Software companies in Sri Lanka have embraced cloud-based services to run their daily mill of tasks, and for good reason. As the world maintains its foundations that are now based in the cloud, even the smallest of businesses have established themselves by using a variety of cloud-based services. Enterprise software is no exception, and the increased proliferation of SaaS indicates just how indispensable cloud computing is, and therefore here to stay.
Likewise, CRM software in Sri Lanka focuses on delivering tools and functionalities that companies can scale with time, especially as their needs change owing to growth, demand and economic shifts. With capabilities such as lead management, customer profiling and even territory-based sales management now encompassing most leading cloud-based CRMs today, businesses are keen to get these very capabilities plus many others in order to help them stay ahead of their competition.
At EFutures, we understand this well. Through building, delivering and maintaining custom software for our range of clientele, our work spans across both a local and international level. Whether it’s via a dedicated software development team or something more ad-hoc, excellence is always top of mind for us, therefore enabling us to build world-class software solutions that will stay on par with our clientele’s varying needs, and help them solve their business pains at every step.
CRM software has long since progressed from being an application that merely holds customer data, to a dynamic solution that can empower your business to significantly enhance customer interactions and maximise revenue. However, as no one size fits all in the world of CRM software, it is key to identify important features, as well as customise your CRM solution so that it fits your business’s specific needs – no matter how niche they are. Therefore, in this article, we emphasise on the potential that CRM platforms can offer, as well as some key tools that can be integrated to further enhance their overall potency.
An improvement in customer engagement is one of the biggest benefits of having a CRM. While customer databases store information such as contact details, product preferences, purchases made and past interactions with sales/service teams, modern CRM customer profiling can track entire journeys and map behaviour patterns. This can massively help identify trends especially in terms of what customers may need or prefer in the future, thereby giving businesses leverage when building marketing campaigns, and approaching said customers with product recommendations that have a higher chance of being suitable.
Sentiment analysis is also another tried-and-true way of understanding your customers better. Primarily done across social channels, sentiment analysis scours the entire breadth of social networks to identify conversations that users are having about your brand and its products. By listening to such conversations, businesses can get an unbiased perspective on what customers really think, so improvements can be made where necessary in order to serve better in the future.
Thanks to workflow automation and AI-powered recommendations, CRM platforms can function more autonomously so that sales and marketing teams are ready to reach prospects who aren’t just interested but have a higher likelihood of converting into happy customers. Powered by sentiment analysis and social listening, marketing campaigns can be tailored to reach niche audience segments with a select range of products or services that are known to be of interest to them. While this offers a greater chance of conversion, this also reduces the likelihood and impression of spam for customers, as they are only being approached when something is truly of value to them.
Furthermore, online marketing campaigns offer greater scope for customisation via A/B tests; reach any audience of your choice and gauge their response, then iterate as needed to appeal to their tastes further. Although analysing existing big data prior to expending money, time and effort into sales/marketing efforts is the norm among businesses today, A/B tests that are inbuilt into campaign management modules of leading CRMs (or via integrated marketing automation platforms) can also constitute as a great starting point to ‘test the waters’ and learn better about what your customers are really looking for, and what they think about your business.
Unlike before, modern CRMs are more than just customer data repositories. Today, leading cloud CRM platforms use all this data to their advantage by displaying centralised customer profiles, so sales and service teams need not toggle between multiple applications in order to get an all-around perspective of each customer. This centralised concept also extends over to customer interactions, wherein a customer can be contacted via any communication channel of their choice – all from this single, unified profile.
This makes modern cloud-based CRM (including turnkey SaaS CRMs) an excellent component for Unified Communications (UC) solutions. By integrating a variety of software platforms over the cloud, such as VoIP, video conferencing, email management and even contact centre solutions, CRMs can function as the hub for customer information as well as a centralised point of contact between agents and their customers.
Owing to being more data-centric than ever before, today’s CRM solutions are treasure troves of valuable customer data. Although businesses today gather vast amounts of data at every interaction and transaction with their customers, many times this lies idle and isn’t crunched to reveal valuable insights that can aid business decision-making. Leading cloud CRM providers offer inbuilt reporting tools that can help businesses put otherwise dormant big data to work, by analysing any possible patterns across data and then displaying the very same through visualisations and dashboards that are easy to digest.
If an existing CRM has insufficient reporting capabilities or none at all, cloud CRM platforms can integrate an external analytics tool or even large-scale Business Intelligence (BI) for processing data and revealing useful insights. Enhance reporting capabilities even further with Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys and website traffic analytics, so that your teams are able to gauge customers’ interest towards your brand during and shortly after every interaction they have made.
Marketing automation software is one of the most common integrations for CRM, as customer service and sales teams depend on marketing efforts in order to receive viable leads for conversion. Offering functionalities such as campaign management, social media marketing and lead scoring, marketing automation software can be integrated with CRMs so that all outcomes from campaign initiatives (such as leads generated) can flow into your CRM platform, thereby eliminating the need to manually export and import lead data every time a campaign is run.
Chatbots have become vastly popular for their autonomous capabilities, as they free customer service teams from common requests, so they can focus more of their undivided attention to inquiries of a more complex nature. Additionally, chatbots also enable self-service, which is another highly desired capability for customers today. This way, customers can help themselves in less time than it takes to get connected to a human agent, thereby reducing call volumes at contact centres and increasing customer satisfaction via swift delivery.
Conversational AI is an advanced addition to any customer-centric software platform such as CRMs. By parsing and analysing customer interactions such as tone of voice, words used and timing, conversational AI provides contextual insights by shedding light on customer moods, preferences and overall sentiment, so teams can serve customers in an intuitive manner. Often bundled together with chatbots, conversational AI can also offer intelligent suggestions on the fly, depending on the analysis it has made of the said customer as interactions are taking place.
CRM software is more than just a basic customer repository today; it is a powerhouse that comes equipped with most of the tools that businesses can use to stay one step ahead of their competitors. While these tools can improve customer interactions and subsequently, business growth, knowing which tools to apply, when and where is a challenge that organisations need to constantly address, especially in the wake of demand fluctuations, changing customer needs as well as economic shifts.
However, assessing what your business’s key pain points are and what can be done to remedy them is always a great starting point before making any decision that pertains to software. Connect this exercise by staying abreast of different CRM tools and functionalities that are released into the market, so your team can decide which of these will help your business enhance CX, grow revenue and maintain a positive brand image on behalf of your business.
Additionally, your CRM may need a boost with sister applications such as marketing automation, business intelligence and chatbots/virtual assistants so your teams have everything they need to do their best work. While leading cloud-based CRM providers may offer such applications as inbuilt modules, a business assessment shall once again help determine whether these or external tools shall be more suitable for your business.