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Why Customer Insights Matter More Than Ever and How CRM Delivers

As businesses across the country begin to reopen, the global COVID-19 pandemic still poses significant threats to the health and well-being of individuals and communities. How can companies survive – or even grow – during this time of unprecedented disruption? Can businesses respond fast enough to ever-shifting customer demands, fluctuating supply chains, remote staff, digital business models, and any number of new business paradigms emerging? Moreover, how can you navigate the challenges and ambiguity to connect with customers and deliver value on their terms?

By one report alone, of the nation’s approximately 30 million small businesses, nearly 7.5 million may be at risk of closing permanently. To meet the challenges of selling in times of uncertainty, you need to understand your customers with unmatched clarity. You need to understand their “new normal,” which impacts what they want and how they buy. And this means relying even more on customer data to put the missing pieces together.

That’s where open source CRM can act as a complete game-changer. It allows you to get more prospects into your pipeline and turn more leads into closed deals, using information as a sales asset. You can collect and connect customer data into a full profile that works for you, providing deep insight that enables you to build and nurture relationships on a one-to-one level no matter how many contacts you manage.

Every customer variable can be captured, examined, and shared to identify trends at the earliest possible moment and to reveal insights that might otherwise be missed. You can track important KPIs that ensure you’re meeting your sales goals, create new strategies based on customer behavior, and make timely adjustments.

The problem with business as usual

Organizations attempting to glean insight from their data—stored in disparate spreadsheets, email, accounting, invoicing, service and support, or other systems—will typically discover that they lack accuracy and depth of information because data is often out of date or incomplete.

Open source CRM and other solutions, such as Odoo, can solve these and countless other business problems. Because of its nature as a flexible, customizable, integrated platform, data becomes wide and deep enough to glean insights from customer interactions. And because CRM fits into the open source Odoo ERP platform, customer data seamlessly integrates with product development, manufacturing, accounting, and more. It’s also very accessible, for extraction and external manipulation and analysis.

Odoo’s CRM boosts your salesforce efficiency – even if you operate as a team of one – by centralizing data, automating daily tasks, and making it easier for sales and customer service staff to do their jobs.

And by integrating your CRM with ERP, ecommerce, accounting, field service, customer service, and more, you gain a consolidated customer view. You can effectively manage customer relationships using accurate, up-to-date, and complete data. Moreover, the entire business leverages full visibility into the organizations by giving your teams integrated data and analytics.

Without high-quality data to drive your sales processes, you risk being left behind in an ever-increasingly disruptive 2020 environment. In fact, inaccurate data wastes nearly 30% of each sales rep’s time, equaling almost 545 hours per year for each member of your team. Conversely, companies that leverage customer data for actionable intelligence stand to gain ground in the ever-competitive marketplace.

Real-time customer understanding

Open source CRM allows you and your sales team to get more organized and do more in less time. Specifically, thanks to automation tools, sales staff can spend more time selling. By some estimates, the average salesperson only spends roughly 20% of their time selling, with the other 80% spent on other activities.

And what an all-in-one open source solution like Odoo offers over proprietary, rigid, expensive solutions is the freedom and power that comes from fully integrated apps. Instead of fitting your sales cycle to the software, you fit the software to your sales cycle — and the rest of your business. You can customize without the expense or expertise required from proprietary CRM and ERP software.

With open source CRM, you get custom tools to schedule activities for calls, meetings, mailing, demos, proposals, and more. Sales staff get instant, automatic access to opportunity information from web pages visited, email sent, or in-store information provided.

You can effectively manage interactions with existing and potential customers, gaining a 360-degree view of customer analysis to reveal customers’ interactions, order history, and buying behavior, which helps gauge sales forecasts accurately. With every interaction, sales teams can submit content, answer questions, and further the conversation. As a result, customers get what they want when they want it, transforming their experience with your company.

Businesses can benefit from open source CRM in specific ways. Companies can extend the value of data previously stored in disparate systems by combining information across the organization. They can easily visualize it in ways that drive new business, improve customer service, and support management to make smart forecasting and long-term decisions.

Your frontline salespeople and customer service support have access to the same tools, dashboards, and reports that contain vital indicators such as performances and next activities to precisely understand how the company is performing day to day, month to month, and year over year.

Available tools allow you to organize work based on scheduled next actions and follow-up activities. Real-time messaging, overviews of team activities, notifications, and descriptions of calls, and quotes, all facilitate real-time understanding. It also improves your ability to share ideas and files in real-time and catch-up on missed items, so you stay connected to your customers.

For instance, you can easily automate sequencing emails and content your leads consume based on your sales organization. You can track lead behavior on your website and have automated, intelligent follow-ups based on their interests. You can digitize the signing process of contracts and quickly turn purchase orders into invoices with a click, which you can track through to payment. Anytime a sales order changes, all stakeholders involved are informed. Customers are alerted with each step, giving them an overall better customer experience.

Your customers at the center of your business

Business users today can use this time to do more than survive—they can transform and thrive—using real-time access to the information they need, whether it’s the latest metrics, calendar information, customer details, and more. They can leverage real-time data in the form of a 360-degree customer view that works across the entire customer lifecycle, from lead to opportunity to sale and beyond, including order, fulfillment, and support. And with open source ERP as the over-arching solution that includes your CRM, you can unify marketing, sales, service, manufacturing, shipping, ecommerce, and IT teams and processes.

Businesses can leverage CRM software like Odoo to streamline and enhance the sales process using complete, accurate, and timely information. They can improve communication using CRM as a central hub for notifications, reports, and data sharing. Sales and customer data can be combined to improve service and support, improving your customer experiences so you can more easily upsell, cross-sell, and transform customers into advocates.

Automation of everyday tasks means your sales team can focus on selling, ensuring greater organizational efficiency. And with better analytics, reporting, and data visualization, you gain the all-important benefit of complete visibility into the organization’s health and prosperity. You know precisely when to course correct or take advantage of new opportunities when it arrives.

Want to learn more about how to deliver more customer insight using open source CRM? Visit https://www.opensourceintegrators.com/solutions/crm.

What kind of customer relationship management challenges does your company face? How could open source CRM help your sales and your organization grow? Comment below.

Rich Radford is the CRM and Marketing Automation practice lead at Open Source Integrators (OSI). He directs OSI’s sales efforts to introduce prospective clients to OSI services and supports all of OSI’s teams in helping clients improve their operations and gain competitive advantages.

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