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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are often used as a key part of the sales process in B2B companies, managing the interaction with their current and potential clients.

But the different ways B2C call centres operate, and the sales processes they use, means these systems aren’t really suitable for their sales teams.

Here are 10 reasons why CRM systems don’t work for call centres.

Call centres are geared around people not businesses

Most CRM systems are designed for B2B companies, so have a business-first approach. This means the hierarchy, which B2B salespeople sell to, usually starts with a business at the top and then the employees that work for that business. A whole CRM workflow is led by that. However, with a B2C call centre there is no concept of a business. Sales staff are just dealing with a person, for instance, at the other end of the phone.

CRM systems don’t focus on leads

Another reason why CRM systems don’t work for call centres is they are typically used beyond the initial sale to help with customer contact and retention. This means they don’t focus on leads. This doesn’t fit with the key processes in a call centre to source, manage and nurture leads, and pursue and convert potential customers.

Call centres have faster sales cycles

B2B companies tend to handle long-term sales. These sales involve decisions being made by hierarchies that can take time and a lot of back and forth between both parties. CRM systems therefore mainly cater for these B2B sales processes. Call centres, however, often handle faster sales, which are based on quick decision-making, varying between seconds and days.

They also handle small transactions

CRM systems tend to cater for B2B companies, which deal with big sales consisting of large transactions – sometimes worth tens of thousands or millions of pounds. B2C call centres, however, mostly deal with smaller transactions, such as a for personal phone contracts or claims.

CRMs only have email support

99% of CRM systems on the market are owned by multimillion pound companies, which only provide support to customers via email. This might work for B2B firms where long-term sales can mean a slower pace of development. But it’s not well-suited to call centres where things move and change fast, and sales teams might need more readily available help and telephone support.

Call centres need customer contact

Most CRM systems assume that sales teams have existing methods in place to contact their customers, specifically via email. But, unlike B2B businesses, call centres might not have these systems. They also need systems which provide more ways to communicate with potential customers. For instance, SMS could be useful for directly contacting a lead by text message.

Their sales involve individuals not hierarchies

CRM system are designed for B2B sales, which often involve hierarchies on both sides – the sales team and the business their selling to. Call centre sales, however, tend to consist of individuals in both parties. This means they need a two-way process so that things like emails and SMS are automatically linked to the individual seller and the individual customer’s record.

Call centres have large contact databases

While some are bigger than others, B2B companies often have small contact databases. CRM systems are often designed to work well alongside these. Whereas B2C call centres often have a much larger number of customers and prospects and would benefit from systems that can cater for these bigger databases.

Their sales rely on timing

CRM systems are designed to fit with the sales processes of B2B companies – processes that can take a great deal of time, as hierarchies discuss and make decisions. Timing in a call centre is key. Things move fast, and hot leads need to be followed up quickly before they go cold.

They can also be based on emotions

As sales in a B2B company are often made across multiple levels of hierarchies, they are purely serious business deals with no emotion attached to the purchasing decisions. CRM systems are made for these types of deals. Sales in a call centre, however, are often based on human emotions and spur-of-the-moment decisions, so need systems to fit with this and collect relevant key information to help with conversion.

Systems that work for your call centre

Having a system that meets the needs of your call centre is crucial to making sure it’s fully effective. This ensures you and your salespeople have what they need to manage leads and convert them into customers.

At FLG, we provide a family of robust lead management tools designed to create effective systems for B2C call centres. Amongst other things, they are geared around people, and they include complex tools that allow effective two-way communication between salespeople and individuals. We also hand-hold our customers through every step of the setup process and beyond.

Our tools can also:

  • Efficiently process your leads to help you achieve more sales
  • Use powerful workflows to automate your sales processes
  • Integrate with other software platforms, such as Campaign Monitor and MailChimp

If you’re interested in learning more about some of our key products, please take a look at our Customer Contact page.

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