What is CRM though? CRM Software, or Customer Relations Management software is essentially one system that allows you to keep all of your business data in one central place. It provides help to businesses in managing their relationships along with the data and information associated with these relationships. The CRM system creates an open space, usually in the cloud so the information is easily accessible to all in real-time, where you and your team can store contact information about customers, accounts, leads and sales opportunities.
You can think of CRM as a social network, that we’ve all become so familiar with these days. CRM is built similarly to Facebook and Twitter in the way that it’s faceted toward people and relationships. It’s essential to any business’s success to begin with a solid foundation of great customer relationships. As the seller, it’s your responsibility to connect with people who are in demand for your product. Slowly but surely, as your business continues to grow these connections become greater and greater, and each one becomes more cultivated. Each company you do business with provides you with more customers, and more relationships the more your network builds and expands the more difficult it is to keep up with all of them. Moreover, there’s information within each of these relationships that’s imminent to be shared with the rest of your co-workers who may be in contact with the same customers.
The CRM system becomes the central organization center to help manage all of these complex and varying connections and share them with all they pertain to. In the past, CRM software was used only by large corporations with the financial resources to invest in such a system. Today, the cost of CRM software systems have decreased substantially making it easy for even small businesses to make use of CRM. SaaS solutions usually begin in the price range of a few hundred dollars per user license which today is a considerably low upfront investment.
Not convinced yet? Here are some more benefits your company should take advantage of.
CRM will show you which customers are producing the most profit. The system does a simple analysis of buying behaviors in addition to other customer data to give you a better understanding of who your best and most loyal customers are. You can then take this information and use it to provide better customer service for your superior customers.
A CRM software could really boost your team’s efficiency. The basic analyses and data the CRM is producing are probably things you’re already doing in your business just in a far less efficient way. Instead of having several different spreadsheets open, both online and offline, to compile all of the customer information, track sales, and other customer service issues; a CRM solution consolidates all of these files into one central location for everyone to access. This means no more double entries, no more time spent trying to access the wrong file, and more time spent satisfying customers.
There are several features you should make sure your CRM system includes. First is an Application Programming Interface (API). This will ensure your CRM system can link with other systems so you won’t need to spend time entering all your information again. Multiple Contact Information is another important feature which allows you to access and organize information according to the persons name or company so you can view all of the interactions by the individual or within the particular company. Delegation is also a recommended feature for a CRM software this way employees can use the system to delegate task amongst one another online.
Do you have experience using CRM? What other benefits have you found? Do you have a particular system you’d like to recommend?