Many organizations have implemented CRM software for themselves. However only a few have taken their initiative to the highest levels where the application can do a real value addition to the business cycle. One can ask what is meant by CRM maturity. CRM maturity is a measure of how effectively you are using customer relationship management’s basic and advanced tenets. Or in another words how mature is your organization in terms of using advanced CRM concepts. It must be noted that by advancement we are not only referring to software features which have been implemented, but we are questioning whether these features are actually being used in your day to day business.
Judge for yourselves where your organization stands in terms of its maturity in the below given application roadmap.
De-Coding CRM Maturity
To understand the CRM maturity info-graph, we are describing each phase one by one in an elaborate manner. This helps in understanding each phase and what steps you can take to ensure that you are moving to the next level.
Most of the companies across the world fall into this stage. There is little to no tracking of customers in this stage. Some customers use MS-EXCEL to maintain customers. I have personally see one business owner to simply use this contact list to send a mass SMS. The utility of the tracker is very limited and there is no way forward. Customer complaints and issues are handled on emails and there is no specific tracking. Another issue with this is that maintenance of the tracker stops when the key person leaves. Also there is no security as a copy of the contact list can easily be taken along by a salesperson joining a competitor.
Companies which realize the above limitation move to basic CRM solution. Due to availability of cost effective CRM applications, they are able to manage their contact management in the application. Some of the companies integrated their contact us form to automatically populate their CRM application and assign it for follow-up. Same is done for customer complaints though less focus is given to after sales support than salesforce automation. After having realized this, some companies also move to manage their pipeline in the system. They enforce the salesperson to create quotation in the system before sending them to customers.
There are some companies which are not happy at merely having CRM for managing after sales and pre sales functions. They want more insight into how their marketing efforts are paying off. They run their marketing campaigns and measure their returns on each of their campaigns. If they are using multiple channels, they can know which channel is paying off more than others. They also set up a series of automated notifications to send alerts based on a certain business event or based on a schedule. This helps them reduce manual effort. Integration with other applications also helps in having an automated exchange of information.
Having a customer relationship management system is a must for your company. With numerous applications which don’t cost a thing, you have no further excuse. One critical thing to know is that the key to success is not how costly or affordable the solution is. The success lies on how you and your users utilize it to the maximum. Customizing the application in a optimum manner helps you to adapt the solution as per your requirement. As you move up the value chain and your application gets matured, you can try and aim at next level to ensure that you are getting maximum benefit from the solution.