When an entrepreneur establishes his startup with few employees, he always seeks continuous development and effective decisions that take his business performance to the next level. He monitors the performance through direct communication with his team members and potential clients’ progression is usually followed on an Excel sheet.
As a start, this can work. But as the business grows even by 5-10%, this system won’t be effective. This is when management solutions come to the rescue.
Here, we’re gonna discuss a bunch of crucial software that will track the business and its performance at every stage of its distinctive growth.
CRM and Business Performance
It’s obvious that any business depends directly on the volume of its sales, yearly sales if it’s a large establishment, and monthly sales if it is either a small or medium business. Therefore, the sales department is the main trigger that makes business go on for another month.
The other side of the sales process includes the lead, a salesperson wouldn’t have any work to do if there is no lead. Now, the business owner needs to operate this salesperson-lead relationship to achieve spectacular business performance.
Understanding the importance of sales as the volume of business diminishes transfers us to another point, which is how a business owner tracks the performance of the sales team and pipeline of the leads the business attracts, simply, using CRM!
Definition of CRM
A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management solution that allows a business owner or a team leader to track all the operations, starting from getting a lead to closing a successful deal.
Flash Lead, for example, is a cloud-based CRM that allows its users to access it anytime and anywhere, to update lead data, his position at the buying journey, his interactions with the salesperson, scheduled meetings, client requests …etc.
According to Grandview Research, more than 91% of companies with 10 or more employees use a CRM(1) to manage conversations with leads, this percentage clarifies how important that system is.
CRM integration with any lead generation platform is a major feature in the system; like Facebook Lead Ad, Google Forms, …etc. This facilitates quick communication with the lead to avoid losing him and this is what lead capture is all about.
The business owner or sales manager will be able to track every call, message, and who the lead interacted with, and the results of each communication with him, this detailed tracking will help the business owner to optimize the business performance through the sales and marketing teams.
CRM also analyzes all interactions that occurred through it, it gathers all the data about each lead in the form of analytical reports and statistics related to the number of calls the salespersons made to contact him, number of missed calls, number of actual calls, the best time to call the lead,…etc.
The system doesn’t only prepare reports concerning the leads’ updates in the sales pipeline; but also for the members of the sales team, where it mentions the number of closed deals by this individual this month, the number of calls he made, the number of suspended operations, …etc.
How SRM Enhances Your Business Performance
After controlling the relationship between the lead and the business along the sales pipeline and optimizing marketing strategies through a CRM system, the business owner will need to manage the relationship between the suppliers and the business to determine the value that each supplier delivers in the supply chain.
An SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) is the system that provides all the tools provided by CRMs but for the suppliers to ensure a higher level of collaboration and competitive advantage for the business.
Interests of SRM
Like CRMs create lists to categorize leads, the SRM divides the suppliers into different segments. SRM helps the business owner to determine the company’s objectives and compare them to the suppliers’ performance, this measuring facilitates relationship management.
The system runs effective reports that support transparency, this transparent style of work builds a business based on trust and two-way confidence. Whenever a supplier doesn’t fit into the business strategy; the company will get rid of this relationship to preserve the business performance.
CRM vs SRM Similarities
There are many features found in both CRM and SRM; if you use a CRM no need to use SRM, these features include:
In a CRM, you deal with leads who contact you through different social media channels, SMSs, phone calls, and emails. A CRM allows you to use the same tools and features to track conversations not between salespersons and leads but between salespersons and suppliers/stakeholders.
In a CRM, the leads’ status changes along their buying journey, each status needs a tag or a category, a CRM helps you to arrange the leads in lists that suit their current status to be easily accessed and found. The same feature in CRM can be used to categorize the supplier/stakeholder status.
After-sales services always include receiving feedback from the client, every feedback, suggestion, and request a CRM document easily to be part of it. The same usage could be applied to record a stakeholder/supplier feedback, to be reviewed and taken into consideration.
ERP and How It Improves Business Performance
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, it is a system that simply manages the business core processes that any company needs, whatever its volume. ERPs cover the main departments like the Finance and Human Resources departments in a way that serves the business performance.
In other words, this system specifically connects the business financial operations to a central database, while CRM helps business owners in managing the leads’ interactions with the business.
Advantages of ERP
Like CRM, which includes different modules for sales pipeline and deals, here each module supports certain business processes and the employees in these departments; by allowing them to access insights that benefit them in doing their jobs perfectly.
ERP impacts productivity by elevating its rates and pushing the employees to do more; it creates a single channel for truth which optimizes the insights and lowers risk impacts by predicting it. ERP coordinates financial and costing transactions with day-to-day operations.
How BPM Boosts Your Business Performance
Reaching a certain growth stage in your business makes owners stuck between keeping the old way that got them to this level and in growing the business process to fit the overall growth progression.
A BPM (Business Process Management) helps the business owner to create a complex strategy that links different departments together through tasks; that transfer from one employee to another to accomplish the full task.
A business process always seeks a certain organizational goal through a group of activities. Any business process management mainly consists of 5 elements: design, model, implement, monitor, and optimize. BPM supports those elements by diminishing human error and letting automation take control. As a result, risks will also be diminished.
Profits of BPM
The BPM optimizes the employee experience by reducing repetitive work. It also enables more scalable processes through workflow automation. BPM adds clarity to the business where all rules and conditions will be clear to the employees in addition to their roles and their required tasks.
Does this cancel the need for a CRM? Negative, and we’ll mention the “Why” in the following paragraphs.
Integrations that Support Your Business Performance
We’ve discussed each software as a standalone developing tool that enhances business performance. Now, we’re gonna illustrate how integrations between CRM as a base and other software tools will pump up the business performance.
Merging CRM & SRM to Uplift the Business Performance
In a white paper(2) published by TATA Consultancy Services, it discusses a case study illustrating the increase in passenger vehicles sales in India. This increase in sales is due to poor road conditions, improper driving techniques, and rough weather-terrain; leads to more demand for spare parts.
The sales team using a CRM now understands that demand is up for their products (spare parts). In order for the sales to close these deals and meet all clients’ demands, they need more products. This is where the integration between CRM and SRM comes in as the SRM is in charge of the supply.
Combining CRM With ERP for Developing the Business Performance
The research recognized ERP as systems that handle the core processes to ensure that they are implemented in a correct way; by understanding the requirements and specialty of each organization, which creates competitive advantages and firm values.
Top management is urged to recognize the necessity of integration between ERP and CRM systems; which has a clear effect on the quality of information, response time, customers’ satisfaction, users satisfaction, and eventually the overall value of the entire organization.
By using CRM, you understand the market needs and what stage in the sales pipeline your leads are. Integrating with an ERP; the finance department, for example, can have a clear understanding of the sales % monthly, in comparison with previous months and find gaps or errors that can be altered. This integration gives the finance department a better understanding of the performance of the sales team; as well as, the department as a whole.
From another point of view, the integration between CRM and ERP can also benefit the Human Resources Department significantly. The CRM insights provided to the sales manager will give him a clear idea of the hiring needs to keep up with the market. Deciding who gets bonuses and who doesn’t, so in other words compensation & benefits. This is barely the surface of the ways CRM and ERP integration can benefit companies and push for growth.
Does Using BPM Cancel the Need For a CRM?
BMP could be a more advanced alternative for ERP; while CRM is the original software system that could be integrated with either of them.
The combination between the two software services predicts revenue more accurately; where lead data and sales information will help in invoicing and accounting through a better tracking for revenue.
BPM allows the business to make suitable changes in no time to cope up with the market needs. In other words, BPM is a perfect tool for continuous improvement, therefore; most BPM systems are featured with scalability that allows them to contain large volumes of data and documents.
Customers are the backbone of any business. As salespersons do their job, CRM will be with them in the journey from a cold call to a closed or lost deal. What if a deal that is typically closed in 1 month took 2 months this time? A client hasn’t been contacted in more than 2 weeks? What if the individual targets that were pre-decided at the beginning of the year, based on last year’s sales and current year’s forecasts, are not met? Where is the problem? What can be further optimized?
BPM gives automation the wheel to avoid human errors and to optimize business processes. An integrated CRM and BPM software aim to make business processes uncomplicated and more transparent. So, employees are not expected to be experts in technology to use such a platform.
ERP vs CRM vs BPM
How CRM Improves Business Performance
- Propels lead acquisition and retention.
- Keeps current customers’ and leads’ data to be easily updated regularly.
- Records every action the sales team has done to close each deal successfully.
- Monitors every interaction the lead has made during the sales pipeline.
- Helps the Marketing team by analyzing why each business made a conversion and defining its pain points.
- Aids the business with the traditional market research.
- Supports customer service by defining which offers the leads always inquire and the main challenges each new user faces.
- Provides the analytics and statistics related to deals, salespersons, and profits.
An ERP improves business operation as it:
- Includes automation tools same as CRM but in different sections.
- Promotes a unified data source.
- Supports Finance by determining income and outcome, here it needs integration with CRM to import the values of closed deals as revenue.
- Supports the Human Resources department, to help HR specialists add bonuses or deduct KPIs.
A BPM improves business operation as it:
- Determines how the model could be optimized.
- Develops new improved processes to solve any business-related issue.
- Measures how efficiently any process is working.
- Imports the data that CRM provides into BPM through integration
- Guides you to optimize the strategy you’re following to make the best outcomes.
- Guide teams in implementing each strategy mode.
- Monitors any implementation process.
CRM vs SRM
An SRM improves business operation as it:
- Monitors procurement processes
- Observes inventory internal operations.
- Helps ERP with the cash flow data and assets value it provides.
- Supports you with data and interactions related to Suppliers which are considered a third party same as leads to CRM.
Let’s Have Them All in One
As opposed to using CRM or BPM software separately, combining BPM and CRM maximizes your profit. CRM integration with SRM will also improve business performance. CRM, SRM, and either ERP or BPM when combined will be the ideal solution for business success. Whereas, CRM is considered the core engine that drives your company to more revenue.