Optimize customer relationship management

The critical role of integrated customer information management

With Sales teams toggling between in-office and remote locations, working smarter and more efficiently has never been more important. To provide on-point and personalized sales interactions, employees need fast, easy access to the latest information about current and target customers beyond what’s already in thier customer relationship management (CRM) system. Yet much content remains siloed and customer touchpoints disconnected, leading Sales to miss out on insights to improve service and new revenue opportunities.

Let’s explore how to help your CRM system work smarter, not harder, to allow you to get more revenue out of customer engagement and more productivity out of employees with a 360-degree account view.

Are you in the Financial Services sector? Discover how better customer information management for banking supports customer relationship management.

Why is customer relationship management so important?

Customer relationship management is focused on nurturing and growing customer relationships to help them stay loyal to your company, boiling down to how you interact with each customer. CRM software systems support these interactions by managing customer-related information and providing insights to help teams sell faster to improve sales results.

With increasing financial and competitive pressure to attract and keep customers, organizations are putting current CRM processes under a microscope to assess effectiveness and identify areas for improvements. And understandably so. A survey by Salesforce sheds light on the new customer engagement landscape, what business buyers now expect and just how much is on the line. Three key findings include:

  • Customers value interactions: 88 percent of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.
  • Customers want you to know them: Customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations (73 percent), anticipate their needs (63 percent) and expect offers to always be personalized (56 percent).
  • Customers aren’t afraid to walk away: 71 percent of consumers have switched brands at least once in the last year. [1]

Customer relationship management gaps tied to mission-critical documents

Sales professionals collect, manage and track customer interactions in CRM systems, but sales excellence depends on easy access to complete information and seamless collaboration with other departments on everything from contracts to account status, customer purchase history to product inventory levels. With data silos and disconnected systems preventing access, sales teams can miss out on the insights that provide a superior customer experience and reveal new revenue opportunities.

According to Forrester, “The potential of CRM lies not in the technology itself but in its use — coupled with an understanding of the customer to drive differentiated customer interactions.”[2]

Breaking out of department and technology silos continues to be a challenge for organizations, with a Forrester survey showing that fragmented CRM ecosystems are hindering customer relationship management success for many. Specifically, 68 percent of respondents involved in a recent CRM technology project said their organizations struggled to create a shared view of customer data.[3]

And that lack of a comprehensive view is eating up valuable selling time, showing that the average sales rep spends 26 percent of their time (13.3 hours per week) on non-core internal activities, including search for content.[4]

The onus is on organizations to provide an integrated infrastructure that drives productivity through better-connected people, documents and systems and delivers a complete 360° customer view to sales teams.

How information systems supercharge CRM

A customer information system is designed to provide access to all data related to a customer, linking content and documents to a structured database system, such as a CRM. Effective content management platforms integrate with the tools that sales teams use every day for instant access to relevant customer information—connecting the dots to provide a complete view of the customer with all content and information in one place.

Bringing together structured and unstructured information across systems and departments, reduces resource overload, helps streamline repetitive tasks and allows sales teams to focus on revenue-generating activities through four key steps:

  1. Connect information across systems and applications: Produce a complete view of the customer across the enterprise, including structured and unstructured information to improve sales and service processes. Achieving deeper insights into related content speeds up decision-making and generates more opportunities while promoting greater customer loyalty and memorable experiences.
  2. Change how information can be leveraged within your CRM system: Use smart capture solutions to digitize the inbound processing of business content so sales and service agents have early visibility and can prioritize urgent, value-add tasks. This allows your organization to automate repetitive tasks and reduce wait times and sales cycles to increase customer satisfaction.
  3. Deliver information to amplify customer communications: Bring together content to generate personalized customer communications and allow cross-team collaboration and input to better engage customers at every step of the decision and service journey.

Gain an information advantage to power CRM for sales & service teams

Taking a modern approach to information management and elevating how documents are captured, managed and delivered within your sales organization can set you apart from the competition by helping you sell smarter to delight customers.

Ready to optimize your CRM with relevant and connected customer information?
Learn how a customer information management solution can help.

[1] Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer, 2022

[2] Forrester, Planning Guide 2023: Sales Operations, August 2022

[3] Forrester, Executive Guide 2022: Customer Relationship Management (CRM),  March 2022

[4] Forrester, Planning Guide 2023: Sales Operations, August 2022

Robin Carder

Working in the ecosystem team at OpenText I am passionate about connecting with Salesforce and customers so that everyone wins. I've spent over 15 years consulting with OpenText customers on projects and post deployment options so my blogs will be down to earth! You can expect to read news on shared events, great customer stories and my view on how to make great friends with OpenText and Salesforce.

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