12 Ways You Can Benefit from a Single View of Your Customers in Your CRM

The terms “Single View of a Customer” (SVC) and “360-degree view of your customer” are often bandied about amongst marketers and sales people. Day-in and day-out, we collect information about our customers to use for analysis, forecasting and budget planning.

The first thing a sales person is required to do after being introduced to their territory is to find out everything there is to know about their accounts. What did their customers buy? What “pain point” did the product address? How much did the customer pay for it? Did they pay on time? Were there any issues with delivery/implementation of the product?

Most of the time you would hope that this information is present and correct in Salesforce, ready and waiting for the sales people to access. Unfortunately, in many cases, Accounts and Contacts in Salesforce can be lacking the key historical details on customers that make the crucial difference between an upsell or renewal opportunity and no result.

Marketing teams face a similar challenge. In their case it’s campaign and event-related performance information they’re often missing. Which campaigns were successful? Which events were well attended by the right people?

The issue marketing managers often have when trying to get this single view is that most of the data they have in Salesforce can be riddled with duplicates and dirty data due to lack of standardisation. This can give skewed results on reports on campaign effectiveness, making it very difficult to directly link the “Closed-Won” opportunities to a specific campaign.

As a result of all this, sales people can miss opportunities to upsell and/or renew contracts and marketing departments’ budgets may be pulled back due to lack of evidence that their campaigns were successful. This is a real shame and can be avoided with the right SVC.

My aim with this blog is to help highlight the real and tangible business benefits brought about by getting a Single View of your Customer.  In addition to making sales and marketing teams lives easier and more productive, what else might a business stand to gain by getting valuable customer data in one easy to access location?

1.    Increase Upsell and Cross Sell Opportunity.  Briefly described in the introduction, this involves the shared knowledge about what went well/what went wrong with previous sales to enable companies to get a clearer picture of what makes your customer “tick”. Quite often customers describe an “ideal place” they want to be at the beginning of a sales cycle but due to bad timing or lack of budget they might not be able to buy the “Rolls Royce” of your products at that time.  If that’s something they are considering for phase 2 and you don’t have the relevant notes or the old proposal accessible in the Salesforce Account details, it’s highly likely that you’ll miss the opportunity to upsell.
2.    Identify your most valuable customers.  Knowing your most valuable customers increases productivity immensely.  Getting a single view of your customer means you can identify where your efforts should be focussed.
3.    Higher customer retention.  In today’s competitive marketplace, customer retention is a never-ending battle.  Wouldn’t it be great if your Customer Services Department knew as much about your customers as the Account Manager?  What if every time your customer called customer services, your rep could view everything they need to know about their account in Salesforce, all on one screen?  This is particularly valuable if that information includes knowledge about what product was sold plus: Has the customer received it yet? What edition or version did they buy? Was there a bug/defect reported on that product previously? This fast and informed customer services response would definitely make for a happy customer, and isn’t a happy customer likely to spend more with a company they trust?
4.    More targeted product development.  Leading on quite nicely from the previous point, tracking support tickets and customer interaction in Salesforce can mean getting a single view of what products are doing well and what products need more work. Is there a missing piece in your business offering’s jigsaw puzzle that would complete the product range and help you retain and grow your customer base?
5.    Clearer targets for your marketing initiatives.  To succeed, marketing activities need to have focus: spamming your customers will not go down well and is a waste of valuable resources. Focused and targeted campaigns mean you’re speaking to the right customers, about topics they actually want to hear about. Getting a view of your customer in Salesforce means you can run reports to track what’s selling well, as well as what needs your customer has.  Armed with this information you can develop really clearly targeted marketing initiatives.
6.    Increased ROI on marketing campaigns.  In a nutshell, better targeting = increased ROI.  Add to this the ability to track what campaigns have worked and what campaigns haven’t and you can really start to focus your marketing budget on campaigns that will have the highest possible chance of success.
7.    Credible forecasts.  There’s nothing more important to a sales person that their forecast. If you don’t have all the information you need about a customer/prospect in Salesforce there is no way you can accurately forecast.  A SVC will give you the ability to forecast with real precision.
8.    Respected Reporting.  Running reports on opportunities, customers, accounts, you name it, in Salesforce can be a very useful tool. However, lack of standardisation and missing data can mean your users have very little trust in the reports they are running.  As a result you get users resorting to using to things like Excel to compile customer information.
9.    Supporting data for a possible merger or acquisition.  Knowing all your customers, what they bought and what they spent means, if you are considering an acquisition or a merger, you can accurately assess the potential early on. Many businesses acquire competitors to increase their customer base and help growth.  Many merge with other businesses to increase their product base and agility.  Getting a single view of your customer or your product can help you make a better-informed decision on what you stand to gain from a merger or an acquisition.
10. A sales culture, not on data gathering and cleansing one.  Compiling information about your customer is something every sales/ marketing person has to do as best practice.  Wouldn’t it make life a lot easier if this information was all in one place, leaving you time to do what you do best ie.  to market/to sell?
11. An increased adoption of Salesforce.  You’ve made the investment into the Cloud and into a solution like Salesforce.  This is great, however without the right information coming into Salesforce, your end users are likely to look to other solutions to compile information on your customer. Ensuring everything is saved in Salesforce will increase user adoption and make Salesforce the trusted source of customer data.
12. Controlled Risk.  In a nutshell, all business is about risk, but with better governance of data and a better view of your customer, you’re in a much better position to minimise pretty much every form of risk you face.

So there you have it.  A SVC will not only bring a whole host of business benefits linked to revenue, but there are the softer benefits of having a happy customer and a better allocation of resources to consider.

At this stage, we hope to have convinced you on the “Why?” and now we want to encourage you to have a read of our next article which will show you the “How?” to get a single view of your customer!

Visit Informatica’s website to learn more about how Informatica Cloud MDM can help you get a “Single View of Your Customer.”

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