With international competition steadily growing, venues must work to ensure the profitability of their space and to build competitive advantage. Arenas, conference centres and stadiums need to be more flexible than ever and work to provide an exceptional visitor experience.
A Cloud-based venue CRM (customer relationship management) system like Rezcomm Engage can help support sales, connecting visitors with relevant products and services, and encouraging customer loyalty and engagement. In effect, CRM is a strategy designed to track customer relationships through the sales journey. It stores information on customer and prospect interactions with employees, tracks marketing and sales touchpoints (including email, telephone, live chat, website and social media), and provides detailed feedback to customer-facing employees about customer activity.
While there are many generic CRM software systems available, there are also products like Rezcomm Engage that are specifically designed to work with venues such as arenas, stadiums and conference and event centres, creating a joined-up user experience and boosting per-visitor spend.
A CRM system goes hand-in-hand with a strong online presence, allowing your venue to capture valuable customer data and incrementally increase revenue.
It allows you to view actionable, real-time insights whilst removing the need for manually built spreadsheet reports.
In order to choose from the options available, it’s important to understand the features that a good venue CRM system should offer, how this relates to your needs and how it will help your venue’s business to grow.
There are three main categories of CRM software to look at: General-purpose CRM, fully customised event CRM, and event CRM that can be configured to your specific business.
What is the difference between them?
General-purpose CRM software
A general-purpose CRM provider will often have a good history of managing sales relationships for a broad audience. This is ideal for an online retailer whose product is relevant to a lot of people. However, in the events industry, relationships are more specific. A venue needs to be able to manage relationships with sponsors and exhibitors and to get answers related to its events and location.
Fully customised CRM software
Fully customised CRM software allows you to build exactly the tools you want within a CRM platform. The problem with this option for venues, is that by customising too many elements within the software you can create configuration problems. This means you are more likely you are to experience compromises in your workflows and issues. Any issues that are complicated for the software provider to service will cost time and money and detract from the benefits of the CRM software.
Configurable event CRM software
This is the ideal model for venues – a CRM software that is built with an understanding of the needs of your venue, that allows you to configure fields and workflows to exactly match the way your venue works. The events industry centres on fostering connections, so it’s important to have software that enables you to nurture these relationships. While there are many CRM softwares available, consider opting for a system that is designed with you in mind – one that fits your venue and the activities that take place there. When a CRM allows you to ask the right questions, you gain better quality data, and this impacts positively on business decisions.
What are the benefits of CRM?
A CRM system provides a central database for all your customer information. Since your venue’s most important asset is its customer base, this represents an invaluable tool in customer acquisition and retention. As your venue becomes more successful and you incorporate more products and services, it becomes impossible to keep tabs on information about customers and prospects and difficult to know how to prioritise leads, taking time and focus away from your ability to sell.
When storing information about calls and emails relies on manual input, there’s always the risk that sales staff will forget or choose not to enter details about emails and calls. Sales forecasts become foggy and fewer sales are made.
CRM software is designed to solve this problem. When all of your venue’s lead and customer information is in one place, and data entry is automated, the sales process runs smoothly.
5 Big Benefits of CRM:
Customer data management - Customer information is organised in one place, and data entry is automated, making it easy to run the sales process smoothly
Customer segmentation – The system groups prospects and customers using parameters such as previous booking behaviour, location, age group and vehicle ownership making it easy to target sales and offer customers personalised communications about relevant products that will enhance their experience and build loyalty
Sales reporting – The CRM system will track your venue’s quota attainment and activity metrics such as emails sent, calls made, deals closed, meetings booked and opportunities created
Accurate sales forecasting – Your CRM software will generate an accurate sales funnel, making it easier to predict future sales and effectively manage resources, leading to greater operational efficiency and a better customer experience
Scaling a sales process – Repeatable sales processes are key to testing new sales directions and strategies. The CRM makes data such as behavioural patterns and trends in effective sales campaigns easily and quickly available, meaning you can base your venue’s business decisions on real-time information
How do I know if my venue needs a CRM?
Any venue that wants to nurture strong customer relationships will benefit from using a CRM system, both in building revenue from ancillary products and in longer paths such as conference bookings.
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, CRM will benefit your venue:
- Do I need records of information about prospects and customers?
- Is my customer data currently stored in many different places?
- Is it becoming difficult to manage my data?
- Is my team hampered by needing to search to find lead or customer data?
- Do my customers regularly interact with multiple people on my team?
- Do I need a better way to measure my sales team’s productivity?
What is the ROI of a CRM?
Modern CRM systems are easy to set up, intuitive to use and don’t require specialist training to implement. They can automate many tasks that previously relied on manual input.
In today’s consumer market, 80% of customers research products online before making a purchase. 87% will use their mobile device to shop across multiple channels. In order to engage with these customers, your venue needs data, and CRM software enables you to build a 360-degree view of each person you connect with.
That’s why in 2013 overall CRM usage increased from 56% to 74%, which means that 91% of businesses with over 11 employees now use CRM, compared to 50% of those with 10 employees or fewer. In 2014, Nucleus Research reported that businesses were experiencing ROI of $8.71 in sales revenue for every $1 spent on CRM. In 2017, a client survey by PlanPlus found that more than 30% of client deals were attributable to their CRM, equating to a 150% increase in sales.
Another recent study conducted by an MIT Sloan MBA student found that 79% of customers using marketing, sales, and CRM software saw an increase in sales revenue within one year.
Which CRM is best for my venue?
The first step to deciding on a CRM system is to evaluate your venue’s business needs and goals. If you don’t do this before looking at the options, you will find yourself defining your needs through the CRM functionality, rather than focusing on areas of value to your venue.
Questions to ask before proceeding:
- Why is my venue investing in CRM?
- Which operational challenges do we need to solve?
- Which processes do we need to implement?
- How many people on my team do I expect to use the CRM?
- How much customer information do we already have?
- What other software does the venue use that the CRM should integrate with?
- What’s my budget?
According to SoftwareAdvice.com, it’s common for first-time CRM buyers to overestimate the level of functionality they need, which makes for greater setup costs. If your goals can be met with a simple system, start small and move to a more comprehensive version of the software later on.
Another concern is that you will lose any customer data you already have. However, it is very easy to import data from spreadsheets into a CRM system.
If you are unsure about what you need from a CRM, contact the supplier to review your list of requirements, focus on getting the features you need and then make your decision.
The core features of a venue CRM should include:
Rezcomm Engage automatically collects data from multiple sources to create a single, consolidated centralised and secure data warehouse that is SSL encrypted, providing a searchable database to store customer and prospect information and relevant documents.
Large volumes of data can be difficult and time consuming to interpret so Rezcomm Engage visualises data in dashboards, providing real-time business intelligence at a glance. This makes it easy to visualise the sales
Reporting and analytics
Venues can use their CRM system to track sales activity, inventory use and revenue growth. A user-friendly report dashboard allows you to measure financial performance, quickly identifying which products and services are performing well (or not) in real time, and to take rapid action and monitor the results. You can view operational reports that offer real-time visibility of your venue’s use and footfall, product reports and buying trends, and sales forecasts. Rezcomm Engage also allows you to create bespoke reports from any data, apply filters, add calculations, customise the appearance and even add charts or graphs. Then simply schedule your reports to run automatically and as often as you need.
A CRM system that integrates with your current email client can log prospect and customer interactions, eliminating a large amount of manual data entry.
Email tracking allows you to see which emails have been opened, and to evaluate click-through rates. This offers insights as to which campaigns are successful, allowing for a more consistent marketing strategy. You can use the system’s in-built marketing reports to gain a top-level overview of all your digital marketing activity in one simple dashboard, updated in real time, and report on engagement and revenue as it is earned.
Is there software that’s already integral to the functioning of your venue? A CRM system can integrate with any of your existing systems to streamline functionality.
Data enrichment and collection
Will a CRM system create more admin for your team, or does it automate data entry and marketing communications, giving them more time to sell? Rezcomm Engage can support visitor number growth with data acquisition and validation tools. It can drive awareness, increase brand consideration, engage potential visitors and underpin the quality of your venue’s service.
The experienced, in-house team of designers, copywriters and marketers at Rezcomm can provide a fully managed marketing service. Our experts will create a content plan, optimise targeting, write inspiring and engaging copy, and source or illustrate beautiful images that reflect your venue’s brand. Then they will monitor and review visitor engagement to optimise the strategy by finding out exactly what works best for your audience.
If you would like to speak to Rezcomm about our integrated CRM management solutions and how we can help your venue realise its potential, contact the team today.
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