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This report is made to provide a brief understanding of Customer Relationship Management which is also known by the name CRM. It is an activity or say functional area of the management which describes and evaluates how business is interacting or dealing with its customer (Domagalska, 2012). CRM is generally used to keep client information to evaluate existing customer needs and to find new insight knowledge of future need of new consumers (Thull, 2005). In this report, usability of CRM will be examined by doing its cost-benefit analysis. In addition, advantages of personal selling in the context of CRM will also be studied.
Arguments in favor and against of Customer Relationship Management-
Advantages of CRM
a) Improves customer service, loyalty, and retention-
The main objective for the commencement of CRM concept is to bring effectiveness in the patron service and to build strong information system which improves loyalty and retention of consumer of the business. CRM records sales information and client feedback (Brink and Berndt, 2009). This information is further evaluated to draw major decision related to the buyer needs and to resolve client grievances if any. To evaluate this data various computer software are used like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle Sales Cloud and etc.
b) Helps in customized marketing or sales campaign-
CRM is very helpful in launching customized marketing. It analyzes customer data according to the organization requirement for any promotional campaign to increase sales of the firm (Anderson and Kerr, 2002). For example, Unilever Company wants to launch a new luxury bathing soap and for that it needs to analyze its customer segmentation and its potential buyer for the product. This can be easily done with the help of CRM.
c) Generates updated reports of total sales in different market in a real point of time-
CRM instantly generates updated sales report of different market. Estimation of total sales revenue of all the markets where the firm is dealing requires much time (Maclaran and et.al, 2012). This is simplified with the help of CRM because all the transactions of sales are recorded in the CRM at the time of sale only (Hughes, 2014).
d) Helps in predicting future sales and revenue of the company-
Customer relationship management is considered to be very important to predict the future sales of the firm (Brookins, 2014). In addition to that, it also estimate how much sales would might be affected if any uncertain event would be occurred in the market where the firm has its presence.
a) Expensive in nature for short-run
Establishing CRM system in the organization is not an easy task. It generally requires large investment of money for its implementation. The cost is seen as expensive for short-term only indeed it is considered to be very effectual for long-term (Öztaysi, Sezgin, and Özok, 2011).
b) Need long time for fully execution in the whole organization-
Embedding CRM system successfully in the whole organization requires long time (months or years).
c) Control of customer information in the hands of third part-
If the organization is using Hosted CRM then it means the control of customer data is in the hands of third person who is not directly engaged with the business entity. This type of CRM activities are done through Cloud based computing. In this type of CRM, the firm doesn’t have any type of Customer relationship management software (Saarijärvi, Karjaluoto, and Kuusela, 2013). Here, there is a risk of loss of customer information.
Major advantages of personal selling and their contribution in the customer relationship marketing effort
Personal selling is the act by which products can be sold to consumers at the doors by directly meeting them. The following are the advantages of personal selling and their contribution in CRM-
Allowing face-to face interaction with customer- Personal selling helps to meet the sales person of the company with the potential customer. With the help of personal selling, a firm can bring the attention people towards its product and services (Brookins, 2014). The biggest advantage of this is that a company will able to know the actual feedback of the people about its product. In result, the business entity will record the feedback of the person in CRM and will try to examine it.
Best communication medium-Personal selling is proves to be as the best communication medium. It is because the sales person directly communicates with the receiver and will make him know about the company’s value in the market and its product and services. When the receiver shows his interest for the organization then he is considered to be as the lead of the firm which can prove to be a potential customer for the business entity in future (Zeithaml, 2011).
When the sales person gets the leads, he inputs the information in the CRM system to convert that lead into potential client of the company.
Seller involvement in the buying decision of customer- Through personal selling, the sales person of the company communicates its message in such a way which influences the receiver behavior to buy the product. The sales person tries to resolve customer doubts and problems in the real point of time (Brock, 2009). When this information is put in CRM system, the firm will able to know how effectively the sales representative tackles the particular problem. With the help of CRM, sales person performance can be measured.
Helps in product development and design- The advantage of personal selling is that it helps in providing sales person and customer feedback about the company’s product or services (Maclaran and et.al, 2012). This feedback is further analyzed and explored at the time of product development and design of both existing and new product.
Ways through which sales representative can make its sales presentation more valuable
There are numerous things which help sales representative to bring more attention of the potential customer towards it. Some of the best traits a sales representatives should posses are as follows-
A sales representative must be relationship oriented to make company attached to the customer needs and requirements. It should facilitate after sales service to the consumers at utmost ease (Cecil and Rabinowitz, 2006).
Deep knowledge and understanding of the product- A sales representative could make the sales presentation more relevant and interesting for the prospective customer only when it has in-depth knowledge of company’s product and services. This will help Sales representative to convert potential lead into potential customer.
Professional- A sales representative should be very professional for his work then only it can influence buyer decision to buy the product (Thull, 2005). He should be comfortable to handle customer queries in efficient manner.
This is very crucial aspect of a personal selling. The sales representative of a firm should be very substantial on the commitments he makes with the potential clients or the leads. It is always suggestible that the communication between prospective customer and sales representative should not be ambiguous (Domagalska, 2012).
A sales presentation of Sales representative would be more relevant and interesting for the prospective customer when the sales person is more consumer-focused. This means he has to put buyer’s need on top priority and should always try to present value propositions to the customer by explaining the features and benefits of the product or services. This helps to construct strong trust of customer on both i.e. sales representative and company (Anderson and Kerr, 2002).
This report uncovers different element of customer relationship management. From the report it was found that CRM is the basis need of today’s large corporations. Though it has some disadvantages like it bears high cost of implementation and execution. In addition to that it also requires long time for successfully implantation in the whole organization. Furthermore, it was also found that personal selling plays crucial role in collecting information about the customer
responses and feedback. This information is further recorded in CRM software and analyzed to draw important decisions regarding resolving consumer conflicts and product development and designing. Lastly, important aspects for sales representatives are explained to improve its sales presentation.
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