In a competitive business like security, one of the most critical investments you’ll make is in your “CRM”. According to the Sweeney Group, CRM is “all the tools, technologies and procedures to manage, improve, or facilitate sales, support and related interactions with customers, prospects, and business partners throughout the enterprise.”
In other words, your CRM is your system to efficiently grow your business, keep existing customers happy, and work effectively with your allies and suppliers. A robust CRM will help you thrive; the flip side is that a weak CRM may make it difficult to survive.
As you consider upgrading and enhancing your CRM, don’t skimp! Many of your larger competitors don’t—they invest five and sometimes six figures in their CRM. Why? Because they know that a world-class CRM will pay for itself many times over. They’ll be able to grow faster, improve retention, and streamline operations to save money.
Below are some of the key elements that security dealers should focus on with their CRM.
Customer lifecycle. A good CRM system should allow you to manage the entire customer lifecycle from prospect to long-term subscriber. Your system should enable you to go from quoting a prospect, to converting that accepted quote into a work order, to installing the system. From there, anyone on your team should have easy access to the customer’s records in a centralized database for efficient ongoing service, recurring billing, and customer support.
Integration. CRM systems that integrate with critical back office functions such as billing, payment, and inventory management eliminate the inefficiency of duplicating tasks in multiple systems.
Improve revenues. CRM software allows you to improve your sales process, and increase the top line of your business. Insight into your sales funnel can help you to refine your sales process and identify where additional training may be needed. You can also ensure that prospects don’t fall through the cracks by automating follow-up processes.
Better customer service. The CRM should improve your service to customers. With complete and accurate information on your customer’s history, equipment and more, you and your team can efficiently and effectively answer questions and establish ‘one call resolution’ of problems.
Efficient teamwork. Whether you have a team of two or twenty, the CRM should be the grease in the wheels that helps you all work better together. Access to information across roles and functions allows everyone to collaborate more effectively.
Streamlined workflow. The CRM system can eliminate redundancies, and reduce administrative work. Managing processes such as real-time inventory tracking and job scheduling eliminates wasted time and resources sending field techs on job without all of the parts needed. Ideally, workflow should be tracked and managed in a single dashboard, allowing you and your staff to focus on executing service and installation work with minimal wasted time.
Data-driven decisions. Connected processes should easily provide you with insight into your key customer and operational metrics. You can make business decisions, from purchase orders to staffing needs to rate increases, based on data rather than on instinct.
Security dealers prepared to invest in a quality CRM system will be paid back very quickly. While no one system can do it all, you want a system that will tie together your sales, service, financial, and back office functions. Take time to understand your current workflow and identify areas where processes are weak or redundant. Make a list of manual processes that you would like to automate. You will also want to consider the most important key performance measures that currently are difficult or impossible to get. Determining this information will allow you to assess and choose a CRM that best suits your needs.
If you are ready to improve your workflow, give me a call at 888.629.8101, Ext 2.