6 minutes reading time

CRM as a source of revenue - realistic or not?

Software alone will not bring leverage. Never, no matter which one. And only in isolated cases it’s ever possible to attribute monetary gains specifically to a software. Especially since only in exceptional cases the costs that arise from the use of a new CRM software are rigorously offset (e.g. additional work for maintenance, training costs, etc.).

But does that mean you should forget all about it and should not continue with the use of CRM systems? 

Absolutely not! 

Why not? Because used correctly, a CRM system can still provide enormous support. 

Let's take a closer look at where and how a CRM can generate more sales. Even a very simple CRM tool, without AI, marketing automation and co.

1. Saving time

When we tidy up a workshop and put our tools back where they belong, it’s much easier next time we look for them. Common sense. Digital filing also means that in 2023 we will no longer all be able to stand at the same workbench and simply ask questions; our digital questions will inevitably prevent others from doing their work. By the time colleagues start creating their own shelf (e.g., personal address lists), it becomes confusing. According to studies, employees spend more than 1.5 hours a day(!) searching for information for their work. At the same time, the organization of customer data initially requires only simple inventory data: Addresses, contact data, who is the relevant contact person, what was last agreed upon, what is pending. 

Doesn't sound like much, does it? Having this information available at all times or not makes a world of difference. Having to search for or ask for this information costs time - and money!

2. More professional appearance

Being in a position to tell your own story over and over again might improve your fluency, but you're not rehearsing a stage act. Quite the contrary - it is simply annoying and does not demonstrate professionalism. If, on the other hand, the person I'm talking to can immediately see my process and pick up where I left off with my previous conversation partner, it immediately invokes trust. I’m gonna assume that they handle my request with integrity. This supports my purchase decision and my recommendation behavior.

3. Improve and standardize sales processes 

A customer contacts us via our contact form. Now I can reinvent the wheel every time, or move to establishing tried and true as routine. Especially if it’s intended that other team members will take over, it simplifies internal processes enormously and prevents to-dos from getting lost. Do we need consultants with their process slides and extensively discussed mandatory fields? No, definitely not. What is needed are simple to-do lists that can be saved as templates and called up as needed. Can you only create these in a CRM tool? Certainly not, but it makes them easier to find.

Apart from that, it makes sense from time to time to not only critically examine your own processes, but also to take a closer look at the processes already created in the software. After all, they have not only been tested thousands of times, but also provide support especially in places where something would otherwise get lost quickly. A simple example: I create a memo for a call and the CRM then suggests that I create a resubmission. So simple, so effective.

4. Potential clients don’t slip through

A customer shows interest, but declines on the grounds that there is currently no budget. Without an appropriate resubmission, any normal person will miss the opportunity to call again in a few months. Or a customer casually mentions that the company is also active in other segments and is considering investing. If such an info is deposited e.g. as keyword, you can put him on the mailing list for a newsletter on that topic. 

Such a newsletter requires that I can quickly filter and segment my customers thematically. With that in place, I don't have to distribute my emails with a watering can but can address interested parties in a targeted manner and thus increase conversion rates and reduce bounce rates. And by the way, the days when email providers and newsletter tools were practically free are long gone. It's not just the post office that has increased the postage. 

5. Communication breakdowns cost time and energy

A colleague cannot be present at a coordination meeting, but is supposed to take over the client next week? Of course, there will be an internal exchange and coordination. But what if there are weeks or even months between appointments? What if several people are involved, all of whom still work at different locations? There is a high risk that information will fall by the wayside or that processes will no longer be traceable at some point. The documentation in the CRM system practically replaces the exchange of content at the coffee machine. No coffee and no gossip, but still!

6. Loss of knowledge with changing employees

A classic that can really cost money. An employee quits and takes everything that has value with him. No, not the laptop, but knowledge, relationships and, above all, clients. Whether it's because the employee is moving to a direct competitor, or even because the customer has put so much groundwork into the colleague that they may as well reorient themselves completely before rebuilding. A direct representation in the company can cushion this process, and CRM software helps enormously to keep the knowledge about the customer in the company and available to everyone.

7. Personalization

When it comes to emails, it is commonplace that they convert better when they are personalized. It's logical, too, because which email would you be more likely to continue reading? One that addresses you personally with "Hello Thomas", or one that starts with "Dear Customers"? But personalization offers much greater potential in B2B business. A CRM tool allows you to remember your client’s interests and hobbies but also challenges and fears in such a way that you can speak precisely to them. Perhaps by pointing out an interesting event or article, or by mentioning his wife's birthday at the next meeting. These may be extreme examples, but they make it clear that the more individually you can respond to your client, the more likely he is to buy and stay. With only a handful of clients, memory serves sufficiently. As soon as there are more, you need a system, literally. 

8. Selling to clients who have the funds to pay you

20 percent of customers bring 80 percent of sales, according to the classic Pareto ratio. But do the customers who bring in the most revenue also bring in the most profit or, if you calculate honestly, do they generate so much extra work that the profits are completely eaten up? It starts with the acquisition process: If I only win 2 out of 10 bids in one industry, while I regularly win twice as many in another, then I can factor that into my calculation. It may be that my "cash cow" is located somewhere else than I thought. Knowing such numbers makes decisions about where to focus and allocate resources in the future much more informed.


A CRM system does not become a revenue generator on its own, but with care and brainpower it can be a vital contributor. Because of that it is all the more important that the software itself is easy to use. If you don't need a math degree or fancy workshops to make really serious improvements, it might give you the will and self-discipline to stick with it all the more. One thing is certain: it's worth it!

Sven Sester