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Efficient sales processes are crucial to the success of a company. And more so with each passing day. Digitization plays a central role in this. One tool that is becoming increasingly important in this context is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). A CRM system is not only used to manage customer data, but also optimizes the entire sales cycle - from work organization to lead processing and customer service. What concrete differences does such a system make in day-to-day business? That's what we took a look at for you.

Daily work organization in sales - with and without CRM

Sales organization without CRM:

Without a CRM system, people often work with task lists that are created manually by the various employees. As a result, there is no standardization, little transparency and no measurability. You could also say: everyone does what they want. There is no central overview of the status of various sales orders. This also makes it difficult to prioritize tasks in a meaningful way.

In the absence of digital data management, customer data is stored in physical folders, Excel spreadsheets, or disparate systems. As a result, sales reps spend a lot of time searching for information, looking at communication history, or eliciting sales opportunities. Sales teams often don't have access to their colleagues' data, leading to duplication of effort, conflict, and loss of expertise during job changes. Manual entries also lead to errors or duplicate records.

Sales organization with CRM:

A CRM enables structured and automated task management in your sales department. A central dashboard view shows you the current status of all sales activities. Tasks are prioritized and clearly assigned based on data.

Centralized data management in the CRM system stores all customer data in one place. Access, including to communication history and sales opportunities, is possible from anywhere. This saves a lot of working time and guarantees high data integrity. What does this mean? That you have "clean" data and duplicates are automatically detected. This transparent view of all customer data also promotes team collaboration and prevents duplicate efforts. A consistent customer experience becomes possible for every single customer.

Lead processing in sales - with and without CRM

Lead processing without CRM:

Without a CRM, leads are often captured and tracked manually or in spreadsheets. As a result, lead processing is inconsistent and only as good as the salesperson involved. Systematic tracking of customer conversations, meetings, and follow-ups is difficult. And without a central overview of prospects and customers, it's easy to overlook sales opportunities and set the wrong priorities.

Lead processing with CRM:

In a CRM, every interaction with a customer is recorded in the system. Leads from different sources are automatically merged. As a result, lead tracking is consistent and targeted. Consistent and data-based lead scoring methods can be applied. Visualizations and notifications help the sales team more easily identify and capitalize on sales opportunities. It becomes possible to respond more quickly to new, promising leads. And Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes suggestions for next steps.

Sales promotion at the interface of sales and marketing - with and without CRM

Sales promotion without CRM:

Because a clear picture of the customer life cycle, purchase history, and customer preferences is lacking, sales promotion measures can only be moderately effective without CRM. The sales funnel is unclear, forecasts and measures are more or less a matter of feeling. Transparency about cross-selling and upselling opportunities is lacking. And learning? Under these circumstances, it is difficult to learn from sales campaigns. The result is costly sales promotion measures based on the watering can principle.

Sales promotion with CRM:

The analytics tools in CRM enable the sales team to gain a deeper understanding of customer preferences and behavior. There is a clearly defined and visualized sales funnel and detailed reports on the ROI of past campaigns . This makes forecasting more accurate and measures more data-driven. Cross-selling and upselling opportunities become visible based on customer purchases and interactions and can be targeted. Instead of costly watering-can strategies, CRM enables focused, customer-centric sales promotions that save resources and increase revenue.

Customer loyalty - with and without CRM

Customer loyalty without CRM

In many sales departments, success stops after the first deal. This means that the sales investment per Swiss franc of sales is very high. Lack of post-sales follow-up misses the opportunity to turn customers into repeat buyers and repeat buyers into loyal customers. There is no strategy for regular customer interactions because there is no knowledge about basic customer needs and preferences. "I know my customers," some salespeople will say. But a gut feeling is no substitute for data. And especially with a large number of customers, it is no longer enough. Especially since none of it remains in the event of personnel changes. Without CRM, companies are ultimately not reliably in possession of the existing know-how.

Customer loyalty with CRM:

With a CRM system, customer contact is continued after the first sale is closed. The system enables sustainable customer relationship management. Automated follow-ups and post-sales customer surveys enable companies to better understand their customers. They are able to make targeted offers that reflect customers' needs and preferences. The effect? More repeat sales and many more loyal brand ambassadors.

Data-driven analytics enable ongoing interaction based on true customer understanding, not just emotion. Furthermore, a CRM ensures the continuity of customer knowledge. When staff changes, valuable know-how is retained because all interactions and information are stored centrally. With CRM, companies are able to build a deep, data-driven relationship with their customers and thus achieve sustainable customer loyalty.

Customer service performance - with and without CRM

Customer service without CRM:

Without CRM, there is no history of customer interactions. Situations arise in which customers do not feel seen or have to provide information repeatedly. This makes it difficult to identify recurring problems. Delayed and uncoordinated responses to customer inquiries are unfortunately common. Much is handled in an ad hoc manner, and some is unfortunately lost. Far too much depends on individual persons, because the overall view is missing. And the biggest problem: A large part of the work is reactive.

Customer service with CRM:

A CRM system centralizes all customer interactions in customer service and creates a consistent history that is accessible to every employee. This enables smooth and personalized customer service. Customers do not have to repeat themselves, feel truly understood. Automated ticket systems and workflows ensure fast and coordinated responses to customer inquiries. Instead of always responding, requests are handled systematically and efficiently. Recurring problems are quickly identified through the collected data and can be proactively resolved. Knowledge and experience are no longer tied to individuals. This makes customer service scalable, more efficient and overall more customer-friendly.

Before and after comparison "CRM in sales" - the conclusion

The comparison of sales activities with and without a customer relationship management (CRM) system impressively illustrates the transformative effect that modern CRM technology has on companies and their work processes. In detail, the benefits can of course vary depending on the CRM system used and individual business processes. Nevertheless, it can be stated quite clearly:

A CRM in sales has a hugely positive impact on efficiency, customer satisfaction and revenue development. It streamlines and automates many processes, resulting in more accurate data management and an overall better customer experience. By centralizing customer data, automating sales and customer service processes, and providing analytics tools, CRM enables your company to better understand your customers, build more meaningful relationships with them, and ultimately increase revenue.

Our tip: Implementation needs strategy and technology

The central theme here is that implementing a CRM is not just a technological decision, but also a strategic one. It is about analyzing and transforming the entire way a company interacts with its customers. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, where customer experience is becoming more and more important, a CRM represents a key competitive advantage for companies. It enables them to operate in a way that is both internally efficient and externally customer-centric.

How about a no-obligation exchange with our CRM expert?

To the initial meeting
Pascal Kuptz Managing Partner maku consulting GmbH

Pascal Kuptz is a Customer Experience Specialist. At maku, he is your contact for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and process digitization. His passion is customer-centric thinking and unforgettable experiences for customers. His mission: Tailor-made solutions that really fit the business.