Happy customers talk, but so do unhappy ones. In fact, unhappy customer service stories reach more than twice as many ears as happy customer service stories. We live in an era where companies and careers rise and fall through LinkedIn, Yelp, and Instagram. Competitors are always just a click away, and the obstacles to market entry are minimal. Given this intensity of competition, it becomes imperative that businesses find tools and implement strategies to rise to this challenge.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software tracks and analyzes all of the interactions one has with potential and existing clients. It centralizes, simplifies, and secures information for easy access. CRM in the telecom industry can serve as a powerful tool to increase sales and improve customer engagement. Here’s how.
1. Increase Sales
It goes without saying that most salespeople would rather not add to their already-substantial burden. While their focus should be on generating and executing sales, CRM in telecom is often perceived as a distraction or a means for management to babysit. In reality, this view discounts the value CRM can provide.
As reported by The Tas Group, approximately 67 percent of salespeople miss their quota in any given month. At the same time, an impressive 65 percent of those same people meet their quota when using a mobile CRM. In short, an effective CRM results in increased telecom sales.
The telecom industry is known for having high fallout rates. High fallout rates lead to an increased cost per order, delayed processing cycles, and poor customer service. In other words, less revenue. Error-free order entry and validation processes, such as those provided through CRMs, can reduce the rate of fallouts.
2. Expand Business
Seeking new leads isn’t just a salesperson’s task; it entails a variety of manual and automated actions across multiple channels. Telecom CRM is integral to this process. It helps employees cultivate leads from seminars, conferences, trade shows, and webinars; it helps generate leads from email lists and website visitors; it allows managers to forward those leads to salespeople so that follow-up can be done immediately, while the business is on a potential customer’s mind.
CRM can also direct telecom employees to cross-selling or upselling opportunities. It can, furthermore, be used to improve efficiency so that top-of-the-funnel opportunities are maximized.
3. Competitive Analysis
The telecom industry is both highly concentrated and competitive. There are a lot of companies with the financial muscle to lure away customers. Competitive analysis is a necessity for any telecom business that wants to succeed. CRM in telecom helps manage this by providing a detailed overview of brand equity, distribution channels, post-purchase service, and support, and customer exclusivity. By engaging in competitive analysis, companies can benchmark their own practices and processes.
4. Provide a Forward Perspective
CRM for telecom can be looked at as a ‘forward view’ of a company. Rather than offer an overview of historical data, a CRM provides a forecast of future trends and events that will impact revenue and profit margins. Business leaders can use the information gleaned from CRM to observe leading indicators. They can study the data for shifts in lead generation, pipeline value, and missed opportunities to identify potential problems that will impact the bottom line.
Meanwhile, direct sales managers can utilize the information to track the activities of individual salespeople or teams. This can be used to determine where problems may be occurring that impact the company’s profit, such as lead conversion rates, customer call activity, and closed-win opportunities.
Other opportunities to glean a forward perspective stem from the ability to gauge the amount of time spent on calls, efficiency in closing sales, and monitoring escalations. Marketing professionals can look at the data to track marketing activities and assess the success or failure of such efforts.
5. Increase Customer Retention
The right CRM solution allows for information to flow smoother and quicker within a company. The result of such expediency is far more than happy sales representatives; it also means increased sales numbers, happier clients, and a bottom-line that seems to balloon.
Estimates suggest that corporations with successful CRM implementations see an increase in revenue that ranges from 25 percent to 95 percent, often attributable to fewer wasted hours and double work, and better-organized schedules, as well as the fact that data moves from staff in every division of the company. When employees are more satisfied and efficient, they are better able to retain customers. By doing so, revenue blossoms.
6. Offer Consistent Expectations
When you find a strategy that works, it’s best to replicate it. Chances are, a company’s leaders have a pretty solid idea of how they want customer service reps to interact with customers. By repeating it, a business ushers consistent, high-quality customer service experiences.
CRM programs can be used to embed best practices and processes that guide sales representatives through every step of interaction. Templates can be crafted so staff knows exactly what is expected at any given moment. Workflow automation can be created so that sales reps follow best practices with minimal administrative oversight.
7. Manage Customer Information
In the telecom industry, customer service representatives are faced with restricted time to make a sale. It’s important that they have all of the customer’s information at their disposal from the moment they pick up or place a phone call; after all, time is of the essence. CRM allows this.
A CRM also allows reps to quickly reference a customer’s most ordered items, upsell based on previous interactions, and identify popular products to cross-sell across multiple buyers. It provides a quick and easy method for recording sales activities and then documenting and sharing information among sales professionals.
Moreover, a CRM allows customer service representatives the opportunity to personalize interactions. It helps to tailor products, services, and customer service engagement to individual clients. A CRM can identify specific information about customers which allow employees to develop products, services, and marketing targeted at those individuals. In a crowded landscape of businesses competing for customers—especially small and mid-size enterprises—this can be invaluable.
8. Provide Immediate Feedback
A CRM offers managers a better understanding of the sales process so that they know how individual representatives are working. This affords them the ability to provide immediate feedback to improve the sales process and increase a sales team’s efficiency.
By being able to provide instant feedback, a manager can give information that is critical to a salesperson’s growth at any given moment. It not only means that the information is relevant to time and place, but it also assures that sales aren’t lost due to a lack of awareness. Every week that passes without feedback can mean dozens of lost sales and lost revenue.
9. Manage More with Less
In the fast-paced environment of the telecom industry, it’s easy to drop the ball with customers. Often, 80 percent of a company’s business comes from 20 percent of their customer base because they know them really well. Unfortunately, the remaining 80 percent of customers are neglected, leaving management with little knowledge of what these people need or want. As a result, many opportunities for growth are missed.
Many companies want to discover efficient ways to access business in the ‘long-tail’ of their market. With marketing automation and CRM, it is possible to prospect in the long-tail that would otherwise be nearly impossible given an organization’s resources.
As customer service representatives become increasingly swamped with tasks, cases, opportunities, and information, it’s imperative that they are given the tools to juggle multiple expectations. CRM manages this by helping reps handle competing demands without dropping the ball.
10. Minimize Risks
In an industry such as telecom where employee turnover occurs frequently, it’s easy to have dropped deals. When one person takes over from another, it becomes apparent that numerous customers weren’t contacted or issues weren’t resolved. This oversight leads to missed sales targets and unhappy prospects who not only take their business elsewhere but also fuel the complaint cycle.
With a CRM, managers can easily reassign tasks and shift accounts when employee turnover takes place. With a seamless transfer of responsibilities, customer satisfaction improves—and so does employee satisfaction. A CRM also tracks employee activity that may indicate later problems. For instance, if an employee downloads an entire customer file or database, it will alert management. This can help thwart the all-too-common situation of a disgruntled employee stealing information before vacating the job.
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