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Technology - SME Business Digest
CRM - Customer Relationship Management
I have a small unit. Do I need it ?
- BY RAMESH RAJAGOPALAN
No matter what business you’re in. If you’re in SME sector, you have ‘Customer Relationship Management (CRM)’ in a way. “I haven’t implemented anything new for CRM,” you grumble. Don’t worry! You’re not alone. Many companies are unsettled in CRM – either because they haven’t tried to proceed or they are unable to invest more in technological trends.
Article Published: 'Invitation Issue' of SME Business Digest, a Digital Business Magazine - Feb-Mar2021

Do you want to hear the voices of local SME executives about CRM who can support you for now?

 

  • “It’s just a ‘smile’ at the customer and that takes care of our Customer Relations!”

 

  • “Maybe a smile with a ‘thank you’ note will please our customers!”

 

  • “A warm ‘handshake’ and ‘call for a party’ would make our customers feel happy!”

 

  • “We keep the database of our customers; we follow them and the customers are with us ever.” 

 

This is how many local businesses subsist with different styles with an indolent approach to Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

 

I ‘ve a small unit. Do I need it?

“Now, why suddenly should I think of CRM implementation? I heard only big companies with more than 1000 customers can think of CRM system in the company. Otherwise, it wasn’t of any use.” 

 

Your demanding questions need answers. For instance, if you are managing 50 customers currently, there is always pressure on you not to lose one customer and that ‘customer retention’, is a part of your major work. Whereas for larger companies of having more than 4000 customers, the loss of few clients may not impact the brand or the relationship issues instantly. Also, the CRM application would cover and work towards the retention of the customer. In your case, you may have to strive hard to make it happen. Analyze the difference between these two cases. The system will make people and the customer work towards the continuance of the business.

 

If you are a small company with a shoestring model, think of a ‘limited’ or ‘free version’ of CRM implementation and upgrade at the right point of time.

 

More about CRM

In a nutshell, CRM is an application system that works around your business in ‘retaining the customers’, getting more ‘loyal customers’, and bringing ‘growth-oriented revenue’ to make the business performance higher year after year. The major management functions like planning, strategy, marketing, sales, billing, support, analytics, reports and accounts are all carefully covered in a systematic manner using technological advancements of the Internet, cloud, mobile applications, APIs, online/offline functions, communication, and so on.

 

Is that all?

“Is it all about buying CRM software by increasing my capital expenditure and overheads?” A valid question; find your answer herein to what CRM is all about.

 

As the name holds, there are two sides in Customer Relationship Management. One is the relationship with the customers and the other one is how to manage customers. The focus is mainly on customers, marketing growth strategies, processes, systems, and culture from the internet to field sales. If your actions are systematic addressing all the functions like marketing, sales, support, inventory, accounting, purchase and MIS, that means you are managing customer relationship very well. Else, you may give up some customers.

 

Imagine that you are addressing these functions manually, there could be more chances of slipping through fingers. All your efforts and time investment will be lost just because of some simple mistakes. Maybe you lose customers in the drop! The manual method is expensive and laborious.

 

Recognizing the trends and optimizing the opportunities, some of the software developers have come out with an integrated pack of getting marketing, sales, support, inventory, accounting, purchase and reporting systems just to support SME companies and some of them have included CRM as a module to make it as an integrated ERP version.

 

CRM for Marketing side.

- Manage prospects

- Support your leads

- Build Relationships

- Communicate without gaps

- Planning & Scheduling Appointments

- Campaigning – News Letters

- Send SMS

- Analysis and Reports

 

CRM For Sales

- Create Quotations

- Manage Sales orders

- Locate inventory

- Create Delivery Challan

- Generating Invoice & Sales Returns

- General & customized reports

 

CRM for Support Side

- Managing Tickets

- Managing Contracts

- Request approvals

- Managing Communication

- Analysis and Reports

 

CRM for Purchase Side

- Purchase/work order

- Inward Material

- Goods Receipt Note (GRN)

- Purchase invoice

- Purchase Returns

- Analysis and Reports

 

CRM for Inventory

- Stock in multiple locations

- Inventory as per location

- Stock Journal Voucher / Transfers

- Bill of Materials (BOM)

- Custom Reports

 

CRM For Accounting Module

- Journal vouchers

- Receipt online

- Payment tracking

- Debit notes (Purchase Returns)

- Credit Notes (Sales Returns)

- Custom Reports

 

CRM Reports

- Sales forecast

- Campaigns – newsletters

- CRM Accounting

- Analytics support Reports

- Inventory

- Purchases

- Team Efforts

- Statutory Reports (Taxes)

 

Business Process Integration

- E-mail configuration

- Cloud Telephony & IVRS

- Capturing Website Enquiries

- Auto-Generated Ticket Creation

- Integrated Reports

Manual Method to automation
“How can we bring the manual practices under automation?” The automation starts with the collection of customers’ information and interacts with them until the end of customer-life-cycle. The next process is to segment the information according to the styles of the customers and run marketing campaigns followed by the sales process. From the sales interfaces, you can analyze the information strategy and tactics to be used to meet the needs of the customers. You can also identify hot prospects, ideal buyers, closing rates, acceptances, rejections, type of services, product usages, risks, customer experiences, and customer retention plans. Therefore CRM manages customer data, optimizes marketing campaigns, and enhances sales performance.

Quick case study
Bharti Airtel is one of the biggest Indian telecom corporate companies. In the year 1995, they were able to resolve only 40% of their customer issues as per the online reports. Today, ‘AirtelThanks App’ is one gateway to help every customer with personal care. However, they continue to have their 121 helpdesk support as well. Bharti provides services across Pan-India with a footprint of 23 telecom circles and 94 cities. Bharti Airtel with the support of IBM implemented and engaged Oracle Advanced Consulting Services as a partner to design and devised Oracle Business eSuite.

Imagine the number of the networks they are supposed to manage for each customer from different corners, distributors, dealers, sub-dealers, direct channel customers, and other types of ISP customers. Also just think of their projects, billings, huge invoices, messaging, call-center operations, call recordings management, sales management, service management, channel management, payment gateways, wallets, accounting, and other escalations from customers. Managing all these functions manually with people is difficult. People management will be the biggest challenge and that part will pull the business down if there are gaps in the processes and procedures.

4 Benefits
The summary gets top 4 points to remember:

1.Streamlining workflow management and contact management
2.Sales maximization and pipeline management
3.Improved efficiency of people and good team management
4.Performance optimization and analytics reports.

In the end, the most significant question is, “Does the system work?” The chief point during implementation is to set clear objectives by interconnecting people (Customers/Employees), business processes (Coordination, combination, association)  technologies (Type, Scope, use) and content (Data, Processing, sorting and achieving)  to set the correct portfolio management. 

Make your ‘Gift-Maker’ ready to give back gifts. Plan your CRM today.
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