What Is CRM And Why Is It Important To Your Business?
Customer relationship management is the most familiar term in marketing for business. The competition in the market is like stop at nothing. In this era, to make your business running CRM is the ideal solution to adapt.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management, in short, called as CRM in the corporate world. It is a one-stop software solution for all sales, marketing and customer support related issues by bringing a suite of capabilities together.
It helps the organisation to maintain a healthy relationship with customers and prospective customers. Also, it improves the business productivity by upselling and cross-selling of products and services.
In short, CRM software is the best software to improve customer acquisition, progress and retention.
To illustrate, according to the research of Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner. It says that, In 2018, CRM software is considered as the fastest growing software in the market with a growth rate of 16 per cent.
Let’s get a deep insight into customer relationship management
CRM is also acronyms by different terms in IT, but CRM is the most known term some of those include- CVM (Customer Value Management), CEM (Customer Experience Management), and CCM (Customer Centric Management).
Unlike traditional days, where data limited to some terms. The handling of customer data & coordinating of sales and marketing team is not a big task if you do it by a little effort.
With the digital transformation, the demands for customers reached a new height. They need something bells and whistles.
Importance of CRM came up to provide a high level of potency in sales, marketing and customer support team. It integrates the entire process, policy and people in a single platform.
What are the options you have to choose customer relationship management software?
CRM software can be selected based on three types of technology which include- On-premises, Cloud-based and Open source CRM
In this, a company is responsible for handling every operation. They need to-
- Own the licenses
- Need to store the software on the company’s servers
- Accountable for any security issues
- Need to appoint separate IT resources for maintaining it.
It’s good for the organisation who are very much concern about the security of data or who has an ample amount of data.
Cloud-based CRM also called on-demand or SaaS (Software as a service) CRM. It stores the complete organisation data in the vendor’s server.
The vendor also has access to the company’s data whenever they require.
They are responsible for complete security, operational issues and take care of necessary system updates and support.
It’s affordable even for the startups and SME’s to take their business to the next level.
It provides an opportunity for the companies based on pay per use basis. It’s highly scalable.
For example, every company don’t need all the features offered by the CRM software, some are more inclined to specific functions, and some don’t make use of that feature based on one’s business functionality they can shrink or expand.
What we need here are an active internet connection and planned affordable fee.
Open Source CRM
Open source CRM as its name suggests it’s free of cost to the audience. It comes in two categories free but limited (also known as freemium) and open source.
Freemium CRM put caps on the count of users, contacts, storage and other additional features.
On the other hand, open source CRM make their source available to the audience for free and permits the companies to do alterations at free of cost.
It also allows addition and customisation of data links on social media platforms to help companies enhance their social CRM practices.
It’s good for technically sound companies, who can self-code and no need for additional IT support and manual upgrades.
People think, CRM for small business is something hard to afford, but with open source software, it’s possible with some features.
In online, you can find many open source platform alternatives to the proprietary platforms from Microsoft, Salesforce and other vendors.
Selection of customer relationship management systems entirely depends on the company’s demands, resources and goals, as each comes under different packages.
Who can benefit from CRM?
When we talk about CRM, the importance of CRM lies in building a customer relationship. From this, it’s clear that the audience for it include from different streams.
It may include verticals like- healthcare, banking, travel, legal, real estate, insurance, media, restaurants, tax, and similar other who wants to build healthy customer relationship to advance their sales, marketing and customer support go all lengths.
How CRM works for your business?
CRM software is practised to organise, automate and synchronise sales, marketing and customer support services. Customer relationship management software can be customizable based on one’s business needs.
Based on this factor, customer relationship management software loaded with hunting features that stores all sorts of customer interactions online.
Here am taking you to the critical features of CRM software
It stores customer contact information such as- mobile number, email, website social media profiles, office addresses and many more. It can automatically drag the other information such as activities and interest of the customers. All this information helps in better understanding of customer and can categorise them according to types of customer segmentation and offer them the service based on their interest.
CRM system added like a booster for sales and marketing team to achieve their goals with ease.
It streamlined the sales, marketing and customer support process— the way the sales team used to work completely changed.
No need to look for different sources for handling customers. In one software you can get everything you need about the lead- their personal information, latest conversion with your business, recent activities on the website, last tickets and many more.
CRM features vary from vendor to vendor. It’s the responsibility of the customer to choose a vendor whose features suits their business needs.
Let me explain you with some examples
In CRM, they have an option to maintain pipeline view of their deals such as– new, follow-up, under review, gain and loss. It will add a clear picture in the mind of marketing teams from where to commence their work.
Similarly, you can perform several operations like- contacting the lead, drafting a note, scheduling an appointment and many more without leaving the screen.
CRM also has the built-in phone ability which allows the sales team to contact lead on the phone with one click. Even, we can send pre-recorded voicemails and greetings to the customer.
CRM system provides an option to the users to integrate your email irrespective of the client like Gmail, Microsoft or any other. It saves your time in switching between different applications.
Usually, CRM includes email templates to interact with the customer in a standard manner. It saves sales team time to think on drafting an email. They can spend their time focusing more on customer issues.
Another significant feature is you can do email metrics means you can track the result of your sent emails like following open rates and click-through rates.
CRM tools are not just confined to stay connected with the customer, but also help in keeping an eye on vendors, partners and suppliers.
In the end, you can create reports on different use cases and can plan and work on the loopholes.
CRM fills the gaps between marketing, sales and customer support departments and helps the companies to make most from their little efforts and with cut corners.
CRM software stores the granular level information of your customers and their interest on a real-time basis, so that it will be accessible for the sales team to follow them up in the future.
Consider an example
A customer purchased a pair of contact lenses which will expire after three months. And, you have set a gentle reminder to contact that customer after three months in CRM system. There are most likely chances that customer wants to repurchase it because it expires and there are fewer chances not to buy. It may be because they want to purchase from another vendor.
Here you can throw your dice by approaching them a bit earlier before they think of purchasing it.
In this case, they don’t use their mind to search for another vendor and go with your deal.
It’s an excellent way to grab the attention of customer not giving time to jump to other competitors.
Automate response helps the sales team to be ready with the customer interest information and convert a prospect to lead in a single shot.
Consider an example
Whenever a prospects fill the form, it will automatically send the welcome mail, initial documents of policy & procedures, and collect information & interest of the customer to fill the gap of human response.
Consider another example for automation
Usually, the sales team perform their tasks in the loop. And, when we defined some reminders in CRM, it will automatically execute without your knowledge. Like, sending reminder mail when the due date comes, wishing customers on their birthdays, and many more.
It provides ease to managers in tracking the working progress of their team members. Even, they can check the current status of the customer and follow the customer journey from prospects to lead.
Why CRM is important
Let’s take an in short view on the importance of customer relationship management strategy-
- Blend sales, marketing and customer support teams
- All information in one place for sharing across the company
- Simplified and transparent view of the working process
- Increased automation
- Enhanced contact management
- Cross-team collaboration
- Empowered sales management
- Accurate sales forecasting
- Improved sales metrics
- Clear with operational goals and improved productivity
- Increased customer satisfaction and retention
- Cost cutting
- Improvement in marketing ROI
With CRM it’s straightforward to measure and forecast the company’s day to day activities and productivity. Companies can stay coupled with customers, streamline processes and enhance profitability.
To give an account of CRM, it adds new life to critical business operations such as- sales, marketing and customer service activities.
It enhances the customer experience and loyalty from the initial point of contact to repeat purchases.
All we need is look at desired CRM features based on one’s need before going to opt for it.
Hope you got a clear insight into CRM and its benefits to the business. Please do comment and share your experiences with CRM software if you have already implemented this in your company. It will help others to take the right decision.