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Eight key points of CRM in the Internet of Things era

To Rubén Belluomo (*)

In the past, manufacturing companies were familiar with the supply chain to obtain customer information. However, connected products with IoT capabilities provide valuable data about their performance, customer response, and product life-cycle trends. This information will help in the future development of the product as well as the sales and marketing strategy

A customer relationship management (CRM) solution can help manufacturers use the product, customer, and solution data Achieve greater business visibility.

Information within CRM can be leveraged to provide a better customer experience, more effective sales, and efficient marketing campaigns. For example, data collected by the units can be used to predict the future of sales cycles. The data may show the typical life cycle of the product and indicate signs of performance degradation. Customers are notified if the product shows signs of wear and replacement or repair is recommended. The collected data can be used to provide information about the benefits of upgrading to a new model or larger capacity model, which affects the decision to repair or replace. This type of data-driven sale is very effective, especially when the data arrives directly from the unit.

What technological features should CRM have for the Internet of Things?

The main technological features are the same as the IoT: mobility, cloud, big data and social networks. For companies it is important that the CRM fulfills the following functions:

1

. Mobile CRM The IoT is powered by mobile connectivity, so the need for a mobile CRM is obvious. CRM information must be available to employees who can interact with customers through mobile devices anytime, anywhere.

. 2 CRM in the cloud CRM in the cloud provides scalability and speed to gain the benefits. The implementation is faster than in traditional facilities. In addition, the introduction of CRM in the cloud reduces hardware investment and allows the company to make monthly payments over time.

. 3 CRM embedded in the Inbox. Most sales and marketing professionals use emails throughout the day and this can be an obstacle to the introduction of CRM. It’s important that CRM interact with popular email tools, such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail, to increase user acceptance. The CRM must have inbox capabilities and does not force users to switch from one application to the other

4. Functionalities of social networks. In a mobile world, it is important to interact with existing customers and prospects through social media during the sales and marketing cycle, and provide service and support to customers.

. 5 Analytics The CRM contains important information about customers and purchasing trends as well as the results of sales, marketing and customer support. It is important that this information be used for good decision-making and prioritization.

. 6 Integration with important enterprise software. It is not good to have the data in silos in a globally networked world. Operation with the IoT means that the CRM has to be integrated with the key systems of the enterprise, in particular with the ERP.

. 7 Easy to adapt The technology is developing rapidly in the general infrastructure of the IoT. CRM must be scalable without complications and able to adapt to changing business processes. Most CRMs allow customization, but the most advantageous thing is CRM, which has no coding.

. 8 Designed for companies in an increasingly digital world. Companies choose systems that are tailored to their needs and stand out from the competition. The development of customer-oriented models is one of the most important ways to differentiate products. Highly specialized products are the new manufacturing standard with ETO (engineer-to-order) and MTO (make-to-order) processes.

How to Use Modern Features

The Internet of Things offers growth opportunities with visible customer data and trends. Machines and networked systems can improve the manufacturing process, and networked products can help companies better engage with customers, suppliers, partners, and distributors.

To find the right CRM, companies need to consider the properties of the IoT: mobility, cloud and social networks. You should also look for features like integration with email and easier customization. Finally, CRM must be integrated with solutions such as ERP, business intelligence and marketing automation to work more efficiently and provide an exception and consistent customer experience.

(*) Infors Commercial Manager for the Southern Cone.

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