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Customer relationship crisis: Sales leaders struggle to get a clear picture of their customers

by | Feb 26, 2021 | Public Relations

Consumer behaviors and preferences are changing at an exponential rate, and fueled by lack of visibility into customer data, many companies are facing a customer relationship crisis, according to new research from sales, marketing and service platform SugarCRM.

According the firm’s new CRM and Sales Impact Report, which includes regional data for the US, UK, Germany, and Australia, 48 percent of sales professionals believe that their CRM systems are unfit for purpose, while customer churn is costing mid-market companies an average of $5.5M per year each. The research reveals that many businesses lack the necessary tools to provide the kind of customer experience that will keep them competitive.

Besieged with status quo CRM systems, sales leaders are struggling to ensure their sales teams are spending enough time with customers and can access the data required to build and maintain these vital relationships. The report surveyed 1,000 sales decision-makers in the US, UK, Germany, and Australia, and found that 52 percent believe their CRM systems are costing them revenue—demonstrating the extent of the issue.

Customer relationship crisis: Sales leaders struggle to get a clear picture of their customers

“Customer behavior has fundamentally changed and businesses around the world are facing a customer relationship crisis,” said Craig Charlton, CEO of SugarCRM, in a news release. “Sales teams are bogged down with administration and stuck with an inaccurate picture of the customer with little advance notice or insight into customer churn. These findings are a wakeup call for companies relying on the market-leading incumbents in CRM with software that is tuned to steady-state and known customer behaviors.”

Customer relationship crisis: Sales leaders struggle to get a clear picture of their customers

The research found that 53 percent of sales leaders are fatigued and frustrated with the CRM admin burden placed on their sales teams, which is taking them away from customer-facing activities. Indeed, sales reps are only spending 54 percent of their time selling. The report also reveals over half (56 percent) reported their customer churn increased in the last 12 months. And upon reflection, almost half (48 percent) of sales professionals reported not knowing why customers churned.

Customer relationship crisis: Sales leaders struggle to get a clear picture of their customers

In addition, 50 percent of sales leaders admit that they cannot access customer data across marketing, sales, and service systems, leaving customer-facing team members without a clear picture of their customers. The gap in customer data, the millions of dollars lost to churn and the lack of insight, prevents sales and business leaders from acquiring the intelligence they need to make both vital strategic and tactical decisions. Companies that close the data gaps, improve the accuracy and completeness of their customer data stand to improve retention, increase revenue, and gain more predictable business outcomes.

Customer relationship crisis: Sales leaders struggle to get a clear picture of their customers

Download the complete report here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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