The importance of accessible, real time data for remote teams
The worldwide pandemic COVID-19 has been dictating where and how businesses operate. The lockdown forced (and continues to force) many companies into a state of ‘remote working’. With little time to prepare, many startups have been scrambling to find new ways to communicate, collaborate and share valuable business information.
With 45% of companies reporting that they are still using multiple systems to manage their customer data, important information can be missed and sales can be lost. Chances of survival for companies using this method become more uncertain as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times. That is why having access to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform is crucial. CRM can gather data such as contact details, customer segments and location, which is then used to make valuable marketing decisions including when and how to keep the customer engaged.
By implementing this technology, startups can create a centralised repository for all business data, which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Having this in place naturally prevents incorrect, missed or duplicated data being distributed by team members internally.
How can you ensure access to real time data for remote teams?
The only way to fully accomplish this objective is by implementing a CRM system. It is the only solution that will store all customer data in one place. It doesn’t matter if the data originates directly from the CRM itself or from integrated third-party plugins or applications. Data can be managed and updated in real-time through automation built into the software, ensuring fully accurate data is always accessible.
Being able to work effectively is crucial for remote teams and they need the right tools to be available to do so. With a correctly set up CRM you can guarantee that your team's efficiency will be maintained, which can often be difficult when working across different locations. CRM empowers customer service, sales and marketing teams to put their best foot forward. With 84% of customers ranking their experience with a company as highly as they do the actual products and / or services provided, customer experience is the priority.
Without the proper tools, remote workers are at risk of missing important client interactions. This can ultimately result in negative reviews and impact revenue. Creating an accessible CRM enables your colleagues in customer facing roles to consistently deliver positive customer experiences.
Insights generated through the use of the system will facilitate the proper allocation of resources and time to worthy prospects, leads and customers. This means teams are more efficient and internal collaboration improves as a result of everyone being on the same page.
Traditional methods of data sharing, involving endless meetings and countless spreadsheets, can often result in internal teams and customer expectations being misaligned and valuable information or sales leads being missed. With a properly implemented CRM those expectations become transparent and everyone is now in a position to steer satisfied customers through their customer journeys, creating a seamless experience both for users and customers.
How can you leverage this data to ensure continued growth during a time of remote working?
Providing accurate data in a CRM isn’t all you can do. Let’s remember there are various departments using a multitude of cloud-based applications, from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Marketing Automations tools to external communication solutions like Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), Short Message Service (SMS) and social channels. Isolate these tools from each other and your teams will never have a holistic view of your customer. Integrate your CRM with these tools and your teams will have access to crucial data to help improve customer experiences and increase sales.
The value and power of business data can be elevated by leveraging Business Intelligence (BI) or Analytics tools. Using all of the data available, BI tools will help identify patterns as they emerge. These insights help steer business decisions to improve operational efficiencies that can directly change customer experiences for the better. As we all know, improved customer experiences equals a higher volume of sales and higher levels of brand loyalty.
Analytics platforms focus on providing insights on customer trends and behaviours. From here complex business data can be extracted, analysed and shared company wide by generating reports, charts, graphs and dashboards. The system helps to display data in a straightforward way that all levels of the business can understand. Management is in a strong position to face the future, able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their businesses.
Having a CRM and BI tool, such as SuiteCRM Analytics, scaled deep into your business processes gives you highly available, accurate data and insights. This in turn allows startups to make concrete decisions to ensure stability, even in these uncertain times. You’ll even have the chance to scale and grow by quickly identifying changes in your market and customer’s behaviours.
The changing variables that face a startup can be minimised by introducing these two complementing systems. Used correctly, a CRM and Analytics system will reduce the impact and associated stress faced across all industries currently when advice remains to work from home where possible.
It will help build strong decision-making processes that unburden teams and allow startups to not only adapt but thrive.