CRM examples: How companies use CRMs to strengthen relationships & close more deals

Revenues from customer relationship management (CRM) systems are expected to eclipse 80 billion dollars per year by 2025, making CRM the largest software market in the world.

The use of CRM software is exploding because CRMs help companies, big and small, organize their internal information, grow their customer base, and keep their customers happy. Doing those three things are critical to success in any business, so it’s no wonder companies are adopting CRMs at a rapid pace.

The following CRM examples show how companies of all sizes can leverage a CRM not just to manage relationships, but to level up the way they approach sales and growth.

Streamline the sales process

streamline the sales process with your CRM

Museum Hack, a company that offers unconventional tours of the best museums in the U.S., overcame an inefficient system for handling inbound leads after adopting their first CRM.

Challenge: Too much inbound email without a centralized system

Thanks to rapid word-of-mouth growth, Museum Hack found themselves growing faster than they anticipated. Customers were requesting museum tours in droves, but the Museum Hack sales team was still using a system made up of Excel spreadsheets and duct tape to track and follow up with leads. This system predictably broke down when the volume of inbound leads increased.

Customer inquiries were not cataloged or monitored in a structured way, so there was no protocol for following up with leads. That caused a multitude of problems, the worst of which was were the huge delays between a customer reaching out and the sales team following up.

Leads fell through the cracks, costing them a lot of potential revenue.

Solution: A CRM for structure, tracking, and analysis

After implementing a CRM, Museum Hack had a way to manage every contact, lead, and deal from one place. Getting everyone to use the same system helped their team create ‘a single source of truth,’ meaning they had a database of customer information, including where prospects were in the sales funnel, that was always up-to-date and accessible to everyone.

There were other CRM benefits as well. The team could now call, text, and email straight from their CRM dashboard, which reduced the time it took to follow up with prospects.

They also received automated reminders when sales actions needed to be taken, such as checking in on a prospect within a few hours of an inbound request.

Results

Using this process, Museum Hack doubled year-on-year revenue, achieved faster rep ramp time, and saw significant overall productivity gains.

Additionally, due to the CRM’s robust reporting capabilities, Museum Hack saved $50,000 on ad spend by learning that the money they were spending on a certain channel was not converting into sales.

Takeaway

As anyone who has done sales knows, it’s hard work to generate warm inbound leads. They are a precious resource that you can’t let slip away. A CRM can help you manage and follow up with contacts so that you don’t let those hot leads slip away.

Boost sales team productivity

sales team productivity

Though you might expect a public company to have a well-oiled sales machine, that was far from the case with Groupon.

In order to free up their reps to do more of the things that provided the most value to the company — directly selling the product and building relationships — they needed to find a CRM that their team actually wanted to use.

Challenge: Low CRM adoption, no formalized sales process

Groupon’s sales process was not standardized, and haphazard reporting plus low CRM adoption made it hard for sales coaches to figure out how to help the team.

Due to the size and complexity of their organization, Groupon realized that they would need a CRM that was easy to use if they wanted the team to see the benefits and actually use it.

Their concern was warranted. One study showed that 78% of companies that don’t use their CRMs had sales teams that failed to hit their quotas. This is likely due to the fact that CRMs help with organization, lead prioritization, and accountability.

Solution: Adopt a CRM that is designed for ease of use

Groupon eventually found a CRM (Zendesk Sell) that provided everything necessary to boost team-wide adoption rates.

  • Ease of use — Sell has a simple interface and easy-to-understand dashboards that make life easier for both sales reps and managers.
  • Smart lists — By incorporating real-time customer data so that they could see where each customer was in the sales pipeline, they solved the problem of lead prioritization. This feature got team leaders on board.
  • Robust reporting and analytics tools — Sales coaches could hone in on the exact information they needed to give constructive feedback to reps.

Those three factors, each of which solved a pain point, made Sell the perfect CRM for Groupon.

Results

Usage of the CRM went from around 20% to close to 100%. In the months following the team-wide CRM adoption, Groupon closed more deals than they did previously while also shortening their sales cycle.

Because the sales team no longer used Google docs and checklists as a haphazard way of staying organized, sales reps saved an average of two hours per day on busywork. Those two hours were spent prospecting, meeting with clients, and other high-leverage activities. This was only possible because some of their tedious work was automated away.

Takeaway

The best CRM in the world doesn’t make a difference if your team doesn’t want to use it.

Don’t settle until you find the CRM that truly fits your needs, even if that means spending some extra time on your search. Once you find the right fit (and provide proper internal training and support), your entire company will get behind it, and closed deals will follow.

Improve collaboration

improve collaboration with crm

A CRM is not just for improving the performance of the sales team. Relationships are built and maintained across many departments, and that’s especially true of the customer support team.

The ability of customer support to interact with sales in order to figure out how to create a positive customer experience is crucial for overall success.

Let’s look at how Kontakt.io implemented a CRM that worked well for both their sales and customer support teams, boosting the efficiency of both departments.

Challenge: No easy way to share information across departments

Kontakt.io sells Bluetooth proximity technologies. It is a technically complex product, which means their customer support handles a lot of inquiries.

The customer success team tried to share what they learned with sales, but without a CRM that was deeply integrated with their reporting tools, key information often did not make it across departments.

Their internal data showed that this was negatively affecting the customer experience and hindering the sales team’s ability to learn more about the customers’ needs. This lack of information created a negative loop where sales would bring on a customer who wasn’t a great fit because they were lacking key information from customer success, and then customer success would have to deal with another unhappy customer.

Their situation was like a restaurant where the wait staff and the kitchen staff are not allowed to talk to one another. Imagine if a server knew that the people at table 10 always liked their food prepared a certain way, but they couldn’t pass that info along to the chef.

Kontakt.io knew they had to improve the customer experience. Companies that provide great customer experiences can charge 16% more for their services without losing customers compared with companies that don’t. Furthermore, 59% of consumers will stop buying from a brand after a few bad customer service experiences.

Solution: A CRM designed for customer success and sales collaboration

They connected their CRM with Zendesk’s customer support platform. The sales team could then easily see what was going on with every customer support interaction, and vice versa.

This small change had a transformative impact. Now sales could quickly and easily see what pain points customers were dealing with and adjust their outreach accordingly. Similarly, once sales reps could log notes, send emails, and record calls in Base, Kontakt.io customer support reps gained access that to further context around particular questions and tickets.

Results

The CRM-based collaboration resulted in an 18% increase in overall support capacity. The increased collaboration also improved the team’s ability to figure out what accounts were at risk. They could then develop action plans to keep customers happy.

This resulted in higher customer satisfaction scores, more customer referrals, and a boost in sales.

Takeaway

A CRM can be as important in connecting different areas of your business as it is in connecting you to customers. Knowledge is power, and the more it can be spread across departments, the better.

Lesson from these CRM examples? A CRM can bring your business to life

These CRM examples show how a CRM is an essential tool for companies that want to quickly improve their performance. While you can go a long way with spreadsheets and elbow grease, growing companies would do well to check out the abundance of quality CRMs, never settling until they find the perfect fit. Your customers and your teammates will be happy you did.

Subscribe to the Sell Blog

Be the first to hear about product updates, as well as sales, productivity and CRM strategies.