Selling goods and services today has never been more challenging; there are not too many sectors that haven’t been affected by the economic climate of recent years. Now as we start to see some growth it is more important than ever that businesses can grow in a way that is both natural and sustainable going forward.
Although it sounds obvious, our existing customers play a key part in that future business development and growth. All too often businesses are busy chasing new markets and customers and ignoring the potential growth available within the customers they already have on board. New business development is important but I equally don’t have to tell anyone that this approach can be as high in risk, as it is in reward. Providing new solutions and opportunities to existing customers is not only faster to achieve but is also cheaper to implement as your customers already know and trust you and your brand. So as a business owner the challenges are to build the business, ensure quality, drive innovation in all areas but also focus on the customer whether they are new or existing ones.
So where do we start? As strange as it sounds my advice would be to start at the end. By creating a vision of what I want to achieve not only provides a clear direction but also provides a defined goal that I want to reach. This in return can be measured, revised and adapted, because it is highly unlikely that any of us will get it 100% right all the time.
So how do we make customer relationships the heart of our business culture? Well, like most things it starts with your people first and foremost. If they are not focused on customers, your recurring revenue stream is doomed to fail before it even starts, but you knew that already. So communicating your strategy to new and existing staff as to how you expect them to contribute to that goal is key to your success and is equally a good opportunity to get feedback from your staff and make refinements based on their suggests – there is no better way to get staff “buy in” if they have actually contributed to the ethos of your business.
Next, if you haven’t already formalised your business processes you need to do so and make sure your staff know about and follow them. Once again this sounds obvious but you’ll be surprised how many companies don’t formalise such processes. What happens next is anyone’s guess but it usually means inconsistent levels of service from the sales quotation process to the final delivery and that will impact on acquiring future new and recurring business.
So how do you keep track of it all? We have seen lots of home-grown solutions from spreadsheets to pieces of coloured paper in filing trays. However, they all have the same issue of needing dedicated time to operate and administer to be in any way effective which defeats the purpose of trying to streamline business processes to give the business more time and resources to focus on the customer.
So can technology help? You’ll not be surprised to hear that we believe that Microsoft Dynamics CRM can provide all of these benefits and more to any business. But how do you know this solution will work for your business? This is something our customers ask us and in response we show them the best demo we have, that is how we use Microsoft Dynamics CRM in our everyday interactions with them as well as other potential customers. We show them how we create and manage opportunities, drive marketing efforts, automate quote production and convert quotes to orders as well as how we can get real time information that shows our performance and identifies new opportunities for our business.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrates directly into Microsoft Outlook making it easy for our staff to use and keep track at all times, as Microsoft Outlook is the one application we all tend to have open all day. It automates our business processes from taking support calls to automating and following up on quotes and orders saving us time and effort. It is highly configurable and can be adapted to meet any business’ particular processes and can all be operated from a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile device from anywhere.
This is where the power of focusing on customer management can deliver real results to any business quite easily. With deployment of such frameworks using tools such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM these can be delivered within a matter of days and weeks, not months and years and is flexible enough to meet the requirements of any size or type of business with minimal training for staff needed. The potential challenge is more for you as the business owner to look at how you currently do business and what would improve on your delivery of goods and services going forward.
If you think your business would benefit from seeing how Microsoft Dynamics CRM could streamline your sales and customer management processes, take a look at our website at http://www.endeavour-is.com/dynamics-crm-solutions/ for some more information and give us a call at Endeavour on 028 9031 1010 and we’ll show you how we benefit from using it every day.
Unlike traditional IT companies who sell equipment into businesses, we are business consultants who specialise in providing solutions using Microsoft technologies and services. We will give unbiased advice on how your business can save time and money through better use of the technology and we’ll also give you a free 30 day trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and help get you started to make sure you get the most out of it before you have to make any commitment.