Customer Relationship Management

Digitalization in customer relationship management 

Customer Relationship Management

In today's world, Customer Relationship Management is easier and harder than ever before. Instead of the intensive persuasion of a few contacts on your phone list, today systems are offered that provide thousands of potential buyers with information about your product & services. But therein lies the problem: if it's so easy to feed information to thousands of buyers, they are conversely being fed information about a thousand different products and services. We scan our mail and emails in seconds and decide what is relevant to us and what is not. It's more important than ever to know your audience intimately and identify who will and won't pay attention to your products and services.

A key aspect that has grown in importance over the last few years is our digital footprints. Our use of the internet and all related applications has enabled technology to gather a holistic knowledge of our digital activities. This knowledge is used to provide us end users with a tailored experience designed to optimize our usage. For example, you follow some mountaineering groups on your social media profiles and post photos of your last hiking vacation - you're probably more interested in the innovative camping gear than the guy whose profiles revolve around cookbooks.

But how do businesses today find suitable customers whose interests match your product? What difficulties do you face in modern interactions with your customers? In this article, we'll look at how you can overcome these challenges and why it's better to target customers rather than reach the masses.


der Vertriebler werden von Customers als vertrauenswürdig bezeichnet.

Impact of technology on customer relationships

Relationships have always been the key to successful sales. In the past, a salesperson's focus was on knowing the customer and building authentic 1:1 relationships. The salesperson understood the buyer's unique needs and focused on maintaining a high level of engagement with the customer throughout the process.
With the introduction of technology, sales organizations experienced significant productivity gains. However, in the pursuit of productivity, salespeople became increasingly distant from customers. Over time, salespeople have moved away from building relationships in favor of executing transactions and achieving as many sales closures as possible - but at a time when customers have more and more choice. Buyers, constantly connected to mobile devices and social media, are better informed and have more power and influence over their decisions. It's no wonder customers today are more demanding, have higher expectations, and are less satisfied with the sales experience.

Sales automation has accelerated sales and is making salespeople more efficient than ever before. But does it make them more effective?

Big Data - Too many sources of information

At the root of the problem are the disparate systems salespeople must navigate. To get the insights they need to build strong relationships, salespeople might analyze a variety of CRM systems, email systems, or social networks. This is where the common buzzword comes in: Big Data. This refers to the huge mass of unstructured data created by the use of digital systems. It is almost impossible to derive meaningful and actionable insights from this mass of data without a purpose-built program.

For companies that are able to extract structured insights from the mass of data, this offers a significant competitive advantage and can contribute significantly to building and maintaining your customer base.

The challenge of interaction

The relationship between buyers and sellers is getting more complicated by the day. Any potential partnership requires finding the right buyer contact, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content - when and how they want it. Most sales professionals have already internalized this to meet increasingly divergent buyer demands, and they know that relationship selling is a complex discipline.

Buyers can sense this complexity. Although 36 percent of salespeople believe they provide an excellent customer experience during the sales process, only 23 percent of buyers believe this is actually the case. With increasingly powerful and widely available technology, the way customers make buying decisions is also changing. Sales teams urgently need to deploy the right tools to keep up. Potential buyers have more information at their fingertips than ever before, and they're taking full advantage of it: research shows that most buyers are already 57 percent of the way through the buying cycle before they even contact a vendor.

When the time is right, customers still want to get the personal attention
of a sales representative. More than two-thirds of all buyers say that interacting with a sales representative is important to them. From this we can infer that buyers only want to interact with salespeople when it makes sense for them to do so. The increase in complexity means that buyers are also using technology that is both increasingly simple and complex networked. As a result, they have high expectations for every buying experience. Accordingly, a seller must overcome two challenges: He must provide useful interactions and seamless transactions.

Modern interaction

According to research, most companies want their salespeople to spend at least 20 percent of their time each week interacting with customers or prospects. By automating and integrating tasks and business processes, managers reduce the amount of time salespeople spend on administrative tasks, such as filling out forms or aggregating data in a central location, freeing up more space for actual interaction with customers.

With rapidly evolving innovations, it is possible to manage more sustainable buyer relationships with a sales team's three most valuable tools (CRM, productivity apps, and social networking). Although these basic capabilities exist in most organizations, their use is often not optimized to grow the sales business. CRM tools can improve interactions with buyers, suggest relevant content, and
ensure that salespeople are engaging with buyers according to their current stage in the sales process.
Productivity tools can save time, which can then be invested in relationships. At the same time, they make it easier for customers to communicate with sales and provide feedback. Modern sales teams increasingly rely on social media to better understand their audiences. Identifying buyer connections and organizational specifics can often prove critical when it comes to closing deals.

Efficiency through a seamless solution

The solution to seamless transactions can be as simple as putting all the resources your salespeople need in one place. Lead generation, pipeline management, collaborative editing of sales documents, all the way to managing all your existing customers should be in one place for easy reference.

By consolidating all your data into one system, you create more time for your salespeople to build relationships with your buyers. This works with the help of a comprehensive solution that not only enables automated tasks for your reps to save time and effort, but also through intuitive and user-friendly application that provides a holistic view of essential data. This helps your team transform information from vast amounts of data into actionable insights about your customers. 

Your busy sales team doesn't have time to learn new productivity tools. That's why you need a CRM system that seamlessly integrates with the tools that fit the way you work. Document sharing, collaborative document editing tools, and powerful email and chat apps make it easier for your team to work with external and internal colleagues, resulting in more relevant and productive team and customer interactions.

Advantages of a modern CRM system

Our employees are well versed in the systems that combine the benefits of modern customer relationship management. We can

  • Find a strategy that fits your business and industry.
  • Implement a long-term system structure that enables all applications of a successful CRM from start to finish.
  • Enable a personalized customer journey for your customers through fine-tuned systems.
  • Reduce your employees' time and effort with seamlessly integrated applications. 
  • Provide you with a scalable view of your team's successes.
  • enable you to serve your customers even more individually through exact information evaluation.

Microsoft Business Solutions

Increased productivity for your sales team

Microsoft 365 offers tools that enable simultaneous collaboration with your team in multiple scenarios, such as quotes and pitch decks on SharePoint, seamless integration with Outlook, export to Excel, or group chats via
Microsoft Teams. These are important features for decentralized sales activities.

Integrate social networks into your strategy
LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps employees identify target companies and their decision makers faster - all seamlessly embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365.

More time for your customers

Microsoft Dynamics 365 automates core sales functions and ensures that salespeople have more
time to tailor their approach to each buyer relationship.

Make better use of sales opportunities

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales solution uses predictive lead scoring via artificial intelligence to help salespeople find and develop the right leads. It also provides deep insights into contacts' social networks, helps teams identify additional stakeholders, and coordinates an overarching yet customized sales strategy.

Increasing efficiency in your company
With the comprehensive solution from Microsoft it is not only possible to optimize your sales: The holistic package knows hardly any limits in the dimension of your company and can be extended, for example, to the areas of HR management, marketing or project management .

Making the right decisions

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales solution uses AI to analyze sales, Office 365, and LinkedIn data, as well as information from CRM systems, and provides a status score on each customer relationship. Salespeople also receive recommendations on appropriate content based on a contact's social media activity or mentions in the press. This takes the guesswork out of selecting topics for the next interaction.

Learn more about Microsoft products and how they can benefit your business:
Learn more about our cloud-based Microsoft Business Intelligence solutions