Let’s face it, not many people lament the death of the rolodex. For most of us in sales today, it’s a quaint anachronism best left for a set dressing on Mad Men. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve already moved to some digital alternative – in all likelihood some version of CRM. So, job done?

Well it’s a good start. But let’s stop for a moment and consider what CRM currently means for many companies and what it could mean for a more enlightened few. So for some companies, CRM has in practice become a large open-access rolodex where their sales teams can share information about the status of individual sales opportunities.

Don’t get us wrong, this is all good. There are few occasions where it is not a good idea for more people to have greater visibility of sales information.

However, it’s been 20 years since CRM came of age. These days, fully connected, totally social CRM can offer so much more. How much? Let’s take a look.

CRM can help you serve existing customers better

Acquiring a customer is tough. It costs time and money. So it makes sense when you do gain a new customer that you do everything you can to make it the beginning of a long term profitable relationship. Yet how many customers never get beyond the ‘honeymoon period’?

All it takes is a poor support call here, an inconsistent experience there and they’re gone. What a waste.

By connecting your customer support team with your CRM customer data, you can offer your customers better, more consistent, more informed service. It means your customer service team will be able to quickly and easily see every interaction across a customer’s entire history with your company. In fact, companies using Salesforce CRM in customer service resolve cases on average 42% faster.

(And by the way, the additional customer service information you’ll gain can also be a major asset in developing customers, spotting opportunities and making additional sales.)

CRM can help you market to new customers

Yes, CRM’s heartland is in sales but the benefits it offers naturally and easily extend into marketing. After all, CRM is a mine of information about existing customers who in turn can provide a valuable template for how to identify new customers.

More than this, by harnessing the insight and information within your CRM system, you’ll be able to communicate in more targeted, more relevant ways with more attractive offers. Goodbye generic, poorly performing campaigns. Hello to cut-through communications that say the right things to the right people.

CRM can help you collaborate better (no matter where your people are)

Even basic CRM can help everyone quickly and easily get up to speed with current opportunities. It allows them to contribute their thoughts and experiences to help make the sale.

Of course, it doesn’t have to end there. Today’s CRM systems can provide a platform for even greater collaboration. Take our own Salesforce Chatter for example – it allows your people to discuss opportunities, offer expertise and actively work as an extended team to make the most of every lead.

And with the move to cloud-based CRM, your teams will be able to collaborate no matter whether they’re at the next desk or across a far off continent.

Time to take another look at what CRM can do for you?

If you’ve been using CRM for a while, you might be surprised at how much it’s evolved. The days of the shared rolodex are well and truly over. Today, your CRM is capable of so much more. It can help you sell more to more satisfied customers in less time for less effort.

Or download The CRM Switcher’s Guide: Five steps from old-school to social, mobile, cloud-powered CRM” eBook, to see how you can make this a reality.

The CRM Switcher's Guide