By Ryan Warren, Vice President of Marketing
Your customer relationship management system is important to not only your sales workflow, but also enhancing customer intelligence. Maybe you have already seen significant CRM ROI or are just on the verge of a CRM investment. Either way, CRM software has exploded in use across the globe. According to recent research, the business community is estimated to not only continue moving toward CRM systems, but the technology may overtake other types of software solutions. The market value of CRM could more than double by 2017.
CRM Will See Market Boosts
Gartner's latest forecast, "Enterprise Software Markets, Worldwide, 2012-2017, 2Q13 Update," found CRM systems, business intelligence (BI) and analytics applications had a total market revenue of $13.1 billion in 2012. The number is a 6.8 percent increase when compared to 2011's revenue of $12.3 billion. Gartner estimated that this total growth will not only continue in the next five years, but CRM will lead the way with the most segmented gains of all enterprise software categories.
According to Forbes, the study highlighted how CRM will continue to surpass previous expectations, as it accelerates in value faster from quarter to quarter. Experts seem to be constantly changing their estimates as the CRM market seems to perpetually expand. By 2017, CRM is projected to hold approximately $36.5 billion in revenue. With 2013 at about $20.7 billion, in five years CRM will almost double in revenue. In 2016, Gartner estimated CRM will eclipse even enterprise resource planning in value. Dan Sommer, principal research analyst at Gartner, said numerous enterprise software systems, such as BI, will continue to make strides well into the future.
The value of CRM and BI software in the global marketplace is set to remain solid in the long term. As more corporations begin to understand the essential need of building and managing client relationships, enterprise software will provide ROI into the future.
ROI? It Might Be Subjective
But seeing ROI of your CRM investment relies not on simply having the software, but knowing how to use it. According to News Factor, an IT resource, the power of CRM tools lies in how you implement the knowledge you gained from the software. While sales reps need to be able to glean market insights quickly and easily through customer analytics, they also should be able to employ and manage that intelligence in the real world.
According to the Corporate Executive Board, monitoring your CRM system's ROI is a complex process that involves more than just looking at the finances – it incorporates informal aspects as well. So how do you do this? CEB suggested that CRM ROI only happens through high levels of adoption. That means everyone needs to get on board with using your CRM. It may get easier to track your customer insights and get a better picture of your CRM investment as the market expands – it just might be a subjective view.
Seeing a return for implementing CRM into your sales team can be difficult, but as the technology advances and more enterprises get on board, it may get a bit easier. Driving ROI relies on building customer relationships and really understanding what they need to be successful. CRM helps you to manage that – just make sure you completely adopt the system.
By Daniela Barbosa, Director of Business Development
Utilizing social enterprise collaboration allows sales professionals to not only connect with customers on a regular basis but to continually drive sales. Investing in social enterprise platforms is a great customer intelligence strategy, but there is often a disconnect between what a sales team or a company wants to happen by bringing in a social business and what actually occurs. From disengaging with clients to not doing the proper research from the get-go, you may start to see your precious ROI go down the drain. But you can prevent that from happening by identifying the sales opportunities that will come from employing social enterprise platforms for increasing revenue productivity to ensure you are making the most out of your investment.
1. Calculate Realistic Costs
According to data from Simpler Media Group, the social enterprise software market is set to reach $6.4 billion by 2016. Gathering exactly what your business or team wants to accomplish can significantly help B2B companies maximize their social enterprise investment and prevent finances from entering the digital ether.
In a piece for Entrepreneur, business writer John Patrick Pullen suggested companies develop an ROI formula before investing in social enterprise. Taking all of the data into account helps you create a social mission statement and set realistic goals. Assembling all of the information before entering a contract helps ensure you are not devoting more money into a social media campaign than you have to.
2. It's All About the Tech
In an article for Salesforce, Vala Afshar, CCO and CMO at Enterasys, advised companies to take a peek at the technology the social enterprise uses. Outdated software can hamper how the business connects with clients and collects customer insights. Afshar suggested sales professionals or team managers identify the specific set of parameters the enterprise employs. According to Afshar, streamlined technology that is built to easily adopt to changing preferences helps sales teams optimize their investment.
3. Go Where Your Clients Are
By ensuring the technology used is top notch, sales teams are better able to identify their customers' online activity. Afshar suggested taking clients' temperatures when examining social enterprise software. You might want to have a quick chat with your social enterprise contact to understand whether they are on top of the latest and greatest social platforms.
4. Plan Everything Out
In his Entrepreneur blog, Jason Falls, CEO of Social Media Explorer, advised companies to think beyond the benefits of entering the online world to drive their social enterprise ROI. Create a plan of action that the social business can stick to, but still provides room for change. Leaving things up in the air can significantly damper a social media campaign, so giving your enterprise contact as much information as possible about where your company is headed improves your chances of receiving a strong ROI.
Plus, no one wants to be left in the dark when they are trying to provide you with a service. If you want to be on Facebook verses Twitter, let them know. Plan everything out – you'll thank yourself later.
5. Follow Through
Don't just let things go after doing all this great work early on – you have to follow through on your plan, stay in communication with your contact and provide feedback on a regular basis. Frequent connection and follow ups can help you identify any changes right away instead of wasting time in the future. Guiding a social plan along the way is much easier than making a dramatic shift half-way through the relationship. So stay in contact, because not doing so is setting you up for disaster.