You might have heard this word before and you might already know it stands for Customer Relationship Management. But, concretely speaking, what is CRM and why do you need it?
A simple definition
Customers Relationship Management is a technology that helps businesses to manage their relations and interactions with their clients, employees and stakeholders in general. By staying connected, the company can improve those relationships and, ultimately, increase its profits. It can also help finding new potential customers and getting new business as well as providing support and other additional services.
CRM systems are tools to manage contacts, sales, productivity and much more. There are different platforms on the market, most of them require to pay for a subscription. But the investment is worthy: to make it very simple, CRM will make your business grow.
Who needs a CRM system?
Everybody who is involved in sales, customer service and business development should have access to the company’s CRM because it gives them a more efficient way to manage those relations. It is your internal database where you store all the contact information of the people who are relevant to your business and where you can also keep record of all the interactions with them. You can even create marketing campaigns and send them out or identify new sales opportunities.
Your entire team can have access to all the insights regarding every customer in just one place, from contact information to interactions to even purchase history. This is an amazing tool to improve collaboration and productivity in your company. Especially if you have a small business and have limited resources, a CRM will make you save time and work more efficiently.
Why do you need a CRM system?
Nowadays data drive a company’s success. With your operations, you can already collect a very high number of them. But what can make the difference is if you can store those data and translate them in useful insights for your business and its strategy. You have targets for sales, objectives and profitability, but you need a way to get easy and reliable information on your progress.
This is where a CRM system becomes your best ally. It provides you with all you need to know about your clients in one place: their purchase history, the status of their orders, if there are customer service issues to resolve and so much more. Without an efficient CRM, this huge amount of useful information would be stored in your salespeople’s notes, heads or laptops. A lot of details could be forgotten, it would be easier to miss some actions such as follow ups. To put it simple, you’d be more likely to lose some business opportunities.
But with a CRM, you will have a better understanding of your customers’ preferences and behaviours, which will help targeting the right people with cross-selling and upselling opportunities. By keeping your existing clients informed and engaged, they will be more likely to close another deal with you.
Your marketing team can use the information to understand patterns in customers’ behaviours and make better forecasts. They can also see all the opportunities and find a path for customer acquisition. The advantages of a CRM system are also great for your customer service division. They can use it to solve issues across multiple channels including social media, without losing track of the interactions, since most of the tools offer a good cross-platform integration.
To make your CRM system even more effective and further improve your company’s productivity, you can use it for all your business operations including supply chain management and HR. All your relationships in just one place. It will also make it much easier for managers to see the progress of their team’s activities and provide the right support in a timely manner.
It is very likely that your customers are contacting you in different ways, email, phone or social media for questions, issues or orders follow up. If you don’t have a place to store all the information about those interactions, you can create confusion in your customer service team, and easily lose some details, dramatically affecting the quality of the service you provide.
What can a CRM system do?
A CRM system starts with collecting data about clients or prospects: website, email, phone, social media and more. It can also pull out some information automatically such as news on company’s activities and allows to insert some customized records such as communication preferences of the single contact person. This allows you to have a complete overview of the information on a company and its people, giving you a better understanding of the relationship with them.
When you have new leads, you can quickly add them to the system, dividing them into accurate categories. At this point you will know who are the right leads and involve both your sales and marketing people. The first ones will work on the people who are ready to close a deal, while the latter ones will focus on nurturing those relationships that still need time to give fruits. Since the information about those prospects is centrally stored, your teams will be able to use their efforts and energies to target the right individuals.
Nowadays, most CRM platforms offer integration with other customer relationship and business tools, making your activities easier. You can connect to document signing, accounting, billing and survey creation apps and have a complete overview of the interactions with every customer.
Some systems have built-in intelligence to automatize some admin tasks such as data entry. They also automatically generate reports to give you a better understanding of your customers’ preferences and behaviour and take the right decisions.
CRM solutions for you
Now that you’ve understood the importance of a CRM, we want to briefly talk to you about the different opportunities we have for you.
It is best to use a CRM if you have over 100 contacts. We can help you setting one with a software we highly recommend for small businesses because it allows to create and send out campaigns in a very smooth and straight forward way.
We will host and set it up for you using your database of contacts. We will offer you support and customer service whenever you need it.
For more information please visit our CRM section on our website.