Stay balanced with a CRM software that certains your future.
Regardless of your political viewpoint with Britain and the EU, the impact on British businesses is likely to be substantial; whether or not they trade directly with the EU.
But amid the uncertainty, we’ve seen a new sense of pragmatism emerging. Business intelligence software – in particular, Customer Relationship Management, is playing a key role in helping companies continue to invest in growth while cushioning the impact of market volatility, preparing for changes ahead and exploring new market opportunities.
look at precisely how a CRM system like Maximizer can be harnessed to chart a smooth course to the post-Brexit era.
1) Keep Predictable & Flexible As Possible
It’s impossible to plan for the unknown, and it’s evident that many aspects of Brexit will still fall into this particular category. But forward-thinking companies are building additional levels of predictability and flexibility into their business, so they can manage costs carefully and adapt quickly to changes when they do eventually occur.
This rationale may lie behind the recent spike in Cloud software adoption. According to Forrester Research, “reported use of on-premises private clouds jumped from around a third in 2016 to more than 60% in 2017” – This suggests that companies are “hedging their bets” and taking advantage of the scalability this technology provides in order to prepare for all outcomes.
In the CRM market, our experience certainly corroborates this. Alongside our All-In-One on-premise and private hosted deployment models, we are seeing rising demand for the Cloud-based subscription option as companies seek to avoid upfront capital expenditure, lock in predictable monthly payments and remain agile. This trend is only set to increase as migration and access to Cloud CRM becomes ever-more streamlined and cost-effective.
2) Prepare To Expand Into different Markets
The EU as a whole is Britain’s largest trading partner, it accounts for 44% of all UK exports. However, the ONS reports that eight of the 10 fastest growing markets for UK exports since 2010 were outside of the EU. Similarly, if we look at small business exporters, 78% trade with the EU and non-EU countries, most commonly the ‘Anglosphere’ due to the familiar language and culture.
Exporting is good for any business. According to the Director-General of The British Chambers of Commerce, “Our research shows that businesses who do trade internationally are more innovative and dynamic than those who just focus their attention on the UK market.”
While the future of exporting is heavily dependent on the eventual nature of international trade deals, one potentially positive long-term outcome could be the diversification of trading partners. There have long been calls for British businesses of all sizes to tap into overseas markets to a greater extent – in particular outside of the European Union.
On a more practical level, expanding successfully into new markets requires your company to be highly attuned to your new prospects’ requirements, which may differ from those of your domestic customers. Are you prepared and ready to analyse purchasing habits so that you can match product lines to local market demand, and respond quickly to opportunities as they arise? These are the type of capabilities that well-performing CRM software can deliver, equipping you with the data required to profile your customers and pinpoint where you need to make changes to products or processes.
3) Become Smarter With Business Intelligence
Do you know exactly what happens in your customers’ businesses – as well as your own? This is the foundation to making properly informed preparations and strategic decisions – which of course relies on top-notch business intelligence. We’ve mentioned expansion into new markets, but the same levels of insight and analysis need to be applied to your existing ones. They could very well be undergoing change already, or your customers could be planning change imminently – but you won’t know unless you gather and analyse the correct data.
A Business Brexit Checklist published by the BCC, recommends mapping your customer and supplier base to assess how changes in Britain’s relationship with the EU could affect you. This is where technology-driven business intelligence comes in, giving clear visibility into the sales pipeline and wider business performance metrics to highlight crucial trends, patterns, opportunities and red flags.
Recently revealed by Maximizer, how their Customer Success team bridges the divide between marketing, sales, product delivery and customer service. The data they contribute is instrumental to our ‘360 degree’ customer view. Getting on the phone to customers regularly – or even better meeting face-to-face – for ‘bigger picture’ reviews about strategic objectives is the ideal opportunity to stay abreast of their plans and predictions for Brexit.
4) Cherish Your Customers
As Brexit unfolds, markets, business and customer will change. but one thing’s for sure, the importance of Customer Experience will not disappear anytime soon. Now more than ever, we all need to be investing in our current customers – and that means paying more attention to them! Do you communicate with them enough, make sure they’re still happy? Is your communication engaging and adding value? Aim to consolidate relationships by demonstrating knowledge of their requirements, creating emotional connections and embedding your products and services deeper into their businesses.
Making the most of data analysis and visualisation tools in your CRM can help you to keep track of customer behaviour and journey milestones, surfacing any potential problems so that you can step in as required, smooth things over, close deals quicker, jump on up-selling opportunities, and ultimately keep customers happy.
5) Streamline & Enhance Productivity
All-In-One CRM systems represent a cost-effective and scalable infrastructure to power your customer engagement and digital transformation programmes. For these initiatives, the real benefits come into play when you apply CRM across all customer departments, not just the sales team, and leverage the value of the latest Mobile CRM apps. This multiplies your return-on-investment many times over, enabling individual teams to work more productively – on average by 10% – and departments to collaborate more effectively. The overall time and cost savings should not be underestimated and could make a real difference to your resilience in economic straits.
What’s more, if Brexit results in more of your workers having to travel overseas – or potentially relocate overseas – then your CRM is the ideal collaboration tool to make this transition as smooth as possible. All staff, regardless of location or device, will have access to synchronised, real-time customer documents and data to facilitate efficient, connected working.
6) Sharpen Up Data Governance
Should your company find itself having to deal with new markets, supply chains or industry segments, it will be imperative to be well-prepared from a data governance perspective. This means having accurate, agile, transparent and secure data management capabilities nailed down so you can easily comply with the potential demands of different regulators, customers or trading partners.
It will not be possible to achieve this degree of database rigour by using spreadsheets. CRM has proven to be the ideal platform for managing differing data management obligations, for instance the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (which applies to any company with EU citizens as customers) and Canada’s anti-spam law, CASL. It’s important to choose a system that is straightforward to customise, and a provider that will work with you to give the right guidance, so that you can turn bespoke dashboards, indicators and automated workflows to your full regulatory and commercial advantage.
Gartner tells us that nearly $48bn was spent worldwide on CRM software in 2018 and it is predicted to be the fastest growing software market in 2019. Approximately 72.9% of CRM spending was on software as a service (SaaS) in 2018. We believe that many business owners are turning to CRM due to its unique suitability to helping them strike a balance between ‘battening down the hatches’, economically speaking, and continuing to invest in growth and innovation.
In this blog we’ve outlined how Maximizer CRM can generate valuable productivity savings and provide the data framework behind your customer-focused digital growth – all while revealing exactly the type of sales, marketing and business insight you need as Brexit draws nearer.
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