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Getting your business on cloud nine - Focus On: CRM

Getting your business on cloud nine - Focus On: CRM

Getting your business on cloud nine - Focus On: CRM
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Getting your business on cloud nine - Focus On: CRM

Ergo's CRM Solutions Manager Phil Ryan spoke to the Sunday Business Post about what actually makes a good CRM system and how it can immensely benefit a company that uses it. 

“We’re working with many organisations that are in the middle of a period of change, reassessing the way they work with technology and moving a lot of it off-site and into the cloud. CRM is typically core to this kind of reimagining of how they work.”

CRM has originally been viewed as a sales and marketing tool, but not much else. “CRM has its traditional workload – sales, marketing and customer service would be the three major ones. And the truth is we still get sales directors coming up and saying ‘I need to fix my sales pipeline forecasting and management’ and we still get marketing directors asking ‘how can I reach and understand my client base?’,”

“And we still get the same question from those charged with customer service. In other words, these are people with specific highly localised problems looking for solutions. However, there is another level above this, where it’s possible to make CRM more prominent in the way the company is operated.”

This happens when c-level executives start to prioritise it and when chief information officers or chief executive officers take ownership. “When this level of people
start realising that the issues their subordinates are dealing with aren’t isolated, but actually are deeply connected, then something interesting happens. “If their sales team is ineffective because marketing isn’t delivering leads or they’re losing customers because they aren’t able to provide a decent level of service, then CRM is the solution,” he said. “However, for it to work, the customer must be placed at the centre of the organisation. And that is very much the conversation we’re increasingly having, because it unlocks digital transformation.”

According to Ryan, the reason why CRM sometimes does not work for a company is because if it isn't being used properly and is not embraced by the people in the organisation who are using it. “Generally, the reason why your sales people aren’t using your existing CRM system is because they can’t use it when they need to which is out in the field. So, making sure your CRM system can handle mobile access is really important,” he said. “Likewise, the reason why the marketing team generally aren’t using it is because it doesn’t support multichannel so how do we give it access so they’re not in silos, using various different tools to try to do their job? Your CRM system needs to be plugged into social media and if, for example, a marketing agency is involved in creative content, then it’s important that it’s joined up as well. “Otherwise the leads which are generated are going to go stale quickly.”

He also stated that many of Ergo's customers are already operating with cloud-based software, and CRM is no exception. “Online CRM has been around since the beginning of the cloud phenomenon in around 2011, so it’s matured to the point now where it’s a serious consideration for enterprise customers and it’s always been a very agile route for medium and small-sized enterprises,” he said. “About 70 to 80 per cent of our customer base is in the cloud now and reaping the benefits of that. They don’t have to worry about doing massive overhauls of infrastructure in order to implement updates and get access to new functionality.”

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