CRM is a Revenue Generator – Not a Cost

CRM is a Revenue Generator – Not a Cost

Brian Gardner No Comment

Many companies, including industrial manufacturers, distributors and representatives tend to view any kind of technology investment as a cost. Part of that stems from the need to budget the investment, which is typically done under the eye of the CFO.

But in my experience, companies that see an increase of less than 1 percent of annual sales will offset their initial investments in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology.

In other words, technology investments done right will result in sales and profitability growth that goes far beyond the expense. It’s time for businesses to start viewing CRM as a revenue-generator, and not as a cost.

Consider these examples where CRM can have an impact on your top and bottom lines:

Quote Follow-Up
Very few companies I have spoken with over the years have been confident their quote follow-up is as great as it could be. Simply putting an improved quote follow-up process in place will likely yield an increase in sales. Automating it – letting the system generate a follow-up email three days after the initial quote, for example – would increase the hit rate further. What would it do for your business if you secured business from just 1 out of every 10 quotes that weren’t generating sales before the change?

Leveraging Data from Other Departments
When many companies think ROI from CRM, they look to outside sales. But what about the other customer touch points in your organization? Inside sales, customer service, marketing and product specialists have incredibly valuable customer information that can be shared and leveraged to generate more sales. If you put together a system that truly and effectively shares and leverages this data, what would that mean to your bottom line?

Example: For an inside salesperson, the most important customer in the world is the person on the other end of the line. A best practice is to take care of the customer’s request, but then take a minute to inquire about what else is going on or follow-up on past transactions. If the inside salesperson has information from other departments at her fingertips, she can be more proactive: “It looks our service person John was out there last week on a valve repair. Did you get everything you needed on that? Anything else I can help you with?” Or “I see that our salesperson is working with you on XYZ product for this project. Do you need more information on that? Can I send you a spec sheet?” The overall impression left on the customer would be positive, and the opportunities for upselling and cross-selling would improve.

Sales-Team Turnover
The cost of losing a salesperson is steep. When a salesperson walks away, carrying years of customer history with him, what does that cost your business? How long does it take a new salesperson to get up to speed? A CRM system and process enables your business to document that knowledge so that when someone walks away, you lose less.

The replacement has a roadmap to hit the ground running. Rather than asking a customer to bring the salesperson up to speed – which doesn’t look good – she can come in, on top of her game: “You recently had this service issue. Let’s talk about whether that issue has been resolved or whether we need to tackle it from another angle.” Your customer will be much more impressed with the seamless transition, with service that is uninterrupted. What’s more, the faster your new team members get up and running, the faster they start to sell and contribute to growth.

SalesProcess360 has developed a CRM-ROI Calculator that allows you to estimate the costs and benefits of implementing CRM. Download that here.

Learn what keeps companies from getting the ROI they are looking for in this whitepaper, 10 Reasons CRM Fails (And How You Can Succeed).

SalesProcess360 Videos featuring Brian Gardner

Get insights based on decades of experience in industrial markets, including why you should think beyond outside sales, how to take a proactive approach to sales opportunities and how to let sales process drive your CRM wish list.