• Jay Galvin

How CRM Slashes Business Expenses

Updated: Mar 30

We’ve heard a lot of business owners ask why a CRM is important to their business.


It’s a fair question.


Businesses tend to acquire a lot of expensive tools that do one or two things really well. The thought of taking the time to combine the information in all of those tools and build workflows for every team using the CRM can be daunting. But don’t these thoughts obscure the value?


We’ve seen results that prove a CRM implementation is worth every minute of your time.


CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management platform. It’s a big database that houses your business information, particularly data pertaining to customers. The real value of a CRM is what companies can do with the user interface to automate and streamline workflows. Combining most of your systems into one platform can also give your teams access to the data they need to do their job quickly and efficiently. Last, but far from least, you’ll have access to the data you need to make the right decisions.

Here are some real-world examples of how we’ve seen customers cut business expenses with their CRM.


Save Time


Scenario

A client calls into the customer support line and is really mad because their service was shut off. Karen does her best to calm them down. She knows it was either a machine error or someone in accounting flipped a switch because of delinquent payments. The customer swears they sent in their payment and needs the machine to operate. The customer is losing money as they speak, and it’s the second time in two weeks this has happened.

The client’s temper really flares when Karen tells him that she’ll need to talk to a few people to figure out what’s happening.

By the time she calls back, the customer wants to cancel.


How a CRM Helps

Most CRMs can easily be integrated with accounting systems while keeping key information securely locked down. This makes it easy to automate a Customer Payment Status field to “Current” so Karen doesn’t have to waste time calling Debbie in accounts receivable.

If Karen’s company had a CRM, she would have been able to see her colleague’s notes from the prior incident. The client has their machine set up in a way that makes it easy to trip over the cord and unplug it. In addition, the server that checks in on every machine in the field generates issue logs that stated the machine lost access to power. Without the CRM, she had to wait until her teammates were off the call to ask if they were familiar with the customer.


The Savings

In this scenario, there were several ways a CRM would cut costs:

  1. The time Karen spent calling accounting and talking to her coworkers is eliminated, freeing her up to help more customers.

  2. The time Debbie spent in accounts receivable looking up the account and reviewing their payment history would be eliminated, letting her focus elsewhere.

  3. The time Karen spent talking the customer down and the potential cost of losing business is a non-issue.

With the right information, this issue could have been resolved with a quick review of prior cases or access to the machine’s issue log. A five-minute solution turned into an hour of wasted time and a dissatisfied customer!


The Bigger Picture

Providing the right information at the right time saves businesses big money. Saving time means quicker issue resolution whether the person helping the customer is in sales, customer support, or accounting. This leads to higher customer satisfaction, fewer employee frustrations, and can delay or even eliminate the need for another headcount.


Peripheral departments get time back for more critical things. Imagine if accounts receivable didn’t have to take any more calls from sales or support? They could spend that time staying on top of overdue payments before they turn into a collections issue.


Automating processes is also a huge time saver. For example, we see a lot of sales deal desks creating quotes for the sales teams using excel spreadsheets. Quoting in a CRM means you automatically pull in customer information (no more typos), can bundle the right products (no more swapping out the wrong component), and require approvals automatically routed to the right person in the company before the quote is sent to the customer (no more settling for the wrong price).


Stop Losing Track and Stop Losing Money


Scenario

Bill hears from his most recent customer, and they haven’t received their product yet. He calls operations to get the tracking number for the order shipment and they’re confused. Operations never received the order. Now Bill needs to get approval from his manager to have the order expedited to keep the customer happy.


How a CRM Helps

A CRM can automatically create records with all the necessary information and route them to the proper team. In this case, Bill’s opportunity moving to "Closed Won" would kick off an order to operations with the product and customer details. Bill could then check in on the order and see where it is in the fulfillment process without speaking to anyone in operations.

"Automating record creation for orders, renewals, and client check-ins reduces the risk of customer attrition and increases the chance of expansion business in the future."

Calculating Savings

In this scenario, there were several ways a CRM would cut costs:

  1. The time Bill spent figuring out where the process broke down and getting approvals for expedited service would be eliminated.

  2. The extra cost of expedited services would be eliminated.

With automation, operations receives the order every time, and the customer gets their product when they expect it.


The Bigger Picture

Automating record creation for orders, renewals, and client check-ins reduces the risk of customer attrition and increases the chance of expansion business in the future. CRMs also provide an audit trail so if something does go wrong, it’s easy to see where it happened. Managers know which employees are stellar at their job and which employees need more coaching.


Make Better Decisions


Scenario

A sales team is eager to call down a list of people with the ideal customer profile someone purchased in marketing. The sales manager, Susan, knows it will be chaos if everyone starts calling at once, and makes a Google sheet to assign the list to people and tells them to make notes.

Joe dials quickly. He sits around complaining about being bored. Susan caves in and gives Joe part of Sharon’s list. Sharon goes much more slowly.

Sharon is going so slowly because she takes diligent notes and sends follow-up emails to each prospect. Her business email is short and to the point, and it’s getting her results. Joe was fast because he called down his list once and didn’t take the time to put in notes until afterward. He thinks he remembers most of what happened but finds it’s a little tricky to get the details down.


How a CRM Helps

Using a CRM helps Susan get the data she needs to understand who is doing well in her department. The leads would be loaded in the system, and an autodialer makes taking notes a breeze. The sales team would also send emails through the CRM, creating a log. Susan would see that Sharon is doing just as much activity as Joe and getting better results. Susan would be able to coach Joe and protect Sharon’s leads.


The Savings

Sharon is more likely to get recognition and job satisfaction if her manager knows what a great job she’s doing. Losing Sharon would be a big hit to the company’s sales. Joe is also more likely to be productive with early coaching—losing bad habits before they get ingrained. The team is also getting the most out of an expensive list from marketing.


The Big Picture

CRMs go beyond helping managers understand employee behavior. While it’s important for managers to understand activity levels and performance, CRM dashboards can highlight trends that boost the bottom line in a big way.


CRM data can:

● Help product managers understand what’s working and what isn’t, reducing resources spent on developing the wrong product.

● Create target profiles for marketing so they can create messaging that resonates with the right audience, eliminating cycles spent creating the wrong content.

● Identify trends so managers can mine high-performers for techniques they can apply across the organization, increasing productivity.

● Identify seasonal patterns so businesses can plan to offset them with product discounts or promotional events.

● Understand which marketing tactics are effective and which should be discontinued.

● Determine which service or manufacturing providers are the most efficient for order fulfillment.


The list goes on!


Get Your CRM Right the First Time


Now that you’ve seen the incredible CRM benefits clients have realized, you’re probably picturing how you can use a CRM to save your own business money.

"..you should know it’s absolutely critical you engage with experts who understand CRM best practices to implement your CRM."

We don’t want to dampen your excitement, but you should know it’s absolutely critical you engage with experts who understand CRM best practices to implement your CRM. If processes are time-consuming or confusing, users will rebel against using the system. If adoption is low, data value decreases exponentially as it becomes out of date.


Done right, CRMs help teams become more efficient, reduce expensive errors, and aid in customer satisfaction. They are powerful platforms that can positively impact your business in ways we didn’t even have time to mention.


Do you have questions about CRMs? Do you have a CRM success story you’d like to share? Were there creative ways your company used a CRM to solve a problem? Contact us with your comments.



Jay Galvin is the Managing Partner of The Galvin Group, a training and consulting firm.

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©The Galvin Group, LLC. 2020

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