Frost & Sullivan Highlights That Cloud-Based CRM Solutions Enable Organizations to Deliver a Truly Personal Purchase Experience to Customers
Over the last five years, the percentage of salespeople achieving their sales targets had dropped from 63% to 53%. On the other hand, almost 74% of the salespeople in companies that employed a sales-enablement charter made their quota. In a highly dynamic business environment where customers access information through multiple touch points, it is critical for salespersons to extend personalization through each of these touch points. New cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are facilitating the shift towards multi-channel, digital, and customized sales interactions by layering their solutions with advanced technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced data analytics. Furthermore, integration with the contact center, support desk, and other back-end systems will offer sales and marketing teams a unified view of the customer.
Frost & Sullivan‘s new thought leadership paper, Modern-day Sales Team, Yesterday’s CRM?, analyzes the need for sales teams to equip themselves with cloud-based CRM solutions. This research has identified four major groups that have not yet adopted a next-generation CRM solution: Never Evers, Digital Dabblers, Still in the 90s, and Taking the Lead. The study recommends specific steps for each group to ensure their approach to CRM is innovative, productive, and effective.
“Many organizations have not yet embraced digitization, and are content to use their legacy sales systems. However, using disparate CRM systems from multiple vendors will deny them the benefits of an integrated CRM system – a consistent and seamless customer relationship across the enterprise and throughout the lifecycle,” observed Melanie Turek, Connected Work Vice President at Frost & Sullivan. “CRM systems provide a central location to gather current and historical information, automate manual business processes, and communicate with prospects and clients as soon as the opportunity arises.”
“Whether customers are using a landline phone, computer, or mobile device, they expect a data-driven relationship that gives them information instantly. To meet the demands of new-age customers, organizations need to employ CRM solutions that can deliver the customer’s history with the organization to client-facing employees, managers, and even back-office employees on a single platform,” noted Tiffani Bova, Global Growth & Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. “A cloud-based CRM solution can offer significant benefits, including faster time to deployment; better reliability, flexibility and scalability; immediate access to new features and updates; and consistent costs with limited up-front investment.”
For businesses that are late adopters, the study lists steps to implement a CRM solution and compete effectively in a connected business environment. Some of these steps include:
- Never Evers: Commit to change. Once vendors are evaluated and a best-fit solution has been selected, partner with the provider to ensure optimal use of the solution. Offer continuous training and make sure to cover business process changes as well as new technologies.
- Digital Dabblers: Install an integrated CRM system that plugs all the gaps in the existing solution, while providing more advanced capabilities. A cloud-based model makes it easy to deploy new tools quickly, scale up or down, and access advanced features when required.
- Still in the 90s: Implement a CRM solution with a wide range of advanced capabilities and ability to open up new revenue streams. Cloud-based solutions will allow novel platforms and devices to offer a seamless experience to customers and salespersons, regardless of the channel.
- Taking the Lead: Engage with the CRM vendor to assess if the solution being used currently is truly leading edge. Make sure the new solution leverages technologies like Internet of Things to integrate supply chains, production floors, and CRM for better profitability. It could also help take personalization to a micro level.