Manufacturing Tomorrow


Why CRM is More Than Just a Sales Tool

Jun 19, 2018
By: Mark Stevens

CRM More Than a Sales Tool 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has been a mainstay tool for sales forces in multiple industries for decades. In its infancy, CRM was merely a way for account executives to collect and store customer details in an organized way, rather than keep files and information in file cabinets and manual spreadsheets.

Today, CRM has evolved beyond the sales desk and can serve as a tool for multiple departments within an organization. Unfortunately, many enterprises fail to take full advantage of the robust features of modern-day CRMs. See how organizations are leveraging the platform in various areas of their operations to drive innovation, productivity, customer relations and, yes, sales growth.

Studies show that when marketing and sales are aligned, organizations are much more likely to succeed. In fact, 75 percent of organizations that aligned marketing and sales met or exceeded their revenue goals, compared to only 44 percent meeting or exceeding goals among misaligned organizations. The two departments have traditionally been divided in many organizations, but increasingly, they’re seeing the benefits of collaboration and joining forces to drive leads and revenue.

CRM makes it easy for marketing to customize campaigns to help capture qualified leads in many ways by:

  • Creating targeted lists for email blasts and call lists
  • Capturing analytics to see who filled out a contact form, signed up for a content piece, responded to an ad and see where it originated from, and more
  • Managing marketing campaigns, workflows, and automated responses
  • Segmenting campaign recipients based on region, demographic, engagement level, industry, initial contact method, and other criteria
  • Tracking activities and costs for trade shows, online ads, and other marketing campaigns
  • Individualizing promotions about services or products based on previous activity
  • Capturing information about prospects and leads

Customer Service
Of concern is that the average company loses 45–50 percent of its customers every five years. Considering that acquiring new customers can be as much as 20 times more expensive than retaining existing ones, maintaining a good status with clients is imperative. 

Customer service departments play a key role in maintaining customer loyalty, and arming them with the tools they need to respond quickly and with decisive action can make the difference between a frustrated customer and a delighted one. Here’s how CRM can help customer service departments achieve the latter.

  • Create service tickets directly from emails, telephone calls, or social media posts
  • Monitor email, phone, and social media so customer complaints don’t fall through the cracks
  • Manage steps toward resolution by implementing timelines for required actions and follow up
  • Conduct customer satisfaction surveys
  • Document all communication and steps that have taken place to resolve issues to help ensure consistency among representatives to provide better experiences
  • Provide mobile access so field service reps can monitor customer orders and information in real time

Project Managers
A CRM tool can do more than manage customer relationships; it can also be used to manage and track projects. Use CRM to help teams work together more effectively by: 

  • Analyzing customer service data and notes to identify opportunities for product improvement
  • Assigning associated files and notes to projects to improve collaboration and accessibility
  • Scheduling tasks and assigning them to team members
  • Creating workflows
  • Managing and viewing the status of projects, tasks, and deadlines

Human Resources
One of the greatest challenges facing many industries is the skilled labor shortage. Much like Marketing uses CRM to manage and attract sales leads, Human Resources (HR) can use the platform to enter employee or recruiting data with specified criteria. The software helps HR to attract and manage potential hires and current employees in the following ways.

  • Track employee performance and monitor staff activities
  • Collect data and documentation, including certifications, continuing education, required forms, and other compliance considerations
  • Track hiring processes and manage potential recruit information
  • Enable alerts to notify HR when important deadlines approach, such as recertifications, employee reviews, or required annual forms

Purchasing and Financing
Managing vendor relationships helps ensure your supply chain relationships and pricing remain stable. Include vendor and dealer information in your CRM platform to help you: 

  • Track and analyze your financial data
  • Manage relationships and document correspondence, appointments, and tasks to maintain accurate communications history
  • Include information about vendor sourcing, notes, new product development, order history, and more

Every department can benefit from the integrated functionalities of a CRM system by improving visibility and encouraging internal and external interactions. Such transparency leads to better decisions, improved customer retention, higher employee satisfaction and, ultimately, increased profits.

Ready to have your organization experience the full benefits of a modern CRM system? Reach out to the CRM experts at Wipfli for a no-cost consultation.


Mark Stevens
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