Why CRM? What does it do and why do businesses choose to implement it? Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a holistic approach to managing a business’s interactions with current and potential customers. In principle, it uses your data to help you improve customer relationships, streamline processes, and increase profitability. Read on to learn who CRM is for, what it can do, and why it matters.
Who is CRM for?
Good news! CRM is meant for everyone – any company, in any industry, that wants to increase the influence of their data on their business. Companies large and small with various budgets and differing levels of user involvement can implement a CRM to match their needs. It’s all about finding the right fit. A lot of companies think CRM won’t work for them because they’ve tried it before and it failed, but in many cases, the real reason it didn’t work isn’t because the system is inherently bad, ineffective, or unnecessary. It’s because they bought a CRM with the wrong functions for what they needed, or because they didn’t train and onboard staff the right way, or because they didn’t get a CRM that could work with their existing software for accounting and email.
You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, which many companies try to do when they buy a generic CRM that isn’t tailored for their business. Every business can benefit from CRM, but not every business is the same, and there are a LOT of factors that go into purchasing a CRM that can make or break whether it works for you. The best approach is to work with a CRM consultant who can analyze your business needs and tell you how those needs would be reflected in the CRM you are considering.
Nearly every CRM today can accommodate cloud-based or on-premises hosting so teams can increase productivity and data visibility no matter where they work. CRM solutions benefit every department, from customer service, to marketing, to sales. With this technology, service teams can manage customer requests from all channels while marketing teams can better align customer journeys, manage campaigns, and stay in the loop with social buzz. Mobile capabilities improve a sales team efficiency and effectiveness with access to prospects and lead insights from virtually anywhere. Not all CRM systems share the exact same functionality, but all instances share a common goal of enhancing the customer’s overall experience to drive success.
CRM has a wide spectrum of business applications to help you manage your processes. It can organize customer data and interaction history, automate sales and marketing campaigns, track leads, monitor contracts, generate quotes, and support vendor relationships. CRM systems allow you to take full control of your business relationships, data, and all information associated with them to exceed customer expectations. You can store customer and prospect accounts, leads, and opportunities in a centralized location to promote data transparency and collaboration between departments. Combined with analytic capabilities, this creates a 360-degree view of customers you’d be hard pressed to uncover otherwise.
Its unique data analysis helps you monitor sales so you can forecast consumer buying trends and behaviors with confidence. CRM technology is designed to reveal more about your target audiences and how to best cater to their needs. The systems are highly customizable, so you gain actionable insights specific to your business and industry. The best part is, CRM helps you harness the full power of data you already have to promote faster company growth and streamline operations.
What Makes CRM Matter?
Implementing CRM means you can start building your strategy for the future today. CRM software translates all your data streams into relevant and up-to-date business information to formulate reports, quotes, and deeper analysis. It provides a clear overview of customers and keeps all your important information in one place. Without a complete history of customer data, conversations, and metrics, you might miss critical sales and marketing opportunities.
Once you've implemented a CRM, consider integrating your solution with other systems to build on its benefits. For example, social media integration allows marketing teams to effortlessly monitor what customers are saying about the brand. Use this information to guide marketing decisions that funnel more prospects down the sales pipeline.
If you’d like a free business analysis for CRM, or think you are ready to start an implementation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847.655.3434.