If you are in the IT industry, people expect you to have all the answers. This may be accurate up to a point. But you are not immune to blind spots. And one such area may well be the use of Customer Relationship Management solutions. If this is the case, take a break from hugging your database or crunching code for a few minutes and read this article instead. We will enter a world where CRM is the solution to many problems from the IT sector.
What you will learn in this article
- Why you may have overlooked CRM
- How CRM integrates into the IT industry
- The 7 top reasons for deploying CRM
- The key features of CRM
- Getting started with CRM
So, CRM has passed you by?
The $5 trillion IT industry is already a significant user of SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions, so it’s no surprise that CRM is increasingly in their crosshairs. However, until relatively recent times, CRM has been the unsung hero in some IT industry quarters. So being behind the curve may be understandable.
This, though, is curious as CRM sits at the intersection of functionality and business growth. But there’s still time to board the CRM bus and harness all the synergy it has to offer. Particularly in terms of integrating multiple processes and enhancing communications with partners, employees, and customers.
How CRM integrates into the IT sector
Today, the number one solution for streamlining workflows and enhancing your customer experience. And not without good reason. Here are the primary integrations you need to know about.
Enhancing customer relations: Many factors drive business along. But the Numero Uno is customer relationships. It’s estimated that around 60% of revenue flows from existing customers. So retaining them is critical. CRM solutions enable you to maintain close relationships with customers across all your channels, including email and social media. CRM is excellent for nurturing long-term relationships with customers as everything is centralized, not ad hoc.
Lead generation: The most tech-savvy marketers are those in the IT sector. If you don’t have a CRM system yet, your sales and marketing team will almost certainly harp on about CRM on every possible occasion. The importance of CRM to the IT industry cannot be overstated, though. It is estimated that reaching new customers will be the second biggest growth driver (47%) in 2021.
Enhancing inter-departmental collaboration and efficiency: Another key driver for growth in the IT industry is operational efficiency. CRM automation of business processes and better collaboration could save you and each of your team 90 minutes per day.
7 great reasons for deploying CRM
The IT sector is already heavy with software and apps. Why would you want more? Let’s find out.
Are all your contacts, team members, clients, vendors, etc., stored in one place? And can you segment them? With CRM, it’s a breeze to marshal all your contacts and target them with personalized messaging.
Calendars and scheduling
Personal and shared calendars let you work smart. Team members can see when they can organize meetings with you, for example. CRM works with all the heavy hitters such as Google and Outlook. This compatibility helps you work more productively and smooths out time difference challenges.
This may be one of the less obvious uses of CRM perhaps. But since candidates are the equivalent of customers, you can harness CRM to make the recruitment process more efficient and less of a nightmare.
You will want to get a CRM system for this too. Integrate CRM with the rest of your tech stack, and you add a new dimension to managing tasks, workflows, staff, and your pipeline. You then have much greater visibility of business processes, progress, and how workflows are getting along.
Dedicated email marketing packages don’t come cheap. Often the price is dictated by the number of contacts in your database. Most CRM will have a reasonably extensive email capability, allowing you to deal with most aspects of email marketing. You will be able to blast out mass emails and then check whether the recipient opened them. Segmenting contacts for this purpose is straightforward as there are preset values like company, role, location, etc. However, most CRMs will also allow you to add your custom fields to refine segmentation further. For example, you might have a special offer that only applies to certain customer types in specific cities.
As CRM is a central hub, you can use it for onboarding new team members. Or if you hire freelancers or outsource particular services. CRM allows for a much smoother onboarding process. You can also set up a central store for all staff containing helpful resources and information.
Reporting and analytics
Arguably, the killer functionality of CRM is its reporting and analytics. You can run all types of reports and get as granular as you want.
Getting started with CRM
If you’re in the IT industry, chances are you don’t have a lot of time to spare. You will also know that the best evaluation comes from a free trial. So get your hands dirty and see if you can break CRM. Far from complicating matters, as you may fear, CRM will greatly simplify your life. With one platform to deal with, the data you need is readily available. You can say ‘bye’ to incessantly jumping between platforms, apps, desktop clients, and the like.
CRM is a logical next step for the IT industry. It is sometimes all too easy to miss developments in a hectic and dynamic industry such as IT. Stuff you ought to know about can slip past, obscured by the daily tidal wave of innovations and trends. If CRM turns out to have been snared in the undergrowth of your inbox, it’s not too late. Even small IT companies can make significant gains with CRM technology to grow their business and enhance customer experience.