As senior executives seek to address their strategic challenges and organize their operational priorities, new trends and technologies are emerging every day that promise to boost the bottom line, improve employee efficiency, and expedite success. Yet, while innovations are emerging (many of which hold promise and potential), there is often a core group of solutions and tools proven over time to deliver the results that management teams need to keep up with the pace of competition, globalization, and myriad other issues threatening long-term stability.
In its 15th Management Tools and Trends Survey released in June 2015, global management consulting firm Bain & Company identified 25 such tools, dissecting them based on their frequency and environment of use, as well as how satisfied managers are with the results. Poling results from more than 13,000 respondents from 70 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, the report highlighted the products and solutions that managers turn to the most when seeking to improve enterprise capabilities. The number one tool by usage: Customer Relationship Management, which ranked as the most popular tool globally for the second year in a row, used by 46 percent of global managers, with a satisfaction rate of 3.93 out of 4.10. Read on to learn more about why CRM ranks so high, and how managers across industries can tap into its power to supercharge business transformation:
Why CRM? Benefits and Functions from a Management Point-of-View
While CRM topped the usage list, it’s important to examine the other tools included in the survey, including benchmarking, strategic planning, outsourcing, and employee engagement surveys, all of which ranked in the top five of the tools most used by managers across the globe. Yet, what sets CRM apart is its unparalleled ability to provide an inside look at what can arguably be considered a company’s greatest asset—its customers.
Bain notes that a top-five trend for managers moving forward is “understanding customers”—and that a significant link exists between improving customer loyalty and raising revenue and profits. From retailers and bankers to manufacturers and utilities, managers around the world are seeking the answer to one common, yet multi-faceted question—how can we attract dedicated and enthusiastic clients, keep them hooked for life, and defer them away from our rivals? The answer lies in gaining a detailed look at each person your business serves, then leveraging this data to drive more targeted and influential loyalty and retention programs—an initiative made possible only through a proven CRM solution.
In the survey, 62 percent of managers expressed concern that brand loyalty is waning, and 46% said insufficient consumer insight is hurting their performance. To this end, CRM provides the capability for companies to track virtually every touchpoint of the customer journey, gathering data on customer preference, satisfaction, purchase history, and more to determine what clients looking for—or why they’re defecting.
Making it Work: A Proven Investment with Real Results
While it may be true that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for business success, the proven track record of CRM cannot be overlooked for its ability to provide the data-rich insights managers need to track performance, measure success, and plan future actions across the enterprise. By aligning business goals with customer expectations, managers are better positioned to make the types of decisions that lead to growth—in terms of both the bottom line and customer loyalty—both of which contribute to a company’s worth.
Darrell Rigby and Barbara Bilodeau, “Management Tools & Trends 2015,” Bain and Company, Bain Brief, June 10, 2015, http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/management-tools-and-trends-2015.aspx .