The success of any business largely depends on the quality of their customer service.
A customer relationship management system helps you establish a long-term relationship with your customer by keeping your sales pipeline organized.
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Whether you are in sales, marketing, or customer service, a CRM software plays a crucial role in enhancing work productivity.
In fact, research revealed that CRM applications can increase sales by up to 29% and sales forecast accuracy by 42%. More and more companies are now adopting CRM solutions into their organizations.
A CRM is a vast application that consists of several tools designed to carry out different functionalities. Based on these functionalities, CRM can be broadly categorized into three types.
- Operational CRM
- Analytical CRM
- Collaborative CRM
In this article, we are going to talk about collaborative CRM in detail. We will talk about its benefits and how you can build a successful collaborative strategy to achieve your goals. So let’s begin.
What Is Collaborative CRM?
Collaborative CRM, also known as Strategic CRM, enables businesses to collect, store, organize, and share customer information across multiple teams. It uses interaction, channel, and document management to increase customer satisfaction by enhancing your prospecting efforts.
It acts as a centralized platform where you can find information on every interaction with customers or prospects done by various teams.
The Benefits of Using Collaborative CRM
The main purpose of collaborative CRM is to foster customer loyalty system by improving the quality of customer service. Let us look at some of the advantages of using collaborative CRM.
Develops and Cultivates Employee Skills
Collaborative CRM ensures that there is a constant share of knowledge and helps maintain a workflow routine. It creates a culture where employees are encouraged to grow.
Improves Internal Communication
Another good thing about using collaborative CRM is that it creates an effective channel of communication. Earlier, different departments such as sales, marketing, customer service system, and technical, used to work in their own information silos.
But now with every piece of customer information in one place, it ensures that everyone across the organization stays on the same page.
Fosters Customer Relationships
Nurturing leads with streamlined customer service ensures a high rate of customer satisfaction and value. Having a collaborative CRM tool also allows you to interact with your customers online instead of waiting for them to come to you. CRM marketing automation can be quite useful in identifying the gray area of the process and help rectify it.
Allows You to Visualizes Pipelines
First of all, CRM gives you a clear view of your sales pipeline, allowing you to prioritize your deals. Furthermore, sales representatives can easily pick up from where they left off the last time. It shows the customers that you value them.
By visualizing these pipelines, you can set conversion percentage benchmarks. Plus, you can quickly address any roadblocks that come along.
Helps Increase Business Revenue
This is pretty straight forward. Collaborative CRM helps sales reps to effectively nurture their prospects and close more deals. By streamlining and automating various functions, it saves them the extra time that can be used to focus on more critical tasks at hand.
Not only that, but it also helps delight the already existing customers. A study revealed that even a 5% increase in customer retention can grow your business revenue by 25% to 95%. With the help of a collaborative CRM, businesses can drive cross-selling, upselling, and repeat purchases too.
Steps to Build a Successful Collaborative Strategy
A collaborative strategy is a synergy between the strategy of a business and its stakeholders and partners to achieve goals through collaboration. It creates a platform whereby every team comes together to work towards product innovation and pricing, customer and employee retention, and business processes improvement.
Here are the steps to build an effective collaborative strategy:
Now that you know how collaborative strategy is defined and executed, let’s understand the difference between different types of CRM software systems.
Difference Between Operational, Analytical, and Collaborative CRM
Operational CRM is designed to help with daily operational activities. It is generally linked to the front office and includes things that deal directly with customers. The main purpose of operational CRM tools is to help capture prospects, nurture leads, capture all required details, and provide customer service throughout their lifecycle.
Key features of Operational CRM are:
Salesforce automation is about automating the entire sales process. It is involved with tasks like acquiring new leads and dealing with existing customers. It includes modules like contact management, lead management, account management, and more.
Customer Service and Support Automation
This involves automation and coordination of various customer service processes, including returns and refunds, service requests, product complaints, and inquiries.
Marketing automation pertains to finding the best way to promote your business product and services to potential customers. It facilitates proper engagement by deciding the best channels to reach up to potential customers.
In simple terms, the role of analytical CRM is to help top management, sales, and marketing teams determine the best course to serve their customers. It combines the customer data collected from operational CRM and other external sources in order to ascertain the best direction to boost customers as well as organizational values.
Key features of Analytical CRM are:
It looks at the data and finds ways to optimize the relationship with your customers. It analyzes and helps develop strategies to maximize profits.
Improves Customer Retention Rate
Analytical CRM helps you identify the processes that need improvement to increase work efficiency. Not only that, but it helps evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy to see if it is working or needs modification. By identifying these problems, you can quickly address and fix them to improve relationships and customer retention tool rates.
As explained in the beginning, collaborative CRM collects and stores every customer interaction from different touchpoints for enhancing customer experience.
Key features of Collaborative CRM:
It streamlines every interaction through various channels, including email, calls, and the internet. Collaborative CRM also makes sure that every sales rep stays on the same page when communicating with a prospect.
Collaborative CRM helps enhance conveniences and cost reduction.
Parts to a Collaborative CRM
There are mainly two parts to a collaborative CRM:
The interaction management process is responsible for recording and analyzing every interaction between the organization and its customers. It helps identify the customer’s preferred channel of communication and determine the issue that an individual or group might be experiencing.
Channel management allows you to reach customers in a more efficient and effective manager by using their preferred interaction channels. It aims at maximizing customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Top Collaborative CRM Tools to Watch Out
Some of the best collaborative CRM examples are:
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of the top leading CRM software with a vast set of functionalities. It is made up of integrated solutions that enable businesses to improve lead tracking and boost sales. It can be deployed as a standalone application or as a suite of tools in collaboration with a complete software solution.
CRM Business Flow in Dynamics 365 has support devices running on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Bitrix24 offers a collaborative platform whereby it tracks interactions from every department and channels so that salespeople can stay aware of the ongoing conversation or discussion. It provides users with real-time updates, offers the smart following and notification settings, and much more. In fact, its Activity Stream allows users to get immediate feedback from their managers or colleagues.
SAP Business One (SAP Customer 360)
SAP Business One offers an analytical application that helps in better management and analysis of customer information to foster strong relationships. It offers a comprehensive set of tools that give you a 360-degree view of customers and their needs, providing businesses the opportunities to sell the right products and services at the right time. Its robust and interactive dashboard gives you a unified view of your business in real-time.
Sage CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management solution that is specifically designed to serve the needs of small and medium enterprises. It comes equipped with tools like marketing automation, customer service, social CRM, and much more. Businesses can easily plan and execute marketing and promotional campaigns. Its built-in email marketing feature allows users to send promotional newsletters to their contact.
SugarCRM upgraded its technology recently with the aim to further improve collaboration and user experience. The system offers a robust reporting tool that gives a chart view for 1000 different types of metrics. Besides, it ensures the timely distribution of reports for making smart decisions. What’s more, it helps create processes that combine human tasks with automated aspects of the workflow.
By using collaborative CRM software, you can easily streamline all your sales and marketing efforts and enhance company-wide communication. It ensures that your customers don’t have to repeat the same thing to different sales or customer representatives as all the interactions are shared in real-time.
Thus, it results in increased customer satisfaction, contributing to the success of the business.
So please tell us, will you consider implementing collaborative CRM in your company? If you already do, please share your experience with us in the comment section below.
Kiran Bajpai is Marketing Associate at SoftwareSuggest. Her expertise lies in Software Analysis. She can never get bored of reading books, especially those related to History and Politics.