Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) was an $18 billion a year industry in 2012. Even as other software experiences declines in sales, CRM software continues to grow. In contract warehousing CRMs are billed as a way to grow business, improve customer satisfaction and respond to changing needs. CRM software is often sold to upper management as a way to improve efficiency. Unfortunately most CRMs fail to meet expectations despite continuous improvement and updates. This has been a constant for more than a decade. The biggest complaint is that many of the CRMs are designed for non-specific contract use. Often these CRMs are purchased before company goals are outlined. Companies capable of paying thousands of dollars a month are not interested in an outside software dictating their business development strategy because the software is too rigid.
Despite some of the common complaints about CRMs, there have been improvements. Good CRMs are innovative, accessible and capable of pinpointing sweet spots. The most powerful CRMs are cloud based. A good CRM creates paths to customers that are personal and informative. Used properly, a good CRM can enhance connections with customers.
- Have a set of goals and strategies in place. There needs to be an effective deployment of the software. Make sure the CRM initially offers large amounts of support during the set up process.
- CRM selection is critical. Often companies to go through three or four CRMs before finding one that aligns with their objectives.
- Some companies are moving from Excel spreadsheets to a CRM. For this group, the move to a CRM is an opportunity to experience a new type of customer facing process.
- Identify how success is measured. What will the KPIs look like?
- Understand how a lead moves to a prospect and then to a customer.
- Identify critical business dates and milestones.
No longer are CRMs just a tool for the sales force. Educating the whole staff on CRM use is critical for success. At the prices CRM companies are charging, a person needs to become an advanced user to justify the cost. CRM strategy needs to be visited regularly because of quick changing customer and market behavior.
The direct effects of a new CRM are hard to measure mostly because people are willing to take credit for anything positive. However the growing use of CRMs has correctly moved nurturing prospects and customers to the center of many companies business strategy.
Want More Warehousing Trends?
FW Warehousing offers a wide variety of warehousing services for both online, offline, and omni channel retailers. To find out how FW Warehousing can help streamline your needs, call FW today.
FW Warehousing is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with Midwest warehouse distribution centers in Kansas City, Indianapolis and St. Louis totaling more than four million square feet. Founded in 1949 with a focus on food-grade storage, FW later broadened its services to include contract warehousing, dry storage, hazardous material and chemical storage, temperature-controlled storage, product distribution and B2B and B2C fulfillment.
FW Warehousing has more than 50 years of experience in third-party 3PL logistics and has been ranked in the top 100 Third Party Logistic Companies in the country by Inbound Logistics magazine.