides, you will be on a growth path.

Your great CRM system grows with you.  As technology improves, so can your CRM system because the software provider is committed to keeping it up-to-date.  As your processes change, your CRM system can change with them because it is readily customisable and extendable.