Ditch the spreadsheets! Why you need a CRM system right now

Cloud 9 Insight

Guest blog by Cloud9 Insight

Cloud9 Insight is an award-winning business-change consultancy, enabling SMEs to achieve profitable growth through Microsoft cloud technology.

As a trusted Microsoft Gold Partner, and experts in Dynamics365 Customer Engagement, Cloud9 helps businesses to adopt CRM. Find out how


There’s no doubt that technology is shaking up a number of sectors. Even businesses in more traditional sectors have had to quickly adapt and transform since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic whether they know it yet or not, it’s time to embrace CRM.

So what is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management; a method for businesses to manage and analyse its interactions with current and potential customers. Through the use of AI and smart digital insights CRM software can provide a greater understanding of company-wide relationships, meaning businesses can get to know their customer base, what makes them tick, and most importantly what will get them to buy.

A great CRM improves the customer experience by treating them as individuals. This is achieved through clever use of customer data, including regarding all historical communications, including event attendance and email engagement. It’s no good just storing your data €“ you need to use it!

Despite the huge benefits, many businesses are still hesitating to embrace digital and have used many excuses to avoid implementing a new CRM. Here are our top 4 reasons why your business needs to implement CRM right now:

1. Manage customer interactions at the touch of a button

Optimising the customer experience should be central to the services you provide. By having a greater visibility of their journey and their needs, your clients will feel understood. How often do you chat to a customer, only for them to fall away because you didn’t manage your touchpoints?

CRM empowers customer-facing employees to cultivate relationships with customers, increasing their life-time value for your business.

When it comes to prospective clients, CRM can be used to manage and nurture inbound enquiries. Imagine you have visibility of all the communications that occur with potential customers you’ll never miss a message again!

2. Leverage marketing capabilities

Many businesses are starting to realise the power of marketing and business development initiatives. A CRM’s marketing capabilities offers insight and analysis into the most profitable customers for your business, and helps help to develop tailored methods of communication, meaning they’ll be more likely to open them, click through, and make a purchase.

By using a simple set of attributes to develop tailored profiles in CRM, your customers will receive relevant communications to help you to stay front of mind. Comms such as newsletters can be designed and built directly from your system, and provide a full post-send analysis of how it was received, allowing you to better tailor your newsletters over time.

You can also integrate your event management platform, meaning your gatherings can be planned and promoted without the need for outside agencies – and you can keep on top of the leads generated. The connections established at such well-managed events are where you will see your ROI.

3. Build better reports and customer journeys

Most businesses have an enormous volume of valuable data and customer information, so the prospect of transferring all this from existing systems into a new CRM can be daunting. Most of us will be reluctant to add to an already heavy workload, but a good CRM solution will ensure tight interfaces with other business applications, meaning no rekeying of information is required.

CRM offers greater internal visibility of your business, you’ll see trends start to emerge which will enable your team to examine data on a macro level, making it easier to identify the most valuable customers and analyse the strategic importance of future ones, through better visibility or their journey and lifetime value.

4. Keep ahead of your competition

There’s a new breed of business emerging businesses that leverage technology to attract more opportunities, and are using their data to optimise their resources. New entrants into the market are building their business model using cloud technology which gives a huge competitive advantage and makes them more agile to deliver products and services to their customers.

Unless your business adapts now, you risk being left behind. Something to think about; how easy was it for you to adapt during lockdown? Could you risk being that unprepared again?

The COVID crisis has served as a wake-up call for many businesses that did not have the digital processes in place to support the rapidly changing landscape of the workplace. For potential customers making enquiries at this time, it will have been clear which businesses were and were not prepared; would a customer come to you next time? The new normal is here €“ embrace it.

What did Charles Darwin say? It€˜s not the strongest or the most intelligent species who survive, it is those most adaptable to change.

This is true when looking at the most successful businesses out there.

You soon realise when something just isn’t working, and you need to adapt your approach to achieve a good outcome. You just have to hope it isn€™t too late it’s a whole lot harder to turn things round when things go wrong.

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